We have only just entered October and the first name on the list of Eurovision 2020 candidates has just been revealed! Traditionally, Belgium’s broadcaster VRT grabs the honour to give away their national hope as the first delegation for the next Eurovision to do so.
Revealing the big news
The Belgians can call themselves ‘early birds’ again. They are the first to announce their artist for Eurovision 2020! On 30 September, Peter Van de Veire already mentioned during his morning radio show that VRT will announce the artist one day later. On 1 October in the afternoon, the broadcaster organised a press conference on which they invited all Belgian journalists. The actual reveal happened during late evening talk show ‘Vandaag’ on tv channel één.
Who is Hooverphonic?
In a previous article, music coordinator Gerrit Kerremans already mentioned that the selection committee contacted the number one on their list. That name received time to think, but who was that really about? Now we know the answer. Hooverphonic! They accepted the invitation of VRT on condition that a song was ready that was good enough.
Hooverphonic was founded in 1995 by Alex Callier and Raymond Geerts. Nine front singers have already sung for the group, including Geike Arnaert and Noemie Wolfs. Now 18-year-old Luka Cruysberghs stands in the spotlight of the band. Luka won The Voice of Flanders in 2017. Her coach there was, by coincidence or not, Alex Callier. The band has already scored several hits with their typical music style. Their song list includes ‘Mad About you’, ‘Amalfie’, ‘Anger Never Dies’ and ‘Eden’. Their first single together with Luka was called ‘Romantic’.
Famous from America until Japan
Hooverphonic knows a very large fanbase over the entire globe. The band has toured the United States and Europe several times, on his own or together with artists such as Moloko and Massive attack. The band was recently in Japan to represent Belgium during the Belgian Beer Weekend and the day after tomorrow they are leaving on a major European tour. It runs until the end of March 2020.
A very busy schedule comes up as they will start their ‘Looking For Stars’ tour in three days. You can find dates and locations on Instagram!
Eurovision related featurings
We already met Alex Callier in 2018. He wrote the Belgian Eurovision entry for Sennek in 2018. Despite the strong song, Belgium unfortunately did not make it to the final. However, we will not soon forget the story about Alex’s teapot. In turn, Sennek co-wrote the song “Gravity” by Hooverphonic.
With the song “Badaboum” you could hear the voice of Emilie Satt, who represented France as a member of the duo Madame Monsieur at the Songfestival 2018 in Lisbon with Mercy. The duo also provided the support for Hooverphonic during tours.
What do we already know about the entry?
Danira asked immediatly ‘Do you already have a song?’, on which Alex answered ‘yes’! They already have a demo version of their actual Eurovision entry. Of course they will use the typical Hooverphonic-style for it. Alex told that we wouldn’t have done Eurovision 10 years ago. He found it rather a ‘circus’ at that time, but his thoughts changed after Salvador Sobral won in 2017. In addition, Danira showed an audition video of front-singer Luka’s childhood. Basically, she attempted to enter the preselection for Junior Eurovision 2012, but didn’t get selected.
‘Do you think about winning?’, asked Danira then. They immediately had a quick answer for that. They do not think of the word ‘winning’, but mainly want to represent a beautiful song and put down a performance that they and all Belgians can be proud of.
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest this decade
The end of the dark noughties
After a dark noughties, the Belgians could finally their country being succesful in the Eurovision Song Contest. Tom Dice kicked off the decade in 2010 with ‘Me And My Guitar’. He won the first semifinal and in addition he finished on a very beautiful sixth place. One year later, in 2011, Belgium came 11th in the semifinal with just one point short of making it to the final. In 2013, the motivation for French-language broadcaster RTBF grew enormously. They then chose Roberto Bellarosa and ‘Love Kills’. Not many fans paid attention to the Belgian entry beforehand, but Roberto managed to reach the final! He ended in a shared 11th place, along with Moldova.
The grand final hattrick
RTBF continued the success, because in 2015 they came back with another rock-solid entry. The young but very artistic Loïc Nottet has achieved a nice fourth place with his own created entry. He belonged even one of the top favourites! The successes of Wallonia, but also those of the northern neighbors triggered Flanders and VRT enormously hard. They realized that they also had to pay more attention to Eurovision and take a more serious approach. So in 2016 they sent Laura Tesoro to Stockholm. Then Flanders was also able to look proudly at their entry, because Laura finished in the top 10! RTBF therefore found it quite difficult to match the results of the past years in 2017. And yet they succeeded! RTBF introduced Blanche to the song festival world. She conquered all the charts in Europe with her ‘City Lights’. Just like Loïc, she finished fourth.
From hero back to zero
Unfortunately, the success did not last very long. Despite VRT having a potential entry with Sennek and A Matter Of Time in 2018, things went wrong on stage. Belgium finished 12th in a strong semifinal. A year later in 2019, RTBF was also unable to match the previous successes. The young Eliot only finished 13th in the first semifinal with his ‘Wake Up’. So it seems that Belgium is in a dip again. Are the northern neighbors taking them out again? Can Belgium count on a new final place in 2020?
What do you think about Belgium’s choice for 2020? Do you see some potential? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on our social media platforms: @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and our Facebook page.