Belgium’s two largest public broadcasters, VRT and RTBF, have both separately announced that they will not be sending a delegation to Paris for the 2021 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. As the country’s only EBU members, this means that Belgium will be absent from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the 9th year in a row.
As early as April 2021, Belgium’s Flemish broadcaster, VRT, announced that they would once again not send an act to JESC. VRT’s Head of Delegation, Birgit Samal, did not provide a reason for the broadcaster’s continued absence. VRT was behind all of Belgium’s JESC entries from 2006 to 2012, including their most notable and most successful entry, Laura Omloop’s “Zo Verliefd (Yodelo).”
Hopes for a Belgian return then squarely rested on the shoulders of Belgium’s Walloon broadcaster, RTBF. Though the two broadcasters alternate responsibilities in the adult contest, RTBF hasn’t had a hand in Junior Eurovision since 2005, with Lindsay’s “Mes rêves.” In late June this year, Head of Delegation Sandrine Roustan confirmed that they would not return to the competition, calling Junior Eurovision “too expensive” for the broadcaster.
Belgium in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium debuted in the inaugural edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 and sent “De vriendschapsband” by X!NK, coming 6th out of 16 with 83 points. Belgium competed 10 times in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest from 2003 to 2012, with their best finish coming in 2009 with “Zo Verliefd (Yodelo)” by Laura Omloop, scoring 113 points and finishing 4th out of 13. Their most recent entry was Fabian’s “Abracadabra” in 2012, finishing 5th out of 12 with 72 points.
Ten countries have confirmed to participate in Junior Eurovision this year:
Are you disappointed that Belgium won’t be returning to the Junior contest? Are you hyped for JESC? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify and YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 national final season!