Belgium In The Danger Zone

You know when you run into something that is too good to be true; it probably means it isn’t true? Yep, that’s Belgium summed up for you this year.

We know we should have probably been more cautious when City Lights was released earlier this season. After all, we can no longer claim we were born yesterday and we’ve both obtained university degrees and learned to critically assess information and the creditability of its sources. As hardcore Eurovision fans we know all too well that a recorded studio track performed by an internally selected artist says next to nothing about how it will actually sound and look like when it’s time to perform it live on the big stage in front of millions of viewers. Especially if said artist is young and inexperienced. And if the track has a modern, contemporary production, which is not easy to recreate live within the frames of the Eurovision rulebook.

The warning signs were all there from the very beginning, but we refused to think about it. We fell in love with City Lights from the very first listen. We fell for the brooding melancholy slowly developing, the lush production, and Blanche’s deep voice, mature beyond her age, brimming with constrained emotions. We convinced ourselves that Belgium was about to become the new black of Eurovision, Brussels 2018 here we come!

When the reports from the preview fan events started ticking in and the clips on YouTube showed a stiff, insecure and awkward artist we dismissed it. Surely Blanche would have time to practice and improve before Kyiv, we know nothing about the staging yet, it will be grand. A tiny stage in a packed nightclub and a rowdy, drunken crowd doesn’t do this justice, bla, bla, bla.

Even after Blanche’s first rehearsal in Kyiv yesterday, we’re still in denial. We are still clinging to the hope that the performance will miraculously come together just in time for the semi-final next Tuesday. But we have to admit now it doesn’t look good. And we are slowly starting coming to terms with the possibility of Belgium ending up not even qualifying for the final. And it makes us sad. On behalf of Blanche herself of course, she’s young and inexperienced and it must be difficult not to meet the high expectations bestowed upon her. And because it might mean that we’ll see less of these kinds of entries in the years to come.

Thank you anyway Belgium, for being brave and for trying out something different. Keep up the good work, because sooner or later we will end up in Brussels. But 2018 might end up being a wee bit too soon.

– Don’t mind me, I’ll just hide behind this flower and aim for a comeback in Eurovision 2027. Photo credit: Marie Wynants

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