As one of the first broadcasters the Flemish TV VRT has announced the band Hooverphonic as ESC representatives for Rotterdam 2020. The current situation forced the organizers to cancel this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and postpone it to 2021. Luckily Hooverphonic will be able to represent Belgium in 2021 as well.
The band exists since 1995 and the original name was “Hoover”, to avoid confusion with the vacuum cleaner company the name has been changed to Hooverphonic. Until now the band has released ten albums and singles. The interesting music style of electronic trip hop creates a special atmosphere. These songs have reached good placings in the Belgian charts “Amalfi” and “Badaboum”. There are also a lot of live concert recordings as well with orchestra.
The band consists of Alex Callier (bass) und Raymond Geerts (guitar) and Luka Cruysberghs (vocals), the female singer has been exchanged over the years, but the two founding members Alex and Raymond have never left the band. The 18-years-old singer Luka is well known in Belgium due to her victory in “The Voice Flanders”. Unfortunately, the band is mainly known in Belgium. With the participation at the ESC there is a change of a European wide awareness and a huge audience.
The song “Release Me” is a quiet song with a sense of melancholy. It’s about losing a beloved one and saying goodbye. This kind of song corresponds with the majority of songs the band normally does. The orchestral instrumentation is nicely made, but could have worked out in a better way. The singer Luka is singing from the very first to the very last second, hence the silent moments don’t come across. In this highly competitive ESC such a song is unfortunately too insignificant. It should have more depth, pauses, good rhythm like “Badaboum” and orchestra to shine through.
Finals: 52 (6 since 2004)
Top 10: 26
Chances for Top 10: 41%
Chances for Final: 35% (since 2004)
For Belgium it would have been the 63rd time in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The Belgian representatives Hooverphonic will have the right to start again in 2021, because of the Corona crisis. Due to the fact the Belgium has two languages and regions Flanders and Wallonia the Belgian representative is being provided alternately each year. Well, it cannot be said, which part of Belgium is sending more successful songs, both Wallonia and Flanders are eager to deliver the best quality, which is visible in the good results especially in recent years. The Belgians are on a good way, but not always successful. In 2018 and 2019 both Belgian entries did not make into the Grand Final.
For the first and so far only time, Belgium could win the ESC back in 1986 with “J’aime La Vie” sung by Sandra Kim. Over all these years there have many good places in the top 10.
By virtues of the introduction of the Semi Finals in 2004 some countries are struggling to qualify for the Grand Final. Belgium is one of the countries which had some difficulties in the noughties, only six times Belgium could qualify in the last fourteen. It has also to be taken into consideration that the competition has grown over the years. The Eastern European countries are making the half of the participating countries nowadays, so therefore some well-established countries have to make the way for the new countries and even the non-European country Australia takes part regularly now. The positive thing about it is that it forces the composers to bring higher quality songs into the competition; there is less place for weak songs.
1x 1st place “J'aime La Vie” |Sandra Kim (Bergen 1986)
4x 2nd place ”Messieurs Les Noyés De La Seine” |Fud Leclerc (Lugano 1956) “Le Plus Beau Jour De Ma Vie” |Mony Marc (Lugano 1956) ”L'amour ça Fait Chanter La Vie” |Jean Vallée (Paris 1978) ”Sanomi”|Urban Trad (Riga 2003)