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  • Writer's pictureFleur Menezes

Belgian National Day: Our Top 10 Eurovision entries from Belgium

July 21 is Belgian National Day, which is celebrated for Leopold I as the first King of Belgium in 1831.

Belgium was one of the original seven countries that competed in the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. They have competed at Eurovision 64 times but have only won the Contest once, with 13 year old Sandra Kim and her song ‘J'aime la vie‘ in 1986.

To mark the national day and their long history in the Contest, 13 members of the Aussievision team ranked their favourite Belgian Eurovision entries of all time.

Here is the Top 10 in reverse order:

=9. Sennek - ‘A Matter of Time’ (2018) - 17 points

Highs: 5 points from Emma and Laura

=9. Urban Trad - ‘Sanomi’ (2003) - 17 points

Highs: 7 points from Laura

=9. Telex - ‘Euro-Vision’ (1980) - 17 points

Highs: 10 points from Fleur; 6 points from Kyriakos

“This deserved so much better but clearly Eurovision wasn’t ready for Telex. It would have done better in later years. An underrated gem." ~ Fleur

8. Blanche - ‘City Lights’ (2017) - 41 points

Highs: 10 points from Hugo; 7 points from Cooper; 6 points from Leith

“Just a brilliant song, stage presentation grew as Blanche grew in confidence to create a really special moment.” ~ Hugo

7. Roberto Bellarosa - 'Love Kills' (2013) - 57 points

Highs: 12 points from Leith, Dale and Fleur; 8 points from Hayley; 7 points from Steven

“I mean the live performance and THAT iconic choreography sold it for me. But I also genuinely love the song because I’m a sucker for uplifting Europop (even if the lyrics are less joyful)” ~ Leith

“The package may resemble a Javier Bardem bond villain with two out of control backing dancers... but it works! The song is one hell of a bop with a simple hooky chorus and strong builds throughout. I can't put my finger on why I love it so much but I NEVER tire of this!” ~ Dale

“"I love this and I don’t care. It’s a banger, it’s an earworm and it totally slaps. The backing dancers are iconic- I mean come on, you can never forget them. I will be singing this for the rest of the day now. Just fantastic." ~ Fleur

6. Kate Ryan - ‘Je t'adore’ (2006) - 63 points

Highs: 12 points from Samuel; 8 points from Leith, Kyriakos and Steven; 7 points from Craig

“If you search up “robbery” in the dictionary a picture of this entry will appear. Absolutely stunned that this (the bookies favourite that year) failed to reach the final. Yes the early running order, dodgy camera-work and one semi final system probably hindered her. But everything else was amazing. Kate looked and sounded like a Nordic goddess. Her dancers looked like they were from the Ken doll factory. The dance routine was slick and clever. Most importantly, the song itself was addictive as Belgian chocolate.” ~ Samuel

5. Hooverphonic - ‘The Wrong Place’ (2021) - 65 points

Highs: 10 points from Cooper and Craig; 8 points from John Christian; 7 points from Hayley

“This song makes me want to put on my turtleneck and sensually smoke several cigars before going to see obnoxiously long French films with my similarly-attired friends Tobias, Sylvie and Marguerite. Hooverphonic are great and this is a great addition to their discography. Sometimes I'm a bit pretentious, and I'm at peace with that.” ~ Craig

4. Sandra Kim - ‘J'aime la vie’ (1986) - 66 points

Highs: 10 points from Steven; 8 points from Craig Hugo and Dale; 7 points from Kyriakos and Emma

“This catchy bop was a deserved winner and is a tune I never tire of listening too. And to pull off her country’s only win aged 13?! Félicitations, Sandra!” ~ Steven

3. Gustaph - ‘Because of You’ (2023) - 68 points

Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos and Laura; 8 points from Cooper and Emma; 7 points from Leith

“I really hope Gustaph showed Belgium that it is worth taking the risk at Eurovision. The song resonated so well in the arena and on screen. I am so glad Gustaph finished in the top 10!” ~ Kyriakos

“Gustaph’s loving homage to 90s house music and ballroom culture is something I didn’t know I needed at Eurovision, but I’m so glad to have been able to enjoy it this year! The commitment to and accuracy of the visuals really helped sell this performance to me - especially in the music video - but it’s Gustaph’s flawless vocal delivery that makes this a bona-fide Eurovision classic. It’s such a feel good song, I love it!” ~ Laura

2. Loïc Nottet - ‘Rhythm Inside’ (2015) - 84 points

Highs: 12 points from Cooper, Craig, Hugo and Emma; 10 points from Hayley; 8 points from Fleur

“'Rhythm Inside' has the (questionable?) honour of being my favourite Eurovision song ever. The stark minimalist production is matched by a great live vocal from Loïc, while the staging is just the right level of avant-garde. An all-time great Eurovision entry and one that will always have a special place in my heart.” ~ Craig

“Vocals, charisma, out of any genre box and just unique. Send Loïc again please! He is Eurovision winning artist material.” ~ Hugo

“'Rhythm Inside' is perfection. With catchy lyrics that show off Loic's vocal range and innovative staging and choreography, this remains on high rotation on my Eurovision playlist.” ~ Emma

“I always thought 'Rhythm Inside' was quite edgy for Eurovision and I know this is a favourite with Eurovision fans still. It most certainly deserved its high place in the grand final. I still think this would do well in modern contests as well. I am expecting this to come up the top of the Aussievision poll.” ~ Hayley

1. Laura Tesoro - ‘What's the Pressure’ (2016) - 95 points

Highs: 12 points from Steven and Hayley; 10 points from Leith, Kyriakos, John Christian and Emma; 7 points from Dale

“Pop perfection with a 70s disco beat and fabulous choreography that lit up the Stockholm stage. Couldn’t have been happier for anyone when Laura qualified … and jumped up and down on the Green Room sofa.” ~ Steven

“When stumbling out of bed at 5am to watch the grand final live in 2016, this was the first song and it certainly woke me up and this was my 12 points back then too! In what was a stellar year for Eurovision, this is still firmly planted on my list of favourites. High energy, fun staging and Laura is a little star! From memory Australia gave our 12 points to Belgium too! This is well crafted pop done well.” ~ Hayley

“How can you not love Laura’s energy - Shirley Temple on Red Bull (or something less legal). It’s a great song, she was the best choice to open 2016 with, and I still listen to this every week” ~ Leith

“What a bop! I will never get over this entry, Laura brings so much infectious energy to this performance, it is really unforgettable.” ~ Kyriakos

“She brought youthful energy and vibe to the audiences with this song.” ~ John Christian

“'What's the Pressure' remains one of my all time favourite Eurovision songs. I've often wondered if it would have done even better than 10th if not for being the show opener. The choreography is slick and Laura was adorable. One of the best examples of disco done right at Eurovision.” ~ Emma

“Don’t ask me why the sun is shining.” ~ Laura

The rest of the votes:

=12. Nicole and Hugo - ‘Baby Baby’ (1973) - 16 points

=12. Xandee - ‘1 Life’ (2004) - 16 points

“Bemused how this finished joint second-last in the 2004 final with only a smattering of points. An outstanding Eurodance tune with slight ethnic elements. Yes the costumes were a little stupid (someone needs to tell the drummer AC Milan is not a Belgian football team). But the song itself and dance routine was great.” ~ Samuel

=14. Tonia - ‘Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel’ (1966) - 15 points

=14. Dream Express - ‘A Million in One, Two, Three’ (1977) - 15 points

=14. Lisa del Bo - ‘Liefde is een kaartspel’ (1996) - 15 points

“A very underrated song, the last of the Belgian songs to go Dutch on this.” ~ John Christian

17. Emly Starr - ‘Samson’ (1981) - 12 points

=18. Liliane Saint-Pierre - ‘Soldiers of Love (1987) - 11 points

“This is such an underrated Eurovision entry! Lilia has a big bold vocal that she delivers with gusto. The song IS 80s POWER and works so well with the orchestra to slap you in the face and make you pay attention. Add in the backing guitar choreography and the mix of English and Dutch and it is perfect.” ~ Dale

=18. Witloof Bay - ‘With Love Baby’ (2011) - 11 points

20. Tom Dice - ‘Me and My Guitar’ (2010) - 9 points

=21. Jacques Raymond - ‘Waarom?’ (1963) - 6 points

=21. Nathalie Sorce - ‘Envie de vivre’ (2000) - 6 points

=21. Jérémie Makiese - ‘Miss You’ (2022) - 6 points

=24. Mélanie Cohl - ‘Dis oui’ (1998) - 4 points

=24. Eliot - ‘Wake Up’ (2019) - 4 points

=24. Hooverphonic - ‘Release Me’ (2020) - 4 points

=27. Barbara - ‘Iemand als jij’ (1993) - 3 points

=27. Vanessa Chinitor - ‘Like the Wind’ (1999) - 3 points

=29. Fud Leclerc - ‘Ton nom" (1962) - 2 points

=29. Stella - ‘Si tu aimes ma musique’ (1982) - 2 points

=29. Ingeborg - ‘Door de wind’ (1989) - 2 points

=32. Philippe Lafontaine - ‘Macédomienne’ (1990) - 1 point

=32. Frédéric Etherlinck - ‘La Voix est libre’ (1995) - 1 point

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