Eurovision Fan of the Week - Aline from Belgium
For this week’s Eurovision Fan of the Week we spoke to the lovely Aline, aka @ALiiNEvision on Twitter, who comes to us from Belgium. Aline shares her love for everything Sweden including Melodifestivalen and introduces us to Belgian artists she would love to see at Eurovision one day.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Aline Van Rossem, I live in Mechelen, Belgium and I am 22 years old. At this moment I am doing a bachelor education Tourism & Recreation Management. Things I love to do are dancing, travelling, listening to music. I love Eurovision (duhh). Since August 2019 I am a contributor at ESCXTRA.
Thank you for being our Eurovision fan of the week! We love ESCXTRA always great work from all you and your team, if you don't already check them out! ~ Kyriakos
When did you first get into Eurovision?
The first edition I ever watched was 2006. Kate Ryan was among the favourites back then, so the contest was pretty hyped in Belgium. I remember cheering for Lordi all the way as a 7 year old girl. I somehow didn’t watch the editions of 2007 and 2008, but in 2009 I returned! This time it was Hadise who made me watch the show. She represented Turkey, but lived in Belgium at that time. So again, I got sucked into the hype and this time I didn’t leave.
Great entries to get you into Eurovision, ‘Hard Rock Hallelihaj’ and 'Düm Tek Tek' are epic!~ Kyriakos
What is your favourite Eurovision performance?
That must be Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw. This entry made me fall in love with Sweden. Måns’ entry literally had everything I was looking for in the contest. A strong radio friendly pop song with a good message behind it. The song became a big hit in Belgium after the contest of 2015! The voice of Måns as well as the backing vocalists were really enjoyable and then we haven’t talked about the act yet. Some people might say “Heroes won because of the screen”. Disagree! It’s the total package who made it win. The Swedes choosing for a screen is being creative in a 21st century way. It’s actually not so easy because the screen shouldn’t just be there but should make the story of a certain song even stronger. Sweden has done this so well!
CORRECT ANSWER! :D Mine too! ~ Kyriakos
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
Eurovison 2018 in Lisbon. This was the year in which I attended Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam so it felt like I was one step closer into the fandom. That show was such a unique experience because I got to meet a lot of participants from the 2018 edition, as well as fellow Eurovision fans. Everyone seemed so friendly and positive minded. The vibe there was really heartwarming and it made me realise that I truely belong in between these lovely people. Eurovision 2018 had uncountable many great entries and meeting those artists in real made it even harder for me to stay objective. I also always look forward to see Eurovision being organised in a new city. I followed as much as I could on YouTube and the atmosphere in Lisbon back then looked absolutely amazing. My favourite entry from Eurovision 2018 has always been the Danish entry. I absolutely loved the way Denmark introduced Europe to their culture with an epic viking act.
Us Aussie's love Rasmussen! It came second in the Australian televote behind Netta's 'Toy' ~ Kyriakos
Which Belgian artist/s would you love to see on the Eurovision stage? Which song/s best showcases that artist?
One of my current favourite artists in Belgium is Emma Bale. She’s a young girl, but she’s so talented! She became famous in Belgium after her participation in The Voice Kids of 2014. She reached the Belgian hit lists for the first time with a cover of “All I Want” by Kodaline. Later, she started making her own music and those tracks are also popular in Belgium as she already won several music awards here.
Another artist I would like to see in Eurovision is a band called “Bazart”. However, I am not sure if they would do well as they sing in Dutch. Dutch isn’t really the most popular language in Eurovision. The boys of Bazart are active in the music world since their child hoods. Two of them participated in the preselections of Junior Eurovision in Belgium. The lead singer, Mathieu Terryn, did it in 2005 and Oliver Symons represented Belgium in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest of 2008. Bazart scored a major hit in Belgium back in 2015 with their “Goud” with which they made the indiepop genre really popular in my country.
I have attended concerts from both Emma Bale and Bazart, so I can assure that they are really good live as well!
Wow! Would be great to see Dutch sung at Eurovision again ~ Kyriakos
What are your thoughts on Belgium at Eurovision?
Oh waaw… Where should I start? Belgium has been a part of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956, however I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t the most impactful country in the competition. Just call us one of the fool cards. What I find charming about us is the fact that we often try out different music styles at the Eurovision Song Contest. This sometimes makes us unique, in a good or bad way. I like that we don't stick to one specific genre. Belgium has had two TV channels within the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956. Year after year, the Flemish and Walloons alternate with each other to choose the ideal entry. When we look at our history, we see that RTBF (Wallonia) has done well more often than VRT (Flanders). The Walloon side gave us all top 5 positions so far and even our only win so far. I’m glad we got rid of the national selection, because I don’t think Belgium has the right audience for this. The Belgians don’t seem to take the Eurovision Song Contest seriously. Every year I don’t even dare to read news articles with Eurovision as the topic. The comments section is so full of hate. It just makes me sad. When it comes to national selections, the Belgian mindset was “the crazier, the better”. I am so happy we managed to shine with entries like “Rhythm Inside” or “City Lights” and I hope those quality songs could make Belgium fall in love with the song contest.
Both ‘Rhythm Inside’ and ‘City Lights’ are epic Belgian performances! ~ Kyriakos
Which national final do you look forward to the most? What makes it special?
I might sound pretty boring here, but Melodifestivalen it is! I started watching this competition in 2015. I think I couldn’t have picked a better year as the Swedes immediately showed me how to win the Eurovision Song Contest. I saw Måns winning and later he also won the actual Eurovision. My love for Sweden grew and grew, so of course I had to watch Melodifestivalen more often. As soon as SVT broadcasts the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen, my Eurovision mood is immediately activated for the following months. That is the effective start of the Eurovision season for me. Why is Melodifestivalen so special? You can clearly see how much Sweden loves Eurovision through this show. I have never been in Sweden myself, but to me Melodifestivalen seems like the ultimate definition of this country. Open-minded, masters in pop music, beautiful and friendly people. I discovered Mariette through the contest, who has now become one of my biggest idols. I can't wait to visit Sweden and I hope it will happen soon.
If you could change one thing about any national final or Eurovision what would it be?
I don't think I would change anything. The countries that organize national finals have the right to choose how they do so. I also have no complaints about the Eurovision Song Contest itself. Although I'm not much of a fan of the idea that backing vocalists are no longer mandatory. I don't know if that will actually happen, but I would already remove that line. On the other hand, I miss the live orchestra enormously. In the past, they often used to make an entry sound stronger. I am thinking of Love Shine A Light, my favourite entry of all time! I don't really like to listen to that song on a studio version, but live during the Eurovision Song Contest it sounded like a real masterpiece!
What is your opinion on returning artists? Is there one you would like to see again?
I know not everyone seems to be hyped to see artists returning, but I personally don’t mind at all. I think it just shows that certain artists loved their first experience. I prefer participants who are proud of being part of the Eurovision Song Contest rather than when you are ashamed of it. I remember being so freaking happy when Alexander Rybak won MGP in 2018. He was my very first celebrity crush in 2009 haha.
If you could pick only three performances to encourage new people to watch Eurovision what would they be:
I would choose for quality because I want people to get rid of the stereotype “Eurovision Song Contest is a political circus”.
Loreen - Euphoria
Next up, I would love to show people how could some countries mix their own cultural elements with modern music. It’s so lovely to have music styles from different countries. This makes the Eurovision Song Contest really unique. One country that does this job really good most of the time is Israel.
Nadav Guedj – Golden Boy
Last but not least, I want to show one of the most iconic performances in the contest’s history. Not in a “joke” way, but in a really good way.
ABBA – Waterloo
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
Katrina & The Waves – Love Shine A Light
Has the best live vocal?
There are many! But I was really impressed by Marija Serifovic, Loreen and Duncan Laurence.
Your favourite Belgian entry?
I can’t decide between two
Urban Trad – Sanomi
Blanche – City Lights
From the recent years, I remember being so heartbroken when Triana Park didn’t qualify. I enjoyed their song “Line” a lot. The performance was also really unique with those bright colours and some little glow-in-the-dark effects. So sad it didn’t pass to the final!
Is your guilty pleasure?
I just love digging into the history of Eurovision. Recently I discovered two songs which I really enjoyed, but their result disappointed me a lot.
Turkey 1987 (came last with 0 points)
This performance is so energetic, I love the choreography!
Yugoslavia 1991 (received only 1 point)
I just enjoy the Brazil theme in this entry.
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
I have been following national finals since 2015. My favourite show is Melodifestivalen and there I fell in love with Mariette. So far I have seen her in the competition four times and everytime, she just makes me adore her song.
My favourite Melodifestivalen entry is A Million Years.
And finally which Australian entry is your favourite…
Australia has been doing a really good job since their debut in 2015. EBU made a good choice inviting them! My favourite entry so far is Tonight Again by Guy Sebastian. I just adore the groovy and dancy vibe in it. Guy Sebastian is such a gentle and charismatic performer with brilliant vocals! A really strong debut entry overall.
Are there any other titbits or comments you’d like to make?
In the early years of me as a Eurovision fan, I felt quite lonely with this passion. People saw it as “ridiculous” or “a waste of time”, but I am happy that I stood true to it. Thank god I live in the internet era because I found my way to people who share the same passion. I have learned that friendships have no borders, as long as there is one thing that holds us together (Eurovision in this case). I feel so good in this fandom because I feel like everyone gets accepted for who he/she is. I hope I can spend many more years here and I also hope to get more real life experiences in a Eurovision Song Contest context through the years. Thank you Aussievision for having me! I had fun answering all these questions.
Once again thank you Aline for being our Eurovision fan of the week! Great work with ESCXTRA, you're an integral part of the Eurovision fandom!