Belgique 1981

Belgium was represented by Emly Starr, with the song ‘ »Samson« , at the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Dublin on 4 April. The Belgian preselection consisted of three heats, followed by the final on 7 March. All the shows took place at the Amerikaans Theater in Brussels, hosted by Luc Appermont. Future Belgian representatives Stella Maessen (1982) and Liliane Saint-Pierre (1987) also took part in the 1981 selection.


Three heats were held with twelve songs in each, from which the top ten songs across the heats went forward to the final. The songs were not voted on at the time, but after the final heat a recap of all 36 songs was broadcast and viewers were then invited to vote for ten of the songs. Voting took place by the unusual means of filling out and submitting a lottery-style form. Prizes such as cars, holidays and home entertainment equipment were on offer to those who managed to forecast all ten qualifying songs correctly, and it is believed that over 180,000 forms were sent in. This led to some criticism that viewers were being asked to vote not for their own favourite songs, but rather for those which they thought would have the widest appeal to other people.[1]


The national final was held on 7 March with the winning song chosen by a 7-member « expert » jury. Only the winner was announced, but it is understood that Liliane Saint-Pierre came second[2]

7 March 1981
Draw Artist Song Place
1 Fancy Free « De wereld is een showtoneel »
2 De Opera « De opera »
3 Gene Summer « Zing het maar »
4 Stella « Veel te veel »
5 Ann Michel « Ik ben gelukkig »
6 Johann Stollz « Hello, Hello »
7 Emly Starr « Samson en Delilah«  1
8 Lester & Denwood « Bonnie »
9 Venus « Talisman »
10 Liliane Saint-Pierre « Brussel » 2 ?

At Eurovision

Prior to the contest, the song title was shortened to « Samson ». On the night of the final Starr performed 16th in the running order, following Portugal and preceding Greece. At the close of the voting « Samson » had received 40 points (the highest being 8 from Yugoslavia), placing Belgium 13th of the 20 entries. The Belgian jury awarded its 12 points to Denmark.[3]

Points Awarded by Belgium[4]

12 points  Denmark
10 points  Germany
8 points  United Kingdom
7 points  Cyprus
6 points  Greece
5 points  Yugoslavia
4 points  Sweden
3 points  France
2 points  Netherlands
1 point  Ireland

External links