Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Country  Belgium
National selection
Selection process Internal Selection
Selection date(s) Artist: 22 November 2016
Song: 8 March 2017
Selected entrant Blanche
Selected song « City Lights« 
Selected songwriter(s) Pierre Dumoulin
Blanche
Finals performance
Semi-final result Qualified (4th, 165 points)
Final result 4th, 364 points
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2016 2017 2018►

Belgium participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song « City Lights« , written by Pierre Dumoulin and Ellie Delvaux (Blanche). The song was performed by Blanche, who was selected by the Belgian broadcaster Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française (RTBF) on 22 November 2016 to represent the nation at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine. « City Lights » was internally selected as the song Blanche would perform at Eurovision and later premiered on 8 March 2017.

Belgium was drawn to compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 9 May 2017. Performing during the show in position 5, « City Lights » was announced among the top 10 entries of the first semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 13 May.

Background

Prior to the 2017 contest, Belgium had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fifty-eight times since its debut as one of seven countries to take part in 1956.[1] Since then, the country has won the contest on one occasion in 1986 with the song « J’aime la vie » performed by Sandra Kim. Following the introduction of semi-finals for 2004, Belgium had been featured in only five finals. In 2016, Laura Tesoro represented the country with the song « What’s the Pressure« , qualifying to the final and placing tenth.

The Belgian broadcaster for the 2017 Contest, who broadcasts the event in Belgium and organises the selection process for its entry, will be Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française (RTBF). The Belgian participation in the contest alternates between two broadcasters: the Walloon RTBF and the Flemish Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie (VRT). Both broadcasters have selected the Belgian entry using national finals and internal selections in the past. In 2015, RTBF internally selected a contestant from the reality singing competition The Voice Belgique to represent the nation, while in 2016, VRT organised the national final Eurosong in order to select the Belgian entry. On 23 May 2016, RTBF confirmed Belgium’s participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.[2]

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 22 November 2016, RTBF announced that Ellie Delvaux would be representing Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[3] While her song, « City Lights », had been previously announced to be released on 8 March 2017, the song leaked the night before through Spotify. It was released as a digital download on 8 March.[4] Ellie had earlier competed in the TV talent competition The Voice Belgique. At Eurovision, she will compete under her stagename Blanche.

Promotion

Blanche made several appearances across Europe to specifically promote « City Lights » as the Belgian Eurovision entry. On 2 April, she performed during the London Eurovision Party, which was held at the Café de Paris venue in London, United Kingdom and hosted by Nicki French. Between 3 and 6 April, she took part in promotional activities in Tel Aviv, Israel where she performed during the Israel Calling event held at the Ha’teatron venue.[5][6] On 8 April, Blanche performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands and hosted by Cornald Maas and Selma Björnsdóttir.[7] On 15 April, she performed during the Eurovision Spain Pre-Party, which was held at the Sala La Riviera venue in Madrid, Spain.[8]

At Eurovision

Blanche during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[9] On 31 January 2017, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Belgium was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 9 May 2017, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[10]

Once all the competing songs for the 2017 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Belgium was set to perform in position 5, following the entry from Albania and before the entry from Montenegro.[11]

Semi-final

Blanche took part in technical rehearsals on 30 April and 4 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 8 and 9 May.[12] This included the jury show on 8 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries.

At the end of the show, Belgium was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.

Final

Shortly after the first semi-final, a winners’ press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the reverse order the countries appeared in the semi-final running order. Belgium was drawn to compete in the second half.

Voting

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Belgium and awarded by Belgium in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[13][14]

Points awarded to Belgium

Points awarded by Belgium

Split voting results

The following five members will comprise the Belgian jury: [15]

  • Jean-François Pottier – Chairperson – Head of Music Nostalgie Belgique
  • Kevin Cocco – teacher, singer, composer, communication officer
  • Tiffany Baworowski (Typh Barrow) – singer, author of lyrics, composer
  • Etienne Baffrey – Founder and Director of radio antipode, teacher at IAD-Radio
  • Marie Benmokaddem (Mia Lena) – singer, student

References

  1. ^ « Belgium Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (23 May 2016). « Belgium: RTBF confirms participation in Eurovision 2017 ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2016). « Belgium: Ellie Delvaux (Blanche) to Kyiv! ». Esctoday.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Granger, Anthony (7 March 2017). « BELGIUM: SNIPPET OF BLANCHE’S « CITY LIGHTS » APPEARS ONLINE ». eurovoix.com. Eurovoix. 
  5. ^ Kavaler, Ron (22 March 2017). « ISRAEL CALLING! EUROVISION PROMO EVENT SET FOR APRIL 3 TO 6 ». wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Laufer, Gil (5 April 2017). « Tonight: Israel Calling 2017 to be held with 28 participating countries ». esctoday.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 March 2017). « Eurovision in Concert sets a new record with 33 acts ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Fuster, Luis (1 April 2017). « MADRID CALLING! 19 ACTS WILL TAKE PART IN EUROVISION SPAIN PRE-PARTY ». wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  9. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2017). « Semi-Final Allocation draw to take place in Kyiv ». eurovision.tv. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 January 2017). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 March 2017). « Semi-Final running order for Eurovision 2017 revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  12. ^ « Press ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  13. ^ « Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 First Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  14. ^ « Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 April 2017). « Who will be the expert jurors for Eurovision 2017? ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 May 2017.