Think About Things (Results Edition) – Belgium

It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!


Predictions, Personal Scores and Results


Prediction: Qualifier

Personal Score: 5


Prediction: Non-Qualifier

Personal Score: 6

Results: 19th place, Final

Did Belgium live up to expectations? 

D: Belgium was predicted to be a borderline qualifier, but after their rehearsal they proved that they rose to the occasion. Hooverphonic, whose members sometimes spoke low about Eurovision, showed to be very well prepared. Especially when it comes to their staging. So I think they did even better than expected, what do you think?

A: Belgium was hard to predict prior to the contest, and although their stage performance impressed me, I was still unsure whether they would score enough to qualify to the final. I don’t know whether the song was really deserving of the final, but their professionalism on stage certainly helped. I would say this achieved higher than what I would have thought. 

How do you personally feel about the song for Belgium at Eurovision 2021?
D: To me this music genre is not really my cup of tea and I didn’t play the Belgian song as much as some of the other entries of this year. That being said, I totally agree with you Anita on using the term ‘professionalism’, which really showed through their entire performance. And I can only respect that from Hooverphonic. 

A: I didn’t rate this song highly before the contest, and now that we’ve seen the performance, I still don’t feel the spark for this song. I wouldn’t say the song is niche, but it just didn’t appeal to me personally. Maybe it was the dark vibe, or maybe the lyrics – either way, it just wasn’t for me. 

D: I think that’s also a thing that doesn’t resonate with me at all, the lyrics and theme of the song. But I guess many other people did relate to the song a lot, since it made it to the final (easily).

A: I think some of the distaste also came from their attitudes prior to Eurovision, which was toned down once the group was actually in Rotterdam, but it did leave a bad taste in the mouths of many Eurovision fans. It didn’t affect the voting however, and I think that had a lot to do with their stage and vocal performance. 

Could Belgium have done anything different?

D: Going for this ‘dark’ song, the overall package of the performance of Belgium is just as it should be. I don’t think they could have done things differently to get a better result. Perhaps, with a better starting slot in the final their televote could have been slightly higher, but I think this song just wasn’t televote friendly to begin with. 

A: Looking at their televote, it was very low in the final. Their starting position probably didn’t help, but as I said before, this song won’t appeal to everyone. The professionalism would have suited the jury, but it wasn’t enough for the public to vote. It’s hard to know if their attitude to Eurovision actually impacted their televote, but some better PR could have helped.

D: On the total field of televoters and viewers, the small number of community members following Eurovision in depth is too small to have an impact on the results. So I don’t think their bad PR hurt their result.

What can Belgium do to ensure success in future years?
D: I think Belgium has been quite successful already in recent years, so they are on the right track. I keep seeing a difference, results wise, based on whether the Flemish or Walloon broadcaster is making the decision. But recently they both went with an internal selection where the quality of the song is reviewed thoroughly. There are still plenty of good quality acts left in Belgium to pick from in the upcoming years.

A: At this stage, I think Belgium will stick with an internal selection, and so they should. Their recent history is much more successful due to really focusing on the song selection, and inviting established singers to the selection. Hopefully we see other established artists inspired to participate after seeing Hooverphonic on stage. My worry is that Belgium will put themselves in a box, and that’s with that dark style of song and staging. I hope they can keep diversifying their entries without losing that quality. 

Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?

D: In the actual performance Hooverphonic worked out the last details of switching between the band members in certain specific shots, which was the nice finishing touch. So to me, that performance was better. What I really liked about seeing their live-on-tape recording though, was how well prepared they really were. The total concept of what we all saw in May, it was all already there. Which proves to me how serious the Belgian delegation took the staging and visual presentation this year.

A: Watching the live-on tape really does show that the group had a concept, and they stuck with it. The cameras circling around the group were used in the recording, but it was much smoother in the live performance. The other main difference was having the extra screens at Eurovision, such as the runway screen, rather than just a backing screen. If Belgium had to use their back-up tape, I doubt it would have created much of a difference with the results. It’s a smooth performance either way.