This is Brussels calling: Looking at Belgium's chances of Eurovision glory

This is Brussels calling: Looking at Belgium's chances of Eurovision glory
Gustaph who is the Belgian entry for this year's Eurovision. Credit: Belga / Laurie Dieffembacq

The Eurovision Song Contest is upon us this week, with Belgium still having to qualify for the grand final, set to take place on Saturday in the English city of Liverpool.

This year, Belgium is sending fedora-clad Flemish singer Gustaph as their Eurovision representation with the song “Because of You”. The 42-year-old won the Eurosong competition which elects the Belgian entry, beating the other competitors with his own special brand of electro-pop.

This will also not be Gustaph’s first experience at Eurovision, having previously been a backing vocalist for Belgian entries Sennek and Hooverphonic in 2018 and 2021 respectively.

However, Belgium does not benefit from the same luxury of the contest’s Big Five, as Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the UK are automatically in the final. Belgium and a number of other countries instead have to compete in a semi-final, with Gustaph set to perform on Thursday hoping to clinch his ticket for the final.

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If he were to win the competition, he would become only the second-ever Belgian winner. Sandra Kim won the contest for Belgium in 1986 at the age of 13. Her victory had garnered controversy as she had lied about her age, with the lyrics to her song claiming that she was 15 – "Moi j'ai quinze ans et je te dis."

Credit: Belga Archives

The closest Belgium has gotten to another win since was in 2003 when the folk band Urban Trad came in second place performing “Sanomi” in an imaginary, made-up language. Why Belgium did not choose a song in one of the country's three official languages, remains anyone's guess.

Credit: YouTube / Eurovision GOLD

Gustaph is not expected to win Eurovision for Belgium, with UNIBET currently putting his odds at 251-1.

For those wanting to attend a watch-along for his semi-final appearance on Thursday, Brussels Pride Week will be organising a free screening at the Grands Carmes in the capital's city centre.

Saturday’s final will be shown on the Flemish public broadcaster VRT, as Belgium alternates its Eurovision coverage between Flemish and Francophone TV channels each year. The event is also streamed live on YouTube with English-language coverage.

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