GREECE – It is no secret that there was scouting for Helena Paparizou representing Greece in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, a project which failed almost immediately. During the 2017 Colour Day Festival though, Helena Paparizou was asked if she would be wiling to represent Greece once again. She replied that if there was a proposal by ERT and if there was a song that would make her feel great doing this, then she would say yes. In the meantime, the ERT CEO Mr Lampis Tagmatarchis (Eurovision 2017 project manager as well) resigned and now the broadcaster seeks his successor.
Several well known names have already expressed an interest in representing Belgium at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. We take a closer look at some of those who might be in the spotlight when broadcaster VRT now goes for an internal selection.
Since 2010 Belgium has achieved impressive results at the Eurovision Song Contest. In the past three years the country managed to proceed to the Grand final, with Loïc Nottet in 2015 (4th), Laura Tesoro in 2016 (10th) and Blanche this year (4th). Furthermore Roberto Bellarosa earned 12th position in 2013 and Tom Dice a 6th place in 2010.
Four of these entries were chosen internally by the broadcaster for the French speaking part of the country, RTBF. Maybe that’s why VRT, the Flemish broadcaster, has revealed they will go for an internal selection for a suitable artist and song for 2018.
Several Flemish artists have already shown their interest in participating for Belgium. Let’s take a closer look at these candidates.
Natalia Druyts (36) immediately said that she would be interested in defending the Belgian flag, but only if she would be chosen internally and with a proper song. Natalia is one of the most successful singers in the Flemish part of Belgium. She came second in Idols 2003 and already participated in the Belgian selection for Eurovision in 2004 where she came second with the song Higher Than The Sun.
She also sang duets with international stars like Anastacia.
2. Kate Ryan
Kate Ryan (36) is not an unfamiliar name in Eurovision, since she already defended Belgium in 2006 with Je t’adore. Despite being a hot favourite to do well in the competition, she stranded in the semi-final with a 12th position.
Over the years, she has several times said that she said she would be interested in participating in Eurovision again.
Kate sang a duet with Swedish Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli, Little Braveheart, for her album Electroshock back in 2012.
3. Belle Perez
Belle Perez (41) has also showed interest in representing Belgium in 2018. She’s born in Belgium, but has Spanish nationality, since both her parents are Spanish.
She is best known for her passionate Latino singing style and enjoys big success in Flanders, The Netherlands and Germany.
Belle participated in the Flemish national selection two times. In 1999 she stranded in the semi finals with the song Hello World, and in 2006 she achieved a 3rd place with the song El Mundo Bailando, sung in Spanish.
4. Isabelle A
Isabelle A (42) had some great hits in Flanders in the nineties as a teen idol. Back in 1999, the Belgian broadcaster asked her to participate in Eurosong 99 with her band Natural High. They managed to reach the national final with the song Finally, but ended up second last that night.
Today she also has stated an interest in an internal Eurosong procedure.
5. Ozark Henry
Ozark Henry (47) has no Eurovision connection yet, but has stated that he would be interested if chosen internally for it. His music style is alternative, avant-garde, pop & rock.
He is best known for his songs Rescue and Sweet Instigator.
6. De Romeo’s
De Romeo’s consists of 3 male singers: Chris Van Tongelen (49), Davy Gilles (41) and Gunther Levi (41).
They have already mentioned their interest in representing Belgium at the Eurovision earlier this year. Back in April they stated: “We are very interested in participating and taking this project seriously. The only condition is that we don’t want to compete in a selection. If we are chosen internally, we will produce several songs, from which the public can choose our entry.”
Besides these artists, some others have also shown their interest in representing Belgium in 2018, such as Tom Helsen (40) and Gene Thomas (44).
Above-mentioned names are all established values and have achieved many hits in Belgium and beyond. However, it could very well be that the VRT will be going to the other side, and choose a beginning artist.
Belgium’s latest successful Eurovision artists Tom Dice, Roberto Bellarosa, Loïc Nottet, Laura Tesoro and Blanche were all 20 years old, or younger, when they sang at the Eurovision Song Contest. Furthermore, all of them have participated in a “The Voice” or “X-factor” edition in Belgium. Therefore, it could well be that this tradition will be continued.
Tell us your opinion, what is your preference? One thing is certain: Belgium is definitely trying hard to maintain its success at Eurovision.
In Belgium, Flemish broadcaster VRT and Walloon broadcaster RTBF take turns at competing in Eurovision. This year’s Blanche represented RTBF, so in 2018 it’s VRT’s turn.
In the video below you can check out Blanche at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – here in a special Full Stage View in 4K:
Despite bringing his country to their best Eurovision result so far, placing second in the overall vote, Kristian Kostov broke down in tears during an interview for a local TV station. This year’s youngest Eurovision contestant heartily apologised to Bulgaria for not making it victorious.
It has been a month since the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has proclaimed its winner, and this time has been marked by both joy and tears for the Bulgarian representative Kristian Kostov. He brought his country to their best result so far – a second place – but he apologised for not bringing home the absolute victory. “I apologise for not bringing Eurovision to Bulgaria”, heartily said Kristian in an interview with local TV station TMSAND ITV.
“Indeed, we are the winners” – nevertheless claimed Kostov during the interview, and he might be right. For Bulgaria who have been falling in and out of Eurovision, the journey has begun again. At the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Poli Genova sang her way to the fourth place bringing Bulgaria back on track after a two-year absence, which Kristian now backed up with a second place.
Kristian Kostov has multiple times shared that he finds inspiration in the works of the Russian 2007 runner-up and 2009 Eurovision winner Dima Bilan. If so, could we possibly see Kostov, similarly to his model, return to the Eurovision stage as an entrant and reaching the absolute top? We will have to wait for the national selections again to see, but for now let’s continue enjoying the Beautiful Mess Kristian Kostov created in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Do England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all get their fair share? Unlike in sporting events such as Football and Rugby, the countries are all represented as the United Kingdom by the BBC at Eurovision. So, what are the statistics for the UK constituent countries when it comes to being represented at the contest?
The United Kingdom is one of the most populous countries in Europe, with a population of over 65 million. It is made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These countries have contributed to the success of the UK’s ever-expanding music business and has made it the second largest exporter of music (per capita) in the world.
Consequently, it is no surprise that the United Kingdom has had a very successful relationship with the Eurovision Song Contest, in which they have finished in the Top 3 on no less than twenty three occasions.
The Island Nation was always a force to be reckoned with when it came to sending big artists and/or chart worthy music. Now, in recent years, we may wonder if this is the same country, as they have not been able to emulate their success from the 60’s to the late 90’s. But does it matter if you were born in a specific UK country? Would that help you achieve a better result on the Eurovision stage, and does the United Kingdom favour one nationality over the others?
To make this an accurate report, population is set at 60.35 million (the average of 1971 and 2011 populations according to census data).
1971 population (Millions)
2016 population (Millions)
Percentage of UK population
In a perfect world, we would expect that each country’s population percentage would correspond with it representation in Eurovision. But further analysis of this suggests that it is not as straightforward as that, and not all participants were even born or raised in the UK with singers from Australia, USA and Germany representing the country over the years.
To those mathematicians out there, it may seem as if the chart doesn’t add up to 100%, and you would be right. This is because many of the acts that have represented the United Kingdom have been duets or groups, consisting of more than one Nationality, for example New Seekers in 1972 and Joe & Jake in 2016. Therefore we have had to accommodate for that.
There are many noteworthy conclusions we can make from this chart. England as a country is under represented at Eurovision when it comes to singers. While both Wales and Northern Ireland have sent more than their fair share of performers to the contest. Scotland is slightly under-represented in the contest, but in comparison to that of England, they are more evenly represented.
What is interesting is that most of UK’s victories come from English and Scottish singers, the two countries under represented. No Northern Irish representative has ever reached the top three, yet, both Ronnie Carroll and Clodagh Rogers finished fourth on all three occasions.
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Does United Kingdom favour a specific country? Yes! Wales has been better represented in the contest in comparison to the other three countries. Is this a surprise for many living in the UK? Not really. For many years, Welsh people have been known for their amazing singing ability, with fantastic local talent, such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones cementing this belief. Even 2013 representative, Bonnie Tyler, became an international sensation in the early 1980s with her power ballad Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Although it isn’t a sure-fire guarantee that a Welsh performer will provide United Kingdom with a good result, and Wales can only lay claim to one victory in 1976 (Nicky Stevens providing vocals as part of Brotherhood of May), it does seem that UK like to provide more opportunity for this principality to show their musical credentials. How apt it is then, that this year’s contest saw Cardiff, the Welsh capital, born Lucie Jones perform her emotive ballad, Never Give Up On You in Kyiv, giving United Kingdom its best placing in 6 years.
Is their next winner going to be a Welsh singer? Who knows, but the odds are in their favour.