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Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest


Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest

Member station VRT, RTBF
National selection events
Appearances 58 (49 finals)
First appearance 1956
Best result 1st: 1986
Worst result Last: 1961, 1962, 1965, 1973, 1979, 1985, 1993, 2000
Nul points: 1962, 1965
External links
Belgium's page at

Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 57 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The only countries with more appearances are Germany (59), France (58) and the United Kingdom (58). Belgium have been absent only three times in total, in 1994, 1997 and 2001, due to low scores in the previous contests that relegated them from the contest. Belgium has won the contest once, in 1986.

In the first 20 years of the contest, Belgium's best result was Tonia's fourth place in 1966. In 1978, Jean Vallée achieved Belgium's first top three placement, when he was second. In 1986, Sandra Kim became the first and to date (as of 2014) only winner for Belgium, when she performed the song J'aime la Vie, to win as a 13-year-old in Bergen. Belgium's only other top three result came in 2003, when the group Urban Trad finished second in Riga, losing out by only two points. Belgium have finished last in the contest eight times, most recently in 2000 and have twice received "nul points"; in 1962 and 1965. Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Belgium have struggled to make an impact and have failed to reach the final of eight of the last eleven contests (2005–15), most notably in 2006 with Kate Ryan, who was one of the pre-contest favourites. In 2010, Tom Dice finished sixth. In 2015, Belgium finished in fourth place with Loïc Nottet.


  • History 1
    • 2009 1.1
    • 2010 1.2
    • 2011 1.3
    • 2012 1.4
    • 2013 1.5
    • 2014 1.6
    • 2015 1.7
    • 2016 1.8
  • Contestants 2
  • Voting history (1975-2015) 3
  • Hostings 4
  • Commentators and spokespersons 5
  • Photogallery 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Belgium has two national broadcasters of the contest, Flemish broadcaster Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep (VRT) and Walloon broadcaster Radio télévision belge de la communauté française (RTBF). The two broadcasters rotate selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year.

While VRT normally hosts a national final, Eurosong, when selecting their entries for Eurovision, it has been normal for RTBF to hold an internal selection process (although it has been known for RTBF to hold a national final at times, for example in 1998, 2005[1][2] and 2011, while VRT internally chose Tom Dice for the 2010 edition).

Belgium has won the contest once, in 1986 when Sandra Kim won with her song "J'aime la vie" in Bergen, Norway. Although she claimed she was 15 years old, she was actually only 13, but was allowed to keep her victory. Currently the minimum age for participation is 16 and thus Sandra Kim will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. By winning in 1986, Belgium became the last of the French-speaking countries to win the contest. Now Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland all had won at least once. Belgium scored an absolute record at the time, with Sandra Kim earning a never seen before amount of 176 points (that record remained until 1993, with Ireland scoring 187 points). Kim received an average of 9,26 points per voting nation, which, as of 2015, still ranks 7th among all Eurovision winners.

Belgium's next best placing has been second which it has achieved twice at the 1978 and 2003 contests. However, it has been last eight times.

In 2003, Urban Trad sang in an invented language earning second place with 165 points, 2 points fewer than that year's winner Turkey. Ishtar did the same in 2008, but came 17th in the first semi-final and thus did not qualify for the final.


In the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Belgium participated in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009, however they received just one point which came from Armenia and left them in second-last position.


The 2010 entry for Belgium was Tom Dice, runner-up of the Belgian Flemish version of The X Factor in 2008. Dice was internally selected and announced by VRT on 25 November 2009.[3][4] Tom Dice finished 1st in the first semi-final, allowing Belgium to participate to the final for the first time since the introduction of the semi-finals. He eventually finished 6th, Belgium's best result since 2003.[5]


In 2011, the entry for Belgium was Witloof Bay. They didn't qualify for the finals, finishing 11th only one point behind Moldova, and thus 1 point behind the qualification.[6]


Due to the good results & the Flemish population's choice, the VRT cancelled 'Eurosong' selection procedure and chose internally for 2012. For the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, they choose 17-year-old singer Iris but decided to let the public choose what song she would sing to represent Belgium. However, she didn't qualify to the finishing 17th of 18 entrants in the first semi-final, scoring just 16 points which was the second lowest total of all the 36 semi-final entrants.[7][8][9]


In 2012, Roberto Bellarosa, winner of The Voice Belgique, was chosen to represent Belgium for the next Eurovision Song Contest to take place in May 2013 in Sweden. Bellarosa made it into the final and finished at the 12th place.[10]


In 2014, VRT organized a national final again[11] and 30 participants were selected to enter the castings. Axel Hirsoux won the national final, with more than 50 percent of the televotes and four times (out of 7 international juries) the maximum of 12 points from the international juries. The song which represented Belgium was called 'Mother' and is a slow ballad.[12] The song failed to qualify for the final, finishing 14th out of 16.


In 2015, RTBF chose another "The Voice Belgique" participant Loïc Nottet, who came second in 2014. He represented Belgium with his song Rhythm Inside in the first semi-final of the competition. He managed to qualify and came second with 149 points. In the final Loïc finished fourth with 217 points. It was the best result for Belgium since 2003 and it was the highest amount of points ever awarded to Belgium. It was also the first time ever that an entry who finished fourth scored over 200 points.


VRT has confirmed that it will organise a national final again for the 2016 competition. This time the show will only have 5 participants.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Song Final Points Semi Points
1956 Fud Leclerc French "Messieurs les noyés de la Seine" 2[a] N/A[a] No semi-finals
1956 Mony Marc French "Le plus beau jour de ma vie" 2[a] N/A[a]
1957 Bobbejaan Schoepen Dutch "Straatdeuntje" 8 5
1958 Fud Leclerc French "Ma petite chatte" 5 8
1959 Bob Benny Dutch "Hou toch van mij" 6 9
1960 Fud Leclerc French "Mon amour pour toi" 6 9
1961 Bob Benny Dutch "September, gouden roos" 15 1
1962 Fud Leclerc French "Ton nom" 13 0
1963 Jacques Raymond Dutch "Waarom?" 10 4
1964 Robert Cogoi French "Près de ma rivière" 10 2
1965 Lize Marke Dutch "Als het weer lente is" 15 0
1966 Tonia French "Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel" 4 14
1967 Louis Neefs Dutch " 7 8
1968 Claude Lombard French "Quand tu reviendras" 7 8
1969 Louis Neefs Dutch "Jennifer Jennings" 7 10
1970 Jean Vallée French "Viens l'oublier" 8 5
1971 Lily Castel & Jacques Raymond Dutch " 14 68
1972 Serge & Christine Ghisoland French "À la folie ou pas du tout" 17 55
1973 Nicole & Hugo Dutch "Baby, Baby" 17 58
1974 Jacques Hustin French "Fleur de liberté" 9 10
1975 Ann Christy Dutch, English "Gelukkig zijn" 15 17
1976 Pierre Rapsat French "Judy et Cie" 8 68
1977 Dream Express English "A Million in One, Two, Three" 7 69
1978 Jean Vallée French "L'amour ça fait chanter la vie" 2 125
1979 Micha Marah Dutch "Hey Nana" 18 5
1980 Telex French "Euro-Vision" 17 14
1981 Emly Starr Dutch "Samson" 13 40
1982 Stella French "Si tu aimes ma musique" 4 96
1983 Pas de Deux Dutch "Rendez-vous" 18 13
1984 Jacques Zegers French "Avanti la vie" 5 70
1985 Linda Lepomme Dutch "Laat me nu gaan" 19 7
1986 Sandra Kim French "J'aime la vie" 1 176
1987 Liliane Saint-Pierre Dutch, English "Soldiers of Love" 11 56
1988 Reynaert French "Laissez briller le soleil" 18 5
1989 Ingeborg Dutch "Door de wind" 19 13
1990 Philippe Lafontaine French "Macédomienne" 12 46
1991 Clouseau Dutch "Geef het op" 16 23
1992 Morgane French "Nous, on veut des violons" 20 11
1993 Barbara Dex Dutch "Iemand als jij" 25 3
1994 Did not participate
1995 Frédéric Etherlinck French "La voix est libre" 20 8
1996 Lisa del Bo Dutch "Liefde is een kaartspel" 16 22 12 45
1997 Did not participate No semi-finals
1998 Mélanie Cohl French "Dis oui" 6 122[c]
1999 Vanessa Chinitor English "Like the Wind" 12 38
2000 Nathalie Sorce French "Envie de vivre" 24 2
2001 Did not participate
2002 Sergio & The Ladies English "Sister" 13 33
2003 Urban Trad Imaginary "Sanomi" 2 165
2004 Xandee English "1 Life" 22 7 Top 11 Previous Year
2005 Nuno Resende French "Le grand soir" Failed to qualify 22 29
2006 Kate Ryan English, French "Je t'adore" 12 69
2007 The KMG's English "Love Power" 26 14
2008 Ishtar Imaginary "O Julissi" 17 16
2009 Patrick Ouchène (as 'Copycat') English "Copycat" 17 1
2010 Tom Dice English "Me and My Guitar" 6 143 1 167
2011 Witloof Bay English "With Love Baby" Failed to qualify 11 53
2012 Iris English "Would You?" 17 16
2013 Roberto Bellarosa English "Love Kills" 12 71 5 75
2014 Axel Hirsoux English "Mother" Failed to qualify 14 28
2015 Loïc Nottet English "Rhythm Inside" 4 217 2 149
  1. ^ The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.[13]
  2. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.
  3. ^ Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.

Voting history (1975-2015)

As of 2015, Belgium's voting history is as follows:


Year Location Venue Presenter
1987 Brussels Centenary Palace Viktor Lazlo

Commentators and spokespersons

Belgium has two broadcast stations VRT (Dutch speaking region) & RTBF (French speaking region). Both broadcast the event and over the years VRT and RTBF commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Nand Baert, Jacques Mercier, Luc Appermont and Paule Herreman. However, since the 1991 Contest, André Vermeulen has provided the Dutch language commentary every year, with the exception of the 1996 Contest. Whilst Jean-Pierre Hautier has provided the French language commentary every year since the 1994 Contest. In 1962 VRT used the commentary from NOS (The Netherlands broadcast), the reason for that was unknown.
Year(s) Flemish Commentator Waloon Commentator Spokesperson Dual Flemish Commentator Dual Waloon Commentator
1956 Nand Baert Janine Lambotte N/A No Dual Commentator No Dual Commentator
1957 Nic Bal Bert Leysen
1958 Nand Baert Arlette Vincent Paule Herreman
1959 Nic Bal Paule Herreman Bert Leysen
1960 Georges Désir Arlette Vincent
1961 Robert Beauvais Unknown
1962 Willem Duys Nicole Védrès Arlette Vincent
1963 Herman Verelst Pierre Delhasse Unknown Denise Maes
1964 Paule Herreman André Hagon No Dual Commentator
1965 Nand Baert
1966 André Hagon
1967 Janine Lambotte Jan Theys
1968 André Hagon
1969 Paule Herreman Ward Bogaert
1970 Claude Delacroix André Hagon
1971 Janine Lambotte No spokesperson
1972 Arlette Vincent
1973 Paule Herreman
1974 Georges Désir André Hagon
1975 Paule Herreman Ward Bogaert
1976 Luc Appermont Georges Désir André Hagon
1977 Paule Herreman Anne Ploegaerts
1978 Claude Delacroix André Hagon
1979 Paule Herreman Anne Ploegaerts
1980 Jacques Mercier Jacques Olivier
1981 Walter De Meyere
1982 Jacques Olivier
1983 Anne Ploegaerts
1984 Jacques Olivier
1985 Anne Ploegaerts
1986 Patrick Duhamel Jacques Olivier
1987 Claude Delacroix Anne Ploegaerts
1988 Pierre Collard-Bovy Jacques Olivier
1989 Jacques Mercier Anne Ploegaerts
1990 Claude Delacroix Jacques Olivier
1991 André Vermeulen Anne Ploegaerts
1992 Jacques Olivier
1993 Anne Ploegaerts
1994 Jean-Pierre Hautier Did not participate
1995 Marie-Françoise Renson
1996 Michel Follet Anne Ploegaerts Johan Verstreken Sandra Kim
1997 André Vermeulen Did not participate No Dual Commentator No Dual Commentator
1998 Marie-Hélène Vanderborght Andrea Croonenberghs
1999 Sabine De Vos Bart Peeters
2000 Thomas Van Hamme Anja Daems
2001 Did not participate
2002 Geena Lisa Bart Peeters
2003 Corinne Boulangier Anja Daems
2004 Martine Prenen Bart Peeters
2005 Armelle Gysen Anja Daems
2006 Yasmine Bart Peeters
2007 Maureen Louys Anja Daems Jean-Louis Lahaye
2008 Sandrine Van Handenhoven Bart Peeters
2009 Maureen Louys Anja Daems
2010 Katja Retsin Bart Peeters
2011 Maureen Louys Sven Pichal
2012 Peter Van de Veire
2013 Jean-Louis Lahaye Barbara Louys Tom De Cock Maureen Louys
2014 Eva Daeleman Angelique Vlieghe Peter Van de Veire
2015 Walid

Additionly since 1998 VRT has supplied a dual commentator to join André Vermeulen, between 1999 and 2010 Dual commentary was provided by Bart Peeters and Anja Daems. Peeters provided the commentary during the years when VRT selected the entries whilst Daems commentated the years RTBF selected the entries. Since 2011 Sven Pichal has replaced Daems as commentator, whilts Peter Van de Veire has replaced Peeters. Since 2007 Jean-Louis Lahaye has joint Jean-Pierre Hautier as dual commentator for RTBF. After Hautier's death in 2012 Lahaye was joined by Maureen Louys in 2013.



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External links

  • Points to and from Belgium
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