Blast from the past: Belgium 1973

We know a lot about Eurovision and we want to share this knowledge with you! Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Today, we will have a look at 1973, when Nicole and Hugo represented Belgium with the song “Baby baby”.

Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest

Belgium is one of the countries that participates in the Eurovision Song Contest from the first moment on in 1956. The only Belgian victory came in 1986, with Sandra Kim and her song “J’aime la vie”. However, in recent years Loïc Nottet (2015) and Blanche (2017) reached the top-5, both with a 4th place.

National Selection

In 1973, the national final Liedjes voor Luxemburg was held on February 25th. The song presentation can be found on Youtube, sound only. Although five quite big names in Flanders participated, Nicole and Hugo were the big favourites, as they missed the contest in 1971.

  1. Rita Deneve, “Ga met me mee”, 0 pt., 4th
  2. Nicole and Hugo, “Jij en ik en wij”, 0 pt., 4th
  3. Ann Christy, “Bye bye”, 1 pt., 3rd
  4. Kalinka, “Nooit ga ik van je heen”, 0 pt., 4th
  5. Liliane Dorekens, “Morgen”, 0 pt., 4th
  6. Rita Deneve, “Vrede voor iedereen”, 2pt., 2nd
  7. Nicole & Hugo, “Baby, baby”, 4 pt., 1st
  8. Ann Christy, “Meeuwen”, 0 pt., 4th
  9. Kalinka, “Home sweet home”, 0 pt., 4th
  10. Liliane Dorekens, “Kiss, Kus, Kuss”, 0 pt., 4th

For the Dutch speaking: a lot of information about the national final can be found in “Van Canzonissima tot Eurosong – 65 jaar Belgische preselecties voor het Eurovisie Songfestival“, written by André Vermeulen.

Nicole & Hugo

The duo existed of Nicole Josy (Nicole van der Palm, born October 21st 1946) and Hugo Sigal (Hugo Verbraeken, born November 10th 1947). Both had a solo career before they met in 1970. Nicole already attempted to go to Eurovision in 1968.

The first success of the duo came in 1971, when they won Canzonissima, the Belgian preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “Goeiemorgen, morgen“. Unfortunately, Nicole got jaundice and had to stay in bed. The duo was replaced at the contest in Dublin. In December, 1971 became their happy year after all: Nicole and Hugo married.

Two years later, they won the Belgian preselection again, and now they were able to go to Eurovision. Unfortunately they came last, but no one ever forgets the purple suits the duo was wearing. In 1974, they proved their success on another contest: the World Popular Song Contest in Tokyo, where they placed 2nd. It brought them several international tours in the 1970s. In 1984, they toured throughout the world on a cruise ship.

A comeback came in 2004, when Nicole and Hugo participated in the Belgian preselections again with the song “Love is all around“. Although they didn’t win, the song became a hit. It was followed by several hits in Dutch like “Ik denk aan jou“, “Verliefd“, “Pastorale” and “Schietgebed“. In 2015 the duo decided to retire.

On November 4th 2022, Nicole Josy passed away.

Baby, Baby

The song the duo sang at Eurovision in 1973, “Baby, baby” was composed by Ignace Baert, with lyrics from Erik Marijsse. A very remarkable line in the song was one Nicole sang: “Een vrouw kan niets alleen” (A woman can’t do anything alone). The song reached the 28th place in the Belgian charts. In Eurovision, most of the countries awarded it 5/10 or less, only Monaco and Spain awarded it with 6/10 votes. Therefore, the song became 17th and last.





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