We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Belgium
Gustaph was the surprise winner of the Belgian preselection. He co-wrote and composed the song “Because of you” with Jaouad Alloul.
Gustaph’s real name is Steph Caers. And yes, he was at the Eurovision Song Contest twice before. As a backing vocalist he supported Sennek in 2018 and Hooverphonic in 2021. Born in Leuven, he rose to fame in 2000 when he had a hit as Steffen with his debut single “Gonna lose you“. A second single, “Sweetest thing“, followed. After this, Gustaph focused more on studio work and writing music. He also made jingles for Radio Donna and Q-music.
This year’s Belgian national selection was organized by VRT, the Flemish broadcaster. Belgium switches every year: next year, French speaking RTBF will select a song. The Flemish broadcaster had selected internally for many years. Eurosong is a contest that returned after 2016, when Laura Tesoro won the contest. The Flemish national selections have a great history, from the early years until Canzonissima, a contest that lasted for months. Songs like Ann Christy’s “Dag vreemde man” became classics in Eurovision history, even though the song never made it to the Eurovision stage.
But the most remarkable year must be 1983. 9 artists competed. The big favourite was Sofie with the song “Nummer een“, but also other artists could seriously win. However, the opinion of the jury was that the quality was só bad that they all decided to give a protest vote. They all voted for the quite unknown band Pas De Deux, who sang a song with “Rendez-vous, maar de maat is vol en m’n kop is toe” (Rendez-vous, but it’s enough now and my mouth is shut) as the full lyrics. When the audience found out this was the winner, half of them left the building. The other half remained, just to boo throughout the entire reprise of the winning song. Pas De Deux became 18th at the Eurovision Song Contest in Munich.
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium first took part in 1956, so they were present at the very first contest. As aforementioned, one year the Flemish broadcaster participates, the other year the Wallon. The first great Belgian success came in 1966, when Tonia reached a 4th place with her “Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel”. Jean Vallée even was 2nd with “L’amour, ça fait chanter la vie”. In Jordan they also transmitted that contest. As Israel won, they quit the broadcasting of the show, and later told the tv-watching audience that Belgium had won! But in fact the first Belgian winner was Sandra Kim with “J’aime la vie”. She won with a landslide!
Remarkable is the fact that all the top-5 positions for Belgium were songs, submitted by RTBF. The best scoring Flemish entry was “Me and my guitar” by Tom Dice. And it was the same Tom Dice who was 2nd in this year’s national final.
And of course, here is the song: