It’s Witloof Bay for Belgium!
Belgium was the next nation to pick their representative this weekend, and after a 14-song final, both the professional jury and the public audience gave their maximum points to acapella group Witloof Bay and their song “With Love Baby”.
While Witloof Bay’s performance is strong, considering they’re depending purely on their voices and have no musical backing track to fall back on, acapella has traditionally been a risky move at Eurovision. I can only think of one other acapella song that has been performed at the ESC (2006’s “I Hear Your Heart” by Latvian group Cosmos), and it only reached the finals that year because of automatic qualification. Granted, I think “With Love Baby” is a better song than “I Hear Your Heart” (and you know that people will be comparing the two over the next few months!), and Wallonia has definitely taken some risks at the ESC over the past few years. (Remember, this is the network that sent an Elvis impersonator, a song in an imaginary language, and one of the first Eurovision songs to actually sing about Eurovision (how very meta!).
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Belgium’s lone win in Eurovision, with Sandra Kim’s “J’aime a la Vie (I Love Life)“. I don’t think that this silver anniversary portends a victory for the Belgians, but at the very least, you’ve got to give them credit for creativity!
Oh, and for the record, my favorite entry in this year’s Belgian selection was “Elle Merveille (She Wonders)” by Alexandre Deschamps, which came in 4th place.