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Belgium chooses candidate for Eurovision Song Contest

11:43 29/09/2017

It’s official: Laura Groeseneken from Leuven will represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest next year in Lisbon. Groeseneken is an experienced musician and singer, regularly performing as part of Belgian singer Ozark Henry’s band.

Flemish public broadcaster VRT chose Groeseneken, though the singer had never put her name forward as a candidate. “I was totally surprised because I thought you had to apply to be considered,” she said on the TV programme Van Gils & gasten last night, where the announcement was made. “What a major opportunity it is to go to the Song Contest. It’s very exciting.”

It was the Dutch-speaking community’s turn to choose a Eurovision rep, as the language communities switch off every year. Last year, Wallonia chose Ellie Delvaux – better known by her stage name Blanche – who had taken part in The Voice Belgique but did not make it to the final.

Blanche turned out to be a favourite at Eurovision with the catchy song “City Lights”, and ultimately came in fourth.

Groeseneken first made waves in the local music scene in 2012 when she performed the song “Tomorrow Never Dies” with an orchestra during the 007 in Concert in Ghent recognising the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise.

She proved her mettle again yesterday on Gils & gasten, performing an English-language version of last year’s Eurovision winner, “Love for Us Both”, live for the audience of the talk show.

She has also recorded an interview in English for the Song Contest’s website (above).

Photo: Bas Bogaerts/VRT

Written by Lisa Bradshaw