#38 – Belgium
“The Wrong Place”
Songwriters: Alex Callier, Charlotte Foret
The Kirkham Report welcomes you to my coverage of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest! From April 3 to the end of May, I’ll be here with all the latest ESC news and info, and of course, through May 11, that means I’m also bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such. Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary. It was announced March 2 that ESC will take place under Scenario B of the four possible scenarios announced several months ago, with an eye on the recent uptick in Coronavirus cases in the EU, and could be switched to Scenarios C or D if needed.
There are 39 countries participating this year, down from 41 in 2019 – Bulgaria and Ukraine will return to the contest after taking 2019 off, while Armenia, Montenegro, and Hungary have elected to sit out this time around, and Belarus was disqualified from this year’s contest because of rules violations on their song entry.
In at #38 this year is the official entry from Belgium, “The Wrong Place” by Hooverphonic. It is performed in English. It is scheduled to be performed 11th at the first semifinal on May 18. The group was scheduled to represent the country at the cancelled 2020 contest and was retained to create this year’s song as well, one of 24 countries which allowed last year’s entrants to remain for the current contest.
Hooverphonic has been together since 2005, but with a variety of different members over the years; Luka Chiaravalli, who took over lead vocal duties in 2018, was their FIFTH lead singer in fifteen years, and she is not returning to the contest this year; instead, original lead singer Charlotte Foret has returned to the lineup for the 2021 go-round. Hooverphonic is also the only act in this year’s lineup who have had success internationally, including the US, prior to their ESC appearance; their music is a staple of alternative radio stations around the world. The band’s tunes have also been included in a number of Hollywood films, including Heights and I Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as appearing in a number of US television commercials.
What I’m thinking about this song…well, it’s not a terrible song, that’s for sure. In fact, it’s not bad at all. But there’s something grating about it at the same time. The song has a pretty large pocket of fans out there in the ESC fan community, and I don’t think I’d turn the radio off if it came on..at first. But it also has that quality that could make it the type of song that is overplayed so much that one could get sick of it. It’s not as middle of the road “just is” type of song, like last year’s entry, “Release Me” was. But it’s not my favorite either, not by a long shot. It might do quite well, and with a groundswell of support, could push in and make the grand final.
Belgium made their debut in EuroVision in the very first contest in 1956, and have missed only three years – 1994, 1997, and 2001 – when relegated out due to low scores from previous contests during the era where Eurovision was doing that to try and manage the number of countries participating. They have one Grand Final win under their belt in 1986’s “J’aime la Vie” by Sandra Kim. They have finished last eight times, with two “nul” points years in 1962 and 1965. Their fortunes have greatly improved over the last decade – they have had four top ten finishers since 2010. But despite both songs being rabid ESC fandom favorites, they missed the cut and didn’t make the finals with their last two entries, “A Matter Of Time” by Sennek in 2018 and “Wake Up” by Eliot in 2019 (a really boring and utter snoozefest that many fans inexplicably had in their top 5 lists; mercifully it was eliminated in the semis), both of which were ultimately killed off by low judges scores. This year’s song has some pretty big pockets of support out there, but given the last two years the contest ran, that doesn’t guarantee it a spot in the Grand Finals, either…
Here’s the official music video for “The Wrong Place” – check it out…
And in case you missed it, here’s the video from the 2020 cancelled contest, “Release Me”, featuring lead singer Luka Chiaravalli:
Join The Kirkham Report throughout the next few weeks as I bring you the 2021 entries, a look at the 2020 cancelled contest, and more, plus after and during the countdown, the latest updates on this year’s ESC and all the craziness that surrounds this contest every year!
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