Eurovision 2017 Entry: Belgium — Blanche — City Lights

Can Belgium find a way to help Blanche light up the stage at the Eurovision finals?

Country: Belgium
Song Title: “City Lights”
Artist: Blanche
First Semi-Final: Position 5
Last year’s entry: “What’s the Pressure” – Laura Tesoro (10th Place)

Belgium’s on a good run with their last few entries in the Eurovision Song Contest – Loic Notet placed 4th a few years ago, and they managed to cling to the top 10 last year with Laura Tesoro’s “What’s the Pressure”. Belgium seems to have a good finger on the pulse of what’s going on in pop music and filtering that into their entry. They’re going to need it this year, as they’re in a very stacked semifinal. With performance neighbors like Albania and Montenegro, does Blanche’s “City Lights” have the oomph it needs to guarantee a final slot?

On a purely personal level, I really like this song. It has a trance/trip-hop vibe that works, and Blanche’s flat vocal affect reminds me of Jem/Dido in a way that I haven’t seen at the ESC before. The song’s structure feels unusual, too – it’s less verse-chorus-verse than chorus – bridge – chorus – bridge – chorus. I wonder if the backing here is doing a little too much of the work here – I want to see how this gets interpreted in a live setting before I really boost it to the top of my list of semifinal 1 favorites. Unfortunately, Blanche is the one artist that had to cancel for Eurovision in Concert, so I don’t know how this plays live, or more importantly, how it’s received.

My big fear with this one is that it’s not as popular as Ryan and I think it is with Europe, and a dull live performance manages to keep this just out of the finals. This is a song where playing with the camera equipment available could really sell this – match the “floating orb” vibe of the video with some dynamic camerawork and it’ll let Blanche do her straightforward singing thing without somehow making this boring. I really want to hedge my bets on this one – my musical taste doesn’t fully overlap with what does well at Eurovision, and I have a sneaking suspicion this may be more to my preference level than the rest of Europe

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 9, 2017

AlbaniaArmeniaAustraliaAzerbaijanBelgium • Cyprus
Czech RepublicFinlandGeorgia • GreeceIcelandLatvia
MoldovaMontenegroPoland • Portugal • Slovenia • Sweden

    About the Author
    Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv