Eurovision 2017 Review: Belgium – Blanche – City Lights

blanche city lights

Belgium after another top 10 finish with ‘City Lights’ by Blanche
Belgium sure isn’t playing around when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest anymore. In 2015 the country finished in a fourth position thanks to Loïc Nottet and his contemporary ‘Rhythm Inside’ and last year they managed to grab another top 10 finish with Laura Tesoro’s swinging ‘What’s The Pressure’. This year the country will be represented by singer Blanche and her track ‘City Lights’. From the moment the track got premiered it has been rising into the top 3 of the betting odds. Belgium is on a roll!

In a year with a lot of ballads, Belgian Blanche chose a completely different direction. Her ‘City Lights’ is a contemporary number with a strong electronic production. It is subtle, atmospheric and builds up wonderfully. Blanche has got an intriguing vocal style, somewhat remeniscent of London Grammar singer Hannah. The repetition of the chorus is beautifully hypnotic and the overall sound is unique and laidback, but with a dark twist. If I could change anything, I would give the last chorus a bit more vocal power to match up with the explosion in the instrumentation, but that is only a minor detail.

International Eurovision fans have been overloading this entry with praise and the betting odds show Belgium might even top their successes of the past two years. At this stage it is hard to picture what ‘City Lights’ will sound and look like on stage in Kiev, but if they get the performance right, Belgium might become one of the countries to beat this year. Either way, it is a very welcome change of pace in the contest so far. A daring, creative and hit worthy entry!

UPDATE – Review on semi final performance:
What a week it has been for the young Blanche from Belgium. She came to Kiev as one of the main favourites for a spot in the top 5 in this year’s Eurovision, but as the rehearsals commenced, we saw her odds tumble. Let’s start with the good news. ‘City Lights’ is absolutely one of the best compositions of this year’s competition. The production is contemporary, the vibe mysterious and it subtly soars beautifully. The live performance however, was disappointing. Blanche looked very nervous and her vocals were at times shaky. The hand movements felt contrived most of the time and other than the light show, the staging wasn’t very appealing. It was definitely not as disastrous as some press made it out to be, but hopefully Blanche can shake off the nerves a bit more now that she reached the final, because the song absolutely deserves a great result on Saturday.

UPDATE – Review on final performance and results (4th):
Blanche from Belgium was the artist who improved the most from her semi final performance to the final. Although she still looked very nervous, she sounded a lot less shaky. Vocally she seemed to own the song more and even the last chorus where she belts out a bit more, was on point. Visually, the light show still looked great and although there still wasn’t much expression in her face, the timid way she performed kind of fits the electronic vibe of this contemporary and hit worthy entry. I’m very pleased Europe appreciated ‘City Lights’ this much and the song absolutely deserved a top 5 finish.

Check all Eurovision 2017 reviews: Albania – Armenia – AustraliaAustria – AzerbaijanBelarus – BelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprus – Czech Republic – DenmarkEstoniaFinland – France – FYR MacedoniaGeorgia – Germany – GreeceHungary – IcelandIreland – Israel – ItalyLatviaLithuania – Malta – MoldovaMontenegro – The NetherlandsNorwayPoland – Portugal – Romania – San Marino – SerbiaSlovenia – Spain – Sweden – SwitzerlandUkraine – United Kingdom

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