Because of You by Gustaph.
I passed a most agreeable weekend in Brussels this January, all the sweeter after having to cancel my previous two planned holidays for health reasons. Whilst the real highlight of the trip was a Georgian entry in a nightclub at very unwise o’clock in the morning (and I’m not meaning a song here), its purpose was a visit to the Belgian national final, the country’s first since 2016.
Despite having only seven songs the final was a diverse show from which Gustaph’s slick funk emerged as a surprise winner. Some simple graphics and fabulous backing singers – echoed here in the music video – helped create a vibe that went astonishingly big in the hall and leaving pre-show favourites in its wake.
Now you might say we’ve heard this all before, and we have. This is Eurovision after all, no matter how much renewed interest the Contest has sparked in recent years. Thematically Gustaph treads a very familiar line of the outsider introvert bolstered by the love and encouragement of another. Musically he breaks no new ground, but there’s plenty of the get-up-and-dance, in-the-moment fun, and not much in a similar style from other competitors to trouble it.
Maybe it’s because it was selected so early back in January, or maybe it’s because it is, undoubtedly, slightly naff, but many fans seem to have written this off. Do so at your peril, as remember, Gustaph has already won one competition against the odds. I’m not saying this is a Eurovision winner – realistically his best possible prize is qualification – but naff as it is I have a feeling this is going to do alright.
My marks: 6 points