Image Credit: Henri Doyen
On September 15th, The Voice Belgique 2021 winner Jérémie Makiese was announced as Belgium’s representative for Eurovision 2022. He’d previously expressed his desire to fly the flag for the nation, and will now take to the stage in Turin with his song ‘Miss You’ in the hope of providing a successful result for the Benelux country.
A Brief History of Belgium in Eurovison
Belgium was one of the founding countries of Eurovision, debuting all the way back at the inaugural contest in 1956. Since then, they have only won once; Sandra Kim was just 13 when she took ‘J’aime la vie’ to first place. More recently, they’ve managed to reach the top 5 twice, in 2015 with ‘Rhythm Inside’ and 2017 with ‘City Lights’. In 2021, Hooverphonic placed 19th in the final with ‘The Wrong Place’.
Who is Jérémie Makiese?
Jérémie Makiese is a 21-year-old singer born in Antwerp to Congolese parents. He speaks both French and Dutch. As a child, he sang in the church choir and later began singing lessons at school.
Not only is Jérémie a singer, but he also plays football. Starting out as a goalkeeper for BX Brussels at just 13, he recently signed for Royal Excelsior Virton.
The Voice Belgique 2021
Jérémie auditioned for the ninth season of The Voice Belgique, performing a stellar rendition of Labrinth’s ‘Jealous’. All the judges turned their chairs for his performance, including Belgium’s 2015 Eurovision entrant Loïc Nottet. However, it was ultimately B.J. Scott who mentored him, and took him all the way to the final, in which he was declared the winner. His performance of ‘Earth Song’ by Michael Jackson showcased his rich, powerful vocals perfectly, only adding to a collection of incredible performances he’d done throughout his time on the show.
Jérémie won’t be the first winner of The Voice Belgique to represent the country at Eurovision. Roberto Bellarosa won the first series in 2012 and went on to represent Belgium in 2013 in Malmö, placing 12th with ‘Love Kills’.
You can watch Jérémie’s performance in the final below:
How Well Will Jérémie Do In Turin?
Belgium have had a turbulent few years at Eurovision, from hitting the highs of the top 10 in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to the lows of non-qualification in 2018 and 2019.
Following on from Hooverphonic reaching the final in 2021, could Jérémie follow in their footsteps? His song is unique this year – an R&B, almost 90s-feel track with strong vocals has seen him remain in the Top 15 of the overall odds, and is 4th in the odds to qualify from Semi Final 2.
Things are looking good for Belgium, but with their recent track record of not so popular staging choices, there is a worry ‘Miss You’ may not get the staging support. It also is in an unfortunate place in the running order, and in a strong semi final of other big male vocal songs. Despite it not being all that similar to the entries that surround it in sound, it’ll face songs in SF2 of a similar nature vocally from Australia, Azerbaijan & Poland. In the running order It follows the ballad/mid-tempo section of:
- Poland – River – Ochman
- Montenegro – Breathe – Vladana
- Belgium – Miss You – Jérémie Makiese
- Sweden – Hold Me Closer – Cornelia Jakobs
Coming before Sweden, a song that’s currently one of the favourites to take the trophy all the way back to the nation for the 7th time in history, could hinder Belgiums chances, but we’ll have to see how this all turns out in Turin on May 12th.
Listen to the Belgian entry ‘Miss You’ below!
What do you think of Jérémie’s chances in Turin? Let us know in the comments below