1986: Belgium's greatest year

1986: Belgium's greatest year
Sandra Kim, winner of the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest for Belgium

In the latest of our journeys back in to the history of Europe's Favourite TV Show, we focus on Belgium. They have participated no fewer than 54 times, but their only victory came back in 1986 when Sandra Kim took the honours with J'Aime La Vie.

Belgium is a founding member of the Eurovision Song Contest, having participated in the very first competition in Lugano, Switzerland in 1956.

Belgium's record at a glance

  • First participation - 1956 (Two entries) - Fud Leclerc - Messieurs Les Noyés De La Seine and Mony Marc - Le Plus Beau Jour De Ma Vie (Results not confirmed)
  • Best result - Winners (1986) - Sandra Kim - J'Aime La Vie
  • Semi-Final record since 2004 - 1/8 attempts successful - 12.5% qualification record
  • Highest score in the Final - 176 points (1986) - Sandra Kim - J'Aime La Vie

You can read about all of the Belgian entrants, songs and how they fared in Europe's Favourite TV Show in the history section.

You can see Belgium's 1986 winner in the video below.

Belgium Facts & Figures

  • Belgium have found life very tough since the introduction of the Semi-Final system in 2004 with Tom Dice the only successful person out of eight to make it to the Grand Final in 2010 with Me And My Guitar
  • Belgium almost won the competition in 2003, but in a thrilling finale, Urban Trad's Sanomi was beaten by Turkey's Sertab Erener on the very last vote.
  • Sandra Kim's victory in 1986 caused something of a stir, as official programme notes declared that she had been born in 1971, however it turned out that she was just 13 years old when she won for Belgium.
  • The press in Switzerland, runner's up in 1986 did not take kindly to the fact that Sandra Kim had not been truthful about her age, declaring their own artist Daniela Simons the moral winner of the contest!.
  • Over the years, Belgium has received the highest number of points from The Netherlands, whilst they have awarded most points to the United Kingdom.

As mentioned, in 2010, Tom Dice became the only Belgian entrant to qualify from the Semi-Finals of the Eurovision Song Contest, you can see his entry Me And My Guitar in the video below.


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