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.

There are 7 comments

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  • Posted on 6 May 2014 at 12:55
    Sandra Kim's victory in 1986 has my life turned upside down! Such a nice girl and a great song. Since that time I am still fan.
    She has proven to be a great singer and she's a very sympathetic woman. Have met her a few times.
    By now, I have a large collection of stuff from her and try to go to some performances of her mainly in Belgium.
    Next is a show in Antwerp (24-05) and she still has a large following in her country.
    Just listen to her latest album Make Up (2011) She sounds great!
    Anyway..I was very happy with her victory. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 26 November 2012 at 21:08
    Belgium should have qualified a few times like: 2006 - Kate Ryan, 2007, 2008 and 2012 report to the moderator
  • Posted on 22 November 2012 at 07:30
    Belgium was my favourite twice: 1978 and 1996. The most underrated Belgium song, in fact, it was in 1991 "Iemand als jij" should be placed at least top 10.
    My top 5 from belgium is:
    1986 favourite
    1978 favourite
    1984 2nd favourite (after the Netherlands)
    2003 5th favourite
    1964 2nd favourite (after Italy) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 November 2012 at 20:58
    And by the way,last position for Barbara Dex in 1993 was totally a CRIME...!!!!!!!!1
    Und,bezuglich,der letzt platz fur das Belgisches lied in dem jahr 1993,war ein richtig VERBRECHEN...!!!!!!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 November 2012 at 16:45
    EuRo fan
    In 2004 they did not passed any semi final!So only once they did it in 2010!
    Hahahaha...They gave 12 to Sertab!If they weren't,they would have 2 prizes now!!!!They just vote without purposes!!!That's great!!! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 6 November 2012 at 22:13
    What about 2004? Belgium was also in the final back then, so shouldn't it be like 2/9 attempts since the semi-final first started? Or is it like 1/8 cause Xandee was already qualified because of Urban Trad's success, with the 2nd place the year before?
    I still listen to Urban Trad, even today, really great song and a nice melody, really lovely. :-) report to the moderator