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Voice Belgique winner Jérémie Makiese to represent Belgium at Eurovision
Jérémie Makiese of Brussels, winner of this year’s The Voice Belgique, will represent Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest next May in Italy. Belgium is the first country to have confirmed its candidate for the legendary international event.
Wallonia and Flanders take turns selecting who will represent Belgium at Eurovision, and this year it was up to the French-language public broadcaster RTBF. The choice of Makiese was not a huge surprise: RTBF has chosen Voice Belgique contestants in the past, including Roberto Bellarosa, Loïc Nottet and Blanche. The latter two both came in fourth at Eurovision.
Makiese’s soulful interpretations of Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ and Labrinth’s ‘Jealous’ propelled him from the auditions to the finals of Voice Belgique last spring, seeing him win with 53% of the audience vote. He was coached during the TV competition by American expat singer BJ Scott.
Makiese, 20, was born in Antwerp and moved to Brussels as a kid, currently living in Uccle. He is also a professional goalkeeper, having just signed with Excelsior Virton of the 1B Pro League.
The song Makiese will perform at Eurovision is not yet known, but he lists his own influences as Damso, Stromae and Otis Redding. Makiese is the first black soloist to ever represent Belgium at Eurovision.
Photo ©Hadrien Hanse