Although the Netherlands is immediately qualified for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, 33 other countries have to compete in the semi-finals for a place on Saturday.

Belgium is one of those countries and Hooverphonic singer Geike Arnaert tells in conversation with that it is now getting exciting.

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"We look at it step by step and especially want to have fun. But I do feel the pressure, that started with the pre-recordings (of the backup tapes that every country has to make this year, ed.), Then it suddenly became very serious. But if I can deliver a good vocal performance and appeal to the people, I am satisfied. And if it does not work, well, "said the 41-year-old singer.

On May 18, the band will enter the stage as eleventh with their song

The Wrong Place

and will compete against, among others, Lithuania and Malta for a place in the final four days later.

Ten countries will continue, meaning six will drop out.

For Arnaert, participating in the Eurovision Song Contest was a nice extra to her reunion with the band she was part of for many years before she decided to go her own way in 2008 after eleven years.

Hooverphonic would already participate in 2020, then with singer Luka Cruysberghs, but that edition could not take place.

"In my adult life, the Eurovision Song Contest was not very high on my wish list, but I am very happy that I can make the little girl in myself happy. That's how I want to be in it. It's also very nice as a project for this band , we are a kind of outsider, we are seen as a dark horse ", says Arnaert.

The band does not intend to change who they are or how they present themselves, even if that may not be what the Eurovision fan is hoping for.

"We are going uncompromisingly, we are not going to change for Eurovision. That is a great starting point."

The singer would like to see the Eurovision Song Contest revolve around the song even more in the future.

"I would think it would be good if it could be pulled more in that direction, that it is not only the exorbitant. It is a competition, but it can be about the song. In Belgium it still depends on that exorbitant, although that has become less in recent years. I think that may continue, that it is more about the music. That is already more than in the nineties, when it was still a lot of Eurodance. "


The Wrong Place

was not labeled as Eurovision winner by former winner Sandra Kim against does not matter much to Arnaert. "What is a Eurovision winner? Did we expect it from Netta (the winner of 2018, ed.)? We are going purely because we like it. Last year they were asked if they wanted to do it again and maybe there were other songs that would have done it differently, or better. But this suits us and we go like ourselves. "