21 March 2014

Eurovision 2014: Belgium: Mother

Axel Hirsoux: Courtesy YouTube
In the end, it was a convincing win for the song Mother, sung by Axel Hirsoux, at the 2014 Eurovision Belgian national final last weekend.

Held in Antwerp, the culmination of several weeks of knock-out rounds was a change in the way the entry from Belgium had been selected over the last few years.

We had become used to an internal selection, but a change in format saw an international jury and public telephone votes select what was probably the best of the six songs up for scrutiny. In fact, it was a runaway victory for the portly Hirsoux, whose closest rival trailed him by more than 140 points.

In many ways, its victory is not surprising. Mother is a simple ballad with a powerful and touching lyric that crosses international boundaries. Hirsoux's clear, soaring voice helps the song to fly effortlessly from quiet beginning, to glide at the crescendo of the chorus, then return smoothly to a tranquil conclusion.

Some might say it's mawkish and cliché ridden, which it probably is. However, it's going to appeal to a certain demographic and will no doubt tug at some heartstrings. With a strong vocal and uncomplicated presentation, this one should sail through its semi and cause some trouble at the top of the final scoreboard.

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