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Belgium: Axel Hirsoux – Mother

    In tonight's Eurosong final Axel Hirsoux topped the televote and jury score with an emotive tribute to his Mother and will now represent Belgium in Copenhagen. A poignant moment of the final was when Ruslana delivered an passionate plea for peace between Russia and Ukraine.  Somehow, I think her message will fall on deaf ears at the Kremlin! I was initially dismissive of Axel Hirsoux’s song, Mother. I found it corny and somewhat creepy, although my premature judgement was probably due to my own emotionally incapable brain. Watching the Belgium final, I was a converted man. This big, Paul Potts type of…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Mamma Mia!

Albania and Estonia 2012 are perfect examples of what Belgium is capable of in Copenhagen. The question is can Axel go further than Rona and Ott?

User Rating: 2.13 ( 42 votes)

In tonight’s Eurosong final Axel Hirsoux topped the televote and jury score with an emotive tribute to his Mother and will now represent Belgium in Copenhagen.

poignant moment of the final was when Ruslana delivered an passionate plea for peace between Russia and Ukraine.  Somehow, I think her message will fall on deaf ears at the Kremlin!

I was initially dismissive of Axel Hirsoux’s song, Mother. I found it corny and somewhat creepy, although my premature judgement was probably due to my own emotionally incapable brain.

Watching the Belgium final, I was a converted man. This big, Paul Potts type of fella grabbed my attention for a full three minutes, which, I might add, is an incredibly challenging feat!

Axel convinced me that Belgium is capable of surprising this year owing to former passionate 2012 examples from Albania and Estonia. People love a good ballad when it’s from the heart, rather than a contrived saccharine explosion like Georgia 2013.  Even Azerbaijan 2012 remains controversial, but let’s park that debate for now.

Axel’s vocal ability alone should see him score highly with the juries.  Natalie Beiler’s Secret of Love was amply rewarded in 2011, but was ultimately let down by the lack of wow and slight Disney feel which affected the televote.

Eythor Ingi delivered a powerful but unexceptional ballad last year, but was largely overlooked by the juries despite delivering a solid vocal performance. That said, Iceland’s entry didn’t really jump out and grab you in the same way Axel’s does.

Returning to those aforementioned countries in Albania and Estonia, they are perfect examples of what Belgium is capable of in Copenhagen.  The question is: can Axel go further than Rona and Ott?

What can we expect from Belgium?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Belgium have qualified twice times in nine attempts. 22% qualification success.

Highest score (since 2004): 167 (2010 – Tom Dice – Me and My Guitar)
Lowest score (since 2004): 1 (2009 – Patrick Ouchène – Copycat)
Average semi-final finishing position: 14th
Average semi-final score: 48 points

Belgium has finished in the top-10 once in three final appearances since 2004.

Highest score: 143 (2010 – Tom Dice – Me and My Guitar)
Lowest score: 7 (2004 – Xandee – 1 Life)
Average final position: 13th
Average final score: 73 points

Average Points Received

Netherland – 5.0
Poland – 4.3
France – 3.7
Portugal – 3.5
Estonia – 3.2
Georgia – 3.0
Russia – 2.9

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About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. You are too sarcastic, Gav!

  2. Anyway, we know that Russian won’t win this year. Not a chance. And Austria is way too controversial to win too, so we now know all the possible winner and can start the lovely chat about WHO WILL WIN EUROVISION 2014!!! <3

  3. Well, the opera hype is indeed back – Belgium has already turned over some money at odds 10 on Betfair. I remain very pessimistic about this archetype’s chances in Eurovision, and feel Sognu was a considerably stronger piece. Add to this that Belgium has a very weak support in general, and I just can’t see the song topic or any other “external factors” save this entry.

  4. Its amazing but every song that wins then goes to half its price on BF.This went into 9s.Quite something considering this is utter dross.
    The juries will slaughter this id expect.Probably overlook his voice and mark on the dated sickly song.Televote is harder to judge and might depend on what coverage he gets pre final.
    I wouldnt lay this top 10 as it might gain some traction but doesnt deserve it.

  5. I’m sorry but 10 on Betfair? For this? REALLY?

    • £496 traded at 10s,insane,some mothers have opened their purses.

    • I’m not talking nonsense Ben ;-). This is completely understandable. Gavin’s comments are factual examples. I think Belgium this year is in the same field as Iceland 2009, Estonia 2012 and Albania 2012. Heart-felt, genuine, sincere. I am actually quite surprised you only put this on 13th spot (!!) if you have some similar examples that can be compared with “Mother”.

      • If they get rid of the ghostly woman at the back of the stage then I think this will have a better chance. Comparing Mother to Is It True, though? I have no words for that.

  6. I had it at 70s but backed again tonight around 25-30. I expect it to drift again.

  7. He did kind of own the Belgian final though, albeit from the pimp slot:


  8. I welcome this entry. Guess this will be equally over estimated as Azerbaijan will be under estimated . No way there is room for both him and Carl Espen in top 10.

  9. There is something a bit off in this song, but this is the only song so far thas has made shivers go down my spine. It’s Axel’s voice of course. It really is spectacular. I’m torn with this one, the song is tacky and cheesy and some other adjective I cant think of now but this could be my guilty pleasure even though I dont see it having too much of a chance to win. Depending on how much this drifts I might have to think hard on some top10 bets…

  10. Eurovision is also about emotions. An aspect we almost never discuss in here. It has been a fact ever since the Eurovision Song Contest started in 1956. Both televoters and judges need to get goosebumps from a particular element of a ballad (Estonia 2012)….or they need to feel ‘touched’ by some sincerely and genuinely performed happiness (Basim, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix)…..or get a cuddly feeling from a guy who’s barely looking into the camera (Hungary 2013)

    And trust me, taking that part into account is still difficult for people who are placing bets. Because for placing a bet, you need to be cold-hearted, you need to take certain statistics into account. I could therefore understand that certain betters would not like to bet on Hungary entering the TOP 10 last year.

    But for me, this is a very nice ánd important aspect of Eurovision. Taking that aspect of ‘emotion’ into account, I still have the best ‘feelings’ when listening the entries from Denmark, Belgium, Malta and Netherlands. Off course, not all of them will do well. But it’s surely an indicator.

    Having said so, I have made this TOP 15 ranking (based on: chanses, statistics, type of song, its uniqueness among the field, latest available performances, stunning vocals, ánd forecasting how ‘emotions’ from the European televoter and judges could help the entry do well):

    01 – DENMARK (pure, genuine, Danish happiness)
    02 – BELGIUM (big man + angel voice + “Mother”)
    03 – UKRAINE (new version)
    04 – Norway (I don’t “feel” it yet to make victory possible)
    05 – Armenia (I don’t “feel” victory here either)
    06 – France (underestimated happiness)
    07 – Estonia (underestimated “copycat”)
    08 – Hungary (bit of a fanwank?)
    09 – Malta (heart-felt bunch country singers)
    10 – Netherlands (simplicity á-lá Ireland 1994)
    11 – Azerbaijan (finally a result outside the TOP 10?)
    12 – Spain (new version works, but tone down the voice)
    13 – Moldova (great staging, but formulaic production)
    14 – Israël (charismatic performer)
    15 – Sweden (great staging, but does it “touch” me?)
    Just missing out – United Kingdom (great song, but staging?), Poland (“Moja Stikla”, Croatia 2006) and Germany (wunderful “Amélie”-like song, but rehearsals are needed).

    We are still waiting for Russia (not for another annexation-attempt) and Austria. I am curious what you guys think .

  11. Yo mama so fat shes even fatter then you,
    Sorry ill get my coat 🙂

  12. Seriously though this guy could have used norman bates as a stage name missed oppurtunity 🙂

  13. that’s just mean pimpin, But I see where you’re coming from 😛 I would not be too surprised if this ends up getting near the top around 6th or so. It’s tacky and cheesy and all that, but in eurovision is doesnt necessarily hurt as much we some people might think. Running Scared was cheesy as f**k and we all know what happened there. People have also compared this to Sognu which I dont think is a great comparison to make. Sognu was a good song and it was performed well, but it left people cold. This is likely not going to leave people cold. It also seems that people either love this or hate this, and isn’t that a good thing? Since you cant vote against a song.. so people who love it will vote for it, people who hate it will just vote one of the remaining 25 songs. Of course this is not the case with jury as those who hate it will rate it low… So I dont know. I need to do make up my mind once top10 and top4 prices start coming up.

  14. First impressions mean a lot in my predictions, this review lost me at “converted man” – but I see ways for Gav’s main point to stand, and it lies in priming the uninitiated for what’s to come. Axel won the Belgian final purely on narrative and classic X Factor style manipulation. I’m sure of it.

    When you get to Denmark, pay close attention to Axel’s postcard, perhaps see if you can find out what the commentators think and plan to say on air, and decide if the audience is being set up for a Susan Boyle moment, but don’t kid yourself that they will be, and for the love of all that is holy, don’t tell them to do it!

    If there is not enough evidence of his narrative being put forward, then I expect the “corny, unsettling, creepy” impression to hold up. Juries are another story, so yeah this may well qualify on their support. I expect Axel to receive the pimp slot in his semi as well. If he doesn’t, this may be a sign of his narrative not playing such a major role, but with a song called “Mother”, I’d be amazed if there wasn’t a shot of him giving her a kiss and a cuddle in his postcard. Let’s see if DR will keep things fair, this isn’t Europe’s Got Talent.

    Dare i coin the name “BelBo”? Belbo Baggins even?

    • Just incase I didn’t make it clear enough, because I feel I might not have, I believe this entry to have absolutely zero potential to do well on its own merits. Axel needs the audience to know what this is all about in order to win any public support. He’s a nice guy, a fantastic singer, but the song is just grotesque, and if Eurovision is to be a totally fair song contest, this should not be doing well in my opinion. I feel compelled to snicker at this performance a bit before he opens his mouth, it literally is the Susan Boyle effect.

      I have a personal resentment of this kind of audience manipulation, so please forgive my spiteful tone. I think the betting odds reflect the manipulating effects of the way producers handled the Belgian final. Axel drifting is nothing more than those effects wearing off and the fans just starting to go off the whole morbid thing as they begin to view it as a standalone package.

      • All i can say is no wonder the Germans managed to walk straight through the Ardennes in WW2 with this standard of Belgium manhood.Someone who i would feel would be on all kinds of local police “lists”.
        No doubt his mummy has spent her life having to explain him away as being “special”.
        This isnt x factor and the Esc crowd wont be as easily taken in.Terrible in every way apart from vocals.

        • Wow you guys are being harsh on him. I dont find him creepy, just overweight. Maybe you guys find him creepy because of the song? I can see how the song can be viewed as somewhat creepy.

          • Yes the song Archi sends out that creepy sick feeling.Could be a love/hate song though and those can be dangerous as we all know.I wont be involved red or green on this i doubt.Its a trading entry but i missed the big prices on it.

          • Absoluely Archi, I clearly stated that Axel is a nice guy and a fantastic singer. I have no issue with him or his size at all. I just think the song is ghastly.

          • i have to concur with Ben and DB. i’ve tried to like this but i keep coming away wanting to heave. it also comes across as too calculated. however i’m sure it is genuinely heartfelt and EV voter may not have the same feeling i have. i think the problem belguim have is a lack of general support and the song for me is not good enough to overcome that in built deficit.

      • OFF COURSE it is the Susan Boyle-effect. Or the Chiara-effect. Whatever you may call it. The combination “great ‘Estonia 2012’-voice + big body + ‘Mother’ ” will work perfectly for a TOP 3 spot.

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