|Single by Urban Trad|
This was the second time ever in Eurovision history that Belgium finished as the runner-up, the first being Jean Vallée with "L'amour ça fait chanter la vie" in 1978, and it was also the country's best placing in the Contest since Sandra Kim's victory with "J'aime la vie" back in 1986.
The song was the twenty-second in the running order of the Contest, following Latvia's F.L.Y. with "Hello From Mars" and preceding Estonia's Ruffus with "Eighties Coming Back". At the close of voting, it had received 165 points, placing second in a field of 26.
The song is remarkable for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most readily apparent is that it was the first occasion that a song in a made-up language had been performed at the Contest (prompting the famous remark of BBC commentator Terry Wogan "They've got 4 languages in Belgium and they're singing in an imaginary one, the very essence of the Euro").
Further, the song is remarkable for having featured in one of the closest finishes in Contest history, ultimately finishing with just two fewer points than the eventual winner (Sertab Erener with "Everyway That I Can" for Turkey) and only one point above third-placed Russia (t.A.T.u. with "Ne Ver', Ne Boysia").
It is also often argued[who?] that Belgium received a lot of political sympathy votes. The country, together with France, took a firm position against the British-American proposition to put NATO anti-aircraft guns in Turkey to defend Turkey against Iraqi retaliation after a (then-)possible U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Two versions of the song exist on record. One was the standard album version (4:08) and another version was released on single and on the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 compilation album. Often known as the 'Eurovision edit', it cut down to 3:01 and it had Soetkin Collier's vocals removed.
This arose because a few months before the contest, the selectors dropped singer Soetkin Collier on the advice of the Belgian security services, who claimed that she'd had extreme right sympathies in the past. Collier vigorously denied the claims, and later that year after an investigation it was concluded that the accusations were exaggerated and based on outdated information.
- "Sanomi" (Eurovision Edit)
- "Get Reel"
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||3|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||3|
- Official Eurovision Song Contest site, history by year, 2003.
- Detailed info and lyrics, The Diggiloo Thrush, "Sanomi".