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Countdown to this year's Belgian: Who's in places 20 to 11?  |  Belgian for 2023

Countdown to this year's Belgian: Who's in places 20 to 11? | Belgian for 2023

Over the past two weeks, more than 225,700 HLN readers and VTM NIEUWS viewers have voted for the Belgian of the Year. Each voter can cast his vote for a maximum of five citizens – known and unknown. The result of the vote is a solid list of 100 Belgians who gave face and color this year. We introduce ten people a day until the end of the year: today you'll find out who's in places 20 to 11.

“If someone says it will be impossible, we will no longer be stopped,” says Robert Van Impe, 31. No one knows exactly where he came from, but suddenly regular Rob is out there: making people laugh, winning hearts, cheering on the dance floor, transforming himself into Iron Man and becoming a father. Highest year.

The interiors of most Flemish living rooms have changed radically over the years and thick TV screens have been replaced by flat screens, but the image of “Danny” has remained constant in the salon that houses hundreds of thousands. The face of the news, the voice and the eyes that tell you what the world is like, but after 34 years as VTM broadcaster, Danny Verstraeten (68) has retired completely of his own volition. “That's what it was, and it was good.”

They are not very popular in Flanders, hosts of successful talk shows. But Geert Verhulst (55 years old) is one of them. But it's more than just that, of course. He is also a successful cartoon character creator, a successful grunt father, a successful dog walker, and a successful balcony installer in Saint-Tropez. “No one can beat him, you have to accept that.”

More importantly, he is the leader of the new generation of Red Devils – especially after injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois. He scored almost all the goals under national coach Domenico Tedesco. After a turbulent summer in the transfer window with Roma, he was once again brilliant inside the box, under the watchful eye of Jose Mourinho. Perhaps it is age and the wisdom that comes with age that makes him a balanced man after all. Perhaps Romelu Lukaku (30) has also found peace in fatherhood, because last year Jordan was quietly added to his family after Romeo (4). “This is the moment in my career where I'm thinking about the team. Not about myself anymore.”

He has shrugged off the “promising” status in 2023 with finesse and ease. He is now multi-talented and sings and performs with an infectious naturalness. With Aaron Blommaert (21 years old), the new generation of TV stars has emerged. “People see a newcomer, but that's not true. This has taken years of struggle.”

No one will have a more turbulent time than 31-year-old Conner Russo at Wetstraat 2023. While his party has continued to improve in the polls, questions have been raised about the president's behavior and statements. First there was a twisted ramble about his sexuality, then came an equally twisted explanation about what he told police during a drunken night out – he called him drunk, and the rest of Flanders thought he was racist and sexist. So he kept the honor for himself and resigned as Chairman of Vooruit.

Was the 2023 season good, average, or excellent? It's a question Remco Evenepoel, 23, doesn't know the answer to. Victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the first World Trial title: big numbers. But things went wrong in the Giro – the patient – and in the Vuelta – Plan B – suddenly it turned out to be over in Tourmalet. And then the uncomfortable TV series surrounding the sponsor Soudal and the merger with Jumbo-Visma had to begin.

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What does Bart de Wever (53 years old) consider his most important personal achievements for 2023? The success of his book about Awake? Viewing characters of “The Tale of Flanders” and growing love for the history of our country? Polls that still put him first? Or plans to soon participate in the elections in Wallonia with his N-VA party?

Because of you. Sorry, but we won't believe you if you haven't sang our Eurovision song at the top of your lungs at least once in the past year. Steve Keers (43) aka Gustav has been embraced by everyone over the past year as the pride of our Eurovision. Unfortunately, winning was not an option, but nevertheless the in-form fan Walter van Beirendonck was in seventh heaven with his own place.

Elisabeth (22 years old) is increasingly emerging as the future Queen of Belgium. This year, the second-year politics and history student at Oxford, England, got a taster: She took a work trip to Egypt with her mother, Mathilde. Royal watchers from all over the world paid tribute to the princess.