Spotlight on…the Netherlands

This December, the Dutch will play host to Junior Eurovision for the second time, having come second (grrr) last year in Yerevan. That of course has nothing to do with them hosting, but I always enjoy being able to put ‘second’ and ‘the Netherlands’ in the same sentence. The country has had their ups and downs in JESC, but with several top 10 results and a win under their sequin-encrusted, kid-size belts, their record is a lot more impressive than it has been in ESC of late. If you, like me, struggle to recall a time when the Netherlands kicked butt at big Eurovision, then here’s a reminder. Have your time machines at the ready!*


*Not literally…if you had one of those you wouldn’t need to be reading this post, which would be very, VERY bad.





1956 with Voorgoed Voorbij by Corry Brokken and De Vogels Van Holland by Jetty Paerl




4 – 1957, 1959, 1969 and 1975

Silver medals


Bronze medals

1 – 1974

Top 10 finishes


Top 10 success rate


Top 5 finishes


Top 5 success rate


Wooden spoons (last places!)

2 – 1968 and 2011

Semi final qualifications


Qualification success rate





My favourite entry

Hemel En Aarde by Edsilia Rombley (1998). Killer song + killer voice – what more do you need? Well, evidently something since this entry didn’t win, but it was up against Dana International and her Gaultier. Nonetheless, in my opinion this is the best thing the Netherlands have sent to the contest, which is more than you can say for Edsilia’s second go in Helsinki…

I also have to mention Without You by Re-union (2004), my second favourite. In the history of the semi-finals, it remains the only Dutch entry to have qualified, although it didn’t do too well in the final. Perhaps it was overshadowed by Germany’s rather similar-sounding song (which catered to the home audience by incorporating a little Turkish into its lyrics) or perhaps people just didn’t like it as much as I do. Silly, silly people.

My least favourite entry

De Troubadour by Lenny Kuhr (1969). I don’t know if I just can’t connect with a lot of the music of Eurovision’s earlier years or if this is just a bad winner, but it makes me want to close my blinds, crawl into bed and sob into my pillow. That is until it gets to the ‘lalalala lala LAI la la LAI la la’ bit, at which point I emerge from under my bedding and start tearing my hair out.

More of the memorable

Een Beetje by Teddy Scholten (1959) – This is just cuteness! One of the few very early entries I enjoy listening to.

Ding Dinge Dong by Teach-in (1975) – Here is one of the better onomatopoeically-titled songs from ESC history. It’s catchy, fun, and – I imagine – great for karaoke.

No Goodbyes by Linda Wagenmakers (2000) – This song x 43 is what many people think the contest consists of. To all of them I say no, it does not, but gosh darn it I enjoy it when there’s the odd one or two.

Ik Ben Verliefd by Sieneke (2010) – Ah, the Smurf Song, one we love to hate and hate to love. My thought is that the song has nothing on the hideousness that was Sieneke’s outfit. I think her stylist was under the impression she was in Oslo for a soap opera audition…circa 1983.

Their best stage show

On Top of the World by Edsilia Rombley (2007). As previously mentioned, the song did nothing for moi, but the staging was rather good. There was nothing too OTT to distract from Edsilia’s luverly vocal, nor was there anything too 3JS yawn-worthy.

Their best costume/s

Linda Wagenmakers. I’m off to see Cirque du Soleil next year, and I’m 99% sure the show will be held inside her dress. The first one, that is – the shredded silver number is otherwise occupied at a disco/bootscooting party somewhere. Both of the above were totally OTT, and totally fabulous.

“Lions and tigers and bears (in tutus and on little bicycles) oh my!!”

Their best vocalist/s

Maggie MacNeal (1974, 1980)/Edsilia Rombley. Here we have two very different singers, Maggie as soft and sweet (most of the time) as Edsilia is deep and growly. Both are equally talented.

I love the Netherlands in the ESC because…

Okay – to be honest with you, I don’t. During my years as a Eurovision fan they have had a tough time succeeding with their entries, and the reasons haven’t been too hard to find. I do always look forward to their selection, though, in the hope that they’ll do a Germany and pull out an amazing song that can’t possibly fail – at least to reach the final. As with countries like Cyprus and Portugal, it’s always a great moment when the Netherlands do qualify (which as we know, has only happened once. But that moment was great, was it not?) and already I’m hoping to experience that in 2013. Any country can turn things around at any time, right?


What are your thoughts on the Netherlands in Eurovision? 


9 Responses to “Spotlight on…the Netherlands”

  1. nprovenghi271

    Ooh! Significant disagreement! Ever since 2009, the Dutch entry has been in my top ten, with 2011 being number two and 2012 taking gold!

    I think that Dutch entries in general are decently performed and have at least one feature that should ensure success, but falls flat for some unknown reason. However, I agree with you on our similar distaste of older entries.

    And I must say, even though it did look like Sieneke had just gotten off of a plane from 1980, the performance was too schlager-cute to hate, at least for me. On the point of schlager, this is possibly the best (certainly the most Swedish) “Euphoria” remix. Ever.


    • Jaz

      Are you including the ’09 entry in that? If you are I may have to never speak to you again. JK, JK.

      I respect your right to appreciate the Dutch entries (and they probably do too) and I actually would agree that 2011 was top-notch. But it did lose something in the English version IMO, and the performance was totally boring. I really do want the Netherlands to qualify next year though. Fingers crossed. I think they need a Lena-esque combo of a great song, charismatic performer and balanced performance to make that happen.

      Sieneke’s performance was cute! The props and everything were very suited to the song (which I actually like a lot more now than I did back in 2010). I just couldn’t believe it when I found out she was younger than me since she looked like a thirty-year-old in that getup.

      That remix NEEDS to be performed at Melodifestivalen.


      • nprovenghi271

        Umm… maybe…

        That’s exactly what they need! And every year the Netherlands, which has one of the best club/house music scenes on the planet, just seem to miss the mark with the general public. I think TROS is trying to get more well-known artists, considering that Afrojack was a juror last year. I’m not sure, but I sense the feeling that the low times in the Netherlands are close to over.

        “Ik Ben Verliefd” was certainly cute, but Sieneke looked like one of the “Texas Queens” that I get to see so often. They wear way too much makeup along with gaudy clothes and it just makes these 35 year-olds look 45 or 50. It’s gross. (Can you tell that I’m, begrudgingly, from Texas?)

        I’d give my right leg to see that on the MF stage. If they got Sarah Dawn Finer on the stage with them, I might just die.


        • Jaz

          I hope you’re right about the low times being over. If they miraculously managed to win it would be amazing!! A qualification would be good enough though.

          Congratulations on being the first person I’ve ever “spoken to” who’s from Texas! Why are you begrudging?? I guess the grass is always greener…I mean, I live in the most unexciting state with the most isolated capital in Australia, but if we swapped locations you would probably love it. And I would love Texas! Actually, can we make that happen??

          Haha, SDF as SDF or as Lynda Woodruff?? Either way, it’d be great. I’d also love her to co-host the big show, but her name hasn’t been bandied about as a possible yet.


      • nprovenghi271

        At this point, I’d be excited just for an eleventh place! Qualifying would be great, though.

        Congrats on being the first person I’ve talked to from Australia! Oddly enough, there was an exchange student from Australia at my school who was friends with a friend of mine, but we never spoke. So you win!

        Well, ironically, I live in the most unexciting region of the country in the most isolated city in the United States (aside from Alaska and Hawaii)! So, I don’t think it would be much of a change. I guess I’m begrudging because I’ve never really experienced anything different, so it seems really boring. That and the weather sucks. It’s either hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk or the temperature’s stuck near 0 degrees F. And even if your city was the same, I would probably love it! Maybe we can do that in the coming years, even though I won’t be going to school here.

        You read my mind. I think that if she’s a host, she’ll be right up there with Anke from 2011 as best host for quite some time.


        • Jaz

          YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY I win!!

          Sounds like your city is one of extremes! Our weather is just retarded at the moment. One day it’s really hot and everyone races to the beach, and the next it’s raining and freezing. I personally wish it would be rainy and freezing a little longer because I hate summer.

          So it’s settled. SDF for Malmo 2013! *cough*andmelodifestivalenforinternationaltelevisionbroadcastin2013*cough*


      • nprovenghi271

        It’s incredibly extreme. Last week, it was really nice and springy. This week, it’s super hot! It’s been over 90 degrees all week and it’s October! The worst part is that we’re 4000 feet above sea level and about 800 miles from the nearest ocean. So we really can’t do anything about it except go inside. And while I do love the winters, they get extreme too and it just becomes horrible again. Sigh.

        Yes, it’s pretty much settled. Now all that needs to be done is to tell the organizers that we’ve made the decision and call the wonderful lady herself (and that thing about the international broadcast).



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