The Netherlands have decided: it’s Joan Franka!
This past Sunday, the Netherlands held their first open National Final in years, where six performers (most of whom were alums of “The Voice”) competed for the right to represent their country in Baku and hopefully bring the Dutch back into the Finals for the first time since 2004. After three head-to-head duels and a superfinal, one song stood above the rest: Joan Franka’s “You and Me”.
This sweet little ode to childhood love was the only self-penned entry in the “Nationaal Songfestival” this year. Joan, a 21-year-old Rotterdam native, was on the first season of “The Voice”, but was eliminated in the fifth week of the program. Even though she failed to make it to the highest levels of that competition, she still set herself apart with her unique style (some have taken to calling her “Indiana Joan”).
As for my thoughts, I feel like this might be the Netherlands’ best shot of getting into the Final in years. It’s got a wonderfully light, summery feel, with a great hook that sticks pretty easily in a potential voter’s mind. The song’s happy, bouncy mood (not to mention her headgear) seems to fit in well with the imagery of a pair of children playing, and trying to hold on to that sense of innocence as we all grow up. It also feels very commercially accesible; I can imagine this playing on the radio just as easily as being the background music for a Nutella advert. I’m not sure if Indiana Joan has found the Holy Grail, but with a bit of luck, she might bring the Dutch a higher position than they’ve had in quite a while.