Category Archives: Netherlands

Ilse + Waylon = The Common Linnets for the Netherlands

Following the long-awaited Dutch return to the Eurovision Finals brought to us by Anouk last year, newly-merged national broadcaster AVROTROS decided to keep up the trend of internally selecting a major name.  In this case, they picked two!  Singers Ilse DeLange and Waylon, each individually famous in their own right, will be joining forces under the name The Common Linnets this year in Copenhagen. Read the rest of this entry

JESC 2013 Preview: Part 2

In our first peek at who’s who in this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, we got to know the crop of young talent from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia.  As of this moment, the performers have converged on Kiev and rehearsals are just ramping up.  Let’s meet our next set of artists!

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The Netherlands: Anouk reveals “Birds”

Despite being one of the first artists to announce their participation in Malmö this May, Dutch rock singer Anouk‘s song, “Birds” was one of the final entries revealed for this year’s roster of entries.  Fans and onlookers weren’t sure what kind of song to anticipate from the veteran songstress.  Would she be going back to her rock roots, á la “Nobody’s Wife“?  Maybe a heartfelt, emotional ballad, like “Lost“?  Or would she take a bluesier turn, as in “Down and Dirty“?

Fans and friends, we finally have our answer. Read the rest of this entry

News from the Netherlands: it’s Anouk!

Ah, it’s so good to be back…I think I was feeling rust beginning to form…

Although it’s almost seven months to the day before the 2013 Eurovision Grand Final in Malmö, Sweden, it’s not to early to shake off the moss and scribble down the first name on the roster of performers.  After a bit of back-and-forth from broadcaster TROS (will John deMol return to the helm of a National Final, will major stars be pitted against talent-show rookies, or will there be an internal selection, a la 3Js?), we finally have a bit of clarity from the Dutch delegation.  Veteran rock-chick Anouk, one of her nation’s biggest stars, has been internally selected to represent the Netherlands this May.  With seven studio albums under her belt (including her most recent release, 2011’s “To Get Her Together”), Anouk has been an enduring force in the country’s music scene ever since her 1997 debut.

Anouk will reveal her song for Sweden in February, and it is presumed to be entirely the artist’s choice. Read the rest of this entry

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”.

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The Weekend Round-up, January 8

It’s been a busy week in the world of Eurovision, with preselections, song announcements, and other news from Cyprus, Slovenia, Latvia, and beyond.  Let’s take a quick look at the past weekend, shall we?

Cyprus: On Friday, CyBC officially unveiled Ivi Adamou’s three candidate songs for Baku.  “Call the Police”, “La La Love”, and “You Don’t Belong Here” have all been pretty well-received by fans, and we’ll find out which song Ivi will perform on January 25th.  More information (including the songs themselves) is available here.

Latvia: The first of two semifinals took place on Saturday, January 7th, and ten songs were whittled down to the five that will make up half of February 18th.  The qualifying performances are:

The second semifinal will be held next week, but considering that the only song performed in Latvian was eliminated this week, it’s a pretty safe bet that Latvia will be sending another song in English in 2012.  (The only time they’ve dipped into the Latvian language pool was with 2004’s “Dziesma par laimi“, which failed to qualify for the Final.  LTV has also sent songs in Italian and Russian, but the vast majority of their submissions have been in English.)

Slovenia: After months of heats aired by the program “Misija Evrovizija”, the final two acts have been confirmed.  Eva Boto and sister act Nika & Eva Prusnik will go up against each other on February 26th, when RTVSLO will hold “EMA 2012”.  Both Eva and the sisters will perform three songs each, and the winning song will be chosen out of those six performances.

Read the rest of this entry

Eurovision 2011: The Best of the Rest (Part 6)

The Netherlands: When the 3Js revealed the quintet of songs that would be vying for the ticket to Düsseldorf, in my mind there was no question that “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen/Never Alone” would take the title.  (The Dutch audience seemed to feel the same way; the song won with over 63% of the public televote!)  If there had to be a substitution, however, my vote would have gone to the upbeat “De Stroom (The Stream)”, which was a more than worthy runner-up:

“De Stroom” is no slouch in itself; while “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen” topped the Dutch charts, “De Stroom” charted at a respectable #12 when it was released as a single in June, six months after the National Song Selection.

Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2011 was a pretty big affair, with 21 songs split up into three semifinals.  As we all know, Stella Mwangi’s bouncy “Haba Haba” eventually took the crown, only to shockingly crash and burn out of the Semifinals.  (Subpar performance or technical errors?  You be the judge!)  Everyone seemed to have their favorites: fans of traditional Nordic sounds pulled for Helene Bølske’s beautiful “Vardlokk“, the sentimental among us loved Babel Fish’s “Depend on Me“, and fans of sweet pop sent their votes to Hanne Sørvaag’s “Like a Melody“.  As for me, my heart is divided in two.  The not-so-little part of me that loves danceable pop-rock fell in love with The BlackSheeps’ “Dance Tonight”…:

…while the other half of me still sings along to The Lucky Bullets and their rockabilly throwback “Fire Below”:

A tough decision, I know.  What were your favorites?

Poland: Much like the Dutch National Final, once the Polish candidates were revealed, there was definitely a runaway favorite.  Magdalena Tul’s “Jestem” might have come in last place during its Eurovision Semifinal, but it won its National Final with 44% of the public televote (which is pretty impressive, considering it beat nine other songs to grab the title).  With 22% of the public vote, runner-up Anna Gogola served up the fun, quirky “Ktoś taki jak ty (Someone Like You)”:  

And if you’re looking for something with a little bit more of an edge, there was 8th-place finisher Roan with “Maybe”:

Portugal: Homens da Luta’s unforgettable 70’s-era protest song “A Luta é Alegria” stormed to victory in this year’s Festival da Cancão on a wave of public support, getting 12 points from the national televote while the juries only gave them 6.  Inversely, runner-up Nuno Norte got the full 12 from the juries, but fell short when the public televote only gave him 5 points, missing out on the tie by the slimmest of margins.  (Granted, in the case of a tie, the public vote normally determines the winner, so Homens da Luta still would have gone!)  Nuno, the winner of the first season of the Portuguese edition of “Idol”, performed “São os barcos de Lisboa (They’re the Boats of Lisbon)”, a modernized fado:

Grabbing this year’s Portuguese bronze medal (and quite a few hearts) was Rui Andrade’s dramatic ballad “Em Nome do Amor (In the Name of Love)”, which got only five points from the jury, but ten from the televote:

(An interesting point of trivia: if Nuno or Rui had won the ticket to Düsseldorf, they would have been the first male soloists to carry the Portuguese flag since Rui Bandeira in 1999!)

In our next chapter, we’ll look at also-rans from Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain!

Follow Up Single Time, Part 2

As the weeks progress, more of Eurovision’s Class of 2011 are continuing on with their careers and releasing their next singles.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Dino Merlin has followed up his 6th-place finish in Germany with his new single, “Undo”.  Despite the title, the song is in Bosnian, unlike his ESC-entry “Love in Rewind”.  Dino is actively touring this summer, and will likely release his next album in early 2012.

Albania’s preeminent diva, Aurela Gaçe, has collaborated with local rapper MC Kresha to bring the world their new single, “Cash”.   It might not harness Aurela’s epic vocal prowess in the same way that “Kënga Ime/Feel the Passion” did in Düsseldorf, but it’s still a fun listen, and any video that has echoes of “Tron” gets a thumbs-up in my book:

Norway’s Stella Mwangi, who shockingly missed out on this year’s Final with the peppy, Afro-inspired “Haba Haba”, has picked herself up, dusted herself off, and is continuing on with her career.   She released her new album, “Kinanda”, on June 10th, and has already released the video of “Haba Haba”‘s follow-up, “Lookie Lookie”:

Finally (for now, at least), 2011’s Dutch representatives 3Js have also released a new single in the past few days (although sharp-eared Eurofans will recognize “De Stroom” as the runner-up in this year’s National Selection). 

Updates and Videos and Translations, oh my!

Not sure what’s in the water in Europe today, but today we’re not only officially hearing the songs from the UK and San Marino (although the British song “I Can” was leaked yesterday, I’ll wait until after their official performance on “The Graham Norton Show” to post the clip), but revamped songs from Croatia and Georgia, a translated Dutch song, and the videos from Ireland, Spain, and Italy have all been released!

From Croatia, we have Daria Kinzer’s “Celebrate”, the former “Lahor” and “Break a Leg”:

We have Georgia’s new video with the updated version of “One More Day”, now with Eldrine’s new lead singer Sopho Toroshelidze:

From the Netherlands, the 3J’s “Je vecht nooit alleen” has become the English-language “Never Alone”:

From Ireland, we’ve got the official video from Jedward’s “Lipstick”:

Spain’s “Que me quiten lo bailao” by Lucía Pérez has gotten a minor revamp (with added instrumentation) and a brand new video, filmed in the resort town of Sitges during Carnival:

And finally, Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi has released a new version of “Follia d’Amore”, a bilingual track called “Madness of Love”:

More to come later today, with the official unveiling of Senit’s song for San Marino and Blue’s “I Can” for the UK!

"Je Vecht Nooit Alleen" in Düsseldorf

The Dutch National final wrapped up this evening in Hilversum, and it looks like we have a winner!  Local pop-rock band the 3Js were selected internally by broadcaster TROS all the way back in July, and they were given the opportunity to write five unique songs to present to the public.  Snippets of the top five were revealed a few days back, but today the Dutch public heard the tunes for the first time in their entirety.  (If you’d like to see the full special aired by TROS today, check out’s video archive.)

After a 50/50 vote from the viewing public and an expert jury (which included two recent Dutch ESC participants), the winning song was “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen (You Never Fight Alone)”, a mid-to-uptempo tune with a soaring chorus and a positive message.

By the time the chorus rolled around, it was basically a given that this would be the winning entry.  The crowd was engaged more during “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen” than any of the other performances, and it received top marks from both the jury and the televoters.  When the short excerpts of the song were released last week, chatter from the Eurovision forums leaned more towards the eventual winner than any of the others.  The runners-up weren’t bad by any stretch, but with the exception of “De Stroom (The Stream)“, they might not have been as good of a fit for Eurovision.  Here are links to “Ga Dan Niet (Don’t Go Then)“, “Toen ik jou vergat (When I Forgot You)“, and “Weelderig Waardeloos (Luxuriously Worthless)“.

What do you think of the 3Js’ entry for Düsseldorf?  Was “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen” the best choice?  Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!