Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 4 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with The Netherlands who have won the contest four times, finished second three times and third once. They have finished last four times in the Final and once in a Semi Final. This has been achieved in 57 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE and Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE, Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE and Slovenia HERE.
So this year The Netherlands are represented by Douwe Bob with the song ‘Slow Down’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for The Netherlands but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article reviewing his song HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now The Netherlands have fifty seven entries to choose from making the task a lot harder. There are many great songs from The Netherlands over the years especially some of the earlier ones and this may be reflected in my selections here. I will be able to choose three songs I deem to be the worst but am at a loss to choose three best ones. So I will highlight three in particular and many of the others I will mention as a tribute to the many great songs we have seen from The Netherlands.
We do not have to go very far back in time to find our first song that is one of the best for The Netherlands. The year was 2014 and we were in Copenhagen to see The Common Linnets singing the song ‘Calm After The Storm’.
Now the Dutch were long overdue a decent result not having been in the top 5 since 1998. The band were Dutch and consisted of Waylon and Ilse DeLange both renowned country singers in their own right. The song was a simple country style song which was hugely enhanced by the staging and performance in Copenhagen. It won the Semi Final and then went on to finish 2nd behind Conchita Wurst with 238 points. It went on to great chart success including reaching number 9 in the UK.
Moving along we look at one of the worst entries for The Netherlands. We were in Dublin in 1994 to see Willeke Alberti perform the song ‘Waar is de zon?’.
Now the song is a ballad, in which the speaker asks an absent lover what has become of him. Although performed well enough the song failed to inspire anyone in the Juries except in Austria where it gained its only 4 points from and finished in 23rd place.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for The Netherlands. We were in Millstreet in 1993 and the performer was Ruth Jacott with the song ‘Vrede’.
Now this is what Eurovision should be about. A powerful energetic performance of an extremely catchy song. Now Ruth who was originally from Surinam moved from musical theatre to pop music as a result of her appearance at Eurovision. She was considered one of the favourites. An her uptempo song had influences in the new urban style of music that was evolving at the time. It was the first ever Eurovision song to contain DJ scratching found during the instrumental break. It went on to finish in 6th place with 92 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst for The Netherlands was in the year 2006 and we were in Athens to witness the spectacle that was Treble singing ‘Amambanda’.
There is no doubt this entry was something different for the Dutch. The group were established for over 10 years before Eurovision after the girls all met at a party. Their songs were influenced by African rhythms and the Eurovision song was no different. The song had English lyrics but was predominantly performed in an imaginary language. It finished in 20th place in the Semi Final with only 22 points therefore failing to get to the Final.
So onto our last song that was one of The Netherlands’ best. It was in 1998 and Birmingham was witness to the bubbly performance of Edsilia Rombley with the song ‘Hemel en Aarde’.
Now starting with the song it is a moderately up-tempo ballad, with Edsilia describing her feelings on discovering love in what was seemingly an unexpected place. Edsilia went on to represent the Dutch again in 2007. It went on to finish in 4th place with 150 points.
We now arrive at the last song for The Netherlands and it’s another of the worst. In 2011 we saw 3JS represent their country in Dusseldorf with the song ‘Never Alone’.
It was a song was a ballad that had a modern pop element to it. It was performed by 3JS, the name of the band is based on the first names of the three members; Jan Dulles, Jaap Kwakman and Jan de Witte. They had known each other since 1996 and performed together since 2002. The song went on to finish last in the semi Final (19th) with only 13 points.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following entries for The Netherlands as all being great entries too.
1974 Mouth and MacNeal with ‘I See A Star’ which came third.
1975 Teach-In with ‘Ding-a-Dong’ which gave the Dutch their last win.
1980 Maggie MacNeal with ‘Amsterdam’.
1999 Marlayne with ‘One Good Reason’.
2013 Anouk with ‘Birds’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Dutch Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland