AVROTROS discusses the return of the National Song Contest

It is not inconceivable that the national song contest will eventually return to the Netherlands. The responsible broadcaster AVROTROS regularly talks about this, says Erik van Stade, general manager and member of the Eurovision selection committee, against the ANP.

In fact, there is a discussion every year, says Van Stade. “Of course we try to see if we’re still doing well and if we should change that from time to time. We talk about it regularly, but so far it’s seemed logical to continue on the path we’re on now broken.”

The National Song Contest was last organized in 2012. Then the jury and the audience chose Joan Franca to represent the Netherlands in Azerbaijan. After a year, Anouk volunteered, and ever since then the Dutch entry selection is always done internally behind closed doors. Successfully, because in the following years only Trijntje Oosterhuis did not reach the final.

Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, the Netherlands have often missed the final with an entry also chosen by the public. Glennis Grace (2005), Treble (2006), Edisilia Rombley (2007), De Toppers (2009), Sieneke (2010), 3JS (2011) and Joan Franca, they all went home early.

Even after the next Eurovision Song Contest, the debate about whether to opt out of the Dutch entry in public will return, Van Stade expects, especially now that there is a lot of criticism of Mia Nicolay and Dion Cooper who will carry the Dutch flag in Liverpool. within a few weeks. “And then we will have this discussion very seriously again with those involved,” says van Stade. According to the broadcast manager, the workbook form needs to be found. “Of course we have all seen the National Song Festival where Father Ibrahim had to make an impossible choice. We want to prevent that.”

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In 2010, Vader Abraham delivered a famous TV moment when he, as author, had to make a crucial decision between Sieneke and the girl group Loekz. At random, after a few minutes of hesitation, he finally chose Sieneke.

The Netherlands is not the only country you choose to enter internally. Armenia and the United Kingdom, among others, are also opting in internally. Other countries have major first rounds that are televised. An oft-cited example is Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, which annually draws millions of viewers in its country from a large arena. Not yet done in the Netherlands. “How big is the chance of a comeback? I don’t know. But it’s not zero. Absolutely not,” Van Stade concludes.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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