Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s Pick of the 90s

It’s Thursday and so it’s time for the 90s. Nick has decided to pick a game changer from his home country, The Netherlands…

The Netherlands 1994: Willeke Alberti – Waar Is De Zon? (23rd place…)

That’s right, a game changer. The Netherlands had always been a good force in the Eurovision Song Contest. Not that we won a whole lot, but we at least sent some artists who were really well known in our own country. That list includes Willeke Alberti.
49 years of age at the time, Willeke Alberti was one of this country’s biggest stars. She had many a hit with her father and afterwards also solo. And so there was the idea to send this Diva to the Eurovision Song Contest.
And that backfired… The Dutch picked a typical Willeke ballad and had high expectations. No one considered the fact that this could do so badly that it would exclude them from a participation in 1995. Come on, it’s Willeke!
No one expected that only Austria would give Waar is de zon? points (4 to be precise) and that ‘our’ Willeke would come 23rd. When that happened, the big names in the country stopped even considering Eurovision. The country never blamed Willeke, they blamed Europe. If you ask me, this is the basis for the misery all the way from 1996 to 2012. And then Anouk came along and thankfully did well enough to make Ilse DeLange consider Eurovision. Had Anouk failed, I wouldn’t know what our broadcaster would send to Eurovision, but never again would a well-respected artist take the risk of Eurovision.
Willeke is still a well-respected singer here and her career wasn’t harmed one bit by doing Eurovision. The song, to me, still is one of our best entries in the history of the contest. Must be a Dutch thing.

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