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The Netherlands’ Junior Eurovision Journey so far

Let's take a journey through Junior Eurovision memory lane

Next November 25th, Minsk Arena will host the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the second time that the event takes place in the venue in Belarus’s capital. So far, 14 countries have confirmed participation. Therefore, it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of all of this year’s participating countries in the contest so far. A country that has participated in every edition of the show is The Netherlands. Let’s take a look at the country’s Junior Eurovision journey so far!

Quick facts

  • Country: The Netherlands
  • Broadcaster: AVROTROS
  • Debut appearance: 2003
  • Number of appearances: 16
  • Highest finish: 1st (2009)
  • Lowest finish: 15th(2015)

Back to the very beginning…

The Netherlands competed in the very first Junior Eurovision contest back in 2003 in Copenhagen. Roel was the first to fly the Dutch flag at the contest with his entry “Mijn ogen zegen alles“. Their start wasn’t overly successful. In fact, Roel didn’t manage to reach the top 10, coming 11th with 23 points.

The Netherlands’ Junior Eurovision Journey so far

The Netherlands, together with Belarus, holds the record for most appearances, having participated every year since the start of the contest. For the first few years, however, they struggled to achieve good results. In fact, between 2003 and 2008, only Tess managed to reach the top 10, finishing 7th  in 2005. All the others placed between 11th and 13th. Nevertheless, their fortunes turned around in 2009 when Ralf Mackenbach scored the country’s first (and so far only) win at the contest with his song “Click Clack“. He won with 121 points, 5 points ahead of runner-ups Russia and Armenia. Since their victory, they only missed out on being in the top 10 once, in 2015. They also reached top 5 in two occasions: in 2011 when they came second (6 points shy of victory) and in 2017 when they placed fourth.

Looking ahead to 2018

The Netherlands will once again select their entrant through the televised show Junior Songfestival. This year the selection will take place on September 29 and for the first time there will be no semi-finals and participants will sing original songs rather than covers.

My favourite Dutch entry!

Before writing this article I had only heard three of the Dutch entries: 2007 (because of OG3NE), 2009 (because it won) and 2017 (the first contest I watched). One of the three happens to be my favorite Dutch entries. Like the case of Armenia last week, I don’t really dislike any of the Dutch entries (well maybe one or two) but they are all middle of the road. But to find my favorite you don’t have to go far in time, as Fource’s “Love me” is my winner.

While I am not a fan of their outfits (they make them look like they are attending an 80s party) their energy and charisma are infectious!  They were clearly doing the most important thing in the competition: having fun! They are also showing some excellent vocals, especially Max and Niels. Although I am usually all about keeping songs entirely in the country’s language, the English bits actually work well in this song. So to me they were the deserved winner of the online voting, and yes I sure did vote for them too!

Our countries journeys so far

  1. FYR Macedonia
  2. Armenia

What is your favorite Dutch entry at the contest? Can The Netherlands achieve its second victory in Minsk? Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for another journey through another country Junior Eurovision memory lane. 

Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA.

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Riccardo Maddalozzo

Born in Italy, I have lived in 5 countries in 3 continents. I discovered Eurovision by accident in 2010 and became a superfan in 2013. I attended both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision events and covered several national finals on the ground and hope to continue doing so for a long time!
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