Back in August, the Dutch national broadcaster, AVROTROS, confirmed to ESCToday that the Netherlands will be participating in the forthcoming edition of the contest, due to take place in Israel next year.
The broadcaster also confirmed that they will once again be internally-selecting an artist. Speaking to RTL News, Jan Smit, Dutch singer and selection committee member said that “we have no one concrete yet.” He also stated that the broadcaster is still open for artists who can offer ‘a good international song.’
“There are several people who are being asked… There are people who offer themselves, but we have no concrete indication as to who it could become…I would like to call every artist to offer themselves, provided they have a good international song.”
Since 2013, the Netherlands have opted for internal selections. This has brought them moderate success in recent years, including two top ten finishes. 2014 saw the country achieve its highest finish in 39 years, a second place finish with “Calm After the Storm” by The Common Linnets.
Waylon, 1/2 of the duo, returned this year to represent the Netherlands once again with his solo effort “Outlaw In ‘Em”. Unfortunately, he failed to return to the dizzying heights of the top three, placing 18th.
The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest
The Netherlands debuted at Eurovision at the first edition of the contest in 1956 in Lugano. Since its debut, it has only missed four contests (1985, 1991, 1995 and 2002). The Dutch have won the competition four times: 1957, 1959, 1969 and 1975. They also hosted the 1980 contest after 1979 champions Israel declined to host for the second year in a row.
Following the introduction of the semi final system in 2004, the Netherlands began a rough patch in their participation history. They failed to qualify for every grand final between 2005 and 2012, placing last for the first time in 2011.
However, in 2013, a fresh approach brought the Dutch delegation a much-needed boost in momentum. They retired their long running national selection, Nationaal Songfestival, and instead internally-selected alt-folk chanteuse Anouk. Her entry, “Birds”, placed 9th and has remained a fan favourite since.
Since 2013, the Dutch have qualified for 4/5 contests. With this success in mind, there doesn’t appear to be any urgency for them to alter their selection technique.