The Netherlands are usually one of the countries to kick off the Eurovision selection season when they reveal their entrants. It’s often somewhere in October, but now, it’s mid-December and the Dutch are still silent. It has led Dutch media to ask the question: Where is our entrant? And who?
“Not before Christmas”
Newspaper Metro decided to write a piece about what is currently going on at the Avrotros headquarters. They reached out to the selection committee, who decides upon the Dutch entrant for Tel Aviv. The committee consists of four members, two of which are the Dutch Eurovision commentators, Cornald Maas and Jan Smit. The other two members are radio host and delegation member Daniël Dekker and the CEO of Avrotros, Eric van Stade.
In a reaction to Metro, Daniël Dekker commented on the process Avrotros are now going through, especially focussing on the question whether it’s not taking way too long to reveal the name of the Dutch entrant, saying:
It’s not taking long at all. We don’t have to submit a song until March, so there’s plenty of time. After Christmas or in the new year, we’ll have more information.Daniël Dekker on the selection of a Dutch representative
What we now know is that Avrotros are handling things a little different this year. Instead of only looking for an artist, who then gets carte blanche to write a song for the Eurovision Song Contest, Avrotros has now also invited songwriters to submit an entry without an artist.
That has resulted in a different way of selecting. Avrotros keep both options open: Select the artist first and then find the song, or the way around. Richard van de Crommert, Eurovision expert for De Telegraaf, says it might seem weird for the Dutch to wait this long, but in previous years, we heard the artist in October and then had to wait until March for the song. During a broadcast of Shownieuws the other day, show expert Guido den Aantrekker proved that the Dutch don’t really know much about the usual Eurovision procedures and deadlines, as he claimed The Netherlands were now the last country to select for Tel Aviv, as ‘all the others had already done so’. It just shows how used the Dutch are to an early reveal.
Another reason to reveal and decide the act at a later stage than in previous years might be the agenda problem. One of the criticisms on the early selections by Avrotros is that artists pretty much need to dedicate all of their media appearances to Eurovision between October and May – a full seven months. Reducing this to four months might make it easier for artists.
New rumours: Raffaela Paton or Sharon Kovacs?
The new format also means that new artists will enter the rumour mill. More people have been asked to write a song or even for a discussion about flying the Dutch flag, so more rumours will start to rise.
Last week, the winner of The Voice of Holland, Jim van der Zee, confirmed that he had written a song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. He then also said he hadn’t heard back from Avrotros at all after they had asked him to compose an entry. Two of the most heavily rumoured names have both publicly denied any sort of involvement or desire to go to Eurovision: Glennis Grace and Davina Michelle.
New to the rumour mill are the names of Sharon Kovacs and Raffaela Paton. Raffaela Paton is a name Eurovision fans might recognise, as she once took part in a Dutch national final, back in 2012 when she sang “Chocolatte”. Ever since, Paton hasn’t been that prominent on the music scene, but her vocals keep impressing, such as when she entered De Beste Zangers.
Kovacs is a 28 year old singer with just two albums to her name, one of which reached #1 in the Dutch charts. She won a European Border Breakers Award (EBBA) in 2016. She usually cites Etta James, Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse as her inspirations.
All these names are added to a pile of names we keep hearing, such as Maan and Romy Monteiro, but the general message seems to be that Avrotros themselves don’t have a clue yet who will end up flying the Dutch flag in Tel Aviv. They do seem closer to a reveal than they were last time, but all we can do is wait…
Who would you like to see representing The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019? Let us know!