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AVROTROS: “We’re 50% there”, as Davina Michelle turns down their offer

The saga in The Netherlands just keeps on delivering. Jan Smit, selection committee member and commentator for AVROTROS, keeps answering questions about the contest in Tel Aviv. His latest comment suggests the committee is about halfway there. But they also had a ‘minor’ setback…

Song first procedure confirmed

In recent reports, the committee hinted that they might opt for turning their procedure upside down this year. Instead of selecting an artist first, they would now possibly go for a song first. Jan Smit has now confirmed that, adding that they’re still listening to many songs, but they think they’re about halfway with their song choice. He said:

We have not made any decisions yet. There are a lot of different composers. This might not be of any use to you, but I refuse to tell you a nonsense story.

Jan Smit to NU.nl

In previous years, the Dutch always opted for a well known name in their music scene. Previous entrants include top selling artists like Anouk, Ilse DeLange and Douwe Bob. That is not necessarily the case in 2019, says Smit:

When you’ve got the song, you need to look for an artist to sing it. It doesn’t need to be someone incredibly famous. We chose to select the well known names recently, that’s true. But it would be optimal if it could be anyone, really. Any Dutchman who can deliver and perform it best. Who that is, really shouldn’t matter.

Jan Smit to NU.nl

Davina Michelle was asked to sing

On Twitter, the other commentator and fellow selection committee member Cornald Maas stated they had several options – both in artists and songs. We know that The Voice of Holland winner Jim van der Zee has been asked by Avrotros to write a song, but we don’t know whether he’s still in the running.

Someone who definitely is not in the running anymore is Davina Michelle. A while ago, she became the most heavily rumoured name. On a radio show, she didn’t know what to say when host Rob Stenders asked her about going to the Eurovision Song Contest. She then said she had heard nothing from broadcaster Avrotros, but added that she thought it was possibly too early in her career to fly the Dutch flag.

Asked by NU.nl today, Davina Michelle slightly changed her story. She now said AVROTROS did indeed ask her to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest. They were even willing to ditch their recently adopted ‘song first’ approach for her:

I was asked to pick my own song for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. However, I chose to turn down their offer. I first need to choose my musical direction and see if I can even do Eurovision when I’ve done that. They took it well and replied “No worries, we’ll ask you again next year”.

Davina Michelle to NU.nl

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