Best of the Bunch: The Netherlands

The Netherlands: one of the original Eurovision nations, and the contest just wouldn’t be the same without them. Since their debut in the very first Eurovision, they’ve participated an incredible 58 times, with a total of 49 final appearances. During that time, they’ve won the contest a total of 4 times, although the last time they topped the table was back in 1975. In more recent years, luck has not been on their side. As we’ll see today, the nation struggled through the mid-2000’s but found their feet over the last few years. As with all our Best of the Bunch posts, we’ll be beginning our journey in 2006, and continuing through to 2015. Once we’ve recapped the acts, it will be up to you to pick your Best of the Bunch!

We’re starting our journey in 2006, where the trio called Treble were selected to represent The Netherlands with the song called Amambanda. It was an interesting entry from the Dutch, who presented the song in a mixture of Imaginary and English languages. It just didn’t stand out against the field, finishing in 20th place in the semi-final with 22 points.

The following year, Edsilia Rombley returned to the contest, after participating for the Netherlands back in 1998, then again in 2007. This time around, she performed the song On Top of the World, and even if she was, the Netherlands still wasn’t hitting the top of the table, with yet another non-qualification. They finished in 21st in the semi-final, with a total of 38 points.

The girl power continued in 2008, with Hind performing on behalf of the Netherlands with the song Your Heart Belongs to Me. The song had Middle Eastern vibes, which made the song memorable for some, but it again was just not enough to reach the final. The song improved on previous results, finishing in 13th place with a total of 27 points.

In 2009, The Netherlands selected the trio De Toppers with the hope they would break the non-qualifying streak with the song Shine. They did just that, but not in the results sense, but more in the costume sense! Unfortunately no extra points were awarded for glitter factor, so once again, The Netherlands was stuck in the semi-final, finishing in 17th place with 11 points.

The following year, a national final decided on Sieneke as the artist to represent the nation with the song Ik ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie). It was criticised before the contest as being dated, and it seems that European audiences agreed. For the 6th year in a row, The Netherlands was stuck in the semi-final, this time finishing in 14th place with 29 points.

In 2011, The Netherlands hoped to improve their results by putting more focus on the song, with the band 3JS internally selected to represent the nation. The group performed a number of songs in a national final, and the nation selected their favourite. The problem was, Europe just didn’t agree, with the band finishing in last place with just 13 points.

It was up to Joan Franka in 2012 to try turn around the run of average results, and it looked promising with the chosen song You and Me. It was a charming entry, but at the contest, was lost in a field of stronger songs. It finished in 15th place with 35 points.

Finally, in 2013, The Netherlands chose something that resonated with the viewers across Europe. One of the nation’s biggest stars Anouk was selected to represent the nation with the simple song, Birds. There were no tricks, just Anouk on stage singing. This was the formula that worked, as it took The Netherlands to the final, and even landing them a spot in the top 10, finishing in 9th with 114 points!

With the drought over, The Netherlands finally started to find their place in Eurovision again. 2014 was no exception. The Netherlands were coming back, and coming back with a bang, this time with the duo The Common Linnets. Their country style song Calm After the Storm was another simple song, and incredibly, qualified in at 1st place in the semi-final, and then finished behind eventual winner Conchita Wurst in the final. An incredible comeback!

That brings us to 2015, and although The Netherlands had two great results after a long run of not so great results, there was one small hiccup. Trijntje Oosterhuis, a popular artist in the Netherlands was chosen to represent the nation with a song called Walk Along, which was written by none other than Anouk. With Anouk backing her, it seemed like a probable qualification, but Europe disagreed. The Netherlands were once again back in the semi-final, this time in 14th place with 33 points.

Which of these acts is your Best of the Bunch? Vote here!