It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Prediction: Top 10
Prediction: N/A – Auto-Finalist
Results: 23rd, Final
Did The Netherlands live up to expectations?
A: In my books, certainly not. I really enjoyed everything about this, and I was totally surprised at how low The Netherlands finished this year. I thought the song was strong, not as good as last year, but still a song that could place in the top half of the table. I also really enjoyed the performance, with the transition from dark to light. Vocals were great as well, so overall I was really disappointed with how this ended up. In fact, I had so much confidence that I really thought this would crack the Top 10. Usually by this point I would recognise my own delusion, but I really do think this should have been up there.
D: I can say that within The Netherlands, expectations were very low for Jeangu. But zero points in the televote? No, that was not expected. And also, the very low jury vote especially was a surprise, since The Netherlands usually does very well with the jury. No one thought The Netherlands would come even close to victory again, but such a bad result? That was a bit unexpected.
How do you personally feel about the song for The Netherlands at Eurovision 2021?
A: I really enjoy this song. Overall, Grow was a better contender for Eurovision, but Birth of a New Age was also very enjoyable. It was such an uplifting song, and Jeangu’s vocals were spectacular, once again.
D: What I liked about the Dutch entry for 2021 was the inclusive aspect of it and the fact that therefore it was so unique in the entire field. This gave Jeangu the sympathy factor for me. Although I must say that during the actual performance on Saturday, nerves got the best of Jeangu, which gave him a very hard and harsh appearance, not helping the charisma in the performances and one of the aspects of its zero televote.
Could The Netherlands have done anything different?
A: Despite the low finish, I really don’t think there’s much I would have changed about this performance. I personally really enjoyed the interpretive dance, and thought it was actually very moving. Then to see the performance transition into colour was really impactful.
D: I just don’t think this song was suitable for Eurovision. Although I always thought it was a sympathetic entry, it felt more like an interval act than a regular entry for me.
A: I can totally see where you are coming from. It was less competitive than what Grow was, but even still, I don’t think such a low finish was justified.
What can The Netherlands do to ensure success in future years?
A: The Netherlands is very clearly on the right track, even with this year’s result in mind. The focus is now in the right place, with a clear vision of singer, song and performance. There are so many talented artists that could take to the stage, whether big stars or not, and we can have faith that the broadcaster is putting their best foot forward. It took many years to reach this level, but it’s such a lovely success story. It shows other nations that it is possible to achieve success, even if you do hold the longest non-qualification streak in Eurovision history!
D: I still have faith in the Dutch Eurovision team, since this is the team that turned things around since 2013 and learned by trial and error. After the success in 2014 the Dutch failed in 2015. The same happened after Duncan’s victory. The years that the Dutch blamed all the other nations and Eurovision itself are long gone. They are self-critical at what went wrong in their own choices and strategy and try to learn from that. It’s a way of approaching Eurovision that I would love to see and hear in the United Kingdom someday. But we will get to that later in this series…
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
A: Straight off the bat, there are two things I didn’t like in the back-up performance. The first is the outfit for Jeangu. The grey just looked too bland for the song. The actual style was great, but I think the Rotterdam outfit was more suitable. The second thing I noticed is that the backing singers were giving a less believable performance in the back-up tape. We know they aren’t singing live, but they should at least act as if they were, and with the camera shots that close, it should have been better. No brainer, the Eurovision performance was significantly better.
D: The clothes are different, but the main aim of the performance was the same in the back-up tape as it was in Rotterdam. There is somewhat more focus on the dancer, without a backdrop showing the lyrics of the song. In both cases I think the televote appeal would have remained low, but perhaps for the jury the vocals were better in the live-on-tape performance. Even though Jeangu didn’t sing that bad on the jury night on Friday at all.