Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014

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Eurovision Song Contest 2014
Country  Netherlands
National selection
Selection process Internal Selection
Selection date(s) Artist:
25 November 2013
Song:
12 March 2014
Selected entrant The Common Linnets
Selected song "Calm After the Storm"
Selected songwriter(s)
  • Ilse DeLange
  • JB Meijers
  • Rob Crosby
  • Matthew Crosby
  • Jake Etheridge
Finals performance
Semi-final result Qualified (1st, 150 points)
Final result 2nd, 238 points
Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2013 2014 2015►

The Netherlands participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the song "Calm After the Storm", written by Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge. The song was performed by The Common Linnets, a duo consisting of Ilse DeLange and Waylon, two well-known and popular Dutch artists, and formed by DeLange as a platform for Dutch artists to create country, Americana, and bluegrass music. In November 2013 the Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS announced that they had internally selected The Common Linnets to represent the Netherlands at the 2014 contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, with their song first presented to the public in March 2014.

In the weeks leading up to the contest, the Netherlands was considered to be one of the countries most likely to qualify for the final. In the first of two Eurovision semi-finals "Calm After the Storm" came first of the 16 participating countries, securing its place among the 25 other countries in the final. In the Netherlands' fifty-fifth Eurovision appearance on 10 May, "Calm After the Storm" finished in second place, receiving 238 points and full marks from eight countries. This was the Netherlands' best finish in the contest since 1975.

After the show, the song went on to chart in several European countries, reaching number one in Belgium, Iceland and the Netherlands, as well as reaching the top ten in several other countries. The group's self-titled début album, released in May 2014, was also a success in the Netherlands and in other countries. The success of The Common Linnets in the contest was met with wide praise, with many commenting that their triumph was a boost to the musicality and credibility of the contest.

Background[edit]

Prior to the 2014 Contest, the Netherlands had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fifty-four times since their début as one of seven countries to take part in the inaugural contest in 1956.[1] Since then, the country has won the contest four times: in 1957 with the song "Net als toen" performed by Corry Brokken;[2] in 1959 with the song "'n Beetje" performed by Teddy Scholten;[3] in 1969 as one of four countries to tie for first place with "De troubadour" performed by Lenny Kuhr;[4] and finally in 1975 with "Ding-a-Dong" performed by the group Teach-In.[5] Following the introduction of semi-finals for the 2004 contest, the Netherlands had featured in only two finals. The Netherlands' least successful result has been last place, which they have achieved on five occasions, most recently in the 2011 Contest.[6] The Netherlands has also received nul points on two occasions; in 1962 and 1963.[7]

The Dutch broadcaster for the 2014 Contest, who broadcasts the event in the Netherlands and organises the selection process for its entry, was AVROTROS, after former public broadcasters TROS, who had organised the Dutch entry between 2010 and 2013, and AVRO were merged by the Dutch government in January 2014.[8][9][10] The Netherlands has used various methods to select the Dutch entry in the past, such as the Nationaal Songfestival, a live televised national final to choose the performer, song or both to compete at Eurovision. However internal selections have also been held on occasion, which was the method of selection for the Dutch entry in 2013.[11][12] This method would again be used by AVROTROS in 2014.

Before Eurovision[edit]

Selection process[edit]

After the Netherlands qualified for the final for the first time in nine years at the 2013 Contest, media interest was high over who would succeed Anouk as the Dutch representative at Eurovision in 2014.[13] One of the artists tipped early on as a possible candidate was DJ Armin van Buuren, who announced in June 2013 that he was open to participating at the Contest given that AVROTROS gave him full artistic freedom and abandoned plans for a national final to select the entry.[14][15] Shirma Rouse, one of the backing singers for Anouk at the 2013 Contest, was another candidate mentioned after being promoted by Anouk at several events in 2013.[16][17]

On 5 November 2013, TROS announced that they would announce the name of the Dutch entrant on 25 November.[18] On the same day, various news media reported that Ilse DeLange, well known in the Netherlands for several pop and country hits and as a juror on The Voice of Holland, had been selected by the broadcaster.[19][20] Also reported was that Waylon, runner-up in the first series of Holland's Got Talent in 2008, would represent the Netherlands with a song written by DeLange. Waylon had previously competed in the Dutch selection for Eurovision 2005, but had failed to qualify for the final.[21] Armin van Buuren, who had previously been linked as a potential contender, announced on 13 November that he would not be the Dutch entrant.[22]

At a press conference on 25 November 2013 at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, AVROTROS announced that DeLange and Waylon would both represent the Netherlands at the 2014 Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, performing as a duo under the name The Common Linnets, named after the bird commonly found in rural areas of the Netherlands.[23][24][25] Having known each other since adolescence, the two artists had been working on an album in Nashville as a "side project" when the idea of competing at Eurovision as a duo was formed.[23][24]

On 4 March 2014 during the Dutch talkshow De Wereld Draait Door the group announced that "Calm After the Storm" would be the title of their Eurovision entry.[26][27] The song was publicly performed for the first time on the same show on 12 March as an acoustic version, while the official version of the song premiered on the radio show De Gouden Uren the following day.[27][28][29] The official music video of the song, directed by Paul Bellaart, was released on 17 March.[30]

Promotion[edit]

A small European promotional tour had been planned for The Common Linnets, visiting smaller countries such as San Marino and Malta, as well as neighbouring Belgium. However it was later decided that the group would focus their attention before Eurovision on media in the Netherlands, promoting their self-titled debut album and Ilse DeLange's theatre tour, and would then turn their focus to international promotion on their arrival in Denmark.[31][32] This method proved successful for "Calm After the Storm" in the Netherlands, having sold over 10,000 copies by April 2014 and earning the song a gold record.[33][34]

Eurovision in Concert 2014[edit]

Since 2009, Eurovision in Concert has been held in the Netherlands, and has become the largest gathering of Eurovision artists outside of the concert itself. Created by a group of Dutch Eurovision fans, the event was designed to keep the spirit in Eurovision alive in the Netherlands after several disappointing results for the Netherlands and declining interest in the contest in the country.[35]

The 2014 event, the sixth in its history, was held on 5 April 2014 in the Melkweg music venue in Amsterdam and featured 25 of the competing countries from the 2014 Eurovision, including the Dutch act The Common Linnets. The event was hosted by singer Sandra Reemer, former Dutch Eurovision representative in 1972, 1976 and 1979, and Dutch Eurovision commentator Cornald Maas and was attended by 1,500 Eurovision fans. Special guests included 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest and Frizzle Sizzle, Dutch representative in the 1986 Contest.[36] Jan Lagermand Lundme, the Head of Show for the 2014 Contest, also made a short presentation where the press were shown how the stage would look, as well as a presentation of the postcards for some of the participating countries.[37]

At Eurovision[edit]

All countries except the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and the host country, are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[38] On 20 January 2014, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. The Netherlands was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 6 May 2014, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[39]

Once all the competing songs for the 2014 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other and to let all entries shine. The Netherlands was set to perform in position 14, after the entry from Portugal and before the entry from Montenegro.[40]

All three shows were broadcast by Nederland 1 and satellite channel BVN, with commentary provided by Cornald Maas and Jan Smit.[41][42][43] The Dutch spokesperson, who announced the Dutch votes during the final, was Tim Douwsma.[44]

Semi-final[edit]

The Common Linnets at a dress rehearsal for the first semi-final

The Common Linnets took part in technical rehearsals on 29 April and 2 May,[45][46] followed by dress rehearsals on 5 and 6 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country's vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[47]

The Dutch stage show featured DeLange and Waylon performing using a specially designed microphone stand to allow them to face each other, both playing guitars, while a bassist, a drummer and a cellist performed in the background. DeLange performed the song in a white dress, while Waylon was dressed in black leather trousers, a black jacket and a cowboy hat. Low lighting was used to effect, with large swooping camera shots at the beginning and end of the song implemented along with several close-ups during the rest of the performance. LED screens simulated road markings on the floor of the stage, while further screens on the background showed a rainy forest scene with trees and birds, transforming into a dry forest scene towards the end of the song.[45][46]

At the end of the show, the Netherlands was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.[48] It was later revealed that the Netherlands won the semi-final, receiving a total of 150 points.[49]

Final[edit]

Shortly after the first semi-final, a winner's press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the order the countries were announced during the semi-final. The Netherlands was drawn to compete in the second half.[50] Following the second semi-final, where the remaining 10 qualifiers for the final were decided, the shows' producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. The Netherlands were subsequently placed to perform in position 24, following the entry from Denmark and before the entry from San Marino.[51] Following their qualification, the Netherlands was considered to be a major competitor for the Eurovision title,[52] with bookmakers on the day of the final considering the Netherlands to be the third most likely country to win the competition.[53]

The Common Linnets once again took part in dress rehearsals on 9 and 10 May before the final, including the jury final where the professional juries casted their final votes before the live show.[54] After a short technical delay following the Danish entry, the group performed a repeat of their semi-final performance during the final, and at the end of the voting had finished in second place behind the winning entry from Austria, receiving a total of 238 points and having received 12 points, the maximum number of points a country can give to another country, from eight countries.[55] The broadcast of the final was watched by 5.1 million people in the Netherlands, representing a 65 percent market share, while during the Dutch performance a peak of 6.2 million people was registered.[56][57]

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

The Marcel Bezençon Awards, first awarded during the 2002 contest, are awards honouring the best competing songs in the final each year. Named after the creator of the annual contest, Marcel Bezençon, the awards are divided into 3 categories: the Press Award, given to the best entry as voted on by the accredited media and press during the event; the Artistic Award, presented to the best artist as voted on by the shows' commentators; and the Composer Award, given to the best and most original composition as voted by the participating composers. The Netherlands was voted the winners of two of the awards: The Common Linnets received the Artistic Award; and Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge received the Composer Award for "Calm After the Storm". DeLange and Waylon were in attendance at the award ceremony to receive the awards.[58]

Voting[edit]

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[59]

The five members of the Dutch jury were: Antonius van de Berkt (Chairperson), a record company CEO; Freek Bartels, singer and musical actor; Marlayne, singer and TV presenter, represented the Netherlands at the 1999 Contest; Ruth Jacott, singer, represented the Netherlands at the 1993 Contest; and Sander Lantinga, DJ for Dutch radio station NPO 3FM.[60]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to the Netherlands and awarded by the Netherlands in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[49][55][61][62]

Points awarded to the Netherlands[edit]

Points awarded by the Netherlands[edit]

Split voting results[edit]

After Eurovision[edit]

In a contest that has been referred to as "gimmicky", the success of "Calm After the Storm" received wide praise in the media, with some suggesting that the song's triumph had provided a boost to the musicality and credibility of the contest.[63][64]

Following the contest, "Calm After the Storm" went on to become a huge hit across Europe, featuring in the top three in iTunes download charts in 16 different countries.[65] The song also went on to reach the top 10 in charts in 16 countries, including reaching number one in Belgium, Iceland and the Netherlands.[66][67][68] In many cases the song out-performed the contest's winning song, "Rise Like a Phoenix". In the UK Singles Chart "Calm After the Storm" charted at #9, becoming only the fourth non-winning Eurovision song to chart in the top 10.[69][70] The group's debut album The Common Linnets was also a success, charting in several European countries and entering the top 10 in the Netherlands and Austria.[71][72]

The Common Linnets capitalised on their Eurovision success with several events across Europe, including in Belgium, Germany and a secret concert in Vienna, Austria.[73] However some controversy erupted when Waylon was absent from several scheduled events in May 2014, as well as inactivity from his official Twitter account for over a week.[74] He later resurfaced online, where he expressed bemusement over the media frenzy over his absence. He also stated that The Common Linnets was always Ilse DeLange's vehicle and that his continuing participation in the group was always agreed to be in a varying capacity, and that he wished to focus on his solo career, including the release of his new album, which had already been delayed.[75][76] Waylon stepped down from the group after their performance at the Tuckerville festival in Enschede.[77]

In July 2014 it was announced that The Common Linnets would embark on a European tour in October and November 2014, performing in venues in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The group line-up for the tour would include Ilse DeLange as well as JB Meijers, Jake Etheridge, Matthew Crosby and Rob Crosby, the songwriters of "Calm After the Storm".[78]

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]