The national final was held in the Ahoy Rotterdam arena, hosted by Paul de Leeuw. Eight songs took part with the winner being decided by a 50/50 split between televoting and three expert juries (singers and musicians, composers and music industry personnel). The televote proved decisive in Michelle's favour as she received twice as many votes as her nearest competitor. Michelle's victory was unexpected to most, as prior to the final the female trio Ebonique had been seen as hot favourites to win.
On the night of the final Michelle performed first in the running order, preceding Iceland. This was the sixth time the Netherlands had been drawn to open the show, a contest record which still stands, and was a poor draw for a quiet, reflective song. At the close of voting "Out On My Own" had received only 16 points (6 from Portugal, 5 from Israel, 4 from Slovenia and 1 from Russia), placing the Netherlands 18th of the 23 entries. The 12 points from the Dutch televote were awarded to contest winners Estonia. The low placement meant that the Netherlands were relegated from taking part in the 2002 contest. The 2001 contest marked the only occasion on which two performers participated under identical names: that year's German singer was also called Michelle.