Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member station AVROTROS (2014–)[1]
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances 60 (51 finals)
First appearance 1956
Best result 1st: 1957, 1959, 1969, 1975, 2019
Worst result Last: 1958, 1962, 1963, 1968, 2011 SF
Nul points 1962, 1963
External links
Netherlands's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

The Netherlands has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 60 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The country has missed only four contests, twice because the dates coincided with Remembrance of the Dead (1985, 1991) and twice because of being relegated due to poor results the previous year (1995 and 2002). The Netherlands hosted the contest in Hilversum (1958), Amsterdam (1970), twice in The Hague (1976 and 1980), and would've host the contest in Rotterdam in 2020.

The Netherlands has won the contest five times, with Corry Brokken (1957), Teddy Scholten (1959), Lenny Kuhr in a four-way tie (1969), Teach-In (1975) and Duncan Laurence (2019). The country's other top five results are Sandra & Andres fourth (1972), Mouth & MacNeal third (1974), Maggie MacNeal fifth (1980), Marcha fifth (1987), Edsilia Rombley fourth (1998), and second with The Common Linnets (2014). The Netherlands finished last in 1958, 1962, 1963, 1968, and in the semifinal in 2011.

After the introduction of the semifinals in 2004, the Netherlands failed to reach the final for eight years in a row from 2005 to 2012, the record of the contest, but have since reached six of the last seven finals.


Fast Success

The 1958 scoreboard

The Netherlands was one of seven countries competing in the inaugural 1956 contest. NTS presented the Nationaal Songfestival to select Dutch entries to the contest. Corry Brokken and Jetty Paerl finished top two and qualified to Lugano. After a year, success came fast as "Net als toen" from Brokken won the 1957 contest in Frankfurt. This song is a ballad asking the husband about early days as a couple. This song received points from every single country. Sem Nijveen provided the violin solo. NTS hosted the 1958 in Hilversum. Brokken's Heel de wereld received the first point from the first voting country, Switzerland, but it turned on to be the only point for her and finished tied ninth and last. Hosting and finishing last won't be repeated until Portugal in 2018. Austria in 2015 scored zero points but from tie-breaker finished SECOND last. In 1959 in Cannes, the Netherlands was represented by Teddy Scholten after Brokken failed to qualify. 'n Beetje is about concentrating about being unfaithful in a relationship and focusing that unfaithful is real certain. The song led in some early stage before dramatic roller coaster voting occurred before Italy sent seven points to the Dutch and France sent four more for another Dutch victory.

First Dark Age

Rudi Carrell and Annie Palmen won the national final with Wat een geluk in 1960 before Carrell was selected for the night but the song finished 12th or second last. Greetje Kauffeld failed to win three selections before internally selected in 1961 with Wat een dag finished tied tenth. YouTube still have a video from a classic Nationaal Songfestival 1962. Gert Timmerman and Conny Vandenbos headlined the show. De Spelbrekers won with a cute song "Katinka". This song is in the distinguished list for finishing last with 0 points but still being the more-remembered entries from the dark age. In 1963, The members of the orchestra declared strike action to cancel the televised selection. Palmen performed three songs for juries before "Geen ander" or "Een speeldoos" were selected. Veteran conductor Dolf van der Linden missed the contest also before finishing tied last with zero points again. Dutch-Indonesian Anneke Grönloh with "Jij bent mijn leven" finished tied tenth in 1964. 1965 Nationaal Songfestival brought five semi-finals to select the song for each entrant hosted by Teddy Scholten. Vandenbos won with "'t Is genoeg" to go to 1965. Norway gave top marks to save the song from 0 points, finishing 11th. Milly Scott was the first black performer to participate in 1966, last two voting countries Ireland and United Kingdom saved "Fernando en Filippo" from 0 points to finish 15th. A so little town of Harmelen hosted the 1967 selection before Thérèse Steinmetz finished 14th with "Ring-dinge-ding" A year later, the Netherlands finished last again with "Morgen" from Ronnie Tober.

From Lenny Kuhr to Teach-In

1969 Nationaal Songfestival brought Europe together by asking every single participating country in 1969 to vote with Dutch juries. Conny Vink's "De toeteraar" was beaten by Lenny Kuhr's "De troubadour". Dolf van der Linden refused to go to Madrid and the song was conducted by Frans de Kok. This folk song about Troubadour didn't lead early in the voting before the third last country, France, gave six points to lead. The last two countries brought France, UK and Spain tied for lead with 18 points. Those four countries all won and led to withdrawn countries in 1970. The Netherlands beat France in coin-toss to host 1970 in RAI Amsterdam. Hearts of Soul finished 7th with "Waterman". Saskia & Serge finished second in 1970 national final before being internally selected for 1971. Ballad and beautiful "Tijd" finished tied sixth that night. That song was a farewell for Dolf van der Linden after 13 songs were conducted by him, two victories. Sandra & Andres with "Als het om de liefde gaat" provided memorable performance as the 1972 audience clapped to the rhythm of the song. Belgium gave its neighbour only two points to finish fourth, one point behind Germany. After an old-fashioned "De oude muzikant" from Ben Cramer finished forgettable 14th in 1973, the country sent the stars Mouth & MacNeal with "I See a Star", first Eurovision song in English for the country, in 1974. This happy song had to faced stars like ABBA, Gigliola Cinquetti and Olivia Newton-John before finishing third. 1975 Nationaal Songfestival was the first time since 1970 that singers weren't selected before the show. Teach-In with Ding-a-dong is a happy song with nonsensical titles and lyrics in both Dutch and English version. The performance finished by Ard Weeink broke the glass. This song received six twelves and almost 8.5 average, winning the contest for the fourth time, being the first song to win after singing first.

Multiple hostings

Sandra Reemer with the outfit she wore in 1979

The Hague hosted Eurovision 1976 in Congresgebouw with former winner Corry Brokken presenting the show. Sandra Reemer returned with "The Party's Over" finished 9th. The country slumped to three non top-tens after, "De mallemolen" with Heddy Lester, 12th, "'t Is OK" with Harmony, 13th, and Sandra's return "Colorado", 12th. Congresbouw returned to host 1980 contest after Israel declined for winning twice in a row, and actually withdrawn. Rogier van Otterloo made a debut as a conductor. Maggie MacNeal returned with patriotic ballad, "Amsterdam". This short song was the first time in 1961 that was internally selected before the country selected the entries internally since 2013. The song led the voting after first three twelves from four countries. Sadly, only three more countries gave this top three and slipped to fifth. Linda Williams went to Eurovision Song Contest 1981 with soft "Het is een wonder". Finished 7th. A year later, disaster struck as "Fantasie eiland" controversially missed the ticket because expert juries like Getty Kaspers sent "Jij en ik" with Bill van Dijk. Later, "Fantasie eiland" went on to win OGAE Second Chance Retro 1982. Germany's five points led this song finished third last. 1983 Nationaal Songfestival is more dramatic. Vulcano's Een beetje van dit tied with Bernadette's "Sing Me a Song" before the last 30-people set of the jury gave the lady one point and the group none, sent her to Munich. The performance was satisfied however, finished 7th. After almost winning in 1981, Maribelle represented the country in 1984 with"Ik hou van jou", a stand-alone power ballad song. This well-known entry finished 13th before the first ever withdrawn in 1985.

Before the Dublin sinking

A girl group of Frizzle Sizzle was the Dutch entry in 1986 with happy "Alles heeft ritme" again finished 13th, but a year later it's satisfied. Marcha sang all six songs before upbeat "Rechtop in de wind" selected. Wearing in white, Marcha finished tied fifth, first top five since 1980. That song was the last ever conducted by van Otterloo before his death from cancer. Gerard Joling was preselected in 1988 before "Shangri-la", another upbeat entry, was selected. This song later finished ninth. From that song, one of the chorus member, Justine Pelmelay won the selection in 1989 but "Blijf zoals je bent" finished 15th. The country was represented by sisters Maywood and a power ballad "Ik wil alles met je delen", finished 15th again. As the contest was held on May 4th, 1991, The Netherlands missed the 1991 contest. The group Humphrey Campbell won the selection with "Wijs me de weg", finished top ten in ninth. Another Suriname-background singer was selected for 1993, this time is Ruth Jacott. Some classic includes "Blijf bij mij" but in the end "Vrede" was the entry. This song has grabbed attention to this day. The result was good too, finishing sixth. Willeke Alberti was pre-selected for 1994 with the ballad "Waar is de zon?" which was later received just four points, finishing 23rd and relegated for 1995.

The Changing Era

Nationaal Songfestival returned in 1996 with five semi-finals to select a song to each singer. Maxine and Franklin Brown represented the country with upbeat "De eerste keer". The song needed to qualify which was success finished ninth. Dick Bakker made a debut as a conductor, he co-wrote the winning entry in 1975. This song got seventh in the final night. 1997 was the bad year Mrs. Einstein with "Niemand heeft nog tijd" finished tied 22nd with just five points. Fortunately, good performance in the last five years is still enough to be invited to 1998 contest. Nurlaila's "Alsof je bij me bent" finished second in pre-selection but winning OGAE Second Chance Contest 1998. The entry was Edsilia's "Hemel en aarde" an upbeat song filled with orchestra and it's not just fared well in the standings, it even led the voting as far as the 12th country, Slovenia, but later faded and finished fourth. However, this was the best showing since winning the contest in 1975. First year without orchestra was good for the country. Marlayne won very easily the Dutch final and after some hassle about the dress she came tied 8th with the song "One Good Reason". In 2000, an enormous dress and a simple song couldn't do any good for singer Linda Wagenmakers who came 13th with the song "No Goodbyes". 2001 was the bad year, the slow ballad of Michelle and her simple performance were the reasons that the Netherlands were not allowed to participate in 2002, finishing 18th. Esther Hart won the national final in 2003 with a sort of remake of the 1999 entry as the writing team was the same. After a chaotic performance, Esther finished in 13th place. The country sent the male duo Re-Union in 2004 with the song "Without You" and made it to the grand final. Hopes were high but they only managed to get 11 points and a 20th place.

The Modern Dark Age

In 2005 the hopes were very high for Glennis Grace but she failed to reach the Grand Final just like the Treble trio did, a year later. In 2007 Edsilia was back but with her up-tempo song On Top Of The World she could not match the success of 1998. In 2008 Hind tried to do well with a 5 year old song but it didn't work out for her. In 2009 the Toppers did their utmost but Shine just wasn't good enough to qualify. The year after Sieneke won a very chaotic national final but she also failed to qualify with a sung in Dutch. Two more brave attempts in 2011 and 2012 also failed to qualify making the Netherlands on of the worst scoring countries during the 2004-2012 period.

The Dutch Renaissance

The string of consecutive non-qualifications of much of the 2000s and early 2010s led the Dutch broadcaster to re-think their strategy in picking their entry for 2013. Anouk was eventually chosen, Anouk chose the song and the background singers herself, and not only did she break the Netherlands' long non-qualification streak, she gave the country its first top 10 placing since 1999. The following year, bookmakers downgraded The Common Linnets' chances of success going into the contest, yet the group proved them wrong by winning their semifinal and finishing second overall. After a non-qualification with Trijntje Oosterhuis in 2015 who sang a song by Anouk, the Dutch then recorded four consecutive qualifications with Douwe Bob and OG3NE both finishing in 11th place in their respective appearances, and Waylon placing 18th. The "Dutch Renaissance" period in Eurovision hit a high point in 2019 with one of their strongest entries yet. Having topped the bookmakers' odds from wire to wire, Duncan Laurence brought the country its 5th overall victory (tying France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom) and first win in 44 years with his song "Arcade".


The Netherlands has missed only four contests in its Eurovision history. The first one was at the 1985 contest, held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The contest, held on 4 May conflicted with the Dutch Remembrance of the Dead and therefore the Netherlands withdrew.[3]

In 1991 the contest was again held on 4 May, and so the Netherlands withdrew for the same reason as six years earlier.[4]

There was no Dutch participation in the 1995 and 2002 contests, due to relegation as a result of the country's poor showings in the previous year.

The Netherlands did compete in 2000. But at 22:00 (UTC+2) on Saturday 13 May, the broadcast was cancelled because of the Enschede fireworks disaster which happened a few hours before.[5] The points awarded by the Netherlands were taken from the back-up jury vote, as there was no televote after the program was cut short.


Table key
1 Winner
2 Second place
3 Third place
 Last place
X Entry selected but did not compete
Year Artist Language Song Final Points Semi Points
1956 Jetty Paerl Dutch "De vogels van Holland" 2[a] N/A No semi-finals
Corry Brokken Dutch "Voorgoed voorbij" 2[a]
1957 Corry Brokken Dutch "Net als toen" 1 31
1958 Corry Brokken Dutch "Heel de wereld" 9 ◁ 1
1959 Teddy Scholten Dutch "Een Beetje" 1 21
1960 Rudi Carrell Dutch "Wat een geluk" 12 2
1961 Greetje Kauffeld Dutch "Wat een dag" 10 6
1962 De Spelbrekers Dutch "Katinka" 13 ◁ 0
1963 Annie Palmen Dutch "Een speeldoos" 13 ◁ 0
1964 Anneke Grönloh Dutch "Jij bent mijn leven" 10 2
1965 Conny Vandenbos Dutch "'t Is genoeg" 11 5
1966 Milly Scott Dutch "Fernando en Filippo" 15 2
1967 Thérèse Steinmetz Dutch "Ring-dinge-ding" 14 2
1968 Ronnie Tober Dutch "Morgen" 16 ◁ 1
1969 Lenny Kuhr Dutch "De troubadour" 1 18
1970 Hearts of Soul Dutch "Waterman" 7 7
1971 Saskia & Serge Dutch "Tijd" 6 85
1972 Sandra & Andres Dutch "Als het om de liefde gaat" 4 106
1973 Ben Cramer Dutch "De oude muzikant" 14 69
1974 Mouth & MacNeal English "I See A Star" 3 15
1975 Teach-In English "Ding-a-Dong" 1 152
1976 Sandra Reemer English "The Party's Over" 9 56
1977 Heddy Lester Dutch "De mallemolen" 12 35
1978 Harmony Dutch "'t Is OK" 13 37
1979 Xandra Dutch "Colorado" 12 51
1980 Maggie MacNeal Dutch "Amsterdam" 5 93
1981 Linda Williams Dutch "Het is een wonder" 9 51
1982 Bill van Dijk Dutch "Jij en ik" 16 8
1983 Bernadette Dutch, English "Sing Me a Song" 7 66
1984 Maribelle Dutch "Ik hou van jou" 13 34
1985 Did not participate
1986 Frizzle Sizzle Dutch "Alles heeft ritme" 13 40
1987 Marcha Dutch "Rechtop in de wind" 5 83
1988 Gerard Joling Dutch "Shangri-La" 9 70
1989 Justine Pelmelay Dutch "Blijf zoals je bent" 15 45
1990 Maywood Dutch "Ik wil alles met je delen" 15 25
1991 Did not participate
1992 Humphrey Campbell Dutch "Wijs me de weg" 9 67
1993 Ruth Jacott Dutch "Vrede" 6 92
1994 Willeke Alberti Dutch "Waar is de zon?" 23 4
1995 Did not participate
1996 Maxine & Franklin Brown Dutch "De eerste keer" 7 78 9 63
1997 Mrs. Einstein Dutch "Niemand heeft nog tijd" 22 5 No semi-finals
1998 Edsilia Rombley Dutch "Hemel en aarde" 4 150[b]
1999 Marlayne English "One Good Reason" 8 71
2000 Linda Wagenmakers English "No Goodbyes" 13 40
2001 Michelle English "Out on My Own" 18 16
2002 Did not participate
2003 Esther Hart English "One More Night" 13 45
2004 Re-Union English "Without You" 20 11 6 146
2005 Glennis Grace English "My Impossible Dream" Failed to qualify 14 53
2006 Treble Imaginary, English "Amambanda" 20 22
2007 Edsilia Rombley English "On Top of the World" 21 38
2008 Hind English "Your Heart Belongs to Me" 13 27
2009 De Toppers English "Shine" 17 11
2010 Sieneke Dutch "Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)" 14 29
2011 3JS English "Never Alone" 19 ◁ 13
2012 Joan Franka English "You and Me" 15 35
2013 Anouk English "Birds" 9 114 6 75
2014 The Common Linnets English "Calm After the Storm" 2 238 1 150
2015 Trijntje Oosterhuis English "Walk Along" Failed to qualify 14 33
2016 Douwe Bob English "Slow Down" 11 153 5 197
2017 O'G3NE English "Lights and Shadows" 11 150 4 200
2018 Waylon English "Outlaw in 'Em" 18 121 7 174
2019 Duncan Laurence English "Arcade" 1 498 1 280
2020[c] Jeangu Macrooy English "Grow" Contest cancelled X Host country
2021 Jeangu Macrooy


Corry Brokken rehearsing for the Eurovision Song Contest 1976
Year Location Venue Presenter(s) Notes
1958 Hilversum AVRO Studio Hannie Lips
1970 Amsterdam Congrescentrum Willy Dobbe
1976 The Hague Congresgebouw Corry Brokken
1980 Marlous Fluitsma
2020 Rotterdam Rotterdam Ahoy Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit Cancelled[c]

Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light

On 16 May 2020, Hilversum will host the live show Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light as a replacement for the cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020.[6] It will be presented by Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit.[7]

Year Location Venue Presenter(s)
2020 Hilversum Studio 21 Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit


Marcel Bezençon Awards

Year Category Song Composer(s)
lyrics (l) / music (m)
Performer Final Points Host city Ref.
2003 Artistic Award[d] "One More Night" Tjeerd van Zanen, Alan Michael Esther Hart 13 45 Latvia Riga
2014 Artistic Award[e] "Calm After the Storm" Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby,
Matthew Crosby, Jake Etheridge
The Common Linnets 2 238 Denmark Copenhagen
Composer Award
2019 Press Award "Arcade" Duncan de Moor, Joel Sjöö, Wouter Hardy, Will Knox Duncan Laurence 1 498 Israel Tel Aviv

Barbara Dex Award

Year Performer Host city Ref.
2015 Trijntje Oosterhuis Austria Vienna

Related involvement

Commentators and spokespersons

Over the years NOS/TROS commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Willem Duys, Ivo Niehe, Pim Jacobs, Ati Dijckmeester and Paul de Leeuw. Willem van Beusekom provided NOS TV commentary every year from 1987 until 2005.[12] However, on November 7, 2005 it was announced that Van Beusekom would quit his role as Dutch commentator saying "It's good to step back".[13] He was replaced by his co-commentator Cornald Maas who commentated on the contest from 2004 until 2010.

On June 29, 2010, Maas was sacked as commentator after putting insults on Twitter about Sieneke, Joran van der Sloot and the Party for Freedom (PVV).[14] After this, DJ Daniël Dekker, who had been commentating next to Maas, took over together with Jan Smit. In 2014, Maas returned, now himself replacing Dekker, as commentator together with Smit.

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1956 Piet te Nuyl No spokesperson
1957 Willem Duys
1958 Siebe van der Zee Piet te Nuyl
1959 Piet te Nuyl Siebe van der Zee
1962 Willem Duys Ger Lugtenburg
1963 Pim Jacobs
1964 Ageeth Scherphuis
1965 Teddy Scholten
1967 Leo Nelissen Ellen Blazer
1968 Elles Berger Willem Duys
1969 Pim Jacobs Leo Nelissen
1970 Flip van der Schalie
1971 No spokesperson
1974 Willem Duys Dick van Bommel
1977 Ati Dijckmeester Ralph Inbar
1978 Willem Duys Dick van Bommel
1979 Ivo Niehe
1980 Pim Jacobs Flip van der Schalie
1983 Willem Duys
1984 Ivo Niehe
1985 Gerrit den Braber Did not participate
1986 Leo van der Goot Joop van Zijl
1987 Willem van Beusekom Ralph Inbar
1988 Joop van Os
1991 No television broadcast Did not participate
1992 Willem van Beusekom Herman Slager
1993 Joop van Os
1995 Paul de Leeuw Did not participate
1996 Willem van Beusekom Marga Bult
1997 Corry Brokken
1998 Conny Vandenbos
1999 Edsilia Rombley
2000 Marlayne
2002 Did not participate
2003 Marlayne
2004 Willem van Beusekom, Cornald Maas Esther Hart
2005 Nancy Coolen
2006 Cornald Maas, Paul de Leeuw Paul de Leeuw
2007 Paul de Leeuw and Edsilia Rombley
2008 Cornald Maas Esther Hart
2009 Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau
2010 Cornald Maas, Daniël Dekker
2011 Jan Smit, Daniël Dekker Mandy Huydts
2012 Vivienne van den Assem
2013 Cornald Maas
2014 Jan Smit, Cornald Maas Tim Douwsma
2015 Edsilia Rombley
2016 Jan Smit, Cornald Maas (all shows), Douwe Bob (semi-final 2) Trijntje Oosterhuis
2017 Jan Smit, Cornald Maas Douwe Bob
2018 O'G3NE
2019 Emma Wortelboer


All conductors are Dutch except those marked with a flag.[15]


See also


  1. ^ a b The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.
  2. ^ Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.
  3. ^ a b The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
  4. ^ Voted by previous winners.
  5. ^ Voted by commentators.


  1. ^ "AVRO en TROS worden samen AvroTros". (in Dutch). 2013-05-06. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b van Tongeren, Mario (2009-01-25). "NOS quits Eurovision, Dutch participation goes on". Oikotimes. Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  3. ^ History - Eurovision Song Contest 1985 Archived 2008-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ History - Eurovision Song Contest 1991 Archived 2008-08-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Eurovisie Songfestival: Deze Eeuw - - Day to Day".
  6. ^ Granger, Anthony (1 April 2020). "Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light To Be Broadcast Live From Hilversum". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will bring audiences together on 16 May". 31 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Marcel Bezençon Awards". Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards". 11 May 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Here are the winners of the 2019 Marcel Bezençon Awards". 18 May 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  11. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Welkom op de website van Eurovision Artists".
  13. ^ "Van Beusekom quits Eurovision role".
  14. ^ "Eurovision Cornald Maas fired by TROS -". 30 June 2010.
  15. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 19 January 2020.
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