Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dutch Eurovision: What you get when you cross Father Abraham and an Organ

The Dutch Eurovision song contest entry was off to a bad start before a note was even sung. It was composed by Pierre Kartner, better known as he of Father Abraham and the Smurf song fame. Not a good start if you want to be taken seriously, in my humble opinion. The title of the song also left a little to be desired: "Ik ben verliefd Sha-La-Lie". The fact that it was sung in Dutch also threatened to get the rest of Europe drifting off once the singing began.

Unfortunately for Sieneke, the eighteen year old singer (or trainee hairdresser) from Nijmegen, the song not only lived up to expectations by failing to take the Netherlands through to the final, it also managed to provide the rest of Europe with ammunition to ridicule the Dutch.

Here are some of the comments on Twitter following the Dutch performance on Thursday night:

@MrsStephenFry: Oh dear. The television's slow again. It seems to be showing the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. (apologies to Dutch followers x).

@musjes: "Iets te weinig internationale uitstraling" Ja. DUH! Zelfs in Nederland zou alleen Volendam gestemd hebben op Sieneke.
For the non-Dutch speakers - following a comment by the Dutch TV Eurovision song contest presenter that the entry didn't have enough international appeal, @musjes declared that even in the Netherlands only Volendam would have voted for Sieneke.

And the most retweeted comment came from @_irissa_:Dear other people in Europe. We’re sorry for sending Sieneke. We didn’t want to send her, but Papa Smurf made us.

For those of you that did not have the pleasure of seeing Thursday's show you can watch the song being performed below:

The barrel organ which took centre stage behind Sieneke also became a topic of amusement amongst TV viewers. Supposedly a symbol of Dutch culture, it was something that failed to appeal to the rest of Europe (and I suspect most of the Netherlands too).

Cornald Maas, the Dutch equivalent of Terry Wogan, who presents the Eurovision show in the Netherlands, put the failure of the song to reach the final down to the presence of the barrel organ (amongst other things). Twitter lit up with comments about putting the organ on Marktplaats and what a shame it was there was no one walking around with a tin to collect money. Not a bad idea in hindsight - it could have helped Sieneke get by as she considers her next career move.....

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