The Netherlands crashed out of the Eurovision semi-finals for eight straight years — until Dutch diva Anouk captured the hearts of Europe with “Birds” in 2013. Since then the Dutchies have enjoyed a Eurovision renaissance, qualifying every year except for 2015 and even reaching second place in 2014. Talk about a turnaround!

Now that Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS has confirmed their participation for Eurovision 2018, it seems like a good time to let producers know your favourites from recent years. Perhaps your opinions will help steer them in a certain direction.

Below you can review each of their acts from 2013 onwards. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

Anouk – “Birds”

Ninth place with 114 points

Oozing sophistication and a film star persona, rock chick Anouk ended the Dutch curse at Eurovision with “Birds”, which featured a haunting melody and a brilliant arrangement. From gloomy verses to the sunny expanse of her LED, the Netherlands landed in the Top 10 once more. That marked her country’s best outing in 13 years. Perhaps best of all: Anouk did it on her terms. Those of us on the ground in Malmö remember that she spent her free time watching horror films in her hotel room and hanging with her kids — not repeatedly practicing or engaging in over-the-top PR.

Ahead of Eurovision 2013, she also won with the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals. Wiwiblogger Bogdan couldn’t contain his excitement. As he wrote at the time:

“‘Birds’ is, unquestionably, one of the best things to come out of Eurovision in recent memory. Even if it doesn’t win, frankly I do not care. I am happy to have been introduced to a rare Eurovision song that surpasses its condition. ‘Birds’ is not only a wondrous melody, it’s not just a series of gorgeous lyrics, it’s poetry; it’s art in one of its purest forms. I only hope that Anouk will also be in top form at Eurovision and that she will blow everyone away with a fittingly memorable live performance of her killer song.”

The Common Linnets – “Calm After the Storm”

Second place with 238 points

The Common Linnets — a project led by Ilse DeLange — continued Anouk’s high standard. But they also set a new benchmark for future acts with their second-place finish, the country’s best result since 1975.

A tranquil country song, “Calm After the Storm” created atmosphere from the very first note. But prior to seeing the staging, many felt the song was a bit too calm to make an impact. A few weeks before the Eurovision semi-final, the bookies had The Netherlands way down as 21st favourite to win.

But in Copenhagen things really came to life. Ilse and Waylon unveiled truly intimate staging that saw them staring into each other’s eyes as the camera circled, and as the floor transformed into a giant road. It had soul, spirit and romance, leading them to win the first semi-final. They ultimately finished second behind Conchita Wurst in the final.

Their success seems to have confirmed the belief that two is better than one. The next edition of Eurovision was filled with duets, including Elina and Stig (Estonia), Uzari and Maimuna (Belarus), Monika and Vaidas (Lithuania), Mørland and Debrah Scarlett (Norway), and Maraaya (Slovenia).

Trijntje Oosterhuis – “Walk Along”

14th place with 33 points in the Second Semi (non-qualifier)

Trijntje Oosterhuis and her song “Walk Along” crashed out of the semi-final in 2015, owing partly to lacklustre staging and a questionable Ali Baba-inspired stage costume. Even so the lady of soul revealed that she has no regrets about her Eurovision experience – including swapping her provocative first dress for a bizarre parachute pants number that secured her the worst dressed award for Eurovision 2015.

Ahead of the contest, and well before any of her staging had been revealed, Trijntje finished eighteenth with the Wiwi Jury. Her powerful voice — along with the song’s catchy hook — had many hopeful she would advance.

As wiwiblogger Angus wrote at the time: “‘Walk Along’ might lack the punch necessary to win in Vienna but there’s still enough juice in the tank to clear the Semi-Final. The ‘way-ay-ay-ay’ hook is a real earworm and unlike most of the performers this year, Trijntje has experience and well-honed stagecraft on her side. Represent.”

Douwe Bob – “Slow Down”

11th place with 153 points

Rip it up and start over again. Following the country’s early exit a year earlier, Douwe Bob re-wrote the formula with “Slow Down” — a vintage track performed on top of a giant LED clock.

Douwe sang about stepping back and looking at the bigger picture – love and respect…not your smartphone – in a world where everything moves so fast. Slaying his classy navy suit and strumming his guitar, Douwe embodied charm and class. It was like watching a really quality band at your local bar. In fact, he decided to open his own bar back home after Eurovision. From Stockholm to Amsterdam, this man keeps the party going!

Europe loved Douwe Bob…though not as much as wiwiblogger Edd. As he wrote as part of the Wiwi Jury:

“Call me crazy, but this sounds like the winner to me. It’s very evident that Douwe Bob is a true artist, and that ‘Slow Down’ is a timeless track. Not at all the kind of song you’d expect to see at Eurovision – in fact, it’s not even the kind of song you’d expect to be released as a single. Instead of trying to be explosive and super emotional, he’s giving a relaxed, melancholic vibe. And what a beautiful thing it is.”

O’G3NE – “Lights and Shadows”

11th place with 150 points

Dutch trio O’G3NE unveiled their Eurovision 2017 song “Lights And Shadows” through a Facebook live broadcast, immediately drawing comparisons to Wilson Phillips. But they managed to pull their number firmly into 2017 with some daring costumes and a very emotional backstory that cuts across time and generations. They dedicated their Eurovision 2017 performance to their mother, who was continuing her brave battle against cancer.

As pitch perfect as always, O’G3NE slayed their harmonies amid simple staging. They proved that less can be more and managed to arouse plenty of emotions, as when they displayed the figure of a woman — no doubt a fighter — across the stage. LED candles conveyed life and remembrance in one fell swoop.

Sadly Isolde Vol-Malee — the mother of the O’G3NE sisters — passed away at the age of 47 in July. It’s a tragic coda to a breathtaking performance.

So there you have it. Five years, four qualifiers, one runner-up. But which act is your favourite? Vote below and then sound off in the comments section.

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MoN
Guest
MoN

I have to say i felt like Edd in 2016. “Slow Down” sounded like a winner to me. Douwe has a great voice and he is so damn charming. He should’ve been at least in Top 10.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Anouk, hands down. Who knew that a rocker could sing the way she did in Malmö? That song, full of nostalgia, is quite probably responsible for the recent victory of Salvador Sobral, with his own brand of nostalgia in “Amar Pelos Dois”. I did not even pick her to make the top-half of the board before that contest; but after listening to her twice on that stage, she was my number 1.

SW
Guest
SW

1. Anouk (my 6th in 2013)
2. The Common Linnets (my 5th in 2014)
3. OG3NE (my 9th in 2017)
4. Douwe Bob (my 8th in 2016)
5. Trijntje Oosterhuis (my 22nd in 2015)

People saying the Netherlands is overrated do not know good music. They are basicly fans of Spain and Switzerland with their cheap popsongs.

Rasda
Guest
Rasda

Thanks from The Netherlands <3

My top 5;
1. O'G3NE
2. The Common Linnets
3. Anouk
4. Trijntje Oosterhuis
5. Douwe Bob

It's very hard to rank! I like all songs! Especially my first and second!

kenna
Guest
kenna

‘Birds’ is the best out of all of them; objectively, but my heart goes to ‘Calm After The Storm’ too. I like Douwe, and the other two are “meh”.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I’m not a big fan of the last three entries The Netherlands has sent (2015-2017). My big fav would be The Common Linnets – “Calm after the storm”, but I also like a lot Anouk – “Birds”.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They’re all great songs, but Lights and Shadows is my fave.

beccaboo1212
Guest

And to make matters better, O’G3NE is going on tour this October! 😀

beccaboo1212
Guest

Amazing news: O’G3NE finally resumed their career! 😀

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

The Dutch have done well by not copying the usual Eurovision formula, so they could stick to the slightly alternative route for 2018.

Bart
Guest
Bart

In my opinion the most important thing for a Dutch entry is to stay true to their own style of music and aesthetics. Whether I agree with the chosen artist or not, I do not agree with throwing everything you are as an artist overboard because it’s Eurovision… Trijntje did exactly that and suddenly pretended to be a edgy looking pop singer. She is a soul-influenced pop diva, but apparently didn’t have the confidence to be herself. Douwe, The Linnets and OG3NE did. They can be proud because they stayed true to themselves, no matter what everybody had to say… Read more »

olvresc
Guest
olvresc

I’ve never been a fan of the Dutch entries.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Would Kensington change your mind if they get the call from AVOTROS for 2018? I’m pretty sure they are more than capable of turning the place inside out. 🙂

Colin
Guest
Colin

They had four good songs since they’ve hit the qualification streak and this time the qualification record speaks for itself. In 2013 and 2014 they easily could have won, 2016 was great and 2017 grew on me a lot too.

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

I liked them all except for 2015’s “Walk Along,” but 2016’s “Slow Down” creeped me out when he had his silent interval and did too much “eye sex” with the camera. Haha.

The Netherlands have really hit something with Anouk (which is surprising since Joan Franka could have done something similar, but just had not as good a song), and somehow have been able to maintain/tweak the formula to various degrees of success. Luckily they even have artists in line wanting to participate, which is the result of having… well, good results.

Napaw
Guest
Napaw

2014. I love Conchita like everyone else but “Calm after the storm” was the best song of that year and one of the best songs overall. It’s being played on radio until this day.

The Anders
Guest

That’ll have to be “Birds” which is my 3rd favourite Eurovision song of all time – only behind “Alle mine tankar” (Norway 1993) and “Dansevise” (Denmark 1963). It’s a very poetic song with gorgeous chord changes and a moody atmosphere.

But “Calm After the Storm” is a fantastic song too, and it is in my overall top 10 as well 🙂

The Anders
Guest

Moreover it represents everything I want the contest to be about: True art with musical and lyrical depth. It’s these relatively few stick-out songs that make me care about the contest.

kenna
Guest
kenna

Wait… are you ‘Pumpestation Vest’?

The Anders
Guest

Yes I am 🙂

Alex
Guest
Alex

Definitely the Common Linnets. Anouk, Douwe Bob and O’G3NE all had top-quality performances as well. Trijntje just did not have a song on nearly the same level.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Keep it up and don’t follow eurofans’ instructions if you want to continue doing well.

Xaxa
Guest
Xaxa

Exactly!!!

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

2014 HANDS DOWN! That’s a song I will remember all my life, because my opinion has completely changed from the reveal of the song to the Eurovision final. When I listened to the studio version, it was the most boring song I’ve listened to that year. There was nothing I liked about it. However, the semi final performance was a Eurovision winner performance. They managed to get the whole atmosphere in a beautiful country setting. The direction was also beautiful. Everything about this song was suddenly so great to me! P.S.: I didn’t think they have inspired more duos to… Read more »

Stan
Guest
Stan

Common Linnets. The others I don’t listen to anymore. In the nineties, the Dutch were even better than now. Ruth Jackott and Edisilia Rombley delivered some true ESF classics! Bring those days back 😉

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

As a Dutch I love All these entries, and I’m not biased. I can be proud of My country at Eurovision again, we did bad.

Jo
Guest
Jo

You should be.

jet charter
Guest
jet charter

~~~Salvador – A man singing about unconditional love, soft music. Luisa knew why this song should go to her brother, because is more intense for women to hear a man singing that way. Shock = women vote too.
~~~Anouk – Dark waltz about suicide.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@toinousse I think Anouk should have done way better with the staging. They should have translated the Black Swan-concept of the video to the stage. Instead she just stood there, and the macabre darkness of the song didn’t really come across. Salvador could carry that with his weird charisma, no one knew what the song was about anyway, but Anouk couldn’t. The Common Linnets got it exactly right, both song and staging. Since then we’ve lost the thread a little. Douwe Bob is a good artist, O’G3NE are superb vocalists, but their songs weren’t all that. Trijntje can really sing,… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Douwe Bob. ???

Toinousse
Guest
Toinousse

I just don’t understand why Anouk did not win and Salvador did. It’s basically the same formula (I tend to prefer birds personally)

Stephan Dosantos
Guest
Stephan Dosantos

Excatly what i thought!

Desfolhada
Guest
Desfolhada

The structure is different, Amar Pelos Dois has more instrumental parts than Anouk. It’s more “sad” and this the why the people cry with song. Anouk was extremely underrated by televoting. Amar Pelos Dois is more breathable with instrumental parts. And singing in a different language makes the song more interesting. Calm After The Storm has a long instrumental intro, and instrumental part on middle of song (guitar solo), they were well scored by televoting. Birds by Anouk and Blackbird by Norma John are amazing, It isn’t a score that will determine the quality of a song. How school grades… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Given the songs I have heard from the last 10 years of Eurovision, Maybe Anouk didn’t win because that brand of nostalgia hadn’t been tried in a very long time. You can almost certainly bet that Luísa was watching the 2013 contest, and thought that, if a song worthy of a pre-1970 contest could place that high, maybe she could come up with something with that kind of nostalgic appeal. Surely enough, she did, to the approval of a boatload of 12s. @Desfolhada: A few years ago, someone else suggested that maybe the contest should simply be a music festival,… Read more »

Desfolhada
Guest
Desfolhada

@CookyMonzta
I have a pretty sure that Luísa didn’t saw ESC 2013. The song Amar Pelos Dois, was never thought as a formula in fact. It is pure music, she when she competed with her brother to the National Final was with the purpose of presenting her “unknown” brother in Portugal and with a song in which both were proud. Luísa has nostalgic songs, try to listen the her album (The Cherry On My Cake).

It’s not a bad idea at all, it could be a way to pick a host country with less salty tears.

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

2015 is my favourite out of these songs, but even then it’s still lacklustre to me.

Since 2013 from all the songs that qualified Netherlands is almost consistently in my bottom 5. This year was the only year they escaped my bottom 5 just due to how much I loathed a lot of the qualifiers.

I’m hoping they do something a bit less country/Christian pop next year

jet charter
Guest
jet charter

country/christian…it’s interesting that the genre country is linked with religion and this is why some people hate it. It’s an interesting point of view.

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

I wasn’t necessarily linking the two genres but there is definitely some crossover between the genres.

I was trying to say 2014 and 16 were country and 2017 sounded like a Christian pop song.

Áustria
Guest
Áustria

All of them are fantastic, except for “light and shadows” which is likeable at best. Netherlands are my number 1 of the last five years:
2013>2015>2014>2016 >>>> 2017

Desfolhada
Guest
Desfolhada

2014 > 2013 > 2016

Netherlands/folk please send country songs every year!

Maria
Guest
Maria

My country, yay! My favourite is Douwe for sure.

thespb01
Guest
thespb01

2014, the others were all fairly overrated.