TROS, the Dutch broadcaster, has confirmed that the 3Js, a band from Volendam in northern Holland, will fly the Dutch flag in Berlin.
Schooled in soft rock and armed with an acoustic sound, the group isn’t exactly edgy: 3Js stands for members Jan Dulles, Jaap Kwakman and Jaap de White. Even so, the 3Js represent a sharp turn from Sieneke, the country’s 2010 rep (and a part-time hairstylist). Her carnival-themed performance to Ik Ben Verliefd went down well with fans in Oslo, but had viewers at home reaching for the remote: she finished a disappointing 14th out of 17 countries during the second Eurovision semi-final, and Sweden’s Anna Bergendahl cited Sieneke as the contestant she’d least like to become. Meow!
Officials clearly hope to put that behind them. “With this choice, we stay close to our roots and appeal to a broad audience,” TROS director Peter Kuipers said on July 16. “The 3Js sing in Dutch, but have an international sound and a broad fan base to support them. Most of all, they are great musicians, and I am convinced they will do great in Germany next year.” During a live radio show this morning, one of the three Js (Wiwi can’t tell them apart!) explained that they’re competing because “It’s about the song again.” Wiwi takes this as a swipe at Sieneke and her quesitonable staging in Oslo, which featured a circus backdrop flanked by two clowns.
All y’all fans of the democratic process needn’t fret over the internal selection. The 3Js will produce five songs before the end of the year and the public, along with a professional jury, will vote for the song they’d like to hear in Berlin.
To give you a sense of what they might cook up, here’s the group singing “Watermensen” (Water People), which reached #7 in the Dutch charts in 2008.
Wiwi prefers “Geloven In Het Leven” (Believe in Life), which peacked at #9 earlier this year.
What do y’all think? Will they fare better than Sieneke? Do you think it’s wise of officials to bypass the public and choose their candidate internally? And which one is Jan?