Jeangu Macrooy wiwibloggs interview

It will go down in history as the song contest that never was. But just as fans wonder what could have been at Eurovision 2020, so too do the artists. And that’s the case with the Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy. 

In a recent interview with our William, the “Grow” singer tells us that he “might” have won this year’s edition, if certain things had fallen into place.

Could Jeangu Macrooy have won Eurovision 2020?

While Jeangu wasn’t necessarily high on the bookie or fan rankings at the time of cancellation, there was a certain amount of support bubbling under for the home entry. This was particularly so after the singer delivered a sublime acoustic performance of “Grow” on DWDD.

So, we asked him straight out — did Jeangu think he could have won Eurovision 2020 with “Grow”?

The unassuming singer’s first response was to laugh. But after a moment of consideration, he outlined a potential path to victory.

Firstly, it’s all about creating a feeling and connecting with the audience.

“Well, let me put it like this. I think, at the end of the day, it’s about what you feel… if something gives you a feeling. And I think this song was all about that. I also believe that it’s a very universal theme”.

Jeangu explains that this is what happened on the “Grow” music video shoot. All the participants were ordinary people rather than actors. And all of them were touched by the song, sharing their own experiences and struggles.

And while Eurovision is a song contest on paper, Jeangu is well aware that there’s much more to a winning entry.

“With all of the plans we had for the staging and the way my team worked on it and we were all on the same page, I do think that if I performed on the 16th and put everything — my heart and soul — into it, it might have transcended to Europe. And, yeah, I think I might have won”.

He adds, “but we’ll never know. Maybe next year”.

Eurovision staging

On the staging, Jeangu says that it would have been quite simple and intimate.

“It was going to start very intimate and very small — as if you’re sitting in the room with me while I was writing it the first time. But also the end is quite euphoric and hopeful. So, that was going to be a steady growth in the way the visuals developed and I wanted really the end to be this explosion of optimism and hope”.

Jeangu Macrooy — Eurovision 2020 Interview

In the almost 36:00 minute interview, Jeangu touches on a multitude of topics — from his youth in Suriname to the moment he came out in the Netherlands. All the main talking points are listed below along with their respective timestamps.

00:00 – Intro

01:00 How are you coping with lockdown?

02:25 Tell us more about Suriname — what should we know?

03:35 Does Surinamese culture influence your music today?

04:55 How did you view The Netherlands when you were a kid?

06:22 Jeangu has a twin!

07:17 What prompted the move from Suriname to The Netherlands?

08:39 “Off of the plane and out of the closet”

10:15 How did the freedom of being out impact your music?

11:10 Where were you when you found out Eurovision 2020 was cancelled?

12:51 Where were you in the creative process? Did you have your ESC 2020 staging ready?

13:30 “The live performance is when the magic happens for me”

13:50 DWDD live performance

14:45 What was the starting point for writing “Grow”

17:00 What struggle motivates the song — was it a mental health issue?

18:30 Getting personal messages from fans

19:05 How did you get the invitation to sing at Eurovision?

20:24 What were your fears as a child?

22:15 Do you think you could have won Eurovision 2020?

23:55 Can you tell us about your planned Eurovision staging?

25:00 Would you have had backing vocalists?

24:20 Who are these people in the music video? Is this a real therapy session?

27:15 When were you confirmed for Eurovision 2021?

28:20 Will this songwriting experience be different now that you know you’re going to Eurovision

29:20 Will your 2021 song be similar to “Grow”?

30:30 Acoustic live performance at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam

31:55 Live performance in Rotterdam Ahoy as it was being converted to a hospital.

33:20 Could you sing a little bit of your song?

Are you excited for Jeangu’s 2021 return? What kind of song do you hope he brings? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all of our Netherlands Eurovision 2020 news.

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yodenman
yodenman
4 months ago

Is anyone from the Wiwibloggs team going to post a response to the Shine a Light show. Considering that was the official EBU show I am really surprised that there hasn’t been any reaction from the team. I am very interested in your opinions. Also on a different theme. Does anyone think that the contest was cancelled a bit too early. Here’s flights starting up again. Many countries with very low rates of the virus. If it was knocked back to October or November I genuinely think it could have been a success. No audience but still everything else would… Read more »

GIOLO
GIOLO
4 months ago
Reply to  yodenman

Unfortunately, we have JESC in autumn.

TomLeebFan
TomLeebFan
4 months ago

Nonesense. The song is not bad but we all know France would be the winner ! The most beautiful voice, singer and song ! It’s so un-fair that the EBU wont give us our rightfull title ! Tom Leeb would have won !

Fionn
Fionn
4 months ago
Reply to  TomLeebFan

Are you mad?

Ashton
Ashton
4 months ago
Reply to  TomLeebFan

sure, jan

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago

This is a really good song and one of my favourites this year. While I do think this could’ve broken the curse of the host country finishing bottom 5, it wouldn’t have won.
This could’ve come top 10 with the juries.
But it wouldn’t do well with the televote.
I think they would get around 120 points from the juries
And around 25 points from the televote.
That’s a decent score!

yodenman
yodenman
4 months ago

Like a lot of others I actually prefer this over Arcade. I just didn’t get the hype over that song. Having said that I don’t think this song would have done particularly well. If you can please watch the unofficial final which has both juries and a public vote. I won’t give a spoiler alert but let’s say that the result is quite an eye opener.

1TruSeer
1TruSeer
4 months ago

There was more chance of Hungary or Montenegro winning 2020 than this chap

Vita
Vita
4 months ago

Lithuania is the winner!!!

Maurice
Maurice
4 months ago

LOL don’t make me laugh….besides the song not being televote-friendly, the likelihood of the same country winning two years in a row is extremely low and hasn’t been done since the ’90s (when the contest had fewer countries competing and a completely different format).

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
4 months ago

It was a nice song and the juries would’ve liked it but I couldn’t imagine the public (apart from Belgium) giving it any points, but I guess he has so say that he could’ve won.

Monica
Monica
4 months ago

He’s delusional, his song was a crap

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

I believed in him.

Ah man, it would’ve been sweet like Gala Atari…who won the song contest for Israel — “WHEN THE SONG CONTEST WAS ALREADY IN ISRAEL” 😀

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Or Salomé, or Ann Marie David, or Niamh Kavanagh, or Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan…

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Or Lys Assia…

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Of course, Jonas, absolutely!

I just enjoy the meme of Assi Azar mentioning, at every opportunity, that Israel won Eurovision when it was already in Israel. (That’s why I used the quotes).

*Gali Atari

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

(Casual glance at Kobi Marimi) “No pressure!”

Carina
Carina
4 months ago

@wiwi: the second video, of the live performance, is blocked in the Netherlands “due to copyright reasons”. Perhaps you could try to have it unblocked?

Mascha
Mascha
4 months ago

I don’t think he would have won, but if he didn’t believe his song was worthy of winning, why send it? I hope everybody believes of themselves that they could have or should have won

Sgf Sgf
Sgf Sgf
4 months ago

Mmm, I don’t think this would have won but rather be on the bottom 5.

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago
Reply to  Sgf Sgf

It would do well with juries, and remember Netherlands has some televote support from countries like Belgium

Jo.
Jo.
4 months ago

I think it would’ve been a solid top 10. A great song!

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago

I don’t think it would have won, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t have been a deserving winner.

Marionette
Marionette
4 months ago

Reminds me of a certain perfume commercial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddvWmdbGNN0

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago

I don’t think he would have won, but I really do hope he would have done well 🙂 His song is so beautiful and genuine

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

I mean…I had it second behind Lithuania. Still one of my favorites of this year. Juries would’ve loved it. I could even see it being a surprise jury winner in the same vein as North Macedonia or Austria. But it wouldn’t win the whole thing.

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I think it would finish top 10 with juries and bottom 10 with televoters

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

Depends on the staging. If it was more like “You Let Me Walk Alone” and less like “O jardim” I could still see televoters giving it a respectable finish.

BebeRo
BebeRo
4 months ago

Ahahajhahahaa, i am laughing…. Ahahahaha, well positive thoughts are important in life… He to won? Hahahaha this made my day

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago
Reply to  BebeRo

He wouldn’t have won, but its good to be confident

Dawid
Dawid
4 months ago

I like when they at least pretend to be humble

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

Ya!!!!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

It was in my top ten and definitely was worthy of getting a lot of consideration from juries but no, I couldn’t see this being the song that people picked up the phone for, to the point of accumulating a televote score to put it in the actual top ten.

FanESC
FanESC
4 months ago

It might have been a surprising top 10 wit juries (or even more, maybe a top 3) but it would probably have flopped very hard with televote. It would’ve ended up 10 at the very very best, but personally (and that’s juste my opinion) Ithink would’ve flopped wit both juries and televote, just like almost every song from the organizer country.

Denis
4 months ago

Confidence is important but so is being realistic. No way was this a winning song. 11- 15 at best, no more. Bit better than host entries usually do. He seems to fall in common ESC trap of thinking “it worked last year, it works this year too”. It rarely does. ..

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
4 months ago

Its a beautiful song but kinda far from winning. Could be top 15 with the right performance

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago

Exactly what I think. AVROTROS are getting a lot better at staging their entries

Wheatley
Wheatley
4 months ago

My most streamed and absolute favourite song of the year. Started high on my top 10 from the get go and on the night of Eurovision Shine a Light it was clear to me that this was my 2020 winner. Brilliant song and very impactful live. I strongly believe it would’ve done surprisingly well, sneaking into the top 5. In a year full of “out there” entries, I think the intimacy of this song would strike a chord with viewers. But then again this year had 10 songs that could potentially win, so any prediction about what could have been… Read more »

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago

I’ve heard ‘Grow’ about eight times and it just hasn’t grown on me. Also, these days the defending champions tend to have poor results. Everyone knows who were the previous year’s winners and tend not to vote for that country again. So I think ‘Grow’ would have been 2020’s ‘Home’ / ‘O Jardim’ / ‘Time’ / ‘I Am Yours’. However I am still playing all 2020 songs every day and it may yet click.

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

As usual agree Fatima

Generic Eurovision Fan
Generic Eurovision Fan
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

Or it could get a similar result to Taken By A Stranger, maybe slightly lower

Kieran
Kieran
4 months ago

My 25th place after France in my opinion. My prediction, best case scenario, Jury 15th Televote 20th.
I recon the winners would likely have been…. Russia, Lithuania, Iceland, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and if they had great staging could have gone to the countries Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Israel, Armenia

Una
Una
4 months ago

Kudos to Jeangu for his self-confidence and for believing in his song and its chances. I mean it! We’ll never know what would have happened. That being said, my opinion is that the song has very good quality, but not mainstream/everyone’s cuppa. At the same time: it’s hard to realize what actual impact it might have had for the juries and the voting public *without staging*. Veel succes, Jeangu 🙂

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago

This song is great. Televoting would have killed it but juries should have respected this.

stommie
stommie
4 months ago

Might I suggest that Wiwi uses a very clickbait headline here.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  stommie

It’s an impactful headline 🙂

Azuro
Azuro
4 months ago

LMFAO. He was clearly destined for last place possibly with 0 points. Worse than Portugal 18 and worse than Austria 15

Jofty
Jofty
4 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

Agree a 0 point contender

Adam
Adam
4 months ago

Yeeesh, I really enjoy his song and I think it had a sliver of a chance of winning but I personally find it really distasteful for any competitor to say something like that.

Carola
Carola
4 months ago
Reply to  Adam

Yeesh… It’s so distasteful for a competitor in a competition to say that he “thinks” that he “might” have won, when asked the question directly. Really?

What do you expect him to say? If he said he only wanted the right-hand side people would be complaining that he’s not aiming high enough.

He’s said nothing distasteful at all.

Adam
Adam
4 months ago
Reply to  Carola

Just my opinion, 😉

MALTESER
MALTESER
4 months ago

How delusional. He could have won yeah. He could have easily won a place in the bottom 5.

papaya jesc
papaya jesc
4 months ago

My last place

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

IMO he could have done well with the juries.

Kredential
Kredential
4 months ago

…the delusion. Even though it’s well liked now I don’t recall it being well received when it was released. It’s not a very instant song, which is not a luxury you have at ESC, especially as an AQ. Not to mention Switzerland does the same thing much better. I also doubt that given that the coronavirus situation that a song that wasn’t uptempo would win as people would’ve looked to Eurovision as a light in the darkness and the winner probably would’ve reflected that.

PuppetOnAString
4 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

Delusion? We all know everything can change in the week itself, The Common Linnets are good example of that

Kredential
Kredential
4 months ago

So you’re telling me this would have beat out the likes of Bulgaria, Switzerland and Italy, all of which are ballads and were fan and bookie favourites, and all the uptempo songs that were favourites? I think not.

Plus The Common Linnets were an exception, not the norm.

Ohi
Ohi
4 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

But this could have been an exception too. We’ll never know…

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

No one expected Portugal to do well in 2017. The thought of it actually winning was practically non-existent in people’s minds until that week in Kyiv.

Reverb
Reverb
4 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

Yes you are a very intelligent Eurovision theorist Kredential. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

Ermin
Ermin
4 months ago

The winner would have been Lithuania Romania or Germany.

Reverb
Reverb
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

Such a useful and meaningful opinion. Thanks!

Kieran
Kieran
4 months ago
Reply to  Reverb

It is because we are talking about if he could win and they are saying who would have won instead of him.

KESC
KESC
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

Germany and Romania? As much as I like these songs, none of these two could have won.