Picture: AVROTROS

We had to wait for two months, but Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS has announced its method of selecting the country’s Eurovision 2024 bid. In a statement on Wednesday morning, the Netherlands’ broadcaster stated that it has opened submissions as well as that it has appointed Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen as the country’s new Head of Delegation.

After the Netherlands’ first non-qualification since 2015, many were critical about the way how Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS selected their act. Some accused the broadcaster of nepotism while others doubted the broadcaster’s selection of two relatively new and experienced acts. 

Following a media storm which caused more harm than good, press and fans were vocal about letting a national final return to the country. The last time the Netherlands chose through a national final was in 2012 when the Dutch televoters stood firmly behind their choice for Joan Franka

Netherlands to use internal selection for Eurovision 2024

However, on Wednesday morning, AVROTROS announced that it would stick with holding internal selections. Notably, this time, the public broadcaster is more transparent about its way of selecting the entry. 

It notes amongst basic Eurovision rules that the contestant selected has to be available flexibly between December 2023 and May 2024. Another change is that songwriters can submit a song without an artist attached to it and AVROTROS might pair the track with a performer. 

A selection committee will select a handful of hopeful to progress to a further round. In this further round, artists will be invited to perform their song live and “discuss the eventual further trajectory” for their bid. This seemingly new step was likely added after Dion Cooper and Mia Nicolai admitted in talkshow Khalid & Sophie that they had never performed the song live in front of an audience prior to the pre-parties in Amsterdam and Madrid. 

The submission deadline is set on 30 September, while the Dutch “strive” to select their song in December.

Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen new Head of Delegation

Former three-time Head of Contest Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen has been appointed as the country’s new Head of Delegation. He will lead the Dutch’s logistic effort into getting their entry to Sweden. 

Originally an editor on various Dutch talk shows, Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen became noteworthy in the Eurovision community after he stepped in as Head of Contest during the 2020 and 2021 song contests in Rotterdam. Noted for his flexibility and enthusiasm to develop each entry to a perfect performance, he was reinvited to be Head of Contests during the Turin and Liverpool editions. 

Opting for Twan as the Head of Delegation seems like a natural choice. If there were one person from the Netherlands knowing how the contest functions from behind the scenes–it’s him. Twan said: 

“I’m proud of the request from AVROTROS to lead this challenging and unique project. I am looking forward to create a strong and pursuasive entry for the Netherlands with the knowledge and experience I have gained in the past few years at the Eurovision Song Contest.”

AVROTROS CEO Eric van Stade has meanwhile announced that he is giving away his seat on the selection committee to Twan. 

It’s currently unknown who will be on the committee, which had an image of relative closedness. Traditionally, a small group of industry professionals—in recent years six—decided on the fate of the few hundred applicants. In the light of the Netherlands’ non-qualification, the committee was criticised over its composition and members received personal threats.

This year, AVROTROS promises to shake up the committee and to add new members. 

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Bettie
Bettie
5 months ago

They should have changed the whole selection committee. But they completely ignore the wishes of the Dutch viewers, ILSE DE LANGE knows what she is doing, why isn’t she involved?

Thallo
Thallo
7 months ago

The Netherlands constantly brings quality acts, De Diepte is one of my favorite Eurovision songs of all time. Not every year can be perfect, and we saw that with Mia & Dion. I have no doubt that the Netherlands will be back on track in 2024.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
7 months ago

The Netherlands needs to send a performer that was involved heavily with the writing of the song. We need a change, one that puts the Dutch on the map, because they have the potential to be an absolute POWERHOUSE with the right songs. The Dutch should go for a catchy High bpm banger this year. We’ve had our plethora of slow songs over the years!

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago

they’ll go for yet another depressing slow song though

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

“De Diepte” doesn’t sound that slow while “Slow Down” is certainly far from being depressing.

Bettie
Bettie
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

I’m pretty sure they won’t, I sincerely hope Rondé , Goldband or Direct will participate, but we shall see..

Sandra
Sandra
7 months ago

That’s why I think they should send Goldband together with singer Maan, their song Stiekem is fantastic!

Mieke
Mieke
5 months ago

Joost Klein started a campaign in the Netherlands, he wants his song to be picked, in that case I’m not worried about the bpm’s. He’s btw very popular atm among youngsters in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suisse, Austria and Germany

MartyMcCu
MartyMcCu
7 months ago

Burning daylights is an excellent song. Its just wasn’t the year for this type of song. Too much negativity from the fans, complaining they could not sing. On the night they nailed it and they sang well together. With such a low score, my only negative comment , or advice, never send a song with a line in it or lyrics about God/religion. It just wont work across Europe. `reference to the line: ‘I don’t believe in God anymore’, ‘Cause where did she go?Interpretation of this is not believing in God and making reference to God as a ‘she’. Im… Read more »

BiCHOTA
BiCHOTA
7 months ago

Honestly, this doesn’t even sound different at all, the only difference is the HoD

BiCHOTA
BiCHOTA
7 months ago

Man, I didn’t expect the Dutch to be mad about this, but this just reminds me that distrust on institutions in the Netherlands is at an all time high

BiCHOTA
BiCHOTA
7 months ago
Reply to  BiCHOTA

Not that I complain about this, idk what’s exactly going on there, just that Rutte’s term has been disastrous

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  BiCHOTA

Who’s Rutte?

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago
Reply to  BiCHOTA

a revamped nationaal songfestival would’ve been a better way to go after Mia & Dion’s flop and our music scene has really improved compared to recent past years, we don’t only have joke acts like Sieneke, De Toppers anymore especially our nederpop scene is very strong again, Flemming for example who combines dutch language with 80’s synth pop vibes and a cool uptempo sound, from my province Brabant too and i’ve seen no topic on Regio Songfestival yet? a new eurovision inspired idea we have this year for first time here, all of our provinces competing against each other with… Read more »

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

I would say Sieneke was a joke act’.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
7 months ago

*wouldnt

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago

Sieneke was a joke act, with some outdated stench of a song from the notorious Pierre Kartner, an insult to dutch music

Frisian esc
7 months ago
Reply to  BiCHOTA

I don’t think dutch people are mad about this decision. There’s just been one person wjo has wrote 10 comments under this article.

claude
claude
7 months ago

Congratulations to Mr van de Nieuwenhuijzen! I’m sure he will do a great job. I quite liked the song burning daylight but I can see why they’d opt for a different method. However Mia and Dion did a much better job live than everyone thought and the song was lovely.

NoMoreEscAddicted
NoMoreEscAddicted
7 months ago

LOL! The guy who gives a good running order to his country and to Sweden and Italy each year, a big LOL, a big big LOL. Conflict of interest as its best.

Samira
Samira
7 months ago

Going ahead of Finland was NOT a good running order

Maria
Maria
6 months ago

S10 had a fantastic spot in the final, not

Andy
Andy
7 months ago

My personal top 3 wishes for #NL are : Davina Michelle , LAKSHMI , Sophia Kruithof
Btw why don’t you post wishlists anymore ? I loved those.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago

will be the one with the most connections who gets chosen here

hypocrites talking like ”its all about the song, not the artist” that is not true

lots of corruption here in Netherlands, it becomes time for us to finally withdraw out of the contest for good

stommie
stommie
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Hi Nicky

Nikita Zhukov
Nikita Zhukov
7 months ago

Hopefully a new chapter in Netherlands’ ESC journey The only post-Duncan Dutch entry I could truly get behind was De Diepte, still madly in love with the song and how the Dutch language sounds in this This year’s song made me feel like Netherlands pulled a Cyprus and tried to copy their most successful entry Meanwhile, Cyprus has completely changed direction and gave me my most played entry of the summer so far, still loving Break a Broken Heart I kinda want Netherlands to go all out and start experimenting like Switzerland or Moldova Give us something memorable, unique, historic… Read more »

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago
Reply to  Nikita Zhukov

last chapter in Netherlands’s ESC journey hopefully, only a waste of money this nonsense popularity contest

Bettie
Bettie
5 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

What are you doing here when you think it’s nonsense?

johanleekens
johanleekens
7 months ago

They announced that all committee members will stay (except for those who already announced their departure), but new members will be added. I do think up-tempo songs have a very good shot this year for the Netherlands, since they probably want to show their change of course in the final decision as well (it would be weird to send a slow country-like song after all of this, even if it would be the best)

Bettie
Bettie
5 months ago
Reply to  johanleekens

If it’s the best they should send it no matter what.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
7 months ago

They should have tried with a national final. And I hope Netherlands will finally send an upbeat song next year.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

they’ll never select a uptempo song lmao

another depressing sad ballad i think

Thomas
Thomas
7 months ago

As a Dutch person, the result isn’t the problem for me. It’s that we have not been involved in our entry AT ALL in those past 10 years. To the point where most of our artists are completely unknown to the majority of the Dutch public both before and after the contest, with the exception of Duncan. Every single year the entire country goes “who?” when our artist is revealed, and seemingly everyone forgets about them the year after. The music industry argument is also pretty stupid in my opinion. If Belgium can get a top 10 result from a… Read more »

Maria
Maria
6 months ago
Reply to  Thomas

Klopt geen bal van, duncan, S10 Jeangu, ik zie ze best vaak langskomen, denk niet dat iemand ze vergeten is.

Karl
Karl
7 months ago

OK. But keep the song in Dutch, please.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 months ago
Reply to  Karl

Marco Borsato with ”dutch balkan ballad” entry, composed by legendary John Ewbank

our very own sort of Zeljko Joksimovic <3

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
7 months ago
Reply to  Karl

The best song in the selection should represent The Netherlands, doesn’t matter which language.

Bettie
Bettie
7 months ago
Reply to  Karl

some artists announced they are interested in competing, even some rappers who sing in Dutch, we will see