Maxim: The Eurovision performance by the Dutch contestant was a musical low point
Fourteenth place in the semi-final. That’s as far as the Dutch contestant Sieneke got in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was won by German singer Lena. Critics claimed that Sieneke didn’t stand a chance against the modern English songs most countries presented. The Dutch entry was written by Pierre Kartner, who is known as Father Abraham and for the Smurfs song. It was labelled as old-fashioned and lacking in international allure.
“I agree with the maxim – it was an absolute low point”, says Wim Vluggen, leader of the University Choir. “I find the level of the Eurovision Song Contest to be generally low. Some songs are okay, but there’s a difference between good music and a nice song. Good music stays with you. If you ask anyone on the street if they can remember a Song Contest number from the last ten years, I think the answer will be no. Those songs all sound the same; they have the same easy structure and smooth arrangements. The only reason I watched the contest is because I also teach at a high school and want to keep up to date.”
Marjolein Bax, presenter of the student radio show The Faculty on Maastricht FM and third-year Arts and Culture student, disagrees. “I think Sieneke did well. Her singing was good and she was the only one of the female performers who didn’t wear a sexy dress or look sensually into the camera. I also think it’s good that the song was in Dutch. The people who complain about the Song Contest are usually the people who don’t watch it. It’s not my taste either, but I feel you should respect that taste differs. If people like this, then let them be.”
And from Tom Rooth, who arranges the performances for the Inkom: “I seriously don’t understand why a country like the Netherlands, which has a lot to offer in the field of music, would send a singer who has been plucked from some fair accompanied by a couple of mime players and a barrel organ. Who would I have sent instead? I don’t know. I think it’s best if the Netherlands never enters again. The average quality of the performances is really poor. Besides, it’s a put-up-job anyway.”