For the first time in Eurovision history the contest was cancelled last year. This has been a big disappointment for everybody, specifically for the organizers and the singers. The Dutch have been waiting over 40 years to host win the ESC again and then it will be cancelled, the frustration must have been high, but all efforts and energy have being put into 2021. But on the other hand it’s fully understandable and unavoidable to protect all participants in a pandemic situation.
The Dutch representative Jeangu Macrooy from last year has been granted to perform in 2021 as well. Not every singer from last year has that opportunity.
Jeangu Macrooy was born in Paramaribo, Suriname in 1993. In the age of 13 he received a guitar from his parents and Jeangu started to make music. Together with his twin brother Xilian he founded the group Between Towers. After two years at the music conservatory in Paramaribo he wanted to immigrate to the Netherlands to finish his studies. His first single “Gold” was released in 2016. By now Jeangu has released three albums, one EP and various singles such as “How Much I Love You” which was also a hit in Suriname. Jeangu went on tour within the Netherlands and in Europe.
The music style of Jeangu is modern soul that could witness last year’s entry “Grow” as well as this year’s song “Birth Of A New Age”. Nevertheless, these two songs can’t be compared, as the 2021 entry is totally different. It’s more gospel and has a kind of oversea atmosphere. There is also a strong ethnic influence from his Surinamese roots, with the choir and drums. The song has a certain climax and good vibes, but does not reach the quality of last year’s song, unfortunately. “Birth Of A New Age” is about resilience and the dawn of a new era:
And they poisoned your ground Your rhythm is rebellion They burned your heroes at the stake But your voice will echo all their names This ain’t the end, no! It’s the birth of a new age Yu no man broko mi
The phrase “Yo no man broko mi” means you can’t break me. Maybe this can also be seen as Jeangu’s story as a gay man in Suriname, who did not want to live there anymore. He moved to the Netherlands, where he can be himself and is accepted as he is. Jeangu can be taken as a good role model for young Surinamese people, as homosexuality is still a taboo in Suriname.
The host country’s entries do sometimes have it hard to shape up well, we have seen in the past that despite of the quality of the song, the host country’s songs came last. Maybe it’s due to the fact that people don’t vote again for the host country.
Top 10: 27
Chances for Top 10 placing: 44%
Chances for Final: 47%
In 2019 the Netherlands could write ESC history, achieving the fifth victory since 1956. All thanks to Duncan Laurence, who brought back the contest to the Netherlands. With his stunning ballad “Arcade” he can now step into the footsteps of Corry Brokken, Teddy Scholten, Lenny Kuhr and Teach-In. The last victory is more than 40 years ago, when the fancy group Teach-In could win with “Ding-A-Dong”.
Hence, the Netherlands do still belong to one of the most successful ESC countries, with five victories in the early decades of the ESC: “Net Als Toen” by Corry Brokken in 1957, “Een Beetje” by Teddy Scholten in 1959, “De Troubadour” by Lenny Kuhr in 1969, “Ding-A-Dong” by Teach-In in 1975.
Since the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 the Netherlands participate on a more or less regular basis. There have been certain years when the Dutch broadcaster NOS decided to withdraw and the private channel AVROTROS took over. For this year’s ESC in Rotterdam all three major broadcasters would have been responsible: AVROTROS, NOS and NPO.
Over the years there were 27 Top10 places for the Netherlands that means that the chances to get a Top10 place in the Grand Final are approximately 44%, which is a relatively good chance compared to other countries. Since the introduction of the Semi-Finals in 2004, the Netherlands struggled to qualify for the Grand Finals. In the past fourteen years there were only seven qualifications. Thanks to Anouk in 2013, the interest in the ESC has increased a lot again. She brought back the enthusiasm for the Eurovision Song Contest and made a respectable 9th place in the Grand Final in Malmö. One year later The Common Linnets were able to top that and reached the phenomenal 2nd place with only 52 points gap behind Conchita Wurst from Austria, the Netherlands were very close to victory. Since then The Common Linnets started an international career and their songs are being played in all radio stations.
Photographer, Journalist, Editor
About me: My first Eurovision I watched was in 1987, Brussels. Since then I am following the ESC with great enthusiasm. The greatest fascination for me is the fact that the entire Europe is watching the show at that specific night. Since 2010, Oslo I am a member of the eurovisionlive.com team. I had the chance to witness the second German victory with Lena. My biggest wish would be to have the orchestra back, as it used to be until 1998.