All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.
The Dutch national selection final will kick off on the evening of Saturday, September 28, 2019, as two young hopefuls and two groups compete for the honor of representing their country at Junior Eurovision 2019 in Gliwice-Silesia, Poland.
As with Russia’s recently completed national selection, the votes will be 33% adult jury, 33% kids jury and 33% Internet voting. The legendary Edsilia Rombley, who represented the Netherlands at Eurovision 1998 and 2008, joins Kaj van der Voort and Tabitha on the adult jury, and last year’s Junior Eurovision representatives, Max and Anna, are on the kids jury.
However, what did the editorial team at ESC United think? Who do we think has the best shot of victory in Poland on November 24, 2019?
We have let #YOU know, and #YOU can vote for your favorite in the poll below!
Here are our scores and opinions of the four songs up for consideration.
6Times – “End of Time”
Connor – 6.5 – “This is one of those happy good-feel songs that we hear a lot of in JESC and I sort of like it, but I really was hoping for a bigger build to this song. Like in verse two there is a bit of a beat shake up, but it’s the same vocal cadences over and over for 3 minutes. They really missed a prime opportunity to do some awesome harmony work. If this had a more developed or evolving track under it or more full harmonies I might be swayed to rank it higher.”
David – 1 – “Well, that sounds… boring. I’m just giving out my personal opinion about the song, and I’ll definitely not being listening to this until the end of time. I even yawed maybe 3 or 4 times, dunno since the song got me sleepy. I mean, is this aimed towards kids??? It’s almost like a lullaby ballad, and if it’s a ballad, then you most likely just don’t get my support.”
James – 6 – “Oh great, it’s OG3NE times 2, or Wilson Phillips times 3 (or does Wilson Phillips = 3 women?). Don’t make me do the Mathematics outside of my day job! The singing style may be divisive, but this song is sweet and the switch between Dutch and English is seamless. This is what you expect from a slickly produced Junior Eurovision song, even if it is not exactly pushing the boundaries of originality (the shadow of a Dutch entry half 6Times size looms here).”
Melanie – 4 – “Please give a prize to whoever put these girls together in a girl group. It’s hard to find voices that fit together, let alone that you find 6 girls where the voices match so well. The harmonies are really beautiful in this song and I really hope they can deliver them also live. Because to be honest, the song itself is quite boring and just too sweet. Some parts really remind me of “Samen” from Max & Anne from last year’s Junior Eurovision and they didn’t do well in the end either. So I don’t think that The Netherlands should follow the same path as last year and choose 6Times as their representative.”
Roy – 6 – “The best thing about this song is that it is very easy to remember. After the first minute, you can basically sing along to the rest of the song with ease. For adult Eurovision, this would not be the best idea, but I feel that this is actually a very smart idea for Junior Eurovision. The song doesn’t do that many spectacular things, but it is pleasant to listen to and I do think that it could finish in a decent position if it were to be chosen.”
Sean – 6 – “This is an intriguing blend of Dutch and English that I have not heard before, so this certainly makes the song a lot more interesting than it would probably deserve to be. It’s a well produced ballad with a pleasing structure but it’s a bit too sweet for me and it’s just not really my type of thing.”
Total = 29.5 (Average = 4.92)
Mannes Bakker – “Let me Sing”
Connor – 8 – “This is another cute song, and Mannes has the better of the two solo songs for the selection. The middle section with a “clap with me” vibe I wasn’t keen on, but that’s a classic staple of the contests these days. I appreciate that this track (unlike 6 Times) is simple and pure, because that’s what they lyrics call for. They found that perfect balance between simple and an evolving song.”
David – 1 – “Bro, I’ll let you sing, just please don’t sing this song for me. The English lyrics alone just makes this entire song so cheesy and those cliché lyrics, come on man. I’m struggling to pay attention to any of this, somehow I even find it hard to believe that it’s a kid with this kind of song.”
James – 5 – “Mannes, you are way too young to be doing nostalgia in your video with your own baby and child photos! And what’s with the call to “let you sing”? AVROTOS gave you this platform. Boom! You’re singing! The song you want to sing! Asinine lyrics aside, the composition and arrangement as it stands is not that interesting. The bare bones are begging for a gospel touch, especially at the bridge where he is inviting you to clap. And the aesthetics of the video suggest they were leaning that way, but held back. Well Mannes, if you want to sing, don’t hold back.”
Melanie – 4 – “I think this song has the best lyrics of the 4 songs competing in the Dutch national final. He has a beautiful voice and I really wanna pinch his cheeks. The song start strong, but it’s a little bit too repetityve. The “Let me sing” parts just dominate the song too much and not in a good way. I just don’t know if this song is a ballad or that he wants me to sing along with the song. The songwriters would be better off if they chose one direction instead of both. Mannes delivers with his voice, so please give him a better song next time.”
Roy – 3 – “Mannes has a decent voice that could probably carry a ballad that is way more interesting than this one. I must give him credits about the fact that he doesn’t sing about topics that he doesn’t have a clue about yet. That and the fact that he has a decent voice are the only 2 real positives about this entry. I have listened to a live performance of him and I am certain that he will perform this just fine, but the song just does nothing for me. It is a simple ballad where nothing ever really happens. I do think that he has a decent chance at winning since he has quite a lot of (junior) fans, but for me, this is definitely not a winner.”
Sean – 4 – “What are these cliché lyrics? Considering Mannes didn’t write this song there shouldn’t be any excuses for adults being a little more creative with the lyrics. Focusing on the song, Mannes has a charming personality and helps sell the song with conviction, but he deserves something stronger than this.”
Total = 25 (Average = 4.17)
Matheu Hinzen – “Dans met jou”
Connor – 6 – “This song starts of very good, the verse is fun and catchy. However, the chorus is a bit of a dip in comparison, I sort of expected a little bit more because of that great lead in from the bridge… but it’s just the same thing. Matheu also has a very appealing vocal tone. It’s a safe song, because overall there’s nothing awful about it, but I’m not sure it’s the one. ”
David – 6 – “What a shame, I would’ve preferred if this was actually sung without any English lyrics. I believe in Matheu, he seems like that kind of kid that has the charisma and style which can bring him far, and his style goes quite well with the song. We aren’t exactly speaking about a banger of a song, but something just feels right about this one, which makes it rather enjoyable.”
James – 6 – “I identify with Matheu’s cocky lil’ persona in this video a little too much, which is a problem for a contest such as Junior Eurovision. Now I do understand Dutch’s red headed stepchild language Afrikaans enough to be able to pick out that this song is not quite appropriate for kids. In a way the lyrics are appropriate for a young man coming to grips with growing up in that he realizes he has the urge to dance and hook up, but there’s parents, therapists and friends to deal with that. Do us old fossils need to hear about it at an international song contest? Anyway, if I was 13 this would be my jam, as it is a fun upbeat dance song. As I am currently quite a bit older than that, I have to shout “send in the chaperones!”
Melanie – 6 – “Can someone please tell me why 13 year old boys are singing about meeting girls in a club at night? He’s not allowed to enter a club in The Netherlands, so why is he singing about it? It just really distracts me from the song and that’s too bad. Because the beat has so much potential. It’s a fun upbeat song, Matheu has the star quality, but the lyrics just make me wanna cry.”
Roy – 4.5 – “I am not going to lie, this one is kind of tough for me to judge. I am Dutch myself so I can understand his cringey Dutch lyrics perfectly fine. He is very young, yet he sings about love and going to the club. I do get that foreigners will probably not be able to understand that to the extent that I do, but it will mean a points reduction. The Netherlands is going for something generic this time around so it is not a surprise that this song doesn’t do much for me either. I respect the effort, but not the best in my opinion.”
Sean – 8 – “This is more like it, at least we have a relatively modern-sounding song and something a bit more suited to its artist. I can see this becoming a bit of an ear-worm, I feel myself bopping along this one and it would surely pick up the points in Gliwice. All it needs is a strong live performance, although I’m not sure of Matheu’s previous performance experience. Hopefully he can do it justice!”
Total = 36.5 (Average = 6.08)
Moves – “Make your Move”
Connor – 9 – “I think this would actually make a pretty interesting entry for the adult contest, and so I was really surprised to hear this one. What I really enjoy about this song is the fact that every section is different. The verses are a different beat structure than the chorus, but they put it over an ostinato piano chord progression. These kids can sing that’s for sure, and this song will be fun live. I feel ask if this has the best shot to be internationally loved by the children of Europe. Catchy, energetic, fun, everything you’d want in an entry.”
David – 2 – “This just sounds like a complete cluster, like… make my move? Then my move is to avoid this song, I struggled to listen to this, because it’s just all over the place. High pitch voices and low deep voices, 2 boys, 2 girls, all of this in a song that ain’t even 3 minutes. There is just too much going on for me.”
James – 6 – “It’s slick. A little too slick. Like I’m expecting to find a John 3:16 sneakily pop up in the live staging for a millisecond. Even if they did do that I wouldn’t necessarily care as this is a fun, harmless pop song. A little too much processing though, so I am curious to see how they pull this off live.”
Melanie – 9 – “This is the kind of song that will make you dance from the very first minute. The bridge really built up well and then the drop kicks in. It’s something that we see a lot in pop songs these days, but not really in songs aimed at children. The mix of English and Dutch is used in a very clever way in this song and for the first time it doesn’t bother me. This song is fresh, it’s fun and I really think that it would be real contender for the win in Gliwice. And to be honest, I think this also would be my jam if it was published in my younger days.”
Roy – 6.5 – “My biggest issue with this song is that I am very uncertain on how this will be performed on stage. The drop is in a very awkward melody and it doesn’t pop out that much. It is basically a continuation of the melody, with a chopped up voice added to it. This could make for a very awkward performance if they can not figure out how to stage this song. It will probably require a lot of camera shots to all four members (on the ooh’s possibly) to make it work in my opinion. The song is catchy and more than decent, but I am very afraid how the live-performance will be. A cautious 6.5 from me.”
Sean – 7 – “Another decent song with a great production, although I feel that the overall package is perhaps slightly weaker than Matheu’s song. The Dutch have a great talent for producing dance tracks so it’s only been a matter of time before something like this showed up in a national selection, just a shame the final execution could’ve been a little stronger. Will they make it work live? That’s my main concern.”
Total = 39.5 (Average = 6.58)
So after reviewing all four entries, here are our rankings by total points. And it’s Moves (or M*ves or however the kids are spelling it) who win our poll with “Make Your Move!”
- Moves – “Make Your Move” – 39.5 (Average = 6.58)
- Matheu Hinzen – “Dans met jou” – 36.5 (Average = 6.08)
- 6Times – “End of Time” – 29.5 (Average = 4.92)
- Mannes Bakker – “Let me Sing” – 25 (Average = 4.17)
Now that you know our opinions, who do #YOU rate as the Netherlands’s best and deserving of a plane ticket to Gliwice? Make sure to vote in our poll below and we’ll reveal your favorite ahead of tomorrow’s show!
Who do #YOU like at the Netherlands’s national final? Outside of JESC, do any of these young artists impress #YOU? Let us know in the comments below, on our forum or on social media!