November 21, 2019

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In Malta, the weather has been somewhat playing about noting that there has been a sudden rise and drop in temperatures in the same days but nevertheless, fans of the Eurovision Song Contest will be anticipating yet another programme of Radio International tomorrow night with some of the most prominent tracks from the history of the competition alongside with fresh material and exclusive interviews which will shed light on careers, experiences and projects which might be in the pipeline. The Team of Radio International is back this week and would like to invite to join the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. The Show is broadcast on 106.4FM and Digital Cable 41 in The Netherlands and also on the internet through the official website where it will be web-televised as well.  As has been the case for the past couple of years, the programme will be airing from 2000 till 2300 CET tomorrow evening.

On this weeks' edition of Radio International, it seems that the focus is on the exclusive interviews which are being brought to you following specific events which are taking place across the continent and involving several stars of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first is actually with former winners; Bobbysocks whose victory in 1985 with the track La Det Swinge remains to be the first out of three victories for Norway in this showcase. They were present during an event organised by The Toma Fund of Newcastle alongside a number of performers such as  Linda Martin, Johnny Logan, Bobbysocks, Anne-Marie David, Scott Fitzgerald, Scooch, Josh Dubovie  Nicki French and Black Lace amongst others. This particular event was set to raise money for children suffering from cancer.

Nevertheless, back to the OGAE party in Sweden, an event which saw the likes of Glen Vella, Sinplus, Joan Franka, Birgitta Haudkal, and Lys Assia perform. Two particular acts who have represented The Netherlands in the past were also present and thus were interviewed. The performers who go by the names of Esther Hart and Joan Franka seemed very content to be present at the showcase. Esther Hart was at the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 with the song One More Night reaching thirteenth place in Riga whilst Joan Franka went earlier this year with the song You and Me in an American Indian outfit. Unfortunately, although a fan favourite - failed to qualify for the Grand Final in Baku. The interviews dealt with a number of issues although their careers came in full focus hence why we would like you to tune in.

In the meantime, another intriguing aspect is surely the upcoming edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on the 1st December. The event will be staged within the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam and will be featuring twelve countries; Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine. The showcase will be televised in each of the participating nations along with Radio International who will be present during the event conducting interviews with the young performers which you can hear in the shows following the competition. Junior Eurovision Song Contest requests are now being welcomed by listeners and viewers of the show. In fact, all music request are encouraged. The contact link could easily be found on the official website which has already been linked above. Remember, there is also the weekly music quiz, with the chance to win some great prizes.

Sweden have had quite the history in the Eurovision Song Contest, having only failed to make it through to the final only once, that coming in 2010 when Anna Bergendahl had performed the track This Is My Life finishing in eleventh place. The Scandinavian country won the competition five times kicking off with ABBA's Waterloo in 1974, followed by The Herreys ten years later in 1984 with Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley. Then with Carola in 1991 when she won with Fangad Av En Stormvind before more success continued in 1999 as Charlotte took the honours with Take Me To Your Heaven and of course most recently in 2012 noting the Loreen victory with Euphoria. Apart from these successes, Sweden has managed to finish in the top ten on a large number of occasions becoming one of the most notable nations when it comes to the event. Make sure to tune into the programme tomorrow night to witness all of the happenings live as soon as they are broadcast in The Netherlands. Stay tuned to who will be bringing you all of the latest news about the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in the coming hours, days, weeks and months. 

Source: Team of Radio International

For the very first time in seven years, The Netherlands held an open national final in order to select their entry and their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest and they appointed one of the most respective television producers; John De Mol to conduct the whole showcase. It seems that things turned out to be quite positive with some 2.3 million viewers tuning in to watch Joan Franka and her track You and Me win the Nationaal Songfestival amounting to some 30.6% in terms of viewing share. The songs which were presented during the selection were somewhat representative of a variety of music styles and were thus respected by the viewers, the international panel of judges and also the well known individuals from the Dutch music industry including the likes of Afrojack.

Joan was not thought to be the favourite heading into the competition with Raffaella and Pearl whose entries Chocolatte and We Can Overcome presenting songs which would have both proven to be superior noting their successful effort on the national charts. In a recent interview with John De Mol gave on the VIOranje talkshow on RTL, which is one of the main music channels in Germany with subsidiary channels in a number of countries, it was stated that the changes that took place in this years' national final will remain in 2013 with himself alongside the company TROS taking care of the production. It will be interesting to see whether the end result could better the disappointing fifteenth place achieved this year. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news as soon as it comes in.

Source: RTL, Oikotimes, TROS,

One of the countries that has not been lucky in the Eurovision Song Contest since the introduction of the semi-final system has surely been The Netherlands who have only managed to get through this hurdle on one occasion, being back in 2004 when their entry entitled Without You ended up garnering a disappointing result in the finals of that years' edition held in Istanbul, Turkey. Since then the outlook has been bleak and in recent years, they even changed their broadcasters in an effort to bring back a fresh sound. For this years' edition of the music competition, they went for a huge national selection which was professionally organized by John Del Mol, known for creating hit shows such as The Voice and in the long run, Joan Franka and her track You and Me ended up being the final.

Joan Franka is not a complete newcomer to the music scene actually having participated in her nations' version of the ever popularity growing competition known as The Voice although she did not win finishing as the runner-up. The track that she is presenting in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is being staged in Baku, Azerbaijan is one which she wrote with Jessica Hoogenboom and despite being an underdog in the final and even failing to garner the most amount of jury votes at last part of the selection process, she managed to convince the viewers that she was the choice. Our team in Baku including Juergen Boernig and Eric Lehmann caught up with the performer prior to the first dress rehearsal and spoke to them about the experience.

Source: Juergen Boernig, Eric Lehmann

Published in Interviews

Ell & Nikki with their song Running Scared secured a victory for Azerbaijan for the very first time back in 2011 and therefore, all of the participants will be heading onto the Eastern nation to competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The capital city, Baku is the one hosting and our critics have been quite busy preparing their verdicts on the respective tracks. There are a number of songs which have been coined as sure qualifiers along with others who are on the marginal scale it seems. The latter category is one which fits in perfectly with The Netherlands who will this year be represented by the upcoming performer Joan Franka and her song You and Me written by the artist herself alongside Jessica Hoogenboom.

Joan Franka was born in Rotterdam on April 2, 1990. She has a Dutch mother and a Turkish father, who sadly died when she was two years old. She’s not fluent, but has a smattering of Turkish. As a child Joan was fascinated by theatre, poetry and music. Together with her sister, who is two years older, Joan wrote musicals and played them at every birthday and party. The duo called themselves J & N, and the Spice Girls were their biggest source of inspiration. Joan has always been passionate about her music. That’s why, at age six, she knew she wanted a musical career. “I didn’t even know if I could sing. I just thought: I want it and I’m going to do it.”

Joan was 17 when she first performed. In 2010 Joan was scouted to take part in The Voice of Holland. After much deliberation she decided to take part. She chose coach Van Velzen. It was her first introduction to the entertainment business. During the programme producer Holger Schwedt (a member of Van Velzen’s Dream Team) promised to record an album with her. Holger submitted the song You and Me for the National Song Festival in 2012. Having received most of the public vote she beat the five other contestants to win the National Song Festival on February 26. It was the first time the audience heard a song Joan Franka had written herself.

“You and Me” tells the story of a childhood memory, in which she often played “Cowboys and Indians” with her first boyfriend. That’s why she wore an Indian-style dress and headdress during her performance to add lustre to her childhood memory. The headdress was made in a bridal shop. There was a lot of fuss about her dress and headdress. In the media too her outfit got a lot of attention. And Joan got a lot of spontaneous and positive reactions to her song on radio and TV. And not just in the Netherlands. Portugal, England and Turkey have also shown a lot of interest in Joan Franka.

Joan Franka is greatly looking forward to taking part in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. She’s proud to be representing the Netherlands in Baku in May 2012. Joan wrote the song You and Me together with Jessica Hoogenboom, a frequent guest at Holger’s studio. “Holger suggested I write songs with other people too. When I first met Jessica I was sure I knew her from somewhere. After five minutes I found out we woke up in the hospital next to each other the year before! We were both operated on our vocal cords and woke up laughing. Since that day we often write together and have become good friends.” Besides music Joan also writes poetry and paints regularly. She deals with her emotions by writing both songs and poems. Inspiration often comes out of nowhere. She likes being creative, including with her wardrobe.

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

Magnus Kaxe

  • A Native American dressed girl singing an Irish Folk tune. The female singer has good charisma skills and sings a humble, lullaby song. Unfortunately, the song is far too boring and simple to get my attention. The only thing that stays with me is the terrible stage outfit. I do not think such a song will cut it ultimately, three (3) points from me.

Marion Welter

  • Here I am back again...Joan Baez! A mixture of campfire mood and country style. The contest has often surprised us and this is surely not a bad song therefore, who knows what will happen. From my end, I will give this track four (4) points because there was something interesting which struck a chord.

Tobias Larsson

  • The fancy-dress-gone-horribly-wrong apart, this number never develops into anything greater than the shadow of a song. Could have made a positive difference, but it has no spice and the horrendeous falsetto finally ruins the whole thing. Unfortunately, two (2) points are more than enough.

Entry Background

Performer: Joan Franka

Composers: Joan Franka & Jessica Hoogenboom

Author: Joan Franka

Song: You and Me

Language: English

Broadcaster: TROS

History of the Nation

The Eurovision Song Contest has been taking place since 1956 and since then, there have only been a handful of countries who have returned each and every year. One of the countries to be participating each and every time is The Netherlands, a country which has been declared winner on four occasions, the first of which in 1957 with Corry Broken and Net Als Toen, then in 1959 with Teddy Scholten and the song Een Beetje followed by Lenny Kuhr with the track De Troubadour in 1969 and last but not least in 1975 when the group Teach-In swept the board with the song Ding-A-Dong. Unfortunately, since the introduction of the semi-final system, they have no achieved too much success with fan-favourite entries such as My Impossible Dream and On Top of the World falling short in the semi-final. Last year, they had to endure their first last place finish since 1968 as the 3Js took to the stage with Never Alone.

Source: for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Published in Editorials