Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper have come under fire from various parts of Dutch media ahead of their appearance at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool next month.
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Fans and media shredded Eurovision preview party performances. Yesterday, former child star Jan Smit announced a parting of ways from the Dutch Eurovision selection committee after ten years. Some reports suggest he was the sole voice against the selection of Nicolai and Cooper – which was presented in a press release as having been unanimous.
To make matters worse, Eric van Stade, the director of AVROTROS told Dutch press bureau ANP that the return to using a national final to pick a Eurovision song “is not unthinkable.” This came after he was interviewed on an evening chat show and called criticism of the duo ‘justified’, adding ‘we have deliberately let them practice and have seen things are not yet going well … the creative team is working to get the vocals right”.
‘Burning Daylight’ co-writer Duncan Laurence took to social media to announce he was delaying the release of new material to focus instead on Eurovision.
AVROTROS later tried to pour oil on troubled waters with a statement admitting Smit resigned in November 2022, calling it a ‘personal decision’. Smit will still give commentary for all three Eurovision 2023 shows on NPO 1, together with selection committee member Cornald Maas.
After a run of poor Eurovision results, the Dutch switched to an internal selection in 2013. It has resulted in eight qualifying songs – including a second place – and their first victory since 1975.
Current odds on a Dutch victory are as low as 200/1.