Monty’s Eurovision Countdown Part 26 – Netherlands

Despite enjoying some recent Eurovision success 2023 was not a happy one for the Dutch entry. The song not only lacked domestic support, but the inexperience of the performers was also openly criticised, and the Duncan Laurence-penned song failed to qualify. Fast forward a year and Europapa couldn’t offer a more different prospect.

This song is in your face. The video has comic elements and musically it turns from jaunty Europop to 90s happy hardcore, forcibly grabbing your attention. You can’t take your eyes off Joost.

I admit I didn’t know what to make of this on first hearing and viewing of the video. It seemed to be a song about Europe, but were its stereotype references lauding it or taking the piss?

I’ve had to delve deep into this one to grasp it. I now know it’s inspired by his late father, and the values he instilled in him to see the world without borders and revel in its diversity. Joost doesn’t need to understand everything about Europe to love it, particularly through what seems to be his joy of visa- and passport-free opportunities afforded by Schengen.

The paternal bond is echoed through a reference to switching on the radio and hearing Stromae’s hit Papaoutai, a song that also references the father and son relationship (and a song and artist I adore).

10 pointsEven while I was doing the research the song had got into my head, and I find that whilst on the surface I may have discounted this as a novelty entry there are far more enjoyable layers to it. I’m so intrigued to see how it will be presented, and whether this is the real successor to Käärijä most of the 2024 pretenders have missed.

 

Photo: Ruud Janssen/EBU

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