Dutch Eurovision hopes rest with “three minutes of pure joy”

Joost Klein rehearsing Europapa for Netherlands. Photo: Corinne Cumming EBU

Dutch eyes will be on the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden on Thursday night as Joost Klein, in his blue suit with giant shoulder pads, takes to the stage with his song Europapa.

Following Tuesday’s first semi-final, the Netherlands has gone down the list of bookie’s favourites and is now the sixth or seventh favourite to win the contest, with Croatia still narrowly in the lead. 

Broadcaster NOS describes Klein’s song as “three minutes of pure joy”, complete with a dancing bird and a host of fast-moving images, while the Telegraaf says it is “instant fun”. 

Europapa is not what the viewers are used to from the Netherlands during Eurovision, NOS pointed out.  The Netherlands last won Eurovision in 2019 when Duncan Laurence sang a haunting ballad called ‘Arcade’. Last year’s entry failed to qualify for the finals. 

Klein was selected from more than 600 entries to represent the Netherlands and the number was described by the selection committee as “a hit that can take over Europe”. 

“It’s a kind of letter to my father,” Klein told tv presenter Arjan Lubach during an afternoon edition of his popular evening show. “He taught me that the world has no borders.” Klein lost both his parents as a teenager.

Europapa will be broadcast at around 10.30 pm on Thursday, as the fourth entry in the second half of the contest. 

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