Dutch Eurovision entry eliminated in semi-finals for the first time since 2015

The Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was eliminated in the semifinals on Tuesday. Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper did not generate enough votes from the viewing audience to advance to the final round, making it the first time that singers from the Netherlands will be absent in the finals since 2015.

The Dutch duo’s performance was the fourteenth of the evening out of 15 acts in total, with viewers in the competing countries allowed to vote on their favorite performer. Ten of them qualified for the finals, including Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Finland, Czechia, Israel, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia and Norway.

Malta, Latvia, Ireland and Azerbaijan were the four other countries eliminated on Tuesday. Loreen, who won Eurovision with Sweden, was pegged as the favorite to win, followed by Finnish act Käärijä. The latter also features Dutch dancer Jesse Wijnans.

Prior to the live performance on stage in the Liverpool Arena in England, Nicolai and Cooper were seen roller skating around Zaandam in an introduction video. Just before the live show started, Nicolai and Cooper said they were very excited to take part in the event, despite the heaps of criticism they received for several off-key and lackluster performances of their song, Burning Daylight.

The song was revamped in recent weeks as a result, with the duo working intensively with singing coaches. “We are now really seeing all the hard work become a reality,” Nicolai earlier in the evening. Cooper added that the criticism brought them even closer together.

Trijntje Oosterhuis was the last Dutch performer to miss out on the Eurovision finals. Douwe Bob advanced the following year, as did OG3NE, Waylon, Duncan Laurence and S10. Laurence won in 2019, bringing the following competition in 2021 to the Netherlands, where Jeangu Macrooy automatically held a spot in the finals.

Nicolai and Cooper had not met before being brought together for the Dutch entry, in a partnership that also included former Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence as a producer and co-writer of their song.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom were already assured a place in the finals, as was Ukraine, the reigning champion from last year’s competition. Another 16 countries are set to take place in the second semifinal on Thursday. Ten of them will also be picked for the final.

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