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Saturday, 28 April 2012 22:00

The Netherlands: Reviewing the song 'You and Me'

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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: Eurovision.tv for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Last modified on Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:23