The Netherlands is one of the founding members of the Eurovision Song Contest, and so was there for the very first contest in 1956. In fact, the first ever song performed at the contest came from the Netherlands. The Netherlands always participated with the exception of two occasions on the 4th May (National Remembrance Day) and two occasions when they had to stay home because of too low a result.
The first years were very successful for the Netherlands, with wins in 1957 (Corry Brokken) and in 1959 (Teddy Scholten). There would be two more victories, in 1969 (when Lenny Kuhr with De troubadour was one of the four tying winners) and in 1975 with the group Teach-In and the famous Ding-a-dong.
Since then, there have been no more victories. The Netherlands still organised the 1980 edition of the contest (because Israel won for the second time in a row but couldn’t afford to host the contest again). Although they won a position in the top five a few times, the results overall went downhill. The 'big drought' occurred between 2005 and 2012 when the Netherlands never managed to survive the semi-finals.
That changed in 2013 with superstar Anouk’s decision to take part. She came ninth and paved the way for other big names to join. Since then, the Netherlands has only failed to reach the final once, and their best position to date was the second place finish for The Common Linnets with Calm after the Storm (2014).
The Netherlands supplied the first participant in the contest of Asian origin in 1964 (Anneke Grönloh), and the first black participant ever (Milly Scott) in 1966. Furthermore, Corry Brokken is the only Eurovision artist who came both first (1957) and last (1958).
(T: Jade Metcalfe)