Eurovision Eurovision 2023 Netherlands

Netherlands 2023: Online meeting with Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper

Today ESCplus had a conversation with this year’s Dutch hopefuls, Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper, who are going to represent the Netherlands with their Eurovision entry “Burning Daylight”. The interview was with multiple other Eurovision reporters, but knowing ESCplus we had the chance to ask all the question we had written down, because that is how we are, always on top of things for our followers!

The interview being with not just our ESCplus reporter, Denis, but with multiple reporters also meant that we could not record a video of the interview, so we made a transcript which you can read below.
Source: Official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel, Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper – Burning Daylight (2023)

The interview

ESCplus also has a Spanish language Eurovision blog, and as we know Spanish-speaking countries do like their fair share of melancholia, at least more than countries in the north. The Netherlands has sent many melancholic songs to the Eurovision Song Contest over the years. Why is that? Do you have an explanation for that?

Mia: “Well, the Dutch are taught from a very young age to dust ourselves of and try again when things go sideways. We are not known for being very emotional, we like to stay down-to-earth, and as we say in the Netherlands: “act normal, that is crazy enough”. There seems to be a shift though, because it is very natural to let your emotions find its course every now and then, it is even healthy, and from situations that are rough you can learn a lot. This message is also the moral of our song, “Burning Daylight”, it is about being in a rather difficult situation, but digging your way out of that hole, and becoming the you that you are supposed to be, free from the opinions of others, and all sorts of things that hold us back in life from reaching the goals we really want to achieve, are important things.”

Dion: “Yes, we do have to find our own way in life, and that comes with emotions we need to deal with; the Dutch seem to tap into those emotions more and more, and that matter also found its way into modern (Dutch) music, so I do believe that this is why the Dutch send quite emotional songs to the Eurovision Song Contest, it has become part of their culture.”

It is good that you have an explanation for all the Dutch melancholia in Eurovision, but as long as it serves us in the contest, we should be cool with it, right!

Both of you, Mia and Dion, have quite the social media presence, so talking about emotions, even the difficult ones, do you read the comments of the Eurovision fans online? And if so, what do you think of these comments?

Mia: “Yes, sometimes I read them, but these days I am too busy to read them a lot, and if I do, to care too much about them when they are negative. The Eurovision Song Contest fanbase is a very solid and strong one, and at the end of the day you can never please everyone; so yes, I did read some very negative comments, but we still have to perform in this year’s contest, so I need to focus on that, and turn the haters into lovers, and let’s be honest here, haters are going to hate no matter what.”

Dion: “The Eurovision Song Contest seems to be really fun, but it is also a bit of pressure cooker, since the fans are divided over such a huge territory, and knowing that a number like 200 million people watch this music event on all sorts of media, it is very hard to come up with something that everybody likes, which also means that in this day and age people will write negative, or even very negative, comments on social media; it comes with the territory. My parents send me all sorts of newspaper and other types of articles, so they shelter me a little from all negative outings concerning Mia and I.”

Absolutely great that you have that support system in place, and that your parents try to block you from harm when it comes down to Eurovision, and let’s be honest, there is no better refuge from harm than with your own parents.

Talking about the public eye, can we expect like a grand live performance of the both of you before Eurovision takes place, for example, in a Dutch TV show? S10 did this last year with her song, “de Diepte”, she performed it live during a grand performance in a popular Dutch TV show (the performance with the red lasers and a live band in a Dutch TV show called “Matthijs Draait door”.)

Dion: “Well, nothing is scheduled regarding live performances on TV in the Netherlands, but it is both because we are very busy with all the preparations for Liverpool, and also because we want to surprise the Eurovision audience, we want to take them into the story of the song at the time it is the most important, so we want to keep our Eurovision performance under cover. But no, there are no grand live performances on Dutch TV planned for now.”

Ok, so we just have to wait and see, and you know anticipation is killing us, but absence of information makes the heart grow fonder, let’s just leave it at that, right?!

So, you learned that it is not good to immediately give all information at once when it comes down to Eurovision, what else did you learn from your Eurovision experience up to now?

Mia: “I learned that I need to trust the process, and that there is a flow and a way of going about things that you can either do rapidly or you can take your time, and you need to put trust in the situation that it will all come together, which in the end comes down to trusting the process.”

Dion: “There is nothing really that I can add to Mia’s answer, because it is true, you need to have faith that it will all come together. We have a great team behind us that helps us a great deal, we have a recent winner, Duncan Laurence (2019), and his fiancé, that know a lot about the industry and how Eurovision works, so we put trust in this team and in ourselves, and there is really nothing more that we can do. We need to trust the process.”

Cool, we are totally here for the Eurovision ride of you guys, and of course we hope that the process will turn out just great.

Talking about the process, and keeping faith, what are the first memories of Eurovision of the both of you, and was competing in Eurovision a dream come true for you both?

Mia: “My first memories of Eurovision date back to 2009, when Alexander Rybak won the contest in Moscow with the song “Fairytale”. I was so mesmerized by his performance, and immediately started googling him, because I wanted to know all there was to know about him. In 2009 I watched the contest together with my best friend, who I know since I was four years young, and when I was asked to compete in the contest last year, my best friend just stared at me for quite a while, totally flabbergasted that I was going to be in the competition that stole my heart 14 years ago.”

Dion: “At my parents’ there was always a lot of music, on the radio, records would be played, there would be music on television, and the Eurovision Song Contest was just one of those events that we would watch and loved. I do not necessarily have one song that absolutely did it for me, there are more, but just that feeling of togetherness, is what my first memories about Eurovision are.”

Mia and Dion, thank you so much for answering these questions. We can see that a lot of thought and care has gone in the song, there seems to be natural chemistry between the both of you, and now we are more than ready to see how you will on the grand Eurovision stage. Thank you, and best of luck in the upcoming months.

Eurovision 2023

The Netherlands’ Dion Cooper & Mia Nicolai will perform 14th (of 15) in the first Semi-final on May 9th 2023.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place on May 9th, 11th, and 13th 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. 37 countries will compete for the crown. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be a joint venture, since last year’s winner Ukraine cannot organize the contest on home soil because of the ongoing war with Russia.


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