Dutch song contest expert and committee member, Cornald Maas, has stated that he almost quit Eurovision as a whole based on the backlash the Netherlands experienced concerning their 2023 entry, Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper with their song “Burning Daylight”.
The 2023 Eurovision season got a negative connotation for the Netherlands when Duncan Laurence’s protégés, Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper, were chosen internally by a commission to represent the Netherlands with the song “Burning Daylight”. Mia and Dion raised eyebrows for all the wrong reasons during their pre-party performances in Madrid and Amsterdam, where they sang their entry without any tonal consistency. Eventually they got it right during their Semi-final 1 performance, but the harm was already done, and the Netherlands ended in 13th place (of 15), thus not making it to the Grand Final for the first time in 8 years.
Song contest expert and committee member, Cornald Maas, has stated that he thought about quitting the song contest as a whole because of the backlash the whole ordeal evoked. In the same statement he mentioned that the criticism of the Dutch media, which really came for Mia, Dion, Duncan Laurence, and the selection committee, lasted way too long and that this matter really got to him. Eventually really quitting was not an option for Cornald Maas, because he loves the contest too much to do so.
Backlash in the media
The backlash that many of the parties involved in the Dutch internal selection got was beyond reasonable, especially in televised showbiz entertainment and on social media. Maas stated that it even came so close that his family became part of the backlash. Next to this, not all the news was based on truth, which meant that all sorts of wild stories emerged in the press. Even Dutch public broadcaster, AVROTROS, was obliged at one point to say in the press that some of the criticism was right, but not all of it, and Stage Director of the 2023 and 2019 Eurovision winner, said that he experienced a lot of anxiety and self-doubt because of Mia & Dion’s entry.
The Netherlands chose to do things different when it comes down to Eurovision 2024: Twan van de Nieuwenhuijze was asked to become the Head of the Dutch Delegation and the new chairman of the selection committee.