Esther Hart wins Dutch ticket for Riga

by Jarmo Siim 289 views

On a very exciting night, Esther Hart won the final of the Dutch final of the Nationaal Songfestival 2003. Her song One more night let Gordon's I'll be your voice far behind.

As support act before the Dutch final, a number of former participants were invited: Michelle, Linda Wagemakers, Marlayne, Maxine and Franklin Brown joined on stage. Alltogether they brought the audience a spectecular medley of their Eurovision Song Contest songs.

55,000 people televoted by telephone, 30,000 submitted an SMS to vote for their favorite. After the show it appeared the SMS votes were not counted yet during the final result, but when the results came in afterwards, it appeared that it could not affect the final result anymore.

Esther Hart – 170 pts (33% of the public votes)
Before, during and after Esther's performance, there was almost an ongoing applause. Her performance of One more night was without trouble and the jury was very positive. Jury head Cornald Maas took the time to tell the televoters that this was the best song for Riga.

Gordon – 124 pts (20% of the public votes)
Before the performance of I'll be your voice, host Loes Luca took the time to talk to Gordon's mother. When she told that she has eight children, Loes said “wow, can you still sit?”. During and after the perfect performance there was some boo-calling in the audience but the majority of the public was enthousiastic, just like the jury. Jury head Cornald Maas said: “forget that Gordon is a famous personality here, in Europe they don't know him. Vote for the song, not for celebrity”.

Arwin Kluft – 102 pts (23% of the public votes)
The performance of Turiddu was, just like during the preselection, excellent. Jury member Corry Brokken was so enthousiastic about his performance that she called him “my hero” and said that “this is the perfect song for Riga”. The light during the performance was very special and the audience was enthousiastic about the performance.

Ebonique – 67 pts (10% of the public votes)
What was supposed to be a big revenge – the three ladies ended up second in the Dutch final of 2001 – became one big disappointment. Juryemember Edsilia was enthousiastic about the clothes, which reminded us to the clothes Afro-dite wore last year during the rehearsals in Tallinn.

Mango Nuts – 31 pts (3% of the public votes)
A catchy opener of the evening. With a magaphone one of the singers took the attention of the audience. The jury had different opinions on the song and the performance.

Mary Amora – 28 pts (3 of the public votes)
Their stylist came from Paris, the performance was perfect. It was not enough for a victory. But Mary Amora's dream to perform in Ahoy' came true! The jury was divided. “It was the best song of the first preselection, but not tonight”, Seth Kamphuis said.

Bert Heerink & Manou – 25 pts (7% of the public votes)
Boo calling from the audience, applause when the jury came up with negative critics and singer Bert Heerink was clearly not amused! A catchy, well promoted song was clearly not the favorite song of the audience… at the venue and at home!

Zooom – 13 pts (1% of the public votes)
The three Zooom-girls changed some elements in their song. Jury head Cornald Maas said he had “28 nights to think about it and nothing changed in his mind about this song unfortunately”. Again some boo calling and another negative jury comment…

Host Loes Luca, performing as her character Nenette, told the televoters that the Netherlands usually selected the worst song and gave the advice to “think very carefully”. During the voting, Gordon told that he was already doing his exercises for his victory reprise, which appeared to be unnecesarry after all.

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