Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from NetherlandsTHE NETHERLANDS
SONG   "You And I"
MUSIC Joan Franka, Jessica Hogeboom   LYRICS Joan Franka
DRAW   #3 in the second semi-final



Despite being one of the first countries to win the contest and four victories to their name, The Netherlands has a very poor record at Eurovision in recent years and has a record breaking seven semi-final failures since 2004.

This year Dutch broadcaster TROS involved television producer John de Mol in the selection and for the first time since 2005 the entry was chosen through a multi-artist national final with a selection of potential Eurovision entries. Six acts were chosen from an open call for performers. Songs could be submitted from July to the end of September. In a rather unusual twist, a large suitcase was installed in the courtyard of the TROS headquarters for these three months. TROS invited artists and composers, both known and unknown, to put their entries into the suitcase. Participants had to submit their entries in person and had to give their reasons for entering the selection to a camera built into the suitcase. On October 1st, TROS announced that more than 450 songs had been submitted and on January 5th, TROS announced the six finalists for the selection.

The Dutch National Final was held on February 26th at Studio 24 in Hilversum and hosted by Jan Smit and the winner was chosen over two rounds of voting. In the first round the songs competed in three pairs with the winner of each head to head battle going into a three-way final. In the final a jury and a public televote chosen the winner. In a split vote, the song that came third with the jury, won the televote and consequently the public's choice, "You And Me" sung by singer/songwriter Joan Franka won the ticket for Baku.



At the age of 22, Joan Franka will represent the Netherlands in Baku with the song You And Me. She is a gifted singer/songwriter and a taletned poet who has a story to tell through her song.

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 Dutch entry is one of the most polarising songs in the 2012 contest, drawing a lot of affection from many and ridicule from others. However in its domestic market, the song became an immediate hit after its selection for Baku, although international promotion has been limited.

The song has done reasonably well in internet polls and would qualify for the final, if the poll results were replicated in May. However, perhaps because of the recent poor Dutch record or the very poor draw, bookmakers are not so optimistic and do not see it among the Top 10 most likely qualifiers and offer odds of 125/1 to win in Baku.




Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Tuesday May 15th 12:30 - 13:10 13:55 - 14:35
Friday May 18th 16:00 - 16:30 17:15 - 17:45
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland and the schedule has still to be confirmed officially






  Running Order
  Fan Polls






  • First entry: 1956
  • Number of previous entries: 52
  • Best result: Winners (1957,1959,1969,1975) 
  • Worst result: Last (four times), failed to qualify (seven times)
  • Qualification record: 1/7 (12% success)





"The night this was chosen, I thought we'd found the worst song of the year a I really saw little that I liked in the rather twee almost novelty song. It reminded me of some that a group of girl-guides would sing around the camp-fire and the Indian outfit was laughable. Repeatedly plays have slightly softened my attitude to it. It now reminds of me of the 1960s folks singers like Julie Felix and hopefully the Indian outfit has been thrown on that camp-fire. As for its chances, I still don't see it qualifying, although I wouldn't totally rule it out." - Keith Mills



"The Dutch come this year with a melancholic folk tune: Apparently a memoir of a childish 'love' which, despite of its common phrases, turns out to be really nice. The melody of this song is stunning and very unique within a year full of computerized sounds. Her vocals are great and it is a type of music that suits her big time. Not very Eurovision, she'll sure have more success in a folk festival. Chances of qualifying are quite slim yet it seems to be well liked among the public, so who knows? Dutch entries, however, have always been underrated." - Anthony Lopez (Venezuela)

"A meaningless, slightly silly entry from the Netherlands. Dutch “Indians” will work as “good” as German “cowboys” did in 2006." - Paul Hutter  (Germany)

"Their best entry for years. Praying that this will qualify and with a good draw could be a surprise contender in the final. I love the whole story on stage - headdress, campfires, and I hope they use images from the video to bring it all together. Totally charming and deserves to qualify. The jury vote could be crucial for her." - Chris Church  (U.K.)

"I quite simply adore this song strong melody great lyrics and a gentle delivery from Joan , perhaps diction could be worked on but also find that quite novel too. I doubt she will win but I think a place in the final is certain." - Mark Wood (U.K.)

"This is a slightly overrated song by fans but it's certainly not bad although I find the accent of Joan a bit annoying. Being in the second semi-final and been drawn third I'm not so sure that this will qualify for the final. Netherlands had better entries in the past with which they did not made the final."- Nicky Peeters  (Belgium)