22 July 2013

Eurovision: Netherlands: Sandra Reemer

Sandra Reemer may not be a familiar name to modern day Eurovision fans, but back in the 1970s she was very much a part of the competition. During that decade, she appeared on three occasions - in different guises - representing The Netherlands. Are any of these songs familiar to you?

 Her first attempt at Eurovision glory was in 1972 when she teamed up with Dries Holten to sing Als het om de liefde gaat (When It Comes to Love). The pair were already a successful recording duo in Holland, so the nation had high hopes of doing well. Selected internally by the Dutch public broadcaster, Sandra and Andres performed just three songs in the national final and Als... was the clear winner.

They took to the stage in Edinburgh on March 25, 1972, performing last in a field of 18, dressed in fluorescent green and sounding very much like Holland's popular Mouth and MacNeal - the catchy tune causing the audience to clap along to it in its final stages. Very much a song of its time, it eventually ranked fourth with 106 points behind the superior Après toi by winner Vicky Leandros who represented Luxembourg.

Undeterred, Sandra Reemer returned to the Contest in 1976, this time as a solo singer. She won a close run national final in The Hague while her song, The Party's Over, ran into some controversy.

Listening to it, you can understand the accusations of plagiarism. It does bear an uncanny resemblance to the Mary Hopkin hit, Those Were the Days, from eight years earlier. However, the claims were investigated and the EBU declared that, while there were some similarities, the melodies were different. Luckily for Sandra, the party wasn't over. Perhaps the stars were aligning for Ms. Reemer instead? Eurovision was taking place in The Netherlands, thanks to Teach-In and Holland's other three-time participant, Corry Brokken, was presenting.

Again, she was competing against seventeen other nations and the draw was not so kind to her, performing in eighth place. 1976 was also a pretty strong year, with solid entries from Brotherhood of Man (UK) and Catherine Ferry (France). In the event, the party never really got going. The highest single vote was the eight from Israel and the song finished midway down the scoreboard in ninth place with a total of 56 points. 

By now you would have thought Sandra Reemer had had enough of Eurovision, but she returned for one last attempt, this time as the lead vocalist of the band Xandra (in fact, Xandra was merely an adopted name for the singer).

Colorado was the winning song at the Dutch final in Amsterdam, garnering a healthy 94-point lead over the runner-up, Lieveling. In Jerusalem, it was drawn fourteenth in the running order in a field of nineteen entries.

Of Ms. Reemer's three songs, this was the one which performed worst in terms of its final placing. Once all the points had been awarded, The Netherlands found itself in twelfth place with 51 points. Quite honestly, it's not that surprising. It's repetitive, bland and easily forgettable. For an entry from The Netherlands, it also comes across as very amateurish, both in staging and presentation. I haven't heard the others, but this one really should have remained in its national final. 

Sandra Reemer made one further appearance at Eurovision, not as the featured artist, but as one of the backing singers to Bernadette's Dutch entry Sing Me A Song in 1983.

Do you have any memories of Sandra Reemer at Eurovision or thoughts about her songs?

Image: By M.N.A. van den Bogaart (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...