Pierre Kartner, the man who brought us (or some might say unleashed upon us) Sieneke’s Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-La-Lie) as well as hits under the guise of Father Abraham with the Smurfs in the 70’s is the latest to announce his interest in next year’s Dutch selection, the Nationaal Songfestival.
The spritely 77 year old Pierre Kartner seems to be unimpressed with the combined efforts of TROS and John De Mol, despite Joan Franka ending up 11th in the televoting of her semi final and coming oh so close but yet to far from that all elusive spot in the final in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The Dutch selection Nationaal Songfestival underwent a considerable number of changes this year, resulting in renewed interest among Dutch viewers and providing one of the biggest hits to emerge from the national selection in a long time with the undeniably catchy You And Me.
Kartner has become disillusioned at the increasingly poor showings for the Netherlands at Europe’s favourite song contest and intends to put the country with a once so proud Eurovision pedigree firmly back on the contest’s musical map. Although the cooperation of De Mol and TROS still awaits confirmation, De Mol recently said during an interview on a Dutch talk show last month that he was looking forward to the challenges of next year’s national selection and that he was trying to snag Dutch superstar Anouk to participate. Anouk has been a name much mentioned in previous years, but now that De Mol has finally discussed the idea, it all seems a whole lot more tangible.
Kartner, on the other hand has other ideas entirely on which direction he wants the Nationaal Songfestival to take, as he recently told Dutch media: "Just give me the opportunity, and I’ll write a beautiful ballad and get an amazing singer to perform it. Europe knows my sound and what I stand for. Just listen to my earlier hits such as Het Kleine Café aan de Haven (The Small Café by the Harbour)." As mentioned earlier, Kartner was the writer and composer of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest entry for the Netherlands, Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-La-Lie). When its failure to advance from the semis was pointed out to him, the eternally optimistic 77 year old refuses to regard this as a failure: "Everyone can sing along to Sha La Lie. It’s always played at huge festivals in Germany. Not many composers in the Dutch selection can boast of that."
An entry De Mol and Anouk or another entry by Pierre Kartner, aka Father Abraham for 2013? We’ll let you the readers decide.