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  • Writer's pictureFord Carter

Get to know the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam

Photo credit: EBU

The intended hosts for the Eurovision Song Contest last year and eventual hosts of ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’ will again be hosting the show this year. For those unsure of who they are, get ready to meet Jan Smit, Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley, and Nikkie de Jager (better known as NikkieTutorials from YouTube).

Jan Smit

  • Jan Smit is one of the most famous singers in the Netherlands, and while initially a child star, he managed to transfer his career into adulthood, having now released some 27 albums

  • He is a part of German schlager boyband KLUBBB3, who were once asked to represent Germany at Eurovision in 2016, but refused the offer

  • Jan has been the Dutch commentator for Eurovision since 2011, commentating alongside Daniël Dekker, Cornald Maas, and Douwe Bob, and was also the Dutch commentator for Junior Eurovision from 2014 to 2018, and then again in 2020

  • He hosted Nationaal Songfestival in 2012, and has been a member of the Dutch selection committee for Eurovision in the past

  • Jan also has strong ties to his hometown, co-owning a restaurant in Volendam and being on the board of the local football team (FC Volendam), a team he had to write a song for after losing a bet

Chantal Janzen

  • Chantal Janzen is one of the most prominent television presenters in the Netherlands, having presented the Dutch versions of ‘Idol’, ‘All Together Now’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and ‘The Voice’

  • She once held a pyjama party on live television at the Ziggo Dome back in 2019, which had singers, a comedian, and a magician take part, and was so popular that a second show was arranged for the same week

  • Chantal has hosted the ‘Gouden Televizier-Ring Gala’ (‘Golden Television Ring Gala’) (the Dutch equivalent to the Grammys or Logies) on three occasions, and won the title of Best Female Presenter five times

  • She is also no stranger to musical theatre, having played the roles of Belle in the Dutch musical version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Jane in the Dutch musical version of ‘Tarzan’, and Glinda in the Dutch musical version of ‘Wicked’

  • Chantal isn’t actually signed to Eurovision broadcaster AVROTROS, but instead to a privately owned rival network, RTL Nederland, and while employees from commercial networks are usually prevented from having involvement with the public broadcaster, an exception was made due to the importance of Eurovision

Edsilia Rombley

  • Edsilia Rombley is not stranger to the Eurovision stage, having represented the Netherlands twice – once in 1998 with the song ‘Hemel en Aarde’ (‘Heaven and Earth’) which placed fourth, and then once again in 2007 with the song ‘On Top of the World’ which failed to qualify for the final

  • She has hosted ‘Eurovision In Concert’ – Eurovision’s largest pre-party – on three occasions, in 2015, 2018, and 2019, and was scheduled to host the concert in 2020 prior to it being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

  • Edsilia is the sister-in-law of Dutch Eurovision 2015 representative Trijntje Oosterhuis, having married Trijntje’s musician and musical producer brother Tjeerd Oosterhuis back in 2006

  • She started her career as a singer back in 1995 as a member of the Dutch R&B girl group Dignity, who had success in the Netherlands and abroad, before leaving the group in 1998 to focus on her solo career

  • Born in Amsterdam in 1978, Edsilia’s mother comes from Aruba and her father from Curacao, both islands in the Caribbean which were formerly part of the Dutch Antilles, and this background is one of the reasons she loves the slogan ‘open up’

Nikkie de Jager

  • Nikkie de Jager (better known as NikkieTutorials) is one of the most popular YouTubers and social media influencers in the world, with over 14.5 million Instagram followers, almost 14 million YouTube subscribers, and with more than 1.46 billion views across more than 800 videos on the platform

  • She is a massive Eurovision fan who has been watching the competition since she was a child, and has used the music of Eurovision artists in the background of some of her tutorial videos

  • Nikkie has experience interviewing and speaking with famous people, with some of the world’s biggest stars such as Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian having appeared on her YouTube channel, making her experience talking with this years Eurovision stars a walk in the park

  • She pre-empted the controversy surrounding American talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres when, while being interviewed on Dutch talk show ‘De Wereled Draait Door’ (‘The world keeps on turning’), she talked about how she was treated differently from other guests and how Ellen was ‘cold and distant’ towards her

  • Nikkie is a proud transgender woman who came out to the world in early 2020 through her video ‘I’m Coming Out’, explaining that she had been born in the wrong body, and receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from fans, YouTubers, and the wider LGBT+ community at large


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