Near the end of last year, it was announced that former Eurovision contestant Waylon would be returning for the 2018 contest. Earlier Friday, February 23, the singer presented the first of five potential songs he has chosen from to perform on the stage in Lisbon, Portugal, this May.
As revealed by ESCToday, the 37-year-old performed “Back Together” on the Dutch TV show De wereld draait door. This track, as well as the upcoming four, will be featured on Waylon’s upcoming album, titled The World Can Wait.
The revealing of Waylon’s potential Eurovision entries will continue up until March 3, when he will release the fifth song and then announce which track he has chosen. The singer has actually already made his choice, but is performing all the possibilities anyway just to see how his fans react to them and learn which ones they like best.
In 2014, Waylon participated alongside fellow Dutch singer Ilse deLange in that year’s Eurovision Song Contest as the duo The Common Linnets, performing the song “Calm After The Storm.” The bluegrass/country tune was an immense success in the competition, coming in second place to Austria’s Conchita Wurst by 52 points. A little over a month later, the two performed together for the last time before deciding to go their separate ways.
Born Willem Bijkerk, the Netherlands native’s career has been steadily blossoming for over 20 years, beginning in 1995 when he performed on a Dutch children’s television program, Telekids. He was signed by EMI two years later, subsequently moving to Nashville to record his first album, which sadly never saw completion. The singer ended up spending a year in the United States in 2001, an adventure which saw him perform with lifetime idol Waylon Jennings, the American country artist who inspired the Eurovision star’s stage name.
To date, Bijkerk has released four studio albums: Wicked Ways, After All, Heaven After Midnight, and Seeds. All four have charted in the top 10 in the Netherlands, with Heaven After Midnight actually placing No. 1. His singles on the whole, however, have not done so well, with only one ranking up to 10th place and the others ranging from 27 to 72.
The Netherlands has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest since its first year, 1956. Since then, the country has participated 58 times, missing only four competitions. They have achieved victory on four occasions: 1957, 1959, 1969, and 1975. Their participant fell into last place in the years 1958, 1962, 1963, 1968, and 2011.