I was going to type: 'this truly beggars belief', but something strange seems to have hit Euroland since a singer was finally paired up with Pierre Kartner's Dutch entry on February 7.

Seventeen-year-old (yeah, right) Sieneke was firstly derided, now celebrated, for her so-old-school-they're-doing-algebra-on-slates-with-chalk version of Shalalie.

The song has become download hit in the Netherlands and if support continues to swell in this way, it could well pull off a big surprise and qualify for the Contest proper from the second semi-final. END OF UPDATE

With victory at the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Netherlands have had their first taste of doing well at the Contest - albeit not the proper one - since 1975.

And following on from the minipops success, the Dutch entry was the first to be unveiled out of all the 39 entrants taking part in Norway - but only in its demo version. Following on from the process the BBC initiated last year by matching an unknown with a song by a famous composer, Dutch TV has enrolled Pierre Kartner, a man better known as Father Abraham to the UK record-buying public and his Smurf-related tunesmithery of the late 1970s.

The song is called Ik Ben Verliefd
(Sha-la-lie)
and on February 7, five completely unknown acts will perform their take on Kartner's song, with a jury (and jury alone) deciding which interpretation is the right one for Oslo. The hopefuls are four solo acts and one group, who will be coached by experienced industry pros. They are:

Sieneke (17 years old)
Coached by Marianne Weber
Vinzzent (33 years old)
Coached by Grad Damen
Marlous Oosting (21 years old)
Coached by Corry Konings
Peggy Mays (20 years old)
Coached by Albert West
LOEKZ (girl group)
Coached by Frans Bauer

And while we're talking ages, Pierre Kartner is 74.