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Op zoek naar Joseph (Looking for Joseph) was a 2008 talent show-themed television series produced by the AVRO in the Netherlands. It searched for a new, unknown lead to play Joseph in a 2009 Dutch revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Op zoek naar Joseph
StarringFrits Sissing
Pia Douwes
Erwin van Lambaart
Paul de Leeuw
Country of originNetherlands
No. of series1
Original networkAVRO
Original release30 August – 26 October 2008
Preceded byOp zoek naar Evita
Followed byOp zoek naar Mary Poppins
External links

The show was hosted by Frits Sissing, who announced Freek Bartels as the winner of the final public telephone vote on 26 October 2008.

It was the second Dutch talent show to be produced by the AVRO/Willem Nijholt, after Op zoek naar Evita. A third talent show, this time called Op zoek naar Mary Poppins has since aired in full and Op zoek naar Zorro will air in late 2010.

A similar format has been used as well in the United Kingdom in 2007, with the show Any Dream Will Do taking an unknown singer and placing the winner in the lead role for the 2007 performances in the West End. On 9 June 2007, Lee Mead was announced the winner of this show.

It is speculated[by whom?] that a Canadian edition will be produced in the wake of Mirvish Productions' production of the same musical.



Expert panelEdit

An expert panel provided advice to the contestants throughout the series, and provided comments during the live shows. The panel was made up of:

Studio finalsEdit

Every week, a Joseph was eliminated from the competition. The public got a chance to vote for their favourite Joseph by calling in after all the finalists' solo performances. The two Josephs with the least votes in a given week performed a sing-off in front of Nijholt, who then decided which contestant to keep, based upon how well he felt that contender would fill the Joseph role. The eliminated Joseph then performed "Arme Jozef (Poor, Poor Joseph)\Sluit alle deuren (Close Every Door)" together with the remaining Josephs as his grand exit song, symbolically handing back his dreamcoat.

There were some variations from this format:

  • Week three: In a double elimination, two Josephs were voted off the series.
  • Week five: With only six finalists remaining, the Josephs were announced in sets of three and performed in a trio as well as their individual performances.
  • Week seven: The semi-final was held on 19 October 2008, in which the remaining four Josephs competed for the three remaining spots in the final. At the end of the show, the three finalists were announced: Freek Bartels, John Vooijs and Roy van Iersel.


Ten potential Josephs made it through the auditions to perform during the live shows. One contestant, Tommie Christiaan, was offered a lead role in High School Musical. This could not be combined with a possible role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, making his voluntary exit necessary. The AVRO then brought back the two dropouts, Robbert van den Bergh and Hein Gerrits. Tommie Christiaan auditioned for Op zoek naar Zorro two years later, which he went on to win.

Finalist Age Date of birth Coat colour Status
Robbert van den Bergh 25 March 10, 1983 Pastel blue Eliminated 1st in week 1
Adriaan Korrnenberg 25 October 1, 1982 Pink Eliminated 2nd in week 2
Hein Gerrits 27 May 9, 1981 Lime green Eliminated 3rd in week 3
Remko Harms 26 November 5, 1981 Dark green Eliminated 4th in week 3
Baer Jonkers 24 May 29, 1984 Dark blue Eliminated 5th in week 4
Amir Vahidi 18 August 1, 1990 Red Eliminated 6th in week 5
Mathijs Pater 24 January 17, 1984 Light blue Eliminated 7th in week 6
Robin van den Akker 29 July 21, 1979 Turquoise Eliminated 8th in week 7
Roy van Iersel 21 September 11, 1986 Yellow Third place
John Vooijs 29 March 26, 1979 Purple Second place
Freek Bartels 21 October 24, 1986 Orange Winner


The following is in reverse chronological order by elimination date.

  1. "I Want to Break Free" (Queen)
  2. "Het gaat beginnen (Something's Coming)" (from West Side Story)
  3. "Man in the Mirror" (Michael Jackson)
  4. "Yesterday" (The Beatles)
  5. "Kom Kees" (from Heerlijk duurt het langst)
  6. "Ga Nou Maar Gewoon (Ease on Down the Road)" (from The Wiz)
    1. "This is the Moment" (from Jekyll and Hyde)
  7. "Vanmorgen vloog ze nog" (Tsjechov)
    1. "You Raise Me Up" (Josh Groban)
  8. "Gethsemane" (from Jesus Christ Superstar)
    1. "Sluit Alle Deuren (Close Every Door)"
  1. "Livin' On A Prayer" (Bon Jovi)
  2. "Lang is de nacht (Endless Night)" (from The Lion King)
  3. "De vleugels van mijn vlucht (Wind Beneath My Wings)" (Paul de Leeuw)
  4. "Oorlog in mij" (from Ciske De Rat)
  5. "Kon ik nog maar even bij je zijn" (Gordon)
  6. "One Song Glory" (from Rent)
    1. "Hocus Pocus" (from Chicago)
  7. "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (Michael Ball)
    1. "Nooit een acht" (Willem Nijholt)
  8. "Verwarrend bestaan (Elaborate Lives)" (from Aida)
    1. "Sluit Alle Deuren (Close Every Door)"
  1. "Nu (Now)" (from 3 Musketiers)
  2. "Alsof je bij me bent" (Nurlaila Karim)
  3. "Paint It, Black" (The Rolling Stones)
  4. "Everything" (Michael Bublé)
  5. "Waar is de zon? (Where is the Sun?)" (Willeke Alberti)
  6. "Jailhouse Rock" (Elvis Presley)
    1. "Lege Stoelen, Lege Tafels (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables)" (from Les Misérables)
  7. "New York, New York" (Frank Sinatra)
    1. "Onbeschirjfelijk Mooi (Indiscribablely Beautiful)" (from Cyrano)
  8. "Daar Buiten (Out There)" (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  1. "Faith" (George Michael)
  2. "Papa" (Stef Bros)
  3. "Zij leven voort (They Live In You)" (from The Lion King)
  4. "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" (Frank Sinatra)
  5. "Verloren Verleden (Everything That I Am)" (from Tarzan)
  6. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen)
    1. "Sinds een dag of twee" (Doe Maar)
  7. "Lef" (Karin Bloemen)
    1. "Mr. Bojangles" (Robbie Williams)
  1. "Go the Distance" (from Hercules)
  2. "Fever" (Michael Bublé)
  3. "Sandy" (from Grease)
  4. "Proud of Your Boy" (from Aladdin)
  5. "Laat me niet alleen (Ne me quitte pas)" (Jacques Brel)
  6. "Chim Chim Cher-ee" (from Mary Poppins)
    1. "Copacabana" (from Copacabana)
  1. "Your Song" (from Moulin Rouge)
  2. "Ik leef niet meer voor jou" (Marco Borsato)
  3. "All I Care About is Love" (from Chicago)
  4. "Ik vroeg te veel" (from Joe de Musical)
  5. "Terug naar toen (Journey to the Past)" (from Anastasia)
  1. "Maria" (from West Side Story)
  2. "Mack the Knife" (from The Threepenny Opera)
  3. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (Stevie Wonder)
  4. "Alles is liefde" (BLØF)
  1. "Waarom God (Why God Why)" (from Miss Saigon)
  2. "It's Not Unusual" (Tom Jones)
  3. "Van Haar Te Houden (If I Can't Love Her)" (from Beauty and the Beast)
  1. "Toen ik je zag" (Hero)
  2. "Working My Way Back to You" (The Spinners)
  3. "Radeloos (First and Last\Tragedy)" (from Saturday Night Fever)
  1. "Vlieg Met Me Mee (A Whole New World)" (from Aladdin)
  2. "On the Street Where You Live" (from My Fair Lady)
  1. "Walking on Sunshine" (Katrina and the Waves)

Group performancesEdit

Each week the show was opened by a group performance, with a second group song being performed after all the solo performances.

Week One

  1. "Go, Go, Go Joseph"
  2. "Help!" (The Beatles)

Week Two

  1. "Livin La Vida Loca" (Ricky Martin)
  2. "Luck Be a Lady" (from Guys & Dolls)

Week Three

  1. "Ladies Choice" (Zac Efron)
  2. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Bonnie Tyler)

Week Four

  1. "Greased Lightning" (from Grease)
  2. "Beat It" (Michael Jackson)

Week Five

  1. "Een Voor Allen, Allen Voor Een (All For One, One For All)" (from 3 Musketiers)
  2. Freek, John and Mathijs: "Zomer een dag" (Willeke Alberti)
  3. Roy, Robin and Amir: "Zing, Vecht, Huil, Bid, Lach, Werk En Bewonder" (Ramses Shaffy)
  4. "Moeder, ik wil bij de revue" (Wim Sonneveld)

Week Six

  1. "I'm Still Standing" (Elton John)
  2. "Don't Stop Me Now" (from We Will Rock You)

Week Seven

  1. "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" (from The Lion King)
  2. "Elephant Love Medley" (from Moulin Rouge) with Brigitte Heitzer

Week Eight

  1. All Josephs: "Kop, Op, Nou Jozef (Go, Go, Go Joseph)\Geef Mij Mijn Dromenjas (Give Me My Coloured Coat)"
  2. Freek, John and Roy: "Do You Love Me" (The Contours)
  3. Freek and John: "Mijn Beste Vriend (My Own Best Friend)" (from Chicago)


Week One (7 September 2008)
The bottom two were Roy van Iersel and Robbert van der Bergh. In the sing-off, they had to sing the Carousel song "You'll Never Walk Alone". Willem Nijholt chose to save Roy and send Robbert home.

Week Two (14 September 2008)
The bottom two were Hein Gerrits and Adriaan Kroonenberg. In the sing-off, they had to sing the Aida song "Ergens in de sterren (Written in the Stars)". Nijholt chose to save Hein and send Adriaan home.

Week Three (21 September 2008)
In the first show, the bottom two were Hein Gerrits and Baer Jonkers. In the sing-off, they had to sing the song "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. Nijholt chose to save Baer and send Hein home.

In the second show, the bottom two were Remko Harms and Robin van den Akker. In the sing-off, they had to sing "Laat Me" by Ramses Shaffy. Robin was saved by Nijholt and Remko was sent home.

Week Four (28 September 2008)
The bottom two were Baer Jonkers and Robin van den Akker. In the sing-off, they had to sing the Evita song "Hoog vloog je, te hoog (High Flying Adored)". Nijholt chose to save Robin and send Baer home.

Week Five (5 October 2008)
The bottom two were Amir Vahidi and John Vooijs. In the sing-off, they had to sing "Zij gelooft in mij" by André Hazes. Nijholt chose to save John and send Amir home.

Week Six (12 October 2008)
The bottom two were Robin van den Akker and Mathijs Pater. In the sing-off, they had to sing Nick & Simon's "Pak maar m'n hand". Nijholt chose to save Robin and send Mathijs home.

Week Seven (19 October 2008)
The bottom two were Robin van den Akker and Roy van Iersel. In the sing-off, they had to sing "Telkens weer" by Willeke Alberti. Nijholt chose to save Roy and send Robin home.

Week Eight (26 October 2008)
First to go out and finishing in third place was Roy van Iersel. John Vooijs was the second to be voted out of the final, confirming Freek Bartels as the winner of the competition.

After the seriesEdit

Freek Bartels, along with the winner of the previous Nijholt reality show Op zoek naar Evita, Brigitte Heitzer, were the stars of a one-off Christmas Day special to air on AVRO, entitled Kerst met Joseph en Evita (Christmas with Joseph and Evita).

External linksEdit