Soundmixshow is a Dutch talent show which was a live-vocals version of the Playback Show. It aired from 17 November 1985 to 27 April 2002 and was hosted by Henny Huisman.[1][2] The format has since been sold to other countries,[3] notably as the European Soundmix Show.

Soundmixshow met Henny Huisman en Julio Iglesias, 1987.jpg
Soundmixshow with Henny Huisman and an imitation of Julio Iglesias, 1987
Created byJoop van den Ende
Presented byHenny Huisman
Country of originNetherlands
Original languageDutch
No. of seasons18
Production companyEndemol
Original networkKRO (1985–1989)
RTL 4 (1990–2002)
Original release17 November 1985 (1985-11-17) –
27 April 2002 (2002-04-27)
RelatedStars in Their Eyes
European Soundmix Show


Early daysEdit

Huisman, former drummer of 1970s band Lucifer and spin-off group Match, toured the early 1980s with his Hitkrant Drive-In Show; this prototype-version of the Playback-show was a joint venture with weekly pop-magazine Hitkrant in which he had a column. In 1983, Huisman brought the format on television during the summer-evening slot as KRO's Zomeravondshow; contestants performed on a hit-or-miss basis.


In 1984 the name was changed to Playbackshow and contestants were now given full performance time. Soon afterwards Huisman decided to do a spin-off with real vocals; thus the Soundmixshow was born with artists being judged by a jury of three professionals notably Jacques d'Ancona and Barry Stevens; the latter's "Vooral doorgaan!" ("Keep up the good work!") became a catchphrase.

The Soundmixshow meant a breakthrough for several young Dutch artists, as it was a platform with a relative low threshold and a broad audience. The Soundmixshow was first produced by Endemol for Katholieke Radio Omroep (KRO) and afterwards for RTL 4 from 1990 until 2002.[4]

In the finals of 1988, Huisman asked viewers to phone a specific number for televoting. However, this caused such a big amount of phone calls, that the whole telephone grid was down for a while, and even the emergency services (police, ambulance, firefighters) were out of reach in some parts of the country.[4]

Other spin-offsEdit

From the latter half of the 1980s till the early 1990s, Huisman presented the Miniplaybackshow as a platform for children; a Minisoundmixshow was announced, but it never happened.

There was also a Seniorenplaybackshow with elder contestants, and more successfully the Sterrensoundmixshow (Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes).[2]

In 2002, the Soundmixshow was the platform for a debate between politicians just before the parliamental elections.


In 2002, the format was discontinued in favor of Idols and other talent contests. Huisman reunited with former Soundmixshow-contestants on KRO's anniversary-programme in 2010. He used the backdrop whilst playing himself in a children's movie chronicling the events of two aspiring popstars. In 2014, Huisman appeared on the Showtime programme to revisit his time as presenter of Soundmixshow.

Successful contestantsEdit

List of winnersEdit

Year Artist Original artist Song Additional information
1985 Glenda Peters Randy Crawford One Day I'll Fly Away Gerard Joling was third this year
1986 Gina De Wit Linda Ronstadt Desperado
1986 Frank Ashton Tony Christie Don't Go Down To Reno
1987 Peter Douglas Frank Sinatra New York, New York
1988 Jos Van den Brom John Denver Leaving on a Jet Plane Desirée Manders made her TV debut. This was in a legendary final, where people could televote, but because of the huge number of votes, the whole phone grid was down.
1989 Carina Bos Timi Yuro Hurt Helmut Lotti was also contestant. Last season broadcast on KRO
1990 Marco Borsato Billy Vera At This Moment First season broadcast by RTL 4
1991 Jorge Castro Luciano Pavarotti Caruso Kathleen Prattis sang as Anita Baker, Watch Your Step.
1992 Nhelly Dela Rosa Shirley Bassey This Is My Life
1993 Ellen Fransz Whitney Houston I will always love you
1994 Glennis Grace Whitney Houston One Moment In Time
1995 Arno Kolenbrander Simon Bowman (from the musical Miss Saigon) Why God, Why Tooske Breugem was also contestant
1996 Edsilia Rombley Oleta Adams I Just Had to Hear Your Voice
1997 Mary Ann Morales Lea Salonga (from Miss Saigon) The Movie in My Mind
1998 Cherwin Muringen Seal Kiss from a Rose Floortje Smit was also contestant
1999 Erna Otte-Hemmink Emma Shapplin Spente Le Stelle
2000 Bart Schwertman Ian Gillan (from the rock-opera Jesus Christ Superstar) Ghetsemane
2001 Mary Amora Tina Turner River Deep, Mountain High
2002 Valerie Dwarkasing Alicia Keys Fallin'

International versionsEdit

Country Local name Channel Hosts Broadcast
  Australia StarStruck Nine Network Larry Emdur
Catriona Rowntree
  Belgium VTM soundmixshow (in Dutch) VTM Bart Kaëll
Kürt Rogiers [nl] (2000)
De Nieuwe Soundmixshow (in Dutch) VT4 Jo De Poorter [nl] 1996
Star ce soir (in French) RTL-TVI Frédéric Herbays 1997–2002
  Bulgaria Звездите в нас Nova TV Maria Ignatova
Nencho Balabanov
  Chile Starstruck Canal 13 Sergio Lagos [es] 2022
  Denmark Stjerneskud TV3 Anders Frandsen 1995
  Germany Mini Playback Show RTL Marijke Amado (1990–1998)
Jasmin Wagner (1998)
Soundmix Show Linda de Mol 1995–1997
  Hungary Kifutó TV2 András Csonka [hu] 1998
  Italy Re per una notte Italia 1 Gigi Sabani 1994–1996
Momenti di gloria Canale 5 Mike Bongiorno 1999–2000
Sei un mito Roberta Capua 2005
È nata una stella gemella Lorella Cuccarini 2008
  Norway Med blikket mot stjernene TV3 Ragnar Otnes [no] 1995
Stjerner i sikte TV 2 Jahn Teigen 1996–1999
  New Zealand Stars in Their Eyes TV One Simon Barnett 2008–2009
  Poland Zostań gwiazdą TVN Krzysztof Ibisz 1998–1999
  Portugal Chuva de Estrelas SIC Catarina Furtado (1993–1994)
José Nuno Martins [pt] (1995–1996)
Bárbara Guimarães [pt] (1997–2000)
  Spain Lluvia de estrellas Antena 3 Bertín Osborne 1995–2001
La 1 Sonia Ferrer 2007
  Sweden Sikta mot stjärnorna TV4 Lasse Holm (1994–1997)
Agneta Sjödin (1999–2000, 2002)
Paul Tilly [sv] (2002)
Småstjärnorna (kids version) Agneta Sjödin (1995–1999)
Martin Timell (2000–2001)
Pernilla Wahlgren (2003)
  United Kingdom Stars in Their Eyes (1990–2006, 2015)
Starstruck (2022)
ITV Leslie Crowther (1990–1992)
Russ Abbot (1993 Elvis special)
Matthew Kelly (1993–2004)
Davina McCall (2003 specials)
Cat Deeley (2004–2006)
Harry Hill (2015)
Olly Murs (2022)
Stars in Their Eyes: Kids Matthew Kelly (2001–2002)
Cat Deeley (2003–2004, 2006)
2001 (pilot)
2002–04, 2006

Spain's Antena 3 created a similar format, under the title Tu cara me suena, in 2011. A UK version of this was also produced by ITV in 2013 and, like Stars in Their Eyes and Soundmixshow, is also a format owned by Endemol Shine Group.