It has been thirteen years since Martin participated. He was soon called ‘the Dutch Paul Potts’, after the English tenor who won the British version of the program three years earlier, in 2007. “What stays with me,” Martin begins, “[is] the feeling of standing there. On such an impressive stage in front of a room of people and the jury at a relatively short distance. And then in a song like that, which lasts just two minutes, they stand up three times and applaud you…”
In the images, Martin can clearly see how that euphoric feeling came to him at the time:
After his audition, Martin not only receives compliments about his phenomenal voice, but also emails from interested viewers who want to know if he is still single. Only his daughters accompany him on the recordings; his wife has little interest in appearing on TV. “It’s time for you to come into the picture too, otherwise you’ll get questions like this,” he then tells her. “Unbelievable,” he calls it looking back.
It is equally unimaginable that his performance in the city center of Maastricht for the Limburg television channel L1 was put on YouTube by an unknown Chinese spectator – with subtitles. “Unfortunately I lost track of him (…) because I would have really liked to thank him.” Things have been going fast since then. In 2014, a Beijing television channel approached him and asked if he would like to perform during a New Year’s show, which is watched by around 80 million people.
After that concert, he was also picked up by a larger channel in the country and nowadays he and his wife travel four or five times a year for a concert on Chinese soil. “I hope we can travel together for a long time,” he concludes emotionally.
Holland’s Got Talent see you every Friday at 8 p.m. on RTL 4.