Klaasje Meijer, the Dutch member of the latest incarnation of girl group K3, has left the group, after her last performance in Groningen last evening.
Describing her time with K3, which started with a TV series intended to breathe new life into a tired franchise, as “perhaps the most wonderful period of my life,” she took part in an emotional onstage farewell with her erstwhile colleagues Hanne Verbruggen and Marthe De Pillecyn.
The trio had all come through the same lengthy televised selection process in 2015, intended to replace the members of the existing K3 – Karen Damen, Kristel Verbeke and Josje Huisman (who had, in turn, replaced original member Kathleen Aerts, who went to live in South Africa).
Hanne, Marthe and Klaasje were selected – not coincidentally a brunette, a blonde and a redhead, like the original three. Nothing producers Studio 100 does is by chance.
Klaasje’s farewell was expected. From the outset, she has made it clear her K3 career would last for five years. She intends to continue acting, singing and presenting, but no longer as part of K3.
Meanwhile, as is the way of these things, production house Studio 100 has already launched a search for her replacement, even as her name was still on the dressing-room door.
Last evening’s farewell was for the Dutch fans; K3’s Belgian fans had already said goodbye on 22 August.
"You have been able to spread your magic for six years now and I was honoured to stand next to you and enjoy that magic," said Hanne at the close of the show.
"We had a lot of laughs and I learned a lot from you. The three of us have become like sisters to each other. I'm going to miss you terribly."
And Marthe added, "I want to start with the fact that I love you immensely. You meant a lot to me within K3. Especially with your enthusiasm and your cheerfulness: every time we had to do something that we were perhaps too tired for, you were there to cheer us up, and that's what got me through all the hard times for those six years.”
When it was Klaasje’s turn to reply, there was barely a dry eye in the house.
"Your words touch me very deeply,” she said.
“I want to thank you two for everything we went through together, it was a really intense period. But perhaps the most beautiful period of my life. And I am very grateful to you for all the support, for all the fun, for all the crazy things, for all the fun things and for all the difficult things. Never forget that you will always be in my heart."
The decision on Klaasje’s replacement will be announced on 27 November.
The tearful farewell onstage in Groningen: