Van Rossem: ‘I thought Putin was as intelligent as I am’ | show

During the first episode of The smartest person tonight, presenter Philip Freriks confronted the one-man jury Maarten van Rossem with a painful moment in February of this year. When asked about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Freriks said: ,,Say Maarten, you were pretty much the last commentator on television before the invasion of Ukraine started. You said: go to sleep, because Putin doesn’t do that in his life.”

Note: This post contains spoilers about the ending of the first episode.

It was at the table at the talk show On 1 that Maarten van Rossem said on Wednesday evening, February 23: ,,There is no question of an invasion. It is confirmation of a situation that has been around for a long time and that is not going to fundamentally change.” Freriks: ,,The whole world has fallen over you, because yes, you are always right. But you turned out to be wrong. What went wrong, Maarten?”

Van Rossem: ,,I thought Putin was just as intelligent as I am. He was known as a good political tactician, as well as a significant strategist.”
Freriks: ,,But the Americans have been shouting for weeks: he will do that.”
Van Rossem: ,,I thought: They do that on purpose to stop him, as it were. To not let him do it. In addition, I had little faith in what the American intelligence services had to say. Since they once provided the Iraq war with lies that you have rarely seen in your life. Putin didn’t call me. Then I could have changed his mind.”

‘#Metoo on a spectacular scale’

In the first broadcast of the anniversary season – it is the twentieth series in ten years – Van Rossem also had the laughs on his hand. “I don’t understand that there is only one Smurfette,” said Van Rossem after a gallery question, in which eight leading players from The Smurfs turned up. One Smurfette? “That should lead to dramatic scenes. Murder and manslaughter. #Metoo on a spectacular scale. I never understood that. And then also that song of Father Abraham. That makes you really nasty. That’s bad.”


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I don’t understand there is only one Smurfette

Maarten van Rossem

Femke van der Laan, Tim Senders and Thomas van Groningen, the candidates, were able to name them all and – at the request of presenter Philip Freriks – also spooned the smurf song for a moment, what Van Rossen ‘hadn’t thought of’. “Because then the fungus grows over my brain.”

After the question ‘what do you know about Maestro?’ Van Rossem also denounced that television program in which famous Dutch people attempt to (learn to) conduct. “It’s an idiotic program. I have been asked to participate twice. Completely insane to ask someone who can’t read music to conduct. So in fact you always conduct after the music.”

Femke van der Laan became the day winner and Thomas van Groningen defeated Tim Senders, for whom it smartest personadventure ends after one episode.

The candidates of The smartest person of tonight: Thomas van Groningen, Femke van der Laan and Tim Senders © KRO-NCRV

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