Right, time for the third of 42 entries (did I think this through?), and from two Eurovision titans to a country whose fortunes have seen better days, The Netherlands.
Poor Netherlands, they have been one of the worst-off countries since the semi-final system was introduced in 2004, having failed to qualify for ever final since, sometimes deservedly, sometimes tragically. Could they finally break their losing streak and qualify? It’s a bit sad that for Sweden and Greece so far I’ve speculated at their chances of winning, when just making the final would be an achievement for Netherlands.
But saying that, this is an early favourite of mine, I am totally in love with it. I don’t know how it happened, lots of things about this should annoy me. ‘Quirky’ female with strange face and even stranger headwear (a Native American head-dress) with an affected accent, singing a country-lite song that wouldn’t sound out of place on some awul ‘aspirational’ mobile phone advert.
BUT I LOVE IT. The melody is simple, interspersed with some beautiful high notes. That chorus gives me warm fuzzies, it’s just an old-fashioned love song, with a sentimental chord progression and increasing layers of instrumentation. I’m not a massive banjo fan (is anyone?) but their appearance halfway through really fleshes out a beautifully simple track.
I’m resigned to the idea that this is just one of those ones that won’t have a chance of winning, though I’d be so happy if she “does a Tom Dice” and – much like Tom did for Belgium in 2010 – gives Netherlands not only a qualifier but a respectable finish in Baku. Maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age…