Mo’s Eurovision Countdown 2019 – Netherlands

I’ve handed out more Countdown ‘nul points’ this year than any in my memory. As I said in an earlier review, this year is an oddity. I usually find 3-4 songs I like, 3-4 I hate and the rest float in a middle ground. There’s a much smaller middle ground in 2019. When a song is good, it’s excellent. When a song is bad, it’s appalling.

Everyone thinks the Dutch have it sewn up. After years in the Eurovision wilderness – years they deserved with tripe like De Toppers, Hind, 3JS, Joan Franka and the soul-searing horror of Sieneke, they came back. In 2014, Ilse DeLange was the driving force behind a near victory. She’s back on the scene, having acted as mentor to Duncan Laurence on a TV talent show and she’s flying to Tel Aviv to oversee the staging. Given many dismissed the Common Linnets until they saw how it was staged, that could be significant. Duncan is already the bookmaker’s favourite and he’s topping many fan polls.

There’s a baroque pop touch of Antony and the Johnsons combined with the accessibility of a more traditional ballad. The lyric is strong and I found myself able to remember it after one listen – I know others will disagree. Duncan crams a lot into three minutes without it feeling crowded.

The jury vote should swing in favour of the Dutch. It’s a well-structured song with (hopefully) a strong performance. If Duncan and his team can reproduce what worked in 2014 on the Tel Aviv stage, the public vote should follow.

I want this to win so badly.

12 Points