Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2023 Part 25 – Netherlands

Burning Daylight by Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper.

The past 20 years has been a tale of two halves for the Dutch. An 8-year long stretch of non-qualifications was broken by Anouk in 2013 and since then only one entry has failed to make it to the final. Duncan Laurence’s Dutch win in 2019 seemed an inevitable culmination of a journey of revived fortunes.

Duncan’s been drafted in again this year for his song-writing skills where he shares credits with his partner and our two performers. It’s a serious type of song, re-treading familiar themes of relationships gone stale, working towards a pledge of renewal and turning the despair into hope.

It’s undoubtedly a competent composition; a song-writer’s song if you will, that should curry some favour from the professional juries. But this year, of course, to get to the stage of the professionals marking your homework you need to qualify as the semi-finals are judged by televoters alone. Does this have the wits to do it?

Not on the surface it doesn’t. As competent as this song-writer’s song is, it feels less like a listener’s song. There’s nothing wrong with it but I’m not gripped musically or especially moved by the plight of its protagonists. It’s hovering around the bottom end of the qualifiers and not safe from the danger one of 11th or 12th for me unless it’s lifted by the performance. The good news for the Dutch is that they do have form here: if the Common Linnets’ dirge from 2014 can be elevated to 2nd place all is not (yet) lost for this.

My marks: 5 points