Monday, April 7, 2014
Semi 1: 14 Netherlands
After many years of mainly rather indifferent entries, how likely is it that thunder will strike two years in a row and the Dutch entry will feel like a contender? I have no idea how likely it really is, all I know is that it happened.
The Common Linnets - Calm After The Storm (Netherlands 2014)
Last year - when Anouk ended the seemingly eternal walk through the desert the Dutch had endured in this contest - it felt like Birds wasn't just a great song. It felt like it was an important song that managed to incorporate a style and a delicacy that has been rare at Eurovision, proving it could live and thrive there.
The Dutch stay on that very track also this year with a song that could seem like it was almost designed to crash and burn: slow and thoughtful in a competition where glitter and grand gestures usually work better. No song with a country-western-flavour ever did well before.
But Ilse and Waylon are not just anybody. They deliver, full of restrained intensity, letting their song unfold into a beautiful little flower. Showing - again - that there is room for any kind of music at the ESC as long as it is done in style.
Qualifier: Yes. It must. Or I lose faith in the european audience forever.
My grade: 4/5