Eurovision Throwback: Sieneke – Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie)

We put our hand in the figurative hat today to pick a song to focus in on, and we thought we’d pick a song that might be less memorable – just for nostalgia’s sake. Well, perhaps this song is memorable, but likely for the wrong reasons. Today we’re going back to 2010 to discuss the Dutch entry performed by Sieneke.

By 2010, I hadn’t yet gotten into national finals as much as I am now, so after choosing this song for our Eurovision Throwback this week, I wanted to investigate just how it was selected. Interestingly, it was revealed that 86% of polled people by private television broadcaster RTL 4 would agree that the Netherlands should withdraw from Eurovision due to the poor results in years previous. Despite that, the nation pushed on, and to select their 2010 act, a national final selection was used. It wasn’t a traditional national final in the sense that the song was written and premiered in December of 2009, and then in February of 2010, five acts performed that same song – Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-La-Lie). This in itself copped some criticism as the song itself came across to fans as quite dated. Nonetheless, in the national final, two acts tied for first place, and it was up to the songwriter to choose between the two tied acts. Sieneke was chosen between the two, but it wasn’t long for criticism to come through, claiming that the whole act was just too dated.

That leads us to our first and biggest criticism of the song. Even looking to the national final performance, it makes us feel like we’re back in the 80’s (or at least what I’d imagine the 80’s to be like). And it’s not just the song, which really had no place in the 2010 contest, but even her outfit takes us back to Bobbysocks with the pink sparkly getup. Looking at her main Eurovision performance, the use of props definitely makes sense in the context of the song, which sounds very carnival-like, but once again, it all combined just demonstrates how outdated this entry is. At the time, Sieneke was 19 years old, but yet everything about this performance, once again including the outfit ages her, something that Malta in the same year was also guilty of.

Overall, her actual vocal performance was fine, no real complaints, but it’s really hard to get past the fact that I have zero desire to listen to this song. I didn’t have the desire in 2010, and I certainly haven’t grown to love it. I think it probably has its niche audience, but that isn’t me. It’s slightly surprising that this came 14th, but then looking at the songs that were below the Netherlands, it’s probably a justified 14th place – and that says a lot!

It was clear the Netherlands hadn’t quite got up to speed when it came to Eurovision, and as we know, it was Anouk who kicked things into gear for the once successful Eurovision nation. For this song though, I will give it a 3/10, with those points going towards the vocal performance, and the relevance of props.

Artist Profile:

Year: 2010

Country:  The Netherlands

Artist: Sieneke

Song: Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)

Final Ranking:  14th in the semi-final