In the midst of one of the biggest non-qualification streaks we had seen at Eurovision, it was safe to say that The Netherlands was in a rut. Stylistically the nation had sent a range of songs, none of which the Eurovision audiences were going for, but in context, it’s easy to see why.
Despite the lack of success, there were some gems – perhaps not completely polished, but the potential was there. Specifically, the song that I believe was most deserving of a place in the final from The Netherlands during the huge non-qualification streak is Your Heart Belongs to Me which was performed by Hind at the 2008 contest.
The upbeat number featured a Middle Eastern flair, and considering Turkey was still in the competition at that time and almost exclusively sent songs with this same sort of beat and feel, it was surprising to see that this song stayed completely under the radar. In fact, this is one of those songs that I would argue is more ‘forgettable’ but not because it’s a bad song.
The performance was very confident and considered. In retrospect, omitting the backing dancers could have cleaned up the performance, but we also have to consider that this was performed in 2008, and it wasn’t uncommon to see backing dancers perform during a performance, whereas in the competition now they seem to be used sparingly. Slightly out of sync dancing aside, the stage lighting and LED projections are really quite distinct and Hind looks spectacular in navy.
I would have quite easily swapped out an actual qualifier with this song. I wasn’t enamoured with Poland or Romania, and saw more potential in this ethnic inspired pop number rather than two fairly generic ballads. In the scheme of things, this was the closest that the nation had gotten in actually qualifying, finishing in 13th place in the semi-final but the potential was greater.
There is a strange contradiction to this song, where I really enjoy it when I’m listening to it, but at the same time it really is one of those entries that is easily forgotten. Judging it on the song and performance alone, I’d be happy to give it a generous 8/10.
Country: The Netherlands
Song: Your Heart Belongs To Me
Final Ranking: 13th in the Semi-Final