The Netherlands is one of only two countries that have participated in every Junior Eurovision Song Contest thus far, and in their history they have seen some highs and lows, or as OG3NE might say, some lights and shadows! Last year, the nation managed to crack into the Top 5 for the first time since 2011, but will they repeat that success in this year’s edition of the contest?
Representing The Netherlands will be the duo Max and Anne who were chosen through a national selection with the song Samen. Upon first listen, this was a surprising choice by The Netherlands as it’s quite different from the style of song we have seen from them many times over the years. This is no upbeat pop number, but instead a moving ballad.
There’s no doubt that this is one of the cheesier entries of this year’s edition of the contest, and for some, this will satisfy the craving however for me the song itself just feels too cliché. It has grown on me over the last few weeks, but that said it’s still not enough to push this song into my Top 10, and I can’t say that will impact on the voters enough to achieve Top 10 in the results either.
Although the song isn’t my cup of tea, I do recognise how incredible their vocals are and how well they work together. For the majority of the song, their harmonies are fantastic, although near the end the reach towards some of the higher notes unfortunately results in some of the power of the song being lost.
The vocal performance has the potential to really impress the audience and the jury at Junior Eurovision, but the other big positive of this performance is the chemistry that Max and Anne have on stage together. This doesn’t feel like an awkward pairing by any means, and both look relaxed while performing on stage. If there is a good staging behind this, it has the potential to be very charming.
There are definite positives to this entry, however for me it just doesn’t stand out as a favourite. I see this finishing somewhere mid table, unless the audiences are in the mood for a ballad which could push this up higher than I am currently anticipating. From me, it’s a 6/10.