The Netherlands have really started to find their groove at Eurovision, and I think the credit goes to the nation for promoting more of an authentic style at the contest. We’ve seen a few Top 10 finishes, and some just outside of the Top 10, but this year the nation is the hot favourite to win the contest with Duncan Laurence and his song Arcade. Can they follow through and win the contest this year?
Song + Vocals
After one of the longest non-qualification streaks we’ve seen in recent Eurovision history, The Netherlands broke that tradition with Anouk who send a minimal but memorable song. Since then, their strategy has been similar year to year, where genuine artists are selected and their genuine styles are being showcased in their selected entries. This year feels no different.
Even after listening to the first few seconds of this song, it became very clear to me that this really could be the year for The Netherlands to win the contest. The intro of the song immediately grabs your attention, and you are pulled into listening to more of the song. As soon as the verse hits, you are introduced to Duncan’s incredible tone of voice in a beautifully simple melody. The pre-chorus builds up the tension and then the big chorus hits. It’s not a complex chorus, nor does this feel like a complex song, but it’s minimal yet very impactful. Lyrically, even though it uses a lot of the Arcade clichés, it doesn’t sound tacky, but rather very meaningful.
It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to this song, I still manage to get shivers, and more importantly, winning feelings. Hearing him perform this song live doesn’t take any of those feelings away. His voice is delicate when it needs to be, and powerful when it needs to be and the emotions is adequately conveyed. With some good backing singers, it will only elevate this vocal performance from fantastic to spectacular.
Act + Performance
I don’t think it takes a big name to win Eurovision, and after sending some of the biggest stars in the Dutch music scene, it’s good to see a fresh face represent The Netherlands. It does beg the question as to whether he will be able to handle the pressure, and watching his live performances makes me think that he will thrive off the love for the song, and being the favourite to win the contest will hopefully push him to deliver the performance of his life.
As for the staging, I suspect we will be seeing something simple to match the theme of the song. I would hope for something fairly dark, perhaps mirroring the music video but less nakedness! This song doesn’t need gimmicks, it has emotion, and I hope that their staging strategy doesn’t cancel out that emotion.
Do I think the Netherlands will follow through and win the contest? Short answer, yes. I think there is a huge possibility that we will be going to The Netherlands next year, and I wouldn’t be mad about it. This song is everything you would want from a Eurovision entry and more, and I think its wide appeal will help bring in the votes from the televote and the jury alike.