A trend is a general direction a change or development is moving. Usually it takes three data points to notice a trend, which is what the Netherlands are attempting to establish at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Since the modern semi-final format was introduced in the mid-’00s, the Dutch qualified for its first final in 2013 with “Birds” by Anouk, an all-in gamble that paid off for the country.2 Last year the Dutch struck gold3 with its fantastic entry “Calm After the Storm”, a more than worthy runner-up to Conchita Wurst. The Netherlands have opted for another internal selection this year, choosing chanteuse Trijntje Oosterhuis (with a writing assist from Anouk) and her song “Walk Along”:
The Dutch revealed their entry in late 2014, which has allowed for a great deal of time to process the quality of this entry. To be honest, my initial thoughts about the song were not positive. Having seen videos of other live performances by Oosterhuis, I didn’t think “Walk Along” properly showcased her vocal talents. The refined version of the song in the video above is a bit more palatable, at least in a disposable pop song context. In other words, it checks a lot of the boxes for a successful Eurovision entry.
Although this entry has improved over the last few months, it still feels like it may be on the bubble for qualifying for the final. The first semi-final is a competitive field with more viable entries than the ten slots available in the Grand Final. The good news is that Oosterhuis is the only female vocal powerhouse in the first half of the semi-final, as Georgia and Serbia have been assigned to the second half. However, the Dutch will be among entries that do not fit the disposable pop construct, such as Belgium and Estonia, which could make this entry seem less memorable by comparison.
Although I do not believe “Walk Along” has the artistry or momentum as the previous two entries from the Netherlands, I would love to see the country advance to the final for a third time in a row.