Song Title: “Lights and Shadows”
Second Semi-Final: Position #7
Last year’s entry: “Slow Down” — Douwe Bob (11th Place)
After failing to qualify into the Grand Final between 2005 and 2012, Netherlands has come roaring back with three top-eleven finishes in four years. They’ve been good enough over this span, including finishing second with the excellent “Calm After the Storm” in 2014, that we can almost even forgive them for #DressGate2015.1 Can a trio of sisters capture that country-music momentum to waltz into the Grand Final once again?
Mike did a great job of recapping all the things — and there are a LOT of things — going on with this song. What he sees as over-production, though, I see as appropriately accessorizing a successful Eurovision entry.2 I particularly enjoy how clear their voices are in the recording, and that the trio maintains one cohesive sound instead of reverting to the standard soloist-with-backing-harmony setup. Viewers who find the studio version a little too in-your-face might be heartened to hear how live performances sound. Whether it’s less processing, different mics, or perhaps a combination or the two, O’G3NE sounds amazing live, with a totally different tone than the official recording.3
In addition to raw talent, O’G3NE will enjoy some logistical advantages at the Contest. In particular: they’ll sing in the second semi-final, which is less stacked with heavy favorites than the first, they’re the only trio in the entire Contest this year, and nobody else’s song sounds like this one. Right now the bookies have Netherlands’ odds of winning at 40:1, which puts them above the middle of the pack, and they’re sixth-highest in YouTube views for the second semi-final. Perhaps it’s the Wilson Phillips fan in me, but given everything I see, this entry seems like an easy qualifier into the Grand Final. I certainly hope to see them there.