Eurovision 2016: Netherlands

So this is something a bit different from the rest of the Eurovision pop-tactic entries this year. The Netherlands has gone for Douwe Bob’s ‘Slow Down’ and I have to say it’s growing on me. I’ve had it playing in the background while writing a few emails and it’s very likeable.

It’s a bit ‘Eagles’, a bit ‘country’, but I won’t hold that against it. The guy can actually sing.

Which isn’t surprising, given he’s relatively established. Relative to most Eurovision acts, anyway. How so? He was actually chosen to sing for the Netherlands last year.

The first time that the Dutch audience made acquaintance with Douwe Bob was in 2012 when he won the TV show The Best Singer-Songwriter in The Netherlands. His debut album Born In A Storm was released in 2013 and immediately after he was already on stage at Pinkpop. In May 2015 the second album of Douwe Bob rocketed to number one in the album charts. After the huge success of the duet Hold Me with Anouk, Douwe Bob scored a hit this summer with the song Sweet Sunshine.

I reckon he can hold his own in the semi-final, but wonder if a large arena will be a challenge. The Netherlands tried country-lite before, in 2014, and it didn’t really work out for them.

(I, however, loved that song).

Here’s hoping Douwe Bob gets into the final and holds the attention of the frenzied arena audience – and, more importantly, remains memorable enough to get those all-important viewer votes. Unsurprisingly, given the sheer volume of acts looking to be remembered, it’s sometimes the impact of the stage show that gets the audience’s attention.

I wonder if this will be remembered as the audience picks up their phones to vote…

7/10.

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