March 8, 2019

Dutch Eurovision entry is a modern power ballad

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 8:26 pm

Relatively unknown artist Duncan Laurence will represent The Netherlands at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with the song ‘Arcade’.

The first Semi-Final will be held May 14, the second Semi-Final on May 16 and the Grand Final on Saturday, May 18. At this point, we don’t know what day Duncan will be performing in the semi-finals. However, a quick look at the Internet says Duncan has a good chance of scoring, as long as he sings with a lot of emotion, which he is prone to doing.

According to Wikipedia, Duncan Laurence (aka Duncan de Moor) started his musical career at the Rock Academy in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant playing in a number of school bands. He graduated from the school in 2017 and participated in the fifth season of The Voice of Holland, under the coaching of Ilse DeLange.

You may know DeLange as one half of The Common Linnets (Waylon was the other singer) who in sang ‘Calm After the Storm’ in 2014 and picked up second place. A downside to this song is that there’s no ‘boom’ or anything at the end, it ends quietly after a mild build up and that usual makes the room quiet.

Listen to the song here yourself and we’ll see how that goes in May.

(Link:, Photo of Guitars by tarale, some rights reserved)

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April 14, 2018

Dutch country music at Eurovision again

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:11 pm

Back in 2014, Ilse DeLange and Waylon sang ‘Calm After the Storm’ as The Common Linnets, which came in second at the Eurovision Song Contest that year, right behind ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, performed by Conchita Wurst of Austria.

This year, Waylon is going it alone, with another ‘I’m European, but I want to sound American’ song called ‘Outlaw in ‘Em’, which sounds like a light beer advert to me, featuring truckers wiping their sweaty brow in slow motion after a long day on the road, at least in my head. And a lot like The Common Linnets, I’m not the target market for this type of song, but at least Waylon can actually sing and pronounce English properly.

A quick tour of the Dutch Internet suggests Waylon is a top 10 contender, as I write this.

(Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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March 3, 2017

Dutch Eurovision entry, a close harmony extravaganza

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 8:44 pm

The Netherlands has traded in the three ‘drumming dolls’ of Treble (2006) for a trio of women who don’t drum, but sing in close harmony called O’G3NE as contestants for this year’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

The close harmony is too much for me, it almost sounds like someone is using Auto-Tune instead of actually singing, making it all sound overproduced. The lyrics aren’t appealing to me as a native English speaker, especially fudging the expression ‘turning the pages’ (‘turning the page’) to make the rhyme work. As well, ‘more’ doesn’t quite rhyme with ‘insecure’, which also grates. I would like this song more if I heard some sincerity in the voices, like they care about what they are singing, but I’m not hearing it even though it’s very clear they have singing talent. Oh, and modulating the chorus twice (!) in the song is not helping, either.

Just like many comments on YouTube, it’s not catchy. I can picture some dancers on stage, maybe that will happen, who knows, but I don’t feel this is going to be a winner. I’ve been wrong before, but have a listen yourselves.

(Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)


May 10, 2016

Dutch Eurovision rehearsal video leaked by Russia

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 1:29 pm

We told you about the Dutch Eurovision entry from 23-year-old Douwe Bob from Amsterdam and we thought this year there wouldn’t be any fuss about wardrobe malfunctions or plagiarism, but oh no, there’s a scandal.

Apparently the Russian jury members leaked a video of them rating Douwe Bob’s entire performance at the general rehearsal, which was not supposed to happen. Большое спасибо, Russia!

Some people are pissed that the video was leaked, others like the bookies get some inside information about Douwe Bob’s chances. As we said recently, ‘Slow Down’ is nice, but not an earworm.

UPDATE: Douwe Bob has made it to the final.

Here’s the leaked video:


(Link:, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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May 8, 2014

A bit like football: UK afraid of the Netherlands

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 12:41 pm

First the Dutch media spat on it, then others like me joined in the chorus. But once ‘Calm before the storm’ sung by duet The Common Linnets made it through to the Eurovision Song Contest finals last Tuesday, the Dutch press fashioned reasons to like the song, one of which makes sense: the most economic use of guitar chords for the biggest amount of win. Newspaper Metro UK says, “The song is perhaps the most simple ever seen at the Eurovision Song Contest. It has just three chords and the first half of the song is shown in a single camera take.”

Maybe austerity will finally hit Eurovision. Then again, maybe this is just the ‘pride before the fall’.

UPDATE: Hey, the Dutch won second place.

(Dutch country music to hit song festival, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)


May 17, 2013

Winning Eurovision is costly, losing seems like a better option

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 9:25 am

It’s hard to believe that after eight years of international humiliation the Dutch Eurovision’s entry for 2013 actually has a chance. National rock chick Anouk made the cut this week with the song ‘Birds’, which she had lying around and not with some Dunglish-gone-wrong cultural faux-pas like many of her recent predecessors.

Although TROS television station director Peter Kuipers is thrilled that Anouk is going to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, he’s already grumpy at the idea of forking out some 10 million euro for hosting the show if she wins. TROS is currently in talks to merge with the AVRO television station to save both their financial futures.

A straightforward, well-written ballad (as in no mistakes because we’ve done that before) seems like a good choice. TROS skipped having a television show to determine who would go to Eurovision as Anouk said either you pick me or forget it.

Seems like Anouk helped the TROS save money after all.

For a quick comparison, here’s Sineke – Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie) – 2012.

Here’s the “trommelende trutten’ (roughly, ‘drumming bimbos’) with their made-up language (kicks in at 0:42) Treble – Amambanda – 2006

(Link:, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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February 27, 2012

‘We’re sending an Indian to the Eurovision Song Contest’

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 12:06 pm

Even national television was trying to hold back its astonishment when they heard that Joan Franka from Rotterdam dressed in a Sioux-like costume won the right to represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. I have nothing against her song, but maybe Buffy Sainte Marie could have a good laugh with us.

Last year, bookies rated Dutch Eurovision entry as hopeless, so here it is for anyone who missed it. We were collectively embarrased when Dutch gay-oriented icons The Toppers sang a mouthful of clichés and blinded the audience with lights as camouflage. I was already traumatised with the Netherlands’ entry from 2006, which I called ‘de trommelende trutten’ (roughly ‘the drumming bimbos’) who sang in a nonsense language to boot.

But this year, a shy singer with a guitar and some high notes won over the Dutch for reasons all the ones who didn’t vote for her couldn’t explain, like some sort of schism. Two promising soul singers where also in the running, both with problems in the interpretation of the songs they sang, but got nailed by Hiawatha, Pocahontas, Winnetou, and other nicknames. Leave out the costume and at least we won’t get laughed at this time. Yes, the costume refers to the song, but please get rid of it.

If she wins anything, I’ll whip out my peace pipe.

UPDATE: here it is.


May 20, 2010

Bookies rate Dutch Eurovision entry as ‘hopeless’

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 8:56 am

I already called the Dutch Eurovision entry for 2010 cultural suicide, but as the big day approaches, the plot thickens. There’s been some accusations of plagiarism against song writer Pierre Kartner and Sieneke has had some voice problems. Luckily, she’s OK. However, Sieneke is currently ranked 36 out of 39 with ‘zéro points’ (pronounced in French, eh).

The big favourite this year is Lena from Germany with a dance number featuring some really lame lyrics I couldn’t get through (I heard the word ‘underwear’). Her voice has a quality resembling Iceland’s Björk, which probably helps and yes, she’s pretty. Georgia is a close second with Sofia Nizharadze and some love ballad with the name ‘Shine’ (ironically the name of the Dutch entry in 2009) that I didn’t get through, also with a very pretty woman. In third place, Sweden with a pretty blonde named Anna Begendahl accompanying herself on the guitar and some serious tremelo in her voice that’s not my thing.

But back to Sieneke: she’s friendly and warm on stage by Dutch standards, but she’s just not pretty. And it does matter. Dutch celebrity gossip show (RTL Boulevard) went around Oslo about two weeks ago, showed people a video of Sieneke and asked people to guess how old she was. I heard 32 and ‘not bad for 36’. Sieneke just turned 18. Ouch. The gay side-kick of the show politely said, “I think she needs a stylist”. Sieneke is the younger version of famous Dutch star Marianne Weber whose Wikipedia page isn’t even in English, the point being that outside of the Dutch speaking world, no one has a clue who she is.

Watching this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be like watching a slow train wreck and I can’t wait, sorry Sieneke.

Let’s go back to the Dutch winner of 1957, the lovely Corry Brokken with ‘Net als toen’ ‘(Just like then’).



February 3, 2010

Dutch Eurovision entry: cultural suicide

Filed under: Music,Shows by Orangemaster @ 12:36 pm

Eurovision is the fast food of music. I don’t even understand how non-Europeans can get into this exclusive club, unless they pull strings like French Canadian Céline Dion did to sing and win for FranceSwitzerland in 1988 or lobby very hard like Israel did to be able to participate. Maybe that’s why I like this strain of gossip.

Although The Netherlands won the Junior Eurovision 2009 and apparently are able to put on a show non-Dutch people like in Dutch rather than English (or Dunglish), the adult version has been digging its own grave and may have hit China already.

Pierre Kartner (aka Vader Abraham) who is a international song writer and singer wrote this year’s song ‘Ik ben verliefd’ (Sha la lie) (I’m in love Sha la lie) and is being dumped on by the bucketful. The song sounds like it was written eons ago when the Dutch had no knowledge of the outside world, while the subject matter is the safest choice imaginable. The video above is a demo version and will be sung by many different artists.

To make criticizing him easier — and the detail has been corrected — Kartner wrote about the city of ‘Leningrad’, Russia which is now called St Petersburg. Kartner changed the problematic lyric and turned it into Moscow, which I’m sure was not politically motivated and tickles my Russian heritage.

The Netherlands hasn’t made the finals in five years going on six and their last win dates back to 1975, and before that 1969 when only a few countries ran the show. The Dutch often say they should just stop, but I say if Finnish heavy metal can win, the Dutch can surely get back into the saddle somehow.

So let’s go back even further, 1957, and listen to Teddy Scholten sing ‘Een beetje’ (A little bit) about being ‘a little bit’ in love, the Eurovision Song Contest winner of that year and ponder where did it go wrong. Teddy Scholten even sang a French version of the same song.

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February 2, 2009

Shine on you like a deer in headlights

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 9:30 pm

I never used to care about the Eurovision Song Contest because it’s just sugary pop music with too much flash and slutty outfits (not really in a good way). But ever since 2006 when a fully costumed Finnish hard rock band won, and in 2007 the second place went to a campy Ukranian crossdresser singing in a Russian-pseudo German mishmash language stole the show, I keep abreast of the finals hoping something outrageous will happen again.

The Dutch have had no luck in ages. They were knocked out of the semi-finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008, their best score in recent years, and now instead of sending pretty young women who can sing, they are sending in the “big guns”: three ‘older’ men, namely singers Gordon, Rene Froger and Jeroen van der Boom who call themselves The Toppers.

They playbacked on television yesterday instead of actually singing, which caused a commotion in the press, the number they sang was possibly written by some woman and not Gordon although she can’t prove it, and many experts agree the song is not very good, which is Dutch for “it sucks.”

It’s one big string of clichés (in English) and it screams midlife crisis. The idea of sending experienced artists is good, but if they can’t sing live, they are dead in the water. Kudoz to their big and beautiful backup singers, which is a good bold move.

A quick tour of the contestants shows a young, blond Belgian-Turkish woman representing Turkey, Hadise (love that dual citizenship), while Slovenia has some elegant string quartet called Quartissimo with a young, blond female singer. Then, there is also the famous young enough and blond enough Patricia Kaas who will represent France and cannot possibly do worse than the Netherlands.

Am I the only one who thinks that singing the words “love will make us glow in the dark” in Moscow is really funny?

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