Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Entry: Netherlands - Anouk - Birds
Apr 24 2013 06:07 pm CET

Netherlands might make it to the Eurovision Song Contest Final! "Birds" by Dutch megastar Anouk is a major play from the country which has not advanced since 2004. Will this be the year for Netherlands, or will there be a shocking disappointment in Malmo?

Country: Netherlands
Title: "Birds"
Artist: Anouk
Semi-Final: First, Position 8
Last year's entry/position: "You and Me" - Joan Franka (DNQ, 15th of 18, second SF)

Netherlands is in do-or-die mode with the Eurovision Song Contest. Since the Contest switched to the semi-final format 2004, Netherlands has made the Final only once. No other entries have come close to qualifying, including 2011's song which finished in absolute last place. "Birds" by Anouk, one of the country's biggest music stars, is a Hail Mary pass:

…a Hail Mary pass that I hope completes. This song checks the Eurovision boxes: a one-word title, soaring ballad, orchestration. However, the mark of a great entry is a song that could completely exist outside of the Eurovision ecosystem. The theme and lyrics make it clear that "Birds" was not written specifically for the Contest, unlike this year's entries from United Kingdom or Moldova.

The odds seem to be stacking in favor of Netherlands as well. The producers placed the song at the end of the first half, which should allow the entry to linger on televoters minds and not get damaged in the contrast with Montenegro's entry. Although Anouk is included in the glut of favorites competing in the first semi-final, she is at the end of that portion of the lineup. Several of the country's friends are in the semi-final, including Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Estonia.

If Netherlands does not make it to the Final with this entry, I could see the country withdrawing from next year's competition. I have to wonder if this may factor into the thought process of the juries. If a country sends in its biggest gun and still can't make it into the final after almost 10 years of trying, it is not so far-fetched for Netherlands to withdraw, regroup, and perhaps take a hiatus to focus on other projects. I hope it doesn't come to that, and with this entry I doubt that scenario will come to pass.

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Mike McComb –

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