ESC 2023 Song Review: “Burning Daylight” by Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper (The Netherlands)

Disclaimer: I’m a Dutch citizen by birth and lived there for several years in as a teenager/in my early twenties. I’m sure there will be some favourable bias.

1) The Result

Sending in an entry sung in Dutch for the first time in over a decade paid dividends, as S10’s “De diepte” finished in 11th place in the final — oddly enough, the third time in the last six contests that the Dutch entry has placed there.

2) The Process

Given how well the Netherlands has been going since they switched to an internal selection process in 2013, it’s understandable that they would continue this, and so it was announced fairly early in the season that singers Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper would be the entry for 2023.

3) The Artist

The first thing to note is that Nicolai and Cooper are not a couple, or a duo who have worked together in any capacity before. They are the classic “put together for Eurovision” act, which carries its own set of risks as well as opportunities. Nicolai has released a few singles but is fairly new to the scene, wheras Dion Cooper participated in The Voice 2015 before releasing an EP in 2021 and supporting 2019 Eurovision winner Duncan Lawrence on one of his tours.

4) The Song

Moody downbeat pop, albeit it with a hopeful ending. It wasn’t a surprise to see Duncan Lawrence on the writing credits for this one, given the nature of the track.

5) The Verdict

I am a fan of moody, sad songs, so I took to this one fairly quickly. The two voices work well together, and the lyrics are appropriately provocative. As a song, I think it deserves to be in the final. As a performance — well, we’ll have to see if the duo can bring some chemistry on the night, or if this is going to be an act that fails to live up to their potential.

My ranking: 8th