Artist: Duncan Laurence
Country: The Netherlands
Betting Odds: 5/2f
Relatively unknown singer Duncan Laurence was chosen by the Netherlands to carry the torch for them at Eurovision 2019. He will sing the song ‘Arcade’. Find out what we thought of the small town boy in a big arcade…
The Netherlands have been the favourite from the outset this year and for a good reason. In ‘Arcade’ Duncan Laurence gives a meditation on a failed relationship. The imagery in the lyrics is some of the best we’ve seen in Eurovision in the past ten years, likening the failing romance to arcade games and roller coasters. Particularly strong is the ‘How many pennies in the slot? Giving us up didn’t take a lot. I saw the end before it begun. Still I carried it, carried it, carried it on’ and ‘I don’t need your games. Game over. Get me off this roller coaster’.
The harmonisation of Duncan’s vocals with the backing singers is nothing short of perfection. With the almost Gospel type vocals, I think he has achieved something (quite flawlessly) that other countries like Sweden, the UK and even Russia have tried to do this year, but seemed too forceful or contrived in their attempts. I have been listening to the Eurovision 2019 playlist on my walk into work for the past few weeks and when the invigorating ‘ooooh oooh ooh’s happen in ‘Arcade’, I really feel like stopping in the street and doing a superman pose!
Then there’s the video! Duncan shows off his ass-ets underwater in foetal like pose and for three minutes I sit watching his movements, entranced. His staging for the song needs to be simplistic and allow the beauty of the song speak for itself and this seems to be what he’s done. There are no gimmicks, no dancers, no fireworks. Just one man and his piano. Belt it out brother!
In the lead up to Eurovision, Duncan has been mentored by Common Linnets front woman Ilse DeLange, which could be a good omen as she gave the Netherlands their best result in many years in 2014 when she came in second with ‘Calm After the Storm’. ‘Arcade’ seems to be the song to beat this year and to be honest I can’t really see it being anyone else. Amsterdam 2020? I’d be happy with that outcome!