It’s been 44 long years since The Netherlands waltzed off as Eurovision Song Contest winners, so the stakes are high for this year – and they’ve pulled out all the punches: a young musician who previously appeared on the country’s version of The Voice.
Duncan Laurence is the Dutch hopeful who looks like he could be the man everybody else needs to watch out for – as the song’s already a favourite in the competition.
Who is Duncan Laurence?
Duncan goes for an evening dip (Photo: Eurovision)
Laurence – real name Duncan de Moor – started making music from an early age. At the age of 16, he entered a talent competition and won. He then started his musical career at the Rock Academy in Tilburg, playing in a number of bands. He graduated from the school in 2017. He participated in the fifth season of The Voice of Holland, under the coaching of Ilse DeLange, and made it through to the semi-finals.
What’s his song for the contest?
His song is called Arcade – and *parental guidance advised* there’s a bare bum in the official video. No news as to whether he will be recreating this live on stage on Saturday night:
What does he say about his music?
“I’m always inspired by stories that move me, real personal experiences from my own life or someone else’s. Arcade was inspired by the story of someone I loved deeply, who died at a young age. The words, chords and melodies came to me automatically as if they fell from the sky.
“When Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy helped me finish the song it got a much larger scope. It changed from a very personal story to a story that everyone can connect to. Arcade is a song about longing… longing for love… longing for something that seems out of reach. And it speaks of hope. Hope, that you will find what you need in life.
“It feels good to now step into the light and share my story. I want to reach out to people with my music, possibly even help them. Arcade is a word of advice to myself and who knows… Maybe it helps someone, somewhere… I truly hope so.”
Not since Pinball Wizard has a song so dedicated to an arcade game appeared:
“I’m afraid of all I am / My mind feels like a foreign land / Silence ringing inside my head / Please carry me carry me carry me home / I’ve spent all of the love I saved / We were always a losing game / Small town boy in a big arcade / I got addicted to a losing game”
Odds of winning?
Well, would you look at that? Duncan’s song puts Netherlands as the favourite to scoop up the prize in this weekend’s final. Oddschecker give it 4/5 odds-on favourite to seal the deal, meaning almost five decades of hurt could be finally behind them on Saturday night.
The Eurovision Song Contest final is on BBC One on Saturday 18 May at 8pm.