Duncan Laurence will represent The Netherlands at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “Arcade”. It’s an emotional ballad that’s heavily tipped to go all the way.
Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS chose Duncan through an internal selection process. It’s a tactic the network has used since 2013. However, Duncan is a relative unknown compared to his immediate predecessors.
After his warm reception at Eurovision in Concert and with Tel Aviv growing ever closer, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Duncan Laurence. Let’s do this!
1. He graduated from the Rockacademie in Tilburg
Some people have music in their blood. The Dutch singer is one of them. Born Duncan De Moor on 11 April 1994, he went on to study in Tilburg’s Rockacademie, one of the biggest schools for musicians in The Netherlands. While there, he and some of his fellow students formed the band The Slick & Suited.
2. His band performed at Eurosonic
The Slick & Suited were part of the line-up for Eurosonic Noorderslag in 2015. It’s a world-famous festival which showcases both Dutch and international talent — Eurovision stars Blanche, Kristian Kostov and Salvador Sobral picked up gongs at the 2018 event.
3. He was number one in South Korea
While “Arcade” is slowly gaining traction in the Dutch charts, Duncan can already call himself a number one songwriter… in South Korea! He co-wrote a song called “Closer”. It was recorded by the K-pop duo TVQX and featured on their album New Chapter #1: The Chance of Love. The record debuted at the highest position in the South Korean charts.
4. He competed on The Voice of Holland
This might be considered the moment that started it all. In 2014, Duncan participated in The Voice of Holland. For his blind audition, he performed Ed Sheeran’s “Sing”. Three of the four coaches turned — Trijintje Oosterhuis being the exception. After some deliberation, he joined Ilse DeLange’s team. Sadly, he didn’t make it to the final, with Eurovision 2017 stars O’G3NE winning the season. The show boasts several more Eurovision connections, with Anouk, Douwe Bob and Waylon also serving on the panel at some point.
5. He’s still in touch with Ilse DeLange
Duncan’s relationship with Ilse has continued on long after the end credits rolled. In fact, he first shared “Arcade” with her via their common Dropbox account. According to an interview with the Dutch talk show DWDD, Ilse loved the track and asked if she could send it to the Dutch selection committee. And the rest is history. When our Charlotte met Duncan last month, he confirmed that Ilse will be in Tel Aviv to give him advice. She should have lots of tips, given she came second with The Common Linnets in 2014.
6. He’ll be staged by Hans Pannecoucke
Belgian stage director Hans Pannecoucke is another familiar name travelling with the Dutch delegation. He is famed for his staging of The Common Linnets’ “Calm After The Storm” in 2014, and less so for numerous other entries through the years. He made a masterpiece on the stage once, so maybe he can do it again.
7. He is singing a very personal song
Duncan does not want to explain everything about his personal connection to the lyrics. But in both his wiwibloggs and DWDD interviews, he tells us that the song is about someone he knew who passed away when he was younger. He put his feelings into the lyrics which makes it a very personal song. However, it is also universal and anyone can connect to it in their own way.
8. He is the first Dutch act to be the bookies’ favourite
Even though The Common Linnets came very close to a win in 2014, Duncan Laurence is the first ever Dutch act to be the frontrunner in the bookmakers’ odds. But nothing is decided yet. Two years ago Italy was the favourite for a long time before the rehearsals but only finished sixth. However, last year favourites Israel took the trophy.
9. He is LGBTQ+
It’s no secret that Eurovision has a sizeable portion of LGBTQ+ fans. But it’s not often that this group is represented on stage. However, Duncan is bisexual and has a boyfriend.
A couple of years ago I came out as bi-sexual. It was the best thing I have ever done in my life. Not because I want to fool around with both girls and boys, not because I can’t choose… Quite the opposite: my choice is clear. I fall in love with a person. And how lucky I am I’ve found that person a couple of months ago.
After Douwe Bob, he is only the second Dutch representative to identify as bisexual. Sexuality aside, as his music video shows, he also shares Douwe’s lack of inhibitions when it comes to showing off his ”lekker kontje”.
All out, all in! #lovemylife #lovesweden #slowdown #teamdouwe pic.twitter.com/6OTyuBtLdo
— Douwe Bob (@douwe_bob) May 4, 2016
10. His first concert sold out in days
Last but not least, Duncan will host his first solo concert on 1 May in Amsterdam’s Het Zonnehuis. It will give fans one last chance to see the singer live before he travels to Tel Aviv. Tickets went on sale on 15 March and they were all snapped up within six days.
How do you think Duncan will do in Tel Aviv? Could he win? Sound off in the comments below.
“It’s no secret that Eurovision has a sizeable portion of LGBTQ+ fans. But it’s not often that this group is represented on stage. ”
I don’t mean to sound harsh but… are you saying eurovision does not feature a lot of LGBTQ+ acts? Because that would erase a LOT of people who have performed in eurovision (even if you only look at the dutch entries LGBTQ+ representation is already better than in most media events) …
11. If he wins he will be the best winner of the last 20+ years!
Sharon den Adel was my favourite Dutch person in the universe. Now, she shares the podium with Duncan. I will follow him for lots and lots of years. :’)
Wishing happy birthday to him! 🙂
One of my own personal favorites to win the Eurovision this year! 🙂
6. He’ll be staged by Hans Pannecoucke
Ohh my…. this concern me a little bit. I was hoping for any stage director except Hans. But its him!
I still remember Manel and Sennek’s stagings. I hope he won’t mess “Arcade” either.
It was Sennek herself who wanted to perform on the catwalk instead of the big podium.
As for Manel, the staging wasn’t the problem. The song was.
He’s so innocent lol, almost adorable:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu0p2GJDy3o after the 9:00 minute mark
I don’t think he wants anyone to see i though haha
I guess it is a good thing when people LOVE or HATE it. Although I do believe a large amount of the sudden haters are trolling around. I think this song has the potential to impress a lot of people… Of this years songs it is definitely on my short list of winners together with Italy and Iceland.
It’s his birthday today! Congratulations King!
I’m an unusual Eurovision fan, because I avoid all the national finals and come to the songs and online gossip relatively late. On the one hand, to discover that Netherlands is favourite to win is exciting… Who wouldn’t want to go to Amsterdam for Eurovision right?
The Dutch song in two words… Fan Bubble. Two more… Yawn-fest. Two more… Non-Qualifier.
Y’all fancy him too much to see that Duncan is this year’s Anna Bergendahl.
sorry but one big LOL @ that. I dont understand, really please anyone help me with this, i don’t understand why people think this song wont even qualify? Are they being serious or just trolling?
Trolling.. What @Eurovisually is actually trying to say is that he / she is jealous as hell and can’t control his enviness… poor guy/girl.
You cant imagine it not qualifying because you is in the fan bubble. Im on my first listen. its total non-entity.
It will win Semi Final 2……and take Netherlands to their first win for 44 years. It’s staring you in the face of you could only see it.
I don’ get it.
If “Calm after the storm” did not win, being a MASTERPIECE, how in the hell is this boredom fest going to?
Best from Spain
because it is King Duncan, and arcade is a huge bop
Well, Spaniards always end up in the bottom of the ranking, so hearing a Spaniard say this will fail, makes me think it will end up very high?
The more I learn about Duncan, the more I like him. He’s a slow burner.
I dont want to critisize, but I’m pretty sure O’G3ne was netherlands 2017
Lol, people are always like why do they always write about Duncan….
This post has 85 comments right now… Compared to Darude’s 10 facts which has 6!
Supply and demand folks!
11. He’ll be the winner of ESC 2019
Don’t jinx it!
jinxing is for children LOL, no one can curse our perfect vocal god
yes of course, no one can come even near his power of arcade bop
800 point win here we come, all for the likes, attention
It is a good song. But is it really a winner? ESC winners offers something new, fresh, original. Arcade while a great song offers none of that. It’s the kind of song Imagine Dragons or Coldplay would sing. Had any other country sent it I wonder if it would have been as praised? Imagine if Russia or Sweden sent it…
If this song was sent by Russia or Sweden it would be even more favourite. C’mon, Russia is 2nd in the bookies with that song and Sweden 4th. They are always overrated.
That’s because the Dutch entry is always hyped, unlike Russia and Sweden, two countries which will always have to struggle to get some recognition and are never high in the polls no matter what they send.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. thats the best eurovision joke I ever heard!! You are very funny!!
And if Arcade represented those countries people would say it will only do well cause it’s Sweden. It’s another standard pop song and so on
I disagree with the comparison to Imagine Dragons and Coldplay. Those bands are highly produced, where Duncan’s song is stripped down and very vulnerable – something that’s highlighted in the video by him being totally exposed. I also disagree that ESC winners are new and fresh. Most ESC songs are far from cutting edge, more often they ride a trend – just that some trends are a little fresher than others. “Amar Pelos Dois” is about as retro as you can get, but it was gorgeous and moving. “1944” wasn’t a fresh concept, but it was striking and deeply felt.… Read more »
Arcade is just as polished as other songs competing or produced. Just because it’s vulnerable doesn’t mean it’s not polished. At the end of the day it still sounds as a radio song which is as polished as it gets. Like Coldplay. But hey, I love Coldplay, I like Arcade.
Its the most stood out song this year!
hi, what this
Look. I like Duncan. The song is ok. Nothing more. His voice is a beauty but the song is basic. I’ve heard it before. Doesn’t sound like a winner. Winners have a more unique sound. Don’t mean to sound harsh. Italy 2017 and France 2016 were the big favorites that didn’t even make top 3. Not saying Duncan will completely flop but, can’t see it as a winner. Maybe 2nd or 3rd is possible. Much love and respect.
Okay yeah, I disagree about that, but I get your point. However… Sweden 2015 was not unique, Azerbaijan 2011 wasn’t, Germany 2010 too… And tbh not even Denmark 2013 was that unique to me. In my opinion Arcade is more unique than many winners we had before.
I agree that Sweden 2015 was not unique in the slightest, their unique staging is why they won. But I meant of the recent years all winners have been unique imo. Originality has been key. Not traveling back to years before 2012. I should have been more clear.
That’s where I don’t agree, I do think Arcade is a unique song. Iceland for example are almost too unique in a way, because the jury probably won’t love it. (Hatari’s my 3rd place btw) You sometimes have to find the balance to convince the Televote AND the jury. I think the Dutch song has the potential to do this. You have to ask yourself the question, who else if not the Netherlands? (my bet is on Italy)
I think the Netherlands will get lots of votes from viewers at home and will be fighting with Iceland for the 1st spot. If they don’t win, then they’ll definitely be in top 3.
Nld’s will get more juryvotes than Iceland i consider!!
“winners have a more unique sound”
Azerbaijan 2011 and sweden 2015 say hello.
i also did hear this years songs of Cyprus and Switserland!! namely last years Fuego!!
Yeah, there are similarities between Fuego and Replay (they are both created by the same team). I also see many similarities between Switzerland’s song and video with Despacito!
He deserves to win sooo much!! If he wins, I will experience my very first esc in real <3
Duncan is now at 27% at the odds, there’s gonna be so much hate towards this entry in these last few weeks. I hope that Europe will be wise and recognise this jewel of a song.
I don’t think there’ll be too much hate, Francesco Gabbani didn’t really receive hate either.
I already see hate on you tube comments for a while, but i try to ignore it. And i hope you’re right. But luckily most comments are positive.
oh yes, he did! A LOT!
Not really… Everyone loved the song and the ones who didn’t, thought it was decent at least. I only remember everyone picking Portugal’s song apart for weeks.
Strange ESC, why the female version of Arcade aka Austria has zero hype and <1%
Because it’s a completely different song.
I don’t want to be harsh, but calling Austria’s song the female version of Arcade is like comparing a Rembrandt with my 5 year-old cousin’s drawings
Well if you don’t hear or feel the difference i can’t help you there.
because limits is dull, and Austria has potential for a 0 points in semi tbh
So everyone that finds the song ok, just not a winner, is a hater?
That’s not what Freddy was saying at all…
Thanx Weibrot, when somebody put words in my mouth i just don’t respond. I mean, i very well know the difference between being critical or being hateful about an entry.
You ended up answering anyway…and there was no intention to put words in your mouth. But by reading some of the comments it seems that who ever likes the song but doesn´t love it and decides to express it, is considered a hater…some Duncan fans just can´t take a critic.
Well Duncan haters can’t take a critic either… look in the mirror darling.
no hate, just love for our vocal god, mr perfection duncan laurence
Mrs Oosterhuis always makes bad decisions. 😀
Strange – but I’m now over the Netherlands – the song has worn off! Back on Italy – with Norway adn North Macedonia as good two and three!
But it doesn’t matter, because people at home will only hear songs once or twice, so they can’t wear off.
Why don’t you take a break from Listening to Eurovision songs and do something else for a while until the contest airs. Sometimes obsession with something can lose its luster and taking a break and get involved with something else can recharge it.
we don’t need you anyway, we got millions of fans for arcade left
Well, yes. Some fans listen to songs 3000 times. The average tv-viewers don’t.
Maybe a thing to add to the article: Ilse DeLange is part of the Common Linnets who got second place in ESC 2014. In case people wonder what her connection to Eurovision is.
lovely personality! would be happy if he wins! i love the song and he seems drama free
This is not a battle against other Dutch artists. Duncan isn’t Ilse’s pawn. She sent Arcade to the selection committee because it’s a good song, that’s it.
yep, we win bc of duncan’s perfect quality as a vocalist, he is our superstar at the moment
11. Wiwibloggs favorite and it’s becoming annoying. So much publicity!
They write these “10 facts” articles for every artist, stop crying. And a bit publicity on some random eurovision blog won’t help him either in the contest.
Noyone is crying here so worry about something else. If the “10 facts” are about every artists, then they still have a long way to go …and yes, they ALL deserve the same publicity, this is a contest, not a fan club.
Duncan is the favourite to win, of course there are many articles on him… But not as many as you say, at least I didn’t notice him being over-represented on this site. And actually, wiwibloggs is more like a fan club than a serious contest, so stop being so pressed. Wiwibloggs doesn’t choose the winner.
Wiwibloggs is a site about Eurovision, a fan club of ESC and not fan club of a specific artist or whoever is a favorite to win. And ALL contestants should be treated equally.
We have free press, girl. They can write about whoever tbwy want. If you don’t like that, start your own blog.
Wiwibloggs can write whatever the hell they want. If you don’t like it, don’t visit the site… simple as that.
True, they can write whatever they want but this is a site about a contest and they should be impartial, which apparently, they are clearly not. I´m entitled to my opinion and express it to let them know what I feel about it.
I agree, and even the official Eurovision channel uploaded an interview with Duncan and no other interviews. They’re all favoring him.
How many artists this year identify as LGBTQ?? It seems like there are quite a few this year.
Not a lot actually. From the top of my head:
-Mahmood, but that could be false
-Tom Hugo ( KEiiNO)
-Conan (he identifies as pan)
I didn’t include Sergey, because that’s mainly a theory.
It is a lot, I don’t think we had this many in any other year. (I was thinking Michael too, but we don’t know, so… Someone said Kobi, but I don’t want to assume.)
I heard Michael Rice was too but I’m not sure
Mind you, there are probably some ladies as well. Can’t be only men for sure.
Yes Mahmood has a boyfriend Lorenzo, he is been seen with him a lot in public places,for last months paparazzi cought them together shopping , eating in restaurants, hugging, laughing and kissing in public, Mahmood never hide his lover from the people, though weeks ago they had a very big dramatic fight in the middle of the street, Lorenzo was in tears and was shaking and Mahmood looked very sad and broken, local medias assumed they might be broke up….
Nah, I think Roko’s just being dramatic with these wings lmao
Conan, Bilal, Duncan, Michael Rice, Mahmood, Tom (from Norway) and Kobi
This post just makes me laugh
11. He‘s not related to Triintje Osterhuis!
Considering his favorite Eurovision song ever is Dance You Off, his aesthetic sensibilities are evidently ahead of the curve.
I think he met Benjamin Ingrosso once in Stockholm. That might also have something to do with it.
fav song in last year, not ever, and it was like ‘which Eurovision song still stuck in your head’ question, lol
this year Duncan’ fav song is ‘Soldi’ 🙂
So far for this 10 Facts article series, we have 18 artists profiled out of 41. The writers have a lot of work to do to get the rest of the participants before the contest airs.
23 in like 34 days, it,’s going to be fine.
I did not know Duncan Lawrence is bisexual. If he wins the contest, he will be the fourth person from the LGBTQ+ community to win, joining Dana International, Marija Šerifovi?, and Conchita Wurst (now just Wurst). In fact, they actually fill out the LGBT acronym:
Transgender: Dana International
And if Duncan wins, he will fill the Bisexual Slot.
Loreen is bisexual, I think?
I took a google search, and you’re right. Loreen is bisexual–there was even a wiwibloggs article about it. I guess the acronym has already been filled. Duncan will be the fifth then.
Loreen had a Finnish girlfriend once. But haven’t heard anything in a while..
Dana International is a transsexual woman maybe? I am not sure. I do recall I read somewhere she was transsexual, not transgender. Transsexual persons go through sex reassignment surgeries and hormonal treatment.
GLAAD’s website had the following to say about the term “transsexual”: “Transsexual (adj.) An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities. Still preferred by some people who have permanently changed – or seek to change – their bodies through medical interventions, including but not limited to hormones and/or surgeries. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. It is best to ask which term a person prefers. If preferred, use as an adjective: transsexual woman or transsexual man.” I am not LGBTQ myself, so… Read more »
He is not bisexual, and I don’t think he ever said he was. He simply said he would go out with a man if he was attracted to one…which to date has never happened. That’s not the same thing. He was trying to redeem himself after those unfortunate “unnatural” remarks.
Also I’m pretty sure Katrina is gay, I always thought she was open about it, but when I searched I couldn’t find any public comments. Jean-Claude Pascal was gay, and won with a song about a gay relationship, so he counts too.
No way that song was number one in south korean charts with only 80000 views.
I guess it’s the album, not the song.
Ah, that makes sense
Another fact: Duncan changed his second name to ‘Laurence’ to honoring his mom name … aww
That’s so cool.
He also wrote and sings on this dance track by French djs Faul & Wad:
I had no idea who he was a couple of months ago, so I looked him up and I thought he was going to do a dance song like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78GeHqkyj4c&list=WL&index=56&t=0s which is also a nice one
Dj Lulleaux… on the Jiskefet label?
I don’t think Douwe Bob was ever connected with The Voice of Holland.
He was a coach on the kids version last year
OK didn’t know that.
Fact #11 Duncan is adorable cinnamon roll 😀
So tomorrow is his birthday? No wonder you upload this article today.