He is the bookies’ favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest, giving the Dutch hope the contest might come home after 40 years. But now a video of Duncan Laurence from 2017 has surfaced in which he sings his Eurovision entry “Arcade”. Naturally that’s stoking controversy among Eurofans, as the song was performed well before the September 1, 2018 cutoff.

The video was posted on June 9th, 2017, but had only clocked 500 views at the time of writing this post. The video itself is 29 minutes long and features five other songs performed by him and two musicians. “Arcade” is the first song he performs. He does so on the piano. It’s full length and with the official and current lyrics.

Has the Netherlands broken the rules?

The contest rules are clear. No song is allowed to be “commercially released” before the 1st of September of 2018. As mentioned above, the video was published over a year prior to the deadline. The rules also include uploads on social networks and public performances during concerts. Rule 2.2.2 Songs states:

The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1 September 2018 (the Release Date). In case the composition has been made available to the public, for example, but not limited to, on online video platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly accessible databanks and/or performed publicy, for example but not limited to during concerts, the Participating Broadcaster must inform the ESC Executive Supervisor, who shall have authority to evaluate whether the composition is eligible for participation in the Event. In particular, the ESC Executive Supervisor shall assess whether such disclosure prior to the Release Date is likely to give to the composition an advantage in the Event vis-à-vis the other compositions. The ESC Executive Supervisor shall authorise or deny participation of a composition which may have been available to the public as described above, subject to the prior approval of the Reference Group.

The question is: Does a video with under 500 views count as a “commercial” release? Clearly not. A video with so few views is not at an advantage in the competition itself. Additionally, the venue seems to be pretty small. According to the introduction this was part of a late-night student show. And anyway Dutch students can’t vote for the Netherlands at Eurovison!

Eurovision songs are often produced months or even years before the September deadline. For example, Germany’s song “Sister” was written during the Swiss songwriting-camp in 2018 and found it’s home a year later. Producing a song is a long process in which many different people are involved. There are many tweaks and false starts before you create a masterpiece.

The Dutch broadcaster has not yet commented.

A familiar issue

It seems like the issue of the release date is a reoccurring drama with many different artists involved in similar situations in recent years. In 2018 Alekseev from Belarus performed his entry “Forever” several months before the deadline during a concert in Stavropol.

In 2016 a petition circulated calling on the EBU to disqualify Jamala and “1944” after grainy video footage emerged showing her performing the song in May 2015.

“The purpose of the rule is to prevent wide distribution of any song that might give it an unfair advantage in the competition the following May,” the EBU wrote in response.

“In the past, songs that had been publicly available before the deadline, but had not been accessible by a wide audience, had been granted permission to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest by the Reference Group.”

“In the case of Jamala’s ‘1944’ the EBU’s attention has been drawn, after the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, to a public performance of an earlier version of the song in May 2015.”

“The video of a small concert had only been viewed by a few hundred people before it was discovered in the past few days.”

“The EBU, based on previous decisions in the Reference Group, therefore has concluded that the published video did not give Jamala’s song any unfair advantage in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and the song was eligible to compete.”

In 2016 Danish broadcaster DR allowed Anja Nissen‘s song “Never Alone” to remain in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, after earlier suggestions that it may be ineligible due to a previous live performance by co-writer Emmelie De Forest dating back to 2014.

The EBU confirmed in all three cases that no rule was violated.

What do you think? Will Duncan face problems with the video? Tell us in the comments below!

Follow all of our Netherlands Eurovision 2019 news

 

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Peter KDVF
Guest
Peter KDVF

Nooooooo I don’t want Netherlands be disqualified this year!!!

Ariel
Guest
Ariel

Jamala and Alekseev both performed earlier versions of their songs. Their final versions were completely different (at least in Alekseev’s case)

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Off point… Call me crazy, but I like this version much more than the actual studio cut.

Katerina
Guest
Katerina

If the video was viewed by such few people and the song is not given an advantage over the other entries then no rules have been broken. It is a good song and we are looking forward to see how it will be performed. Some people love to see entries get disqualified for whatever the reason as if that gives their own country’s song some kind of advantage. I believe the more the entries the more interesting the competition. May the best performance win. It usually does.

Chingiz
Guest
Chingiz

I agree Katerina. May the best performance win.

Sheldon
Guest
Sheldon

OMG. Jamala broke several rules. And she did win.

Sheldon
Guest
Sheldon

In comparison with her, Duncan did nothing.

Cey
Guest
Cey

Agree

LisbethJ
Guest
LisbethJ

This is at school the rockacademie.. Were he wrote song.. A exam/ showcase.. Someone very proud of the students put the video on YouTube.. Maybe Duncan didn’t even knew..

LisbethJ
Guest
LisbethJ

This is at school.. the rockacademy were he wrote the song. His fellow students beside him.. I think it’s even like an exam.. a showcase what he has done during the years at school.. Someone proud of the students put the video on YouTube.. Maybe even Duncan didn’t knew about it..

Charles
Guest
Charles

I can see all thosw dirty-dancing-chameleon-replay maniacs fuming of anger towards this cause after all Arcade has the audacity to be a ballad … and every ballad that such maniacs urge to get rid of it’s a blessing for everybody wanting Eurovision to be nothing else but a contest of 40 something Fuegos all alike … It’s like cult or an Evangelic church with fundamentaliat views. God bless the upbeat … Hail Satan for all balads!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I really love the Swiss entry! Doesn’t mean I can’t like Arcade as well!!!!

Edu
Guest
Edu

Didn’t expect that. Rules are rules. But it seems ain’t gonna happen anything with this. Like with some other entries before. He’ll sing Arcade but as a punishment they’re not gonna win.
Sad for it.

muyi
Guest
muyi

damn you must not have anything good going in your life to invest so much time HATING .

Roger Rabbit
Guest
Roger Rabbit

Netherland is a masterpiece and bigest favourite to win is normal that have so much attention for good or bad .personally I think deserve to win very clear .I dont care more about all the histeria and hate around here .is my number one .point.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

500 people watched a video from two years ago?
Doesn’t exactly sound like much of an advantage gained now, does it? Nothing to see here.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Oh my god preach, you are taking the words out of my mouth…

HumbleDandelion
Guest
HumbleDandelion

Whatever the song is not that great. It’s a bubble ready to be popped. There are better ones in the competion.

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

Oh…… which ons?

NatashaWAYTOESC
Guest

Russia, , Spain,Italy, Israel, Greece

Sam
Guest
Sam

Laat da gewoon. Ze hebben nu eens kans om nog eens te winnen

Kaiser
Guest
Kaiser

Crybabies in the comment section didn’t care when France and Belarus did the same thing 1 and 2 years before (because they had no chance to win so yeah who cares), but when it comes about Netherlands the fav to win the ESC everyone is saying “DISQUALIFY NETHERLANDS RULES ARE RULES!!!11!1!!11!1”
Y’all need to get a grip.

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

Solayoh! Solayoh!

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

But France and Belarus 2017/2018 did change/revamp the whole package. Alekseev performed the original russian version. Arcade should be allowed to compete but the lyrics and langage should be change to dutsh version.

Piikatschoo
Guest
Piikatschoo

Obviously, the Eurovision Song Contest doesn’t really have rules. It has guidelines. It’s okay if you break them. Nobody will do anything. Except when you’re Romania in 2016 for example.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

That was because the broadcaster refused to pay the participation fee. How long does it take until you get put out of your home if you don’t pay the rent?

Piikatschoo
Guest
Piikatschoo

So let’s enforce some rules but not others. OK.

Peters
Guest
Peters

Boring. If Jamala could get away with it, he will be fine.

Anne
Guest
Anne

Way to go Daan, ik had het niet beter kunnen zeggen!

Anne
Guest
Anne

For al the haters who shout this need DQ, lets talk about former entry’s Like Jamala?

Bilaley Lazani
Guest
Bilaley Lazani

Nothing will happen and Netherlands will be at the contest. Should i remind you that the song is on the Eurovision CD and also that the song has already been submitted at the HoD Meeting in March in Tel Aviv

Piikatschoo
Guest
Piikatschoo

Romania 2016 was also on the CD and it got kicked out before the contest.

Stephanie
Guest

But that was a whole different circumstance – Romania got kicked out of the 2016 contest due to huge unpaid debts owed to the EBU by TVR

cent
Guest
cent

If it had happened at the sanremo festival it would have been eliminated immediately, probably the eu will close an eye because holland has already paid to win!

stommie
Guest
stommie

Funny that you mention San Remo. You know that part of Non Mi Avete Fatto Niento was performed in San Remo 2016?
https://youtu.be/E02ffj4rIPc

cent
Guest
cent

Meta-Moro had been criticized that the basis of the song was not unpublished, because it was already heard in 2016. But they respected the regulation because the regulation provides that any contestation by other competitors who consider themselves damaged by the participation of a unpublished song should be presented in a very short time. The regulation says: REGULATION: The Artists of the CHAMPIONS section and / or the respective record companies can formally challenge RAI – Rai Uno Management the possible lack of the “novelty” requirement in a song by another competing Artist in the same Section. This dispute, to… Read more »

stommie
Guest
stommie

So Italy 2018 was a song that was performed two years earlier and nobody cared, not the organisation of San Remo, not EBU, not the fans. Not only that, part of Italy 2018 was commercially released by any definition of what that means.

cent
Guest
cent

read what I wrote in the message before yours!
Before speaking, you need to know things

stommie
Guest
stommie

What does what you wrote have to do with the EBU rule that a eurovision song can’t be released commercially before September 1st? Because the chorusses of those two songs are the same and the first one was commercially released in 2016.

cent
Guest
cent

do you understand that the Dutch did hear the complete song in 2017, while the Italians based a song of 2016 that was then modified with another sound and another text? Which song has respected the Italian internal regulation unlike the Dutch one?

Alessio
Guest
Alessio

What a lack of creativity. A song from 2017 entering 2019’s Eurovision.?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

rather a masterpiece from 2017 than trash from 2019 🙂

Alessio
Guest
Alessio

rules are rules

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

lmao, what a bunch of moaners

if you dq us this year, it will be weakest eurovision ever, so you guys need our bop arcade

Escf
Guest
Escf

Didn’t know we have such law-abiding citizens here lol

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

!!Russian Trolls alert!!

They got even here!
wow.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Don’t be sorry (say you’re sorry) if you’re not rally sorry :+)

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

I see some people wondering why such a fan favourite song only got 500 views, and saying that it is apparently only hyped for Eurovision because suddenly it got so many positive feedback….I mean duh. That video is NOT only about Arcade. It is 30min long, consists of multiple songs, the title does not suggest that Arcade is being played at all, they used his real name Duncan de Moore, etc. In short, it takes you quite some effort to even find out that Arcade was performed in it, because the video certainly wasn’t produced to promote Arcade only as… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

Lets face it this is food for al the Russian Trols en haters

Henry
Guest
Henry

Couldn’t have Saïd it better Daan.

Female
Guest
Female

he will be not disqualified, the song has already in this year CD and the CD has already launched, ready to send to everyone who already preordered it and what so ever.. but it really give me a huge face palm reaction and lol..

Black eyes
Guest

Pop generic this song.

Eurovisually
Guest
Eurovisually

500 viewers in two years… proves what a fanbubble favourite this beige non-entity really is.

I would just say to the EBU, scrap the rule or enforce the rule but don’t have a rule you don’t enforce. Pointlessly

Tjh
Guest
Tjh

I can see bad losers and runner-ups to make a protest shortly after Duncan has won the contest.

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Can someone please explain why it had to be specifically now that this “controversy” had to come out?

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Ask Russians :+)
They are specialized in occuring that kind of mess.

dinner is ready
Guest
dinner is ready

He will not be dq, but he must face his team. Did he told Ilse before she submitted his song, did he told the delegation? He knew he can’t take the risk to be rejected, and decided to be practical and keep his mouth shut. Little angel NOT.

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

Stop trying to use things like this in an attempt to cancel the favourite. 500 people is nothing, and the only use this has is for giving haters of this song another excuse to hate it.

Omg
Guest
Omg

THIS! I hope they won’t delete this post because what you have said is dead on the target. Also don’t forget that they are biased to artists like since they have written loads of articles stanning him, which isn’t what a proper news site should do (remain neutral in all aspects).

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Agreed.

omg
Guest
omg

Woops I accidentally deleted the artist name while editing this xD I was referring to Sergey Lazarev if anyone is wondering

Valhalla
Guest
Valhalla

So apparently this bs has been stirred up by a Russian YouTube vlogger called russelblog #desperatemuch

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

The Perez Hilton of Russia? I am starting to dislike him.

AMERICAN
Guest
AMERICAN

He is not Russian but Ukranian just for your information.

Henry
Guest
Henry

And you are not American but Russian.. just for your information..

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Just to clarify: most of the russians are very sympathetic and nice towards duncan and the Netherlands in that comment section so don’t be too hard on them as a whole.

Valhalla
Guest
Valhalla

Yep a lot of them aren’t having it, a friend of mine, she translated some of the the comments: the highest liked are about Jamala singing 1944 in 2015 and that didn’t get DQ,
another one said: why He’s (russelblog) making a fuss over nothing, only for the sake of getting views stating that April fools is over, and one even questions russelblog on being on the Russian ESC payroll to troll the ‘fanfavorite’

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

So, according to the rules blah blah blah, the song will undergo an evaluation by the EBU Executive Supervisor. I hope that whoever that person is will be considerate because the rules aren’t that specific enough to punish Netherlands for what has transpired. And like the article said, it is basically similar to Jamala and Alekseev’s case, so what’s the point of DQing it? One way for EBU to effectively fix it is to update and specify their rules if they don’t want this to happan again (which I think should probably have happened years ago). I just don’t see… Read more »

Ton ten Donkelaar
Guest
Ton ten Donkelaar

Jesus Christ! A lot of noise about apparently nothing… I hear a bunch of kids talking, yelling, obviously jealous reactions and for sure only uplifting themselves. Wtf grow up.. No rules were broken. Please read what the article is saying and make some efforts to understand his song. He explained already the song was about a friend was dying during his time at the rockacademy. He is an artist and his song was in progress nothing more than that…

Apple
Guest
Apple

They’re just reporting on recent developments regarding this year’s contest. With something like this, it’s important to publish articles that make it clear what the situation is. It would be ridiculous if they /didn’t/ publish this

Valhalla
Guest
Valhalla

Oh pls, like an old video from 2017 is suddenly ‘breaking news’.. some1 had to really dig, write an article, to in the end, find out nothing.
But turning in to tabloid blog has it’s perks I guess

TamtaQueen
Guest
TamtaQueen

If that was Cyprus y’all would be like DQ RIGHT NOW!! But since it’s Netherlanda it’s ok i guess hmmm..

Doris
Guest
Doris

Being Russia the EBU would have already found the opportunity of DQ to not hurt the chosen one chances.

Gert (Songfestivalwerk!)
Guest

A few points I like to make. Point 1: This is good research journalism. If you like it or not, it has to be addressed. Why? The EBU needs to understand that rules are necessary to maintain the competition-format. When it comes to participation fees, the EBU seems to interpret the rules more strict (disqualification of Romania a few years back), but when it comes down to rules of the game suddenly a laissez-fare mentality is being applied. And applying double standards is ultimately not good for the credibility of the competition format. Point 2: Chosing this particular moment for… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

I Agree Gert, William has to come out with aa explanation about this, Juls like Matt from Escunited did in a live stream yesterday and told that this is not a big deal. Lijkt verdorie wel of ze gewoon favorieten willen zwart maken.

Valhalla
Guest
Valhalla

@Daan: AMEN!! They call it ‘ serving it with attitude’ but now it’s starting to look tacky, as in only-care-about-the-clicks-by-creating-drama tacky.

Otto
Guest
Otto

Interesting comment ! I believe I agree..

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

He wasn’t naked in this video – maybe that’s why it only got 500 views? Meaow, sorry, couldn’t resist.

BT BG
Guest
BT BG

That’s the only reason his song got any attention, as it’s mediocre at best. Everyone knows that, they just don’t wanna admit it.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

All in all..
if Duncan told Dutch broadcaster about the performance before -fair and ok.
If Dutch broadcaster told EBU -everything is fine.

If not… then someone should pay for those little lies, as lying turns back on you ALWAYS.

But disqualification? Now?
Is it to late for love?
Is it?
B-)

Mari
Guest
Mari

Meanwhile, I really enjoyed watching this ”controversial” video, beautiful 🙂

Jacky
Guest
Jacky

Give this song to Slovenia or UK and it finish in 15th place.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

That’s funny. You act as if we don’t have the track record for most non qualifications in a row. We’ve only had two really good results in the last twenty years which are one second and a ninth place. But I do love it when people like you come with these whiny excuses like “tHIs SoNg DidN’t qUaLiFy BeCaUse It’S tOo GoOD fOR eUrOViSIon”

Apple
Guest
Apple

The Netherlands qualified in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Stop acting like old history trumps recent history ffs

Little crumb
Guest
Little crumb

Give it to Albania and would not even qualify. Netherlands song is mediocre in its quality. The fuss of him being naked in the mv is the only thing that put it in the front run. There are more songs of better quality and deserving that this one. Not even in my top 10.

Lol
Guest
Lol

Or give it to Sweden and it winns…

Bje
Guest
Bje

What do you mean?

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Funny how people care about “rules”.
Hehe.

I wish people care about rules in other issues (like Russian invasion to Ukraine) with the same attitude… 🙂
No, you let Russian still prevail ESC :+) and Duncan is a criminal to eliminate. heh. wow.

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

I believe ESC is not about politics… although there are many other opinions and comments about it that changes the all image…
Did you personally care about rules while it was war in Croatia and Bosnia? Or during political situation in Hungary and Poland for an example?
So, before talking about when and how other care about rules, stay out of political agenda and stick to the facts.
In Duncan case , no matter how good artist he is or how good song is, rules are broken.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

No, rules are not broken as it is not specified what EBU means by “release” and moreover ESC defines this rule every time in favor of the song.
As song was not released, just performed, EBU defines this as acceptable.
As long as EBU gives rules it’s EBU who has the last word on it.
Case closed.

Tom Ripley
Guest
Tom Ripley

You talking very strongly about RULES, then mentioning NOT SPECIFIED… after, what realse MEANS and on the end CLOSING CASE.
Hope you are not working in law practice..

The case will be closed for sure, but NOT and luckily not by your rules.
Cheers!

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

better hope you’ll never oppose a lawyer like me at court 😉

AMERICAN
Guest
AMERICAN

First of all Russia never invaded Ukraine do not believe what you are told. With Russia’s army if they wanted to they would have won long ago. Second of all Russelblog is not Russian but Ukrainian blogger.

Tjh
Guest
Tjh

@American – what a nice nick for a Russian troll. Your army did invade Crimea and the UN has confirmed that In their statement In 2014. As of the actual topic, The Netherland is my winner In 2019, even if it would be dq just days before the contest.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I guess it’s a beautiful day for those who follow Eurovision for the drama and not for the music. It seems clear to me that the way EBU has dealed with past cases won’t allow them to even think about disqualifying “Arcade”. And I also don’t think anybody will stop voting for the song because it was viewed by 500 people 2 years ago. So the important thing here is that it’s time to EBU rewrite the rules and be clearer about what’s exactly a commercial release. Otherwise, we’ll have more endless discussions like this one, year after year.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

EBU and clarity are a mismatch.

Una
Guest
Una

I agree with Sabrina’s point. And I believe that EBU are as clear as they can/want to be. Navigating 40 plus countries every year. Talking just in general now, not the specificity of this particular case of Arcade, EBU took action on only country – Romania 2016 – three weeks before the contest. It was convenient because the broadcaster had pending fees to pay for 10 years or so. But. Ovidiu Anton (the artist representing Romania that year) had made very strong statements about corruption in the political system of Romania. Tens of people had died in a fire in… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Come on – Romania was excluded in 2016 because TVR had racked up a substantial debt over many years. They weren’t prepared to pay it back, so the EBU withdrew their member rights, which included broadcasting and participating at Eurovision. It had nothing to do with his song. It may be hard to believe, but there’s a lot more to the EBU than just Eurovision.

Robert Westheim
Guest
Robert Westheim

Israël in 2018 was plagiarism, no one has doing something. Why is Duncan sabutised ?

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Sabutised 🙂 wow.
We came to words that big.
wow.
And it’s still ONLY ESC.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

ok, took me a while 😀
fair play to you

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

bc no one wants us dutch to win, so what this song is made in 2017, i see no problem