Eurovision may be a battle of songs, but usually the winner has one hell of a voice. And so do the acts that finish further down the scoreboard. This year North Macedonia’s Tamara Toedevska used her voice as a vehicle for some major emotion. Albania’s Jonnida Maliqi served an ethnic sound backed by power. And Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke worked every inch of her register…while swaying on a massive poll. But in the end our readers felt that one act out did them all. After counting 3,416 votes, we can now reveal that The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence has won the Vision Music Award 2019 for Best Live Vocals.

With precision, vulnerability and a whole lot of heart, Duncan proved that the voice is the most powerful instrument of all. He appeared on stage with just a small piano and a floating light, bypassing theatrics for something pure and simple. “Arcade” was most definitely a winning game.

Ahead of Eurovision, we couldn’t stop singing the praises of his voice — and how it fit the sentiments and themes of “Arcade”. As wiwiblogger Lucy wrote:

“Haunting, beautiful, heart-breaking….There’s nobody with a voice similar to his this year, and it suits the pain of the song perfectly, both in the soft verses and with its many anthemic moments. With a mentor like Ilse DeLange on his side too, he has a team who knows how to succeed at Eurovision. I’d be very surprised if we weren’t headed to Amsterdam/Rotterdam next year.” (Cue comments on Maastricht in 3, 2, 1….)

Duncan follows in the footsteps of 2014 winner Ruth Lorenzo from Spain, 2015 winner Aminata Savadogo from Latvia, 2016 winner Michal Szpak from Poland and 2017 winners O’G3NE from The Netherlands.

BEST LIVE VOCALS 2019

  1. The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence 1,044 votes, 30.56%
  2. North Macedonia’s Tamara Todevska 1,038 votes, 30.39%
  3. Albania’s Jonida Maliqi 690 votes, 20.2%
  4. Serbia’s Nevena Bozovic 545 votes, 15.95%
  5. Moldova’s Anna Odobescu 99 votes, 2.9%

Our 13 categories—from best dressed to most wronged at ESC—identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.This award is just one of a dozen awards we have launched as part of the Vision Music Awards 2019 (VMAs).

You can watch the nominations video below. You can also read more about the awards here.

Vote in more of our Eurovision polls

Photo: Andres Putting (EBU/Eurovision.tv)

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Azaad
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Azaad

I’d say Duncan sang his song very well. Overall this category is hard because ultimately the most successful acts were the guys, but the songs that showed off vocals best came from women. I’d still give it to KMH or Jonida even though I prefer arcade as a song.

Loin dici
Guest

For best male vocals, Duncan can deliver emotions easily, Kobi can handle his power effortlessly, and oddly saying, Matthias’ scream power is remarkable (considering he also rehearsed like 15 times)

For best female vocals, both Tamara and Jonida deserves the shoutout for the immense power and control, KMH for maintaining an immense vocal quality while swinging above a 6-meter high pole, and Nevena for also maintaining control over her vocal abilities (it almost went overboard that grand final night)

Nikki
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Nikki

Vocals only, I’d go for Jonida and Kate before Duncan, even if songwise, I’d go for Duncan. Off Topic If you feel bored before the the announcements start, I recommend you to go around the #howardsnewhome tag on insta. My favourite yarn brand is holding a photographic contest and there’s entries from UK, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark… A little Eurovision, with hermit crabs (you’ll understand that when you see the photos). This is probably the closest thing I am ever going to be of be in the Contest. It’s my second time, and I may take to much pride… Read more »

123
Guest
123

far from the best vocalist

esc26
Guest
esc26

I honestly think this was more clear than the voting results show. Duncan had one of the best live male vocals I can think of

Bestvocal
Guest
Bestvocal

Kobi Marimi?

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

IMO Kobi marimi had better vocals but duncan had better song

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

he whiny af. tamara was robbed

TheDr Mistery
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TheDr Mistery

Australia not being 1st or 2nd is surprising but Serbia and Moldova getting ‘nominated’ over Kate was… just bad.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

We had amazing vocalists in this season!

WannaEatMySpaghetti
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WannaEatMySpaghetti

Well, Duncan is my all time eurovision winner favorite now (it was ABBA before). His performance gave me goosbumps and even made me cry. But I don’t think he was the best singer. He was a really good singer but what made him won is the emotion. For me the best singers were without a doubt Tamara and Kate Miller-Heidke.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

Serbia’s Nevena should have won this award.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Agreed. Moldova and Netherlands were strange nominees considering that Israel and Australia weren’t included.

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Who even came up with these nominees? For me, the vocal stand-outs were: Kate Miller-Heidke (sweet baby Jesus, can she hit a high note or what!); KEiiNO (for their vocal diversity); Katerine Duska (for her “Lana del Duska” realness lol); Jonida Maliqi’s backing singers (yes, Jonida was great as expected, but can we also just appreciate those backing vocalists); Kobi Marimi, Michael Rice, and Roko (boys can sang!); Tulia (because white voice is so difficult to sing!); Srbuk and Anna Odobescu (yes, I know English isn’t their first language, but they have some pipes!); and Chingiz Mustafayev (for that note!).

Loin dici
Guest

Kate: Ofc, although her mid pipe isn’t as strong
KEiiNO: Nothing outstanding, especially if we part them away for their solo vocals.
Duska: She’s nasal. Some will cherish her vocals, some don’t.
Kobi: yeah, he got skipped and idk why.
Michael: also got skipped, those melismas!
Roko: potential, his higher pipe sounded hurtful but props to Roko for managing that!
Tulia: white voice is another ‘some like some hate’ area, and I think it’s pretty easy as long as you know the technique.
Srbuk: no, she lacks control.
Anna: she’s on the list! Yes!
Chingiz: no, he got filled for 90% of the song.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Duncan deserved it, but I missed Michael and Sergey in the list. As for past winners, it will be difficult to see another Aminata on the ESC stage… hopefully some day

Luke Armfield
Guest
Luke Armfield

Actually I thought Michael Rice had best vocals even though he wasn’t even nominated

WannaEatMySpaghetti
Guest
WannaEatMySpaghetti

… he completely failed. By wanting to make a lot he missed some notes.

Rob
Guest
Rob

For me, it was always between Duncan Laurence and Kate Miller-Heidke. So anyone of them two two winning would be justified. But congrats to everyone in the top 5: you all showed that it was a very strong year in terms of best live vocals! Hopefully this will inspire the artists the following year. 🙂

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Tamara was just 6 votes away from another win… but to be honest Duncan really deserved it, those “aaaaa, oooooooo” gave me such goosebumps at that night.

Sara
Guest
Sara

They were all great singers! Also congrats to Duncan, we’re very proud you in the Netherlands 🙂

Sara
Guest
Sara

Lol I meant proud OF you now I feel dumb

Michèle
Guest
Michèle

Was watching a programme of music archive material on RTE and there was a recording of James Vincent McMorrow singing ‘Follow Me Down to the Red Oak Tree’ from around 2011. I had never heard the song before and thought I was listening to ‘Arcade’! Remarkable similarities between both songs in my opinion.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Tamara and Jonida for me. They elevated the songs they had been given so much.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Serbia and Moldova had songs literally nobody could elevate.