We’re getting near the end of the Wiwi Jury of the 2010s, where the Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — have been deciding once and for all who had the best performance at the Eurovision Song Contest for the entirety of the 2010s. Coming more up to date, we have The Netherlands’ first winner since 1975, Duncan Laurence with his soulful singer-songwriter track “Arcade”.

In a year where we were gifted many “DespaFuegos” we needed high quality ballads. We were given some fantastic and emotional efforts from North Macedonia, Albania and Eurovision-returnee Sergey Lazarev.

However, Duncan Laurence from The Netherlands beat them all to take both the crystal microphone and the 2020 contest home with him. Simple staging (Laurence was the first winner in 25 years to win sitting down for the whole performance) pulled viewers into the drama and heartbreak of the song. But have the tears dried since May, or are our jurors still weeping?

Duncan Laurence – “Arcade”

“Arcade” reviews

Antranig: I’m still not entirely convinced about the staging of “Arcade” but the studio cut was breathtaking. Its strength lies in its simplicity — it is raw and honest and Duncan conveys the vulnerability perfectly. Putting aside my love of this song and possible recency bias, the only negative comment I can possibly give is that I just don’t see it being one of the more memorable winners when we look back in a few decades. Regardless of how we may feel years from now, “Arcade” is a very worthy winner and deserves its spot alongside the great Eurovision entries.

Score: 8.5/10

Lucy: When the Wiwi Jury first reviewed “Arcade” a few months ago, we were sure Duncan was the winner, with him scoring a massive 9.15. Personally, the love for Duncan’s song has only grown with *that* sequence in the staging where he looked up to the orb of light whilst singing gently, to then break into one of the most powerful moments in the track, arms flung back with light moving around his form. A truly deserving winner, and by far my favourite champion of the decade. Sometimes we need subtle and stunning art, 2019 was one of those years.

Score: 10/10

Deban: There is beauty in fragility, and this Eurovision-winning number unpacks a range of delicate emotions. The music video of this remains gripping without being intrusive. Toeing the line whilst paving the way for a newcomer, “Arcade” when being played is a crowd pleaser. However, it may not fit the bill of Eurovision classics that get requested year after year.

Score: 7/10

Calvin: Duncan created a unique atmosphere and showed his authentic self. It was just the right amount of visuals to keep the balance between intimacy and movement. I’m very happy for him to be the last winner of this decade, even though I wasn’t feeling the performance as much as I hoped to. Minimalism isn’t exactly my world. I still think he deserved a proper piano.

Score: 6/10

Edd: Arcade was yet another very slick, very serious affair from the Netherlands. Duncan’s vocals are perfect, and there are beautiful moments in the production. However I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed with this as a winner. The weak melody of the chorus fails to stir emotion within me, and the climax could be made considerably more impactful. A great song, but lacking in likability and memorability.

Score: 7/10

Steinunn: This song was one of my favourites for 2019 from the first time I heard it, and it still is in top in my books. Before the contest itself I wasn’t sure that Europe would fall on the wagon of simplicity and sincerity I find characterises the song, but after seeing the staging I knew it would be difficult for people not to fall for it. Less is more! Plus the song tells a story many people are familiar with and relate to. Overall it is a great piece of pop music that I do believe that will become a classic within the Eurovision fan community.

Score: 10/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

William: 8.5/10

Pablo: 9.5/10

Robyn: 8.5/10

Angus: 9/10

Sebastian: 7/10

Jonathan: 8/10

Bernardo: 8.5/10

Luis: 9.5/10

Oliver: 9.5/10

Kristin: 9/10

Lukas: 8.5/10

Barnabas: 9.5/10

Florian: 10/10

Natalie: 9/10

Julian: 9.5/10

Katie: 10/10

Tom: 9/10

Charlotte: 7.5/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.75/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 2010s rankings here

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StephanieBartGert (Songfestivalwerk)MilanManfred Holz Recent comment authors
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Stephanie
Guest

I do like a few winners this decade (ie: Satellite, Amar pelos dois), but in my opinion no winner of the 2010s connected with me on both a physical and emotional level like Arcade did. Staging-wise in the live performance, it didn’t need much – Duncan simply wanted the song to be the central focus and it worked despite not winning either the jury vote or the televote. I for one can’t wait for his second single and whatever comes next for him

Bart
Guest
Bart

Finally some sense… Great song and one of the best entries this decade for sure.

Gert (Songfestivalwerk)
Guest

It is interesting how opinions (above) can change so radically before the grand final (and even during the very last rehearsals) and a few weeks, months afterwards. Had we ranked the annual contest WiWi Juries with this WiWi Jury of the 10’s, then you would get some strange and outward questionable outliers. I think I will make a list of that :-).

Manfred Holz
Guest

My favorite winner is EUPHORIA, no other winner was so beloved by the Eurovision Fans AND the rest of the world as this is the one track which went to be No. 1 in all important music market charts and was played in the radios like crazy. So it was the most successful entry in this decade and I think, a Eurovision winner should be as well a huge hit afterwards 😉

Charles
Guest
Charles

Sometimes we need stuble and stunning art … right …. cause God forbid more of this coming in and ruining every ESC playground party filled with toys and hair flipping fires alongside a sax guy thrusting his hips … It would be demoniacal and satanic to see … MUSIC … destroying this vibe for everybody. The Salvador syndrome was a once in a lifetime thing that will NEVER EVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Let’s see what uptempo acts are in store for 2020 and who will have the audacity to bring in the next emotional honest but so unwanted ballad … another… Read more »

Žutokljunac
Guest
Žutokljunac

Best song ever ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Žutokljunac
Guest
Žutokljunac

I put heart emoji here but they wrote ?

Saney
Guest
Saney

Best winner of this decade

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

still overrated af. issa normal ballad like hundreds of others we’ve already heard. it’ll eventually be regarded as one of the weakest n most forgotten winners of the decade along with running scared n only teardrops

pepe
Guest
pepe

salty salty clap clap

Saney
Guest
Saney

You named 3 of the greatest winner this decade

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Running Scared won’t be forgotten, it will always be the song that shouldn’t have won.
But yes, Arcade is the new Only Teardrops.

pepe
Guest
pepe

Yes, that’s why it has 74 million streams on Spotify.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

yeah, i guess only teardrops is the only comparable one – it won thanks to label and bookies-fueled pre-contest hype, just like arcade. they wanted that one country to win basically

Milan
Guest
Milan

Running what?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

While Eurovision is famous for its ohh and ahh moments, I don’t think there has been a winner with quite as many ohhs and ahhs for quite some time. That being said, this song is all about the musical expression anyhow, which is why it works. That F7 chord on “loving you is a losing game” just rips my heart to shreds. I can’t make up my mind whether or not this entry will be highly or lowly regarded in years to come. There is a point of view for both sides – yes, the song does hark back to… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

I’ve heard it so much, yet every time I get goosebumps again. ESC-winner or not: it’s a pretty good song. For me it’s a tie with The Common Linnets “Calm After The Storm”. Both heartbreaking and beautiful. Both a solid 9 out of 10, because there’s always room for perfection. But they came pretty darn close!

Richard
Guest
Richard

Its pleasant enough, if rather wet, and I much preferred the fun and excitement delivered by Iceland, and Australia and Norway and North Macedonia and Cyprus and….well you get my drift.

John
Guest
John

Yes, this was the best song of 2019 but this was nowhere near as good of a song as Undo, Heroes or numerous other songs you’ve given lower scores to. The fact of the matter is that this song stood out in a ‘meh’ year. Had it competed in 2012, 2014 or 2015, it wouldn’t have made too 3. Even 2018 would have been touch and go. I do worry about how useful Wiwibloggers are sometimes.

Saney
Guest
Saney

Really? This is SO MUCH better than that overrated heroes. In 2014 and 2012 it would have won, since it’s much better than Euphoria and Rise Like A Phoenix, and definitely better than that garbage called Toy

Pablo Nava
Member

I only had two wow moments on the lives, and Duncan was one of them. Deserved winner and great person inside out. 🙂

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Some of y’all are complaining just to complain, I don’t see any issues in the performance. Very deserved win in my eyes, this is pure and raw emotion: Philip Kirkorov could never. Any which way, this won and I can’t wait to see the contest live from Rotterdam.
10/10

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

Always said since they won the contest that the Netherlands did it unnecessarily exciting with the mediocre staging of «Arcade», where I feel like they were lucky to see the runner-up, Italy, not bringing better staging either. I mean, taste is always subjective but I personally think the stagings of Netherlands and Italy were subpar at the best, although I love Duncan’s backdrop. If Italy knew how close they would’ve been in the end though, I’m confident they could’ve bosted it up to get the needed points. However, I don’t think staging is Italy’s strength in Eurovision so I like… Read more »

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

I like it, but I don’t love it. It fails to stir emotions, although it is meant to stir emotions. The problem with the song is the chorus. Instead of being delicate and sensible, it is very loud and showing off vocals. More Anja Nielsen than Salvador Sobral.

I had a lot of love for the Netherlands 2013 to 2016. Since 2017 though, they are my Whateverlands.

Peters
Guest
Peters

The staging was the reason why he didn’t win the jury vote. It’s such a jury friendly song and I was shocked it just came third.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Sieneke should host the green room and Pierre Kartner should do the voting part. He loves the voting parts, as I recall.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I still love Ilse for organizing the lamp so quickly 😀 8/10

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Duncan’s voice is so touching, the lyrics, the simple but yet emotional melody… you really feel what he is feeling. Everything worked. He didn’t need anything more to grab people during the whole performance. There isn’t any need of stunnig LED screens and fireworks to win. Also, the part of the song when Duncan open his arms just to be transverberated by the light is really really powerful. That’s the winner moment every winning song has.

Joe
Guest
Joe

That was also the moment, especially watching the clip in the voting segment, where I knew it was going to win. It’s usually right around the big note/drop that you know victory is at the very least a strong possibility (big examples there being Toy, Rise Like a Phoenix, Euphoria, and 1944). The only exceptions I can think of are Amar pelos dois (I got good vibes from that first violin crescendo) and Satellite (which had no peaks or lulls but a constant stream of good energy).

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

One good thing came out of this for everybody – The Netherlands are hosting. But as for the reason they get to host, I couldn’t be less impressed. All I hear is three minutes of insufferable falsetto whining, adorned with the most hideous piano on the planet. No, thanks, get me off this rollercoaster of wailing chorus let-downs. And this is coming from someone who loves ballads. And still: Thank god The Netherlands are hosting.

cassius
Guest
cassius

Why do you thank god? You don’t like religion, do you?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

No, of course not. It’s just an expression of being really glad about something. I still haven’t found a replacement. I’m open to suggestions, though.

cassius
Guest
cassius

Universe is really used, but also Nature, Destiny.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

The “rollercoaster line” is totally cheesy, kinda ruins it for me.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

The endless “Ooh, ooh”- s or “aaah aaah” – s are the worst for me.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

It’s emotion, girl ^^ Same with Paendas “You” <3 (I love it to tell you how much I love "Limits", Bean xD Did I actually say that "So I smile for a while, let the torture begin and the pressure on my chest becomes almost routine" are my fave lyrics of 2019? xD Need to listen to it immediately now…)

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Paenda would have been in for the win if she sang better. Her live vocals and nerves ruined it for me.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

First of all, I’m not a girl, girl. Secondly, Patricia Kaas is emotion. And last but not least, Paenda was an unlistenable train wreck on stage. No one else to blame in that case.

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Rollercoasteeeeuuuuuuuururrrrhhhhhuerghhhh…. I hate that part also the most

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

I am not crazy about them hosting. Why are you?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It is my hope that they will axe Björkman, breathe some fresh air into the contest and make the voting less of a farce. It remains to be seen, I’m not crazy about anything yet, I’m cautiously optimistic. Not because of Mr. Bakker, though. I don’t think much of him, but the team seems to be all Dutch, I like that. And I’m almost positive every single person is better than whatever we have at ORF.

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

So we will have a new scoreboard

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

They gotta get rid of that stupid system where they don’t even reveal the winner of the televotes. One year of this insanity is plenty.

Milan
Guest
Milan

I disagree, I’ve heard worse from the Netherlands.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Edd’s comment is basically what I think about this song

Sam
Guest
Sam

Despite Soldi’s success during and after the contest, I can’t think of any song which deserved to win this more than Arcade. I don’t understand why people keep focusing on (and critisizing) staging, sometimes less is better and in a music contest, keeping it simple and bringing the attention to the song should be a priority. I loved the song since the day it was released (it was one of the few times when my favourite won the contest btw), also liked the abstract blue atmosphere created by the lights on stage and at least in my personal playlist, I… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Simple stagings are not a problem. Arcade clearly need that. Bad camera work and wide shots are.
Camera should have been more on Duncan and his emotions because he was amazing but camera was far most of the time.
Duncan’s face was shown for the first time after 1 minute which was a big mistake in my opinion. It should have been when he sings “a broken heart..”

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

It was a top ten entry for me and definitely amongst those that deserved the win. I actually think the song was the strongest aspect of it and the staging and Duncan’s performance were not quite up to the level expected. As a result, I think that opened the door for a stunningly powerful vocal performance (N.Macedonia) and slick professional stage performance (Sweden) to take what should’ve been an easy jury-win for the Netherlands.
Overall, a much better winner than the “bad” winners of the decade but not as strong as the truly great ones. Somewhere in the middle.

Mr Mysterious
Guest
Mr Mysterious

8.75?

6/10 for me.

LOL

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

A great song and a deserving winner (as Italy would be), even if the live performance hasn’t been as impactful to me as listening to it for the first time. Considering all the pressure of being the uncontested frontrunner, the Dutch delegation did just what they had to do. The staging kept things intimate and tasteful (besides the infamous cheap piano). The moment when the lamp ascends is gorgeous! More important: Duncan nailed it. Maybe not showy enough for some fans, but I love it and I think it’s pure quality.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I watch Eurovision with people that are mostly not part of the bubble, and that puts all the show talk into perspective. Ordinary people usually don’t really care for staging. If a stage show is particularly good or funny (like Moldova’s last year), this works in favor of the entry, but for the rest, it’s music and vocal performance that count. Unfortunately, that’s not true for the juries, who often grossly overemphasize staging. I can assure you, nobody outside the bubble cared for the shape of the piano, there were some people who thought, the song was just okay, but… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I’m glad that those you were with put music first, Tibor (making use of Duncan’s words). I would love to have your company on Eurovision’s nights. But I believe part of the audience also votes for the visuals (not just a beautiful staging, but interesting faces, funny gimmicks, engaging choreographies, etc). I agree that juries should focus more on the music aspects, but this is a deeper issue. By the way, I believe the fact people vote for so many different reasons is part of the charm of the contest. It makes almost impossible for someone to find a winning… Read more »

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

In my experience, people who respond strongly to the visuals and not so much to the music do not vote (they vote internally, of course, every Eurovision party has an internal vote, but they don’t pick up the phone). But this theory is only based on my personal experience, and I cannot prove it conclusively.
And I’m sure, a wiwibloggs Eurovision party would be fun. 🙂

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I would love if we could see where each vote came from. Because I guess the whole experience can be different if you watch it by yourself, with family, with just a bunch of friends, or in a big loud party. And as you mentioned, some people don’t even pick the phone to vote. Not mentioning that it’s different to watch an entry for the very first time during the contest and following pre-season, odds, rehearsals… About the Wiwibloggs party, I’m in. I just need sponsorship haha

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I’m pretty sure that this will hold up well. Like almost every winner this gets shade and like almost every slow song this gets even darker shade. Fact is: “Arcade”, next to “Euphoria”, is the least divisive winner of the decade, you could see in the initial reactions that there was very little substantial critique, hell, there was very little critique, full stop. I won’t ramble on and repeat all the things I wrote only a couple of months ago, but this hasn’t stopped being excellent. I’m just curious what he will do next, can’t wait for his album and… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I’m quite new on following the Eurovision pre-season, but I can’t remember of a song less divisive when released. Even those who haven’t loved showed at least respect for it. After it became the frontrunner, of course, some nitpicking criticism emerged. Comparing with the verbal wars “Toy” brought to this comments section, 2019’s season was much much calmer.

cassius
Guest
cassius

Was Amar Pelos Dois yet in this jury review of 10’s? I think Arcade wasn’t respected, but nobody thought a song weaker than APD can win after so little time.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

“APD” was already reviewed: https://wiwibloggs.com/2019/08/23/wiwi-jury-of-the-10s-portugals-salvador-sobral/240313/ And got a lower score than “Arcade”, so you won’t like it… I think both songs are great. All things considered, I would give a better grade to Portugal, but I don’t think they play in different leagues.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I also don’t want anyone telling me they’d rather have Italy organizing next year’s contest when the Netherlands have already been serving up the best game plan of any host country since Sweden.

cassius
Guest
cassius

Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, I want them to win and to troll Eurovision by making Toto Cutugno host again. Exceptional!

KESC
Guest
KESC

I’m sure that the Netherlands will organize a great show, but what do you mean by “rather”?
The last time the contest was held in Italy was in 1991.. I’m pretty sure that Italy would deliver something good as well.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Italy’s such a weird case in that they, by virtue of casually sending the winner of their most prestigious music festival every year, almost always send really good songs. But when it comes to actually staging and presenting the songs, they kind of flounder, and Eurovision has still been taking a while to regain popularity there after they came back (they didn’t move the final broadcast to their main channel until 2016, and the last three years were the first where it really started gaining traction with the public). I feel like they wouldn’t come at it with the same… Read more »

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Eurovision 2019 is over and so is the hype about the Dutch entry, yet to me “Arcade” is still a great song and an equally great performance. Minimalistic, raw and emotional, beautifully sung by a talented and charismatic performer with deep, heartbreaking lyrics and a tasteful, stripped-back staging – what more could you want? It’s hard to tell what this song will be regarded as in ten years, but for now I think it’s one of the best and most important winners of this decade.
8.5/10 (#6 in 2019)

Joe
Guest
Joe

Is saying the word “Arcade” getting the comment filtered?

Joe
Guest
Joe

I just wrote a whole long thing about how Duncan absolutely nailed it the night of and it was a triumph for minimalistic staging and powerful vocals and I knew it’d be Duncan holding the trophy at the end of the night…but it didn’t post. But suffice to say that I think that while Italy put up a stronger fight, the Netherlands had the full package and totally deserved to win. Almost as much as San Marino. 10/10.

Joe
Guest
Joe

*stronger fight THAN USUAL is what I meant to say.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Our incumbent champion! Arcade works on all the levels you’d want it to work on. A powerful voice, smart tune and lyrics, minimalistic staging, and a massive hook. There was no doubt in my mind that Duncan would be holding the glass microphone by the end of the night after he performed, Italy put up a strong fight (stronger than I even expected – thanks, juries!) but their staging just sank it. I understand how it, like Fuego, has become a very beloved runner-up. But if I’m looking for a song in 2019 that absolutely nailed everything you’d want from… Read more »

Gigii
Guest
Gigii

If fuego is with a higher score then this, I’m done….

Joe
Guest
Joe

I mean, Arcade may very well be a tragic song about loss and heartbreak that was inspired by very real-life circumstances…but Fuego is a bop tho.

Joe
Guest
Joe

BuT iT’s A bOp ThO

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Having just watched the performance back for the first time since Eurovision night, the one word that comes to mind is – boring.
The song is good, the staging is ok and Duncan sings it well, but it all just seems very middle of the road to me. I can’t help but think in a few years time that this will looked at as a mediocre winner.
It might be because I never really felt the deep emotion that others have felt when listening to this song. Without that emotion, this all comes across as very bland.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

But that’s not weird at all. There is this special moment where you hear a song for the first time and it creates some emotion. Especially for Eurovision everything goes super quick with lots of tention; the song is released and has it’s max in May, so there are not years to reach that point to get familiar to, but only months, and for some who watch the live shows only, it’s only a week. And then after the Final everything kind of collapses super quickly because all momentum has gone and people go back to their normal lives; no… Read more »

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Personally(and I know this viewpoint is not very popular in Eurovision Fan Land), but if I look objectively at the final performance, it is just a bit dull. I think part of the reason it won was because it was the favorite and had a lot of hype around it. I think someone coming fresh to this in 10 or 20 years will be surprised it won, because as a stand alone 3 minutes performance it just doesn’t feel like a winner. If I compare it to Spirit in the Sky, that performance feels like a winning performance and it’s… Read more »

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

In terms of performance, Spirit in the Sky gave me better winner vibes – time will tell how Duncan goes down in history.

Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting
Guest
Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting

I like this song but it wasn’t my favourite this year…