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