Duncan Laurence Arcade on the Today show

From 2019 Eurovision winner to TikTok viral sensation, Duncan Laurence’s star has continued to rise since his win in Tel Aviv.  Now the Dutch singer has added “performing on U.S. television” to his list of accomplishments. The “Arcade” hitmaker continued his introduction to potential throngs of new fans with his debut performance on American television on the morning talk show, the TODAY show, on Wednesday 24 February.

Duncan Laurence performs “Arcade” on America’s TODAY show

After both Duncan and his record company Capitol Records announced his appearance just a few days before, anticipation among his legion of supporters was high. Eager fans had to wait a long time, as Duncan’s segment didn’t happen until the last ten minutes of the third hour (with little set-up beforehand). TODAY’s third hour co-hosts Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer introduced Duncan by praising his Eurovision 2019 win. They went on to mention “Arcade”‘s billion streams, while his Small Town Boy album cover art flashed on screen.

Dreyer showed she had done her research about Duncan, mentioning how he had used music to channel his pain from being bullied in grade school into positivity. Asked how he hoped his music would inspire others, Duncan said, “Well, I hope that when they listen to my music… and they see that a small-town boy from such a tiny country can do this, can chase his dreams, I hope they can get inspired from that and chase their dreams.” Beautiful words!

After Melvin referred to Duncan as a “small town boy in a big arcade” (a lyric from his own song), there was a funny moment, as Duncan schooled both hosts on how to pronounce his hometown of Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands. After warning the hosts not to break their tongues, Dreyer drew praise from Duncan for near-perfect pronunciation. Once that was over, they got right to his performance. There may have been some initial disappointment to some fans, seeing that the performance was pre-recorded, but that was quickly forgiven.

Set on a separate soundstage from the TODAY show studio, Duncan was at the centre, in the shadows, but surrounded by soft spotlights. A circle of violin and other string instruments instantly added a new emotional depth to the song. A sweeping camera shot came right to Duncan as he began to sing the opening words. Panning back out, we see the simplicity of the staging, obviously intended to focus attention on Duncan’s amazing voice. As the song reached it’s “get me off this rollercoaster” climax, a single spotlight shined down on him, giving memories of his Eurovision performance. Aided by the stringed instruments, the performance built right up to the last moments, when everything else stopped, and we’re just left with Duncan singing the last sweeping and emotional notes. A beautiful end to a performance that will hopefully serve as a new beginning to Duncan’s rising star in the US!

We say “Goed gedaan” (Well done), Duncan!

What did you think of Duncan’s TODAY show performance? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all of our Netherlands Eurovision 2021 news.

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Barry
Barry
21 days ago

Then he shouldn’t leave. So you can hear it again.

Stephanie
Stephanie
22 days ago

Let’s be honest. This year there’s not even one song as good as this!!!

Last edited 22 days ago by Stephanie
Barry
Barry
21 days ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Voila?

Stephanie
Stephanie
21 days ago
Reply to  Barry

Not even close!!!

Miso
Miso
21 days ago
Reply to  Stephanie

I do not agree. There are a lot of good songs this year

Alex
Alex
22 days ago

the performance was magical, so beautiful!

Duncan has the potential of being an artist like Sam Smith. You don’t need to have hits, just good singles that are appreciated by radio and an audience that follows you in your intimate concerts. No scandals or sexualised songs.

Dawid
Dawid
22 days ago

Damn, that hairstyle.

Jonas
Jonas
22 days ago

I was a little irritated by him calling the Netherlands a tiny country. 16 million people is not tiny. Dutch people have a long history, good and bad. New York, where GMA comes from, was once called New Amsterdam.

Jonas
Jonas
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Other than that, I loved it.

Alex
Alex
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

tiny compared to US.

Giorgio
Giorgio
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

lol im sorry but the netherlands is smaller than Lake Victoria. And compared to the US, it’s 260 times smaller. Duncan is right

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Giorgio

I wasn’t talking about just physical size, and neither was he. New York is tiny. London is tiny. Beijing is tiny.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Every country of Europe, (except Russia) even Germany, is tiny when compared to the US…

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

I don’t know why he seemed so surprised that a Dutch person could be successful…he was talking as if nobody had ever even heard of The Netherlands.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
22 days ago

His perfomance was amazing! The life instruments elevated even more the song. Well done! Indeed a good and lasting winner.

Héctor
Héctor
22 days ago

Glad to see him there. Who would have thought it? Tik Tok really gave this song the best possible second live. Duncan may be now the most succesful Eurovision winner of the last two decades.

Jamie
Jamie
22 days ago

It’s so weird that this song is just now getting its international recognition! But better late than never, congrats Duncan!

Julia
Julia
22 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

On the back of this comment, surely I’m not the only one that thinks this song sounds better now than it did in 2019?

Melania
Melania
22 days ago

Im so happy he went super viral on tiktok and now his song is the most stressed spotify song in eurovision history, followed by mahmood. The 2019 alumni smashing jt

Matt Church
Matt Church
22 days ago

Congrats Duncan on surviving inane US morning television. 🙂

ESCalator
ESCalator
22 days ago

Good luck to him, but ‘cracking America’ is not that easy…

Alex
Alex
22 days ago
Reply to  ESCalator

it is absolutely possible if you have a great song and supported by your label.

Coco
Coco
22 days ago

USA is just a big market, but it will never happen. If he wants big markets he should try Russia and China.
For americans ESC will always be just another talent show. This will never be out of their minds. No offence to the real ESC fans from USA.

Alex
Alex
22 days ago
Reply to  Coco

China is very foreign with their own rules. Plus, not a streaming power.

Russia televised ESC and it’s not a big market for music.

USA is the biggest market with Billboard charts. A hit in US becomes a worldwide hit.

Arcade is happening there, it’s n27 on US Adult Top 40 radio and n15 on Adult Contemporary radio. No ESC song has achieve this type of success before on radio (i guess since Gina G)

Kim
Kim
22 days ago

What a beautiful performance. The Netherlands must be so proud of Duncan. He seems so down to earth. Amazing.

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
22 days ago

A beautiful performance Duncan !! I am so proud of you !!

CarlosM
CarlosM
22 days ago

Cool! Now for the reality,…

Will this make Duncan and/or ESC popular here in the States? Nope! This was shown during the 5-15 minutes of a 3-hour broadcast. During that timeframe, most Americans are not watching the program.

If people want ESC to be more popular here in the States, they need to follow the path of BTS and other non-American musicians follow to become huge hits. You have to cater to us, not vice versa.

sTommie
sTommie
22 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

I doubt that the goal was to make ESC more popular. Last year has been horrible for most of us, but also for the music industry. The new success of Arcade surely must have felt very welcome for Duncan, his record company and the people surrounding him. They would be mad not to get as much advantage as possible from that during these hard times.

CarlosM
CarlosM
22 days ago
Reply to  sTommie

If the record company wanted to take full advantage, they would’ve had him on during the first 2 hours or on GMA or THE VIEW if they wanted him on daytime TV. Having him on that late in the show was a waste of time. They did the same thing with Netta. And, does the average American know of her? No. For the average American, the only current popular Israeli that comes to mind is Gal Gadot.

ESC artists, make your American debuts on late-night shows that are hosted by James Corden, Stephen Colbert, or Jimmy Fallon.

sTommie
sTommie
22 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

Arcade was added to US Pop radio a few days ago. Let’s see how that works out.

phone but on laptop
phone but on laptop
22 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

as if it was that easy to get chosen to be a part of one of those late-night shows. sometimes even bigger celebrities get denied.

Erik
Erik
22 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

I don’t think he requested to become the next Drake. He just agreed to perform on that tv show that’s all

James
James
22 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

Sponsored by Citibank as part of their ongoing music series during that hour of the show.

Inky
Inky
18 days ago
Reply to  CarlosM

Good for him that he will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show on April 6th then…

CarlosM
CarlosM
18 days ago
Reply to  Inky

She’s no longer at the top. Ellen has lost viewers after we found out that she’s not nice to her staff. She even treated Nikki from NikkiTutorials rudely.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
22 days ago

Goed gedaan Duncan! That was clearly a majestic performance once again. Even though I had other favourites back in 2019, right now this is the only one I totally love from that year

Erik
Erik
22 days ago

Actually a splendid live performance. Better than in ESC

Last edited 22 days ago by Erik
James
James
22 days ago

That taped performance was just beautiful.