Duncan Laurence Eurovision 2021 Semi 1
Photo: EBU/ANDRES PUTTING

The ongoing pandemic continues to impact the Eurovision Song Contest. Following a positive test in its six-person group Gagnamagnid, Iceland won’t perform live in the contest. And now the EBU has confirmed that Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence has also tested positive. That means he’s had to cancel his live performance in the grand final. Here’s the official statement.

Duncan Laurence tests positive for Covid-19: Official statement

Duncan Laurence, winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands and was scheduled to perform live during Saturday’s Grand Final, has tested positive for COVID-19, his management and the Host Broadcaster have confirmed. Duncan has mild symptoms. Because of the 7 day minimum isolation period, Duncan will not be able to perform live in the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam, but will still feature in the show in a different form.

Last Monday, Duncan tested negative in the Eurovision Test Pavilion, which granted him access to the venue for his performance in the first Semi-Final. On Wednesday, he showed mild symptoms and then unfortunately delivered a positive result in a rapid antigen test.

“We are of course disappointed, first of all for Duncan, who deserves a live performance on our very own Eurovision stage after his 2019 victory and the worldwide success of Arcade,” Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer, said. “We couldn’t be more proud of his opening act for the first Semi-Final. Of course we wish Duncan a speedy recovery!”

“Duncan is very disappointed, he has been looking forward to this for two years. We are very happy that he will still be seen in the final on Saturday, May 22,” his management said.

A strict COVID-19 health and safety protocol is being applied at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. All those working within the perimeter of the venue must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 test, not older than 48 hours.

Since 6 April, when the load-in started in Ahoy, over 24,400 tests have been conducted amongst crew, volunteers, artists, delegation members and press. Only 16 of those (0.06%) have returned positive results. In most cases, they were from people who hadn’t previously been to the venue, or who hadn’t been there recently. To date, no infections have been conclusively traced back to the venue.

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Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
23 days ago

Why is everyone testing positive left and right? Is no one bothered to stay indoors??

Taco
Taco
23 days ago

Let’s keep it real here. The delegations and production has been tested for in total 25,000 tests, and just 16 were tested positive.

Samo
Samo
22 days ago
Reply to  Taco

Exactly, it’s a very good result. The only problem is that some of performers got unlucky as well. But zero cases was never a realistic goal.

GB....
GB....
23 days ago

I would have isolated completely if I knew I’d be performing at Eurovision. I am so gutted for him. This must be tough for him.

poe-tay-toe chips
poe-tay-toe chips
23 days ago

Can’t stop thinking about how close he stood to the hosts on tuesday…yikes

Samo
Samo
23 days ago

No big deal, that’s not how it spreads. I lived with an infected person for several days before I finally got it by sharing a glass.

Mqe
Mqe
23 days ago

I’m a bit surprised though that very few participants seem to be vaccinated. Sure, there wasn’t an abundance of vaccines in Europe until recently, but surely they could have been given some priority and vaccinated in mid-April to reduce risk?

Mqe
Mqe
23 days ago
Reply to  Mqe

The participants, hosts & some interval act performers, I mean

Erik
Erik
23 days ago
Reply to  Mqe

Such elitist. Of course people at risk should get the vaccines first. Being stupid and travelling during a pandemic is not a reason

Mqe
Mqe
23 days ago
Reply to  Erik

I didn’t mean that. Of course those at risk should be CL vaccinated first… But at least in the EU countries I am familiar with, by late april/early may the stock of the vaccine was getting quite high. And I don’t find it THAT egregious if a country gives one or two vials to the handful of people who will be performing.
They vaccinated many athletes pretty soon, too.

Mqe
Mqe
23 days ago

I’m a bit scared there’s been a small outbreak at Eurovision… I sincerely hope no one else gets infected before the final on Saturday :/

Taco
Taco
23 days ago
Reply to  Mqe

You can calm down, its not going to happen. from over 25,000 tests (delegations and crew) only 16 came out positive. This is just simply unfortunate.

Ted
Ted
23 days ago

off topic but the trophy hand over is always a rushed mess at eurovision and needs to be better thought out to make it more of a celebration.
Yes I know it takes time for the winning act to walk to the stage and then get mic’d up etc.
Then their handed an oversized bunch of flowers and a heavy glass trophy and a mic shoved in their face asking for their thoughts. Now go and sing!

Poor ol Duncan never had his staging for his reprise last time either.

Hope this is improved this year

Erik
Erik
23 days ago

Too bad he cannot perform live in the arena. There is so much technology today that could solve the handing of the trophy though. * A drone controlled by Duncan. * A robot with arms to carry the trophy and a camera on it so Duncan can control it *Clips of Duncan winning the trophy, cuts to a placing of the trophy in storage of some kind of box, then the winner opening the box. *Alternatively reversing the clip of Duncan receiving the trophy from Netta but having a cut out where you place the head of the winner with… Read more »

Ted
Ted
23 days ago
Erik
Erik
23 days ago

I don’t understand the rules. Yes, he should stay home because of confirmed diagnosis. But shouldn’t he stay home because of symptoms as well. Here in Sweden you need to stay home when you have symptoms and remain home two days after you have no symptoms left. If you have a confirmed diagnosis you can come back after one week if the fever is down and you only have mild symptoms. Here it’s like the test itself is the only tool. What about distance? Avoiding large crowds? Staying home if you have symptoms? This is very confusing to me. And… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
23 days ago

I’m glad he will always have semi-final one to remember happily, I loved his opening.

Whisker
Whisker
23 days ago

Oh no!

Sabrina
Sabrina
23 days ago

Damn covid. The guy who took the contest home after decades won’t be able to be there to give away the trophy, it’s very sad. I hope Duncan gets well soon and that this is our last scare. But EBU should reinforce the use of masks in these final days, at least on backstage.

Ksenija
Ksenija
23 days ago

he (and the guy from iceland) acted irresponsibly and caught covid. instead of performing on the stage in front of his own audience, he’ll be watching the show from home. two years of waiting and we ended up with this scenario. disappointing.

Jesper Hjellnes
Jesper Hjellnes
23 days ago
Reply to  Ksenija

Even if you’re extra careful, you could still be unlucky enough to get covid. I’m sure Duncan did everything possible to avoid getting infected

Inky
Inky
23 days ago
Reply to  Ksenija

You could be right, but you don’t know for sure. So you can’t say it like that…

Grrr
Grrr
23 days ago

How random that out of all the people there (24 000!), it’s Duncan Laurence, the reigning winner, that got infected. It’s like Ms Rona decided to infect one of the most notable person there.

Chris
Chris
23 days ago

First of all I hope Duncan gets well soon! Can’t help but feel so sad to me he is the best winner in years and I was looking forward to see him on stage.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
23 days ago

Honestly I’m crying now, I really can’t think now, I remember how he was happy that he won and that eurovision was coming to his country and then bam, a global pandemic started and cancelled the contest for the first time ever, a year after the pandemic is still on and The Netherlands had to scale down the celebration and now he got infected and now he can’t perform his winning song that has brought esc to his country in his country, I don’t even know what to say. My wish is that in a few years from now Duncan… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by esc2021rotterdam
Jimmy Smit
23 days ago

That would be amazing! If it can be done, I certainly believe Duncan can do it.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
23 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Yeah, he has many amazing songs along with Arcade

Jamie
Jamie
23 days ago

Props to the Dutch for taking this thing very seriously. Otherwise we would not see the final this year.

Last edited 23 days ago by Jamie
sucof
sucof
23 days ago

and now who will show the famous holland on that stage? Mark Rutte?

Maartijn
Maartijn
23 days ago
Reply to  sucof

Geert Wilders of course 😀

sucof
sucof
23 days ago
Reply to  Maartijn

you’re right, it’s more folkloric!

Azaad
Azaad
23 days ago
Reply to  Maartijn

I know you’re being faecitious but he’s awful

helloman
helloman
23 days ago

Great, hopefully they just make the show shorter so that I can sleep.
But happy recovery to you Duncan, im very sorry for you.

Samo
Samo
23 days ago

Ultimately, every live event that aims to have zero spread is doomed because it’s just not possible. Of course you can have some protocols to reduce the spread but stuff like testing or masks has very limited effect. The only thing that actually stops the spread is avoiding social contacts altogether, which is against the nature of such events. The humanity has to decide whether we accept some spread or close the society forever. I for one am happy that this year’s ESC is taking place in a country that takes a more liberal approach to covid and we can… Read more »

Jill
Jill
23 days ago
Reply to  Samo

Vaccines prevent the spread too, but otherwise you have a point

Erik
Erik
23 days ago
Reply to  Samo

Biggest problem here is you bring people there coming from countries with different approaches. They blend and go back to their respective counties. If I was a virus I’d be sooo happy about events like this because I could finally get the chance to spread big and maybe they’ll find out about this only when they got home and started effecting more people at home.
Such a wet dream for a virus

Tadhg
Tadhg
23 days ago
Reply to  Erik

You’ve certainly got my juices flowing!

shin
shin
23 days ago

first johann from iceland and now duncan .man, i hope they recover fast. Eurovision this year means nothing without them

Samo
Samo
23 days ago
Reply to  shin

I believe neither of them are ill, they just tested positive during a routine testing.

Aan Gomes Branco
Aan Gomes Branco
23 days ago
Reply to  Samo

Duncan, per the statement, has mild symptoms so he *is* ill. Just not severely so, thankfully.

Samo
Samo
23 days ago

I missed that. Thanks for the correction 🙂

Tadhg
Tadhg
23 days ago
Reply to  shin

Stop being such a drama queen! Maybe you should take to your bed with some smelling salts.

Last edited 23 days ago by Tadhg
Colin
Colin
23 days ago

I hope Duncan is healthy and safe, and that they find a way for him to remain the spokesperson for the results via zoom.

Obviously, he cannot give the trophy, so this tradition will be surpassed for the first time ever. Who’ll handle the trophy transaction now? Martin Ostendahl? Duncan’s co-writers? Maybe consider inviting Tamara Todevska or KEiiNO?

Believe10
Believe10
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Is Ilse Lange in Rotterdam? What about her?

Colin
Colin
23 days ago
Reply to  Believe10

Good idea! She almost won in 2014, and she mentored Duncan, and gave her insight in Arcade before it was released. She would be a deserving person to handle the trophy transaction.

Jofty
Jofty
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

All lovely ideas, but what about the lady from Teach-In (? Geert) the last Dutch winner before Duncan?

Inky
Inky
23 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

She’s 70+ and is not welcome at Ahoy because is is a fieldlab experiment.

Jonas
Jonas
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I agree, she was literally on the stage singing on the stage with him in Tel Aviv after he won.

Chris
Chris
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Why considering Tamara and Keiino? They are not Dutch and they didn’t win!

Colin
Colin
23 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Well, they won the juries, and televote, respectively, and we are now looking for the next best option in a tough situation. It could also be Mahmood (the runner-up). Ilse de Lange, as suggested, also seems like a great option.

Jonas
Jonas
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Maybe Wouter Hardy can present it to himself if Switzerland win.

Inky
Inky
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Romy Monteiro will be the spokesperson of the results instead.

EProduc
EProduc
23 days ago

Let’s be honest here, they’re not social distancing nor wearing masks enough in Rotterdam. I’ve seen it on photos, livestreams, news specials… The artists, the delegations, the hosts, they’re not careful enough. Also testing regularly doesn’t stop covid, it’s wearing a mask and keeping distance that does. I’m fearing for more positive tests… let’s hope no artists or hosts will be left out at saturday.

Last edited 23 days ago by EProduc
Jill
Jill
23 days ago
Reply to  EProduc

Yep. They are wearing more masks than I expected but not enough, you are right. Plus, the audience was basically maskless from the vids I’ve seen.

Rifki
Rifki
22 days ago
Reply to  Jill

the audience was maskless because it’s a fieldlab test, run by the Dutch government.

PepeHater
PepeHater
23 days ago

Imagine if Iceland wins.. hahahahah XD Poor trophy!!

Savvas
Savvas
23 days ago

That’s bad news. Hope he recovers soon and that he hasn’t spread coronavirus to others. What’s even worse, though, is that there are some people here commenting that such a new leaves them indifferent because he wasn’t their 2019 winner. WTF? I don’t think that he should win back in 2019, but still there’s no need to spread such bad vibes for a person that got infected people!!!! If the only thing you have to say is mean, you shouldn’t bother commenting. Once again, I really hope he recovers! It is a pity. He was waiting for that moment! He… Read more »

Jill
Jill
23 days ago
Reply to  Savvas

I hate that this breaks the previous winner gives the new winner the trophy tradition but what can you do, he has to isolate. Fingers crossed this does not become a superspreader event

Last edited 23 days ago by Jill
Henry
Henry
23 days ago

No worries about Edsilia! She tested negative… Thank god!

eha
eha
23 days ago
Reply to  Henry

It’s too soon to be sure. False negatives are common when infected too recently.

Henry
Henry
23 days ago
Reply to  eha

Maybe, but a negative test result still means a green flag…. so she will be on stage tonight.

Matt
Matt
23 days ago
Reply to  eha

Same as a false positive result darlin’.. happened to a lot of people, they were diagnosed with this horrible dying disease, went into quarantine, absent from work, no payroll.. so yeah, let’s all do the thinking what is going on here..

Colin
Colin
23 days ago
Reply to  Henry

Thank heavens! All the best to Edsilia! 🙂

Berco
Berco
23 days ago

I feel sorry about him. This means something is being done in a wrong way in Rotterdam! Very worrisome!

Believe10
Believe10
23 days ago

Duncan had close contact with the hosts and many others without wearing a mask. I am just hoping nobody else is infected and Eurovision doesn’t become a super spreader event. Do we already know how many of the 3,500 fans got infected? I just hope that in the end everything will be fine.

Denis
Denis
23 days ago
Reply to  Believe10

Only 16 tests have been positive, which is 0,006 % of all tests taken. No major outbreak has cone from ESC

Believe10
Believe10
23 days ago
Reply to  Denis

Thank you. This is good news. I hope it will stay the same and also that none of other artists will be infected

USguy
USguy
23 days ago

Ha! This does not bother me. He should not have won in 2019 anyways. KEIINO!

Roodi
Roodi
23 days ago
Reply to  USguy

Duncan has a international career after the contest Keino is not even famous in their own country

Sot
Sot
23 days ago
Reply to  Roodi

Jeez, I agree with your statement but you really should change your name to “RUDEi” (it doesn’t make sense but I would recommend that)

raylee
raylee
23 days ago
Reply to  Roodi

woow that was harsh

Eyal
Eyal
23 days ago

I’m wishing Duncan all the best and I feel sad for him… He was so cute and yummy in his red outfit on Tuesday! I’d like to also use the opportunity to send HUGE thanks to the Netherlands for making this year’s contest a reality. The fact that there is a contest this year in no short of a miracle. Yes, a miracle! I’m pretty sure, most countries taking part in ESC, if faced with the same situation the Netherlands has been facing, would probably say “No, thanks. This is just too much. Talk to us again in 2022 to… Read more »

Michael Adam
Michael Adam
23 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

Sweet!!

Henry
Henry
23 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

So true!

Kim
Kim
23 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

I applaud what you have said.

Al W
Al W
23 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

Thank you for your wonderfull and kind words. You are right.

Ulvi-Roko Oosterhuis
Ulvi-Roko Oosterhuis
23 days ago

Hopefully now they’ll invite the Why-ay-ay-ay Lady to perform instead of Duncan. She’s much better than Duncan anyway.

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
23 days ago

I am really getting scared now…

Mansi
Mansi
23 days ago

Mans Zelmerlöw has entered the chat

Sol
Sol
23 days ago

This is so sad… Winning ESC 2019, becoming a huge global success, welcoming the world to his home country, and then just at the wrong moment, COVID ruins it all for him. Can’t even imagine how he feels.

Jérémy
23 days ago

And so that means that Duncan will be replaced by another spokeperson because he was named as the Dutch spokesperson for giving the Dutch jury results

Kimkee
Kimkee
23 days ago
Reply to  Jérémy

Technically he could still do that from home.

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Jérémy

He could still do that from isolation, no?

Actually I hope they do organise that for him—will be quite touching and powerful if that’s the only time we get to see him live on the night—there’ll be a lot of love for him!

Last edited 23 days ago by Jimmy Smit
Jan
Jan
23 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Yeah… Using FaceTime… Why not… Just like home office…

Azaad
Azaad
23 days ago
Reply to  Jérémy

If he was meant to do that I think he still can because it’s usually done remotely. What’s puzzling is why he was named as the spokesperson to begin with because reigning winners never are

Jan
Jan
23 days ago

This may sound stupid and crazy. But what about making something like plexiglass cube that could be safely delivered with Duncan inside on the stage at Ahoy?!…

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Jan

Farid Mammadov has entered the chat.

Jan
Jan
23 days ago
Reply to  Jan

Or aquazorbing ball 😀

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Jan

Oh Jan, I hope you organise a Eurovision one day! 😛

EurofanGR
EurofanGR
23 days ago

So that means that everyone from the semi final 1 has to be tested, cool.

Colin
Colin
23 days ago
Reply to  EurofanGR

They are, and will be tested regardless. Those are the contest rules – tests every other day. But if they haven’t been in a contact with Duncan on less than two meters without masks, they’ll be fine (knock on wood).
Even Edsilia had her contact with him in under a minute, and on cca. 2 meters distance, so her chances are good (good luck, Edsilia!)
Hope for the best. Stay healthy, everyone!

Jill
Jill
23 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Lol no, they might very well not be fine, COVID is airborne, it’s just been officially confirmed (although suspected for very long), so it saturates the air as an infected person breathes and the more they stay in the room, the more saturated it gets and it doesn’t matter how far away you are, as long as you are in the same room, there’s a risk. Good ventilation and air filtration should help with this a bit but I don’t think we are there yet, technology-wise.

Eurovisionary
Eurovisionary
23 days ago

OH MY GOD……

Denis
Denis
23 days ago

So he will still feature? Live from his room or what? A studio link?

Hector
Hector
23 days ago

Thing is he had contact with the hosts and many other people on Tuesday… I’m seriously worried now, let’s hope no one got infected but be extremely careful

Samo
Samo
23 days ago
Reply to  Hector

It’s unlikely he would spread it as it seems he is asymptomatic and his infection was only found out via the routine testing. They will be fine.

That being said, some level of spread will naturally occur on every event like this. Just like it did with other infectious diseases prior to 2020.

Jérémy
23 days ago

See how Corona is affecting the Contest

Diabolo
Diabolo
23 days ago

Damn. I hope this year’s Eurovision doesn’t turn into a superspreader event.. I wish a speedy recovery for Duncan and I think his test result was accurate, because he is said to be having mild symptoms. I fear that we will not be seeing Edsilia today, because she was very close to Duncan during the 1st semifinal.. Do they know though where Duncan might have contracted the virus? Maybe someone from the audience got a false negative test result and their shouting spread the virus into the air inside the arena, who knows?

Giolo
Giolo
23 days ago
Reply to  Diabolo

I think a close contact is needed to spread the virus, the public is way too far from the arena.

Diabolo
Diabolo
23 days ago
Reply to  Giolo

Yeah, that’s true. I have heard though that the virus can stay in the air (in an indoor place) for a long time and you can contract it even tho a sick person had previously been in that same space a long time ago. I think it’s very unlikely though. Hopefully they can keep everyone involved as safe as possible.

Last edited 23 days ago by Diabolo
Elisheva
Elisheva
23 days ago
Reply to  Giolo

If people from the competition are testing positive, I’m sure there are some positives in the audience too.

Jérémy
23 days ago
Reply to  Diabolo

It’s because the audiance were not wearing masks and I was very shocked

manuel
manuel
23 days ago
Reply to  Diabolo

the virus needs time to develope symptoms – so he must have gotten it a couple of days before the jury show on monday. In Germany it’s adviced to take a PCR test 5 days after a risk situation, because then the result can be valid. Symptoms show (if at all) usually later.

Samo
Samo
23 days ago
Reply to  manuel

I believe Duncan doesn’t have any symptoms. They usually come on fifth day of the infection.

Robert
Robert
23 days ago

So if Iceland wins…. No one gives and no one receives anything 🙁

Darren
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert

OMG just realised that now

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Darren

Sounds like your lockdown, Darren!

Last edited 23 days ago by Jimmy Smit
Darren
23 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Omg I burst out laughing reading that and how incredibly accurate it is Jimmy haha

Cocooo
Cocooo
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Yup. It’ll be like JESC2020 where the French delegation were celebrating on link while Viki was showing the trophy.

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Cocooo

Oops!

Sot
Sot
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert

I think someone else will give the winner their trophy… it will just be sad

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago

What a disappointment! It’s very frustrating news for Duncan! I hope he gets better as quickly as possible.

Hélène
Hélène
23 days ago

Call in Molly Sandén and Husavik!

Colono
Colono
23 days ago

I assume it’ll be the first time a winner is not gonna get the trophy from the previous one. We all knew this year to become a little challenging but I never thought Duncan to get infected or any other members of production team. I, personally, only focused on the participants from the beginning and totally ignored the other people that can still get infected somehow.

Can you imagine the chaos that can occur if all the presenters get infected? In such case, they should ask William to do it lol.

Rottendam
Rottendam
23 days ago
Reply to  Colono

It will be the first time since 2007 where the previous winner didn’t award the trophy to the winner

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Rottendam

I’m sure Ilse de Lange is ready to do it!

Lunaya
Lunaya
23 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Ilse would be a good alternative indeed – unless she spend a lot of time with Duncan as well…

Jimmy Smit
23 days ago
Reply to  Lunaya

Yeah, I was half joking, but I’d be more than happy to see Ilse give the trophy—she’d be a great alternative and happy to do it I’m sure.

Eyal
Eyal
23 days ago
Reply to  Rottendam

So who awarded the trophy in 2007?

Stephanie
23 days ago
Reply to  Eyal

Santa Claus did, it was in keeping with the “True Fantasy” theme

eha
eha
23 days ago

Hopefully the people who came in contact with him, will quarantine and maybe skip being in today semifinal 2, can’t let it spread any further and jeopardize the final.

Mostly worried about the host who stood close to him in semifinal 1.

Robert
Robert
23 days ago
Reply to  eha

Yess I just hope Edsilia is safe

Harm Stirnberg
Harm Stirnberg
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert

She tested negative.

Jill
Jill
23 days ago
Reply to  Harm Stirnberg

Yeah, but it won’t show this fast

Up yours eurovision
Up yours eurovision
23 days ago

Please axe contest Dow Hill any way

Robert
Robert
23 days ago

Yes let’s stay negative, that often helps ??

Pandaman
Pandaman
23 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Staying negative seems like a good advice this year :p

Sot
Sot
23 days ago

Noooo not Duncan as well! I feel like we’re in the Hunger Games now and however survives gets to perform live (I’m joking of course, that’s a serious subject so I wish him a fast recovery)

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
24 days ago

Wishing Duncan a fast recovery soon! 🙁