THE NETHERLANDS The king and queen, and the prime minister have sent congratulations to Duncan Laurence for his Eurovision Song Festival win – the first Dutch victory since 1975.
‘We are proud of Duncan Laurence, who has conquered Europe with his musical quality, delivered a win for the Netherlands for the first time in 44 years and brought the song festival to the Netherlands next year,’ king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima said on Twitter.
Prime minister Mark Rutte described Laurence’s performance of his ballad Arcade in Tel Aviv as ‘sublime and powerful’ and praised the way he made his position as the bookies’ favourite a reality.
Eurovision pundit Leo Blokhuis told Dutch radio that Laurence was ‘eight times better than Madonna’ the guest performer, who was criticized for her ‘excruciating’ performance in the break before the votes were announced. Laurence has a ‘God-given voice,’ Blokhuis said.
The Dutch entry was third after the jury results but moved into the lead with the public votes. Italy finished in second place and Russia third.
At a press conference after his win Laurence told reporters his heart was beating incredibly hard while the votes were being announced. ‘The votes take a long time. Next year we shouldn’t do that, you could get a heart attack from it,’ he said.
‘I didn’t dare to dream to win this trophy, because this is Eurovision and anything can happen, and that’s why I love Eurovision,’ he said. ‘But it happened, the predictions came true, but still I kept seeing them as predictions. [The win] is the result of the hard work as a team.’
The Netherlands last won Eurovision in 1975 with Teach-In and the immortal Ding-a-dong. The Common Linnets and Calm after the Storm came second in 2014.
“Duncan’s song is a winning game! Wij zijn trots op Duncan Laurence die Europa met muzikale klasse heeft veroverd, Nederland voor het eerst in 44 jaar weer winst heeft bezorgd en het Songfestival volgend jaar naar Nederland haalt!” – WA en Máxima. #songfestival #eurovision pic.twitter.com/esSgL9ulB2
— Koninklijk Huis (@koninklijkhuis) May 18, 2019