×

Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence Wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

Madonna’s controversial performance may have grabbed the headlines, but Duncan Laurence won the nearly four-hour-long 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with the song “Arcade,” which he cowrote with Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy.

Laurence won a total of 492 points from the expert juries and televoters in a contest that was touch and go from the beginning, with North Macedonia a surprise frontrunner until the collective votes were tallied. Italy finished in second place with 465 votes and Russia came in third with 369. It was the fifth win for the Netherlands in Eurovision history, although the country’s first in 44 years.

“In the past few years many well-known artists represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m not well-known, but that’s also a good thing; The Netherlands has a lot of young and talented musicians,” the 24-year-old singer-songwriter said when he was first selected to represent his country in Eurovision. “My participation proves that nothing is impossible. You can suddenly get the opportunity to represent your country on an international stage. I’m very proud to represent my country.”

Following his win, Laurence told the crowd gathered at Tel Aviv Expo, “Here’s to dreaming big, here’s to music first, always — thank you!”

The mood during the nearly the show was festive throughout, with attendees including S-Curve Records chief Steve Greenberg and Doron Medalie, co-writer of “Toy,” the song recorded by 2018 Eurovision winner Netta Narzilai. While the Expo started emptying out around the three-hour mark at around 1 a.m. Tel Aviv time, those remaining continued to wave flags of the respective delegations.

With Madonna’s guest performance meting out “a message of peace,” others in the music industry echoed the Queen of Pop’s commitment to playing in Israel. Ari Ingel, director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment industry non-profit organization dedicated to promoting music and the arts as a bridge to peace and artistic freedom, spoke of how “a shared love of music and the arts has the ability to bring us together when so many people are trying to sow division.”

Jeremy Hulsh, founder and managing director of Oleh! Records, Israel’s music export and development office, was “rooting for Israel” but saw a lot of “great talent” in all the Eurovision contestants. He also spoke of the boost the Israeli music industry is getting from the conference, as the government does little to promote acts within the pop music arena.

“In Israel, there’s an astonishing amount of talent in the pop music realm,” said Hulsh. “Having Eurovision in Tel Aviv provides a plum opportunity to showcase this talent — not only in the actual Eurovision show but also in the Eurovision village and in clubs and bars all around the city this week. Israel is home to a vibrant, robust, creative community of artists, and it’s time the world knows this.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Stacy Rukeyser

    Netflix Orders Dramedy Series 'Sex/Life' From 'UnREAL' Showrunner

    Stacy Rukeyser has landed a series order at Netflix with the dramedy “Sex/Life.” The series is based on the book “44 Chapters About 4 Men” by BB Easton. The series is described as the story of a love triangle between a woman, her husband, and her past which takes a new look at female identity [...]

  • Paramount Television Adds Three to Executive

    Paramount Television Adds Three to Executive Team

    Paramount Television is continuing to add to its executive ranks. The studio has tapped Brian Segna as its new senior vice president of development, along with Kate Gill and Nicole Harjo, both of whom are joining as vice presidents of development. The trio will all report to Jenna Santoianni, executive vice president and head of [...]

  • Phyllis Nagy

    Writers Guild Presidential Candidate Phyllis Nagy Blasts Strategy on Agencies

    Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s president David Goodman, has warned of dire consequences from the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy, who announced her candidacy on July 22 as the head of Writers for Negotiation, is running on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to [...]

  • Practical Magic

    'Practical Magic' Prequel Among Three HBO Max Pilot Orders

    HBO Max is continuing to build up its original programming slate with three new projects. Variety has learned that the nascent streamer has given pilot orders to the half-hour dramedy “Generation” and the hour-long drama “Red Bird Lane,” as well as a pilot production commitment for the one-hour drama “Rules of Magic.” All three projects [...]

  • James Corden Variety Cover Story

    James Corden Signs Deal to Host 'Late Late Show' Through 2022

    James Corden has signed a new deal with CBS which will see him stay on as host of “The Late Late Show” through 2022. The multi-talented Brit had been in advanced negotiations with the studio since May, and the new deal is sure to see him score a substantial bump in pay. The previous deal [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon, Home Edit Duo Set Lifestyle Series at Netflix

    Netflix has ordered a new lifestyle series that boasts Reese Witherspoon among its executive producers. The hour-long series will follow master home organizes Clea Sherer and Joanna Teplin, the duo behind The Home Edit company. In each episode, Sherer and Teplin will transform the lives of their clients by conquering clutter with their signature style. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content