Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
The transition from inconspicuous demo version to spine-tingling contender shows what can happen when you spend more time in the studio
Netherlands has shaken up the Eurovision outright market with the release of Duncan Laurence’s Arcade.
It’s exactly what this year’s Eurovision lineup needed: another country to challenge the assumption that it is Russia’s Contest to lose. It still probably is given the immense voting power versus Duncan from the Netherlands.
Regardless of that, the transition from inconspicuous demo version to spine-tingling contender shows what can happen when you spend more time in the studio. The Greece review is the perfect example of a song that arrived to the Contest undercooked.
There are hints of Chris Martin’s delicate tone in Arcade, though it would make for quite an edgy ColdPlay track, which is something to consider when backing Netherlands at the much shorter 6/1 at the time of writing. Is Arcade too edgy to challenge for the win? I tend to think the switch between light and heavy moments in the arrangement help overcome this doubt. The main worry is the inclusion of Hans Pannecoucke in the staging team – he’s still trading on his 2014 success and has been terrible ever since. On the plus side, he will be joined by Ilse DeLange who will hopefully tame some of his more left-field excesses such as full-face masks or not looking at the camera…
— DeWereldDraaitDoor (@dwdd) March 8, 2019
A video of Duncan’s first live performance dropped as I was writing this preview. While watching what worried me most is Duncan’s failure to look into the camera *facepalm*. His features also appear quite harsh on the eye, and while that shouldn’t matter, I don’t feel myself being motivated to vote for him. The song his great. His vocal will be one of the best in the Contest. I’m just struggling seeing him convincing Europe’s televoters to pick up their phones en masse and vote for the Netherlands. It makes him less of a Kristian Kostov and more of a Loïc in terms of a warm, engaging performance versus slightly cold and distant. Eurovision staging can easily overcome these concerns. Even so, it does provide a niggling doubt in my head given that Eurovision winners all have that unique ability to own the stage and connect through the TV screen.