Duncan Laurence pulls out of Eurovision due to Covid-19

Reigning Eurovision champion Duncan Laurence has been forced to pull out of this weekend’s Grand Final of the songwriting competition.

Laurence discovered he had contracted Covid-19 and will no longer be able to perform his new song or hand the trophy on the the next champion.

He had performed just a few days ago at the opening of the first Semi-Final. The competition in Rotterdam is being held under strict Covid-19 safety protocols and participants and crew are tested daily for the virus.

Eurovision officials announced Laurence’s situation in a media statement.

“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.

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.

Earlier this week Iceland’s representatives Daði og Gagnamagnið were forced to rely on a rehearsal video rather than partaking in the second semi-final after band members tested positive. Despite not performing live the band progressed to the Grand Final.

Laurence has previously credited Eurovision with launching his career on to the international stage. Shortly before winning the competition in 2019 he came out as bisexual.

“I am more than just an artist, I am a person, I am a living being, I’m bisexual, I’m a musician, I stand for things. And I’m proud that I get the chance to show what I am, who I am.” Lawrence said back in 2019

Last year he became engaged to American songwriter Jordan Garfield.

OIP Staff

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