Eurovision: Reigning Champion, Iceland Team Member Test COVID-Positive, Forcing Live Performance Cancellations

Two keenly anticipated live performances at the Eurovision Song Contest grand final on May 22 will not take place because of positive COVID-19 tests.

Duncan Laurence, winner of the 2019 Contest for the Netherlands, was scheduled to perform live during Saturday’s grand final but has tested positive. He has mild symptoms, and because of the seven-day minimum isolation period, will not be able to perform live in the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam. He will “still feature in the show in a different form,” organizers said.

Laurence tested negative on May 17, thus enabling him to perform at the first semi-final on May 18.

“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 of the Contest 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,” Laurence’s management said.

Meanwhile, on May 19, a member of the Icelandic group Daði og Gagnamagnið also tested positive for COVID-19, while the rest of the delegation tested negative. The group took the decision to withdraw from performing in this year’s live Eurovision Song Contest shows, as they only want to perform together as a group.

Consequently, they did not perform at the second semi-final on May 20, but were voted through into the final. Their song “10 Years” will remain in the competition and their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on May 13, was broadcast during the semi-final and will be shown again during the final.

The Icelandic delegation will remain in quarantine and be monitored by the health authorities.

A strict COVID-19 health and safety protocol is being applied at this year’s 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 April 6, when prep began at the Ahoy arena, some 24,400 tests have been conducted amongst crew, volunteers, artists, delegation members and press. Only 16 of those (0.06%) have returned positive results.

Netflix film “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” features Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Icelandic aspirants at the contest.

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