Duncan will no longer perform in the final (Picture: EPA)
Reigning Eurovision champion Duncan Laurence has tested positive for Covid-19.
As is tradition, Duncan, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 for The Netherlands with his song Arcade, was set to perform at this Saturday’s grand final.
However, he is now unable to perform live in the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam after testing positive for Covid-19.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed that Duncan delivered a positive result in a rapid antigen test after showing mild symptoms on Wednesday.
Due to the minimum seven day isolation period, he can no longer perform live on Saturday, but the EBU promosed he will ‘still feature in the show in a different form’.
Eurovision executive producer Sietse Baker said: ‘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.
‘We couldn’t be more proud of his opening act for the first Semi-Final. Of course we wish Duncan a speedy recovery!’
Duncan won in 2019 with Arcade (Picture: AFP)
Duncan’s management added: ‘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.’
Duncan had tested negative in the Eurovision Test Pavilion on Monday, which allowed him to perform in the opening of Tuesday’s semi-final.
During the show, the 28-year-old was also awarded a Global Platinum record to mark his winning song Arcade achieving one billion streams.
While Eurovision introduced a strict Covid health and safety protocol to ensure the 2021 song contest could go ahead, the virus has still caused havoc this year.
Contest darlings Daði og Gagnamagnið of Iceland are unable to perform live in tonight’s second semi-final, after one of their band members tested positive for Covid-19.
Instead, their rehearsal of 10 Years will be broadcast to allow them to compete.
Iceland will not perform live in this Thursday’s semi-final (Picture: EBU)
This came after a member of the Polish delegation and another member of the Icelandic delegation – who shared the same hotel – tested positive last week.
All those working within the perimeter of the Ahoy venue must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 test, not older than 48 hours.
Since April 6, 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.
The second Eurovision semi-final airs on BBC Four tonight at 8pm.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.