Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence was one of the driving forces behind this year’s Dutch Eurovision entry. He championed Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper to the Songfestival selection committee and co-wrote the song ‘Burning Daylight’.
After the two young performers were introduced at a press conference last November, he faded into the background. Most notably, he was nowhere to be seen during the preview party circuit, where Mia and Dion received lukewarm feedback.
Laurence defended his absence on a TV chat show, blaming pre-party organisers for failing to provide the correct sound levels and equipment for the song to come over correctly. He also insisted he had never agreed to act as their coach; instead, he saw his role as ‘creative director’. In that capacity, he joined the delegation that left for Liverpool last week to prepare for the performance.
Shortly after last night’s result, Laurence posted on social media. He posted a photo of Mia and Dion, adding: “I am so proud of you. You fought. You gave it your all and were completely yourself on the biggest stage in the world. No one can take that away from you.”
After the semifinal, Mia and Dion told the press: “We came for the whole adventure, for the whole story, and it’s just an awful shame that it ends tonight. We can go home with our heads held high.”
AVROTROS says it remains ‘incredibly proud’ of the duo. “We knew it would be tough in this difficult first semi-final, and it is, of course, a great pity that we did not manage to reach the final,” the broadcaster told RTL News. “Mia & Dion put on a fantastic performance, and we are and remain incredibly proud of what they have achieved.”
Laurence will stay in Liverpool for the rest of the Eurovision week. He is one of the guest artists due to perform during the grand final on Saturday.