Dutch Language Blog

Eurovision 2019- The Netherlands the Big Winner Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

Last Saturday, the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Tel Aviv with about 186 million viewers worldwide not including the many streaming parties organized in several countries. The big winner of this year’s event was Dutch singer Duncan Laurence giving the Netherlands its fourth win.

Photo taken by Daniel Kruczynski found on Flickr.com with license CC BY-SA 2.0

What is Eurovision?

Eurovision began in 1956 as way bring together the continent after the oorlogen or wars. The first show was held in Switzerland and it was a huge experiment considering live TV was not really common, let alone among so many countries. At first, the show was called Eurovision Song Contest Gran Prix, but later it was shortened to just Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision has grown to be the longest running television shows and one of the most watched non-athletic event in the world.

Who and how can you participate?

Although the event began as a Europe-only event, it has somewhat expanded over the years. Any member of the European Broadcast Area who pays a participant fee can participate. Non-European countries who have sent a competitor include Turkey (transcontinental), Israel, Cyprus, Armenia, Australia, Morocco, Russia (transcontinental), among others.

All submitted songs must have both music and lyrics and the singing has to be live. There have been some beperkingen or restrictions about language, but nowadays, songs can be in any language. English has become the most common language in use although many countries still use their own.


Stemming or voting is done two ways. First, there is a selected jury who awards punten or points to each of the participants. Secondly, viewers can submit their vote via the app or with an SMS, however, they are not allowed to vote for their own country. This reduces the advantage of the most bevolkte or populated countries (Germany, France, UK, Australia, Russia). Since the popular voting began, there has been a backup jury in place just in case of a malfunction.

Eurovision 2019

This year, the show was hosted in Tel Aviv since Israel won Eurovision 2018. The theme of this year was “Dare to Dream!” and there were many events organised in Israel, including beach watching parties, related to Eurovision.

During the first halve finale or semi-finals, Australia was the big winner of the night followed by Czech Republic and Iceland. The second semi-finals saw the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Sweden as the big winners. The finale was won by the Dutch singer Duncan Laurence with the song “Arcade” followed by Italy and Russia. You can see Duncan’s performance in this video from the Eurovision YouTube channel. The video below shows the warm welcome Duncan Laurence received at Schiphol after the big win. Some of the fans at the airport compared Duncan’s win to winning the WK or world cup.

Eurovision 2020

The winnaar or winner of the event is automatically the host country for the next year. This means that Eurovision 2020 will be hosted by the Netherlands. Not long after Duncan was named the winner, many Dutch cities were already bidding to host. Some of these include The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and my very own city Maastricht. Cost will be a factor in determining the city considering that Premier Rutte said there would be no extra money given to the Dutch national broadcast. Each city will have to determine if the cost of the show (anywhere from €15 million to €50 million) is worth it.

I found the video below and thought it was a gem! This video has the top 10 entries from the Netherlands. Some of the songs are in English while others are in Dutch. My personal favorite is “Calm After the Storm.” Which one did you like best?

Did you watch Eurovision 2019? Which country were you cheering for?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. William:

    I became a fan in 2013 when Anouk went to Eurovision. My Dutch wife is not. But I was excited leading into this years contest, because Duncan was favored to win by a large margin. Was so happy to see him break the 44 year drought.

    I believe his last name is spelled “Laurence” by the way. His Eurovision YouTube video has it spelled that way, and the Dutch charts also have it that way.

    • Karoly Molina:

      @William It was pretty great to see him win! I am looking forward to the Eurovision excitement that will follow next year 🙂 And thank you for the correction, William! -Karoly