Reigning Eurovision Song Contest champion Duncan Laurence has tested positive for coronavirus and will not perform during Saturday’s grand final.
The 27-year-old singer-songwriter, who represented the Netherlands in 2019 with the song Arcade, was due to attend the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam but will now take part in the final “in a different form”, organisers said.
Laurence, a former contestant on The Voice Of Holland, delivered a positive result in a rapid antigen test after developing mild symptoms on Wednesday.
The singer had tested negative on Monday and was therefore able to perform at the first semi-final.
Sietse Bakker, executive producer of the contest, 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!”
Laurence’s management said in a statement: “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.”
It comes after Iceland’s entry, Daoi og Gagnamagnio, pulled out of performing in the live shows after a positive Covid-19 test.
The quirky dance-pop band had been due to perform their song 10 Years during the second semi-final on Thursday night.
Their song will remain in the competition and their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on May 13, will be shown during the broadcast.
According to the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the contest, more than 24,400 tests have been conducted since April 6, when the load-in started at the Ahoy Arena.