Eurovision is a battle royale and only the strongest make it to the Top 10. In recent years dance entries have typically been the first to fall. Malmö proved to be an even greater massacre than normal thanks to the ‘Euphoria’ effect inspiring more dance entries than normal. Ryan Dolan suffered most, with ‘Only Love Survives’ landing bottom of the scoreboard and receiving only 5 points as a consolation. That’s even fewer points than his equally beleaguered comrade Tooji a year earlier in Baku. None of this year’s dance acts made it to the Top 10, with Roberto Bellarosa’s ‘Love Kills’ coming closest in 12th place. To prevent such a bloodbath next year WiwiBloggs identifies the dos and don’ts to ensure dance glory on the Danish stage!

Firstly dance. The clue is in the title, but judging from Kati Wolf’s rigid performance of ‘What About My Dreams’ in 2011 and Sofi Marinova’s awkward bopping in Baku that clearly doesn’t translate into Hungarian or Bulgarian. Charlotte Perrelli and Hera Bjork both stepped back from giving their choreography their all, and it rendered both boring and guaranteed them spots in the lower half of the table. Cascada made the fatal decision of lumping Natalie with that awful staircase. If there’s one thing Germany should have learned from Azerbaijan’s Safura, it’s that as soon as you’re on stairs you need to get off them. Natalie staying on that staircase meant she was rivalling Birgit in the boredom stakes and meant that ‘Glorious’ only got going in the last minute when she finally got off the staircase: way too late to make any real impact.

Her song moves—but Kati Wolf doesn’t:
http://youtu.be/HKv1SXK6E60

You do also have to sing, which has been made all the more important since the introduction of the juries in 2009, whose increased vocal scrutiny has cost dance acts dearly. Not everyone has to reach the towering heights of Ani Lorak, but admit your limits. Hadise, Kalomira and Eric Saade have all demonstrated how to do dance on a vocal budget. None of them were going to set the juries alight with vocal prowess, but they didn’t offend them by falling flat when stripped of auto-tune. If only the same could be said for beleaguered Hannah Mancini, who truly bombed in Malmö without lashings of auto-tune to cover up her flaws. Hannah isn’t the only one to have suffered from the jury’s merciless assault on all things dance, with the United Kingdom’s Blue taking a severe beating in 2011 that denied them an almost assured Top 10 finish.

This is how you do it:

Lastly, in performance and production PLEASE don’t over-stage. There is a fine line to be observed, which gyrating cowboys and wedding dresses leaps, rather than steps over. If you want to make your entry stand out from generic Juliana Pasha then look to Paula Selling & Ovi for how to do it. The quirky piano and Paula’s soaring vocals took Europe by storm. Don’t feel the need to go all Svetlana Loboda and take whatever her stage was with you wherever you go, or take the German approach and summon Dita Von Teese to the stage for a cheap celebrity cameo. The juries hate it and televoters don’t tend to be wowed by it either.

Dance can be successful but you have to be clear on your mission objectives when you’re going in. Victory does not come easy – you have to be vocally on point and have performance that will crush your opposition without falling into overkill. Get that fine balance right though and you get pure perfection and a guaranteed euphoric reception.

Photo: Dennis Stachel (EBU)

Angus Quinn contributed this report from the U.K. You can follow him on Twitter at @Angus_Quinn17. Then like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and gossip.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alex
Guest
Alex

Dude, I made no comment on his singing. But I guess I’ll just say now that his singing wasn’t great. Not that he made it too easy on himself by moving around so much. And the backup vocals didn’t help at all, either. I don’t remember Hadise’s performance really.

takecare
Guest
takecare

@Alex @Zachary what the hell are you saying? hungary 2009 sang way better than hadise, but the song was crap and the staging disastrous…thats why it failed! whereas turkeys were great

anyways (oftopic), Eleftheria (greece 2012) has a new clip with romanian Deepcentral

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YThcnPf3wKg&feature=youtu.be

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Not a single of these dance acts want to win. They all may settle on Gina G’s success.

Jorgen Rasmussen
Guest
Jorgen Rasmussen

1. Margareth sings much more impressively than small, unimportant dance moves.
2. What about Nocturne? Is that style outdated for Eurovision?

Alex
Guest
Alex

Zachary, Zoli Adok moved around way too much in that performance… I watched it on French TV and the commentator said something like it was the worst performance he’d seen that night. But yes, he was incredibly hot.

Zachary Thomas
Guest

I love dance entries, but it’s really tough for them to do well, mainly due to the difficulty in maintaining a good singing voice while remembering choreography and moving around like that. You have to have wicked vocal/lung control to stay in key while moving around quickly, and a good memory to remember lyrics as well as a choreography piece. I also think that dance entries are proof that vocals and not just familiarity and good looks/moves are key to winning the contest. Tooji is a prime example, as well as that Hungary guy from 2009. (Oh my he was… Read more »

Anthony Ko
Editor

As a fan of dance music (Cascada, Tiësto, Scooter, Ultrabeat etc), dance is quite a tricky genre to pull off in Eurovision as we’re mostly familiar with schlager pop song and ballads. Before the juries were brought back in 2009, Romania’s Mihai Tr?istariu with “Tornerò” back in 2006 was the closest we’ve had to seeing a dance entry winning the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 4th in the Grand Final at Athens. Loreen’s victory at Baku last year created a massive impact, similar to ABBA’s “Waterloo”, but as a dance based entry. Created from the duo that is Thomas G:son and… Read more »

David Thielen
Member

I loved Hannah Mancini. With that said, there were other acts I loved even more. Part of the problem is that the quality of the acts has been incredible the last 2 years. And not just the top 3 or 4, but the top 20.

Kenya
Guest
Kenya

Other dance tragedies: Magdalena Tul, Stella Mwangi, Emmy from Armenia….

Nadine
Guest
Nadine

Dance acts do poorly because a) the songs tend to be overly simplistic (Ivi Adamou) b) it’s hard to sing them while shaking your arse (Hannah Mancini). Loreen won because she made dance interesting.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Regarding Margaret Berger coming 4th, Padraig, you’re ignoring how carefully scripted the performance was. All of her movements were very precisely chosen and executed. The point of the whole staging was subtlety, so it’s not like they wanted her to be jumping around all over the place.

Alex
Guest
Alex

The correct spelling is “fares”, not “fairs.” Blue wasn’t really dance either, but you do raise a good point. The choreography is even more important than one would expect for the success of a dance performance. However, cheap celebrity cameos often go a long way. Blue is a perfect example of this (5th in televote, right?), not to mention the fact that Russia basically rode the wave of celebrity to the top in 2008, with Bilan already being famous, along with the famous violinist and figure skater. (Remember the part of the performance where Dima turns the skater’s face towards… Read more »

Padraig Muldoon
Editor

Margaret Berger came 4th with a dance song this year and all she did was the odd wiggle.