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:
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)