Moldova’s Aliona Moon

If you want to win Eurovision, you better bring the total package. It’s the most competitive song contest in the world and how each song is presented is every bit as important as the song and artist. These are the acts where the presentation was pitch perfect. These were all so spot on it was difficult to rank them in any order!

1. Moldova

The staging for O mie was beautiful. It added to the song without ever taking attention away from Aliona’s rendition of the song. When she rose up on the stage, when her dress lit up, fist in flames, then in ice, it was as though her song was making all of that happen. The people who created Aliona’s presentation are brilliant. It also goes to show that nailing it does not require a large budget, or a large country.

2. Romania

The staging for It’s My Life was larger than life, over the top. For almost any other artist it would have totally overshadowed the song and ended up on the 5 worst list. But Cezar is so larger than life, it fit perfectly for him. The combination of Cezar and this presentation created something more than just a song and instead it was primal, reaching in and owning everyone who saw it. The best measure of this is there are still a large number of people who know they either hate or love the song – but they can’t figure out which. The people who created this understood the artist and made something perfect for him.

3. Denmark

Emmelie de Forest—with a single look at the piper on the stage—conveyed more emotion, more desire, more complexity, than most actresses achieve in an entire movie. She sucks us into the song as we want to understand her. What she’s saying, what she wants. The presentation makes us really, really care about the song.

4. Azerbaijan

Ok, the glass booth was sort of stupid. Especially watching from the floor where we were always watching it. But it worked. To a large degree because Farid wanted to be held and he wanted it so, so, so badly. And being separated from the guy by a sheet of glass, and the woman by the glass box (and it’s never clear which one he wants – but we don’t care), it is so intense. Again a case of the staging making the song real. It’s not this generic desire, the person he wants is right there, so close, yet unreachable. Beautifully staged.

5. Malta

Gianluca’s team did something brilliant. In the staging and experience of the over the top event that is ESC, they had our friends playing a welcoming, embracing song on a park bench. And it worked. It worked beautifully. The people behind this fit the presentation to the artist and song rather than trying to fit Gianluca/Tomorrow to some generic pop danceathaon. And with that effort they took what would have been buried in the pack and moved it up to 6th place.

6. Belarus

The staging for Solayoh was the stereotypical Eurovision sequins, lights, dancing, over the top presentation. There’s a reason some songs are presented this way at ESC, when it’s done well, it’s really good. And Alyona pulled this off perfectly. But I still have one question – how on earth can her dress be that short?

7. Finland

Krista was another where the presentation was designed for the unique artist. Rather than trying to make Krista sound like a generic pop singer, they made use of her incredibly powerful personality. The end result is more Krista than the song. But that is the strength that Krista brings to the show and the presentation made maximum use of that strength.

8. Ireland

Pure testosterone. When they started with the drums virtually every guy around me on the show floor went nuts. And it only got more intense from there. This was never going to be a top 10 song (although last place was a crime). But the presentation was again a great one for the artist and song. And like Malta it provided something outside the normal offerings that was really good.

Minimal, and It Works

Zlata Ognevich, Marco Mengoni, Anouk, Eythor Ingi, and Moran Mazor all sang with minimal presentation bringing the focus solely to the song and their singing. And in each of their cases it was perfect.

Which act do you think had the best presentation?

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Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

28 Comments
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Cherry
Cherry
7 years ago

Belgium was great! the dancers, the lights, the choir, everything unforgetable. But, the best stage act came from Farid Mammadov (Azerbaijan). I should admit, that performance was more original than any other.

ohdear
ohdear
7 years ago

Though I prefered the Moldovan projection during the National Final.

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

@David Thielen

No offence, but Germany’s stage performance wasn’t as horrible as everyone keeps making it out to be. As I said, they kept their performance simple and solely focused on the song itself. Cascada gave an energetic performance by stomping her little heart out on that glass staircase of hers. She flawlessly walked down those glass steps before making her way to the satellite like a true professional.

Nanda
7 years ago

Zlata Ognevich was everything but minimal. I mean, the giant says it all. It was cheesy and I still cannot understand her “look, I have a hand” moves…

Anyway…

LOLA
LOLA
7 years ago

I’m agree!Cezar is larger than life!His presentation was amazing and unforgattable!

Marion
Marion
7 years ago

It’s true, I agree 🙂

Eve
Eve
7 years ago

Azerbaijan with the strange box took focus from the song

il pleut
il pleut
7 years ago

Moldova and Romania`s presentations were similar…………

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Oh yeah, Norway and Greece definitely deserve to be on this list. Norway was very intricately designed and the presentation developed with the song. Greece took a fairly generic song and made it really fun, and they very successfully dealt with the fact that Agathonas wasn’t going to jump around with the rest of them.

The very worst presentation should go to Croatia. The entire bridge, they just stood there doing nothing, and there was no on-stage chemistry of any sort.

StillEurofan
StillEurofan
7 years ago

I think Aliona deserves the first place. Not only the show and the way she sang, but the connection between the text and the images projection on Aliona’s dress and her rising is perfect. I love O mie and I’m listening it as many times as I can.

StillEurofan
StillEurofan
7 years ago

David, I totally agree with you in Romanian case. The show was complex, like the pop-opera song and Cezar performance were. It is quite difficult to define the whole message or it is impossible to find only one but, for sure, the show kept our attention.

Jordan
Jordan
7 years ago

What about Germany? They kept their performance simple and solely focused on the song itself. Cascada gave an energetic performance by stomping her little heart out on that glass staircase of hers. She flawlessly walked down those glass steps before making her way to the satellite like a true professional.

Petar
Petar
7 years ago

I agree with all you said, except one thing. Belarus…? Alyona had that slut dress and Disco Ball that has probably fallen from Mars. I hated it.

paco
7 years ago

por fabor lo de bielorrisia esta muy visto y no es para nada creible no cuela lo latino con ella pero el voto del vecino es lo que al final cuenta.Lo de Rumania y lo Moldavia lo puedo ver todo los años el gala drag queen de las Palmas de gran canaria en su carnaval baye.

MoOn-FLoWeR
7 years ago

AZERBAIJAN was very nice!!!! You cant see!!!!
Moldova copy from Azerbaijan ESC 2012-SABINA BABAYEVA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzT7O3Fnwpk

Fikri
Fikri
7 years ago

zlata… minimal presentation? lol!

Zolan
Zolan
7 years ago

Montenegro: I was sceptical about the announcement that the three of them would do the whole presentation, but they succeeded magnificently.
Norway: Curvy white girl in a stark industrial setting matched the song perfectly.
Finland and Greece: Sheer charisma and professionalism really supported the song.
France: The song inseparable from the singer.
Belgium: What a turnaround once everything clicked into place.

Ayshen
Ayshen
7 years ago

I think you’re being unfair to Azerbaijan. because Farid worked very hard and his work was very hard. But he managed a very nice.The performans was fantastic,
exciting and uncommon

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago

I think people underestimate the art of the grotesque. My personal favorite was indeed the staging of Montenegro, with the oversized (!) spacesuits (complete with Montenegrin flag) and Nina Zinzic as a singing Borg that suddenly “pops out” of the stage.

D
D
7 years ago

Where’s Norway? Margaret had an amazing set up, the strobe lights, the single drummer in the background, and her singing in front of the micstand with that gorgeous snow-white dress on. One of the top presentations for me.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

…but I do think Moldova is probably a good choice for first place. When the skirt started rising, I said out loud “oh ****, Moldova did it again!!!” – they always pull off a great staging!

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

…but I do think Moldova is probably a good choice for first place.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

You missed Belgium. Those dancers did a great job of supporting a very simple act.

Diane
Diane
7 years ago

I think Amandine Bourgeois and ByeAlex also did a great job when it comes to “minimal, and it works” thing. I was having a nice chill behind my neck when they sang. They let their songs spoke to the audience, which was a clever idea.

Tiggeh
Tiggeh
7 years ago

I can’t believe no one mentioned Bonnie Tyler. The UK had one of their best presentations at ESC in many a year. When the podium rose up at the end, it was a very striking and commanding performance. Well done Bonnie.

Angus Quinn
Editor
7 years ago

I swear Gianluca came 8th? Otherwise love the list, although Aliona Moon massively ripped off Sabina Babayeva. Loved Alyona Lanskaya’s disco ball from space, although it should really have entered from the rafters!

R
R
7 years ago

Azerbaijan’s staging was definitely the most story-telling, that glass case/red dress/I am gay/I am straight/who cares atmosphere was brilliant!

Denmark though did all the right things to win, their staging was written with ‘winner’ all throughout right from the beginning. The haunting flute solo, the hands, the drums, and then the pyro at the end. Classic.