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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)