On Friday evening the people of Rio de Janeiro cast economic woes, political instability and the Zika Virus to the side for the night as they staged the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics inside Maracanã Stadium.
During the four-hour spectacle, singers and dancers served some fierce bossa nova realness. And to many of us diehard Eurovision fans, they also conjured up some of our favourite memories from Eurovision. What follows is a selection of our Eurovision-related impressions. Be sure to share yours in the comments section below!
Digital projection realness
Much of the Rio spectacle — from scenes of a changing landscape to a glorious cityscape — came to life thanks to projections on the stadium floor. This reminded us not only of the LED floors we’ve seen at Eurovision in recent years, but also the (somewhat tired) allegations that artists like Greta Salome “copied” a certain Eurovision winner.
Waiting for #eurovision fans to say the #OpeningCeremony director copied @manszelmerlow because of the LED floor pic.twitter.com/43L35cPkbH
— William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) August 5, 2016
The death of Verka Serduchka
Verka Serduchka — Ukraine’s 2007 contestant — served on the jury that helped choose Jamala as Ukraine’s contestant in 2016 and delivered the country’s Eurovision 2016 points via satellite (the outtakes are hilarious).
At the very start of the Opening Ceremony, dancers used sheets of foil as drums as they counted down the start down of the show. Our laughs turned to shrieks when we temporarily thought organisers had skinned and killed our favourite tin-foiled drag queen!
Sergey Lazarev’s wall climb
At one point during the ceremony, a series of dancers clad in pink work suits tumbled across the floor, which transformed into an urban vista with rising and falling buildings. But, as the commentators on BBC were keen to point out, the floor didn’t actually spit out buildings — rather, it was a highly advanced form of digital projection mapping which created the illusion of depth.
Am I an awful human being for immediately comparing all these projections to @sergeylazarev ? #Rio2016 #OpeningCeremony #eurovision
— Josh | wiwibloggs (@josh_salmon) 5 August 2016
We — and several of you — instantly thought of Russia’s Sergey Lazarev. In some ways his performance was the reverse of the display in Rio: Rubber boxes actually did shoot out of his projection wall for him to climb, but the on-screen illusion almost made it seem like he was walking in air.
Melfest fans may think the “collapsing skyscraper effect” is more Krista Siegfrids 2016.
Mariya Yaremchuk realness
The Opening Ceremony nodded to Brazil’s history of slavery in a truly artistic way, having actors hang on to the inside of spinning wheels before eventually releasing themselves through the bars.
Arrival of the Africans #OpeningCeremony #olympics #rio2016 pic.twitter.com/PEhGxT3kER
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 5, 2016
Naturally our thoughts turned to a certain Ukrainian who sang “Tick Tock” at Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen.
Ok these slaves are definitely plagiarising Mariya Yaremchuk #olympics
— Edd (@Eddturnip) August 5, 2016
Brazil is known for its samba dancers, and that includes a lot of ladies dancing seductively in pink feathers.
That had us flashing back to Denmark’s DQ, who sang at Eurovision 2007 and failed to quality for the grand final with her song “Drama Queen.”
DQ? Is that you in the background? #OpeningCeremony #eurovision #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/40jD0xDmWu
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) August 6, 2016
David Lindgren, where you at?
If you watched Melodifestivalen 2016, then you may have started singing “We Are Your Tomorrow” during the rain forest segment of the Opening Ceremony.
Sadly David did not emerge from the digital forest…but some loin-clothed men did. It’s a fair trade.
#melfest fans be waiting for David Lindgren to jump out of those lasers pic.twitter.com/7wtSrUxiGC
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) August 5, 2016
Getter Jaani in the house?
Colourful cityscape. Urban vibe. A bit of pink. We couldn’t help but sing “1-2-7-3 down at Rockefeller Street” as we thought of Estonia’s Eurovision 2011 gem.
Anyone else getting @GetterGJJaani #Eurovision 2011 vibes from the colours and visuals? #OpeningCeremony pic.twitter.com/wi2EvtkCQb
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) August 5, 2016
who gives a rat’s ass if they did copy? Let the EBU sue them!
Actually, I’d feel more relaxed if the EBU didn’t do the above but instead figured out a way to make voting for next year’s contest true, decent and fair!
One of the opening ceremony director was Brazilian dance and choreographer Deborah Colker. The spinning wheels actually come from her own presentation ROTA (route), which toured Brazil and abroad in the 90’s. You can see the video footage here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKDJSOiIESw).
Deborah is a public and critic acclaimed artist and I’ve been to some of her shows, because they are amazing. You can also check VELOX and 4 Por 4 (4 by 4)
I was like
“Where’s Verdka and her buddy? They got a Brazilian club banger? IS SHE COMING BACK TO UKRAINE!?”
Hey people wherever you are!
Are you into music from all over the world? Foreign songs as well as evergreens? Check out my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atasteofinternationalmusic/
A much better ceremony than London with its NHS nurses, children’s books and lame ravers. Favourite moments: the indigenous people in the rainforest, the epic arrival of the portuguese, the depiction of the slave trade, the hip-hop bit in the favellas (unlike the british segment, this one was colourful and exciting), the parcours course over the city buildings, the athletes planting their seeds and the amazing kinetic sculpture of the sun around the cauldron. Least favourite bits: the carnival parade and various brazilian singers performing; that would have been more suitable in the closing ceremony.
It actually did remind me of Eurovision, with projections and glamorous women (and men) the video postcard at the beginning, showcasing Brazilian life through sport reminded me of the opening video postcard of Austria from the final of 2015, showing Austrian life, through the ball.
Great opening ceremony, that Olympic cauldron is amazing!!! I wonder if IKEA has one?
London 2012 was a better opening ceremony though, but still impressive and I really want to visit Rio as a result of these games, looks stunning.
William!! Where you`re gone?? I missed you a lot. 🙂
Please, don`t do that anymore… I want to see you every single day!
I need you like air))) Lol
@esc1234 – me too. Hahaha…
Btw, the opening ceremony was dull, not at all creative and “poor”. Like, really, really odd. Money may buy or not some extravaganza, but even with a tight budget one can be creative, which in this case they weren’t. And they had 3 million dollars for this ceremony. Yes, 3. If the papers I read were correct.
Again, 3 million dollars. It’s a shame.
If i had a euro for every time the word realness appear to wiwibloggs i ll be rich