Britney Spears made a triumphant comeback at the 2016 MTV VMAs, with a dramatic performance of her new single “Make Me…” But fans have noticed that the staging looked a little familiar – it had similar giant hands to those Greta Salóme used in the staging for “Hear Them Calling”. Coincidence? Let’s take a look.

First, let’s check out the two most similar parts of their respective acts:

britney-hand

greta-hands

There we have two blonde pop singers being bothered by giant hands. Did Britney copy Greta? Perhaps! But there’s a lot more to each artist’s performance than giant hands.

Britney’s hands were created live in silhouette, with dancers behind the screens, waving their hands in front of a strong light. It also means that Team Britney got to create quite clever stuff, like the dancers forming a shape of a dress, then rolling apart. In that respect, it looked inspired by the performance group Attraction, whose silhouette theatre won Britain’s Got Talent in 2013.

Whereas Greta’s hands were graphics projected on screen behind her. This meant that her performance was a lot darker and more gothic, whereas Britney’s was brighter and poppier.

Both Britney and Greta did a lot more in their performances than get groped or caressed by giant hands. For example, Greta did this:

greta-hair

And Britney did this:

britney-bumbum

Britney was also joined by dancers and guest rapper G-Eazy, while Greta was alone on stage with just her microphone and tassels.

And remember, when Greta debuted the “Hear Them Calling” staging at Söngvakeppnin, she was criticised for “copying” parts of the staging of “Heroes” and “Euphoria”. But as fans pointed out, Måns didn’t invent projection mapping and Loreen didn’t invent crouching. And Greta didn’t invent giant silhouette hands.

But given the international impact of Eurovision and its reputation for often having cutting edge staging concepts, we can’t help wonder if someone saw “Hear Them Calling” and was inspired by the hands and decided to rework the concept in a different way.

We can’t wait to see what creative staging concepts show up on stage in Ukraine next year!

Update:

Jonathan Duffy, part of the creative team behind the “Hear them Calling” staging, made this playful comment on Facebook:

And Greta herself has responded with a hilarious video where she unleashes some serious *eyeroll* on Brit-Brit.


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Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Just goes to show how INFLUENTIAL ESC really is I mean first the glowing dress from Azerbaijan and now this? Hmmm…..

stojko
Guest
stojko

And Ariana Grande “side to side” copied Laing from USfÖ 2015.. O M G when you follow Eurovision, you’ve seen it all.

James
Guest
James

Charles just want to point out that altho I hate lyp synching and find it pointless watching people like Britney dance to a recorded vocal…at least the one saving grace is that it is her voice. ( Well as far we know anyway) Milli Vanilli is not the same as the voices on the track were not even theirs. They mimed to other people’s tracks which is even worse. A Grammy for best pop record or album doesn’t account for live performances .. they received a Grammy for something someone else did. I don’t think people have taken to lyp… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Robyn Gallagher: We could have a discussion about Britney’s prerogative and how tolerant people are towards her uncanny ability to lipsync … but we would go nowhere. We live in the day and age where singing is not necessarily the most interesting thing about music performances and Eurovision has reflected that too many times: the excitement about choreographies, staging, pyrotechnics and LED has overshadowed the singing part (ears must be off while eyes and body are in some sort of frenzy) … YET we have been moving towards the whole stage circus and pretty sure fans wouldn’t mind the vocals… Read more »

James
Guest
James

@nbdcrs No one is saying Greta was the first person to do it, however the fact it uses the large hands to interact with the artist is what is so similar not just the technology. I don’t know why you are getting so upset, no one here seems to be getting angry about it. The only people who seem pissed/angry are more talking about lip synching or Britney’s actual talent, which doesn’t have anything to do with big shadow hands. It’s just interesting to wonder if it was inspired by Eurovision given the shadow routine is very similar and is… Read more »

Magpie
Guest
Magpie

Oh it’s definitely ‘inspired’ however I do prefer Greta’s mysterious staging over Britney’s display. I don’t know but Britney’s staging felt like it looked a little cheap.

nbdcrs
Guest
nbdcrs

Oh for the love of god, the biggest difference is that Greta used LED screen and Britney used actual people to do this as you can see when G-Easy enters the stage at 1:50 if you watch it on her vevo. Shadow play has been here since ancient times don’t act like it’s something Greta invented. And still one thing is that I feel is that most of Americans still don’t know what Eurovision even is.

A Person
Guest
A Person

so what? At least Greta Salome can SING not that *fake* singer Britney who we never saw her sing live for once.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Absolutely a copy. It’s not the first time this has happened. The Eurovision is like the Olympics of song and staging, so I’m sure a lot of creative types watch it for “inspiration”. A rip-off.

=

Lanti
Guest

@jamaladingdong She does them pretty regularly on her Snapchat

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Saw the show and immediately thought of Greta lol

Charles
Guest
Charles

… and still Britney insists on not singing one damn note live … she can bring the moves, steal and recycle stagings already been used before by God knows who … yet the singing is not a crucial part of her artistry … and more impressive … nobody cares … Well give back to Milli Vanilli that f*** Grammy they initially won in 1990 for the uncanny ability they showed way before Britney ever did.

jamaladingdong
Guest
jamaladingdong

Greta should do vlogs more often, or maybe I’m not that updated about her.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Greta’s video is just perfect!