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:
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:
And Britney did this:
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!
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.
Britney vs Greta Salóme on my snapchat: gretasalome ?? btw I love her! pic.twitter.com/0MY2bCRtOq
— Greta Salóme (@gretasalome) August 29, 2016