When it comes to Eurovision, the quality of the voice and the song are essential. But we don’t just judge performances by our ears — we also use our eyes. From over-the-top fireworks displays that have us dialing 999 to LEDs that give us a sense of wonder and depth, Eurovision staging takes audio-visual to another level.

This year’s staging was no different. Moldova’s SunStroke Project turned the stage into an outré wedding with their funky tuxes and wedding dresses. Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson worked a finely-tailored suit while slaying the treadmill. And the United Kingdom’s Lucie Jones shined in a giant glass shard amid a stunning galaxy of gold, claiming her crown as queen of the Eurovision Universe.

But in the end one act left the biggest impression with its innovative use of Kyiv’s International Exhibition Centre. After counting 5,942 votes, we can now reveal that Azerbaijan’s DiHaj has won the Vision Music Award 2017 for Most Memorable Staging.

Serving the edgy and avant-garde, Dihaj did Eurovision her way, melding one of the most current songs in the competition with performance art. The opening saw the singer in a small room of chalkboards, which featured the lyrics of her song and which were meant to represent a destructive relationship. She served face and writhed against the walls as she sang about her “skeletons” and her willingness to hand them over to Mr. Wrong, represented by a man wearing a horse head. Giddy up, y’all. Thankfully DiHaj don’t play! The room eventually collapsed and she was able to move forward by running riot with chalk and a raincoat. It was bonkers and brilliant.

The theatrical performance drew life partly from DiHaj’s renowned sense of fashion. Speaking to wiwibloggs about her VMA win, the Azeri singer said true style is protecting who you are.

“I have been asked a lot about my style. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the fashion industry. I don’t have any direct influences. I don’t know any names…apart from the classics. My main goal is to have and to hold on to my sense of inner style. It’s not about wearing clothes from very latest collection that makes you stylish or modern. Clothes are the instruments that make you feel more confident and more beautiful. But do not forget, they are just instruments, mere instruments.”

Dihaj joins an esteemed list of previous VMA winners for best staging. It includes Sergey Lazarev from 2016, Loïc Nottet from 2015, Donatan & Cleo from 2014 and Cezar Ouatu from 2013.

Most Memorable Staging: 2017

  1. Dihaj: 1,263 votes (21.26%)
  2. Lucie Jones: 1,216 votes (20.46%)
  3. Robin Bengtsson: 887 votes (14.93%)
  4. SunStroke Project: 768 votes (12.92%)
  5. Salvador Sobral: 738 votes (12.42%)
  6. Artsvik: 717 votes (12.07%)
  7. Jacques Houdek: 353 votes (5.94%)

Total votes: 5,942 votes

Vision Music Awards 2017: the nominees

This award is just one of a dozen awards we have launched as part of the Vision Music Awards 2017 (VMAs).

Our 13 categories — from best dressed to most wronged at ESC — identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.

You can watch the nominations video and read more about the awards here.

VOTE IN MORE OF OUR EUROVISION POLLS

Photo: Andres Putting (Eurovision.tv / EBU)

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
raufism
Guest
raufism

Very Fair Result !
SHE DESERVES !
This performace was the best staging.
And song was so underrated/14th place was so lower for it
at lest top 7 i think
anyway it was just ART
WELL DONE DIHAJ
U R OUR QUEEN <3

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

This staging was anything but forgettable!
Inspiring visual presentation. So, I guess it’s deserved!

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Staging > Song. I’ve had a feeling I’m in theater (as good one). Imo it didn’t elevate the chorus part, leaving weakest in song still laying down.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This was the right result, in my opinion. All of my Eurovision friends said the same thing about how memorable the staging was for that entry. Top marks.

Ron Kavaler
Editor

duh 🙂

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Armenia deserved to be way higher – in fact in number one. Azerbaijan, UK and Sweden also had good staging. Portugal was fine – but it wasn’t special so I do not know what are they doing in this category. Where are Latvia, Hungary or Finland? Croatia’s staging was bad, memorable but soo bad.

Anabela
Guest
Anabela

Latvian staging was terrible IMO. And Armenia had typical eurovision staging, nothing special.

NickC
Guest
NickC

Well deserved. It was pure art.

Gunther
Guest
Gunther

I loved Portuguese staging, the background looked really beautiful. It was simple, yet fascinating. But I also agree that Dihaj’s performance looked great. It was one of the best stagings this year. I like how Azerbaiyan delivers something so good every year.

NodikoGEO
Guest
NodikoGEO

YAY! She was one of my favourites this year. The staging was brilliant indeed.

fastfoodmusiclover
Guest
fastfoodmusiclover

perhaps the ott staging is the downfall because the song deserves a top 10 finish imo.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Over the top / Confusing staging. 0 appealing. Impossible to connect and that’s why it came last in my country’s televote (also for having a boring/forgettable song). Even Anja Flop got more votes here XD

Alex
Guest
Alex

That’s true!

Henry
Guest
Henry

Where do you live?

Anabela
Guest
Anabela

I loved it. One of the best Eurovision stagings ever IMO.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Honestly didn’t like the staging at all. To me it looked cheap. I think they could have done a much better job with the staging.

Ian Gallagher
Guest
Ian Gallagher

Azerbaijan 2017 was really cool. Loved everything about this entry; the song, the staging, the vocals. I thought they’d get Top 10 result, but 14th is not bad either.

Ern
Guest
Ern

I’m confused.

Isn’t DiHaj supposed to be a group? Or, is it the lady herself?

Joe
Guest
Joe

DiHaj is a female singer, her complete name is Diana Hajiyeva.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

Diana Hajiyeva uses Dihaj as her solo stage name, but she is also the lead singer of a group with the same name

Ern
Guest
Ern

So, she’s part of a group named DiHaj AND she calls herself DiHaj?

OK. If it works for her.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Well she was picked by broadcaster like that. Band couldn’t even make an effort in songwriting.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

Works for Bon Jovi!