We’re all familiar with iconic staging at Eurovision. From Eleni’s Foureira’s rhinestoned catsuit and vigorous flamed performance, which took her to second place back in 2018, to Go_A’s cyberpunk folk ritual breaking the top 5 in 2021, recent years have shown staging is more important than ever to solidify a good result.
But amidst the chaos, there are a few forgotten gems — performances that were some of the best staged, but have been forgotten over time and barely spoken about by fans. Let’s take a stage dive into five underrated picks!
Memorable staging at Eurovision: Five underrated performances
Carl Espen — “Silent Storm” (Norway 2014)
A performance laced with Eurovision clichés, this emotional ballad has everything we should hate in a performance: violins, spotlight, wind machine, smoke, man on a piano. But this is exactly why this performance was so perfect. The signature Scandinavian polish was used to great effect to create a stunning package for viewers. Paired with the gorgeous diamond-inspired stage design and clever “stormy sea” style LED, we go on a clear journey — one that landed Espen a well deserved top 10 finish in the grand final.
Albina — “Tick-Tock” (Croatia 2021)
Arguably one of the most memorable stage shows of the 2021 contest held in the Netherlands, this futuristic light show was nothing short of spectacular. Talk about an upgrade! This entry was far from a fan favourite after Albina’s victory at Dora, but the team invested golden time and plenty of Euros into this performance. It paid off. The staging echoes the laser beam wall of Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Dance You Off” performance from 2018, mixed with some Melodifestivalen magic. The camera angles are consistent and dynamic, gripping the viewer and maintaining interest. And who could forget the moment we get five Albinas as she cross-multiplies mid-song? Despite all of this the song ended up in a disappointing 11th place in the first semi-final. Nevertheless, it made a lasting impression in the minds of fans across the continent.
Petr Elfimov — “Eyes That Never Lie” (Belarus 2009)
Before the likes of Elina Nechayeva, Aliona Moon and Sabina Babayeva, Belarus was an early adopter of the projected dress trend. This performance had it all. Petr stands centre stage in angelic white, juxtaposing the acid green backdrop, accompanied by a spirit-like figure with billowing fabric and projected flames. The viewer feels as if they are soaring around the stage in this enchanting ensemble. The most notable aspect of the entire performance is the perfect steadicam shot that circles Petr during the final chorus. It enhances the sheer power of his vocals, fundamental in the delivery of such a complex rock anthem.
Ivi Adamou — “La La Love” (Cyprus 2012)
Like a goddess of the library, she danced her way to 16th place in Baku. Wearing a champagne dress and cream accessories, Ivi Adamou took us to a Mediterranean fantasy land during her performance of “La La Love”. With such a Eurotastic pop song, the Cypriot team knew they needed a stage show to match, and what better way than to wheel a table made from books on stage for Ivi to stomp all over and be lifted to the gods by four stunning backing dancers? The backdrop included an assortment of shells and architectural imagery which worked perfectly with the theme. Paired with strong lighting effects during an energetic dance break, there is good reason why this entry is so loved within the fandom.
Laura Tesoro — “What’s The Pressure” (Belgium 2016)
Laura Tesoro was clearly the dark horse of 2016. “What’s The Pressure” generated little buzz prior to rehearsals, but upon touchdown in Stockholm, fans changed their tune. Laura and her entourage worked the stage wearing silver and white costumes with LEDs resembling the lights of Las Vegas. This performance built on Belgium’s new wave of momentum, following Loic Nottet’s success a year earlier. Starting with synchronised handkerchief waves and a choreographed walk down the runway, we see Laura take centre stage and hit every camera angle with ease, ending on the satellite stage where we as audience members feel even more connected to her. This is a great example of how the ‘concert’ feel can enhance the overall effect of the staging. It gave Belgium a pleasantly surprising tenth place finish in the final.
What do you think? Which other Eurovision stage shows are under-appreciated? Share your thoughts in the comments below.