From light-up costumes to stiltwalkers, from fire dancers to trapeze artists, the Eurovision Song Contest boasts a proud history of expensive, fantastical, and eye-grabbing stage shows. Here are my top ten unique and imaginative performances from recent years.

10. Shine

Tolmachevy Sisters
Russia 2014

Twin singers standing on either end of a seesaw.

These twin singers balanced on a see-saw while performing their song “Shine” in 2014. It’s an impressive balancing act, and a very cool staging decision.

9. Rise Up

Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd
Greece 2014

Two singers and an acrobat jumping on a trampoline

For a song called “Rise Up,” trampolines make perfect sense. It’s impressive how these guys bounce around while singing, and the trampoline acrobat does awesome stunts.

8. Zero Gravity

Kate Miller-Heidke
Australia 2019

Singer in sparkly silver outfit with dancer on spring-loaded platform rocking back and forth in background

This year’s entry is a bit premature, since the live show hasn’t happened yet. But based on this music video of their national final performance, I think we’re in for something truly unique. I don’t even know the name for what the background dancer is doing (spring-loaded platform wobbling?) but it’s fascinating to watch.

7. Believe

Dima Bilan
Russia 2008

Singer and violinist on ice with figure skater skating around them

I’m not entirely sure how they put an entire little ice rink on the stage, but in 2008 Russia featured an actual figure skater in their show. The uniqueness of this idea won over the audience, because they took home the trophy that year.

6. I Can’t Go On

Robin Bengtsson
Sweden 2017

Five men in suits dancing on treadmills

Starting backstage with a long tracking shot, this song leads into a memorable dance routine on treadmills, making this performance one of the most visually interesting in recent years.

5. Love Me Back

Can Bonomo
Turkey 2012

Men in costumes with long sleeves that they shape into a boat

Some songs have unique costumes. Some songs have unique set pieces. In 2012, Turkey combined them into one, and the results are awesome. Check out that boat made out of costume pieces! Brilliant!

4. My Lucky Day

DoReDos
Moldova 2018

Three singers in front of a trio of doors. The middle door is open and a pair of feet are walking up a wall on the other side.

Last year, this stage show bumped Moldova from almost last in my rankings to the top ten. This door-opening routine is unique, impressive, and full of fun surprises.

3. Angel

Mika Newton
Ukraine 2011

A woman sings while another woman creates complex sand art drawings on a projection screen.

The sand artist in the background creates gorgeous scenes on a projection screen, telling a visual story to accompany the song. The speed and precision of her work is beautiful to behold.

2. Hold Me

Farid Mammadov
Azerbaijan 2013

A man in a suit and a woman in a red dress sing on opposite sides of a glass box, in which another man in black holds himself up in a crouched position.

I’ve mentioned this song before, but it deserves a place on this list as well. The dancer in the glass box shadows the singer’s movements, acting as his ethereal, caged emotional side. Maybe I’m reading too much into the symbolism and this is just a cool visual effect, but either way, I’ve never seen anything like it before.

1. Heroes

Måns Zelmerlöw
Sweden 2015

Singer stomps on floor and waves his hand, and the projection screen behind him simulates a puddle splashing and rain falling off his arm.

In 2015, Måns Zelmerlöw revolutionized Eurovision staging by interacting with a projection screen during his performance. Now, everybody does this all the time. It’s an engaging and wildly creative performance, and it gets my top spot on this list.

What are your favorite creative stage shows from Eurovision (or any musical performance)? I’d love to watch them, so share in the comments!

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