It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 10th place, Final
Did Greece live up to expectations?
D: This is crystal clear to me. Greece booked a top-10 result in Rotterdam and even though the song was well received, I don’t think many people saw that coming. I certainly didn’t. So when it comes to the result, they did better than expected.
A: The performance didn’t live up to my expectations at all, and I think as a result of that, their final placing surprised me.
D: What did you expect from the performance? I personally never know what to expect when Fokas Evagelinos is involved in the staging, he always comes up with something no else can think of.
A: I definitely expected more clichés. I expected them to carry on with the Greek God theme from the music video, but yet we received an undercooked green screen scheme. The concept was great, but the execution was terrible. And beyond the execution, it just looked bad, even if it was executed well. Something as simple as colours – you may think it doesn’t make a difference, but their choices really ruined a good thing.
How do you personally feel about the song for Greece at Eurovision 2021?
D: A decent pop song with some retro influences, by a strong young vocalist, combined with a unique staging concept. Agreed with Anita above, it didn’t fully work out as they wanted, but it was still refreshing enough for me, and many others, to reward it with enough points. You called the execution terrible, I think that is a bit harsh for an act that finished in 10th place, right?
A: I don’t think the song was worthy of 10th place, as a standalone song. It was a decent song. I don’t think it was revolutionary by any means, but it was an easy qualifier at minimum. I just really didn’t enjoy the visual performance, which was a shame since Stefania probably had some of the best vocals of the night.
Could Greece have done anything different?
A: I could be flogging a dead horse here, but the performance just wasn’t up to scratch. I remember asking the Greek team during the press conference if they had a plan B if this staging didn’t work out, but they really did put their eggs in one basket. It felt in a way that they were trying to replicate the success of a similar staging, which of course was Sergey from 2016, but in his version, it felt connected to the song a bit more. I didn’t understand the cityscape behind Stefania, nor the need for the backing dancers to be ‘cut in half’ due to the green screen. And the colours… grey and purple…. Ugh.
On a positive note, Stefania’s vocals were stunning, and so was her outfit. I just didn’t like anything else!
D: When it comes to the result, I would say the 10th place really was the maximum result for this song so in that sense, Greece of course could have done things differently, but I don’t think it would have helped them. However, with their staging concept not fully working out, I wonder how high they could have ended up if they really got everything to work out how it should with the green screens and the backing dancers really invisible.
D: Greece did not book a top-10 result in many years and now that they did, it would make sense to say they stay on this track. However, I do think they were also lucky that things worked out the way they did with Stefania. Picking a young and rather inexperienced artist (even though she did Junior Eurovision) is always a risk and not something I would recommend per se. Greece has a lot of accomplished singers and artists in its country and there are plenty of quality artists to pick from. Maybe now that the country got a result again, they also desire to go to Eurovision again?
A: I wonder why the nation has strayed from the formula that gave them so much success. Having that mix of traditional and modern sounds performed by strong singers, combined with strong choreography. Mid-2000’s saw Greece thriving at Eurovision, and yes, it was a different time, but why can’t those concepts be refreshed to suit the current era of Eurovision?
There are definitely some strong Greek artists to choose from, and I’d expect the nation to internally select for 2022. It has the potential to yield more top results, but Greece needs to find that spark again.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
A: I prefer some aspects of the live-on-tape, and some of the Rotterdam performance. Even though I was very critical of the Rotterdam performance, I would still have to say that I prefer it, only just slightly. I loved the outfit in the live performance, and I liked the non-green screen parts of the song.
The live-on-tape features vocals that are equally as strong, and Stefania’s ability to connect with the camera is still very present. At times I preferred the interactions with the dancers in the live-on-tape, but still wasn’t wowed by the choreography, which feels ironic for a song called ‘Last Dance’.
D: That is also what stands out for me, how good of an artist Stefania is. Vocals are spot on in both performances, very good. The performance during the back-up tape is decent, but not very special. It shows to me that the actual gig with the green screen is lifting it to a higher level, because I don’t think this back-up performance would have also given Greece a top-10 result. So, concluding, the live performance was the better one for me.