Next up in our celebration of our favourite sub-genres of Schlager, is the countdown of our top three prop-centric performances!
Sometimes, coming on stage and singing your song just isn’t enough. You’re confident that your song is amazing enough to captivate people’s ears, but how are you going to make sure that their eyes focus on you, and only you during those three minutes? You don’t want their eyes wandering over to check out the stage or the audience. And heaven knows you don’t want to be competing for their attention with the bowl of Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference cheese & onion crisps they’ve placed on their lap! No no no! You want to make sure that you capture their attention from the very beginning, and mesmerize them for the duration of the performance, spellbinding them into submission.
The next three performances demonstrate perfectly how to do this………by using a prop! We love each of them because they’ve coupled a flawless schlager track with a compelling stage show. And we really believe that there is no better form of entertainment.
Here they are;
3. Lena Philipsson – ‘It Hurts’
Lena Philipsson gave what has been one of the most memorable performances in both Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. The song is undeniably fantastic and was always going to do well in both competitions. But leaving nothing to chance, Lena decided to implement a very special element into the performance – having a microphone stand as a dancing partner! Strutting onto the stage, grabbing her willing cohort, and suggestively humping it and throwing it around the stage whilst belting out her opus, meant that EVERYBODY’S eyes were glued to her performance and positively stunned at the breathtaking final victorious moment of the Lena & Mic tango.
2. Carola – ‘Evighet’
This use of prop is all the more spectacular here because you actually can’t see the prop in question! It’s a wind machine. And to this day, no artist has ever mastered the use of a wind machine like Carola did for ‘Evighet’. She didn’t just stand there in a light breeze, crooning away. No. She insisted that the wind machine was turned up to full power, poised herself defiantly as the wind bellowed through her hair and chiffon, and then proceeded to march around the stage and its attached catwalk, commanding that the wind machine follow her five steps ahead at all times, and directing it to perfection for every single camera angle. All this whilst belting out one of the most spectacular Schlager songs of all time. Like Lena Philipsson, this was another Melodifestivalen winner that went on to do well at Eurovision.
1. Anne-Lie Ryde – ‘Sa Nara’
Eight years after cinema goers had been terrorised by the 40ft monster in the film, Anaconda, Anne-Lie Ryde took to the stage at Melodifestivalen and unleashed an even bigger and wider beast – her brown feather boa. Taking notes from the Lena Philipsson performance the year before, Anne-Lie was fully expecting 2005 to be her year. After all, she’d carefully made sure that she had all the same elements as Lena’s winning show; a middle aged woman making a long overdue comeback with a Schlager song, and a clever prop! Anne-Lie was actually favourite to win her Heat that week, and you can tell by the look on her face during that performance that she was expecting nothing less. Unfortunately though, she failed to qualify. Why? We’ll never understand. We were engrossed in her performance from the second we saw those manic staring eyes and that crazy smile. On her back, on a bench, writhing around in ecstacy whilst trilling a perfect Thomas G:Son song, the performance only got better and better once the boa was introduced. It kept expanding more and more, until it was elevated all on its own, and even dancing over Anne-Lie’s head at one stage. For a moment we were sad when it was pulled away from the stage by the camera, through the audience, tickling many spectators as it went its way. However, we were happy again when we saw the tech man in full shot whilst Anne-Lie was singing, putting the boa back behind the bench to be used later. And sure enough, it came out again at the end to be clutched one more time by its lady. An incredible lady, an incredible song, but most of all – an incredible spectacle!