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How It's Made Part Three: Props on the Eurovision stage

18 June 2017 at 09:00 CEST
Brendan Murray - Dying To Try (Ireland 2017) Thomas Hanses
From a gigantic head to treadmills and from a hot air balloon to a boat, props are everything at the Eurovision Song Contest. They literally prop up the acts! caught up with Robert Roos, who was responsible for all the props used on the Eurovision stage in Kyiv.

Every artist wants to give a great performance and when it comes to using props they often go all out. From a garden hosepipe for Switzerland in 1979 to a bread oven for Russia in 2012, there have been many weird and wonderful props on the Eurovision stage over the years. What about this year?  

Technical manager Robert Roos explained the challenges with using props on the Eurovision stage. "We weight of the prop is a consideration. The prop from the United Kingdom was the biggest challenge because it weighed more than 1500 kilos and it consisted of two parts," he said.

40 seconds on the clock

It was not only the UK's Lucie Jones who brought a large prop, the Greek and Swedish delegations also brought hefty equipment to the Eurovision stage; a water pool and five treadmills to be specific. "All these big props are challenging, but that is also the fun part of it. Especially if we manage to get it up in time," he added.

Other notable props in 2017 included Romania's glittery cannon (pictured below), Ukraine's huge silver head, Ireland's hot air balloon, Azerbaijan's blackboard and Switzerland's huge staircase.

Robert Koos brought a team of five people with him to Ukraine and had help with all the quick changes between songs from 20 Ukrainian stage hands. Such a large team was necessary since there are only 40 seconds in between the acts to remove the prop from the stage and the next act appearing. The challenges increase when successive artists have props - every second counts when it comes to the live shows. 

"Not a single day is the same"

Robert had a challenging job at the Eurovision Song Contest, but that is also what he liked most: "Not a single day is the same. Everything changes all the time and that is a lot of fun." 

Does Robert have any advice for the hosts in 2018? "As soon as they announce the winner, you have to start planning for the year ahead. With everything. That is my advice," he said. That planning includes of course, props. It looks like the Portuguese team have taken this advice and planning for 2018 has already started and the dates for the next Eurovision Song Contest will be released in the coming weeks.