2016 Review: Greece

Looks like the first thing ERT did when get the EBU membership back from NERIT (the interim broadcaster while ERT temporarily shut down) was decide against the MADTV collaboration and internally select something ethnopop and relatable to the recent refugee crisis. The selection, which was allegedly singlehandedly made by the head of ERT, was the Pontic Greek group Argo (formerly known as Europond) with the song “Utopian Land.”

When I first watched the video in March, I thought someone had pulled a joke, uploading a parody of “I Wanna be the Guy” synced to some kind of Greek-sounding music, except the person doesn’t die, nothing falls on him, and there isn’t any change in the person’s running speed. So it’s pretty much just a fancy screen saver, where a male raps the Pontic Greek verse and a female sings the English refrain. Song-wise it’s a plodder like the (slowed down) running guy in the video, and it felt a bit disappointing at first compared to the last non-English entry from Greece. The rap part brings a bit of the energy back up, though it feels really paced, probably due to the running guy trying to maintain his breathing pattern and not overexert anything. Maybe it’s because later in May the artists will be performing Pontian dancing (which looks similar to other Balkan-region circle dancing) while singing, and someone may or may not pass out if they are spitting out all the fire and air used to move their feet.

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