Last week ERT releaved that Argo will sing “Utopian Land” at Eurovision 2016, and now we are getting a sense of how that utopia will take shape on stage.

Following the big reveal, band members Christina Lachana, Maria Venetikidou, Vladimiros Sofianides, Kostas Topouzis, Elias Kesides and Alekos Papadopoulos headed to the set of Greek TV show Studio 3. Building on their traditional sound, they revealed that they will  perform traditional Pontian dances on stage.

Like many Persian and Middle Eastern dance forms, Pontian dances are not led and there is no single leader in the dance formation. A unique aspect is the tremoulo, which is a move defined by rapid shaking of the upper torso.

Vasilis Roxenos
Vasilis Roxenos will join Argo on stage

According to newsit.gr, the band members won’t be the only ones dancing. They will reportedly be joined by Vasilis Roxenos, a talented singer, dancer and actor who has worked with many famous artists in Greece.

Argo “Utopian Land”

Elias Keisdes
Elias Keisdes

According to EBU rules, only six people may appear on stage, which means one of Argo’s members will have to sit Eurovision out — and that is going to be Elias Kesides, one of the band’s vocalists. He remains part of the band and the Greek delegation, but he will only watch the performances from the Green Room.

It was previously announced that stage designer Maria Lyraraki, who also staged the Greek entries in 2007, 2013 and 2015, will oversee Argo’s bid. Let’s hope that she manages to deliver a Koza Mostra-like performance that will help the song advance to the final…

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[…] might be like in Stockholm.  The only details I have for the performance is that they’ll be replacing one of their vocalists with a dancer, which […]

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Ern: Last year’s singer SANG the hell off … the fact that it was a ballad does not mean its worse – Greece sending ballads traumatizes ESC fans to the degree of madness – than this mess of noise and last-minute-made-cheesy-song … where as you question the actual talent of its performers is questionable above the level of “help me God” …that is seriously concerning … and if people still take care Greece in Eurovision like a baby who needs pity and attention .. then this load of rubbish is in the final undeserving.

Ern
Guest
Ern

The song itself isn’t so bad. It’s certainly better than “One Last Breath.”

My concern is whether this group can perform well live. They are not professional entertainers (one of the ladies is a hairdresser), and nobody has any recording or video of the band playing live. So, can they actually sing?

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Colin: With all due respect but … “En Godt Stekt Pizza”???? Seriously? Come on … nobody wants to either be drunk or on a high to wish such load of rubbish to be performed in Eurovision? Eurovision already has a terrible musical reputation … do we really want to drag it further down? Choose something musically far more reliable and credible to justify having more than 6 people … people actually doing something called MUSIC let that be cristal clear.

DR
Guest
DR

johan

I agree with everything, except the song change. Each country decides it’s own rules for choosing a song. I think it’s not the role of the EBU to dictate that any decision is final. I think you would change your mind, if a song you hated was changed to one you like. The EBU shouldn’t have more control. Changing parts of the contest, fine, dictating how broadcasters choose their songs, to far.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

@Everyone saying that they should change the rules regarding the six members of stage:
It is Greece’s choice to have a dancer. Nobody is forcing them to lose a band member!

Bionda
Guest
Bionda

Just great!Really unique song among all those similar cheap pop songs.I really adore it.Well done.

Bionda
Guest
Bionda

Just great!Really unique song among all those similar cheap pop songs.I really adore it.

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

It doesn’t help that Elias looks really sad in his publicity photo, like he’s devastated at missing out.

In reality, this sort of thing happens all the time. In 2014, one of Sebalter’s live band was swapped for an extra backing singer, Donatan stood down to let a Slavic girl take his place. Performing at Eurovision is going to be a huge boost for Argo’s career. At the gigs they get after May, no one is going to be bothered that there’s an extra band member.

MrBrightside
Guest
MrBrightside

Sweden is solid? Lol, they had a lot of solid songs in this year’s Melodifestivalen but they pick meowing Frans instead. I’m pretty ok with fact that parody songs like russian Baboushkies are gone this year. It’s only increased the prestige of the contest. This time we have a lot of good songs like Estonia, Armenia, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Australia, Latvia, etc. and that’s amazing. There’s no clear winner because 2016 is even stronger year than 2015.
Stop complaining about everything, MGR and enjoy the contest. :p

Adam
Guest
Adam

Agreeing with @Johan Definitely my biggest complains with the rule are the 6 people maximum and the draw. 6 people is just not enough anymore. I understand they don’t want the stage to look cluttered but honestly, a lot of bands have more than 6. Bring the number up to 7 or 8. And I will always hate the unfairness of the decided draw. There is nothing stopping the reference group from strategically placing their own personal favorites in favorable positions. The randomness of the draw is what made ESC a true music contest, not a manufactured show. If you… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Charles

Number of people on stage depends on the song. Most songs need one to three people on stage, but there are examples that are crippled by six people rule. For instance, last year’s Norwegian ‘En Godt Stekt Pizza’ was better having dozens of party people in the background instead of only four.

Anyway, of course the song is first and foremost, but the performance is also important for the pass. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top if the song is more intimate, but some songs can profit from expensive imagery.

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

The six-person rule is fine, let’s stop with all the changes at some point. This is a song contest, not a Broadway production. I am sure the make-believe member of a made-up “band” like Argo won’t mind.

Friskylara
Guest
Friskylara

Mmmmmhmmm the dancers are really hot

Omar - Mexico
Guest
Omar - Mexico

EBU should allow 8 people to perform on stage, that will increase the vocals and performances for sure.

Eleanor Rigby
Guest
Eleanor Rigby

Quite frankly, if I were Elias, I’d instantly leave the band – this was a d!ck move. Anyway, EBU really needs to change the 6-person rule. And, in fact, EBU really needs to change loads of rules anyway.

Shijie Yu
Guest
Shijie Yu

I love this song biut this act will not improve their proformance and the band is not intact anymore. Just like last year’s Iceland

Charles
Guest
Charles

Honestly they could even replace everybody on stage … that does not gonna change the awfulness of this song … I mean you want to be artistic and unique? Do it properly and with soul. Instead we get a lot of mess and too much noise.

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Colin: Eurovision has become too crowded and messy … having more than 6 people on stage will only increase such mess and create complete chaos … it is fine as it is because at the end this not Circle of Soleil … it’ a song contest let the song have a say and speak for itself unless of course you are more focused on the staging and choreography than on the actual song, which would explain why so fans seem to have such an awful taste in music when actually don’t even listen to the song.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Number and age restriction are getting silly. The rule needs to serve a purpose and I don’t see any purpose to these. It’s not like stages are made of glass and can’t handle more people.

MMs
Guest
MMs

They shouldn’t replace him. This is sad, if they are a 6 piece band they should all be on the stage 🙁

sufle
Guest
sufle

Well band members having to sit out have happened in the past (eg. Romania and Russia 2012), but none replaced by another singer/dancer. I pity him; it seems like he’s the one who can’t dance/sing live/didn’t sing much on the track. But hey, it’s a free holiday to Sweden and free ticket to all the Eurovision shows. However, I think the EBU needs to allow more people on the stage (maybe 7/8), because this seems to be happening more frequently and isn’t fair for the contestants.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

It doesn’t matter anyway because the song won’t qualify.

Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

I really don’t think Elias is being made to sit out. He probably volunteered to do it – from what it sounds like he doesn’t sing much on the track anyway.

jowncarlo
Guest
jowncarlo

I feel bad for him. I don’t really like their song, but I respect them as artists, as people. Can’t they just use a digital representation of Vasilis or some other dancers. I don’t know.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Ok. If you say so!!!

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

I don’t care what they do on stage, this song should not qualify for the final, even if it’s from Greece… Same goes for Romania, for that matter (and I am a Romanian…)

Darren
Guest
Darren

Free holiday to Stockholm for Elias. He gets to join in the parties and the ESC atmosphere and the green room without having to sing or dance! It’s the ideal job

Jo Mercado
Guest
Jo Mercado

That wasn’t the only time this happened.

The Russian grannies from 2012 were actually 8 members, but 2 of them had to sit out. And in 2007, one member from the band Anonymous (Andorra’s representative) was under 16 years old and had to sit out too.

Krerma
Guest
Krerma

Poor Elias. But yes, they need some element to stand out, like this is now, it will probably stay in semis

johan
Guest
johan

EBU must change some rules for 2017.
1.Allow 8 people on stage
2.Draw for semifinal and final like before 2013
3.Country can change song only if song is published before EBU rules or song is plagiat.
4.No parade of nation in final, it took so long and from opening to start of first song we lost 15 to 25 minutes like in 2015.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

I’d hate to be Elias Keisdes, it’s actually not fair that he has to sit out. The EBU need to change the number to more than 6, especially for a group like this. I don’t like their song, but you have to imagine if you were in his shoes. Poor guy.