Country: Czech Republic
Song Title: “I Stand”
Artist: Gabriela Gunčíková
First Semi-Final: Position #10
Last year’s entry: “Hope Never Dies” – Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta (DNQ – 13th Place, SF2)
Still a relative newcomer to the Eurovision Song Contest, the Czech Republic has only appeared four times, beginning in 2007. After their hopes died last year in the second semifinal, Gabriela Gunčíková is hoping to make a stand. Will 2016 be Czechia’s year to push into the Grand Final for the first time?
Not much has changed about this entry since our last check-in, except that I LOVE IT SO MUCH now. Forget what I said about it being forgettable; it took me a little while to warm up to it, but now that I have it’s been in constant rotation. Slowly gaining momentum with Eurovision voters could be a good thing — you don’t want your entry to peak too early and risk falling out of favor — but it could also be a liability. With 43 songs in this year’s contest, including nine female soloists in this semifinal alone, it’s important to make a definitive mark before May rolls around.
Fortunately, it looks like the Czech Republic has done just that. In terms of YouTube views, “I Stand” is in the top ten for this semifinal — no small feat for a country who’s never made the Grand Final. Bookmakers are also bullish, with odds-to-win increasing from 40 to 33:1 in the last few weeks. That’s even taking into account a potential huge problem: the Czech Republic performs right after juggernaut Russia.
If Russia lives up to expectations, it may be hard for this entry to stand up to the energy Sergey Lazarev generates. Or — if Gunčíková can bring a more energetic and dramatic performance than the one allowed by the $20 budget of her embedded music video — the two songs could come off as a pair of lovers singing to / about each other. (A little additional help from voting friends Malta, Croatia, and San Marino also wouldn’t hurt.) I remain hopeful we’ll get to see the Czech Republic stand onstage on both Tuesday and Saturday of Eurovision week.
Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016
Armenia • Austria • Azerbaijan • Bosnia & Herzegovina • Croatia • Cyprus • Czech Republic • Estonia • Finland • Greece • Hungary • Iceland • Malta • Moldova • Montenegro • Netherlands • Russia •