With the online slash international jury slash app voting selection coming to a close on Monday 28th, we thought it best to survey the potential entries for the Czech Republic. Do any of these acts hold a candle to Mikolas Josef, and could it be another successful year for the Central European nation?

Andrea Holá – Give Me a Hint

Connor – 8 – “Normally a song such as this might err on the side of boring, but the track really carries the aura of what’s happening. Melodically and vocally it’s a great song, but I worry if this could qualify. It’s a good listen but its missing that next step.”

James – 9 – “This is slow and seductive, and Andrea is a charming singer exhibiting admirable restraint, the bass is nice as the verse begins to ramp up, and the bridge is great, where what was a slow pop song kicks in gear. There’s a lot more going on to this one than first meets the ear, so I hope this soulful pop ballad finds an audience. The staging will be key here, and if they play with the song’s idea of a seemingly passive and shy girl playing a game of seduction with a fickle and confused boy with some staging that suggest Andrea is closing the avenues of escape around him and conjuring him slowly towards her. My pick of the Czech contingent.”

Jordan – 5 – “This intrigued me to begin with. Andrea has a very universal voice and the song has a great melody… However, it didn’t really hold my interest throughout. The chorus lacks any kind of power or selling point. It’s nothing that I will remember in an hours’ time.”

Sean – 8 – “This is very professionally done. Andrea has a great tone to her voice and the way the structure of this song is slowly revealed is great. The wind-up musical box style sounds give this track a comforting vibe, and yet there is also a lot of drama to this entry. It’s a very difficult song to describe in written format, but this would be a modern unique entry for the Czech Republic!”

Total – 30

Barbora Mochowa – True Colors

Connor – 9 – “This sounds like Lana del Rey wrote a song for Eurovision, gave to Barbora and said “Now win!” I think this could be the best song from the Czech Republic to date, and her voice pierces your mind. Like I’m still hearing it minutes later”

James – 5 – “This makes Lana del Rey sound like Joan Jett. This is dull, but the Lana comparison is not me being a jerk – remember how much better the remixes of “Summertime Sadness” were than the dirgy original? Eurovision rules do allow for that kind of gussying up, and this song needs it. The potential is there. But right now all she has is the base for a good song. A revamp will greatly improve is. Eurovision is a party, not a funeral.”

Jordan – 6 – “Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a quality entry, however this doesn’t really appeal to me personally. Even for a ballad it just feels too slow and one note… There is nothing here that grabs my attention other than her voice. I see a huge comparison to Gabriela Guncikova here. I think juries would really get behind this but televoters would forget it. Sorry!”

Sean – 8 – “Czech Lana del Rey (seriously, it’s uncanny) has caught the eyes and ears of a lot of people and for good reason. This track has a really rich production, her voice drips in emotion and with the right dramatic staging (I’m thinking dark, dark, dark) this could be another huge success for the Czech Republic. This song just oozes quality.”

Total – 28

Hana Barbara – Poslední slova tobě

Connor – 7 – “This song starts out great, very dramatic and demanding. But then that little kid xylophone melody comes in for the chorus and kills the vibe completely. If they replaced that, this would be a great entry. It has drama and builds as it goes along. Reminds me of Dance Alone in a way.”

James – 2 – “Maybe because of her name, I get the impression she’s like Zorak, the evil praying mantis from “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” which was a parody of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, and like Zorak she is being forced into Eurovision 2019 due to restitution for non-specified crimes. It’s not so much there’s a few things wrong so much as nothing is quite right. Hana’s flow is like a backed-up toilet – everything’s flowing fine and then she hits a fatberg. Over and over again. Conceptually and in execution – both singer and songwriter – this one is a mess.”

Jordan – 5 – “I’m pleased to see a song in Czech. I think the first verse builds quite well but where it goes to isn’t enough for me. She has a lovely voice but overall the song fades into the background. In this selection it’s certainly one of the strongest but in a field of 42 entries in Tel Aviv this would go nowhere.”

Sean – 6 – “The Czech language is an intriguing one for music. Some songs seem to work well with it, others sound a little brash. Unfortunately this falls in the latter category, and while it’s a decent piano ballad turned pop, it doesn’t quite come across with the sensitivity and reservedness in the quieter moments for me. It’s a decent song but unremarkable all the same.”

Total – 20

Jakub Ondra – Space Sushi

Connor – 6 – “Overall this is okay, but okay doesn’t do good at Eurovision. I think my issue is the scrambled lyrics. Also the chorus could have benefitted from more attention. Wouldn’t be shocked to see it in Tel Aviv but wouldn’t be high on my ranking.”

James – 2 – “Everything about this song is irritating, from the reedy vocals to the stupid title to the canned bass drops in the chorus and other random dropped sounds (clucking!) and effects. The worst part – this all counteracts what is a very positive message. That is what makes me especially mad about “Space Sushi.” Telling someone to get off their ass and work hard towards what they want to achieve is a great message (and why I love Britney Spears’s “Work Bitch” so much), and one that would work great at Eurovision. But he stuffed the message with dog s%$#& in a brown paper bag and set it on fire on our doorstep”

Jordan – 10 – “From what I have seen online people won’t agree with me here, but I think this is absolutely fantastic! Jakub has charisma and the song has charm. Yes, it is rather crazy but other than that this is a well-produced song that stands out in the field. This would easily be my choice for the Czech Republic to send to Tel Aviv. This is just fabulous!”

Sean – 5 – “I can’t tell if this is genius or I hate it. I love the little rolls, wobs and snaps that punctuate the backing track but the lyrics don’t really make sense (obviously – I mean, Space Sushi?) and it almost sounds like Ondra runs out of ideas at times. There’s surely better alt-pop options the committee could’ve gone for?”

Total – 23

Jara Vymer – On My Knees

Connor – 5 – ” I’m in love with this indie vibe, it really is something different from all the other selection entries we’ve heard so far. Only issue I have is how flat it is melodically. Its missing a climax point! Safe song for the CD, but not to qualify I’m afraid.”

James – 4 – “Hipster Jesus’s song is boring. And use some hair conditioner ffs! His hair will be tinder in Israel. Even though Jaroslav Christ does some interesting progressions vocally, switching up rhythmic accents in different verses with the same lyrics to give a bit of life and creative melody to what are dull beats and grooves, it’s not enough. It’s basic indie folk, and no-one will remember it once its three minutes are over.”

Jordan – 2 – “This is a disappointing one. His voice is amazing, but it’s wasted on a mediocre song that wouldn’t look out of place in Eurovision 2000. There isn’t really much else I can say about this. This would be lucky to avoid nul points in Eurovision even with the new voting system.”

Sean – 4 – “No offence, but this just feels like a nothing song. It’s nice enough to listen to but it’s a shrinking violet compared to some other more standout tracks in this selection. I would even go as far as to say that the song is a little too cliché piano-led ballad, and while it certainly wouldn’t be the worst entry, indifference could consign it to a fate much much worse.”

Total – 15

Lake Malawi – Friend of a Friend

Connor – 8 – “This has a bit of an 80s synth band vibe to it, and it’s pretty exciting. It reminds me of the runner up from Iceland 2016. He’s certainly got a good voice that you can enjoy, and this track is funky! I just don’t really like the spoken part of the song. Could be fun to watch live!”

James – 3 – “What is the spoken word “She was my neighbor when I was only 13” intro to the chorus about? And then the robotic female “I’m only your friend” utterance? This sounds like a bad indie-pop homage to Smokie’s “Living Next Door to Alice.” I guess the singer is defensive to his girlfriend because a girl who is in a band moved in and she knows he’s cliched enough to fall for that manic pixie girl cliché. Besides, he’s probably bitter on top of that because her band is better than this.”

Jordan – 5 – “This is one of the only really upbeat entries and it stands out for that. I really don’t like the talking parts of the song but other than that this is okay! The male lead vocalist has a great voice, the backing track is nice and fits the theme of the song and overall, it’s a pleasant little bop. I can’t see this going anywhere if it’s picked for Eurovision though.”

Sean – 9 – “I have to admit I didn’t get this at all when I first heard. And yes, I know the majority of viewers in May only get one chance, but we have a brilliantly, infuriatingly catchy 80s pastiche with a very British slant. The spoken word parts of the song could come across as cheesy or cringey, but in this retro package it just works. Personally, I would go for this one, as it has the best chance to make an impression in Israel!”

Total – 25

Pam Rabbit – Easy to Believe

Connor – 9 – “Okay now we have an interesting voice here with Pam. This sounds just like something I would hear on the radio today, and that’s a great thing. It’s current. It’s catchy. And it’s exciting. This is definitely going on my playlist.”

James – 8 – “Her video has some interesting potential ideas for staging if they can take the makeup removal and undressing idea and do a concept with that. It’s simple, catchy electro-pop and has a great party vibe. On the plus side, it does sound remarkably like Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Dance You Off”. On the negative side, it does sound remarkably like Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Dance You Off” and the televoters thoroughly trashed that at Eurovision 2018, leaving one to wonder if it is as divisive as that one surprisingly was. Either way, I like it.”

Jordan – 3 – “She has a very nice voice. It’s very rich, however once again it’s wasted on a song that is mediocre and not right for her. The song has no firepower. There is nothing that grabs my attention past her lovely voice. Another disappointing song in this rather weak Czech selection.”

Sean – 7 – “This is a delectable little slice of retro pop, isn’t it? It has a 90s feel in its harmonies and ever so slight RnB feel, putting me in mind of some of the more soulful American one-hit-wonder groups from this era. Whether it has enough about it to translate to a big glitzy LED stage in 2019 I don’t know, but if nothing else this is a bit of a bop.”

Total – 27

Tomáš Boček – Don’t Know Why

Connor – 4 – “I’m not sure what to say about this one. Coming off a line of great entries, this song can’t compare to the others. This would be a beautiful song for a movie soundtrack, but this song doesn’t go anywhere like Jara’s. The guitar part is more interesting than the verses and chorus, and that’s never a good thing. It’s a pass from me.”

James – 4 – “I will say there is a nice bass line running through it. The acoustic guitar is so basic you don’t notice it during or when the electronic effects kick in for the chorus. The lyrics are canned, and the “Don’t Know Why” hurried hook is not catchy at all. There’s nothing to this. To answer Norah Jones’s question her far, far superior namesake as to why she didn’t come: it was probably because this track was playing in the background.”

Jordan – 4 – “As many people know I am a sucker for an acoustic guitar. I also really like his voice. However, I don’t feel that the country feel worked with the electronic sounds. It also sounds very monotone after the first 30 seconds. I like this to a degree and the versus are quite enjoyable, but the chorus is an extreme let down.”

Sean – 8 – “Well this is just great! I can’t help but nod my head along to this acoustic ditty, perfectly at home in the background of an overpriced hipster coffee shop, a record store with a heavy over-reliance on vinyl or a sophisticated open mic night. It’s catchy as hell, but would this be in enough people’s heads come the end of a voting sequence in Tel Aviv?”

Total – 20

With all said and done, let’s see how our ranking panned out…

  1. Andrea Holá – Give Me a Hint – 30
  2. Barbora Mochowa – True Colors – 28
  3. Pam Rabbit – Easy to Believe – 27
  4. Lake Malawi – Friend of a Friend – 25
  5. Jakub Ondra – Space Sushi – 23
  6. Hana Barbara – Poslední slova tobě – 20
  7. Tomáš Boček – Don’t Know Why – 20
  8. Jara Vymer – On My Knees – 15

In what may be a surprise compared to the international jury scores, Andrea Holá comes out on top in our ranking with “Give Me a Hint”. Barbora Mochowa’s “True Colors” is in second, two points behind Andrea, and in third we find Pam Rabbit. Will Andrea be picked as the Czech entry later, or will one of the international jury leaders Barbora or Lake Malawi prevail? We don’t have long to find out!

Who do #YOU hope is picked for the Czech Republic this year? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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