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Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest
Czech Republic
Participating broadcasterČeská televize (ČT)
Participation summary
Appearances12 (5 finals)
First appearance2007
Highest placement6th: 2018
Participation history
External links
ČT Page
Czech Republic's page at Eurovision.tv Edit this at Wikidata
For the most recent participation see
Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024

The Czech Republic, presented as Czechia since 2023, has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 12 times since making its debut in 2007. After receiving nul points in the semi-final of the 2009 contest and due to a lack of interest from the Czech public, Czech broadcaster Česká televize (ČT) decided to withdraw from the contest;[1] the country would not participate again until 2015.[2]

Since its return to the contest in 2015, the Czech Republic has qualified for the final in five of the last nine contests it has entered, with two top ten finishes: Mikolas Josef's sixth place in 2018 and Vesna's tenth place in 2023. Other finalists included Gabriela Gunčíková, who finished 25th in 2016, Lake Malawi, who finished 11th in 2019, and We Are Domi, who finished 22nd in 2022.

History[edit]

Before participation[edit]

During the time of Czechoslovakia, Československá televize (ČST) is known to have broadcast a number of editions of the contest in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s to the early 1990s.[3][4][5][6] Karel Gott, one of the most popular Czechoslovakian artists, represented Austria in the 1968 contest, held in London, United Kingdom. Furthermore, the Prague Theatre of Illuminated Drawings from the Czech capital performed as interval act in the 1984 contest, held in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Czechoslovakia was a member of EBU for a short time from 1991 until its dissolution in 1992.

After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic's partner Slovakia immediately attempted to enter the contest in 1993, entering the contest three times between 1994 and 1998, before withdrawing.

Czech broadcaster Česká televize had originally planned to send an entry to the 2005 contest, held in Kyiv, Ukraine. However, this did not materialise for various reasons.[3] ČT again looked at sending an entry to the 2006 contest in Athens, Greece, but failed to do so after having doubts that the country would qualify for the final.[7]

2007–2009: First years of participation[edit]

In April 2006, ČT confirmed that they would make their Eurovision debut at the 2007 contest.[8] ČT held a national final to select the first Czech entry. Eurosong 2007 featured 10 songs, with the public voting for the winner through SMS voting. However one song was withdrawn before the show began, leaving only 9 songs to compete. The winner was rock band Kabát with the song "Malá dáma".[9] At the contest's semi-final on 10 May 2007 the Czech Republic performed 16th in the semi-final, however only received one point (which came from Estonia) from the televoters around Europe.

For the 2008 contest, ČT again held a national final to select the entry for the country. 10 acts again competed for the chance to represent the Czech Republic in Serbia, with the winner of Eurosong 2008 being Tereza Kerndlová with "Have Some Fun".[10] At the second semi-final of the contest, Kerndlová performed 8th in the running order, receiving 9 points for her performance (1 point from Turkey and Malta, 2 points from Croatia and 5 points from Macedonia), placing 18th of 19 entries, and failing once again to qualify the Czech Republic to the final.

Despite the two bottom two placements, ČT confirmed its participation in the 2009 contest. ČT decided to hold an internal selection for the artist who would represent the country at the contest in Russia, with a public vote on the song they would sing. The broadcaster chose Romani band Gipsy.cz in January 2009 to compete in Moscow – the band had previously competed in the two previous national finals, coming both times in the top three.[11] Two songs were presented to the Czech public to vote on: "Aven Romale" and "Do You Wanna".[12] After 14 days of voting, "Aven Romale" emerged as the winner, which featured lead singer Radoslav Banga dressing-up as the superhero character Super Gypsy.[13] The group performed 2nd on the night of the first semi-final of the contest, held on 12 May 2009. However, the group managed to receive no points from the 20 countries voting in the semi-final, becoming the 16th entry to achieve this result since the current voting method was introduced in 1975.

On 22 July 2009, ČT announced that it would not return for the 2010 contest, citing a lack of interest from the Czech public and poor viewing figures for the shows.[1] The absence would last for another four years.

2015–present: Return[edit]

Despite a July 2014 statement by ČT that the Czech Republic would not participate in the 2015 contest,[14] ČT announced on 19 November 2014 that they would return to the contest in 2015, with a song to be chosen by an expert panel from a field of five specially commissioned nominees.[15] "Hope Never Dies" by Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta failed to qualify from the semi-final; it did, however, give the Czech Republic their best result up to that point, placing 13th in the semi-final with 33 points. In 2016, the Czech Republic qualified to the final for the first time in the contest's history with "I Stand" by Gabriela Gunčíková, which went on to place 25th with 41 points, all from the juries. In 2017, Martina Bárta was internally selected to perform "My Turn", and finished 13th in her semi-final.

The Czech Republic returned to a national selection for the 2018 contest, deciding their contestant by a combined online vote and an international jury of former Eurovision competitors. The winner was "Lie to Me" by Mikolas Josef. During the first dress rehearsal for the first semi-final, Josef suffered a back injury, and was transferred to several hospitals and was temporarily unable to walk, but still promised to perform by the time of the semi-final. The choreography was adjusted to accommodate his injury, and his performance earned the Czech Republic their second appearance in the final. "Lie to Me" wound up placing fifteenth in the jury vote and fourth in the televote, resulting in an overall sixth place. This marked the Czech Republic's first ever top ten placement, and first time receiving televote points in the final. Following this, the Czech Head of Delegation Jan Bors confirmed that the national selection model would be used for future contests as a result of Josef's success.

A similar concept of the national final was used in 2019, deciding the entrant by a combination of an online voting of the Czech public and an international jury of former Eurovision competitors. Unlike the national selection for the 2018 contest, the results of the international voting public were added as one individual jury member. Placing second in the Czech public vote and joint first in the jury vote, "Friend of a Friend" by Lake Malawi emerged as the winner, thus earning the right to represent the Czech Republic in Tel Aviv. Lake Malawi managed to qualify, making it the third time the Czech Republic participated in a Eurovision final. They ended on eleventh place, the country's second best result in the contest at the time.

During the press announcement of the 2019 entry, provisional plans for a televised national final for the 2020 contest were revealed, and the final was to be held on 25 January 2020.[16] However, in November 2019, ČT announced that the televised national final had been cancelled, and that an online selection would again be used.[17] The chosen entrant was Benny Cristo with "Kemama", and was supposed to perform in the second semi-final, but the 2020 contest was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18] Instead, Cristo was kept as the Czech representative for the 2021 contest,[19] with his entry, "Omaga", selected internally.[20] Cristo participated in the second semi-final on 20 May 2021, performing 3rd, however, he failed to qualify for the final. It was later revealed that he had finished in 15th place with 23 points, all from the juries.

For the 2022 contest, ČT decided to return to using an online selection. Seven entries competed and the winning entry, "Lights Off" by We Are Domi, was determined by the combination of votes from a twelve-member international jury panel (50%), an international public vote (25%) and a Czech public vote (25%). Both international and Czech users were able to vote via the official Eurovision Song Contest app between 7 and 15 December 2021, and the winner was announced on 16 December 2021.[21][22] We Are Domi performed in the second semi-final on 12 May 2022, and placed fourth with 227 points, thereby achieving the Czech Republic's fourth final appearance. They went on to finish in 22nd place with 38 points.

ČT continued using the ESCZ format for the 2023 contest, this time with a full online voting method split between 30% Czech voters and 70% international voters. Vesna and their song "My Sister's Crown" won the national final with 10,584 votes in total.[23] The band performed in the first semi-final on 9 May 2023, placing fourth and qualifying Czech Republic for the final for the fifth time with 110 points. In the final on 13 May, they performed 14th and went on to finish in the top ten for the second time in the Czech Republic's history, with a combined score of 129 points.

The ESCZ format was confirmed for a third time for the 2024 contest.[24] Aiko was ultimately selected to represent Czechia in Malmö, Sweden, with the song "Pedestal". Performing in the second semi-final on 9 May 2024, Czechia failed to qualify for the final, placing eleventh in a field of sixteen with 38 points. On 17 May 2024, the Czech Assistant Head of Press revealed that a decision on the Czech participation in 2025 was made on 10 May, and that it would be ratified and announced after August.[25][26]

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
2 Second place
3 Third place
Last place
X Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
2007 Kabát "Malá dáma" Czech Failed to qualify 28 ◁ 1
2008 Tereza Kerndlová "Have Some Fun" English 18 9
2009 Gipsy.cz "Aven Romale" English, Romani 18 ◁ 0
2015 Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta "Hope Never Dies" English 13 33
2016 Gabriela Gunčíková "I Stand" English 25 41 9 161
2017 Martina Bárta "My Turn" English Failed to qualify 13 83
2018 Mikolas Josef "Lie to Me" English 6 281 3 232
2019 Lake Malawi "Friend of a Friend" English 11 157 2 242
2020 Benny Cristo "Kemama" English Contest cancelled[a] X
2021 Benny Cristo "Omaga" English Failed to qualify 15 23
2022 We Are Domi "Lights Off" English 22 38 4 227
2023 Vesna "My Sister's Crown" English, Ukrainian, Czech, Bulgarian 10 129 4 110
2024 Aiko "Pedestal" English Failed to qualify 11 38

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

The public broadcaster of each participating country in the Eurovision Song Contest assigns a head of delegation as the EBU's contact person and the leader of their delegation at the event. The delegation, whose size can greatly vary, includes a head of press, the contestants, songwriters, composers and backing vocalists, among others.[27]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
2015 Radim Smetana
20162019 Jan Bors
2020 Cyril Hirsch
2021–present Kryštof Šámal

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

For the show's broadcast on Česká televize, various commentators have provided commentary on the contest in the Czech language. At the Eurovision Song Contest after all points are calculated, the presenters of the show call upon each voting country to invite each respective spokesperson to announce the results of their vote on-screen.[32]

Year Channel Commentator(s) Spokesperson Ref.
1965 ČST Unknown Did not participate
1966 Vladimír Dvořák [cz]
1967
1968 Miroslav Horníček
1969 Unknown
1970 ČST1
1971
1972 ČST2 Blažena Kočtúchová
1973 J. Šrámek
1974-1980 Unknown
1981 ČST2 Unknown
1982 ČST1
1983 ČST2
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989 ČST1 Unknown
1990 ČST2
1991 ČTV
1992 F1
19932005 No broadcast
2006 ČT2 (final)[b] Kateřina Kristelová [cz]
2007 ČT1 (all shows) Kateřina Kristelová (all shows)
Josef Vojtek (final)
Andrea Savane
2008 ČT1 (SF2, Final)
ČT2 (SF1)
Kateřina Kristelová Petra Šubrtová
2009 ČT1 (SF1, final)
ČT2 (SF2)
Jan Rejžek [cs]
20102014 No broadcast Did not participate
2015 ČT art (semi-finals)
ČT1 (final)
Aleš Háma [cz] Daniela Písařovicová [cz]
2016 ČT2 (semi-finals)
ČT1 (final)
Libor Bouček [cs]
2017 Radka Rosická [cs]
2018
2019
2021 Jan Maxián [cs] and Albert Černý Taťána Kuchařová
2022 ČT2 (all shows) Jan Maxián
2023 Radka Rosická
2024 Vašek Matějovský, Patricie Kaňok Fuxová and Dominika Hašková

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. ^ Delayed broadcast in a shortened format on 29 April 2007 at 02:00 CEST (00:00 UTC).[54][55]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]