The Czech national broadcaster, Česká Televize (ČT), revived their successful and innovative online national selection process from last year to find their artist for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
First up they selected 8 artists from the close to 300 submissions that were received late last year. The artists and more importantly their songs were showcased during a press event on 7th January. They were:
Andrea Holá – "Give Me a Hint"
Barbora Mochowá – "True Colours"
Hana Barbara – "Poslední slova tobě "
Jakub Ondra – "Space Sushi"
Jára Vymer – "On My Knees"
Lake Malawi – "Friend of a Friend”
Pam Rabbit – "Easy To Believe"
Tomáš Boček – "Don’t Know Why”
You can view previews of the songs here
A combination of public vote and jury vote was used to select the successful artist. The official Eurovision app was used as the tool to view the artists’ songs and for the public to cast their votes.
The jury was an international affair, featuring some ghosts of Eurovision past, such as JOWST (Norway), Cesar Sampson (Austria), AWS (Hungary), Ira Losco (Malta), Rasmussen (Denmark), Ryan O’Shaughnessy (Ireland), Alma (France), Zibbz (Switzerland), Elina Nechayeva (Estonia) and Ari Ólafsson (Iceland). Also included in that jury was the combined result of the votes received from outside the Czech Republic on the official Eurovision app, essentially allowing everyone the chance to help select the winning Czech artist.
ČT really dragged out the suspense by releasing video messages of jury members awarding their 12 points progressively from the 22nd January right up to the “big announcement” on 28th January.
And the eventual winner was the band Lake Malawi with their song “Friend of a Friend” after finishing second in the public vote and equal first with the jury to collect a total of 22 points.
In equal second place on 18 points were Jakub Ondra (winning the public vote), Pamela Rabbit and fan favourite Barbora Mochowá (tied for first place with the jury). You can see the full votes here
Lake Malawi is widely described as an indie/alternative pop band. Their lead singer and also playing guitar is Albert Černý, with Jeroným Šubrt on bass and keyboard and Antonín Hrabal on drums. Their first single came out in 2014 and an album was released in 2017 to moderate success in the Czech Republic.
Friend of a Friend gives off that late 80’s British band vibe particularly with Albert’s strong accent in the speaking parts. It’s cute and inoffensive but will struggle to reach the heights of last year's effort by Mikolas Josef.
Now we await to find out what they sound like live….