It’s fairly safe to say that the Czech Republic certainly aren’t the most successful nation when it comes to Eurovision, however Mikolas Josef proved to be the breath of fresh air that the nation needed to not only qualify to the final – something they had only done once before – but to actually climb the leader board and finish in the Top 10. Finishing in 6th place was a historic moment for the nation, but the challenge was then to be able to back that up with another successful placing. This year it will be up to the group Lake Malawi with their song Friend of a Friend, but will it be able to capture the hearts of the voters?
Song + Vocals
After the success of Mikolas, I was expecting big things from the Czech Republic, but based on the songs participating in the national selection, it became clear fairly quickly that their successful result would be a one off. Lake Malawi at the time was probably my second favourite in the selection behind Barbora, however now in hindsight, this is the choice that has more potential.
At the time of the selection, I wasn’t overly impressed with the song but admittedly this song does grow on you. It has a certain charm about it that can become infectious, and the fact that it is an upbeat song in a sea of ballads might end up being all this needs to qualify. I like the retro beat to the song, and even though at times it is lyrically a bit odd (first verse, I’m talking about you), I think it all adds to the unique charm. The catchiest part of the song is definitely the chorus which is easy to remember and to sing along to, I mean, just imagine the entire audience singing and dancing along!
We have seen the group perform live, and honestly it sounds exactly how you would expect it to, i.e., well performed.
Act + Performance
Continuing with the topic of live performance, I think this is where the group will shine on the Eurovision stage. We have seen them perform at the Ukrainian national selection, and they bring a lot of energy to their performance. Their song also lends itself to a creative form of staging, and although at Vidbir it was quite simple, it did in fact elevate the song. If they can somehow capture elements of their music video, which mind you is one of the best we’ve seen in a while in terms of creativity, I think that the Czech Republic could be a surprise qualifier, if not close.
I think regardless of their result, Lake Malawi will serve up a fun, energetic performance that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I’m certainly not ruling this out as a qualifier. This has potential, and it’s a song that I think people can get on board with based on the fact that it is a fun song. If anything, I’d suspect that this could be more of a hit with the public rather than the jury, but with a good visual performance, this could squeeze through to the final. The Czech Republic certainly aren’t at Mikolas level with this track, but it’s nice nonetheless.
If all else fails, hire Jamala as a backing dancer!