The Czech Republic doesn’t have the longest history at Eurovision, nor the most successful. Their first four participations failed to make an impact, remaining in the semi-finals. It wasn’t until 2016 where we saw the nation qualify for the first time, and in 2018, the nation achieved their best result, which was 6th in the final. Hoping to continue the success this year is Benny Cristo, who will be singing Omaga in Rotterdam.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Last year, the Czech Republic were among my top favourites with the unique number, Kemama. While it wasn’t the biggest hit with fans, especially with the multiple revamps, I enjoyed the energy that Benny brought to the competition. Later on in the year, Benny released Šílený, a contemporary rap song with a catchy melody, and moody backing track. I was definitely hoping that it would become his Eurovision song, or at least we would get something more rap oriented, as it’s a genre not explored at Eurovision but hugely popular outside of the Eurovision bubble. The saying ‘Ask and you shall receive’ didn’t quite work here, as Benny went down the pop path once again.
Omaga is another upbeat number, but more in the realm of a traditional pop song in comparison to Kemama. From the snippet, I had high hopes for this year’s entry, but after listening to the song in full for the first time, I felt underwhelmed. There are elements I enjoy about this song, but equally, elements I don’t enjoy. I don’t love how the song begins, but I’m drawn back in with the beat and melody of the verse. That first verse is probably my favourite part of the song as a whole, although after a few listens, the choruses did start to get stuck in my mind.
Overall, Omega is a fun, energetic song that definitely has its place at Eurovision this year. It’s a radio friendly tune that will surely be inoffensive to viewers, but with that said, it may not make a big enough impact. Benny isn’t the strongest vocalist, but with pre-recorded vocals to support him on stage, it might cover any potential vocal sins. I also think his charisma helps cover any shortcomings with vocals.
Performance and Act
While he may not be the best singer on the night, he certainly oozes energy and personality. Based on previous years, I feel confident that the Czech team will be able to capture that energy in a colourful and exciting stage show. With all the movie references in the music video, will they continue with that vision, or create something psychedelic instead? We see glimpses of the kaleidoscope colours in the music video, and that could be visually striking.
I regret that we won’t see Kemama on stage, as I always saw it as underrated and destined for greatness at Eurovision. Omega doesn’t reach those heights for me, and while there is a potential for qualification, I don’t feel as certain.
Song and Vocals
Benny Cristo gives us a happy upbeat song for the Czech Republic. There are not as many African influences, when compared to his 2020-entry. Still it offers some memorable hooks and the song could be an instant earworm.
Performance and Act
Based on last year, when I saw Benny perform at the Ukrainian preselection, I feel confident about his skills in a live televised show. He has a lot of charisma and knows how to sell himself in front of a camera. This will definitely help him, as he has the qualities to lift a song to a higher level during a live performance. I expect a colourful, light and fun performance from the Czech Republic, which can probably surprise many during the rehearsal weeks.
Whilst the song is not that strong on its merits, I believe Benny Cristo is able to lift the song up with his happiness and charisma on stage. Because of the performer, I am not ruling out the Czech Republic just yet in this semi final.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 7.4/10