It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 15th place, Semi-Final
Did Czech Republic live up to expectations?
A: I would personally say no. While I came to realise that the nation was likely to miss out on the final this year, I didn’t think the performance would be as dire as it was. The song was nowhere near as good as last year, and the stage performance was uninspiring. I expected mediocre vocals from the get go, but I did expect Benny to have more charm. Unfortunately, nothing about this entry screamed ‘vote for me’.
D: When I saw Benny Cristo perform during the Ukrainian show Vidbir in 2020 I saw the charisma he can bring to a stage. Lifting any song to a higher level. This made me expect a very good live performance, despite the song being a bit weaker in 2021, it could have a shot at the final. During rehearsals it seemed like he was holding back, but when we came to the actual shows, it was all still somewhat underwhelming. I expected more from him.
A: We saw that he was holding back during the rehearsals, and that made us think he was holding it back to be able to deliver for the live and jury shows. That proved not to be the case, and overall it just lacked any real impact.
A: Kemama was my personal favourite, or at least one of them, from the 2020 contest. I hoped that Benny would be able to back that up with another banger, but Omaga fell short. I didn’t get that initial ‘love at first listen’ feeling with Omaga, despite the fact that it was received better than Kemama was last year.
D: I feel that ‘Kemama’ was somewhat fresher and original, therefore it didn’t get a big response from the Eurovision community at first, but it had the potential to do well with the regular viewers. ‘Omaga’ was more accessible, but also more forgettable. Especially when it was presented in the uninspired way it was. I think even this song had more potential than what we got in the end. Definitely not the worst song of this semi and the year.
Could Czech Republic have done anything different?
D: We have seen it more often with the Czech Republic. Their delegation is not standing out when it comes to staging their act and giving their total performance something extra. Their best attempts immediately gave them their best results, with Mikolas Josef and Gabriela Gunčíková. This year, their staging was very standard with no additional features in the backdrop. Whilst this basic song definitely needed more than a basic staging.
A: I think realistically, the Czech delegation knew they were entering with a weaker singer this year. They knew what Benny was capable of from the previous year, so with that in mind, would they not want to put a strong effort into their staging? They really needed to come up with something more impressive, but as Dennis said, it was just so basic. Where was the spark, and more importantly, where was the fun? For such a fun, energetic song, the performance had nothing to really demonstrate that.
D: Agreed, so the main thing they could have done differently was to have someone coach Benny specifically in that aspect, which they didn’t or it didn’t work out after all.
A: I think that the Czech Republic is still inexperienced when it comes to Eurovision, to the point that the nation could be hit or miss whether it’s a public selection or internal selection. There were plans for a bigger selection in 2020, however that turned into more of a lowkey selection without any live performances. It would be good for the public to be more involved, but with a proper live show with live performances. At least in that way, the nation knows exactly what they can expect from their entrant. Or alternatively, the broadcaster could focus on the selection internally, as they have proved they can select something capable of good results.
D: The next step for Czechia at Eurovision would be to hire some additional knowhow when it comes to staging and directing their Eurovision act. I think in that area there is still a world to win for them, when looking at all their entries to date. A live show could be a way to start, since that already requires some first thought on how to transmit a song to a live-performance already.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: The live-on-tape performance featured the same issues we saw in Rotterdam, even though Benny looked a bit more at ease during the performance. It was still very basic, with not a lot happening on stage despite the song being sung and some dancing around it. Vocals were a bit shaky at certain points. I wish we would have seen the charisma Benny displayed in the back-up tape, combined with the vocals in Rotterdam a bit more.
A: The live-on-tape performance was better in my opinion, just purely for the vocals. He definitely looked more comfortable in the recording, and it had glimpses of that same charm we saw in his Vidbir performance in 2020. Yes, it was still basic, but I think that was an important difference. I don’t think it would have been enough to put CZ into the final, but it could have moved him up the ranks 1 or 2 places.