A little bit Beyonce? A little bit Czechia? Find out what the Czech Republic’s internal selection team has picked to represent them in Kiyv this year!
Just a reminder: These are my own PERSONAL rankings of what I think of the songs but I’m also going to make some bold predictions about the eventual fate of the song. These will probably be very wrong for a variety of reasons including I have no idea what almost half the artists sound like live or what type of staging changes could be made. There are plenty of songs that have been let down by their staging so these reviews are based solely on what I’ve heard from the artist so far or seen at a national final.
Country: Czech Republic
Artist: Martina Bárta
Song Title: My Turn
My Ranking: 38th (out of 43)
Semi Final: 1st Semi Final
Final placement prediction: NQ
Last year the Czech Republic shocked me by qualifying for the first time ever and then immediately getting only second to last place with a handful of points more than Germany. While it’s a nation that’s only entered five times, none of those have really been strong entries and with an internal selection hellbent on picking the world’s most middling songs and then sending them with very little staging or design it’s not a surprise. I want to root hard for Czechia as they’ve become a big underdog in the contest and the world including a failed re-naming launch (is anyone but me even using “Czechia” for their country? No? Bueller?).
I was very excited when I heard they’d picked a jazz singer but that quickly fell in to concern and then eventually quiet acceptance. Martina Bárta is certainly talented but the song is a slow jazzy ballad that never seems to take off. The music video doesn’t give us many hints at a stage because in it there’s simply about a dozen people all standing around in nude colored underwear. I’m not a prude but I doubt they’ll choose those “costumes” on the stage and they may even be technically against the ESC dress code rules. There’s been some skimpy outfits in the past and all sorts of funny costume changes but the nude outfits don’t even go along with the song and they just make a confusing backdrop. The video includes such moments that also probably won’t be on stage as in: half naked wrestling, shaving of head, sad woman holding old woman who is maybe dying, tummy rubs, hugging men through blanket, and so many more!
As for the song itself, Martina does a great job of bring each note a reverence I found unexpectedly pleasant but the song is so repetitive that I often find myself zoning out by the time she hits the first chorus. While the song is called “My Turn” the first three listens of the song I never heard those words. I started referring to the song as “Baby it’s you” which reminds me of a more famous, much more lively singer *cough*Beyonce*cough* and despite being a few genres away and about at half the tempo, the comparison will happen for many people immediately making this song seem even more lackluster.
While we haven’t seen this preformed live the song actually isn’t too difficult to sing which will mean a loss of jury points but also that we can expect a good, maybe even great vocal performance during the semi final. The question in the end is will any of this be enough for Martina to skip ahead to the final and maybe even get points from the jury during the final? Survey says “very unlikely”. This song will be swallowed whole by the several other vocally challenging ballads in this years contest and its uniqueness is not the type that is likely to gain audience approval either. Without a stage that really grabs and keeps the attention, something we have about 1% chance of getting, this song is likely to languish down in the lower spots of non-qualification.
Maybe now is a good time to consider a national Final for Czechia 2018?