Let’s go way waaaaaay back 6 years, to 2009. 30 Rock was still on TV, yours truly was still finishing up undergrad, and Russia was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. That was the last time the Czech Republic entered the contest with their entry “Aven Romale” by Gypsy.cz. It featured their singer dressed as a bell-bottomed superhero with a cape AND mustache, and is far worse than that description makes it sound. It’s not even an entertaining sort of bad entry, it’s just embarrassing. Fittingly, the entry received 0 points. Total. That nul poin finish was enough to make the Czechs check themselves1 and sit the competition out. Now they’re back! Is Marta Jandova and Vaclav Noid Barta’s “Hope Never Dies” any better than their last entry?
I get that everyone seems to be copying the Dutch entry from last year because it did so well, but I’m about ready to scream if I have to sit through another mid-tempo duet. What made The Common Linnets so special wasn’t just their vocal/actual chemistry, it was the Americana/country angle of their song. None of the entries I’ve heard have really captured that, although I have to say I’m liking the power ballad angle the Czechs have taken. Vaclav’s voice reminds me of Chad Kroeger’s 2, but his sound pairs nicely with Marta’s. Don’t focus too hard on the lyrics of this one; there’s a lot of focus on fire and ravens and darkness before it gets to the final HOPE NEVER DIES.
This is one of the first entries I’ve seen this season where I haven’t had a performance video to judge this on. Hopefully both singers are as good on the stage as their are in the studio, otherwise all the power this one has is likely to get sucked out of the arena. This is one of the ballads that can really go for the gusto as far as dramatics in the performance, so hopefully we get a ridiculous outfit or a LOT of wind machine on this one to go with the dramatic instrumentation of the song.