First Listen: Not Sure If “I Stand” With the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic hopes to make their first appearance in the Grand Final.

This summer will mark the Czech Republic’s fifth entry at Eurovision; in all four previous attempts, the country has failed to qualify out of its semifinal. Last year’s entry was promising but missed the final by twenty points. Can Gabriela Gunčíková lift the audience out of their seats and her country to the final round?

I legitimately like this song! (I’m really not sure what it happening with that video, which appears to have a budget of approximately $20, but that’s another story.) As a pretty classic female-fronted ballad, it’s appropriately atmospheric, and Gunčíková’s voice is strong and clear. If there’s anything to be critical of, it’s that “I Stand” is a little forgettable. There’s nothing culturally unique to tie the song to its country, nothing that compels you to sing along, nothing that makes you stand up and cheer. Gabriela doesn’t have the mystery of Loreen, the quirkyness of Lena, or the wide-eyed innocence of Emmelie, but I like this song, and hope to see it move through. I just worry about it getting lost in the pack.

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