Czech Republic Gives Martina Bárta Her Turn

Can she bring her country its second-ever Grand Final appearance?

Martina Bárta will represent the Czech Republic at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Martina Bárta) Martina Bárta will represent the Czech Republic at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Martina Bárta)

Gabriela Gunčíková earned her country its first-ever Grand Final performance last year in Stockholm, but ended up near the bottom of the voting, thanks in part to a number of much stronger female-fronted ballads. This year, they’re hoping Martina Bárta can set herself apart from the crowd and move up the leaderboard. Is it the Czech Republic’s turn to see some progress?

“My Turn” is a solid choice to send to Kyiv. It’s another piano ballad sung by a woman with a great voice, this time in the pop/soul style of Sara Bareilles. The song is well-structured, and tells an emotionally-relatable story. This year’s music video has a much higher production quality than last year’s, which could point to the country finding that resources for a more engaging live performance. There are a number of questions we don’t have answers to yet — how does this sound live? What about Bárta’s stage presence? Any possibility of additional performers onstage? — but in the meantime there are some improvements to be made. The second verse and chorus are begging for additional instrumentation to fill out the sound. Strings eventually come in, but not until the final third, and drums are added for about 15 of the final 30 seconds. That’s too little, too late, and leaves the song feeling a little flat. With a little work on the arrangement, we may see the Czech Republic in the Grand Final once again.

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