Country: Czech Republic
Song Title: “My Turn”
Artist: Martina Bárta
First Semi-Final: Position #14
Last year’s entry: “I Stand” – Gabriela Gunčíková (25th Place)
The Czech Republic finally broke through the semi-finals last year, qualifying for the Eurovision Grand Final for the first time in five attempts. They even got jury love from a handful of countries, including 10 points from Croatia, in last year’s competition. Unfortunately, their entry did not connect with the home audience, resulting in nil points from televotes.1 Will Martina Bárta be able to keep the momentum going now that it is “My Turn”?
I share Ryan’s optimism that this song could be a contender in Kyiv. Initially, I found myself troubled by the impatience of the song. The first verse has only two lines before moving on to the bridge, which creates the illusion that this song is a collection of hooks with nothing to hang on them. But upon further listens, I realized that’s part of the story — Martina Bárta is so eager to be the one to support the subject of her song that she’s rushing to take her turn. Despite the eagerness, she is able to find enough restraint to avoid belting or crazy power notes or unearned key changes. Martina Bárta has chill, y’all, and I respect that.
Oh, how I wish this song were in the second semi-final instead of the first. Although this song is in the second half and away from all the powerhouses of this year’s Contest, there are fewer qualifying slots up for grabs for songs that are more on the bubble than others. Czech Republic is positioned between Iceland and Cyprus, which isn’t optimal but it could have been much worse — such as thanklessly serving as the palate cleanser for the first half. That role may be going to Portugal, and I’m bummed that it is somewhat unlikely that both songs will be able to qualify.
The juries may appreciate having a subtle, less bombastic performance in this semi-final and could throw points toward the Czech Republic. As far as audience votes go, it could be tricky. The good news is that a number of the countries in this semi-final awarded points to Czech Republic last year in both the semi and the Grand Final, so Europe is at least receptive to what the country has to offer.
“My Turn” should go to the Grand Final, but Martina Bárta is currently the mayor of the first semi-final’s bubble.