Czech representatives in Eurovision Song Contest  

Benny Cristo

In today’s Sunday Music Show, we’ll be looking at some of the Czech singers and bands, who have represented the country in the Eurovision Song Contest. The first singer you will hear is Czech pop idol finalist Benny Cristo, who will be representing the Czech Republic at the upcoming edition of Eurovision in Rotterdam– for the second time already. 

The 33-year-old singer of Czech-Angolan heritage won the national round of Eurovision last year with an Afro pop song called “Kemama”, but the international round was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

For the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, due to take place next week, Cristo has decided to perform a new song called Omaga about love in the age of Covid-19. The title of the song is a play on OMG, the abbreviation of “Oh my God”.

In the playful “Omaga” music video, Cristo plays out iconic scenes from famous films such as Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction or The Shining.

Pilsen-born Benny Cristo, whose full name is Ben da Silva Cristóvão, become a household name in 2009 as the Czech Pop Idol finalist. So what are his ambitions for the Eurovision Contest?

"My ambition is to put on a show that will make me laugh with joy when it's over and will make me feel good. I believe that if I can do it the way I imagine it, it will turn out well,” he said in a recent interview.

The first Czech to perform in the Eurovision Contest was the king of Czech pop music, Karel Gott. He performed in London in April 1968, just four months before the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. However, at the time, Karel Gott didn’t represent Czechoslovakia, but Austria, with a song called Tausend Fenster, finishing 13th out of 17 participants.

The first representative of the independent Czech Republic at the Eurovision song contest was the rock band Kabát in 2007. Their song called Malá Dáma or Little Lady won 28,000 votes from Czech fans. However, in the international round, the band finished in the last spot.

The first Czech to reach the Eurovision final was Gabriela Gunčíková with a song called I Stand in 2016.

In the 2018 Eurovision final in Lisbon, the Czech Republic’s Mikolas Josef came sixth with a song called Lie to Me, achieving the highest ever placing for a Czech artist. Another Czech contestant to reach the final was the band Lake Malawi, who came eleventh with their song called Friend of a Friend.

The 2021 Eurovision semi-finals, featuring Czech Republic’s Benny Cristo, are due to take place in Rotterdam on May 18 and 20.