Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest
|National selection events|
|Appearances||10 (4 finals)|
For the most recent participation see
Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022
The Czech Republic has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest 10 times since making its debut in 2007. After receiving nul points in the semi-final of the 2009 contest and a lack of interest from the Czech public, Czech broadcaster Česká televize (ČT) decided not to participate in future contests. ČT announced their return to the contest in 2015, with an internal selection being used to select their fourth Eurovision entry.
In 2016, Gabriela Gunčíková became the first Czech entrant to reach the final, finishing 25th with the song "I Stand". After the country failed to qualify in 2017, Mikolas Josef became the second Czech entrant to reach the final and the first to reach the top ten, placing sixth in 2018 with the song "Lie to Me”. In 2019, Czech band Lake Malawi finished eleventh, achieving the country's second best result in the contest. The third best result was achieved in 2022 by the band We Are Domi, finishing 22nd.
During the time of Czechoslovakia, Československá televize (ČST) is known to have broadcast a number of editions of the Contest in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. Karel Gott, one of the most popular Czechoslovakian artist, represented Austria in the 1968 contest, held in London, United Kingdom. Furthermore, the Prague Theatre of Illuminated Drawings from the Czech capital performed as interval act in the 1984 contest, held in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Czechoslovakia was even a member of EBU for a short time before its dissolution in 1993.
After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic's partner Slovakia immediately attempted to enter the contest in 1993, entering the contest three times between 1994 and 1998, before withdrawing.
Czech broadcaster Česká televize had originally planned to send an entry to the 2005 contest, held in Kyiv, Ukraine. However, this did not materialise for various reasons. ČT again looked at sending an entry to the 2006 contest in Athens, Greece, but failed to do so after having doubts that the country would qualify for the final.
ČT held a national final to select the first Czech entry. Eurosong 2007 featured 10 songs, with the public voting for the winner through SMS voting. However one song was withdrawn before the show began, leaving only 9 songs to compete. The winner was rock band Kabát with the song "Malá dáma". At the contest's semi-final on 10 May 2007 the Czech Republic performed 16th in the semi-final, however only received one point (which came from Estonia) from the televoters around Europe.
For the 2008 contest in Belgrade, Serbia, ČT again held a national final to select the entry for the country. 10 acts again competed for the chance to represent the Czech Republic in Serbia, with the winner of Eurosong 2008 being Tereza Kerndlová with "Have Some Fun". At the second semi-final of Eurovision 2008 Kerndlová performed 8th in the running order, receiving 9 points for her performance (1 point from Turkey and Malta, 2 points from Croatia and 5 points from Macedonia), placing 18th of 19 entries, and failing once again to qualify the Czech Republic to the final.
Despite placing in the bottom two twice, ČT confirmed that they would participate at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia. ČT decided to hold an internal selection for the artist who would represent the country at the contest in Russia, with a public vote on the song they would sing. The broadcaster chose Romani band Gipsy.cz in January 2009 to compete in Moscow – the band had previously competed in the two previous national finals, coming both times in the top three. Two songs were presented to the Czech public to vote on: "Aven Romale" and "Do You Wanna". After voting had concluded after 14 days, the final winner was "Aven Romale", which featured lead singer Radoslav Banga dressing-up as a super-hero character, Super Gypsy.
The group performed 2nd on the night of the first semi-final of the contest, held on 12 May 2009. However the group managed to receive nul points from the 20 countries voting in the semi-final, becoming the 16th entry to achieve this result since the current voting method was introduced in 1975.
Despite a July 2014 statement by ČT that the Czech Republic would not participate in Eurovision 2015, ČT announced on 19 November 2014 that the Czech Republic would in fact participate at Eurovision 2015 with a song to be chosen by an expert panel from a field of five specially commissioned nominees. The song "Hope Never Dies" performed by Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta failed to qualify from the semi-final. It did, however, give the Czech Republic their best score and placed 13th with 33 points. On 31 August 2015, ČT announced that it would participate in the 2016 edition, in-which the Czech Republic qualified to the final for the first time in the contest's history with "I Stand" performed by Gabriela Gunčíková. The placement in the final was 25 out of 26 countries. The televoting gave the Czech Republic zero points and the juries gave 41 points. The following year, Martina Barta was internally selected to perform "My Turn," and finished thirteenth in her semi-final.
The Czech Republic returned to a national selection for the 2018 contest, deciding their contestant by a combined online vote and an international jury of former Eurovision competitors. The winner was "Lie to Me" by Mikolas Josef. He performed the song in the Ukrainian national selection show and at Eurovision pre-parties in Riga, London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, and Madrid. At the first dress rehearsal for semi-final 1, Josef injured his back while performing a backflip. He was transferred to several hospitals and was temporarily unable to walk, but still promised to perform by the time of the first semi-final. The choreography was adjusted to accommodate his injury, and his performance earned the Czech Republic their second appearance in the grand final. At the grand final, Josef performed the original choreography, complete with a front-flip that did not result in injury. "Lie to Me" wound up placing fifteenth in the jury vote and fourth in the televote, resulting in a sixth place overall. This marked the Czech Republic's first-ever appearance in the top ten and first time receiving televote points in the final. Following the contest, Head of Delegation Jan Bors confirmed that the national selection model would be used in future contest appearances as a result of Josef's success.
A a similar concept of the national final was used in 2019, deciding the entrant by a combination of an online voting of the Czech public and an international jury of former Eurovision competitors. Unlike the 2018 contest, the results of the international voting public were added as one individual jury member. Placing second in the Czech public vote and joint first in the jury vote, "Friend of a Friend" by Lake Malawi was announced as the winner to represent the Czech Republic in Tel Aviv. Lake Malawi managed to qualify, making it the third time the Czech Republic participated in a Eurovision final. They ended on eleventh place, the country's second best result in the contest.
2020 and 2021
During the press announcement of the 2019 entry, provisional plans for a televised national final for the 2020 contest were revealed, and the final was to be held on 25 January 2020. However, in November 2019, ČT announced that the televised national final had been cancelled, and that an online selection would again be used. The chosen entrant was Benny Cristo with song "Kemama", and was supposed to perform in the second semi-final, but the 2020 contest was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Cristo was kept as the Czech representative for the 2021 contest. His entry for 2021, "Omaga", was selected internally. Cristo participated in the second semi-final on 20 May 2021, performing 3rd, however he did not qualify for the final. It was later revealed that he had finished in 15th place out of 17 countries, with 23 points: 0 from televoting and 23 from juries.
For the 2022 contest, ČT decided to return to using an online selection. Seven entries competed and the winning entry, "Lights Off" performed by the Czech-Norwegian group We Are Domi, was determined by the combination of votes from a twelve-member international jury panel (50%), an international public vote (25%) and a Czech public vote (25%). Both international and Czech users were able to vote via the official Eurovision Song Contest app between 7 and 15 December 2021, and the winner was announced on 16 December 2021.
We Are Domi performed in the second semi-final on 12 May 2022, and placed fourth with 227 points, thereby achieving the Czech Republic's fourth final appearance. They went on to finish in 22nd place with 38 points.
|Entry selected but did not compete|
|Kabát||"Malá dáma"||Czech||Failed to qualify||28 ◁||1|
|Tereza Kerndlová||"Have Some Fun"||English||18||9|
|Gipsy.cz||"Aven Romale"||English, Romani||18 ◁||0|
|Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta||"Hope Never Dies"||English||13||33|
|Gabriela Gunčíková||"I Stand"||English||25||41||9||161|
|Martina Bárta||"My Turn"||English||Failed to qualify||13||83|
|Mikolas Josef||"Lie to Me"||English||6||281||3||232|
|Lake Malawi||"Friend of a Friend"||English||11||157||2||242|
|Benny Cristo||"Kemama"||English||Contest cancelled[a] X|
|Benny Cristo||"Omaga"||English[b]||Failed to qualify||15||23|
|We Are Domi||"Lights Off"||English||22||38||4||227|
Heads of delegation
|Year||Head of delegation||Ref.|
Commentators and spokespersons
|2007||Kateřina Kristelová||Andrea Savane|
|2010–2014||No broadcast||Did not participate|
|2015||Aleš Háma||Daniela Písařovicová|
|2021||Jan Maxian and Albert Černý||Taťána Gregor Brzobohatá|
- The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Contains one line in Czech
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- Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 86–103. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2020). Songs For Europe - The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Four: The 1990s. UK: Telos Publishing. pp. 65–76. ISBN 978-1-84583-163-9.
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- Farren, Neil (6 November 2019). "Czech Republic: No Televised National Final in 2020". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- "Official EBU statement & FAQ on Eurovision 2020 cancellation". European Broadcasting Union (EBU). 18 March 2020. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- "Hey Kemama! Czech Republic confirms Benny Cristo as their entry for Eurovision 2021". Wiwibloggs. 16 May 2020.
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- "Czech Republic reveals lucky 7 for 'ESCZ 2022' 🇨🇿". eurovision.tv. 6 December 2021. Archived from the original on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
- Granger, Anthony (2019). "Czech Republic: Was HoD even in 2007-2009".
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- Granger, Anthony (1 November 2019). "Czech Republic: Cyril Hirsch Announced as Head of Delegation". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Granger, Anthony (4 January 2021). "Czech Republic: Internal Song Selection Confirmed as New Head of Delegation Announced". Eurovoix. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
- Granger, Anthony (4 May 2019). "Czech Republic: Libor Boucek Announced as Commentator". eurovoix.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Points to and from Czech Republic eurovisioncovers.co.uk