When we reported in May on Cesko hleda superstar - the Czech version of the hit show Pop Idol - it was clear, even then, that one of the front-runners to take the prize would be 17-year-old Aneta Langerova, a student from the town of Ricany near Prague. Aneta's easy-going manner, love for rock music, and especially emotional and vocal intensity made her a clear favourite from the outset. Well, she's done it, she's won the crown, and as Jan Velinger reports, Czech music fans will now anxiously await the release of her new album.
Just like just about everywhere else it's been launched Pop Idol in the Czech Republic - broadcast by the popular TV station Nova - has been a phenomenal hit. Now, it has found a most unusual star in Aneta Langerova, whose beautiful dark eyes, at least one reviewer has remarked, the camera loves to follow.
More than that Ms Langerova offers intelligent showmanship and a suggestion of artistic and emotional experience beyond her years - one of the reasons she probably became a favourite for the audience as well as the panel of judges.
Even more refreshingly the performer was just as comfortable singing solo ballads as kicking it with the local garage band with a guitar around her neck. Not unlike Aneta's own personal idol Alanis Morissette, whose songs "Ironic" and "Thank You" she sang.
The question since her win is what's next for the young and talented singer. Panel judge Milan Herman, the head of the Czech branch of BMG records, has already said he will release Aneta's album in two months' time, saying he and the newly-minted star will get together immediately to discuss the songs. They can be in both English and Czech, based either on original compositions of her own or songs written by professionals on the Czech scene.
And, if two months seems a touch too soon, Mr Herman told one daily that all things equal there were stars, like the Beatles, who recorded their first album in two weeks, though he admitted that some first projects took years. Regardless, September is the date. Will the album be a critical success? That answer will have to wait.
By the time Cesko hleda superstar came to an end three million Czechs - almost a third of the population - were regularly watching the programme every Sunday. During the grand finale both Aneta Langerova and her opponent got almost three million viewers' votes and of that 79 percent support went to the winner. The fans who backed Aneta will now anxiously await her first release but they will also be keeping their fingers crossed. Hoping the new star retains not only her beautiful voice but also the strength of her convictions: a clear rocker's edge even while she surfs the "mainstream".
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