It wasn’t a very auspicious start, and it didn’t end very well either – Czech Television, the country’s national broadcaster, has confirmed that it’s withdrawing from the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest due to lack of public interest. The Czech Republic only made its debut in the competition in 2007, but its first three attempts have been disastrous – the most recent gaining the dreaded “nul points”.
“Aven Romale”, the ill-fated Czech entry to the 2009 Eurovision song contest in Moscow, was written and performed by Gipsy.cz, an otherwise exciting and talented group headed by Romany rapper Gipsy. “Aven Romale” featured the artist bounding across the stage, dressed up as a fake comic character called ‘SuperGipsy’ to the strains of a distinctly average track from the band.
The Eurovision audience – that great arbiter of musical taste - voted with their feet, and the Czech Republic exited in the semi-finals after coming last with “nul points”, the first country to do so in five years.
The competition had already suffered from lack of interest even before the contestants packed their bags for Moscow. The public vote to choose a contestant was abandoned due to lack of interest, and Czech Television ended up choosing Gipsy.cz themselves, although viewers were left to choose the song. Gipsy.cz failed to qualify, and viewer numbers for the final in Moscow were disappointing. Czech Television has, therefore, decided to pull the plug. Spokesman Ladislav Sticha confirmed the news to Radio Prague:
“I can confirm that Czech Television is no longer counting on broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest. The chief reason is that the contest has so far failed to attract Czech viewers. Viewing numbers were extremely low, and to be honest the response from journalists writing in the media was fairly harsh. It seems that even the experts believe the contest is rather tired in its format, and the demand in the Czech Republic is for a different kind of musical entertainment competition.”
The Czech Republic made their Eurovision debut in Helsinki in 2007, with “Mala Dama” or “Little Lady” from Czech heavy rockers Kabat. It garnered just one point, from Estonia – thanks Estonia – and the Czechs went home in the semis.
The following year, in Belgrade, things looked brighter when Tereza Kerndlova won nine points in the semi-final with “Have Some Fun”. But not even that was not enough to make it to the final in Belgrade.
Then came 2009 and Moscow, and, as we’ve already heard, the country reached a new low. Next year in Oslo the Czechs will be conspicuous by their absence...although they will be spared the ignominy of another "nul points".
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