Jan Bors, the current Head of Delegation for the Czech Republic, has revealed that Česká televize plans to work with Czech composers for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, rather than with foreign composers, as was the case in 2016 and 2017.
Although the Czech Republic has yet to officially confirm their participation in the upcoming contest, it is expected that the country will be present in Lisbon, mainly due to the re-election of Petr Dvořák as head of ČT and the broadcaster’s support for the contest, despite falling ratings.
In an interview with Polish site eurowizja.org, Bors stated that the plan is to cooperate with five successful Czech composers who will take care of five compositions. They will work with specific artists to find the ideal combination of voice and music. But it is also up to the artist to decide on the final version of the entry. These compositions will be presented to a professional jury. They will decide behind closed doors which entries will represent the Czech Republic in Lisbon. The shift from foreign to local composers was inspired by Portugal’s victory in this year’s contest, mainly due to the artist’s deep connection with the song.
These plans are preliminary, as the Czech Republic’s participation in Lisbon has yet to be confirmed. In addition, Bors revealed that a national selection, inspired by Melodifestivalen, could be used to select future Czech entries within the next three to five years. This depends on the country’s results at Eurovision. The last time a national selection was used to select a Czech entry was in 2009.
The Czech Republic debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 with the band Kabát and the song “Malá dáma”, they finished last in the semi-final scoring just 1 point from Estonia. The country went on to participate for a further two years before withdrawing from the contest after the 2009 edition in Moscow where Gipsy.cz scored nul points. In 2016 the Czech Republic qualified for their first final, Gabriela Gunčíková finished 25th in the final with the song “I Stand”.