Czech Eurovision entry announced

Mikolas Josef’s ‘Lie To Me’ was chosen by vote plus a jury

The Czech entry for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will be Mikolas Josef with the song “Lie To Me.”

The 63rd edition of the contest will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, with semi-finals on May 8 and 10, followed by a final round on May 12.

More than 400 songs by various producers, performers and bands were submitted for the Czech national selection. Those were narrowed down to six entries that the public could help choose from, along with a professional jury. Josef got 53 percent of the popular vote.

In the recent past, Czech Television made the selection without public input, but the Czech candidates have done particularly poorly in the contest. The last public vote was in 2008.

The other finalists seeking to represent the Czech Republic this year were Eddie Stoilow with “We Rule This World,” Pavel Callta with “Never Forget,” Doctor Victor with “Stand Up,” Eva Burešová with “Fly” and Debbi with “High On Love.”

Josef told the Eurovision fan website Wiwibloggs that the song is about a young man having a hard time finding the right relationship and dealing with a breakup. “This is about hard times that you’re going through and not getting swallowed by the negativity. I try to take the negativity, transform it in myself somehow and spit it out in a positive way so it’s dance-y and people can be happy when listening to the song,” he told the blog.

Josef is a composer, producer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and director of music videos, according to a biography provided by Eurovision. He has been playing the guitar since he was 5 years old. Josef grew up in Prague and Znojmo, but now lives mainly in Vienna. He graduated from the English College in Prague but skipped university to concentrate on with his musical career.

Before the song “Lie To Me,” he released three other singles, one of which reached number 15 on the Czech charts.

He was asked to consider representing the Czech Republic in the 2017 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “My Turn” but was not interested as he felt the song was not in his style. In the end, Martina Bárta sang “My Turn” in the competition but came in 13th in her semifinal round but failed to make it to the finals.

The Czech Republic first participated in Eurovision in 2007, with Kabát singing “Malá dáma.” They scored one point in the semifinals, coming in last and failing to make it to the finals. In 2008 singer Tereza Kerndlová did better with “Have Some Fun,” scoring nine points, but this was only good enough to be second from last.

In the third attempt, Romani band Gipsy.cz scored no points, one of 16 times since 1975 when a new voting system was introduced that a band did so poorly. The performance featured lead singer Radoslav Banga dressed in a caped costume as Super Gypsy.

The Czech Republic dropped out after that and did not participate again until 2015 when Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta sang the heavily produced ballad “Hope Never Dies,” scoring 33 points, good enough for 13th place in their semifinal, but still not making it into the final round.

In the 2016 show in Stockholm, the Czech Republic had its best showing ever by at least making it to the finals. Gabriela Gunčíková performed the song “I Stand” written by Christian Schneider, Aidan O'Connor, and Sara Biglert. The song came in ninth in the semifinal and 25th in the final, for next the last place. She got no points from TV voting and 41 points from the jury. The final was watched by 204 million people in 42 countries.

The Eurovision Song Contest is organized by members of the European Broadcasting Union. It is the most watched non-sporting event in the world and is seen not only in the participating countries but also in Australia, Brazil, Japan and the US. It was first held in 1956 and is one of the longest-running shows in television history. Viewers and a jury select the winner. Viewers cannot vote by phone for their own country.

ABBA remains the most successful act to ever win the contest, and “Waterloo” in 2005 was named the best song ever to come from the contest. Other winners include Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias, Olivia Newton-John, Cliff Richard, Loreen and Conchita Wurst. Karel Gott participated in 1968, representing Austria, but he did not win.

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