Czech Television is looking for new song for Eurovision

Songwriters can enter via email with original works under three minutes long

Public broadcaster Czech Television has started preparing for the 2017 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Ukraine, the home of this year's winner. Songs have to be previously unreleased original compositions, but do not have to be written by the artist or even by someone from the entering country.

Czech Television is now seeking original songs from anywhere in the world. The submissions will be evaluated by a Czech jury of music professionals and station representatives. Songs cannot be longer than three minutes, and can be in any language decided upon by the entering broadcaster. Other rules include than no more than six people can appear on stage, and no live animals can be used. Backing tracks without vocals are also allowed. For this year, the song cannot have been performed in public before Sept. 1, 2016.

Hopeful songwriters can send their work via email by Nov. 30 to [email protected]. The submission should include lyrics and reference vocals.

“I am quite pleased that we will once again have an opportunity to represent the Czech Republic in the world’s biggest entertainment show. Constantly raising the quality of both the song and artist, as well as the presentation at the contest is our priority,” Jan Bors, head of the Czech delegation for Eurovision, said in a news release.

Jan Potměšil is the creative producer in charge of the project. “It is a complex project to find a song that fits current worldwide trends and quality, and at the same time stands up to intense competition at the European Song Contest. It is perfectly normal for Czech artists to collaborate with foreign writers and producers. I’m convinced that being as open as possible in the song choice is the overall path to higher quality,” Potměšil said.

In the 2016 show in Stockholm, the Czech Republic had its best showing ever by at least making it into the finals. Gabriela Gunčíková performed the song “I Stand” written by Christian Schneider, Aidan O'Connor, and Sara Biglert. It was chosen from more than 40 entries by a jury. The song came in ninth in the semifinal and 25th in the final. It was watched by 204 million people in 42 countries. The semi-finals and finals drew a domestic Czech audience of 2 million viewers. The contest in 2016 had an entry from Australia for the first time.

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 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 out of 18 in the semifinal, but still not making it into the final round.

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.

ABBA remains the most success 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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