Lisbon 2018

Pavel Callta awarded EBU exemption for 1st September rule

This week, the Czech Republic revealed their six contenders seeking to earn the ticket to Lisbon. It has since been confirmed by Česká televize (ČT) that Pavel Callta’s song “Never Forget” was granted an exemption by the EBU for having previously been played in Czech before the 1st September 2017 eligibility date for songs.

ČT asked the EBU for confirmation

Jans Bors confirmed to ESCPortal that before publishing any of the entries in the Czech national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, ČT asked the EBU if “Never Forget” was eligible for inclusion as it had not been made available commercially before. The EBU granted an exemption to “Never Forget”, due to this regulation. In fact, only those who attended Pavel Callta’s concerts last summer heard the original version of “Never Forget”, as it was introduced as part of his live set in the summer of 2017.

Pavel Callta part of a six-strong line-up

For 2018, the Czech Republic have selected six songs from a variety of genres. It is fair to say that for the first Czech national selection since 2008, the standard is exceptionally high. The other five competitors joining Pavel Callta are Mikolas Josef, Eva Burešová, Eddie Stoilow, Doctor Victor and Debbi.

Mikloas Josef has entered his most recent single “Lie to Me” which would need to be considerably changed for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, if it won the Czech selection. “Lie to Me” contains three uses of expletive language, which would break the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest if submitted in its current form. This is similar to two entries at Melodifestivalen 2017, “I Don’t Give A” by Lisa Ajax and eventual winner “I Can’t Go On” by Robin Bengtsson. Both these songs were given a new set of lyrics for the Grand Final in Sweden in order so that they met the rules for entry to Eurovision.

Czech Republic at the Eurovision Song Contest

To date, the Czech Republic has only had one finalist at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2016, Gabriela Gunčícová reached the final with her entry “I Stand”, placing 25th out of 26 participants.

Unfortunately, the Czech Republic have come last in the semifinals twice. On their début in 2007, Kabát only received 1 point in the semifinal. In 2009, Gipsy.cz became the 16th artist in history to receive “nul points” when they entered with “Aven Romale”.

Do you think the Czech Republic will have better luck in 2018 when they compete in Lisbon next May? Will this year’s representative receive the best result in history for the Czech Republic? Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA!

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