Throwback Thursday: Hope didn’t die; it was restored.

The Czech Republic’s 2015 entry… First and foremost, do you remember it?

To be quite honest, I totally forgot about the Czech entry for Vienna 2015 until it popped up on my Eurovision playlist whilst it was in shuffle mode. My first thought? “Right, the woman threw her shoes across the stage!” I remember finding it insanely bizarre yet I was totally and completely living for it. But, the Czech Republic’s 2015 package deserves to be known for many more reasons than an odd — yet fierce — stage maneuver.

Back in the contest after five years without competing, the Czech Republic’s entry for the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was “Hope Never Dies,” performed by Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta, and composed by the latter. The song was certainly a departure from the country’s previous Eurovision entries, as the sound of “Hope Never Dies” seemed to blend aspects of Václav’s musical theatre background with his and Marta’s powerful, rock-friendly voices. Armed with this hybrid of a song, an all-black wardrobe, a backdrop of mirrors, and the aforementioned shoe stunt (which I still insist is awesome), the Czech Republic placed 13th in the second semifinal and therefore failed to make it to 2015’s grand final. On the surface, this result looks extremely disappointing and discouraging, but when considering the country’s Eurovision history, it paints an entirely different picture.

Hope certainly never dies

The Czech Republic’s three previous results had all been abysmal. 2007 saw them come 28th and last in the final year of the single-semifinal format. They then finished 18th in 2008, and again came 18th and dead last in 2009 without scoring a single point. When compared to these disastrous efforts, Marta and Václav’s 13th place finish out of 17 competing countries was a sure step in the right direction. In my opinion, it’s important to consider “Hope Never Dies” as an extremely vital part of the Czech Republic’s recent Eurovision success. Encouraged by the improvement in results, ČT announced in August of 2015 that they would be returning for the contest’s 2016 edition… and we all know how that turned out!

Czech success: The year after “Hope Never Dies” competed, Gabriela Gunčíková took the Czech Republic to its first ever final. Two years after that, Mikolas Josef took the country all the way to 6th place.

What did some other members of our team have to say?

In my view, it’s a decent entry: powerful, vivid and memorable. However, it’s not a masterpiece of a song. There were much better entries from the Czech Republic. What I did not like about this one is the performance itself. I think it looked too “artificial” and too “overdone.” For me, this duet is not a perfect one either… There is something about these two singers that does not fully match. It’s such a pity, cause this song could do much better.

“Hope Never Dies” was the sad case of an unexpected failed comeback. It certainly wasn’t a bad song, and it had a decent shot at qualifying. Lyrically, I like it, because while it tells the unoriginal message to “never give up”, it takes the whole song to build to that point, and for more than 2 minutes, we actually have the singers giving up. This build-up is also felt in the music. However, the performance was a tiny bit overdramatic, in my humble opinion.

I kinda have to admit that I kinda forgot about “Hope Never Dies”. I guess it did not peak my interest in 2015. The song is kind of bland and furthermore, the outfits and stage do not really make it stand out. However, when I listen to it now, I find Václav’s voice really good and it fits the song somehow. I think I would like to hear more from him.

What are your thoughts on “Hope Never Dies”? Is it a generic ballad or a forgotten gem? Would you like to see the Marta and Václav back on the Eurovision stage some day? Also, do you ever feel like Marta when you take your shoes off after a long day, or is that just me? Join the discussion in the comments below or on our various social media pages, and thank you very much for reading!

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