A week seems to be a very long time in Eurovision national final season. This time last week Benny Cristo was celebrating his victory at Eurovision Song CZ. However, over the weekend he took to Instagram to announce that he will revamp his winning song ‘Kemama’ in Kenya! This probably marks the first time this century that a song has undergone a revamp in the continent of Africa (although I’m happy to be corrected?).
Cristo won the national final off the back of strong showings in both the jury voting and televote. “Kemama” picked up the maximum 12 points from the televote and 10 points from the juries featuring recent Eurovision alumni.
However, the post also allowed Benny Cristo the space to address some of the xenophobia and racism he has been subject to since his victory:
Will be talking about this later, all I can say now is that racism is far from over even when you try to represent the country you were born in.Benny Cristo
Following the announcement that he won Eurovision Song CZ, there was a definite slew of negative comments on social media – including some unacceptable language and insults. However, at the time of writing, the post has been liked by just shy of 29,000 people. Notably, this is much more than the post following his national final victory – most probably acting as a sign of solidarity against any backlash the singer has faced.
Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest
The Czech Republic debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 with the song “Malá Duma” by Kálas, coming last in the semifinal with 1 point. They’ve competed a total of 8 times in the contest, first qualifying for the final in 2016 with “I Stand” by Gabriela Gunčíková, finishing 25th.
Their best placing came in 2018 with “Lie to Me” by Mikolas Josef, placing 6th overall. Their last entry was “Friend of a Friend” by Lake Malawi in 2019, finishing 11th in the final.