I do have a bit of a soft spot for certain countries at Eurovision – San Marino is one, the Czech Republic is another. They’ve consistently been present in the upper part of my rankings for most contests since their return to the contest in 2015. Unassuming and humble artists combined with some really good and often underrated entries, that pattern continues with the charming We Are Domi who bring a thumping EDM track to Turin. It’s been getting fandom love, but will that translate to the actual contest?
The Czechs held an online national final, with voters (made up of an international jury, international public votes and domestic Czech votes) using recorded live performances to make their judgements. The three piece band is made up of Dominika Hašková, daughter of a famous retired Czech ice hockey player, and two Norwegian guys. They met as international students at the University of Leeds and the reason for the unusual string instrument of the guitarist was so that they had some way of standing out from all the other amateur student bands at the time.
“Lights Off” is a out and out EDM banger – super catchy, up tempo, big female vocals – all the elements of my favourite pop music genre. It’s the sort of thing that I like listening and dancing to when I go out to my favourite bars and clubs, and if I’m honest, the sound of it is almost nostalgic for maybe a decade or so ago when I used to go out a lot more than I do now.
The We Are Domi members are super lovely – as always seems to be the case with the Czech entries, they are approachable, friendly and down to earth. I think they have gradually warmed up in the live performances – much relies on Dominika delivering a big vocal to accompany this big EDM track. These upbeat dance pop tracks can often fall down at Eurovision as the live vocal of the lead singer isn’t strong enough (Poland 2018, Finland 2019). I think Dominika does have that strength of vocal, but getting it right in terms of production mix, backing vocals used will be critical in order for it to sound as best as it can on the Turin stage – and for audiences seeing it on TV.
We Are Domi will be closing the show of the second semi-final. It’s usually a sign of confidence that the entry will make for a great closer but it hasn’t always meant qualification so I’m going to be keeping everything crossed that this looks and sounds great. I doubt the staging budget they have is very big, but this is an entry where use of lights and camera cuts will be more important than stage props or LEDs. This last statement is hostage to fortune as I write this before first rehearsal… Anyway, I for one will be giving this some votes come the Thursday of the second semi-final…
Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2007
Appearances (excluding this year): 9
Best result: 6th in 2018
Last year’s result: 15th in semi-final (did not qualify)