Eurovision 2018 Review: Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me


Czech Republic tries with contemporary pop tune ‘Lie To Me’
Czech Republic hasn’t been too lucky in Eurovision so far. They participated six times, of which they only made it to the final once in 2016. That year they ended up 25th out of 26. It is safe to say that the country could use some proper Eurovision success. They chose an interesting format this year to select their candidate. There was a national final, but no live performances. Both a jury and televoters judged the songs based on their music videos and they chose Mikolas Josef as their winner with the track ‘Lie To Me’.

For the first time in Eurovision history, the Czech Republic chose a contemporary and potentially hit worthy track to represent them. Admitted, ‘Lie To Me’ is in no way unique, but sometimes chasing a trend can work wonders too. Mikolas borrows the trumpet breakdown from Jason Derülo, the whispery singing reminds me of Charlie Puth and the track overall does have some clear Justin Timberlake influences. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. ‘Lie To Me’, written and co-composed by Josef himself, has a super infectious hook and sounds like something that could become a radio hit. There is a potential for Eurovision success here too if they manage to put on a fast paced and entertaining live performance, like Moldova did last year (which earned them the 3rd place!). Mikolas might want to go for something a little less gimmicky though as his track seems to take itself a bit more seriously.

It is hard to tell at this point what Mikolas is capable of live as he hasn’t properly performed ‘Lie To Me’ yet, but I have good hopes that he will sail into the final and will top the Czech Republic’s (not so great) best result.

UPDATE: Mikolas did a live performance of the track inspired by Katy Perry’s Backpack Kid and although the stage show was quite static and he used some tape backing vocals, he is able to sell the song, both vocally and in terms of stage presence. The boy has got charisma! I am becoming more convinced that he could actually pull off at least a top 10 finish! He also released a version without the swear words in the second verse, to make sure the song is all ready to participate in a family friendly show!

Review of Semi Final Performance:
After years of failure in the Eurovision Song Contest, Czech Republic finally sent a song that belongs to the favourites. Pop star Mikolas Josef did not only bring his backpack, he brought a damn catchy and contemporary tune with him too. With a slick combination of Jason Derülo and Charlie Puth and some trumpet action, he was all set for the final. His performance however, does need some improvement before Saturday night. I get that the nonchalant attitude is his schtick, but his performance (not the dancers, they are doing great) lacks energy. Only in the last minute he is really going for it. If he channels this energy for three minutes in the grand final, Czech Republic might sail into the top 10.

Review of Final Performance:
Czech Republic made the final for the second time in Eurovision history, and they did a whole lot better than in 2016. Mikolas Josef gave a better performance than in the semi final in terms of choreography and energy and his swinging, contemporary ‘Lie To Me’ still sounds like a hit to these ears. No surprise that this entry scored higher points from televoters, who awarded him the fourth place. Juries gave him the 15th spot, which meant Czech Republic ended 6th. This is their best result by a mile. Well done, Mikolas!



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