Eurovision 2019 Review: Czech Republic – Lake Malawi – Friend of a Friend

lake malawi

Czech Republic opts for band Lake Malawi
Czech Republic has chosen the act to follow up Mikolas Josef. The singer represented the country last year with the contemporary hiphop infused tune ‘Lie To Me’ that made it to the 6th place in the final. This was by far the best result for the Czechs in Eurovision to date. The band Lake Malawi now has the difficult task of following up this success after they were selected by an international jury and international votes through an online app. They will fly the Czech flag in Tel Aviv in May with their infectious song ‘Friend of a Friend’.

If last year’s result taught the Czech delegation anything, it is that contemporary sounding entries have good potential of doing well. With that in mind, the funky pop song by Lake Malawi seems a wise choice. The track ‘Friend of a Friend’ is a blend of the current sound of pop bands like Maroon 5 and DNCE. The chorus is a tad repetitive, but as most viewers and voters will only hear the song once or twice, that should not influence their chances too much. This catchy friendzone anthem is radiofriendly, but it will need a strong performance to truly impress on stage in Tel Aviv, as it does not stand out on first listen as much as last year’s ‘Lie To Me’ did.

So what can we expect from the performance? So far, Lake Malawi has only shared a music video recorded for the online selection, but we expect to see band members Albert Černý (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Jeroným Šubrt (keyboard, bass) and Antonín Hrabal (drums) on stage in a colourful staging with hopefully something memorable happening. The good news to take from the video is that Albert seems a charismatic performer with a likable attitude. It is too early to say anything about qualifying chances, but it is always good to have some contemporary sounding entries in the competition!

Update: Lake Malawi gave their first televised live performance of ‘Friend of a Friend’ during the Ukrainian national selection. Albert is indeed a charismatic performer with a charming attitude on stage. His vocals are strong and the spoken part before the chorus somehow sounds less cringy live. Jamala (winner of Eurovision 2016 for Ukraine) was living for the performance!

Review on their semi-final performance:
Who would have thought that it would be Czech Republic showing us how to properly do Eurovision!? They are back with another contemporary and international sounding entry. The band Lake Malawi perform their uplifting and insanely catchy tune ‘Friend of a Friend’ with exactly the right attitude and energy. Singer Albert is a joy to watch as he flirts with the camera and gets the whole arena to join him. His vocals remain strong throughout the performance and the visuals fit the vibe of the song perfectly. Czech Republic might well score their second top 10 in a row on Saturday night and I would not rule out a little radio hit after the contest either!

Review on the final performance and result:
Lake Malawi from the Czech Republic delivered another vibrant and contagious performance of their incredibly catchy ‘Friend of a Friend’, but it somehow was not enough to convince the televoters at home. After they finished 8th with juries, televoters completely paid them dust with just seven points in 24th spot. They finished 11th overall, but I was convinced that this could become one of the post contest hits. I’ll keep playing it for sure though!


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