The first rehearsals in Eurovision are already in two weeks time, and all the delegations are finalizing their preparations for the Contest in Kiev. Ahead of the first rehearsals, we spoke to Jan Bors, the Head of Delegation of the Czech Republic.
In our interview, Jan Bors was telling us about how Eurovision changed in the Czech Republic since they qualified for the first time last year, what their goal this year with Martina Barta is, and more. Check it all out right here:
First of all Jan, how did you become the Head of Delegation for Czech Republic?
I was doing the biggest entertainment formats in Czech television as Dancing with the Stars and I was asked last year to become HoD for Czech Republic. Of course I agreed without even think about it, it is one of the dream offers. It was actually that simple.
History of the Czech Republic in Eurovision has two parts – first one from 2007-2009 with three “failures” and a newer one from 2015 with being a fan favorite in 2015, qualified for the final in 2016 and now with Martina Barta who is very active during the promo season. What’s the story behind those changes and how much are you responsible for it?
Well, I think the first of all must be known, that all of the work is a teamwork and as we are a small team, everybody is involved in those changes, steps forward or improvements. And the story is very simple, we take it seriously, we really like the job and we want to be better every year. Do thinks more complex, push forward our limits and even learn from the last years. I think this is the spirit of the whole team, or must be. If someone is missing this kind of involvement, there is no space for such a person. Anyhow, we still learning things, still absorbing the Eurovision atmosphere and I think everything will be even better in few years as we stay focusing on improvements and sell our experience the right way. The strategy is to do it step by step, build it up, doing more quality then rush things up and then searching where is the problem.
What’s the main strategy of this year’s participation – what’s your goal and expectations?
We would be really glad if the meaning of our song will spread and have an impact. As we always wanted something more from the song. Not just to be nice, good and whatever. We wanted to say something and in this time, when all bad things happening globally and even individually. We want to people know that everything will be better if we care about each other, help each other, not to fight, but to enjoy. And the thing is My turn, you have to start from yourself. If this will spread, I am satisfied with whatever place. But of course, we want to be in the finals as this is the main goal to spread this idea to the most people globally.
How did Czech people and media react to last year’s qualification and a spot in the Grand Final for Gabriela Guncikova?
Well, it has to be said that reaching the finals changed the mood of everything into positive for Eurovision. As there are still not so solid grounds and it is hard to say here what Eurovision is. The reaction was WOW, we made it, like when you reach the finals in the football World Cup. Well, then it was like we ended almost last. But the positive point was, that media cared, and everyone was having fun since then.
Is Eurovision more popular in Czech Republic now compared to previous years?
I see a big change. Of course, people will mostly tell you, that they don’t watch it, don’t know it etc., but then they will tell you everything about it. So it is more popular, but I think it will take a few years to completely show, how big quality entertainment show it is.
What are the plans for the future? Do you think it will be easier for Czech Republic to participate in Eurovision every year without any doubts?
I would really like to say that, but I can’t. I really would like to tell you, that there will be Eurovision every year, that we start our national selection in a big show, which is my dream and we will participate forever. Still I am confident in it, as it is probably the best thing how to show something about your country, something to be proud of and to see others, their ideas, culture and thinking. That’s mostly the best thing on Eurovision, that you learn so much, if you try to.
Do you think the Czech broadcaster could have an influence on Slovak television to return to Eurovision?
I am not sure. If it’s up to me I will influence Slovak television to participate as it has two benefits. You will represent your country, showing it to the whole world. And the second thing is the professional part, that everybody who will be involved and love the entertainment will improve his/her skills in the industry and that for sure will have an effect for the TV itself for the future.
Will we ever see the word “Czechia” instead of “Czech Republic” during the broadcast?
Maybe, don’t know. We still prefer the Czech Republic as its traditional, we are used to it and there is no reason to changing it. But actually it can be next year Czechia as the meaning is the same thing.
Thank you very much Jan, and we shall see you in Kiev!
Give a listen to this year’s entry from the Czech Republic – “My Turn” by Martina Barta: