Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – Omaga
Martin: I must be getting old, because it took longer than it should have for me to realise that “Omaga” is shorthand for “Oh My God”. Perhaps I’ve been traumatized by other songs with that title.
After last year’s endless string of “Kemama” revamps, Benny has been remarkably restrained this year, which perhaps suggests a degree of quiet confidence in what he’s produced here. It’s certainly a credible-feeling package: The slickness of the sound is a good match for his personal style, and while it’s all a bit “Spotify algorithm” in the music department, it’s not impossible for that kind of thing to score even in an environment like ESC that rewards immediate impressions.
However, that does rely on Benny coming across as charming and likeable – and in that respect, “in this concrete jungle it was not easy to grow up” feels like an easier message to sell than “you said you gained a few pounds, you blame the apocalypse” (though after the past twelve months, maybe we can all empathise with the latter sentiment).
Impact is my main concern here, in other words. And it wouldn’t surprise me if we end up looking back and realising this was just the producers putting an obvious non-qualifier at #3 as an appetiser for the main courses to follow.
Shi: If it helps, Martin, I didn’t realize it was OMG until I read your first paragraph. It also took me a while to realize that I actually quite like this, which doesn’t bode well for Benny who has just one chance to grab the attention of the viewers and jury members.
Felix: Wait, was I the first one to understand the “Oh My God” meaning? Must be because I’m the only one who loved The Moniker in Melodifestivalen. Back to Benny though: I think “Omaga” is unique enough to do well enough, at least in its semi. A lot depends on the staging though.
video and title image source: eurovision.tv