Yesterday the Wiwi Jury travelled to the Czech Republic. We paid a visit to Prague and pretended to be ’90s hipsters, drinking coffee in a central cafe. There we discussed Gabriela Guncikova‘s song “I Stand”. Did we stand with her? Or did it make us want to run away? Read on to find out!

Gabriela Guncikova – “I Stand”

“I Stand” reviews

Cristian: Without a doubt the best Czech entry in Eurovision history and I just adore it. Lesbihonest, this is not a revolutionary song, it’s a typical power ballad à la Celine Dion. But the point is that Gabriela delivers it very well in this studio version and her voice touches my heart. True and pure emotion.

Score: 9/10

Angus: On first listen, “I Stand” was pulsating dark electropop that I could root for. Gabriela’s vocal sparkled and it felt like Prague finally had a qualifier in its hands. Over time the whole act has waned for me. The vocal power is there, but the repetition of the chorus has become monotonous and the plodding place sleep-inducing. Despite promising elements, the Czechs have set themselves up for a fall again.

Score: 4/10

Bogdan: Can I just point out that in the video she sings “I stand” while lying on the ground? Czechs need to pay more attention to detail, y’all. Otherwise, the song is alright, a mediocre ballad that goes nowhere and will likely be forgotten when the next contestant takes the stage. The fact that it’s the best Czech entry ever doesn’t make it better than other songs this year. Only some unique staging could make this stand out.

Score: 4/10

Robyn: The first time I heard “I Stand”, I thought it was really boring and forgettable. But after I had listened to it about 10 times, I started to pick up on the emotion of the song and I really enjoyed it. But viewers of the semi-final on 10 May will only hear the song once. Despite Gabriela’s rich, powerful rock vocals (she is so good!), the song is lacking a memorable hook and just doesn’t make an impact on first listen. Perfect as an album track, terrible as a Eurovision entry.

Score: 5/10

Deban: “I Stand” is dirge camouflaged in visual technicolour. Forgettable at best, and somewhat lacking in a clear message, it becomes evident as the composition plods on why the visual spectacle is necessary. With Czech’s poor qualification record, and “I Stand” falling short in so many ways, it’s hard to imagine this advancing.

Score: 3.5/10

Marek: The Czech Republic has decided to send a song that is not only beautiful but also shows the flawlessness of the artist’s voice. When Gabriela sings, it’s like the music doesn’t exist — it’s just her voice. The lyrics are really deep and they make the song feel a bit sad. Everything completes each other, together it creates a beautiful melancholic song. I hope Gabriela will stand on the Eurovision stage on 14th May. She has to — this time the Czech Republic truly deserves it. 

Score: 9/10

Mario: If you gave this song to someone else, you would get nothing back. But Gabriela’s rich vocals elevate a mediocre number, offering a masterclass in this is how you slay. This is a much needed wake-up call for the Czechs, which I sincerely hope will be appreciated in May.

Score: 7.5/10

William: I’m really impressed that the composer managed to stay awake while writing this. It’s a power ballad without any musical power and a huge waste of Gabriela’s immense talent. The dark and pulsating opening goes very limp very fast, and forgettable melody fades from memory within seconds. She wants to stand, but the song is a total fall.

Score: 2.5/10

Zakaria: First, I am a big Gabriela fan and I must admit I was very disappointed when I realised she wasn’t going with a rock song. However, “I Stand” is very interesting and brings the best out of Gabriela’s voice. It’s dark, haunting and deeply emotional. I’m simply in love!

Score: 9.5/10

Mikhail: Let’s put it out there, the song is absolutely unoriginal and melodically uninteresting. The arrangement is pretty weak. I really miss some Czech flavour in it, which was a magnificent addition to “Hope Never Dies”. If “I Stand” was sung by someone like Lidia Isac, it would receive the same score as “Falling Stars” (3.5). However, Gabriela simply saved it — she made a sweet out of poo. Her voice is really powerful and her vocalisations add some sparks. She is able to sing with such emotion that I can feel it, I can understand it and I do believe every word Gabriela says.

Score: 7.5/10

Padraig: “I Stand” is easily the best Czech entry of all time, and they deserve to make the final on the back of it. Sadly, it’s almost certainly doomed to stay in the semi-final of death. The key issue is that it lacks immediacy. It’s a track that requires multiple listens in order to be fully appreciated, and of course, that’s not an option for casual Eurovision viewers. Which is such a shame, because on every replay Gabriela’s melodic tones unlock new layers to the song, making each listen more rewarding than the last. Saying that, the music video does offer some hope that the entry might live to see Saturday night. If Gabriela and her team can successfully translate some of the lush imagery from the clip onto the stage, all may not be lost.

Score: 8/10

Sami: This is surprisingly good for Czech Republic, but if any other country entered this, it would just be an average song. The Czech Republic sent their best song ever last year and failed to reach the final. Therefore I would say they are in trouble this year too. The song isn’t really standing out as we have many similar songs in the contest this year. However, I’m looking forward to seeing it live. If Gabriela really shines on the stage, they might have chances to grab one of the last spots in the final.

Score: 5.5/10

Czech Republic, Gabriela Guncikova, 16

 

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Anthony: 8.5/10

Antranig: 10/10

Bernardo: 7.5/10

Chris: 5.5/10

David: 8/10

Dayana: 6/10

Denise: 8/10

Diego: 7/10

Edd: 7/10

Forrest: 8/10

George: 6.5/10

Gökhan: 7/10

Jason: 8/10

Josh: 7/10

Judit: 6/10

Kristin: 6.5/10

Liam: 7/10

Luis: 8/10

Maria: 7/10

Max: 5/10

Mike: 7/10

Patrick: 9/10

Renske: 6/10

Rezo: 5/10

Sinan: 6.5/10

Steinunn: 7/10

Tobias: 7/10

William C: 8.5/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 6.91/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

The Czech Republic has sent a beautiful song that appealed to me from the first listen. I hope they qualify.
Currently I rank I Stand 18 of 43.

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Big question mark for me. Everything will depend on the live performace. Let’s see if she rises like Polina Gagarina or falls like Kati Wolf…
Personally, I’m not feeling it.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@GEF

i hope so too, and have you seen Sergey in Serbia, horrible live performance

what country are you from, and could you vote in semi final 1?

nn88
Guest
nn88

For me one of best song this year, much better than song from Croatia who are on first place in score of wiwi juries now.

oooops
Guest
oooops

For me it is just a simple, but ok, ballad.
5/10

Racal
Guest
Racal

One of the best songs this year, and one of the few that are actually worth listening to (along with France, Italy and the Netherlands). If this doesn’t qualify, the Czechs should pull out. This is top 10, maybe even top 5 material.

But of course it’s not a tacky plastic song with a repetitive chorus and 25 background dancers in the video, so Wiwi is not enthusiastic. 😉

GEF
Guest
GEF

@ Nicky91,

The OGAE poll is a shame indeed. Well but e.g. Germany also has 0 points. I only hope that the jury won’t look at these rankings but make their own decisions.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@GEF

thank you, you are forgiven

and have you seen the OGAE standings so far, Malta still on 0 points, even San Marino gets points with them, well i don’t believe them anymore

anyway you have a good judgment on the songs, i’m a fan of your comments/reviews, just being honest 🙂

GEF
Guest
GEF

@Nicky91

Nice and I am still sorry for not giving Malta the praise it deserves 🙂

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@GEF

first time i agree with you 🙂 🙂

GEF
Guest
GEF

My favourite song this year!! Great song, great singer. Different from the rest. Underrated by WIWIBLOGGS. Here is my ranking so far: I stand: 9,5 Alter Ego / Play / Say Yay: 9,0 Love Wave / 1944: 8,5 Ghost / Pioneer / Slow Down / The Real Thing: 8,0 Utopian Land / Made of Stars / What’s the pressure? / Sound of Silence: 7,5 Hear them calling / Midnight Gold / Sing it away / Goodbye / Light House: 7,0 Help to fly / Icebreaker / Heartbeat / You’re not alone: 6,5 Colour of your life / Walk on water:… Read more »

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Colin

i agree with your thoughts about this 🙂

and I love Gabriela’s voice, her voice control is amazing at such young age

9.5/10

bis
Guest
bis

For me, this is the best ballad on offer this year. 9/10

Stan
Guest
Stan

I love this one… I’m expecting a staging compared to the one we saw for Sanne Nielsen two years ago. An elegant dress, spotlight on Gabriela and a quiet moment that will make people forget all about Sergey 😉

Good job and good luck Czech Republic!

Ewan
Guest
Ewan

Undoubtedly better than last year (let’s face it, it was a cheap-sounding rock ballad that had power behind it but nothing that stood out.).
I really hope this qualifies but it’s on the edge right now, had it been in semi 2 it would have definitely qualified. It’s in my top 15.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

@ Eugene – Your assessment is quite similar to my own.
I really liked this song when it first came out but it has gone under the radar a bit since then due to a lack of activity from the artist and seemingly not much in the way of promotion. I think it fills a niche in the competition, as Eurovision needs strong female ballads like deserts need rain. The main competition for this is Australia and this is by far, the better song.
With the right performance, this could get into the top ten.
7/10 (Potentially higher based on live performance)

Onra
Guest
Onra

Gabriela will probably perform this Friday on Malta in show Xarabank TV show…

Rubén
Guest
Rubén

One of the best music videos of this year and this is probably the best entry the Czech Republic has ever sent to Eurovision, indeed.

If they’re preparing a good staging, this will do very good, because you always have to value the surprise factor when something is eye-catching.

Just because of the song, it deserves a spot in the final.

Lucci Ricevo
Guest
Lucci Ricevo

12 points from Germany ?

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Such a harsh review, just like Poland’s one. I love this song and i hope Czechia will qualify, but performing after Russia won’t be easy.

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

7.5/10 I Stand is this year’s typical Eurovision ballad entry, in a year where ballads are at last not the dominating genre in a Eurovision line-up. Good voice, good track but no other evaluation can be made of this right now. Yes, this may be the best entry Czech Republic has sent, but that doesn’t say much at all. It does not help that Gabriela did not go to any of the Eurovision promo concerts. Not only do we not have any idea of how it sounds live or how it can be staged, but she’s failed to try and… Read more »

karminowe.usta
Guest
karminowe.usta

Sorry, I don`t like this song. It`s monotonous and I can`t remember chorus. Last year Czech Republic had better song and I regret that this song wasn`t in Grand Final:( In this year Gabriela wouldn`t qualify in Grand Final because first semi-final is strong. First semi-final is as like as El Classico in football:)

Marc
Guest
Marc

The problem about this entry is that is one of the typical dramatic ballads we have every year, and outside of eurovision bubble this kind of songs just don’t work. She is amazing but the song is not close at her level.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Jan: “Censorship has finnished… finally!!… But no any apologies??”

Somehow – and we’re actually not sure how this happened – the comments were accidentally turned off for this post. It had nothing to do with the content or, I dunno, not wanting people to comment here. It was just a random glitch. 😀

But I totally get that it was distressing for regular commentators who are used to commenting on the Wiwi Jury posts. Especially fans of “I Stand” who wanted to tell the jury how *wrong* we are. 🙂 For that, I offer my heartfelt apologies.

Jan
Guest
Jan

But the true is that I was most impressed when I heard It for the first time. So no promo tour and not many live performances before ESC may be actually good strategy.. I hope it will be the dark horse.. The ESC final is enough for Czech fans.. And it would have big impact on public meaning about ESC in the Czech Republic… So vote for #CZE if you can and like the song 😉

Tom
Guest
Tom

Just going to come out and say it, this is one of my absolute favourites this year, it’s definitely in my top 10. It’s odd because this isn’t the type of song I usually go for at ESC. I can get that some find it boring, to me it’s a great fusion of contemporary ballad and pure Eurovision. Gabriela has a great voice. The bit in the song where she yells gives me shivers. If she nails this live then all bets are off! I can’t help but feel it won’t qualify. I’ll definitely be upset though if it doesn’t.… Read more »

David Who
Guest
David Who

The rise and fall of the verse’s melody, the melismas of the chorus, the powerful message… everything is there to make this song work on the emotions. If Gabriela delivers a strong live vocal, this might become the first Czech entry to ever qualify, and go on to do well. Unfortunately, it’s in the tougher semi-final, and it’s on immediately after Russia. What a nightmare draw!
I really wish Gabriela all the best. 🙂

Bhrister Cjorkman
Guest
Bhrister Cjorkman

4.5/10
30th/43

I do not usually agree with William here, but this time I do. What a sleeping pill of a song. Not terribly bad, just boring.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Great assessment Eugene! Totally agree.

Notts
Guest
Notts

This is by far the best ballad this year. I loved it the very first time I’d listened to it. Too bad I can’t vote for it since Poland performs in the second semi.

Love this song
Guest
Love this song

My second place <33 I just love how she sings this song even though her voice suits better a rock song.
This MUST qualify.
You guys underrated this song but Malta is a lot higher? ._. Wtf

Daniel E.
Guest
Daniel E.

William and Deban, I love you, but you must have been on something really nasty when you wrote your reviews for this song! I think this is by far the most beautiful ballad this year, and top 3 for me.

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@georgekirkas

Sorry for the mistake! It’s “I am looking forward TO”, not “for”!

Jan
Guest
Jan

1) Censorship has finnished… finally!!… But no any apologies?? 2) The person who has written this ” Can I just point out that in the video she sings “I stand” while lying on the ground?” would deserve punch into his face… Its been told million times that she stands mentally. This only shows how shallow person Bogdan actually is. 3) 6.91 is would be ok., but wait.. Why even more repetitive and generic Australia got 7.92.. Bit biased, dont you think? 4) Song may be a bit generic but it will grow a lot after live performance. I am sure… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Almost a 7, not bad I suppose……………if last year was anything to go by, the Wiwi guys do not like what Europe likes, so perhaps this will do really really well then? For me this is THE one to watch. The Czechs have kept this one under wraps, not one live performance, and if they can come up with stunning staging and the vocals we expect, this could be our “Dark Horse” after we see the rehearsals, (like The Common Linnets.) It has very slowly crept up to 16th on Oddschecker; I expect to see a vast improvement after the… Read more »

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

This has actually grown on me! Initially I didn’t really feel it, but now I totally understand the power and the emotion it has! Gabriela seems to have amazing vocals, but I am still looking forward for the first live performance of the song! Definitely the best czech entry ever! (And yes, along with Argo she is the only artist who has not performed her song live yet.)

7,5/10

Foxreyna
Guest
Foxreyna

Right now, Bogdan needs a check in the head. His comment is probably the most eye scarring I have ever seen. He should ACTUALLY listen to the song rather than just looking at the girl and title. I’m disgusted. Gets a 10/10 and 8th place in my top.

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

This has to be one of the most underrated songs ever here on wiwi bloggs … I will save my breath and keep listening to this great song

Colin
Guest
Colin

Semi 1 is indeed *very* hard. Here is my current streak of thoughts: RUSSIA is probably the only one I can say for sure will qualify. The song is popular + it’s Russia. Countries that will most likely also qualify considering the song popularity and/or countries that sent them and/or their running order are: ICELAND, AZERBAIJAN, ARMENIA, CROATIA, ESTONIA, MALTA and HUNGARY. One or two might be a surprise non-qualifier, but less likely. Last two spots will be between fan-favorites AUSTRIA and CYPRUS, often overlooked, but very solid NETHERLANDS, newcomer to finals CZECH REPUBLIC (beautiful song, although their running order… Read more »

MarioMario
Guest

So underrated. For sure part of my top 5.

Poppina
Guest
Poppina

It’s my favorite ballad this year, i think it’s even better than Australia

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

If her stage team plays their cards right with what they put on the stage with her, this will likely be the Czechs’ first qualifier. My #19 after my first review.

Colin
Guest
Colin

@cheesecake

Withdrawing for bad scores seams childish. Not everyone can win or even pass. That the the issue, be better, be tougher, be more patient. See how Netherlands went straight into finals after 8 years when they brought Birds. And the next year, Calm After the Storm was even second. Who knows, maybe Czech Republic or Israel or someone else can achieve it too?

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

To be honest the song has fallen down in my top. I quite liked it at first, probably because it really is the best Czech entry ever. But by now it just really bores me.
As much as I want the Czechs to go through, I don’t think they will get out of the tough first semi. I hope they wouldn’t withdraw next year in that case. (Same goes for Macedonia and Ireland.) :/

davve
Guest
davve

This song really needs a great stage act. if it gets that then it could reach the top10…..

Steven
Guest
Steven

Some really low scores here 😡 This song is so beautiful in every single way. It’s been my number 1 since it was released. She HAS to bring Czech Rep to the final.

Ron
Guest
Ron

This song is actually in my top 15. It’s a great 7.75/10.

YAAAAS
Guest
YAAAAS

One of my fave songs this year
9/10

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

‘I Stand’ is underrated as hell! For me it isn’t boring, is dark and dramatic. It has been growing on me a lot, and now is my 8th. The downside is that, as Edurne with ‘Amanece’, ‘I Stand’ don’t match with Gabriela’s style., and you know what happened with that.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Anybody from Polad in the room?
To explain me why Bulgaria, Israel, Albania, Armenia, Greece or Montenegro are suddenly charting on itunes right now in your country? I’M Curious. Thanx!