Last night the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — flew to Prague and paid a visit to the world famous Prague Zoo and said hello to Len, the Przewalski’s horse. Around the back of the gorilla enclosure we set about reviewing the Czech Republic’s 2015 act Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta. Did their song “Hope Never Dies” leave us full of hope? Or was it dead and buried? Read on to find out…

Czech Republic’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta with ‘Hope Never Dies’

Angus: Best Czech entry ever? No doubt. That isn’t tough though, and a Bond-ish piano-ballad just doesn’t cut it in 2015’s field. The vocals are overproduced and Marta and Václav’s chemistry comes across wooden. A little less technology might have made the song more accessible.

Score: 2/10

Czech Republic, Vaclav Noid Barta, 4Mikhail: This song is perfection! When I first heard it, I got goosebumps all over my body, and I couldn’t stop listening to it for two hours! “Hope Never Dies” is extremely emotional: You can feel the story without understanding the lyrics. It is dark and gloomy, so desperate at the beginning and then it transforms into this bright fire, a torch for the fight for a bright future. Its atmosphere is amazing and original, and unique for ESC. I should especially underline the magical sound of instruments in the song (I guess that’s a harpsichord?). Not to mention that Marta and Vaclav’s voices are incredible. They are very strong and that may spoil the studio version, but I can assure you that their live performance will be outstanding. I recently heard Vaclav perform live in a theatre show and he was spectacular! I am absolutely sure that Czech Republic will go straight to the final!

Score: 10/10

Bogdan: It’s difficult to review a Eurovision song before listening to it live (which is what I’m doing now, back in March), but I am sure that not even a studio-version quality performance can save a dated song – that is basically a waltz – in 2015. And it’s unlikely that Marta and Václav, despite their chemistry, are able to push the Czech Republic to the Grand Final of Eurovision. A pleasant melody is never enough. Oh and Václav, please lose the scarf. It doesn’t make you look less butch, which by the way is part of your appeal.

Score: 3/10

Chris: Marta has a really appealing voice. That’s probably where the compliments end on this one. Václav’s voice probably will have some fans, but to me it’s totally dragging the song down. It’s far too musical theatre and by the halfway point of the song you’re just wishing it were over. Nice to see you back, Czech Republic, but this entry shows that the country still doesn’t get how to do Eurovision properly.

Score: 3/10

Czech Republic, Marta Jandová, 3

Robyn: I love this song so much. It has a really indulgent feeling and reminds me of the melodramatic rock ballads I used to listen to when I was younger. “Hope Never Dies” is so rich and luscious, and I love how emotionally manipulated it leaves me feeling. Marta and Noid’s voices perfectly complement each other, and bring a rock rawness to the competition that stands out amongst all the diva ballads and bright pop.

Score: 8/10

Deban: Although “Hope Never Dies” isn’t spectacular, it is far from being terrible. Sounding dated in parts, and probably more suited to a musical score, “Hope Never Dies” embodies emotion and drama. The monochrome music video presentation drives the story in a film noir direction. The choreography is just right, and the chemistry exhibited is appropriate to the narrative.

Score:5.5/10

Padraig: A dash of Nickelback, a sprinkle of Evanescence and a slice of Meat Loaf, et voila, you’ve got the horrible concoction which is “Hope Never Dies”. While it’s nice to see the Czechs back in the game, you gotta admit that this is going nowhere. It pales in comparison to all the other duets and gothic ballads this year, sounding like a badly aged entry from the early noughties. Needs to go.

Score: 2.5/10

Initial reaction to “Hope Never Dies”

Zach: It’s still a bit of a shock to see Czech Republic participating again. Never thought I’d see the day, personally. However, I’m glad to see them making a really dedicated attempt at doing well, and I think this song can bring them into the final. The vocals are nice, both have this twinge of Gothic-like quality to them, and I really like the backing music. It’s a little calculated if one listens closely, but after the results the Czechs got in the past, it’s evident they have tried to send something that will appeal to the fans in the most beneficial way. I think people will vote for them in order to keep them around, because if they don’t qualify this year, then I’ll be really afraid of them leaving for good.

Score: 8.5/10

Patrick: OMG how can you all guys vote the song so highly? This song is one of those song where I can’t decide if it’s a mess or a disaster… Marta has a great voice, Vaclav maybe too but his voice is too much for me, it’s too dark and musical like. It is the best entry of the Czech Republic but thats not a big deal! The song may have great lyrics or a good message but I really can’t feel the passion and the Eurovision feeling in it. This song is one of those, where the performance will decide about the result – For me, this is a non-finalist.

Score: 3/10

William: When I first heard this I shouted “Amen!” On repeat listen it’s clear I was thrilled for a credible return from the Czech Republic rather than actually liking this. They’re great vocalists and I like the contrast of their voices, but this sounds like an operatic dirge. Pass the anti-depressants please.

Score: 3.5/10

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 8/10

Denise: 6.5/10

Francheska: 3/10

Kristin: 7.5/10

Josh: 6/10

Judit: 5/10

Liam: 6/10

Luis: 8/10

Marek: 8/10

Mario: 9/10

Max: 7/10

Mike: 9/10

Ramadan: 4/10

Renske: 5/10

Rezo: 2/10

Sami: 5/10

Sinan: 7/10

Sopon: 3/10

William C: 8/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury Average: 5.70

See our current Eurovision 2015 reviews and rankings

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Leon
Guest
Leon

This is one of those Marmite songs – you’ll either love it or hate it, few will sit on the fence. I loved the vocal range, the drama, the chemistry between the two and the overall production 9/10

WTF
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WTF

@Just Mario xoxo..: Well, no wonder. You’ve got that usual ESC fan taste.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Just Mario :- It’s no secret who’s leading according to my scores at the moment. My scores are based ONLY on the songs and not gimmicks, staging, sympathy, jury voting etc etc.

https://vimeo.com/119651662

Francisco
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Francisco

Another mushy ballad with awful lyrics. Unimpressed.

Just Mario xoxo..
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Just Mario xoxo..

@ Italy’s entry was truly overrated…It was certainly NOT winning song to repeat just only the obvious here…Sleeping pill & just dull..
France’s entry was overrated too although in less degree than the italian one..
The true hot favorites 4 the victory were Hungary,UK,Denmark,Azerbaijan,Sweden and Slovenia..
*Running Scared* was very beautiful and its performance was just marvellous…It won pretty fair the EuroVision of Dusseldorf if u ask me..

Liam Thorne
Guest
Liam Thorne

Every single year since 2013 has had a rip off of the previous winner..

2013 – Germany (sounded like Euphoria)
2014 – Ireland (sounded like Only Teardrops)

This year that award definitely goes to the Czech Reoublic as it sounds exactly the same as Rise Like A Phoenix

TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

Although I would never say no to a trip to the Czech Republic my hope has died for 2016
Sorry this song did nothing for me
I think the staging in Vienna, which I bet will have lots of special effects and phyro’s, has the potential to give it some extra points but not enough to make the final I fear.
Sorry ????

WTF
Guest
WTF

@Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..: Mario, please… Italy and France had, by far, the best songs in 2011’s edition. France bombed on the night but Italy would have been a deserving winner, especially over that atrocity from Azerbaijan (worst winner ever IMO).

Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..
Guest
Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..

@ Eugene i think that i know which your number #1 favorite is… 😉
Mine is GEORGIA’s entry… <3 🙂
Would be Malta's too if they had kept a similar version with the initial very strong form.. 🙂
Is it yours too possibly..? {i guess so..?} 🙂

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

I actually really like the Czech entry. It’s dark and emotional. It has though some rough and unconvenient parts. It is 20th on my top. I really hope the Czech Republic can make it this year, although it’s a tough semifinal. I think they can squeeze through though. The link for my top 40 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pllqBkm8jVk I would really appreciate it if anyone contributes with a view!

Thiago
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Thiago

I didn’t like the song the first time I listened because of the guy’s voice. But I did like the song the second (and more) time listening because of the guy’s voice. What does this mean?

Steven
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Steven

Easily one of the worst songs this year. It’s another tragedy for the Czech Rep. good luck getting them to join back after this. It’s so cringeworthy

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Easpag :- lol it’s a prediction score, they are easily the top 3 for me. As I said I work on a scoring system. I like the Swedish song, but I don’t think it is the best, the staging, even the new staging, will be brilliant you can bet on that. The other two are really good, but there is only one WOW song. These scores are based on what we have seen to date, these might change after the live rehearsals. We shall see?

lollalo
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lollalo

Its really funny, how some stupid people are writing here, that she will have bad live performance, or that it will be better, if they will change her. She is the biggest music star in Czech Republic and Germany too! She won Bundesvision Song Contest, she sang with Apocalyptica, with the biggest German and Czech music stars, she is big sex symbol (gays will never understand it), she was juror in more than 10 CZ and D talent shows, her voice is the best voice, we will listen this year in Vienna, she is maybe the biggest star of this… Read more »

Graph
Guest

Unlike some of the reviewers, I think the key change at the end rescued the song. Up until that point, the song sounds too statically bleak. I have this song ranked 12th.

Just RoMario! :) xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..
Guest
Just RoMario! :) xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..

@ Ok i changed my nickname to Just Romario on this occasion only 4 you since u like it <3 🙂 hehe Oh…Me too actually 😉 Im strict voter in my own personal rating.. I have one song rated 9,5/10 and is my no1 big winner of the Diamond Vision.. My 2nd/runner up has 8/10.. My 3rd to my 10th -11th have all 7,5/10.. The rest in my top15 have 7/10.. The others in my top15-25 get 6,5/10.. Songs that i like too in my top25-30 get 6/10 & 5,5/10.. The ones that are outside of my top30 get 5/10,… Read more »

Freyah
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Freyah

It seems to work live as well so I live in hope.

Freyah
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Freyah

I feel like I’m one of the few who really loves this. It builds and while they don’t necessarily have chemistry, it works. I’ll be voting for this in Semi 2 (as well as Slovenia).

Plus they can sing it live (not 100% but up in the 90% similarity to the studio version) which is good. If they stage it well, then I can see this qualifying. I hope it does, because it’s a good song.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

@Eugene lol who are the 3? At a guess, I’d say it’s Estonia, Sweden and Italy? Considering its based on likelyhood of success.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Cheers Just Mario :- It’s never easy ranking and scoring. I have used a scoring system developed over several years which has proven to be pretty accurate so I will continue using it until it goes horribly wrong. (This emphasis on gimmicks and staging can really distort results though.) I have two scores of 1 and only 3 above 8. My highest score is 9.25, (nobody gets a 10 as that is reserved for the likes of “Euphoria”.)

By the way I kinda like “Romario”, but “Just Mario” works really well too!!

Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..
Guest
Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..

@ Yep…The sympathy voting does occur indeed in our EuroVision.. ~ Like Italy was voted as the big winner of the 2011 Vision with even big gap of plenty points fro the 2nd runner up Azerbaijan…It was boring snoozefest and definitely did not deserve to win…The televoters did good that ranked it 11th.. Mnay not deserved points just because Italia decied to make the grande comeback at last in our Vision after 2 decades.. ~ Like Sweden was voted 3rd(!!) by juries in Malmo’s 2013 Vision just because Swedes were the hosts of that Euro Contest…Of course the song bombed… Read more »

Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..
Guest
Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love..

@ Really cool method that you suggest here *Eugene*.. 🙂

Personally I might have ranked how many songs with exactly the same grade but this doesn’t mean that i like them all in the very same degree/range…
I have my category of the 7,5 grade..{i give/have separate placing/impression 4 each of these entries..}
I have my category of 7 mark { the same >> >> ..}
etc..

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Thanks Czechfan – Really good live performance.

I must agree, there will be a degree of sympathy voting, that is why I think the Czech Republic could just qualify.

Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love ~ The Gay HOPE Does Not End 4 Any Country With A Bad Result In EuroVision..
Guest
Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love ~ The Gay HOPE Does Not End 4 Any Country With A Bad Result In EuroVision..

Even if Czech doesn’t manage to get the ticket 4 the final this should simply not enough to stop this country from keep participating in our Vision.. 🙂 4 them to withdraw they should get let down about their result in the contest.. Ok we have to face it that the Czech never made a serious attempt to deserve indeed passing to the grand final except this year that their song with the right staging/performance IS qualifier.. EBU should make it really obligatory 4 every country to must be present in EuroVision every year.. Like the Olympics that the great… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

This is my guide to scoring Eurovision songs :- 1) Listen to all 40 songs in one go 2) Decide whether it is going to be a personal or predicted scoring 3) If you have a scoring system this makes things easier 4) Split the songs into 3 groups :- • Bottom 13 (The songs that will not qualify) • Top 13 (The likely winner will come from these) • The rest (14) 5) Sort each group into best to worst to arrive at your Top 40 rankings 6) Only then score each song, say as a guide :- •… Read more »

Czechfan
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Czechfan
lollalo
Guest
lollalo

One of the best song, mystical ballad, very dark, Czechs love this type of mysterious music, and other Slavics too, they will have points from every Slavic countries, I think they will be in TOP 10,

Darren
Guest
Darren

Id have to agree with @Mar.
The Czech Republic doesn’t deserve to qualify this year, FACT! Which is a shame, because if they did qualify they would probably compete again next year….but special privileges shouldnt be given to a country just so they would return again..its a song contest and if the song is bad, it shouldnt qualify. There are better songs in semi 2 and it would be a shame for them to miss out on a place just because the EBU or the people of Europe want to keep them in.

Just Mario xoxo
Guest
Just Mario xoxo

Well the finnish [email protected] excuse 4 a ”song” is definitely worse than the czech entry the most certain thing… At least the entry of Czech Republic can be called indeed an actual real song compared with the hella annoying noise from Finland.. I might not be truly fan of Czech’s entry as i really dislike the czech creepy couple BUT i really can not avoid stating the obvious truth here.. I consider all 39 entries real songs even how many of these are weak disliked songs 4 me except the finnish nightmare that i want to just forget that i… Read more »

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

Is it just my imagination, or does Václav’s voice remind anyone else of (Nickelback lead singer) Chad Kroeger’s voice?

Mar
Guest
Mar

There is nothing positive for me to say about this song, it’s my #40.
I would hate to see a deserving song from semi 2 miss out on the final because people/the EBU, don’t want the Czech Republic to rage quit.
If this is all the country can offer musically then I’d rather they never come back.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

@Eugene which is slightly ironic really, considering that even with certain criteria, the jurors are still required to give their personal opinion on these aspects of the performance. Things are always going to be based on a personal opinion, when you get down to the bottom of it.

Yeah, mine are personal 🙂 Latvia is my favourite with a 10, although I’m aware a good result would be top 15, considering the type of song.
1-3 is awful
3-5 is poor enough
5-7 is alright
7 is good, but nothing special
8-10 is great, and really it’s the finer details that separate these for me.

Christian Kaad
Guest

I have high hopes for this but being realistic I think they may dissapoint in their live delivery
The question is : can they deliver these studio cut to perfection vocals live
My hope is not dead yet
IF they can surpass this performance live I will be thrilled buf I doubt it
Please prove me wrong
Be able to deliver and I will love you forever

Darren
Guest
Darren

Yay! 😀 a wiwi jury result that I consider reliable, although maybe 4 /10 is better than 5…but yeah your other results were crazy, this one seems appropriate The song is a bit disappointing for me. ..I really thought that the Czech Republic would make a good attempt on their long awaited return to the contest, but this is a major let down, the song is so boring and dated and doesn’t actually go anywhere and the guy sings like a robot..kit also doesnt help that he looks like my ex..who was also czech :/ ..beautiful country though and hopefully… Read more »

Britney
Guest
Britney

It should be just him or with another woman.

Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love ~ Hope Is NOT Immune & Can Just Die..
Guest
Just Mario xoxo ~ My Gay Vision of Love ~ Hope Is NOT Immune & Can Just Die..

Ok it is very descent song to be honest…
My 12th most liked on the 2nd semifinal & inside my top27..
But it really turns me off that Vaclav & Marta really look creepy & unsympathetic..
The czech entry would caused to me much better impression if i liked the duo act…Really pity about that..
{The same with Romania 4 example..}
6 /10

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

This is 10/10 for me – just outside my Top Five! Those scores are tragic…

mee
Guest
mee

mee:7/10

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

I love this song so much, it is still in my Top 2!!!

Hop
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Hop

I would give “Hope Never Dies” 8/10
I like the emotions of a song. It’s dark,but it has a powerful message.
Singers are both great, but i’m waiting for live performance. It’s Czech’s best song ever.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Easpag : – Fair point, there can be a difference between a personal rating and predicted rating, and I agree the scores are probably more personal feelings rather than predicted scores based on how high some of the scores are usually. (But we are not really told which for sure.) Though having said that, mine are mostly the same? Of course in the ESC the jury have a set criteria that they have to score on and they decide which entry is a winning one compared to the others. It is supposed to be professional and not personal. Now is… Read more »

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

When the song was first releases, it took a while for me to actually remember how the song goes. I don’t think this is enough to qualify but I have a feeling that this will definitely be high with the jury like Italy 2011 and JESC Italy 2014.

4/10

Ian
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Ian

I’m not particularly a fan of this song, but I keep getting the feeling that this will be surprise qualifier.

Calvin
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Calvin

I don’t know – I think y’all have underrated this horribly. I have it in my top 5.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

@Eugene the jury isn’t assessing how well a song will do, their judging it based upon their feelings towards it. The two correlate to some degree, but not very strongly. I’d say over a quarter of the jurors “want” the song to do well, as opposed to “think” it will do well.

I like it, although it’s nothing special. I really like how their voices sound together, and they blend really well. The song is decent, but nothing to write home about. 7/10

ct
Guest
ct

P.S. I am not trying to insult them and I am very glad that the Czech Republic is back this year. My point is that even though they might be really great as people, as an act there is something quite artificial about these two being paired together.

ct
Guest
ct

I don’t like them. They have something of the cheap romantic novel about them with her huge bosom and his nightclub bouncer looks. They look and sound more like video-game ciphers of “male” and “female” than actual people. And I think this will put a lot of people off.

Allen
Guest
Allen

Great to see them back. This is for sure the best entry Czech Republic has had so far, but I am not fully sure if that’s enough. All three Czech entries were, for me personally, terrible, but this is at least ok. The worst one for me was their entry in 2008, but the two other entries were not too far from that.

If they perform well maybe they can surpise us, but I don’t know. It will be hard, but at least this doesn’t sound like the last place entry.

John
Guest
John

I hope they qualify, they’ve really tried hard this year and it’s a good set for things to come. But, it really doesn’t stand out among the big contenders this year. In semi 2, there’s 2 spots for the final in my eyes after Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Ireland and Malta. And I think it’ll be a fight between Cyprus, Lithuania, Switzerland, Montenegro and Czech Republic.