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