Lake Malawi Eurovision 2019 Czech

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 competing entries of Eurovision 2019. Next we turn to the Czech Republic and check out indie pop group Lake Malawi with “Friend of a Friend”. Did we want them to be our friends? Read on to find out!

Lake Malawi – “Friend of a Friend”

“Friend of a Friend” reviews

Luis: Fun, fresh, fantastic! “Friend of a friend” is a delightful pop song with not many pretentions. It’s got a great vibe: it’s happy-clappy and a bit cheeky, and makes you smile no matter what. Lake Malawi are ultra-likeable, and yes, they may not rock the scoreboard, nor get a top 10, but this entry should easily become the third one to make it to the final for the Czech Republic.

Score: 7.5/10

Bernardo: “Friend of a Friend” is crafted to be radio-friendly and Spotify-friendly and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that and the vocalist’s almost goofy camera presence are the strong parts in an overall forgetful three minutes. However, even if forgetful, it will be three minutes you’ll enjoy. I can see staging elevating this, but as it stands, it’s a lukewarm effort.

Score: 5.5/10

Anthony: Just like Cyprus this year, the Czech Republic have pretty much stuck to the same formula that brought them Eurovision success in Lisbon. With its infectiously catchy refrain, Lake Malawi’s challenge is to channel their youthful energy from the music video onto the staging in Tel Aviv. And it’s a promising start if they got Jamala dancing along to their live performance in Vidbir.

Score: 7.5/10

Lukas: After a huge success last year, Czechia is once again bringing the quality this year with Lake Malawi. From the first listen the song got stuck in my head and never left since I still find myself singing it every single day. It’s fun, catchy and very cute which going to make this entry stand out a lot. We all know that they can deliver live a great performance, so get ready to party in Tel Aviv.

Score: 8/10

Oliver: This is definitely one of the sweetest entries at the contest this year. During the online selection, I didn’t rate this highly but seeing Lake Malawi’s performance at Vidbir and considering their competition in the first semi-final, the group has a chance to stand out among the crowd. However, after a while the song becomes a little bit flat and repetitive and doesn’t really have a focal point in the song like many others this year.  Perhaps though, that could be a factor which ultimately plays to their advantage — who knows?

Score: 5/10

Sebastian: “Friend of a Friend” sits somewhat uncomfortably on my rating list. Giving credit where credit is due – it is incredibly catchy, with a hook that is an instant earworm. But the mix of faux-British accent, with soft-electronic sounds is almost a hark back to ’80s or ’90s Eurovision. The boys of Lake Malawi are no doubt talented, but I see the trio being more suited to a performing in a craft kombucha brewery, rather than the Eurovision stage.

Score: 7/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 29 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 9/10

Antony: 5.5/10

Antranig: 6.5/10

Barnabas: 5.5/10

Calvin: 5.5/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Deban: 8/10

Essi: 8.5/10

Florian: 5.5/10

Izhar: 6.5/10

Jack: 8/10

Jonathan: 7.5/10

Josh: 7/10

Julian: 4.5/10

Kristin: 8/10

Lucy: 8/10

Mikhail: 7.5/10

Pablo: 6/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Robyn: 7.5/10

Ron: 8/10

Tobias: 4/10

William: 7/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.85/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2019 reviews and rankings

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Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Considering how many songs this year and penned by songwriters with no connection to the artist, I really appreciate a proper band making their own music with their own identity. It’s these sort of entries that stop Eurovision becoming like an X Factor-style show. A lot of non-Eurovision fans that I’ve played the entries for have said that this is their favourite song this year. I think it deserves to do well and should do well.

ESC LOU
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ESC LOU

I can see this qualifying and I think the Czech team can do something really cool with the staging! The song is good it’s like mid table, and they’re great live too nothing negative really… 7/10

Una
Guest
Una

You said almost everything I think about this song. The chorus is all I remember from this song and it was stuck in my head yesterday.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Catchy, fresh and fun. 7/10

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

The Czech NF was a bit dull this year, but “Friend of a Friend” was one of the standouts. Altenative, energetic and feel good song, at first I found the instrumental beat a bit annoying, but I still appreciate it and the revamp worked too. It is not a winner, I wouldn’t say it is a sure qualifier either. However, it has a special likeability as well as Lake Malawi seem to be lovely. “Friend of a Friend” works live and the lead singer oozes charisma, so with the right staging (they did it last year) I hope to see… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I still think the song is too unpretentious even for an unpretentious entry. It sounds like an ingenuous first EP track that a band will revisit only later in their carreer, on a tour focused on B-sides. But the whole package may be less harmless than it seems, because the guys are so likeable, Albert has already proved that he’s an engaging frontman and the contrast with all the dark/dramatic/ambitious entries may end up being helpful. I hope Czechia take a page from Moldova’s staging playbook to make it a joyful experience. 6/10

Kris
Guest
Kris

I didn’t follow the Czech selection . But this song is not my favorite really . The chorus is a bit of annoying to me . The Beat is nice and the boys seem to be having fun . I don’t like speaking parts in the midst of a song even if it’s with a cool British accent. A 5.5/10. The running order is good with it surrounded by non-english songs. A point added. The televote support for Czech Republic isn’t great and the fans are not really as much behind this as they were last year. Jury should like… Read more »

Ivar
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Ivar

A light-hearted entry with one big advantage: A proven good live performance. I suspect this will get a better result than many expect.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

Aye. The Czechs stuck with the same playbook that got them a top-10 finish last year, and the music here is so much better than all but a very few other up-tempo tunes in this contest. I expect another finish in the top-half of the board, and maybe another top-10 finish.

Una
Guest
Una

I respectfully disagree. There was an international jury and a televote compared to last years when the broadcaster made an internal selection. And we got to see a bit more from the Czech music scene and that is something that I am very happy about.
But I agree that attractive Czech male artists with up-tempo song do well for Czechia. I expect 100% qualification and probably a 10 top place as well.

Tibor
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Tibor

This is really charming and my feelgood tune for this year. It’s very simplistic and has this 70s disco vibe that I’m quite fond of. Albert Cerny comes across as very sweet and likeable and we could see and hear at Vidbir and elsewhere, that he can perform live. The revamp was a good idea, it’s better to limit the talking to one instance. His British accent apparently comes across as fake to real British people, for me as a non-native English speaker he sounds fine, I can understand everything he says (not always a given) and I don’t perceive… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

The accent also never bothered me. To be honest, I haven’t even paid attention to it before reading complaints. I have a friend (I’m only a friend) that’s an English teacher and lived in the UK for a while and she sounds similar when she speaks the language. If he had got back to his country speaking his mother language with a British accent, then I would perceive it as a problem. 😀

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

True, people who spend a year abroad and are then not capable of speaking their mother tongue without an accent anymore are the epitome of phoniness…

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

Love this, so catchy. The guy in white t shirt looks a bit like Mikolas from last year. I’m English and find his accent endearing. Sounds like he is from South London. (they spent a lot of time traveling in UK and ouch surfing with mates there) It doesn’t sound fake to me. I think this will do better than many think. reminds me of Howard Jones hit * Like to get to know you well* reminds me of some Madness tracks too.

Darren
Guest
Darren

At first I was finding it hard to get over the fake English accent.
But I have. The song has grown on me and in fact I think it’s the best entry from Czech Republic so far. I wasn’t a big fan of Mikolas last year.
Glad to see Czech Republic making an effort these days and I’m sure this will qualify too. Well done guys. 5.5/10

Nna
Guest
Nna

Oh I just love their live performances! They climbed after that from my 35th place to respectable 34th place.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Hahahaha

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

How do you say overrated in Czech ? This is easily bottom 5 this year.

“It makes you smile no matter what” : No it won’t if this qualify and not Portugal for example.

Gogo
Guest
Gogo

P?ece?ovaný / p?ecen?ný. But it’s not, it’s great song, not cheap song like many others. This is quality Eurovision needs. But it’s not in my Top 10 nevertheless.

Yaya
Guest
Yaya

Gosh, it can’t show Slavic letters. So it is (without their marks) precenovany / preceneny.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Then it’s really similar as in Croatian (precijenjeni is a plural, precijenjen is a male form and precijenjena a female form).

MrGman
Guest
MrGman

In Polish – przeceniony (male), przeceniona (female), przecenieni (plural).

Colin
Guest
Colin

CZECH REPUBLIC – At first, I thought this song balanced between being endearing and annoying. However, with each new listening I am more and more on the endearing side. It’s a bit retro, but with some modern elements. Albert is a true showman, skillfully showing his ”mischievous” persona on stage, while remaining likable. I think people of many generations will respond to it. It’s unpretentious and happy, but also pushes some buttons just enough to be a bit provocative. Is he cheating on his girlfriend or not? I don’t know, the song is deliberately keeping in ambiguous. I think this… Read more »

FR fan
Guest
FR fan

So happy that you guys appreciate it, my personam number 1 along with Slovenia this year 😀 it sounds like a mix between Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat, with a delicate addition of contemporary arrangments, and their stage presence is great!! I’m sure they can challenge the top 15 or left side of the scoreboard, those guys will surprise everybody this year 😀 GO CZECHIA!!!!!!

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I find this one incredibly annoying because of the repetition and those fake accents, and I thought the Vidbir performance was quite bad with shaky vocals. It’s not my least favourite but I would be really sad if this manages to qualify just because it’s in SF 1. What a downgrade from last year and 2016. 4/10

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This one is difficult to rate, because it has had so many mixed reviews so far. Some of you at the pre-parties have mentioned how this band is “really good” live, but all my problems at the moment stem from the fact that all of their live performances have lowered the key of the song. For me, the cheekiness and youthfulness of the song collapses once the key is lowered. The other issues are in the song’s execution itself. I actually do like the British accent and the naughty lyrics, except that choreographically the lead singer doesn’t do anything with… Read more »

Foxx
Guest
Foxx

Well, bad news for you – the key will be lowered also during their Eurovision performance. That’s their live version “key”. They wanted to keep the studio version in its original key.

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

This is one of my favorites this year, I enjoyed it from the first listen and couldn’t understand why there are so many negative comments. Hope they’re going to do well!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

don’t get me wrong they’re nice guys and everything but between the falsetto and exaggerated accents i can’t listen to this without cringing hard

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Interesting. I feel the other way around. The lives so far have been in the wrong key – I like the recorded versions better. Mixed reviews indeed.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

it’s fine, i actually like it when the live isn’t technically perfect. that’s why my fave is katy perry i guess

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

To be fair, Katy has had a lot of practise over the years and is now pretty much perfect. 🙂

Rimig
Guest
Rimig

This song is cute, they are cute, it’s all… cute. But that’s all actually. I am afraid cuteness is not enough for me to elevate this song, as I find it rather flat and maybe even a bit boring. Also, the girl saying “I’m only a friend” breaks every charm this might have because it comes over as really childish. Idk, I don’t mind listening to it, but it’s not my cup of tea, so I have them as my number 28 with a score of 5.0/10. I do think they will qualify, nevertheless.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I’m only a friend.
(Couldn’t resist, sorry.) 😀

Rimig
Guest
Rimig

Hahahaha
But I am sure you don’t have her voice!

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

This song is most romantic in whole contest. You may not like it, but it’s romantic nonetheless.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yes, if she were real. I’m not convinced that she is real. 🙂

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

What do you want? A story of a grandmother deported by Stalin, telling the story of the love of her life? It’s a love story either you see it or not.

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

Who is Phil? Ralph Siegel? If he was successful with Dschinghis Khan, he can do something nice about Stalin too.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

All of the above. 🙂 But mostly I would just like to see the two people on the stage that the Czech Republic’s song is about. When there is a song about re-assuring a lover that another woman is “only a friend”, it is hard for me to grasp that “romantic” aspect without actually seeing it. Otherwise the whole story becomes a dirty fantasy, which is not romantic at all.

dinner is ready
Guest
dinner is ready

Purple Mask, you are so funny. How many love songs presented to you on the stage the real people from the story? You probably think Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal had a real love story.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s dinner time already? 😛
Yes I can be funny, sometimes.

Vrede
Guest
Vrede

I’m glad people are warming up to this song. It’s fun, catchy, modern and the singer is cute. What more could you wish for for a song that’ll end up around 15th place?

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

The shade of it all.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

15th on the SF and I’m OK.

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

All contrary, this song has content, more like other love songs. He talks about a girl he loved, but now she is just a friend of a friend. It’s very dramatic actually.

Pink Unicorn
Guest
Pink Unicorn

I’m sure that nobody that downvoted my comment is French.
French understand love.