Yesterday, Czech Republic Eurovision singer Benny Cristo released the revamped version of “Kemama”, the song he will take to Rotterdam in May. But the song faced mixed reactions from fans, with some finding the new guitar sound to be distracting. Now Benny has addressed the feedback and says he is reassessing the revamped version.

Benny uploaded a video to Instagram, where he talked about the reactions to “Kemama”, shared his thoughts on the situation and discussed the possibilities for the song.

Benny has nothing but praise for the team he worked with on the revamped version of “Kemama”. He revealed that having won the Czech national final, people urged him to revamp the song. Benny explained that being new to the Eurovision experience, he took this advice.

In the video caption, he explained that his task now is “to find out if a mistake was actually made or if the outrage comes from a tough adaptation to make for an ear already used to the old version.” Benny has sent the song to some music experts to get their opinion on the matter.

Can “Kemama” be changed?

If it’s decided that changes to be made, the next issue is if any changes can actually be made. The song submission deadline has already passed, but as we saw in 2016, when Serhat switched to the disco remix of “I Didn’t Know”, sometimes a deadline extension can be arranged.

Benny also talked about the strange situation he found himself in. His song was out on one of the biggest music platforms in the world but, he notes, “I didn’t even have an international audience and now half of them are angry.”

But whatever, version of “Kemama” Benny ends up taking to Rotterdam, he seems to be keeping a good attitude, facing the challenges and making the most of the opportunities coming his way as the Czech Republic’s Eurovision 2020 artist.

What version of “Kemama” should Benny Cristo perform at Eurovision?

What do you think? Which version of “Kemama” should Benny take to Rotterdam? Should he stick with the original version that won the national final or should he bring the new sound of the revamped version? Or should he create a new version? If so, explain your ideas in the comments section below.

Read more Czech Republic Eurovision 2020 news here

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Rayray Chaikalis
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Rayray Chaikalis

Another song damaged by the revamp. This was my top 10 along with Albania. They both moved down very quick.

The Roop is On Fire
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The Roop is On Fire

Don’t make the same mistake as Jerry Heil…

Timi
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Timi

It sounded really good in the original version. I think the revamp it was not necessary.

Eurofangr
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Eurofangr

Kemama with the national final version was in my top 5. Rn, it’s in my bottom 5 🙁

dxi
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dxi

Different version: keep the changes to the last chorus, ditch all the other changes.

Koen
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Koen

From my point of view, this poses indeed a very interesting question. Just like the other question: how do you interpret the live singing rule? With precedents like Jowst (Norway) and Netta (Israel)… So the same goes for the question: In what way can a song be changed during the last months leading up to Eurovision? I was, for example, surprised at the way Israel (Kobi Marimi – Home) changed their song last year between the track released on the official Eurovision album and the track used for the main stage. It sounded a lot different to me. Regardless of… Read more »

Jo.
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Jo.

Stop listening to Eurofans!!!

Anita Mann
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Anita Mann

:O No, please don’t listen to us… send that disasterous revamp and come last in the semi! Please, do. Jo knows it all!

Tom
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Tom

San Marino’s trash will be last or estonia

Anita
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Anita

@bennychristo listen to your song: “They say I lost my way. I know where I go, don’t care what they say. I never care what they say.”
The version you love most is the right one 🙂 I love both versions – your voice and performance will give them the flavour. And my opinion doesn’t matter. We are an opinion obsessed society…

OhhHoney
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OhhHoney

He knew exactly what it sounded like before the release of the revamp. He’s just trying to backtrack and pass the blame so he has an excuse to re revamp it again because no one liked the new version.
He made his bed, now he has to lie in it.

Joseph Mendy
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Joseph Mendy

WILL YOU KEEP QUIET

Gorilla716
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Gorilla716

Is it possible for him to switch back to the original version?

Dawid
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Dawid

Original was good. People were complaining because they didn’t like genre, not because song was bad.

Andrei
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Andrei

Revamp = Give new and IMPROVED form, structure or appearance to…

Here it’s not the case, the new version is simply a wrek.

Kat
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Kat

I do like the revamp – I think the guitar adds flair to the song! But the problem, like many have noted, is really just the mixing. The guitar is WAY too loud and seems to overwhelm the rest of the song!

oliviacolman
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oliviacolman

people voted for the original song. he must respect his own vision, his first vision, and not second guessing because some folks had advised him to do a revamped version. he should listen to his instincts and the people who voted for his song.

Joe
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Joe

I wish there was a happy medium. Keep it like the first version up until the bridge, then switch to the new version.

Robert
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Robert

I really like his song.. We can all live with his revamp, let’s not make it a disaster.. Still think his cool vibes and performance will captivate the audience..

Joko
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Joko

Benny is such a nice guy for explaining the whole thing and it shows what kind of person he is.
I like the revamp but I do agree with a lot of people that the guitar is way to loud in the mix.
Personally I think they need to do more with the trumpets to bring out the party vibe more

juniper
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juniper

in my opinion the guitar is a good idea but wasnt really executed well? there are a lot of moments where it sounds sort of out of place as if it belongs to a different song, bits like 0:58 – 1:20 and 2:36 – 3:03. i hope in the end he makes any changes he feels are necessary, its still a great song and i wish him luck!

Elca
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Elca

I actually really love the revamp! This will soar live!!! Feels more authentic!!!

Chessguy99
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Keep the ad libs at the end and ditch the guitar, or significantly tone it down.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I feel sorry for Benny, part of the fandom has been harsh to him and his song since the national final. Don’t know if only because their favorites lost (note: my favorites lost) or because they aren’t used to this kind of sound (let’s face it, the wish for expanding horizons is not something strong on our bubble). I don’t think EBU would mind if he asked to take the original version to Rotterdam or remix the new one. I agree with West’s comment: I would keep the changes, but with the guitar coming only from the 2nd verse on.

evvvity
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evvvity

I somewhat prefer the national final version, but I like the new one too and can’t wait to see him perform it live. Also to quote him back at him “they can?say?what they want,?you should let it go”

Joey
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Joey

Yes, I also wanted a revamp. But the thing is… The song was already good, so there was nothing to fix really… The only thing I wished for was a key change and a proper beat to make it less monotonous and karaoke-like. And yes, the guitar part was too overwhelming, but they could’ve also done something with the second chorus to give the song something fresh like a dance break, because it’s not bad and they can create a vibe with it… I see what they were going for, but it just doesn’t work… I really hope they can… Read more »

Melanie Trump
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Melanie Trump

original was my 4th and the revamp flew put of my rankings

xohxoh
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xohxoh

I kinda feel bad that he’s doubting his vision now that the people don’t like it.

Giorgio
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Giorgio

He was in my top10 prior to the revamp.

Not anymore.

I wouldn’t mind it if he reverted to the original version!

GuyGuy
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GuyGuy

100% agree with you!

Jai
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Jai

I liked the original a lot more. The guitar needs to go

Erik
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Erik

Revamped version is so much better in my opinion. I’m not sure if people that speak about removing the guitar has heard that kind of steel guitar sound that is nothing new in Africa. The blend of Europe and Africa makes the song stronger.

And maybe Europe is not ready for this sound. But the song gets its own ID and goes in another direction than the Eurocentric one.

A very brave change. I love it!

Will Cheng
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Will Cheng

Well said, Erik!

Myles
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Myles

This just goes to show that Eurovision artists do look at what we say about them and we should be more kind and mature. You can say you dislike a song without being insulting or derogatory to the artists. Some people on here are what’s wrong with the internet.

Joe
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Joe

Everyone is so confident and haughty until we realize that artists are people too, no matter where they’re from or what status they have. Compassion is key.

Tajikistan
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Tajikistan

Just turn down the guitars and turn up the vocals, drums and synth, that’s all that’s needed

Hazzza
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Hazzza

Ugh the song sucks no matter what

Giorgio
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Giorgio

…in your opinion

Anita Mann
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Anita Mann

Reading the new comments just made me realise again that Eurovision fans are fickle!

Will Cheng
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Will Cheng

I like the stronger African vibes added to the song by the guitar part. It has made the song really special, especially in Eurovision, which is very much a platform for Euro-centric music. I think the “backlash” is down to Euro fans not used to this style of music. In the last couple of years, when only Feugo-style music gets rave reviews, I am not surprised at all the revamp of Kemama into a less Euro-mainstream sound does not get down well. Anyhow, this song now has my support.

Erik
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Erik

This is so true. If you are used to the East African sounds, you don’t think the use of steel guitar is crazy.
I think the revamp packages the song much better.
Maybe it becomes less mainstream European.

I’m just wondering about those people who complain about generic…

I love the revamped song. The original version was noticeable, but it never really gave me a clear impression like the revamped one does. It really takes me out of Europe

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

the only thing he needs to do is remove the guitar from the instrumental, it’s just out of place, i think they’ll allow such a minor change

Paul
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Paul

Bless him – he seems like a really nice man!

The Roop is On Fire
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The Roop is On Fire

Poor Benny. I’ll support you nonetheless.

Una
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Una

Ben and the Czech delegation: I would suggest you consider what version would sound best and lend itself for an awesome live performance. Let us not forget that the stage show is a huge part of the contest. Try to think of how all elements would come together – instrumentation, vocals, choreography, staging, colour palette, lights. That’s what I can think of now. This song is very good and it’s very novel for Eurovision. And I stand by it. GOOD LUCK BEN AND CZECHIA!!!!

xohxoh
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xohxoh

Either you want to be authentic and create art or win a contest. I’d rather him just stand by his decision, his art and change nothing.

Hello hi
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Hello hi

So refreshing that he has listened .. he even was answering on YouTube … fantastic attitude

Nicolas
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Nicolas

Too easy to change back after the public feedbacks. Do these people can be called music professionals if they can not judge by themselves that the original version was better or does not need any change in the first place ? Same happened sadly with Ukraine too.

Mia
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Mia

On the contrary, I think he is professional and team player who responds to fan feedback, that’s certainly more positive thing than arrogant attitude I-know-the-best. You have to be wise to differentiate constructive criticism from people who love you, and on the other hand blind adoration or hate. I wish him the best!

Una
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Una

Other artists and delegations made changes to their entries after releasing the original versions. A revamp can work or not. That shouldn’t take away from the work Ben and the teams behind the entry have made. And that they want to do good in Rottedam. I think this is a good and constructive attitude. But the fact that he and his team had to take such criticism saddens me. He actually got to respond to all this. I salute that.

Mia
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Mia

Tbh I think large amount of comments where made by people who don’t like the entry anyway, so this was good opportunity to trash it even more.

I_Stan(d)
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I_Stan(d)

I’m fond of both versions, but for me a bit of best of both worlds is needed. I actually grew to respect the guitar but it’s definitely something which could be added to build on the song by the second verse. Regardless, I hope the Czech team knows what to do. What’s with Czech entries and being so damn positive? Side rant, I get some people on Youtube (I’m talking about the comment section of the video) mostly mean well with saying the original should be back, but I can’t help but think it would then mean all the weeks… Read more »

Tom Ripley
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Tom Ripley

Next time listen to yourself not the others.

Magpie
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Magpie

Needed a more ethnic vibe.

Mia
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Mia

I don’t know if rewamp was his idea or someone else, but first version was perfect as it is.
Just listen what your heart tells you and that is the best solution. Good luck!

John
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John

The remake made the problem in the national final even worse. That is his vocals are even more drowned out by the instrumentation. He needs to go the other way and make the very meaningful lyrics of this song front and centerm while maintaining the Afrobeat vibes underneath. There was no need for new instruments.

West
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West

Well, I really love the ending of the revamp version – starting with the bridge when it’s just him and the drums, so I really hope that’ll stay. As for the guitar – it’s just too loud and the voice is too quiet, especially in the first part of the song. I think the best solution would be to have first part of the song from the original version and then build up to the revamp. Like the guitar joining in the second verse instead of being there from the start. But that’s just my opinion. I wish him the… Read more »

I_Stan(d)
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I_Stan(d)

I totally agree with you

Tibor
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Tibor

Oh no, he shouldn’t beat himself up like this. He has a great track and perhaps listened to too many people who didn’t actually care that much for the song to begin with. I say, he should take the version to Rotterdam that he sees fit. I cannot tell, if I will grow to like the revamp or any other remix. All I can tell is, I loved the song from the start an thought it was how it’s supposed to be, I never really got any of the criticism and attributed a big part of it to the fact… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

The way fans react when their favorite loses in a national selection makes me want to put my head through a wall. I was fortunate enough to have eight of my personal favorites make it through them, but I didn’t pitch a fit or question the legitimacy of a win when it didn’t go my way (ok, I was very disappointed with Estonia, but I don’t blame that on Uku). Fans who can only relentlessly rag on the winners drive me nuts.

Tibor
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Tibor

Preaching to the choir. I’ll never understand that, either.

Whisker
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Whisker

i don’t enjoy the revamp, sorry. I love the original tho.

Esc1234
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Esc1234

The thing is that the revamp changed parts that were ok and left the gaps in the song which causes a mess. The only thing he had to do was to add a climax cause the song was totally flat. Now the guitar makes it a mess.

Safiya
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Safiya

I really enjoy the original, it’s one of my favorites and I don’t think it really needed a revamp. I find it really hard to focus when I listen to the new version and the new sounds are really distracting. But I’ve listened to the original so many times that I just got used to it. The new sounds kind of change the vibe of the song for me – the original one is more relaxed and modern and I think it’s better. I would stick to the original. You can’t please everyone. Btw, that’s why I don’t like revamps.… Read more »