Benny Cristo OMAGA Czech Republic Eurovision 2021

Benny Cristo will represent the Czech Republic at Eurovision 2021 with his song “Omaga”.

Benny was originally due to sing “Kemama” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, just like several other countries, the Czech Republic rested its national final for one year and internally selected Benny instead. Three songs were considered behind closed doors, with a panel of experts opting for “Omaga”.

And now, without any further chit-chat, here are 10 facts we’ve compiled about Benny Cristo. Let’s do this!

Czech Republic at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Benny Cristo

1. He got his big break on Idol

The Czech-Angolan star’s big break came with the very first season of SuperStar, the Czech and Slovak iteration of Idol, back in 2009. The series saw him share the stage with the future Slovak Eurovision 2012 singer Max Jason Mai. Benny finished seventh, kickstarting a fruitful music career in his native country.

2. He’s a martial arts prodigy

As part of the Jungle BJJ team, Benny managed to win a bronze from the Asian Jiu Jitsu Brazilian Championship in September 2016. Then, in October of the same year, he snatched a gold medal at the Madrid International Championship. All his medals were in the 88 kg white belt category. Going for the top is in his blood!

 

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A post shared by Ben Cristovao (@bennycristo)

3. He’s skilled at other sports too

Before he started singing, Benny was also an accomplished tennis player and snowboarder, competing professionally in the latter and placing first in the Czech Cup series 4×4 in 2006. It wasn’t until his SuperStar appearance that he realised that music was his true passion.

 

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A post shared by Ben Cristovao (@bennycristo)

4. He raps in English and Czech

Despite the nature of his preferred genre of rap and love for afrobeat tunes, the “Omaga” singer can showcase his talent in both English and his native Czech. He combines fire-hot urban beats with the Slavic language and ethnic arrangements as flawlessly as he does in English. In an interview with wiwibloggs, he tells us that he likes to explore different genres and styles, which fans will find out when listening to his back catalogue. However, he urges them to skip over his pre-2016 work, saying he was still finding himself at that point in time.

5. He’s a vegan

As a vegan and animal rights activist, Benny has been involved in multiple campaigns across the Czech Republic. He has worked with Obránci zvířat (OBRAZ) on a campaign that focused on the issue of caged hens. Benny’s involvement runs so deep, he even has his very own vegan panini inspired by him in the Czech and Slovak OMV gas station chains.

6. He has a large following

With close to 800,000 followers on Instagram and over 400,000 on Facebook, he is constantly referred to as one of the celebrities with the largest following in Czechia and Slovakia.  No wonder he managed to score the maximum 12 points from the public in the 2020 edition of Eurovision CZ!

7. He releases music in creative ways

When he debuted his 2017 album Poslední, he did not release it as a regular CD. Instead, fans downloaded the album via a QR code on a T-Shirt specially designed by Benny himself. And for a concert in the Prague Yellow Spa, recordings of several songs were released in video format for virtual reality glasses. Looking to the future!

8. A frequent collaborator

Benny has collaborated with several artists over his ten years in the music industry. These range from fellow SuperStar alums like Monika Bagárová, to music greats like Jiří Korn, and many others in between. There’s also Mária Čírová and The Glowsticks — the cowriters for “Kemama”. Filip Vlček produced “Omaga” and will also join Benny on stage in Rotterdam.

9. He won clip of the year

In 2013, “Bomby” netted Benny a Český slavík award in the category music video of the year. “Bomby” was part of the project of the civic initiative Nikagda nězabuděm. The campaign’s goal was to, which appealed to encourage higher voter turnout in the Czech elections of 2013. He worked together with other musicians, such as David Koller, Dan Bárta and Michael Kocáb.

10. He’s proud of his roots

Benny is Afro-European. His mother is Czech while his father is originally from Angola. African influences can often be found in his music, including “Kemama”. But while he’s proud of his roots, he doesn’t want to be labelled. “I was one of the very few people of colour that was growing up here”, he tells wiwibloggs. “In my school, I was the only child that was like that. I was always labelled my whole life”. He fights such prejudices by always striving to be the best, to prove that he can do things just as well as anyone else.

Can Benny maintain the Czechs’ strong string of results? Should he come back next year? Sound off in the comments below.

Read more Eurovision 2021 artist facts here.

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Una
Una
7 months ago

What a nice guy. Inspiring story. He deserves the best.

CHUPACABRA
CHUPACABRA
7 months ago

Benny Cristo’s Omaga is touching me. Hope he’ll deliver Live. Will call for Czechia.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago

Big fan of Benny. as both a person and an artist. What a talent he is. Musically, I think he deserves success on a global level. I hope ESC can be that launching pad for him because I think he’s going to do very well at the contest.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago

Benny seems great—kind, fun, creative. I don’t get much from Omaga though, sadly. I agree with Deban—all of the unique qualities from Kemama have been lost, far from being elevated. Maybe there’s time for another revamp?

I also don’t like the title. It makes me think of Trump’s MAGA—and the maga movement is one of the last things I want to think about.

MaRi
MaRi
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Am i the only one who likes Omaga more than Kemama? I mean, Kemama’s good, but Omaga is totally a top 5 material

Kpow
Kpow
7 months ago
Reply to  MaRi

It’s my number 1 this year. Kemama was only 3rd.

Florence Petit
Florence Petit
7 months ago

Love him and the song, can’t wait to see the live, cause i remember Kemama live, it was too good

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago

“Omaga” is a grower. I hope Benny qualifies to the final.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Interesting—it hasn’t grown on me at all, and I’ve given the song several chances!

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I think it’s one of those we need to drop our conceptions about what’s an Eurovision entry should be. While other songs require careful appreciation, this one got better to be when I started listening to it without trying to judge it. Does it make sense?

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

That makes sense, I understand what you mean — but I don’t have particular conceptions of what a Eurovision song should or shouldn’t be. I don’t think Omaga is bad, and in a way it’s more radio-friendly than most of this year’s entries. I just don’t find it has anything particularly memorable or interesting—it’s just there. In that way, I agree with you, when listening to it I find it easy and not unpleasant but when it’s over I’m not eager to replay and I’ll forget about it and move on. By contrast, Kemama had hooks, memorable lines, vibrant sounds,… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I agree that “Kemana” had more to offer musically and probably that’s why I was so disappointed with “Omaga” initially. But I can’t blame Benny for playing safer this time, since he brought a new sound to the contest last year and it was very badly received by a big part of the fandom. Though I still think he’s one of those who’s going to the contest with a track that could play anywhere in the world. I can see his song charting better than some fan favorites.

Trina
Trina
7 months ago

What an absolutely remarkable person.

Darren
Darren
7 months ago

Nice guy will do well I’m sure.
Loved Kemama last year

Sam
Sam
7 months ago

Very interesting, seems like a fantastic guy, and his music is really good, would like to see him do well this summer

filipko54
filipko54
7 months ago

Just to be clear, he competed on 1st season of Czechoslovak Idol, but there were 3 seasons of Czech and Slovak Idol seperarely before they started making Czechoslovak version
I just don’t want us to look like that we found out in 2009 that something like Idol exists 😀

John
John
7 months ago

Of all the contestants this year Benny and Destiny have the clearest path to int’l stardom.

raspadinha
raspadinha
7 months ago

Such a cutie! Love his song, it’s so underrated..!

Ende
Ende
7 months ago

He is hot and his song is great!

Film
Film
7 months ago

Love him so much and he cares about the animals. My favorite person and performer this year.

Eurovision2016>
Eurovision2016>
7 months ago

In my list this would qualify and finish around twentieth place but given the amount of overrated songs such as Sweden and Finland, i don’t know if this will qualify. Also, countries like Netherlands that shouldn’t really be in the final based on song is already guaranteed to rob a song.

Last edited 7 months ago by Eurovision2016>
Davidinho
Davidinho
7 months ago

how do overrated songs prevent underrated songs from qualification?

Eurovision2016>
Eurovision2016>
7 months ago
Reply to  Davidinho

Uhm because only ten songs from each semi qualify and if some songs undeservedly qualify then some songs will get robbed.

Dawid
Dawid
7 months ago

He seems to be really likeable person. And he do care about his song and ESC fans. It’s sad to see that majority assume he won’t even qualify

raspadinha
raspadinha
7 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

I’ll definitely vote for him. 😉

12345
12345
7 months ago

11. He is hot

Last edited 7 months ago by 12345