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Thread: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

  1. Administrator escYOUnited's Avatar
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    #1

    CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand





    Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand



    Meet & Greet:



    Czech Republic will stay in 2016

    Gabriela Gunčkov was born in Kroměř, Czech Republic on 27 June 1993, making her the first Czech representative born under the modern day Czech Republic. She found fame as the runner-up of the second series of SuperStar and won the "New Artist" award at the 2011 Česk slavk awards. She joined the popular American ensemble Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a vocalist for a short stint in 2014.
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  2. Super Moderator
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    #861

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    ^^ Totally agree. However I think the singer was amazing but the song was extremely boring.

    But either way, Czech Republic had a better song last year and that one deserved the final much more than this one.
    "Budućnost pripada onima koji se najdalje i najdue sećaju prolosti"



  3. #862

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    I think, the performance was bad... no movings, nothing special. Actually, I prefer studio version. That's because Czech has received only 0 points from the televote. As we can see, juries voted for Gabriela because she was very weak and no strong contestant. But I'm happy that the songs has reached Grand Final. It worth.
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  4. Mentor
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    #863

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    A ballad like this could have only be sung this way. Expecting a choreography of some sort by the performer given the energy that she had to allocate to her vocal input couldn't be expected. Perhaps a choreography by two backing dancers or something alike would have made the performance more lively on stage. Other than that I don't see why people should be picking a bone with this entry at this point. Yes, the song can get boring if you listen to it over and over again but one should never forget that ESC is all about a one-timer, only a single night really counts and the writers have this in mind when writing their songs. Also let's not forget that her hopes were dismissed pre-final by having been placed 2nd performing that night, a position that many say is "the dead spot" and would rather avoid.

    If I compare this one ballad to another more successful recent ESC ballad, Sanna Nielsen's "Undo", the difference isn't all that significant. Certainly Sanna put a lot more emotion into her act but that was only because the lyrics literally cried for that. In the case of Gabriela it was a ballad where she had to display strenght and that was what she delivered perfectly. I see no flaws at all, only people who came to dislike the song and can't word it in a better way

  5. Legend
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    #864

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    @Edward true tea. The song is called "I Stand", it couldn't have been better illustrated than it was: her standing on stage alone and singing. Doing a Greta Salom 2016 or adding backing dancers would have been completely off-topic. I don't understand the criticisms about the backdrops... Didn't you all notice the Czech team improved a lot in the visual department compared with last year? There was a lot more going on and the stage didn't look empty imo, it was elegant and appealing without being "we've seen that before".

    If people don't like the song or think it's boring, that's perfectly fine because it's a slow ballad with no overdramatic twist, so there's nothing one can do if one doesn't "get" into the mood of it. It's true that viewers usually don't root for quiet songs (Belarus 2010, Lithuania 2011, Azerbaijan 2014, Cyprus and Hungary 2015) but this one had more potential to fare reasonably well tbh, realistically not the top placings but a middle one (still on the right-hand side of the scoreboard) could have been achieved.

    And don't even get me started on the 2nd slot...

    The main difference with Undo is that Sanna was more "drama drama", she was as coherent with her song as Gabriela was with I Stand (vocally and stage-wise), which required a more "contained" performance. Had it been sent by Sweden, it wouldn't have got a big fat zero in televoting, same ol' story.
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    Tuoremveis

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    #865

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    I too think this was the most fitting performance . Any dancing, even moving, would be distracting and they wouldn't fit the song...

    God I'm still heartbroken about that and 25th place. I still sing Along to this when I'm alone
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  7. Mentor
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    #866

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    in my opinion undo is not comparable to i stand, because the staging of i stand was really committed to the atmosphere and concept of the song, which made it very different from your typical eurovision ballad (and also a lot better) but also not very accessible. even if a country with more alliances had sent it i don't think it would have done much better, and if the staging was too busy i think it would have turned people off (can we call this The Greta Salome Effect now?). either way i'm glad she made the final because it was just so good.

    undo, on the other hand, was really just a discount version of miley cyrus's wrecking ball and would still have gotten third place if it was a tacky russian/azerbaijani circus with multiple gimmicks on stage, because it just sounded trendy and chart-ready for 2014 and it would always have the televote. plus sanna played her part well, so they really convinced people and the juries that she killed the vocals, when she was clearly carried by her hidden backing vocals towards the end. (is it too obvious that i despise undo? yes? good.)
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  8. Legend
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    #867

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    Time for me to review this year's Czech entry

    Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    Status: wonderful! Love it!

    Song: After five years of non-participation and past epic failures, I was glad to see Czechs come back to the contest last year and really try to get good results. I am one of those who think Vaclav and Marta were robbed, their non-qualification saddened me because "Hope Never Dies" was a great effort imo (thank you Vaclav for the song!) and the performance was strong (they were my second favourite act of 2015), only the staging and camera work were kind of a let down to me (I mean it wasn't bad per se, but it could have been presented more efficiently). Anyway, even though they placed 13th in the semi (aka their best result ever at the time), I hoped it would not discourage them from sending songs with soul, as selling out is such an easy decision to make when one is underrated. For 2016, I was already expecting them to do a Slovakia 2012: resort to foreign composers, choose an acceptable (but not thrilling) singer and send a bland Americanized song to increase their chances of qualifying. Well, they indeed opted for foreign composers (which I think is always disappointing when the country isn't a microstate), but they ended up sending a great effort. Vaclav and the experts appointed for the selection got it right imo. "I Stand" is a slow ballad about someone who went through lots of difficult times in life but - instead of giving up on everything - still finds the strength to move forward and resist due to someone else providing her/him with support regardless of the circumstances. For the second year in a row, I find the lyrics of the Czech entry well written and meaningful: it's sober, not over of the top or weird, and the angle of the message is definitely refreshing and different from the usual topics addressed in the contest. I have to say that the song title made me fear about anonymous lyrics void of meaning, I was wrong. Musically, the 3-note piano intro already sets the tone: the atmosphere is mysterious and slightly dark. Then Gabriela starts singing, some cinematic-sounding strings are surreptitiously added to the piano part - acting like a endless echo - and some discreet drum sounds sprinkle this minimalistic and atmospheric development. Gabriela's quite ethereal and theatrical way of singing is like the icing on the cake, her low register is so rich imo. The chorus starts off with the vocalized "I" of "I Stand", which at first listen reminded me of the "Un" part of "Undo"'s chorus: don't get me wrong, these songs have nothing in common but a stylized syllable used during the chorus as a sort of melodic hook, helping listeners remember them more easily I guess. There, we have a clear beat, omnipresent strings, some piano notes fading in the background, backing voices supporting the main melodic lines, cymbals and what seems like distinctive drum sounds that we generally find in jazz music (if I'm not mistaken, it sounds like jazz brushes). The transition used is the piano loop of the beginning, while another clear beat and bells appear during the second verse, the melody played by strings is also more pronounced. The vocal changes during the "I am thanking you" part develop the build-up even more, opening more "space" with the reverb. The strings take the lead at the end of the verse (one may hear a short but spirited musical phrase) and during the second chorus with a higher chord progression. A drum then leads to the short bridge that includes staccato string notes. Gabriela's vocalized "I" comes back with a stripped down piano/high strings sequence followed by a silence (I love that part) in anticipation of the high note (Staaaand!) that marks the resumption of the arrangements of the second chorus (minus a new vocal ascendant melody on the last "I Stand"). Finally, a last stylized "I" resounds, followed by a single drum sound, a short silence, and "Stand" echoing with the piano loop of the beginning. Apart from the melody itself - that I find subtle, yet powerful - the arrangements are ironically what intrigued me the most tbh: they create an atmosphere and support the main melodic lines (sung by Gabriela) without overriding them. They are present, but they aren't totally defined either: I hear them overall, but I don't listen to them, if that makes sense. What I'm trying to say is that this song doesn't rely purely on music but on the overall atmosphere (unlike other entries), the arrangements are discreet, yet they are essential. I guess I have a case of synesthesia here, because each time I listen to the song, I see extensive sheets of massive ice on a cloudy and windy day, like a landscape in the Arctic... and this is probably due to the cinematic-sounding elements and main silences, stops, reverbs and notes sprinkled parsimoniously throughout the song. I can sense that the song opens onto wide open spaces, the atmosphere set allows the listener to "breath" and feel the fullness of the music: there is a lot of "air", I admire composers who succeed in transposing that feeling through sounds.

    Voice: I feel like Gabriela's voice is slightly raspy, which adds character to a song whose magic could have been completely ruined had it been sung by a banal voice. I don't know why Czechs had rock singers sing ballads in the last two years but I don't complain! Rock singers tend to have interesting and powerful voices, and so far, I guess the mix worked really well! Gabriela gave a great performance in the semi, but the backing vocalists were too loud during the chorus imo, which kind of drowned her voice. However, the final performance was simply perfect, she was ON POINT! Period. She was alone on stage but totally managed to fill it, unlike some of her colleagues.

    Staging: Again, some people were disappointed by the "boring" staging the song had... Excuse me, but haven't you noticed how much Czechs have improved in the visual department? Last year's presentation was nice but somehow empty, this year it was creative, dynamic and so classy... I don't understand the criticisms in this regard tbh. The visuals were actually an extension of the beautiful music video they made for the song. The performance started with a fully black stage, the pool of lights were lit in purple and a stylized blue/purple "G" (G for Gabriela?) was on the central backdrop. Gabriela was standing at the center of the stage with a white spotlight pointed at her head: that camera shot was stunning imo. As Gabi took a few steps forwards, the "G" letter progressively disintegrated, turning into a pink-ish oval form that gradually went towards Gabi's dress, which at the time was lit by a purple light. When the chorus started off, the oval - placed under Gabi - expanded in black triangles on the floor, which turned pink/purple/red by means of several colour waves with various shades. The backdrops also displayed black triangles with pink sides tinted successively with blue and pink waves. That way, there was always some motion going on on stage: the colours and geometrical shapes were constantly changing, which matched the "flourishing" music imo. Besides, some lateral white lights were used for the second chorus. During the resumption of the last chorus, the backdrops covered in purple triangles of different shades displayed a shower a flowers with warm colours (yellow, red, purple, lilac), the lower end of Gabi's dress was once again bathed in purple light towards the end. Gabi wore a sleeveless two-piece-looking long white dress with high collar and sharp flounces on the waist part, and a HUGE necklace which seemed to be made of rope (?) and raw semi-precious stones. It was said to be inspired by traditional Czech outfits: personally, I liked it very much, it was classy and fit the sobriety of the song. With her bun, Gabi really looked like some ancient goddess statue then she let her hair down because she knew she slayed Overall, I can't find anything bad to say about the presentation: it was mastered, not static at all and interesting to watch, the colour scheme (mainly purple/pink with some red/blue) was refreshing and playing with geometrical shapes was an original choice. I totally second their decision to reuse the elements of the music video, it helped standing out imo.

    Outcome: Czech Republic qualified for the first time ever, but placed 25th out of 26 in the grand final. First of all, let me say yay (yay yay!) and congrats for that qualification, you've finally done it and avenged last year's injustice. Tbh I wasn't sure about your chances due to your performance being right after Russia, thankfully juries supported you this time. BUT how mad I was when I discovered you were to perform 2nd in the final This is definitely too early for such a slow song imo, you basically got two early/bad starting positions (while some have had two great ones: guess who I'm looking at ) and it ended quite badly with that ridiculous second-to-last place. First, I don't get why juries didn't vote for you anymore in the final while they went crazy for Israel and Australia that - sorry to say that - had completely formulaic compositions to me. Second, zero points from televoting... ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Biggest disgrace of the televoting part, I'm offended by that "non-score", shame on you people! In my personal ranking, "I Stand" is currently 5th out of 42, but I consider upgrading it to 4th place because it is a grower, each listen makes it more powerful to me. You deserved more than this poor position with such a refined atmospheric ballad. Please guys, don't sell out keep high musical demands! I wouldn't mind another ballad next year (if it as great as your recent efforts), but I'll encourage you to try new things if you feel like it, maybe a melodious rock ballad since you have amazing rock singers I still wish Vaclav would return alone and perform such a song (in Czech of course ). Anyway, I wish you good luck for next year and look forward to your future entry, may your determination persuade Slovakia to return

  9. Guru
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    #868

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    Excellent and flawless ballad.
    12 points - deserved to end up being Top 10.
    #letKAZAKHSTANdebutfinally

  10. Veteran
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    #869

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    robbed queen, that's all i've got to say. x
    underrate /ʌndəˈreɪt/ : underestimate the extent, value, or importance of someone.

  11. Mentor
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    #870

    Re: CZECH REPUBLIC 2016 - Gabriela Gunčkov - I Stand

    I am glad they got through, but it was mediocre and boring at best. Would love to see her again with a much better song.
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