Plans for the first Czech national final to take the country to a Eurovision Song Contest debut in Helsinki are well underway, according to Czech national broadcaster Če�ke Televizije.
Radim Smetana, Head of Music and Dance at CT in Prague, confirmed that the station is in the early stages of preparing a national selection contest presenting "about ten competitors", after which the home audience will vote for their favourite via mobile phone and email. The programme is currently scheduled to take place during a prime time slot on a Saturday evening at the beginning of March 2007.
The Czech Republic would be joining recent Eurovision Song Contest debutantes Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Serbia and Montenegro amongst others, in what could be the biggest song contest yet. Some time ago there were hints that the Caucasian republic Georgia could be amongst the line-up in Helsinki, and with possible the return of Austria, and a potential double whammy in the form of Serbia and an independent Montenegro, the amount of participants could be approaching critical mass.
The Czechs may look to their near neighbours in Slovakia for some song contest advice close to home, although Slovakian representatives never managed to fare well at Eurovision, ending their participation in 1998 with the ill-fated Modlitba, which ended the contest with a single set of 8 points awarded from Croatia. Viewers will have a chance to better the score for the home country at the planned Czech national final of 2007.