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May 23, 2022



Czech popular music awards show returns, Romani singer Monika Bagárová schools racist rapper on live television

22.11.2021 6:29
Romani singer Monika Bagárová on 19 November 2021 during the popular music awards ceremony Český slavík 21 [Czech Nightingale 21]. (PHOTO: TV Nova)
Romani singer Monika Bagárová on 19 November 2021 during the popular music awards ceremony Český slavík 21 [Czech Nightingale 21]. (PHOTO: TV Nova)

The annual popular music poll in the Czech Republic called the "Czech Nightingale" (Český slavík) has been revived after a hiatus of several years and featured several Romani performers. Monika Bagárová placed 12th in the category of female vocalist and was the Romani performer to earn the most votes in the nationwide poll. 

The next most popular Romani performer in the survey was Jan Bendig, who came in 14th overall in the male vocalist category. Jan Cina was the Romani performer who enjoyed the the third-highest ranking after that. 

Romani performers dominated during the awards show this year. The lineup included Bagárová, Patrik Bartko (guitarist for Marek Ztracený), Bendig, Zdeněk Godla, the rapper Rytmus and the Salut Roma dance group. 

The winner of the Czech Nightingale award for best female vocalist was the singer Ewa Farna. The winner for male vocalist was Marek Ztracený, who was also the overall winner this year according to the number of audience appreciation votes cast, receiving 48 048 total. 

In the band category, the winner was Mirai. It was the first time any of those performers won the national survey. 

Ztracený also won the Favorite Song award from the listeners of the Rádio Impuls station for his composition "Moje milá" (My Dear). The audience appreciation awards were given to the winners of this revived version of the Czech Nightingale music poll by its organizers during a gala evening at the Karlín Musical Theater (Hudební divadlo Karlín) in Prague. 

Bagárová's 9 444 votes brought her to 12th place among the female vocalists, significantly improving her ranking compared to the results in 2017, the last time that the poll was held, when she ended up in 40th place. She also used her time onstage to clearly express her opinion of rapper Martin Pohl, who calls himself Řezník (the Butcher)

Pohl won in the category of Hip Hop and Rap, and in his acceptance speech he attacked the entire survey as well as Bagárová herself. His "works" fall into the genre of horrorcore and are full of hatred, insults, racism and violence. 

"Czech pop music has been at the absolute bottom for years, it doesn't follow trends from abroad, whenever I turn the car radio on, I sometimes become physically ill," he told the audience. The rapper is known for wearing a black-and-white mask of a skull and also wore it onstage when he received his award. 

Bagárová, who was one of the awards presenters, responded to him before announcing the winner of the silver Nightingale for male vocalist: "In my opinion you're a corrupt, rotten person who hides behind a mask and doesn't have the courage to show his face. I'm not surprised, we don't want to know what you look like. My colleagues, you're talented people, I appreciate you!"  


Another leap forward in the poll was made by the Romani male vocalist Jan Bendig, who ended up in 14th place with 7 411 votes; in the 2017 version of the survey he came in 23rd and in 2016 he came in 66th. Bendig also performed twice during the ceremony. 

His first appearance was with Captain Dem, the dance group Salut Roma, and Zdeněk Godla, singing the song "Czardas". At the close of the evening, Bendig was one of the performers singing the songs of Karel Gott in a tribute to the late performer. 

The gala evening was moderated by the actors Aleš Háma and Ondřej Sokol. The voting this year involved more than 216 000 audience members, the most since the poll began. 

The revival of the Czech Nightingale audience survey is the work of the entrepreneur and mathematician Karel Janeček. In a speech during the awards ceremony, Janeček criticized the Czech Government's measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, which in his view have had a basically negative impact on cultural life and have led to divisions in society.  

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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