Slávik

THERE wasn’t much room for democracy in socialist Czechoslovakia. But one thing people could actually vote for was the Zlatý Slávik (Golden Nightingale). The annual contest for the most popular singer and song dates back to 1962, and last Sunday saw the most recent awards’ ceremony. A nice parallel can be found between the winners and the contestants in the other race that is currently making headlines – the parliamentary elections.

THERE wasn’t much room for democracy in socialist Czechoslovakia. But one thing people could actually vote for was the Zlatý Slávik (Golden Nightingale). The annual contest for the most popular singer and song dates back to 1962, and last Sunday saw the most recent awards’ ceremony. A nice parallel can be found between the winners and the contestants in the other race that is currently making headlines – the parliamentary elections.

Tina won in the best female category. It’s no surprise, given the fact that Robert Fico was the godfather of her newest CD. Just about everything seems to have been going his way over the last couple of months. The government collapsed, the fighting between parties on the right has been unending, scandal after scandal smear his opponents. So it seems natural that his star-aura helped Tina beat Zuzana Smatanová, who had won the Slávik six years in a row.

The career of the best male singer, Richard Müller, is much like that of Mikuláš Dzurinda – even those who dislike him must give him credit for his achievements. And his best days are long gone. Still, the 51-year old singer managed to beat young stars such as Rytmus, or Peter Cmorík. That could be because Slávik, like elections, are dominated by older generations. Dzurinda is now fighting for political survival and opinion polls show the SDKÚ could suffer terrible losses. But perhaps Dzurinda, too, will perform better than expected.

And then there is the hit of the year – Heaven, Hell, Paradise, by Dara Rolins featuring Tomi Popovič. If there were a song to describe the current political situation, it would have to be called Hell, Hell, Hell. But the positive side is that almost anything that comes after the elections will seem like paradise by comparison.

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