Many of you may remember Jitka from her 2010 victory in the Czech Miss pageant. Back then she was still using her maiden name Válková. However, in 2015 she got married and changed her name to Boho. Following the birth of her daughter Rosalie, Jitka started to withdraw from the Czech show business scene. Her comeback came in 2017 with participating in the 4th season of Your face sounds familiar (Tvoje tvář má známý hlas) competition, where we can see her again this year, competing alongside the very best. Jitka has always loved singing, thus her singing accomplishments are no surprise. In her LP-life.com interview, she opens up not only about singing, but also her trials and tribulations of getting a divorce, about raising her daughter and her plans for the future.
How did the coronavirus pandemic change your life?
I believe it affected everyone’s life and changed us all in a way. When I’m talking about the business side of things, there’s not much less. Maybe less contact with people, I don’t appear on stage, present or sing in public. Everything sort of moved online... On the other hand, it finally got me to learn sewing and gave me more time to spend with my family or for going for walks in the forest. One big change was that it made me move to Prague.
How did this happen?
During the pandemic, I moved from my parents' house to Prague, so it was actually a very busy year for me. Before that, I didn't use to attend any events or parties. I was not used to hanging out in the evenings, so in that sense, it was not much of a change. Of course, I started to miss my friends after the year, but I also had way more family time. The move brought so many changes, especially in our housing situation. Now we’re both genuine Praguers, me and my daughter.
I did not even notice you went to Vysočina. I’ve always known you as a Praguer.
It’s true, though. After our breakup, I took my daughter, and we both went to live with my parents in Vysočina for eight months. I lived there until February 2020. At that time, the coronavirus pandemic started. And during February and March, I started moving to an apartment in Prague.
What brought you back here?
I didn’t want to stay at my parents' house forever; I felt that as a bit of a failure. I’m immensely grateful for having a shelter there, for my family that always helps me and welcomes me with open arms. At that time it was a great help, for my mental health as well, as I was dealing with the divorce, our house and such. I didn’t move away until I got back on my feet and got my finances on track, which allowed me to go back to Prague. Living isn’t cheap there, especially for a single mother. That was no easy feat.
I found a beautiful apartment on Letná. I was scared, as we used to live on the outskirts of Prague, and this is basically the city centre. It was a major change, both for me and Rozárka, but I had so much energy and determination to face it. I’m actually enjoying it now, even though I’m drawn back to the country again. Sometimes I feel homesick, waking up with tears in my eyes that it’s the sound of trams waking me up, and not the birds singing. I grew up in the countryside; my dream is to live outside of Prague, within driving distance to the city but surrounded by nature. I know there’s a lot of parks here, but that’s just not the same. In the country, you can go to the forest.
How’s Rozárka coping?
She’s absolutely wonderful, I believe she likes this place and that she could probably stay here forever. She enjoys it here, and she adapted to the city life very quickly. I’d say it could also be due to so many kids living here, she meets a lot of them on the playground, which is really great for kids. But I think she also liked the countryside, I could see that when we lived in Vysočina. We could easily spend two hours in the forest; I was making up games for her, treasure hunts, jungle gym trails. It was different and beautiful in its own way.
Where does her father live?
Just outside Prague.
Is he in the picture?
Rozárka is in my custody, so she only spends every other weekend with him. The daily struggles are up to me. It’s different than before, sometimes we quarrel a bit, but we make it work. Rozárka has her own little kingdom there, her bedroom, a garden, she likes to go there. I believe that the shared custody works for us.
What’s your daily bread, now that you can’t do concerts and other events?
Definitely Instagram, I’m an influencer. Even though I've been avoiding it for so long.
What are you talking about? I saw you making YouTube videos even before you gave birth.
Videos, yes. I do some of those too, but there’s no money in it. So I told myself I wouldn't do that for the money, that this channel would be about my own life.
The word „influencer“ was not that hackneyed back then...
So you were actually a pioneer then.
I don’t know about that, I think there are other „experts“ to claim that title. I strive to balance it all. I’m not about short-lived collaborations with every other company. I treasure long-term collaborations, with some companies it’s easily been four years. Of course, I get hates for having ads on my channel, but I always reply that people should look and see that I actually did that four years ago as well. It’s all continuous and long-term, not a last-minute idea. I pride myself in only endorsing things I’ve tried. It’s true that I earn money on Instagram, though. And now also with competing on Your face sounds familiar.
This season is a champion’s season. How did you get in the show before, for the first time? Did you hesitate, or did you accept right away?
They had first invited me to a casting when Rozárka was only six months old. I refused then, I wouldn’t have been able to handle all that. Luckily they thought of me again a year later, and at that time I felt it was doable. I went to the casting, even though I didn’t believe I could stand a chance to nominate. I thought there was nothing else to me than the Miss – I’m not an actress, I had no more TV appearances after the Miss... Nonetheless, I tried and they called that they’re accepting me. It was great, a backbreaking amount of work, but it remains a wonderful memory to this day. If I were to compare the two seasons, there's a big difference, I was a different person back then.
Rozárka was still a baby and the situation with my husband was very stressful, so I was not as relaxed back then. I enjoyed it way more the second time around, it was something else, nicer.
You’re a singer, though, so I’d expect it to be a piece of cake for you.
Hanka Holišová and I thought that it might be worth it doing one „behind the scenes“ episode, with choreography rehearsals and such, so that people can see the amount of pressure we’re under and how hard it is to learn an insane choreography in a week, complete with singing and all. The performances we imitate often come from music videos, where the original singer doesn’t sing live, and the singing is almost unfeasible to do together with the dancing. Sometimes it’s really hard.
Did you find any new friends during shooting this season? And was there anything that surprised you?
I was surprised by how we all went along. It might sound like a cliché, „tight crew“ and all. But this season made me cry far more often than the fourth. I was constantly moved, thinking to myself how great that was. I think it was in part because of the coronavirus, because we couldn’t perform live. I enjoyed every song of my co-stars, just like I was at a concert. They’re all pros, nobody blew anything, everyone was so good. I savoured every round of the competition, thanking God that I could be there with them.
Do you have plans for your own concerts already?
I was working on a CD with my ex-husband. I wrote lyrics, sometimes music, although Lukáš did 90% of it. I must admit that I had no time to create anything new at all lately. I made a video for my last song about 9 months ago, that one's purely mine, both music and lyrics. But I thought to myself that I might not actually have enough ambition to push my singing career, so I let it flow. I believe in something between heaven and earth, in fortune tellers, I even have one of my own. I talked to her about it, and she said that I would always have music as a hobby, that I would not make full profit from it. That's how I approach it as well. I enjoy it, music gives me inner fulfilment, but I also feel that it's not something that I should do for a living.
Being on TV this often, you must be getting offers for more collaborations and projects.
I sure do. I already got some, now I have to wait and see if those events will really be held. There’s actually quite a lot of job offers right now, whether it’s singing or hosting shows, which I also enjoy. We’ll see how it goes, nobody knows yet.
And what about modelling?
No way. I don’t do it at all, I haven't for the longest time.
Don’t you have that ambition? You look fantastic.
I don’t. I always felt that walking down the catwalk is way harder than picking up the mic and singing a song. My legs were shaking every time.
But you won the Czech Miss.
I don’t know, I never felt at ease there. It’s a whole other kind of people, of girls. I always felt like an outsider among them, I’m even shorter than most models.
You said before that your greatest letdown was your failed marriage. Would you be comfortable telling us why? What was the problem?
I never talked with the media about this, I wanted to keep it to myself. There was much speculation, such as financial reasons or infidelity. But it’s neither of those things. It’s a serious reason that lasted quite some time. It was a major decision for me, I had to gather my self-love to say enough is enough and leave.
Now you’re divorced?
We are. It went fast. We agreed on everything and it’s fine. We both have our own lives now.
You have a boyfriend now...
We started dating during the coronavirus crisis, so we couldn’t even go to the theatre together, it’s not the easiest thing (laughs). It’s not that easy overall, as he already has two older kids, a fifteen-year-old and a nine-year-old. We don’t live together, but we live super close to each other. It’s a bit strange and definitely a first for me, yet, all in all, nice.
I've learned not to plan anything and not to say "this is the love of my life." Marriage taught me not to look at things through rose-tinted glasses, I learned my lesson. Many times I shared photos on Instagram showing how perfect everything was, yet in reality, it was myself who I was trying to reassure and comfort with them. Now I’m trying to look at everything more realistically.
Are you happy now?
Right now the most important thing for me is to be healthy, my whole family and me. Then we’ll see what fate brings.
You also support single mothers on Instagram.
Yes, the Single Moms Club (Klub svobodných matek). The club opened their Fashion Charity Shop on Letná, to which people can donate clothes. The clothes are sold there, and the profit goes to single moms. Or they get the clothes, if it’s not designer brands or otherwise unfit to be sold in a fashion boutique, but still nice and wearable. I’ve been told that just before winter, one mom came there wearing a light summer jacket because that was all she had. Or that, for some of the families they’re helping, eating meat is almost a rare occasion. It’s hard, especially in these times, when so many people lost their jobs or had to stay at home to care for their kids. If one can help, why not do it? This topic is close to my heart, as I’m a single mom myself. Even though I have a job and can’t really compare myself to their situation, I can imagine what it’s like to, say, have a child in your custody without getting any alimony. Therefore, I feel it’s my place to help them.
Can we see you in another project after Your face sounds familiar?
No, I have nothing big planned for the near future. Mostly just smaller concerts and events.
What are you looking forward to? Warmer days are coming...
I’m looking forward to summer a great deal. Winter was awfully long, even for me, and I’m a winter zodiac sign. Even though I like autumn and winter, I miss the sun a lot already. I hope we’ll go for a vacation somewhere in the Czech Republic, I love our nature so much. We’ll see whether we’ll venture abroad or not. Going to the seaside is not a priority to me, and definitely not a must, not at all. We can stay here for the whole summer, our country has so many beautiful places. The only thing I’m afraid of is that a whole lot of people will share the same idea. I saw it last summer, when not many people would go abroad. When we went swimming in a lake, the beach was so crammed with people that there was almost no room left to set my towel. And when we visited Croatia later that summer, there were, like, three people at the beach. We’ve been advised not to travel anywhere, but after seeing all this I realized we have more of a chance to contract COVID here than abroad.
Have you had COVID?
And was it mild?
No, not really. I had it right after New Year’s Eve, luckily before I started at "Your face". I trusted my immune system, that I would not go down with it again. And I’m sure I was immune after that, because Iva Pazderková underwent COVID during the competition and about five other people contracted it from her, but I did not, even though I was there with her. This assured me that it works and now I count on having at least some antibodies.
Did your little girl have it too?
She did, but hers was mild, she had no symptoms. I had a fever over 39, terrible back pain, fatigue, I couldn’t even walk up the stairs. This lasted about four days, I even had a sudden loss of smell, although that was nothing serious. After four days it started to subside, but I believe that I still tend to get more fatigued than before the disease, and I don’t feel 100% healthy. I think this disease leaves its mark on your body.