Some of you may recall that last year I published a best and worst at Eurovision article for every country that was taking part in Eurovision 2016 with the exception of Australia who were only competing for the second time. So this year I will publish one for Australia and Portugal who are returning. Also I will revisit each of the other countries to see if last years entry has entered the best or worst hall of fame. Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2017 have been selected we now have 6 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Kiev. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 61 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There were 43 countries going to Kiev to take part in the 2017 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza, until 22nd March when Ukraine authorities placed a ban on the Russian entrant Yulia Samoylova entering Ukraine. So it looks most likely that Russia will not take part and you can see our article announcing the news here. So we continue our journey with Poland who have never won the contest but finished second once and in the top 10 another two times. They have never finished last in the Final but have once in the Semi Final. They have also failed to qualify from the Semi Final on six occasions. This has all been achieved in 19 participations. You can check out the previous articles from last year in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE, Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE, The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE, Albania HERE, Poland HERE, Serbia HERE, France HERE, Romania HERE, Russia HERE, Croatia HERE, Czech Republic HERE, Malta HERE., Macedonia HERE, Lithuania HERE, Latvia HERE, Sweden HERE, United Kingdom HERE, Greece HERE, Bulgaria HERE and Montenegro HERE. Also the articles for this year for Belarus HERE., Germany HERE., Hungary HERE., Austria HERE., Cyprus HERE. , Denmark HERE. , The Netherlands HERE. and Finland HERE.
So this year Poland are represented by Kasia Moś with the song ‘Flashlight’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Poland but the overall reaction is fairly mixed so far. You can catch up on our recent article revealing the result of the Polish Final here.
So last year Poland were represented by Michał Szpak with the song ‘Colour of your Life’. So how did Michał Szpak do in Stockholm? Well he came 8th in the Final and 6th in the Semi Final which is Poland’s 3rd best result so far. Therefore I have great delight in welcoming him into the hall of fame as one of the best entries for Poland.
So Michal won through to Eurovision from the Polish National Final in 2016 despite being up against two hot favourites in Margaret and previous Eurovision legend Edyta Górnia. His performance on the Eurovision stage was both vocally and visually stunning as can be seen here with the video of the Final performance. He had the distinction of benefitting from the new scoring system in the Final in Stockholm by initially coming 2nd last in the Jury votes but then coming 3rd in the public televotes.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Poland have only nineteen entries to choose from making the task a lot easier. There are some great songs from Poland over the years but also some really poor entries.
We only have to go back a short while to find our first song that is one of the best for Poland. The year was 2014 and we were in Copenhagen to see Donatan and Cleo singing the song ‘My Słowianie – We Are Slavic’.
Now Donatan is a Polish music producer and along with Cleo had already had a big hit in Poland with the song. It was chosen by Polish TV to go to Eurovision and was a big hit with the public winning the televote in both Ireland and the UK. However it did not curry favour with the jurors placing last out of 25. Therefore it gained no points at all from these countries. However it did do much better elsewhere finishing 8th in the Semi Final then 14th in the Final with 62 points.
So moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Poland. We were in Dublin in 1995 to see Justyna Steczkowska perform the song ‘Sama’.
Now the song was a ballad sung in Polish and it was conducted by the well known Irish conductor Noel Kelehan. Justyna is a singer songwriter and actress and comes from a big musical family. Her performance on the night was rather lacklustre and after a great 2nd place debut the year before this one fell flat finishing in 18th place with 14 points.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Poland. We were in Dublin in 1994 and the performer was Edyta Górniak with the song ‘To nie ja!’.
Now the song was the debut entry for Poland in the contest and what a debut it was. The song was a dramatic ballad made all the more powerful by Edyta’s vocal range and performance. It was threatened with disqualification after she sung part of the song in English during the Jury Final. But it went on to finish 2nd in the Final with 166 points which up to that point was the best debut entry by any country. Edyta tried to come back to Eurovision this year but failed in the Polish Final to Michał Szpak.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst was in the year 1996 and we were in Oslo to witness Kasia Kowalska singing ‘Chcę znać swój grzech…’.
This was a dramatic ballad with Kowalska asking a lover to tell her the reason for his coldness towards her. Kasia was a pop rock singer and writer and producer and had a moderately successful career both before and after Eurovision. The song came in 15th with 31 points.
So onto our last song that was one of Poland’s best. It was in 2003 and Riga was witness to seeing Ich Troje perform with the song ‘Keine Grenzen-Żadnych granic’.
Now starting with the song it was sung in Polish, German and Russian and was a dramatic ballad sung by the pop trio Ich Troje. Now the band went on to represent Poland again in 2006 with a slightly different line up. The result was Poland’s second best of 7th place with 90 points.
We now arrive at the last song for Poland and it’s another of the worst ones. In 2007 we saw The Jet Set in Helsinki with the song ‘Time to Party’.
It was a song that was performed in English and was an uptempo number with hip hop and RnB influences. The lead vocal is delivered by female vocalist Alexandra Strunin, who tells her listeners that she likes to party and invites them to join her at a party. Her vocals are punctuated by British-born rapper David Junior Serame, who reminds the listener that “You got the right to party”. The BBC commentary pointed out that the word party was used more than 40 times(go on count it). It failed to qualify from the Semi Final finishing in 14th place with 75 points.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following entries for Poland as all being great entries too.
2008 Isis Gee with the song ‘For Life’.
2006 Ich Troje feat. Real McCoy with the song ‘Follow My Heart’.
2004 Blue Café with the song ‘Love Song’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Polish Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2017 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland