If we look back at Poland’s history, we’ll find runs of qualification streaks, mixed in with pockets of non-qualification streaks. They find their feet at the contest, but then struggle once again. The last two years have resulted in non-qualifications, and this year it was up to Alicja to bring Poland back into the final with her song Empires. Would we have seen this in the final, or would it have been the third non-qualification in a row?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Hello Europe, this is James Bond calling! It feels like there’s not a year that goes by that we don’t get a ballad similar to Empires, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. The Polish entry this year is probably one of the best ballads from the nation in recent years, and overall, just one of their best modern Eurovision entries. Empires is much more polished (pun intended), but I can’t guarantee that it would have led Poland into the final.
The song has beautiful instrumentation, and the orchestral sound really gives this the James Bond vibes. Alicja’s voice also lends itself really well to this style of ballad, as she has a deeper tone of voice. The verses of the song have an understated beauty, while towards the end, we get to hear her really unleash those big notes. Had she pulled those off in the live performance, it would have been an impressive moment. Overall, this is a nice song with a beautiful melody, and the revamped version really elevated this to be one of the stronger songs of the second semi-final.
Performance and Act
There was big potential with this song at Eurovision in terms of staging. It could have taken dancers, but really, Alicja could have stood on stage and just nailed the vocals and it would have been just as impressive. That said, lighting and dare I say pyro would have needed to be spot on for this to really elevate the big moments of the song. With the right staging, it could have really lifted the song into a confident qualification.
Next Up: 2021
It’s not yet confirmed whether Alicja will return for Poland, but considering this year’s national selection, I think it would be best for Poland to internally select the young but confident performer and focus on another song for 2021. If they felt that way inclined, the broadcaster could also host a song selection to maintain some sort of public involvement.
This is a strong ballad from Poland, which felt likely to qualify to the final. It’s main competition would have been Albania in the field of ballads uncertain to qualify, but I do believe they both could have had a place in the final if they staged their songs correctly.
Song and Vocals
Bond-alert! The Polish song for Eurovision immediately made me think about the James Bond-productions, with bombastic orchestration and build-up. Including a final note as the climax of the song. One that Alicja struggled with in her live performance in the Polish final. But, that was her only mistake in the performance of a difficult song. Poland has a young and very skilled artist, who won The Voice of Poland. And we can hear why.
Performance and Act
The performance is as it should be with a song like this. Alicja stands there, strong and fierce, with full focus on her vocals. The backdrop shows the lyrics of her song. Perhaps something that would have been done in Rotterdam as well, or something else to portray the story of the love between two people, once beautiful, now falling like a lot of great empires did.
Next up: 2021
Alicja wants to go to Eurovision in 2021, but TVP has yet to confirm if she will get that chance. To be honest, I don’t see a reason why they would not. There was a small and modest group of artists in the running for 2020. And even though Albert Cerny from Lake Malawi also took part, Alicja was the best by a landslide. With such a good singer, it is no problem to find another suitable song for her, to bring Poland back in the Eurovision final again.
Alicja was arguably one of the best female young singers in the line-up of Eurovision 2020. Her song may be a bit dated, but her deliverance was convincing right from the start. She would have impressed at Eurovision and given Poland some success. I doubt whether the composition was contemporary enough to let it be a top-10 result in the final. But I can see the high potential for Poland with this artist. Should they pick her again, I trust Poland will make it to the final again in 2021.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 7.2/10
What do you think of Empires? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.