Poland have a mixed history at the contest, but are yet to take the Eurovision trophy home. Consecutive years of non-qualifications are followed by streaks of success, and you never really know what you’re going to get from the nation. This year, hoping to find a place in the final is Rafał Brzozowski with his song, The Ride.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Last year, Alicja was selected to represent Poland with the song Empires. The bond-style ballad was vocally impressive, and many fans were excited to see what she would offer at this year’s contest, if she was selected. Unfortunately, she won’t get the chance to represent Poland this year, which is a huge shame as she instantly had more potential than Rafał and his generic pop tune, The Ride.
I couldn’t be more uninspired by the Polish choice this year. Where is the authenticity? If you think about Poland in Junior Eurovision, they have continued to dominate the competition in recent years with songs written by Polish songwriters. If the nation can offer up Polish written songs for Junior Eurovision, why can we not see a Polish written Eurovision song this year? The Ride is totally generic. There is no personality in this song, no cultural references, nothing that would pique your interest. Rafał is a decent singer, but even still, there is nothing spectacular about the vocals in this song. Beyond that, this song doesn’t seem to suit him. This feels like the musical version of ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ and I don’t know if you’ve caught on, but I’m not impressed at all.
Normally I’d reserve full judgement for the live performance, since certain songs can come alive when they are performed live. Rafał recently performed the song on The Voice Kids, and yes, he gives a confident vocal performance, but again, there’s just nothing to grab you.
Performance and Act
Judging by the music video and live performance, I’d expect the nation to continue with the neon theme of the song. Neon lights, bright colours for the backing dancers (and I expect there to be dancers), but with Rafał in black. Something also to note that if Rafał wears sunglasses in the Eurovision performance, it can severely limit the connection the viewers can make with him as a performer. Either way, I can’t see this being a stand out performance on the night.
I will be surprised if we see Poland in the final this year. There are easily 10 better songs in the semi-final, and I don’t know if the public or jury will reward something as plain and generic as this. This may be a harsh judgement, but when you have a string of incredible Junior Eurovision songs to compare, this year’s efforts just feel a bit lazy.
Song and Vocals
Another retro song in the field of 2021 comes from Poland. Back to the 80’s with synth-pop. When compared to other retro-songs in this year, like Greece, I have to say the Polish composition is much more dated and not as contemporary. Going retro doesn’t have to be a bad thing, like with Greece and Iceland, but in the case of Poland I am having some first concerns. Rafał however is an experienced and successful singer and performer in Poland, so he does have that as a positive thing.
Performance and Act
In the video clip Rafał is surrounded by bright neon lights and a group of dancers. He himself is dressed in all black, which is his style. This clash of colors, contrasting to him, could be something we will see in the staging in May as well. Rafał is an experienced performer, so I expect him to come well prepared to Rotterdam.
I am not very convinced by the song for Poland and there are many uncertainties when it comes to the visual presentation of the song. On itself, the composition is probably not strong enough to make an impact and be a qualifier. Poland needs good staging and camerawork more than ever. They have shown in the past however that they are good at this, so there is still a chance.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 3.9/10