Maria
Maria
from Ukraine
See my story
Gonçalo
Gonçalo
from Portugal
See my story
Alejandra
Alejandra
from Colombia
See my story
Pier
Pier
from Italy
See my story
Sandra
Sandra
from Mexico
See my story
Frederik
Frederik
from Denmark
See my story
beign your career journey with accenture

search in jobs
language
language
industry
industry
city
city
published: 27 Feb 2024 in Travel & leisure

The triumphs and tribulations of Poland in the Eurovision

Kamila Brzezińska
Kamila Brzezińska

Editor

Each year in May, there comes a day that puts every music lover’s taste to the test – the Eurovision Song Contest. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top Polish entries to this event.

The Eurovision Song Contest stands as one of the most celebrated events in the world of music. It’s also one of the most widely watched – last year the three live shows were watched by over 162 million viewers across 38 media markets. Year after year, countries across Europe (and beyond – yes, I’m looking at you, Australia) showcase their stars. Some of them astound us with their talent and skill, while others, who are at times bizarre, still provide quite a thrill.

If you are wondering when can you watch the Eurovision Song Contest this year, the three Eurovision concerts will be held in Malmö, Sweden, on the 7th, 9th, and 11th of May 2024. In Poland, as per tradition, the event will be aired on TVP.


5(+1) BEST POLISH PERFORMANCES

Among the contenders, Polish participants have left their mark in the contest's history.

Poland has had some notable successes in Eurovision-themed events:

  • 2016 – Poland won the Eurovision Young Musicians,
  • 2016 and 2017 – won Eurovision Young Dancers,
  • 2018 and 2019 – won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

However, when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, Poland’s track record isn’t quite as impressive.

The country has taken part in 26 contests, with the 27th participation upcoming this year when the country will be represented by Luna with her song “The Tower”.

Though Poland’s entries have yet to win the coveted title, and overall, cannot exactly boast of many triumphs, some managed to stand out among the others. With this in mind, let’s delve into the Polish performances that up to this day achieved the highest ranking in Eurovision.


2nd Place: Edyta Górniak, “To nie ja!” ("That's Not Me!"), 1994

Language: Polish

Poland's journey in the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1994, when the country made a notable entrance, with Edyta Gorniak’s powerful performance of "To nie ja!" ("That's Not Me!").

It seemed that the cards were stacked against Górniak. Back then every country was forced to perform in its native language, so the meaning of lyrics of non-English songs was not accessible to the broader international audience. However, Górniak’s soulful vocals and emotive delivery proved so powerful, that they earned her a very respectable second-place finish. It also set high standards for future Polish contestants to follow. Unfortunately, that proved to be easier said than done. Poland’s astounding success at the debut was also its last one – as you can guess by the ranking of our list.


7th place: Ich Troje, „Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic”, 2003

Languages: Polish, German, Russian

In 2003, Poland was represented by Ich Troje (eng. Them Three) – a band which back then was amazingly popular in the country. With their song "Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic" they managed to captivate the audience when singing in three languages (Polish, Russian and German), the band delivered their message for peace in a very 2000s fashion – with sequins, studs, and questionable hair highlights included.

Despite the stiff competition from other participating countries, this entry managed to capture the hearts of the viewers, earning the band 7th place in the contest that year – and a second one on our list.

Interestingly, it wasn't the end of the group’s journey with Eurovision.

The same year the band took part in a Eurovision preselection in Germany – but this time, under the name Troje aka Three. Instead of the lead female vocalist Justyna Majkowska, German singer Elli Mücke performed with the band in the song „Liebe macht Spaß”. They weren’t selected – which could be considered fortunate, as there were some fears that Ich Troje would have resigned from representing Poland had they won in Germany. Though the lead singer Michał Wiśniewski assured that their participation in the German preselection had a strictly promotional character.

But wait, that is still not the end of the story.

In 2006 the band – in a different squad, again – represented Poland in Eurovision – again.

This time they decided to go all in – as in “all the languages known to mankind” way – performing in not, one, two nor three, but six different languages – even the sign one. However, the disappointing results this particular entry had during that contest seem to prove that access does not always guarantee success.


8th place, Michał Szpak, „Color of Your Life”, 2016

Language: English

Michał Szpak, who became known to the Polish audience after earning second place in a TVN X-Factor talent show, represented the country at Eurovision in 2016. With an impassioned delivery of the heartfelt ballad "Color of Your Life" Szpak's vocal prowess and, most importantly, mane of long locks, resonated with audiences, earning him a respectable eighth-place finish.


11th place, Anna Maria Jopek, „Ale jestem”, 1997

Language: Polish

Jazz singer Anna Maria Jopek represented Poland in 1997 with the song “Ale jestem” (eng. But I am).

After all, the Eurovision song heralded the artist's debut album, which opened her path to mainstream popularity in Poland.

Jopek, however, had little luck before her performance at Eurovision. The singer broke her leg just before the concert. Therefore she was forced to appear on the stage in a long, heavy dress that could cover the cast. The singer herself was not a fan of this particular fashion choice.

Predictions after the first rehearsals placed her among the top three contestants for the year, however, she eventually finished in 11th place.


12th place, Krystian Ochman, „River”, 2022

Language: English

As one of the most recent entries in Eurovision, Krystian Ochman’s 2022 song “The River” was an unexpected breath of fresh air for many Polish fans of the contest. The selectioj of this soulful yet contemporary ballad made many a Pole believe that it had a chance of earning a high place in the final rating.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Ochman ended up in the 12th. place.

But regardless of the result, this particular performance could be considered as one of Poland’s strongest performances in recent years. With a hauntingly beautiful song, strong vocals, and visuals of an elegantly dressed soloist sounded by dark, wraith-like dancers – the concept was almost basic, especially by the usual flamboyant Eurovision standards, but it worked all the better for it.

The one thing that was needlessly over the top was the visual effects. The storm-like overlay projected on the screen, together with the water droplets that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1998 Windows screensaver, quite deservedly drew criticism from Polish Eurovision fans, giving the performance an outdated, and even slightly cheesy character.


+14th place, Donatan and Cleo, „My Słowianie – We Are Slavic”, 2014

Language: Polish, English

In 2014, Poland made headlines with the selection of Donatan and Cleo's folk-infused entry, "My Słowianie – We Are Slavic." The song's catchy vibe and bold staging earned it widespread attention, sparking both acclaim and controversy. While the song presented an intriguing blend of Polish folk influences with a more modern beat, it wasn’t as provocative as the visuals accompanying it.

The singers performed next to the two female models, who (barely)clothed in traditional Polish folk dresses, upstaged the artists and outraged the audience.

To this day, it remains the dirtiest rendition of washing clothes and churning butter ever performed in a theater.


Sources:

Eurowizja.org – 25 lat Polski na Eurowizji, 2003: Ich Troje

Eurovision TV – Poland

related articles