A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Absent friend: Poland

I really don't know how this happened. Poland was such a revelation, such a powerhouse, such a fantastic new force in Eurovision. They kept sending in good, modern, eccentric and progressive entries that were so good, so good, so good.

They were supposed to come in, crush all resistance, work their way to victory and drag this old contest kicking and screaming into the future. It all looked so promising.

Edyta Górniak - To nie ja! (Poland 1994)

Their sensational debut, when Edyta made a coup and sang her song in English during the jury final and scored a phenomenal second place in the end, really left the feeling that Poland was on to something big. And then they opted for something seriously different.

Justyna - Sama (Poland 1995)

Justyna's etno-pop-yoik did take some getting used to, admittedly, but in the endless ocean of toothless ballads that was ESC 1995 it stood out like a monument of anarchy. Violently, provocatively different and modern. And the judges just didn't get it.

Anna Maria Jopek - Ale jestem (Poland 1997)

The juries would continue not to get the Polish entry. The quirky and folksy dance that was Ale jestem also ended outside the top ten (not by much, but anyway) and maybe now Polish tv was getting a bit exhausted. They were doing their best but kept getting ignored.

In 1998, I was convinced that TVP had finally hit the bull's eye again. The group Sixteen had a very fresh sound and their song was engaging and instant, but at the same time it kept growing on you for every listen.

Sophisticated and hit-friendly. Would this be Poland's return to top five?

On the night of the final in Birmingham, Poland passed under the radar of almost everyone and ended in a shockingly low 17th place. I could not believe my eyes.

Since then, the Polish entries never regained that original sparkle that they used to have. Some of their entries have been good, but never as overflowing and captivating as their early efforts. After having missed out in one semi final too many, TVP withdrew after the 2011 contest.

If they stay away in order to evaluate the situation, re-group and try to find their own self, then this absence is well worth it. I just hope they won't stay away too long.

Sixteen - To takie proste (Poland 1998)

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