All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.
It’s 3 days to go until Junior Eurovision 2022, and we are counting down the 16 nations who are participating in Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
Every day we will do an overview of a participating nation in alphabetical order, recapping how they got to Junior Eurovision, a brief history of the nation’s participation, a brief biography of the artist, and finally, our “expert” panel of editors give the entries a score out of 10 and a brief review.
Next up, we look at Poland, a recent tournament powerhouse who should be inspirations to countries whose first results at JESC have been horrible.
Poland’s history at Junior Eurovision:
Poland was one of the countries in the very first Junior Eurovision in 2003. They came last. Poland re-upped in 2004. They came in last. Poland took this as a sign, withdrew, and would not return until 2016.
They placed 11th in 2016, 8th in 2017, and then the unexpected happened – they won in 2018. Roksana Wegiel performed “Anyone I want to be” and Europe said, “girl, you are a winner.”
She screamed it from the top of her lungs and delivered Poland’s win at Junior Eurovision. And until one Carla and “Bim Bam Toi,” Wegiel ‘s official video was the most watched video in Junior Eurovision history.
Viki Gabor repeated the trick for Poland in 2019 with a crushing win, becoming the first host nation to win JESC and the first to win two in a row, with “Superhero.” Gabor’s win came on the back of some stellar televote numbers (Kazakhstan won the Jury vote), but Wegiel and Gabor are still fan favorites to this day.
Unfortunately, despite pre-tournament chatter of Poland gunning for a third in a row, they could not as they changed direction with Ala Tracz’s “I’m Still Standing” (cowritten by Polish Eurovision 2018 representative Gromee). “I’m Still Standing” came in 9th.
’twas only a minor hiccup, though, as Sara James almost won Junior Eurovision 2021 by coming in close second in both jury and televote. Malena’s “Qami Qami” edged Sara’s “Somebody” by only 6 points, but this edition produced a star whose career has exploded since. Sara entered the 2022 edition of America’s Got Talent and earned Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer. Sara only narrowly missed out on the Top Five, but social media took note and the 14-year-old earned cult status in the United States. We only expect her career to get better from here.
Before Junior Eurovision 2022:
Poland decided to bring back their national selection Szansa na sukces Eurowizja Junior 2022. On May 14th and 15th, 2021, Polish broadcaster TVP held auditions and found 21 aspiring contestants.
Over three Semi-Finals, these 21 contestants were winnowed down to four. In each Semi-Final, seven contestants performed covers, with three jurors made up of Polish music experts and Eurovision / Junior Eurovision past participants. One winner from each Semi-Final went through to the Final, and one “Golden Ticket” would be given to a recipient from any Seni-Final.
Natalia Smas won Semi-Final 1, Aleksander Malag won Semi-Final 2, and Ida Wargskog won Semi-Final 3. Laura Bączkiewicz from Semi-Final 1 won the “Golden Ticket.”
For the Grand Final on September 25, 2022, each singer performed a cover song in Round 1. The top two – Aleksander Malag and Laura Bączkiewicz – were then asked to perform an original song.
Laura performed “To the Moon” and edged out Aleksander’s “On My Way” in both jury and televote. “On My Way” was written by the team of Gromee, Sara Chmiel-Gromala, and Marta Gałuszewska, who are becoming a regular fixture in the Polish JESC scene.
11-year-old Laura Bączkiewicz hails from Konin, located in Central Poland.
As is tradition with Polish JESC entrants, she has competed in her nation’s version of The Voice Kids.
“To the Moon” is written by Monika Wydrzyńska and Jakub Sebastian Krupski. Monika is a singer songwriter in Poland, and has released several singles and albums since 2015.
With the background out of the way, here is what we at ESC United think of Poland’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2022.
Providing their thoughts for Junior Eurovision this season: Alice Christine (Washington, D.C.), Boris Meersman (Belgium), Gianluca D’Elia (New York City, New York), James Maude (Los Angeles, California), Roy Postema (The Netherlands), William Carter (Dallas, Texas), and Zephaniah Gabriel (The Philippines).
Alice – 7 – “This is one of three songs this year that gives me ‘2000s techno vibes, but this one I think is my favorite of the three.”
Boris – 6.5 – “Despite the title, it just sort of goes nowhere. “To the moon” starts strong enough with a good build-up and a decent chorus, but its lack of creative ideas, as well as its length – this song should be two and a half minutes long, max – drag it back down to Earth. A good beat can carry you, but what if your whole song is just that beat? “To the moon” compares unfavourably to “Superhero,” “Somebody” and “Anyone I Wanna Be,” lacking their catchiness and showmanship. If Poland wish to score well again it’ll have to come down to breaking up the monotony with a strong live act. I have my verdict ready for the music, however: This is the weakest song Poland have sent to JESC in years.”
Gianluca – 7 – “This was a fun and catchy pop song. It didn’t stand out to me at first, but the more I listen to it, the more it keeps growing on me. I loved the mix of Polish and English lyrics, and it is so well-produced. The outer space vibe reminds me of “Qami Qami” but this entry still maintains its own original sound and aesthetic.”
James – 5 – “One glaring problem this has for the kids is the lack of a vocal hook. There’s not much in the chorus for kids in the audience and at home to sing along to, which is a problem trying to win votes in a multi-language contest. You’d think the country behind “Anyone I Want to be” would remember the importance of a solid vocal hook. It’s a pleasant enough, upbeat song, but hardly memorable.”
Roy – 6.5 – “This is a decent song with an above average production. Catchy chorus as well, but for some reason I keep failing to remember this song. I think it just doesn’t pack enough punch to really get your grooving, vibing or dancing. Laura is a phenomenal young talent and Poland has been really good at staging their songs, so I can’t wait to see this live!”
William – 8 – “There’s a handful of contenders to the throne this year, but I’m ready to crown Laura the electropop queen of JESC 2022. Of the ‘Qami Qami’ descendants competing, ‘To The Moon’ is the strongest. It’s an incredibly effective and well-built piece of pop songwriting, and Laura is a tiny dynamo.”
Zephaniah – 7.5 – “I swear to god, I am running out of words for the upbeat songs. I don’t know what to think of the lyrics if it matches well to the chorus but overall, I think it’s fine but not just on the par of the past Polish entries.”
Total: 47.5 points (Average = 6.786)
Poland comes in with an average just shy of 7.0, but it’s the Netherlands holding onto the lead as we are eleven down and five to go.
1.) The Netherlands – 58 points (Average = 8.286)
2.) Ireland – 56 points (Average = 8.0)
3.) Italy – 55.5 points (Average = 7.926)
4.) Armenia – 54.5 points (Average = 7.786)
5.) Georgia – 52.5 points (Average = 7.5)
6.) France – 52 points (Average = 7.428)
7.) North Macedonia – 48.5 points (Average = 6.929)
8.) POLAND – 47.5 points (Average = 6.786)
9.) Kazakhstan – 45 points (Average = 6.429)
10.) Albania – 42.5 points (Average = 6.071)
11.) Malta – 38.5 points (Average = 5.5)
What do #YOU think of Poland’s entry? Do #YOU think Poland’s got yet another stellar entry on their hands here, or will this crash land? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.