ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Poland


It has become customary for the editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #5, we catch up with Poland (TVP) who will be represented by Donatan & Cleo with the song My Słowianie – We Are Slavic which they wrote themselves.

Donatan is famous in Poland as a music producer. He created music for more than 50 albums. Many of them received gold and platinum status. In 2012, Donatan launched his authorial album “Equinox” (Równonoc). This album is a compilation of the traditional Slavic sounds with some rap elements. “Equinox” reached, already at pre-sale, the gold status and after few months got granted the diamond sale status. Donatan received many prestigious music awards.

In 2013 Donatan began to work with Cleo. Their single debut We Are Slavs (My Słowianie), produced by Donatan, became a smash hit. Their video clip has become popular on youtube where it has been viewed more than 40 million times. Last year, the single My Słowianie also reached top ten in charts. This song has been chosen as the Polish entry in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

“The Slavic blond girl with the Polish charm and a black voice,” they say about Cleo. Cleo is a singer, songwriter, a chorus gospel girl and a painter. She is a woman with many faces, a chameleon discovered by Donatan. This will mark the return of Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest following two years of being absent having last been represented by Magdalena Tul and the song Jestem which did not get through the semi-final stage.

Poland started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1994, when on that occasion, the lovely Edyta Gorniak took to the stage with To Nie Ja! finishing in second place, which like Hungary’s fourth place achieved during the same year remains the most successful result. In recent years, with the introduction of the semi-final system, the country has not really set the scoreboard alight and has as a result decided to take a break as already noted above. Sending their most popular song in the country is definitely a gamble especially since Europe might find it offensive.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 39%

Greig Watts: Um!, Being western I simply shouldn’t understand this, but it’s the Eurovision contest and there’s been uprising of Slavic nations recently who could well vote for this. Its not my favourite music to listen to, but it feels like a modern attempt to bring Slavic music into the 21st century and its done quite well. I was trying to judge the songs, but video is also a bit distracting and I like the use of the accordion, and clapping!!, So not my own favourite song, but im bumping into the final just because the impact is higher than a couple of the other simple songs!

Joseph Zammit: Okay, good. For a second there I realized that I liked most of the songs I heard so far, which made me worry because it is very unlike me. Thank the heavens that this song came along. What a piling heap of garbage. Where to begin? Let’s start with the music. It is lazy, as generic as they come, repetitive, boring and annoying. It only has a simple continuous clap rhythm and some random chords thrown here and there. 

The song is trying to convince the listener that the singer is proud to be a Slavic girl, because slavic girls are the best in the world, and she conveys that message …. by saying that they are great at churning butter, using their bodies to get what they want and staying in the house The lyrics are bigoted and demeaning and yet she sings them in a patriotic fashion. Either this girl is an idiot or she is pulling off a great patriotic stunt for votes. Now I am no radical feminist, but even I find this a bit offensive.  All in all this song was a waste of time to listen. Then there was the video and, well TITS!!! TITS GALORE!! so because of that.

Sharon Vaughn: I found very little positive to say about this one.

John Scott: The chorus is quite catchy even though the lyrics are a bit awkward in phrasing. The verse lyrics are difficult to understand. The musical bridge is quite nice.



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