Monika Kuszyńska is certainly no Cleo, but can she bring the same Polish energy to the Eurovision Song Contest?
Song Title: “In the Name of Love”
Artist: Monika Kuszyńska
Semi-Final: Second, Position 17
Last year’s entry: “My Słowianie” – Cleo and Donatan (14th Place)
Poland returned to the competition after some time away last year, and ensured themselves a place in the final by sending an entry that mixed national kitsch (the traditional image of the “slavic girl”) with some straight up sex appeal (and some very attractive dancers on stage)1. It was a combination that clearly worked for them, as they ended the competition in the finals, although outside of the top 10. With one (relatively) successful finish under their belts, will they be following the same tactic this year?
Monika Kuszyńska’s “In the Name of Love” is certainly lovely, but it’s not really my cup of tea. There was an infectious energy to Cleo’s song last year that I just find missing here. It’s a nice emotional ballad, but it feels like it should be soundtracking a commercial about Hallmark cards or Kay Jewelers. The instrumentation’s nice, and Monika’s voice is certainly capable to sell it, but I just to get the same excitement I get from other songs of a similar tempo/theme this semi-final, like Iceland and Portugal.
That said, I’m interested to see how this gets staged. One thing that the official video works around until the end is Monika’s disability2. I’m predicting a more static performance, especially given the more stately nature of the song, but I’m ready to be surprised. If I had any voting sway, there are a number of entries I’d be giving my vote before this, but there’s enough curiosity in Poland’s entry that I’m ready to see how they do.