National Independence Day - looking at Poland’s big turn around at Junior Eurovision
Today is National Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości) in Poland. The nationwide holiday is celebrated on November 11 to commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of Poland's sovereignty as the Second Polish Republic in 1918 from the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires.
In celebration we take a look at Poland’s big turn around at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where since their debut they struggled to get off the bottom of the scoreboard and ended up leaving the Contest. They would go on to return 12 years later with a vengeance and join the winners club with two wins out of their last seven appearances in the Contest.
Poland made their debut at the inaugural Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Unfortunately their entry ‘Coś mnie nosi’ by Katarzyna Żurawik came in at last place with only three points, all from neighbouring Belarus. The following year Poland opted for the girl band KWADro, who performed ‘Łap życie’. Unfortunately they drew with Latvia in last place again achieving 3 points (2 points from France and one point from Belarus).
After only two years in Junior Eurovision, Poland withdrew. This was despite the Polish broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) signing a contract with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to remain in the Contest for three years.
Years later the broadcaster had expressed interest in returning to the Contest. They wouldn’t make their return until 12 years later. They made their comeback in 2016 with, national final winner, Olivia Wieczorek singing a powerful performance of ‘Nie Zapomnij’. Poland managed to get 60 points, even scoring 12 points from the Armenian Kids Jury. The 'last place curse' was broken as they finished in 11th position at the Contest!
The following year Poland selected their 2017 entry through a national final, yet again, in ‘Krajowe Eliminacje do Konkursu Piosenki Eurowizji dla Dzieci 2017’. Alicia Rega was selected to perform ‘Mój dom’. Poland would go on to achieve a new feat at this Contest by hitting the Top 10 for the first time, finishing in 8th place! They scored 138 points including 12 points from Ireland.
In 2018 TVP opted to internally select Roksana Węgiel with the song ‘Anyone I Want to Be’. The self-inspiring song was so well received and for the first time Poland won Junior Eurovision. They received 215 points with 12 points from France and 10 points from Serbia and Australia.
Following their big win TVP decided to select their 2019 entrant through the national final ‘Szansa na sukces’ (A Chance for Success) . The show was one of the first popular talent shows on the Polish channel TVP2. The show started in 1993 and ran for 19 years.
The 2019 edition was a rebooted version of ‘Szansa na sukces’ aimed at young singers so Poland can to select their Junior Eurovision entrant. The show was such a success an adult version of the show was run to select Poland’s Eurovision 2020 entrant.
Viki Gabor ended up taking out the show with her song ‘Superhero’. She won over the jury and the televoters.
Poland's pop-anthem entry ‘Superhero’ proved very popular before the 2019 Contest.
The Polish broadcaster also had the opportunity to host the 2019 Contest for the first time in Gliwice, Silesia.
At the 2019 Contest Poland won with a huge 278 points. They received 12 points from Kazakhstan and Spain, and 10 points from Belarus, France, Malta and Serbia. In the online voting Viki received a whopping 166 points, with over half a million votes.
Poland’s second win put them in the double winners club with Belarus, Malta and Russia who have all had two Junior Eurovision wins. Georgia is the only country to have achieved an impressive three Junior Eurovision wins. Poland’s back-to-back win was a first in Junior Eurovision history.
In 2020 Poland are set to host the Contest for the second time, this time in the TVP Headquarters Studio in Warsaw. This year is the first time a country has hosted the Contest two years in a row. The Contest has been amended to suit the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions across the globe. Therefore for the first time all the competing songs will be performed in a studio in their participating country.
The 2020 entrant representing Poland is Ala Tracz. The 10 year old was selected, yet again, through the junior version of ‘Szansa na sukces’. Her entry ‘I’ll Be Standing’ was selected and won the jury and televote.
There are already amongst the fandom that Poland has one of the stronger songs in this years Contest, yet again, with ‘I’ll Be Standing’ being a contemporary pop song with a powerful chorus.
Will Poland impress us all by scoring a hat trick this year?
Only time will tell!
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