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XTRA Slide-back Sunday: Polished Poland

It’s Sunday, so that can only mean one thing: XTRA Throwback Thursday! Wait… That’s not correct. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we moved our Throwback to Sunday for once. So, here’s Slide-back Sunday! In the upcoming weeks and months, we’ll take you on a journey through Europe and beyond, a journey through the history of the contest. This week, we’ll focus on the wonders Poland has sent to the Eurovision stage.

This week’s theme: Polished Poland

Poland entered the contest with a bang 23 years ago. Immediately finishing in second place, causing a scandal during rehearsals – People knew we had a new kid on the block. Their success has since declined and they even withdrew for a few years. Poland are however back now and they polish their entries year after year. Girls churning butter, light shows, pictures of the artist – their stage performances do deliver.

Back in the day, Poland’s entries weren’t as polished. The song I’ve chosen for Poland’s Slide-back Sunday is very polished, the voice is not… I, of course, have chosen Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic.

ICH TROJE – KEINE GRENZEN – ŻADNYCH GRANIC

When asked about my Polish Eurovision favourite, I didn’t need a long time to think what I could choose. I do like quite a few Polish entries, but this has somehow always done the trick for me.

Everything about this was very polished. Ich Troje performed in three languages, so they would surely gather points from all over Europe. The trick worked: Germany awarded this song, partially in German, their twelve points. Austria followed the trick and gave Poland ten points. Sadly for Ich Troje, their Russian bit didn’t help in getting Russian votes. Russia used a jury that year and they were not impressed: 0 points. At the end of voting, Ich Troje had received 90 points, giving them a seventh place in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003. To date, that is one of only three top ten results for Poland.

Their tactics were polished, the contrasts were amazing. Just listen to those two voices, there is a major contrast there. The distance they sing about is almost what they act out on stage, with Michal standing on the satellite stage. There even is a contrast between the grey suits and his bright red hair – a real trademark of his.

Three years later, Ich Troje tried their Eurovision luck once more. Follow My Heart didn’t make the final and Michal’s trademark was suddenly gone… His red hair was replaced by bright green. Why, you may ask? It was because of a sponsor deal with a mobile phone company, who have the colour green in their logo… Not that polished, I’d say.

What the others had to say…

Miki:

I think I was too young to appreciate this song back in 2003. The beautiful message in the lyrics of the song is perfectly depicted in the vocal contrast of Anna and Michael. Both so different yet managing to work together in harmony.

If I have to pick which of their Eurovision entries I prefer, I would have to go with “Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic“. The answer to this question would have been a lot more different in 2006 though.

Wivian:

I really liked this song back in 2003, and I still do. Especially the chorus, I find immensely powerful and gripping. Also, the way their voices match and contrast works really well. I have to admit I prefer the studio version to the live clip, though. Michal’s voice is, I find, a bit “all over the place” in the Eurovision performance. My favorite moment of the entire performance is at the very end, when he kneels in front of her, and she pats him kind of awkwardly on the head, looking like she’s thinking “yeah, yeah, good boy”. Fun (or perhaps I should say weird) fact; When I found out they were returning three years later, I went out and bought myself a bright red wig, to wear at my Eurovision party to show my support. Imagine my disappointment when he came on stage and his hair was GREEN!!

Next week

Next week, we’re getting closer to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Tony is going to focus on the Cheery Children next week, so make sure to check that out!.

But for now, let’s remember Poland’s ‘Keine Grenzen. What is your favourite Belarusian entry? Let us know below!
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Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Seven years after the start, I'm proud that I am now the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids...
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