With the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 just around the corner, ESCXTRA is sitting down with artists from this year to hear all about their songs, journey, and all things Eurovision! Simon had the opportunity to chat with Rafaɫ from Poland, who is performing ‘The Ride’ in Rotterdam. In the interview, they discuss how Rafaɫ came to be the Polish entry, which recent Eurovision act impressed him greatly, his favourite songs from this year and much more!
You can watch the full interview below:
Poland’s team of 12 to Rotterdam
Rafał Brzozowski confirms their delegation will head to Rotterdam on 8 May, including the six that will be on stage. Himself, four dancers, and one backing vocalist. Then there’s staff from TVP and Rafał’s management. The Polish team are of course keen to get things underway and Rafał speaks of the anticipation and appreciation that all the artists and crews involved in the contest will have to be able to undertake such a large live event in this troubled year. Watch the video to see what Rafał has to say about the staging for ‘The Ride’; he’s keen to point out that recent TV performances aren’t a dress rehearsal for the Eurovision presentation!
A Polish juror for Eurovision 2019
A a member of Poland’s jury in 2019, Rafał’s full rankings are publicly available. His first place matched the overall winner of the polish jury vote. He was rather taken with the song and staging for Australia, praising Kate Miller-Heidke’s athletic and operatically precise delivery on, or rather, above the stage:
“Singing in a classical style with full voice, …it was really hard to sing, technically. And the idea of the song was something new for me.”Rafał Brzozowski
Internal selection for 2021
Rafał hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 and shared a light-hearted moment with EBU’s Eurovision Supervising Executive, Martin Österdahl. Martin knew Rafał to be a performer and asked if he’d be looking to take part in the senior contest. Funny how things turn out… Watch to find out how Rafał expects the conversation to go when he and Martin are face to face again in Rotterdam!
Back in November 2020, at the time of Junior Eurovision, Rafał had no plan or expectation to take part in Eurovision 2021, but took his chance in collaboration with a Swedish songwriting and production team as TVP expressed a wish for an uptempo song this year, and seemingly ‘The Ride’ was up against a number of ballads on the table at TVP.
Among the 2021 participants, Rafał expresses his liking of Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears’ voice and entry, as well as a couple of other challengers he favours this year.
Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest
Poland made their debut in Eurovision at the 1994 contest in Dublin. Edyta Górniak finished in second place with her song, “To nie ja!”. It still remains as Poland’s best result to date.
Poland has since only made the top 10 on two further occasions – in 2003 and 2016. Ich Troje finished in seventh place in Riga, while Michał Szpak finished in eighth place in Stockholm.
Since the semi-finals were introduced, Poland have qualified for the finals six times (out of a total of 14 attempts). Poland will be hoping to make it a seventh qualification this year, after failing to qualify in 2018 and 2019. Last year, Alicja was selected to represent Poland with her song “Empires”, however the contest was cancelled. ‘The Ride’ will be the 23rd entry for Poland on the Eurovision stage.
Watch the full interview now to learn about Rafał, and ‘The Ride’. ESCXTRA wants to thank Rafał for taking the time to chat with us, and we wish him all the best in Eurovision! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.