Eurovision 2020 Review: Poland – Alicja Szemplinska – Empires

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Poland sends The Voice-winner Alicja Szemplinska with ‘Empires’
Having missed a spot in the final two years years in a row and with only one top 10 finish in the past 15 years (in 2016), it is safe to say that Poland needs to step up their Eurovision game. After the internal selection of the band Tulia last year, The Polish broadcaster decided to pick their entry through a talent show this time around, in which the artists performed mostly covers and the three remaining candidates presented their song for Rotterdam in the final. The final was won by The Voice-winner Alicja Szemplinska with the ballad ‘Empires’.

17-year-old Szemplinska grabbed the ticket to Rotterdam with a quite traditional and towards the end bombastic and dramatic ballad. Although they did their very best to make ‘Empires’ into a dynamic ballad with a big build up, the track fails to properly draw me in. The melodies are forgettable on first listen and the cliche driven lyrical content leaves me cold. It is not necessarily a bad song, but it just fails to fully grab my attention and I can’t see the European televoter fall for this. The juries might save her some points if she nails her vocals, but the question remains if this will be enough to get her anywhere near a spot in the final.

For most of the tune, her vocals are strong, but during the national final performance, she missed the last few big ones, which could be a problem at the Eurovision stage. With a song that tries to be as dramatic as ‘Empires’, it is essential that every single note is on point. If she can fix those notes (and maybe a bit of the pronunciation of the lyrics too), we can’t completely rule Poland out yet, but I would be gobsmacked if this made it to the left side of the scoreboard during the final.


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