Poland: Blanka and Solo

In 2016, a great injustice took place in Poland.*

A young pop girlie named Margaret found a rejected Rihanna b-side, paired it with some Michael Bay graphics and managed to create an absolute pop masterpiece.

But for some reason, Poland was not ready to party in 2016. They were feeling sentimental that year, and instead chose Sergeant Pepper’s Loneliest Heart, Michal Spzak, with Color of Your Life, an overwrought, sentimental ballad.

It’s been six years. Six years, and I’m still not over this injustice! I know I should move on. Margaret’s moved on! And I mean that literally! She picked herself up and went over to Sweden, a country that knows how to appreciate a pop girlie. But every year, I can’t help but wish that Poland would come to its senses and send Margaret.

Well, this year, my wish was granted. But in a twisted, monkey paw’s kind of way. Because after not sending the pop girlie with the banger in 2016, Poland is sending a pop girlie with a banger that would have been popular in 2016.

Yes, this year, the Polish public said, “What if we sent Margaret, but with more butt?” And thus, they’re sending Blanka with the song Solo:

I’m not going to go into the potential shenanigans at the Polish National Selection. Those involved with the contest have already done that better than I could. I’ll just leave Blanka’s winner performance here for you to watch:

As a banger slut, this song should be completely, 100% up my street. And yet…and yet…and yet. Look, when I see Blanka perform, all I can think of is Salvador Sobral’s stupid comments about fast food music.

Blanka’s Solo is the Shein of music.** Her song is cheap, disposable, and probably the result of some exploitation at some point in the production process. It looks good for thirty seconds and then you realise how absolutely synthetic it is.

These comments may sound harsh. It’s not like Poland’s other acts have produced pop masterpieces. What they did produce, however, was good vibes.

Remember Gromee’s fish dance? Rafal’s sunglasses waggle? These were artists who were willing to be goofballs, to have fun with the audience.

Blanka, however, has released an entire video of herself having fun on an Instagram-ready vacation, and the vibe is more this:

I mean, Blanka’s idea of a good time is apparently to push over a Jenga game:

Who’s going to clean that up, Blanka? You?

That moment of the video of sums up Blanka’s problem in a nutshell. The perception is that she is a mean girl, willing to have fun at the expense of other people. She’s received some blowback because of her comments around other contestants in the Polish Eurovision Selection. Other contestants – like Mae Muller, Piqued Jacks, and Wild Youth – have responded to criticisms of themselves in a way which was much more playful.

And yes, I am ACUTELY aware that perceptions of women’s actions and motivations are often more harshly judged than those of men. Which is why I’m trying to give Blanka the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable bantering in English. Maybe someone else controls her social media.

But in the Eurovision of 2023, you can’t coast into the competition on a smile and a nice ass. You don’t have to have a great song. You don’t have to have a memorable personality. But you can’t be lacking in both. And I’m afraid that this year, Poland is lacking in both.

Is it too late to give Margaret a call?

*Injustice is only mild hyperbole here. I know that Michal Spzak has his fans, and his song was performed competently at Eurovision, and he seems to be doing pretty well for himself as a judge on the Polish version of The Voice. He came 8th, the third highest result of any Polish entry to Eurovision! I’m pretty sure he’s not sitting around worrying about what I, a blogger sitting on my couch, thinks of his music! But I’m still listening to Cool Me Down years later because it is a Grade A USDA Approved Organic Certified BOP, and it should have gone to Eurovision.

**I recently bought a Eurovision party shirt from Shein! I am part of the problem!

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