15 March 2015

Review: Poland: Eurovision 2015 | Monika Kuszyńska

Monika Kuszyńska takes to the Eurovision stage In the Name of Love
Surrounded by some big names from the Polish entertainment industry, Monika Kuszyńska was announced as Poland's 2015 Eurovision representative on the country's early evening magazine TV show, Świat się kręci (The World is Turning). Internally selected by the public broadcaster, TVP, she will be singing her co-composed song In the Name of Love in the second half of the second semi-final on May 21.

Monika was the lead singer with the pop band Varius Manx for five years, until they were all involved in a serious road accident in 2006. While they all fortunately survived, Monika was left paralyzed from the waist down and is now reliant on the use of a wheelchair.

The accident did not dim her determination to continue to write and record her own music. In 2012, she released her first solo album, Ocalona, which was moderately successful in Poland. Since then, she has been involved with some reality TV ventures, but now feels fortunate to have been chosen to travel to Vienna with this understated ballad.

On first hearing it, there was a sense of disappointment after last year's display of controversial theatre from Donatan and Cleo and their buxom beauties. In comparison, this tune strikes you as merely beige to those red hot antics, even if it is one of 2015's stronger melodies amongst an ever growing assortment of ballads.

However, combining lyrics such as, "I wanna tell you, it’s gonna be better, you’ve got a greatness within you" with Monika's personal circumstances may prompt some "rubber necking" from Eurovision voters. In other words, from its initial appraisal as just another piano-driven love theme, the song manages to send out what could be construed as an entirely unintentional message. Overcoming adversity may not be the motive behind the lyrics, but many may be enticed into understanding them as such when watching the performance on the night.

Will this suddenly boost the prospects of what is essentially a very middle-of-the-road song? It's a vague possibility. However, this entry does not have the immediate impact of say PKN's punk outrage, a band which has its equally inspiring story to tell. Still, a lot of ballads are going to have to advance to the Final and, given Poland's powerful voting diaspora throughout Europe, this will probably be one of them.

Would you be happy with this song qualifying for the Final?

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