Earlier this morning the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — headed to Kraków to visit St. Mary’s Basilica, the beautiful 14th-century structure y’all obviously know as the Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven. Afterwards we stood on the street eating cheesy zapiekanka, before reviewing Monika Kuszynska‘s Eurovision 2015 song “In the Name of Love”. Were we moved by her song and her touching backstory? Read on to find out…
Poland’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Monika Kuzsynska with ‘In the Name of Love’
William: To say that Monika’s wheelchair is a gimmick is deeply offensive: Being paraplegic is part of her life and she can’t exactly avoid it. I applaud her for choosing a song that speaks to her personal story — overcoming a tragic car accident — and for giving perseverance and hope a beat that many will sway to. That said, the song itself is somewhat dull and forgettable. Monika is my girl, but “In the Name of Love” is not.
Robyn: So, this is about as far removed as you can get from Poland’s boobilicious Slavic girls of 2014. As mild-mannered as this rock ballad is, it’s not without its merits. As long as the staging lets audiences connect with Monika, it should work well and will probably qualify. Amid all the drama and spectacle of 2015, there’s just something quite appealing about a nice lady singing an uplifting song.
Bogdan: A very pleasant tune, performed by a wonderful lady. I know, I could say this about a dozen entries this year. That is also Monika’s problem – how to set herself and her song apart from the pack. (I am very curious about the staging, by the way.) As much as I want to give it a high score, because I loved it at first, now I find it flat. The lyrics are very generic, too. So sad they didn’t go with the Polish version, it sounds a lot more melodious.
Padraig: Positives first – the sentiments behind “In The Name of Love” are wonderful, and kudos to Monika for trying to become a role model for others. Sadly, good intentions aren’t enough at Eurovision. The song is about as exciting as soggy cardboard and goes nowhere. Some have speculated that this could be catnip for jurors, but will they be able to digest all the syrupy sweetness?
Angus: “In The Name Of Love” resonated live in Riga a lot more than it does in the studio version. It’s unfortunate that Poland joins the large number of songs this year that gambles everything on the bridge to succeed and that could hurt Monika on stage. The draw should help her clear the semi-final though.
Chris: Just so forgettable. Every time this song comes on when I’m playing the official album, I have to take a moment or two to remember just which song this is. Monika has a strong voice, but there’s nothing about this song that, as a listener or viewer, would make me want to vote for it. One wonders if Poland are hoping for a strong spread of jury votes to pull them through, along with a casual viewer supporting Monika for her “story”, if that comes across in her performance.
Deban: This year’s ESC theme of “building bridges” takes residency in the Polish entry. Kuszynska’s disability may score sympathy votes. However, her well-crafted composition does not rely on that. “In The Name Of Love” is the offspring of a collaboration with her musical companion and husband, Jacob Raczynski. Tender, and yet full of meaning, their efforts should resonate with listeners during the live performance.
Marek: The first time I heard that my country will be represented by a paraplegic, I thought it was a joke, like a Polish Conchita. But then I listened to the song, and now I think her voice is amazing, that the video is beautiful, and that lyrics are just flawless. Our song is perfect, even if only a few people will see it. Monika is fighting for the win, and I know it will be either one of the greatest wins or one of the most spectacular losses.
Max: They rejected Edyta Gorniak for this? Really? Was there some sort of mix up that meant the invitation got sent to the wrong person? If I was suffering from insomnia then I’d use for song as a sleeping pill. It’s dull, totally unremarkable and cheesy. Poland should be embarrassed and they’ve really got lucky with being last in their semi finals running order. Monika has been through a lot, we cannot deny that but I just really wish she’d entered a song that put across her message whilst giving Poland a chance of victory.
Sopon: Poland has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other in switching from softcore folk/hip-hop porn to pure white curtains and dresses and ballads. Monika’s voice is very pleasant to me, and that’s the winning aspect of the song. She isn’t striving for high notes that she can’t reach or chirping like a baby chick. She’s a true alto and works that to her full advantage with pleasant, full lower notes, and that is a stark contrast to many of the other girls trying to belt out octaves that aren’t humane to the ears. In summary, Poland’s song needs some improvement to stand out, but Monika’s voice is enough for me to be in love with it.
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 2/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1.5 and a high of 10.