Alicja Poland Eurovision 2020 Empires

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Poland‘s Szansa na Sukces winner Alicja Szemplińska and her song “Empires”. Did we want to be part of her empire? Read on to find out!

Alicja Szemplińska – “Empires”

“Empires” reviews

Barnabas: “Empires” is a song that won’t compete for the award of the “most unique song”, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the top tracks of the year. While it’s clearly one of those “James Bond” Eurovision entries, the lyrics are extremely relevant in today’s world and convey a message that should keep humanity from being carried away by power and greed. All I’ve said above wouldn’t be enough for the high mark, however, Alicja delivered it brilliantly live, so I can do nothing but to take my hat off.

Score: 8.5

Luis: It’s weird to see this song has kind of become a prophecy. Alicja’s drama overload has been matched by reality, and it’s not really pleasing to see. However, the song remains a so-so Bond-tune wannabe. While Alicja’s voice is to die for, the song is really below her.

Score: 5.5

Renske: Alicja has this deep voice that is recognisable from thousands of female voices. There is something Aretha Franklin about her voice and something Adele at the same time. Some ballads feel like five minutes, but “Empires” is not one of them as its dramatic build-up does certainly not bore.

Score: 7.5

Ron: “Ashes to ashes, dust into dust”. No, it’s not Anna Bergendahl, but Alicja with “Empires”. It’s not just the opening line but the song in general that sounds and feels very familiar, however, the rich and dramatic production of it is brilliant. In her live performance, Alicja wasn’t always accurate and was even a little shouty, but she’s still very impressive, so overall it’s a so-so score for me.

Score: 6

Tom: Alicja is without a doubt an incredible singer and she gets to show off those impressive chops with “Empires”. I do feel however that the song ages her negatively and the song doesn’t show her talent off. Forgetting the obvious Bond comparison, it is a very powerful, thought-provoking song. However, Poland won Junior Eurovision by wanting to change the world positively, not showing how terrible it is. So even though I like her a lot, I think she may have struggled for the final.

Score: 7

Alicja Szemplińska – “Empires” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 3.5

Antranig: 6

Åri: 7.5

Bernardo: 3.5

Calvin: 5.5

Deban: 5.5

Esma: 6

Florian: 5.5

Jonathan: 7

Lucy: 6

Natalie: 5.5

Oliver: 5.5

Pablo: 3

Robyn: 6

Sebastian: 5

Tobias: 5

William: 3.5

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 8.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.63/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

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Generic Eurovision Fan
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Generic Eurovision Fan

9.5 it’s so good. Every time I listen to it I love it even more.
6/41

Mr X
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Mr X

Poland 0/10

Héctor
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Héctor

I just can say Lake Malawi were the best option. 4. Romania – Roxen – Alcohol You (8) 11. Italy – Diodato – Fai rumore (6.75) 13. Cyprus – Sandro – Running (6.75) 14. Belgium – Hooverphonic – Release Me (6.75) 16. Ireland – Lesley Roy – Story of my Life (6.75) 19. United Kingdom – James Newman – My Last Breath (6.75) 24. Portugal – Elisa – Medo de sentir (6.5) 25. Israel – Eden Alene – Feker libi (6.5) 32. Belarus – VAL – Da vidna (5.5) 33. Poland – Alicja Szempli?ska – Empires (5.5) 36. Albania –… Read more »

Trina
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Trina

This song sounds like the theme song for a Lifetime miniseries based on a romance novel, or one of those soap operas about an old-money family where a character dies in a fire, but it turns out she had an evil twin all along.

Luk
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Luk

Alicja eurovision 2021

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

What do the lyrics even mean? It’s basically nonsense and it’s a story that I don’t think Alicja can relate to in any way, shape or form. Laurell Barker really gave us more Germany 2019 than Switzerland 2019 with this one. The instrumentals are fine and her voice is top 5 vocalists of the year, but I really hope Poland steps their game up next year. I want the greatness that was their 2016 selection again :/ 5,5/10

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

How did this get a higher overall score than ‘fall from the sky’?

Colin
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Colin

It didn’t. Both song are very underrated, though. I guess power-ballads really aren’t their thing.

Jo.
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Jo.

This song goes nowhere. It pretends to be powerful and emotional, but falls flat. 3 very long minutes.

kURWA
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U need to check your ears

Colin
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Colin

POLAND – When you go into drama, embrace it fully and make something epic out of it! Poland knows that well, delivering a really powerful Bond-esque ballad with layered lyrics. It can be about two ambitious lovers in a destructive relationship or about human toxic behavior towards Mother Earth. The visuals this song evokes are really strong and Alicja’s resonating deep voice makes them even more vivid. The song also has one of the strongest climaxes of this year. I guess this is my annual “Inje”, because my love for this song seems not to be universal. Still, I think… Read more »

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I think “Inje” ended up being my #3 when I revisited 2018.
For me,….this is definitely not Inje. 😉

Colin
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Colin

While we have different opinions towards Poland (and that’s cool 🙂 ), I am very happy you also appreciate Inje. It’s certainly one of my top favorites in a very strong 2018. 😉

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I think they made it very clear with the music video that it’s an environmental message, but I really like your interpretation. Empire as a metaphor for love is something that never occured to me, but it actually works surprisingly well with the lyrics. And I also like “Inje”, although I think they butchered the staging.

Colin
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Colin

Thanks for this comment, Skiwalko! 🙂 I always interpreted lyrics as having a double meaning. An environmental message is certainly very present, but I also have a feeling this could be about an intense relationship between two powerful people. I could see it as a tribute to a relationship like Batman / Talia or Bond / Elektra. When I look at it from that context, I think both versions of meaning could be applied. 🙂

Emily
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Emily

A nice song, and I think Alicja’s voice is fascinating. It’s somewhere in the middle for me as far as ranking goes, but overall a solid entry.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Good song, but I think the Alicja deserves slightly better. I hope Poland will come back stronger in 2021.

Till now, from the reviewed songs, my favorites are: Romania and Russia

KarmaLeon
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KarmaLeon

Hope she ll back in 21 with a butter song coz she deserves it

KarmaLeon
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KarmaLeon

« Better »

JDS
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JDS

I don’t know about that, Poland has done pretty well when their entries have involved butter 😉

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I’m Polish, so I may be biased (and I probably am), but I really think it’s a pretty darn good song. It’s not perfect, far from it, but in my opinion it has a lot of good components. For instance the “apocalyptic” lyrics, albeit pretentious and full of obvious metaphors, are somewhat unique and convey an important and timely message. Her voice needs training and she set the bar perhaps a bit too high with this song, but we gotta remember that she’s only 17, and furthermore you could really see her progress with each subsequent performance of “Empires”. However,… Read more »

Odysseas
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Odysseas

I really dont know how i feel about this. some times i find itextremely dull and mediocre and the next minute im dramatically singing the chorus. i cant deny her voice is stunning but the song itself doesnt stand out in any way. another dissapointment from poland…
Overall:3/10(32nd)

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Oh, my comment is awaiting moderation. So, short to say: 3rd of 41 with 10/10. Read my praise for that masterpiece later on please 😀

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Oh, giving my points to all entries today, I see, I did at least Poland in the last weeks 😀
Poland – 10/10 (3rd/41)

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Y’all, what should I say? It’s my 3rd place. Not kidding. From the top. 3rd of 41 with 10/10 🙂 I love Bond-ish songs and I love vulnerability, drama and smooth. So when the melody begins, I am already in, and then the lyrics start with “ashes to ashes”. So dramatic! Beautiful! The chorus is not THAT powerful, but this is exactly what makes it so impactful to me. I listen to the beat, I listen to dramatic lyrics again. And I get shivers. Imagine Alicja walking over the stage during the chorus, quite glamourous with attitude, yet vulnerable, and… Read more »

yodenman
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yodenman

Most people are complementary about her voice but I listened to her live performances and thought she struggled quite a lot with parts of the song. The big dramatic ending was really bad. She was really out of tune and when it was over her face said it all. She didn’t look happy with her performance. She certainly has potential but not with this song.

Kosey
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Kosey

37. Poland – 4/10 – From the first note of the sad violin, I get some very old-school vibes from this entry and sadly not in a cool, retro kind of way. There is an undoubtedly good vocal performance, but sadly I neither connect with the sentiment in the song, nor the presentation of it. I have no desire to create an empire, never mind burn it down once it has been built. Also, Alicja comes across as sulky rather than moody, and there is an important difference.

Mia
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Mia

I can’t blame her for being sulky when she has to sing that song, I would react much worse for sure 😀

Tibor
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Tibor

This is another very dull song that only just avoids my bottom 10, because I really like her voice. Some people say, her technique isn’t the best, but I kind of like the raw power. It’s , of course, wasted on an extremely forgettable song, I’m not able to hum it as soon as it’s over.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Agreement! *Angels sing*

Mia
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Mia

Dull as beige costume, perfect match yeah

Tibor
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Tibor

It’s a Holy Week miracle. 😉

Mia
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Mia

I can’t stand this song, my last place along with Estonia, there’s literally nothing I like here- annoying song which I hardly listen to the end, don’t like Bond-ish songs in general, pretentious screaming all along and faked emotions. It’s like 3 min. of vocal excercise and melody is just background to see Alicja in the first place, EuroSONG is not The Voice btw.
Alicja is talented and has potential tho, she deserves better song, just because of her score is
4/10

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

It’s in my bottom three and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have qualified. There are a lot of problems with it. The lyrics do not seem as if they’ve been written by somebody who has a native command of the English language. Alicja’s command of English is not much better. At her age, they could’ve done her a big favour by letting her sing in Polish as, even though it’s a little rough around the edges and not fully trained, her voice is good. It is a Bond-style song but probably the weakest we’ve had in the last few years… Read more »

Escvegi
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Escvegi

Okay the song is not the best but only a 5.58 is kinda low. My score is a 7

bartosz
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bartosz

The score here is even lower than Belarus or Moldova…
“Empires” might not be the best song this year, but it’s way better than “Da vidna” or “Prison”