The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we turn to Poland, where Rafał has “The Ride”. Did we want to hop on board with him? Read on to find out!

Rafał – “The Ride”

“The Ride” reviews

Kristín: Mama used to say never get in a car with a stranger, but that advice was forgotten as soon as Rafal and his swagger ride rolled up and offered a lift! This song has basically everything needed after a rather bleak year. It’s sleek, it’s fun, it’s hot and it’s cool, all at the same time and has just the right amount of ’80s feeling that can lighten up any party at any time. Poland has had its hits and misses through the years, but this time they definitely have a hit, and Rafal himself simply oozes elegance and confidence and makes a girl want to throw all caution out the wind. He’s asking us to hold on for the ride of our lives, and I for one, am buckled up and ready to go. Bring it!

Score: 9.5

Deban: Rafal, Poland’s popular TV host has unwittingly succeeded in releasing 2021’s premier guilty pleasure. Badass, but at the same time cringeworthy —this Ferrari runs ambitiously on kerosene! Although the lyrical content here is light years away from that of a Shakespearean sonnet, the undeniably catchy hook, and the sleek music video makes it tolerable. Do I think “The Ride” is great? No, I don’t. But do I enjoy the song? Yes, I do. (and I’ve often had it on repeat) However, maximising your pleasure from this joyride requires a warning. Before pressing play, lower your expectations.

Score: 5.5

Luis: Rafał rides the wave of ’80s popularity, but he’s far from the crest. The main problem with “The Ride” is its lack of distinction. While it’s easy on the ears, it leaves as fast as it arrived. Rather than a rollercoaster, this feels more like a promenade between the neons. While it has a clear hook, it’s not a particularly memorable one. This isn’t just a safe choice, it’s a flavourless election.

Score: 4

Tom: “The Ride” is very likeable and ticks all the right boxes for a typical “Eurovision” song. Fun, upbeat and unquestionably catchy. However, as we all know, these stereotypical songs of course don’t do very well at Eurovision. Though it does have many positives, “The Ride” is incredibly generic and lacks a lot of heart. It wants to be cool, it thinks it’s got swagger and sex appeal – it doesn’t. In fact, it’s a slice of pure cheese — but I kinda like that! “The Ride” is a guilty pleasure and just because I don’t think it will do well in Rotterdam, it doesn’t mean I dislike it! No, I’m not convinced we will be riding into Saturday, but Poland is in the second semi-final, so we may still see Rafał perform twice.

Score: 7

William: If you’ve listened to the radio at any point over the past 30 years, or visited any club from Ibiza to Milton Keynes, then you’ve like heard some form of “The Ride”. It’s generic, vapid, and very heard-it-all-before. There is little ambition: It strings together words to fill up space rather than to tell an original story. And while this ride covers the same old ground as so many cheaply produced tracks before it, there’s something comforting about the familiarity of it all. I’ll happily listen to this while I do the dishes or fold the laundry.

Score: 3

Rafał – “The Ride” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 6.5

Calvin: 3.5

Diego: 4

Erdi: 2.5

Esma: 5

Jonathan: 6

Jordi: 4

Josh: 4.5

Julian: 5

Lauren: 1

Lucy: 2.5

Natalie: 4

Oliver: 2

Pablo: 5

Renske: 5.5

Robyn: 5

Ron: 4.5

Sebastian: 6

Tobias: 4

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 1 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 4.5/10

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

See all our Eurovision 2021 reviews and rankings

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Serafina
Serafina
15 days ago

I thought this man was attractive until I saw him without the sunglasses LOL Anyways, I don’t hate the song, it’s actually quite nice, I’m not sure why everyone hates it so much, is it because Poland didn’t let the girl from last year return? Or did she just not want it and people don’t know that and hare hating on him for no reason? Or the song is really that awful and I just don’t see how? It’s nowhere near my top, don’t get me wrong, but the ammount of hate it’s getting makes it seem like it’s as… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Serafina
Linnea
Linnea
15 days ago

This makes me sad, so low scores 🙁 It’s my number one! Such a great song. Greetings from Sweden

Jofty
Jofty
15 days ago
Reply to  Linnea

Are you one of the writers?

Serafina
Serafina
15 days ago
Reply to  Linnea

Number one is the ultimate reach lol, I don’t think it’s bad, but #1 it is not

Héctor
Héctor
15 days ago

Not too bad. Actually listenable but it is completely irrelevant and uninteresting. Only a very dynamic perforamance and vocals on point could save Poland. And that’s because they are in the 2nd SF. If they were in the 1st SF I’d already count them out. 5.25/10 Poland occupies my 32nd place. 2. Ireland (8.25) 6. Spain (7.5) 7. Finland (7.5) 8. Sweden (7.25) 11. Czech Republic (7.25) 12. Italy (7.25) 14. Ukraine (7) 15. Greece (7) 17. Belgium (6.75) 18. Cyprus (6.75) 19. Norway (6.75) 22. Slovenia (6.25) 23. Denmark (6.25) 24. Austria (6) 25. Azerbaijan (6) 26. Latvia (6)… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
15 days ago

I know this isn’t one of the best songs this year and it likely won’t qualify, but I can’t help it, the ride is definitely one of my guilty pleasures for this year’s Eurovision.

Henry
Henry
15 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Me too! I listen to it everyday.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
15 days ago

“The Ride” feels like a mistake, a lapse in judgement of sorts. Which is not to say it’s horrible or anything, we’ve sent worse songs. But I do think it’s fair to say that it was doomed to backlash. In the last couple of years, Polish music scene has been going through what I would describe as a renaissance. We’ve got a whole new generation of creative and talented artists performing music of all genres, pop, rap, alternative rock, sung poetry, you name it. “The Ride” is in no way reflective of this shift. It sounds more like a lame,… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Skiwalko
John
John
16 days ago

Every year ,the Polish song is rated low by the wiwi jury. Even if its Swedish {hahaha}. Lauren 1 point – okay?! I have already come to terms with the fact that my country will probably not win so soon. This year ,let Rafal advance to the finals. I wish him and myself.Have a nice day.

Nobody Important
Nobody Important
16 days ago

I would like it WAY more if Rafal doesn’t have a charisma of a freaking statue.

Gurl
Gurl
16 days ago

Underrated. I’m a huge fan of retrowave music and I’m glad this genre finally is being represented in Eurovision. I just hope the staging elevates the song. Poland is one country that likes taking risks and I appreciate that. Good luck!

Ende
Ende
15 days ago
Reply to  Gurl

“Poland is one country that likes taking risks” this is my favourite ESC 2021 joke !!! Defining taking risk as selecting a 40yo white straight man singing a mediocre song about going out with a woman is hilarious. Thank you Gurl for your great sense of humour.

Dawid
Dawid
15 days ago
Reply to  Ende

Being straight is an insult now?

Ende
Ende
15 days ago
Reply to  Dawid

Cause you take 40yo or being a man or being white as an insult ? This is good to know… very ageist, sexist and racist from you though….
Nothing of those things are insults to me.
Just saying there is absolutely no risk at all at selecting this guy and this song as both are totally average and mainstream.
The only insult here is you not being able to understand a simple comment.

Emily
Emily
16 days ago

39) Poland – Are you surprised? 😉 For a song that’s called “The Ride”, it’s an absolute slog to get through. The song in itself isn’t bad, it’s that Rafal has to be one of the most boring, uncharismatic people in the contest this year. Wearing sunglasses indoors/in the dark isn’t a personality trait… unless you’re Corey Hart, that is. Watching it live on Poland’s The Voice Kids pretty much shows it all – that the staging and dancers are probably going to carry everything. If it was with any other singer that at least shows a tiny speck of… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Emily
Yudhistira Mahasena
16 days ago

You’ll know well that nobody in Poland likes Rafal Brzozowski. He works for TVP, a.k.a. the one of the most corrupt national broadcasters in Europe, for a propaganda. He’s such a disgrace in his own country.

Surprisingly, everyone outside Poland likes him. I think he can qualify.

Dave
Dave
16 days ago

Does anyone outside Poland even know who he is?? I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you say everyone likes him.. he’s hardly a worldwide mega celebrity

Steven
Steven
16 days ago

Seriously! Do you really think that Denmark Germany and Spain are better than Poland this year?

Ende
Ende
15 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Yes

Héctor
Héctor
15 days ago
Reply to  Steven

Absolutely yes! Well, Germany isn’t though. They are equally bad.

Sot
Sot
16 days ago

Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 27 Italy (7.7) (=) Ireland (7.7) Cyprus (7.45) Finland (7.34) Ukraine (7.32) Russia (7.18) Sweden (7.14) Greece (6.82) (=) United Kingdom (6.82) Croatia (6.75) Azerbaijan (6.57) Israel (6.45) Latvia (6.34) Belgium (6.16) (=) Czech Republic (6.16) Serbia (6.09) Albania (5.89) (=) Norway (5.89) Spain (5.34) Germany (5.14) Estonia (5.07) Austria (4.89) Denmark (4.84) (=) Slovenia (4.84) Poland (4.5) Portugal (4.32) North Macedonia (4.05) My personal TOP 27 Italy (My 2nd) Greece (My 4th) Ukraine (My 7th) Belgium (My 10th) Finland (My 11th) Estonia (My 12th) Russia (My 13th) Serbia (My 14th) United Kingdom (My 15th) Cyprus… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
16 days ago

It’s funny what Willian wrote, because I went to Milton Keynes yesterday. I needed shopping. The clubs are closed due to COVID, but I can imagine “The Ride” being played in them on 80’s night. It’s also a song that’s very radio friendly because it is an easy everyday sound; sort of the equivalent of a can of soda. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it also doesn’t stand out. I don’t think this will qualify at the ESC, but I am happy to be proven wrong.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
16 days ago

William: You got to go further back than 30 years. This sound is based upon the synth-pop sounds of the 1980s. YouTube is full of artists re-creating that sound; from Emil Rottmayer to The Midnight to FM Attack. Go to YouTube’s Neon.fm channel, or the New Retro Wave channel, and you’ll hear lots of synthwave there. As for Rafal, if he wants to qualify, he’ll need a stage setup that is reminiscent of the ’80s but not so lame that you’ll think you’re in a shopping mall instead of a dance club. After my second evaluation (song and video), I… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by CookyMonzta
Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
16 days ago

Can I have a ride with Rafal? 😉

Apollo
Apollo
16 days ago

4.5/10 is a very generous score for this song. A middle-aged man singing about giving someone the ‘ride of your life’ will not appeal to viewers. Also, he’s not a great singer and has ZERO stage presence, the guy is literally a TV presenter for god’s sake.

John
John
15 days ago
Reply to  Apollo

Senhit is also 40 years old. This Eurovision is only 20 years olds.

Sabrina
Sabrina
16 days ago

Although there’s nothing objectively shameful about it, “The Ride” is in my opinion the most uninteresting and lazy entry in Eurovision 2021’s lineup. It sounds like a forgotten discarded ultra basic pop song that was re-recorded with synthesizers to try to capitalize on the 80’s throw-back trend, but weirdly it doesn’t sound either contemporary or retro. To make things worse, Rafal’s monotonous vocals don’t go or even bother trying to go anywhere. 3/10

Alo
Alo
16 days ago

Can someone explain why he’s with sunglasses all the time? It’s quite annoying to watch.
Anyway, Poland should shake the things up next year and think how to pick a good song.

Kkk
Kkk
16 days ago
Reply to  Alo

We didnt have the choince 😉 it was set up

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
15 days ago
Reply to  Alo

Because he’s trying to look “cool.”

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
16 days ago

If this was “the ride of my life”, I’d be suicidal. It’s so lazy, uninspired and pointless that I sincerely hope Poland hasn’t paid more than 49 cents to the D-list Swedish songwriters because anything more would have been a rip-off. An even bigger rip-off than the depressingly bad song itself. There’s really nothing more to say about these three minutes of Swedish second-hand (more like 36th-hand) nothingness. Polish TV couldn’t care less. What a green team Poland and Sweden make. Recycle everything and everyone. No thx, I’ll walk.

Alex
Alex
16 days ago

It’s actually one of my favourites this year. I’d give an 8.

Darren
16 days ago

Ahh this is an attempt to replicate the balance between 80s inspired and modern pop that worked out successfully for Dua Lipa and to some degree, The Weeknd. However this fails. What we get is an absolute carnival of cringe. The song and the accompanying video honestly cringes me so much that I curl up into a defensive ball.
This is like it’s from 00s Eurovision, those dark days where a country was capable of sending anything, just not a good song. I don’t see this qualifying, but you know I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. – 4/10

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

POLAND – I said a lot about ”so bad that it’s good”, but this just might be my first ”so mediocre that it’s good”. It’s somewhat derivative, with a monotone vocal delivery, linear musical arrangement, and generic lyrics. By all means, this feels average. Still, it is so committed to being average that it creates this wonderful meme likability. I’m not sure whether I’m laughing with them or at them, but I am laughing regardless. The more badass this song wants to sound, the funnier it is. I genuinely enjoy the synth-pop elements sprinkled in the instrumental and their flow,… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Colin
Ende
Ende
16 days ago

I know that tastes are subjective and respectable… but come one Kristín!!!! 9,5?? Is he your brother ? your father ? Was your score out of 20 and not out of 10 ? or did you score all the other songs 10 ?

Impressive Instants
Impressive Instants
16 days ago

I think it is overscored actually

Tibor
Tibor
16 days ago

This song has practically no bass and is one of the limpest things I’ve heard in a while. Vocally it’s not very challenging, so he shouldn’t have any difficulties performing it. “The Ride” does sound 80s, but to use an 80s reference, judging by his look he sets out to be Corey Hart, but ends up being Mandy Smith. It’s the next certain non-qualifier from semi two.

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

This would actually be my borderline qualifier from semi 2. 😉 It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. There are 7 songs there which don’t even provide me that.

Last edited 16 days ago by Colin
Mr X
Mr X
16 days ago

One of the worst entries this year 0/10

Tom
Tom
16 days ago
Reply to  Mr X

It’s among the worst Swedish entries this year with the other two being Malta and San Marino.

Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
16 days ago

I actually like this song and it’s among my personal qualifiers from semi final 2. But it does have that soulless bought song feel to it so other songs might be more deserving of the spot in the final.

finnished
finnished
16 days ago

Rafal and elegance can’t be used in the same sentence.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
16 days ago

Actually, this is not awful song, but that’s nothing special about it. I feel that this song is very forgettable and impactless. However, this has a quite catchy beat. Whatsoever, I give this a 4/10 for now, hoping that he will change my opinion at the rehearsals

Kristian
Kristian
16 days ago

He is not that bad vocally as people claimed. The song is decent . Somehow I feel the vibe of the song doesn’t really fit the performer. Possibly cause the song wasn’t written for him. It doesn’t really make me want to dance though. That’s not a good sign is it ? I wouldn’t skip if it plays , wouldn’t actively search for it either

6/10

I’m not sure this will qualify , but it could .

Last edited 16 days ago by Kristian
Thanos
Thanos
16 days ago

23. Poland: Well just an average pop song by an average singer. Nevertheless I do enjoy it and I don’t skip I when it’s on. Will it qualify? I don’t think so unfortunately.

Kosey
Kosey
16 days ago

8. Poland – Rafal – The Ride – 9/10 – this song is insanely upbeat and catchy from the very first beat, drawing me in and never letting go. I am a sucker for that 80s vibe and the synths and splashing drums are spot on. There is a pleasing, soaring chorus with lyrics that are relatable and inspirational. This is a song about the power of optimism and perseverance. Rafal seems like he is genuinely enjoying himself and that infectious positivity brings his listeners with him for the ride. When the song throws in some “whoa-oh-oh’s” then I am… Read more »

Fefe
Fefe
16 days ago

Of the two midlife crisis entries (the other is Estonia), this is the better one because the singer at least seems to know his song isn’t serious and he’s just there to have fun, while Uku tries too hard to be “serious” and meaningful.

Tom
Tom
16 days ago
Reply to  Fefe

I agree. This song doesn’t ask to be treated serious. It’s catchy and with the right staging (which Poland always struggles with) this can be in the final and get some votes from our mothers and grandmothers. It’s fun and catchy.

Last edited 16 days ago by Tom
Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
14 days ago
Reply to  Fefe

How is 38 years old midlife?