The Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2016 had 5,1 million viewers in Poland which is 250.000 more than last year. That means TVP reached 41,66% of market share – far better than in 2015 when Monika Kuszynska finished 23rd in the final. Each part of the show (including the first semifinal without Polish participation) was the lead program in it’s time slot. The popularity of the contest is growing thanks to the improved quality of competing songs and big names who represented Poland since 2014.
Michal Szpak easily reached the final and finished on 8th place with 229 points which is the best result since 2003 when Ich Troje finished 7th with “Keine Grenzen”. The third best Polish result was achieved because of the impressive success in televoting – “Color of your life” finished third. Juries however decided to give Michal only 7 points (second-last place in jury voting). “I don’t care about juries opinion, because I’m dedicated to the public” – Michal said after his arrival to Warsaw Airport. Polish spokeperson Anna Popek added: “I was sad when I learned about the jury verdict. I know how Polish jury worked. They were very objective and conscientious. Was it the case in other juries? Hard to say…“
Monika Kuszynska, lasy year’s Polish entrant and member of Polish jury in 2016 is surprised with the difference between jury and televoting result for Michal Szpak. “Quite astonishing that juries didn’t noticed our song and the public viewers ranked it so well. It’s hard to comment the jury choices as they awarded songs which I didn’t like at all” – she said. According to the old voting formula (used in 2014 and 2015) Poland should finish 19th instead of 8th. Many Eurovision fans stated that local juries used the contest for political games and ranked countries based on international relations, not on performers skills or entries.
The director of Polish National Final 2016 is very happy with Szpak’s result. “As the director I decided to use televoting and here is the outcome: the winner of our final, chosen by the viewers, Michal Szpak reached the third place according to the public from the whole Europe!! It’s hard to find better example that the viewers are always right” – Radek Kobialko posted on his Facebook.
Poland will most likely take part in Eurovision 2017. The Saturday’s final is still discussed in Polish media not only because of Michal Szpak’s result but also due to Ukrainian-Russian conflict and Crimea crisis which is now strongly connected to the contest.