I feel like I should comment on the Polish performance since
a) I’m Polish
b) I consider myself a feminist.
(it’s kinda long but please bear with me)
I’m really torn because on the one hand, I wish our Polish artists’ all the best in this competition. It shouldn’t be treated too seriously. On the other hand, I’m not happy with the performance, both artistic wise and morally wise.
The song was supposed to be ironic, a sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to the stereotypical way Slavic women are perceived in Europe.
I believe that message was lost on the viewers because it was sang in Polish and nobody except for Poles understood the lyrics (and yes, the last part was sang in English, but don’t get me even started on Cleo’s language skills).
What’s more, most of the audience members focused on the sexual overtones of their performance (you could clearly hear the cheering and whistling at the butter churning) and I suppose that’s the reason we’ve got through to the finale. A lot of people have described the Polish performance as something taken straight out of an eastern-European soft porn production.
I find it hypocritical, claiming to mock certain stereotypes about women and then exploiting female sexuality to gain votes. It enforces these stereotypes instead of disempowering them.
Of course, you can defend the performance by saying “get a sense of humor” or “look up the word irony in the dictionary” but that wouldn’t be fair. The song may be fun and playful, but the underlying issue is quite serious: do we really want that sort of image of women presented to the world? It says, ‘we’re sexy and we use it to our advantage to gain something whenever we can because we lack the skill to earn it’.
To sum up, the song itself shouldn’t be taken too seriously but that’s only possible if you’re able to understand the lyrics or if you’re familiar with Cleo and Donatan’s playful style. You won’t be able to understand them if you don’t speak Polish and even if you did, the message is still unclear as it gets lost somewhere between the butter churning and the overall boobieness of the girls.
I don’t think the artists’ intentions were bad, but the execution of the song was bad. It came out the way it did and left me feeling quite embarrassed. I’m not a hater, I promise, I just wish the performance was less erotic.