Małgorzata Walewska joins the jury of the 19th edition of the series “Your Face Sounds Familiar”
- TV Show
I love the series. The show involves eight participants rendering, as close as possible, vocally, physically and visually, performances of artists from Poland and abroad. Since the format features actors, dancers, and occasionally YouTubers, the performing standard is very high. During one season, each participant impersonates ten music artists. The winner of each episode receives a check worth 10,000 PLN, which they can transfer to a charity of their choice – Małgorzata Walewska describes the program “Your Face Sounds Familiar” in her book. The singer has been on the jury of nineteen editions of the TV show. Below is an excerpt from the extended interview entitled “My Face Sounds Familiar” in which the artist talked to Agata Ubysz.
Aren’t you bored while filming the show?
Why! The show bridges generations. It covers every genre of music, with hip-hop, Mieczysław Fogg, Violetta Villas, pop-music hits and occasional opera arias. There is something for teens and something for senior fans of Joe Dassin. I am a veteran on the jury. Old songs, which I know and the young participants have never heard of, make me realize how many years I have lived in this world. Such awareness is a bit hurtful, but fortunately it is not a long-lasting feeling.
How do you prepare for each episode?
It is both easy and difficult. On the one hand, the jurors get a comprehensive tracks’ documentation from the production, so everything is served to us on a silver platter, we just read it. There is information about artists and songs, with the lyrics’ translation. On the other hand, I am sadly not familiar with most of the songs. The deeper into the woods and the longer the program lasts, the more strange characters appear. And I need more time to get to know them. Sometimes the voice is so processed by electronic devices that it has little in common with the original anyway. And our poor people have to imitate the piece.
What is a typical Your Face day?
It depends on what is going on in my life. We usually start around nine. The time of the worst traffic jams, so I have to get up early enough. Sometimes I have an additional motivation as the driver is waiting in front of my house. In the studio, I spend two or three hours beautifying myself. Make-up, hair. It takes so much time! Kasia Skrzynecka and I drop by our hair salon more or less at the same time. When my hairstyle is ready, I go to the make-up studio, to my beloved Gilówka (Ewa Gil). Then we proceed to the briefing, in which the jurors and producers discuss various things. For example, the performer’s face is not clearly visible from our seats, so we ask the production for a replay on large screens to get the full picture. Or someone’s face has been hard to turn into a petite blonde. After the meeting, we quickly change into appropriate outfits and have the microports attached. Then we fix our hair and follow to the jury table.
Where you are applauded by the audience…
We fully appreciated the applause during the pandemic when the audience was missing.
How many hours do you sit at the jury table?
The recording should normally end around 7 pm, but according to my experience, it never works. There is always a delay of at least one hour. Sometimes we have a time limit when one of the stars is in a hurry to start another job. Real havoc! I obviously feel the worst if I am to blame for the situation. If I perform in the evening, I am on my way to the studio at five in the morning.
Are you nervous?
The most stressful thing for me is to keep my voice fresh in the evening, after a 16-hour marathon. And the pressure resulting from limitations. The tension is caused by a simple attention to detail, it affects the entire production team. The show is great because everything has to be buttoned up. There is no collar sticking out, no hair on the jacket. While we are waiting for the performance, a fake nose can fall off because the participant has been sweating under a ton of makeup. Heels break off, fake hair won’t stick to the chest.
As they say: it’s hard to live lightly!
For what we do, the saying “hard work” only seems inadequate. Of course, it’s hard for a miner who works at the front end. On the other hand, the miner does an eight-hour shift and has some kind of family life afterwards. How about us? It seems our show features exclusively stars, but we should not forget they are not recognized only for being famous. Everyone has to go through casting, and after that, there is no forgiving! We have to balance participation in the show against our professional careers and family life, frequently with small children. The producers try to meet such situations. When mommy rocks on stage in front of the delighted audience, daddy (at best) or nanny sits in the dressing room waiting for the mother co come back and breastfeed the baby. Fortunately, at this stage, infants don’t distinguish faces recognize their mothers by smell. Because the young beautiful mom often resembles an old man in the show!
The book “My Face Sounds Familiar” by Małgorzata Walewska and Agata Ubysz was released by Znak Horyzont Publishing House in 2022.