We haven’t heard a lot from Croatia this season, but suddenly buzz is developing around a potential artist for Kyiv. Singer and The Voice of Croatia coach Jacques Houdek has long had his eye on Eurovision and it’s now rumoured that 2017 may be his year.

jacques-houdek-daria-kinzer
Jacques with Daria Kinzer at Dora 2011

Croatian media is reporting that the six-time national final contestant has “convinced the key people who make the decision” at broadcaster HRT and is looking likely as Croatia’s act for Kyiv. While HRT has not denied the rumours, Jacques’ manager has said he doesn’t know anything about it.

Jacques studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the United States and sang backing vocals for the band Colonia before launching his solo career.

He is a veteran of Croatia’s national final, having previously competed in Dora six times, and usually co-writing his entry.

In 2002 Jacques debuted with the “Carolija” (“Magic”), which placed 13th. That performance launched his career and he became a familiar face on Dora in the 2000s.

He returned the following year with “Na krilima ljubavi” (“On the wings of love”) which managed fifth place. In 2004 he had “Nema razloga” (“No reason”), which earned him his best yet result in fourth place. In 2005 he sang “Nepobjediva”, and while the song title means “Unbeatable”, it only placed fourth. In 2006 Jacques performed “Umrijeti s osmjehom” (“To die with a smile”) and only managed 15th place, his worst result.

Jacques took a few years off, before returning for the revamped national final, Dora 2011 – Let’s go to Eurovision! He survived seven weeks of X Factor-style eliminations, before ending up in the grand final where both he and Daria Kinzer performed the winning song “Lahor”. In the end, it was Daria who won the superfinal televote and took the English-language version “Celebrate” to in Düsseldorf.

2011 marked the last time Croatia has used Dora, instead switching to internal selection for future contests. Jacques kept himself busy with his music career, and in 2015 he became one of the judges of The Voice of Croatia.

And it just happened that one of the singers on his team, Nina Kraljic, won the first series and went on to represent Croatia in Stockholm. Here’s an extremely Eurovision moment: Nina and Jacques duetting on “Euphoria”:

What do you think? Should Croatia send Jacques Houdek to Kyiv? Share your thoughts below!

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Alvaro
Guest

Please stop spreading vicious lies about Jacques! I’m gay… I know Jacques quite well as we have cooperated professionally dozens of times and he is absolutely the most tolerant and open-minded guy I have ever met. I wish him the very best of luck in Kiev, and I hope he’ll bring Eurosong back to Zagreb almost 30 years after Croatia’s last victory. Sretno, Jacques!!!!!!!!!! <3

Alen
Guest

god please no, he is a homophobe. he was even nominated (and i think he won) homophobe of the decade in croatia.

http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/zagreb-pride-bira-homofoba-desetljeca.-nominirani-su-jacques-houdek-hloverka-dragan-primorac…/3078014/

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest

please Igor Cukrov again TAN TAN

Vladimir P.
Guest
Ideally, I would like to see Andrea Susnjara (without Magazin – that band ruined her) or Franka Batelic for Croatia. Jacque Houdek is a great singer and I like many of his songs, but he is an unlikeable person and by that I don’t mean his physical appearance. He has got himself in some public arguments that became very nasty, including his views on gay people. HRT also needs to think about PR, because anyone going to Kiev will be representing Croatia, not themselves. No one wants to be dragged to a PR nightmare. That said, his singing talent is… Read more »
Charles
Guest

For as long as he does not sing another boring fake ballad about mothers I couldn’t care if he sings about bananas or condoms …

Rock Me
Guest

Jacques would be a bad choice, but not the worst.Ruza Janjis would be the worst possible choice, I didn’t really like her on The Voice and she has no charisma.Maybe in the future, but she better not be selected this year.

Someone young and with a powerful voice/stage presence should be chosen, and those are mostly people barely known to Croatian public.

StopJacques
Guest

NO! No one even spoke or thought of him, he just appeared in the media all of a sudden.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Jelena Rozga or gtfo

Nikos
Guest

He should enter with a song called “Mother” XD

esc1234
Guest

Please no.

mocosuburbian
Guest

don’t love his voice
seems like he would be a non-qualifier even if he was given a good song

CookyMonzta
Guest

@(J)ESC Fanatic: You beat me to it. Axel, indeed.

beccaboo1212
Guest

No, no, and NO! It’s not happening!

Vlaho VJ
Guest

Of course this is not true. I don’t think that I should tell this, but HRT is actually planning to do ‘Dora’ again, just a bit different. They already got in touch with several songwriters. The problem is that everything is on the stand by at the moment cause they don’t have a Director General.

Lanti
Guest

@MS
I thought deleting Xavier Naidoo’s nomination was more of a combination of a) controversial beliefs, b) Germans complaining about a lack of a national final due to the broadcaster tax?

cheesecake
Guest

I like his voice.

khm
Guest

Off course there isn’t any truth in this. Since we won’t have The Voice this fall/spring, Jacques is jobless and now he is sending press releases to several Croatian media to write about how is he going to represent Croatia. I know that because I have some infos about Croatia for next year, but I won’t tell.

And Wiwi, you should’ve investigate a bit more, and not running for clicks.

MS
Guest

Whitewalker: Because of opitions like yours we didnt see one of the biggest German star in Stockholm. Xavier Naidoo should sing on Eurovision but because of his homophobe opitinions they deleted his nomination. We could see perfect performance but we saw next German average no-name singer with terrible song. What we should prefer? Good music or singers opinions? Eurovision is about music, not a gay pride omg!

Kris
Guest

What was ruza ? I thought they would go with whoever won the voice najalepsi Hrvatska !! :/

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

@whitewalker90

“However he could fill the stage all on his own I guess that’s a good thing.”

LOL!

whitewalker90
Guest

@Bartosz
Forget the performance, he can’t move to much on the stage. However he could fill the stage all on his own I guess that’s a good thing.
I do agree with you, however, I as a Croat wouldn’t like to see him representing my country. I’d like to see someone more likable and with less questionable history.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

@Bartosz

You are totally right.

Bartosz
Guest

@whitewalker90 I understand the concerns about Jacques, but shouldn’t the Eurovision be about music. Only the song, the voice of singer and the performance. As long as his song would be good, I have nothing against Croatia choosing Jacques to Kiev

Colin
Guest

Well, the guy CAN sing. He should have represented us back in 2011. It depends on the song, though. But with the right lyrics and melody, this man could bring us to top 10.

whitewalker90
Guest
I hope he won’t be selected to represent Croatia. Some years ago he was nominated for “homophobe of the decade” in Croatia after stating that LGBT population can not have equal rights as “normal” people. He also said that same-sex relationships are sick and he compared them to sinners from Sodoma and Gomora. He also threaded to kill one journalist and was sentenced to some months in prison. There are lots of articles on this subject. So do we want that kind of guy on Eurovision? It’s NO for me !!!He’s also arrogant, full of himself and overall not a… Read more »
Iberian
Guest

I think he’s sexy. A good-looking bear.

Narica Phano
Guest

He looks like Axel hirsoux hopefully he will be better- this will be interesting 🙂

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

By the way, I love the dress Nina is wearing in the second video. 😀

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

He reminds me of Axel Hirsoux.