He’s long had his eye on Eurovision and now Jacques Houdek‘s dream has come true. Croatian broadcaster HRT has confirmed that Houdek will represent Croatia at Eurovision 2017.

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

Late last year Houdek was rumoured to be under consideration to represent Croatia at Eurovision 2017, and now it’s lucky number seven for The Voice of Croatia coach.

Croatian media are reporting that Jacques’ song for Kyiv may be released next week, and is likely to be a self-written composition.

Speaking exclusively to wiwibloggs, Jacques shared his excitement at being selected:

I am happy, over the moon! Honored, humbled at the same time, and most of all thankful to the Croatian National Television for this once in a lifetime chance. All I can say at this point is – I will give Eurosong all I’ve got, my absolute and very best!

It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, I am so proud to be representing my homeland Croatia, finally! Okay? Let’s doooooo thiiiiiiiis 😉 Love, hugs and kisses, see you in Kiev <3

Jacques

Jacques Houdek’s long road to Eurovision

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

In 2002 Jacques debuted in the Croatian national final Dora with the song “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, then 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? Is Jacques Houdek a good choice for Croatia? Share your thoughts below!

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overhead garage door opener
Guest

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Jerrold
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blic_bling
Guest
As a Croatian… We are happy with J representing Croatia, mainly as it was expected. Roumors started a while ago and prob everyone would be disapointed if it turned out that someone else is representing us. J has a great vocal and he is a huge Eurovison fan, I think that he has really deserved to go to Kiev, it was about time to see him on the Eurovision stage, let’s just hope that they will choose a good song. There are some rumors that say he will sing a power balad crossed with opera elements and that could go… Read more »
Carlös
Guest

Just to add…Nina was really let down by HRT last year. She even stated she wasn’t happy with the staging. And she funded some of it herself.

Carlös
Guest

@Balkanian
I’m really pleased to hear that. I’m from UK but have always championed Croatia. I really hope Croatia send a great song and stage it well. Bring back the late 90’s when Croatia were in top 5! Peace!

Balkanian
Guest

@Carlos i am extremley happy Jacques is representing Croatia at esc17′ cause i know that he is really into eurovision and since i am from croatia i heared some rumors…basically Jacques was traveling to Sweden to meet with melodifestivalen producers and aperently song autors are from Sweden and aperently song is powerful ballad with some minor elements of clasic music…..and rumors say that HRT is ready to put some big money in this years performance…..since Jacques is really a perfectionist you wont be seeing lame stageing as with Nina last year……………….So my hopes are big at the moment! 😉

an esc fan
Guest

I predict a power ballad. And is great, those songs are timeless.
Modern songs will not be modern tomorrow, but a good ballad is forever.

Carlös
Guest

So all issues aside and back to the contest….
1) Are we happy J is representing Croatia
2) Predictions on the song? (Ballad, Euro pop?)
3) Does anyone know if HRT are ploughing some money in unlike last year?
Peace

an esc fan
Guest
@ Purple Mask You are a nice person, and very understanding in the real meaning of the word. You should keep believing in the goodness of the people, because most of them are not bad, just uncomfortable, intimidated, not used to … , but not bad persons, not racists or homophobe. And as somebody who’s first language has latin origins, I can say that teachers at school told me that if I speak German, I can speak many other European languages, but I was young and all I wanted was to understand what actors say in american movies, so …… Read more »
Purple Mask
Guest
@an esc fan: Thank you so much! 🙂 The truth is that I feel ashamed of my actions in this thread. When I received some information about a supposed interview in 2005, I didn’t consider that it might no longer be the case today. I feared that this entry was a political attack on LGBT people, when in fact it isn’t. I was being ruled by fear, and for that I must apologise. I do like learning other languages (I speak five in total) but you are correct – I overestimate the importance of English, when actually it is a… Read more »
an esc fan
Guest

@ NickC
I totally disagree with you.
Most people are not racists or homophobe, but they still might be intimidated is they are close to somebody different, like they never met before.
People are good, don’t try to study them in the laboratory.

Charles
Guest

And this is what happens in 2017 … discussing someone’s alleged homophobia and closet issues … thank you Dana International and 1998 … can you see everybody discussing music here? Of course not … this is too LGBT to even do that! But pretty sure this Croatian Queen is having a blast reading all this juicy shade because like all Queens Jacques is telling himself “Focus on me b**** hate on me b**** cause now I own this thrown”

NickC
Guest
@an esc fan- And this is my last desperate attempt to explain: This is not about my sexual orientation, this is about MY VALUES and maybe my political views. I have never met an albino, or a gypsy, but I do not attack neither groups. So, please stop saying “I want LGBT to understand….”. I am a university professor who does research on minority rights and social cohesion, and I can tell you after years of research that there are many people who do not have a bit of racism in their body even after they have never met a… Read more »
an esc fan
Guest
I want to make an last desperate attempt to LGBT to understand that many people could be by their side (if they are not already) by just treating them nice because most of people who are not comfortable with LGBT are just people who never met in real life a gay person. The real danger for you as LGBT, are the fake friends, the divas who say beautiful words, because they play the game and they know what LGBT wants to hear, and to see, elegant evening dresses with crystals and jewels … but do they like you, or they… Read more »
Colin
Guest
Just to clarify, I don’t *condone* *any* form of crime and of course there are more unforgivable crimes. Anything to do with hurting children comes to mind. BUT, what I was trying to emphasize is how someone’s stupid comments so long ago mean so little and it’s not good to hold grudge for so long for someone who said they are sorry. It’s not like he actually DID something, he just said it. Being on a high horse is also a form of bigotry. Let’s fight ignorance and prejudice, but instead of ostracizing anyone who said something stupid, teach them… Read more »
Dante Vosten
Guest

Jacques is an awesome contestant, but I cannot escape the feeling that people actually wanted Zsa Zsa & Qejoe to represent Croatia this year as they won the festival a few weeks ago, while Jacques was a runner-up only.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oAEGS8T5J0

Nevertheless, best of luck to Jacques! He’s an awesome artist!

Colin
Guest
@Purple Mask – If you come to Croatia, why not? 😉 Nickc – ‘wether they retracted them or not’ – that makes a huge difference, cause we all make mistakes. The only unforgivable mistakes are murder 1, rape and genocide, and first two are even debatable after decades of jail. Other mistakes can be forgiven if sincere appology is given and the effort is made never to repeat them again. What Jacques said is indeed ugly, bit it was 12 years ago. Couldn’t care less now. Also, this matters only to Eurofans. Most families at home at the semi wouldn’t… Read more »
an esc fan
Guest
Purple Mask, you are so open minded, and Wiwibloggs should hire you because you know so much about ESC and you are willing to learn so much more. You are really the example of open minded person who sees the best in everyone, and you have the right attitude. I hope that you will not mind if I will say that your only fault is that you think english language in so mainstream. It is not. English is just a simplified version of german language, this is why many people think is easy to learn english. I hope you don’t… Read more »
Nickc
Guest

I repeat, this is not about gays. This is about basic human decency. And anyone who made these comments, whether retracted later or not, cannot be a decent human being. It is hate speech, discrimination, oppression. And it does not comply with universal values. As Len pointed out, you can support him, but me, and many people, including straight people who also have those values will not support him. And then we see the end result.

sal_ness
Guest
Let’s once again copy his statement from 2011.(translated to English) And point again that none of the articles mentioned had one direct word that came from him. Hope this will stop the discussion. I’m very sorry that the associations, which promotes the rights of LGBT people, ranked in this choice which is obviously only aimed at discrediting me and the other nominees. It is not true that I’m a homophobe, and this can be confirmed by my friends, colleagues and acquaintances from business circles who are gay orientation. Similarly, any form of hatred does not fit my personality, and is… Read more »
Jonas
Guest
You’ve nothing to be sorry for. It’s all good! Unlike the people here who must insist everytime something LGBT related comes up, “we’re not all gay!” – you’re not gay, we get it. I’m so sorry it’s such an affront to you that anybody might mistake you for one of us. Newsflash : nobody cares! If you use your brain, maybe you might think for just one tiny moment how it might feel to be on the other side – when you complain about LGBT issues/fans dominating this site or the contest in general – now you know how gay… Read more »
Purple Mask
Guest

Thanks Jonas.
Sorry for the bad example.
Also sorry for everything else.
I look forward to hearing Croatia’s song.

Jonas
Guest

Purple Mask –

That is a bad example! It is not just an English language “coincidence” – the current usage of the word “lesbian” actually derives from the Greek island of Lesbos (natives are called “lesbians) – due to the fact that Sappho, the famous ancient poet, was from there and wrote heartfelt lovepoems about other women. She was the original lesbian! The island has now become a top tourist destination for lesbian women from all over the world. Fun fact.

You learn something new everyday. Don’t let anybody tell you wiwibloggs isn’t educational, folks.

luis
Guest

Wow this thread has come close to RTVE’s circus but RTVE wins hands down.
Was Jacques a part of the Team that wrote Lighthouse? Cause then I can have my hopes high!! Else a boring ballad won’t do any good for Croatia.

Music is the key
Guest
@CARLÖS- I agree! I feel a bt embarassed by the omments here….really! All this gay / straight / homophobic talk! What is the issue. NOTHING! I could not give a toss if he likes gays or not…..as irrelevant as what he eats for breakfast, or at what time he usually goes to bed 🙂 it’s a free world! Why on earth not focus on the MUSIC…his SONGS! Are we not here because we love ESC, the music, and the singers? And want to discuss them? It is a song contest…not about personalities. Come on….what a silly discussion here! I don’t… Read more »
IVO ZINIC
Guest

Then joke not right no.They should call lesbiansexual?

Carlös
Guest

This thread has turned into something completely different! We are here to discuss the song contest, artists and songs.
Let’s leave the rest of the stuff at the door. Peace

Justin
Guest
Holy moly, if you are a Wiwibloggs staffer and your job is to read/monitor the comments section (esp. you, Robyn, considering this is your article), I salute you and your hard work cause I couldn’t wait to scroll to the bottom. I’m happy for Jacques! I remember finding that Euphoria performance with Nina and thought he had just as lovely a voice. I didn’t get to listen to his Dora entries, but I wanna Tako this and keep the faith that he’ll compose something great! I’m sure he’s been watching all these years, so maybe that experience will help with… Read more »
Purple Mask
Guest

Wow, Dante is making me want to live in Croatia! It would be nice to meet Colin one day. 🙂
Lesbos is one of the Greek islands. A resident of the island is traditionally called a “lesbian.” It’s one of those perculiar English-language coincidences. (And also the word “gay” meant many other things before it referred to homosexuality. Happy, jolly, camp, ecstatic…)

Dante Vosten
Guest
@Colin There’s no reason to be so overly critical… Moreover, Croatia cannot be compared to any of the middle- or eastern- European countries as its legislature is absolutely LGBT-friendly and tolerance is growing rapidly. For your info, I am legally partnered to my lovely husband… he was a single father when I married him and has a biological child, and recently, I was also awarded a guardianship, which means I have adopted my husband’s biological child. Furthermore, please just consider the map referred to below and take into account that Croatia is like an LGBT oasis is this part of… Read more »
IVO ZINIC
Guest

I don’t know if that is good joke.What means Lesbos?

Purple Mask
Guest

@Ivo Zinic: So for example, if were to tell the joke asking if a lesbian means being attracted to people from Lesbos, is that okay? No, it’s not okay: it’s called ignorance. Does that make sense?

As for me being a bad person; you don’t know me. I try to be good, but it’s open for debate. 🙂

IVO ZINIC
Guest

@Purple Mask: You are bad person.I know what means. It was joke.

Colin
Guest
@Dante Vosten – The truth is in the middle. Croatia is a lovely country with a lot of lovely people. It’s LGBT laws are solid. It’s not like in Denmark or Sweden, where there it also includes adoption rights and being absolutely equal in every way. But, compared to Russia or Armenia, it’s much better. As for people’s attitudes, it goes both ways. There are many really gay-friendly people, especially among the younger generation. But, there is also much hatred by some. Homophobia is not as eradicated as racism is and debating gay rights is still an open thing in… Read more »
.
Guest

.

Jonas
Guest

I’m not one to pyschoanalyze little “Jacques”, but my gaydar is definitely getting a few blips – so….in a country as homophobic as some posters here suggest, who’s to say the poor guy wasn’t severely compensating and simply gay-bashing just to fit in?

Insecurity and self-hatred is pretty common. Who knows what was going through his mind? I won’t judge, but let’s just hope he’s in a better place now?

Dante Vosten
Guest

@Jonas
Jacques is a wonderful person and an absolutely gay-friendly and human-friendly creature! Similarly, Croatia is an absolutely gay friendly country! Yeah, gay marriage in Croatia is called “partnership” because of that silly pro-Catholic referendum, but all the rights and obligations of a “registered partnership” reflect the best form of gay marriage. LGBT is absolutely ok in Croatia. If you don’t trust me, then refer to the ILGA map for 2015 (Croatia ranked 5th in Europe), and 2016 (Croatia ranked 6th). Check out this link:comment image

Purple Mask
Guest

@Ivo Zinic: A simple google search came up with this definition: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansexuality
Please read the definition and try not to be so ignorant of other sexualities. Thank you.

Dante Vosten
Guest

Jacques is a wonderful person and an absolutely gay-friendly and huma-friendly creature! Similarly, Croatia is an absolutely gay friendly country! Yeah, gay marriage in Croatia is called “partnership” because of that silly pro-Catholic referendum, but all the rights and obligations of a “registered partnership” reflect the best form of gay marriage. LGBT is absolutely ok in Croatia. If you don’t trust me, then refer to the ILGA map for 2015 (Croatia ranked 5th in Europe), and 2016 (Croatia ranked 6th). Check out this link:comment image

AngieP
Guest

Finally, we know the representative.
Glad we have news from Croatia.
Looking forward to the song! I hope it’s great!

ESC Croatia
Guest

Honestly I’m excited that my country sent him 🙂 He was robbed in 2011
And all these people making assumptions that he’s a homophobe. Let me just say this, he isn’t. He recently came out as Pansexual. Like legit this reminds me of 2015 rumors saying that Måns Zelmerlöw was a homophobe because he said that gay people aren’t normal. Please don’t follow the crowd and make assumptions. This is a contest for everybody, not just us. And yes this is coming from a gay man.
Can’t wait to hear his self written song because all his songs slay <3

Jonas
Guest
It’s totally irrelevant if “all” Eurovision fans are gay. Which of course they are not. His clearly homophobic comments should be offensive to all, gay or heterosexual. If he indeed is the moronic half-witted homophobe that some have painted him, then that is a problem for anybody with a conscience. They are utterly wrong-headed and reprehensible. The debate in the comments here , “we’re not all gay!” border on offensive and has grown tiresome. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he has seen the light. If so, welcome to the contest. If not, please f*ck off until you… Read more »
Ivo Zinic
Guest

Jacques seem good man.He write let’s doooooo thiiiiiis. 🙂

Ivo Zinic
Guest

What means pansexual? They like sex with pans?

Kermit
Guest

As for this singer – I think he had good songs in the past. His dance songs are good. And this list of songs reminds me I liked many of his songs. And he can sing well. I hope it gets a modern electroopop /EDM song…not a cliche ballad

Kermit
Guest

I have to say….I wonder if anyone else than ESC-fans could go “wild” on whther a singer likes gays or not. Such a psuedo-thing! It’s not relevant. Only ESC-fans can make that an “important” matter….and that is NOT a compliment!

Kermit
Guest

I read a lot comes from gays here, who are ANYTHING than intolerant….reminds me of some of the COnchita fanatics!

We love leds, visuals, air fans, ballads and divas
Guest
We love leds, visuals, air fans, ballads and divas

Guys, “celelebrate diversity” sounds familiar to you? I doesnt oblit refer to being blavk5 or white, catholic or muslim…
Whats the point in participating if you dont tolerate nor respect diversity?
By the way, remember Intolerace hides a psycological disruption behind…

LCN
Guest

If LGBT people are just a small fraction why are you guys complaining so much? If they don’t want to vote in Jacques, it’s their choice, this ”small group” will not make such a diference in the results.
Jacques will take part, there’s no rule saying he can’t, but people have the right to disagree with his statement..
Nobody is obligated to accept homossexuality and nobody is obligated to support someone who attacked a minority group.

Denis
Guest
Is ESC now a contest only for LGBT and aimed at them? Must everyone who participates officially declare they have nothing against them? Must everyone watching and competing absolutely love LGBT culture? By the comments one would guess ESC is only for LGBT and aimed exclusively to their taste. It’s not. it’s for everybody. LGBT are only a small fraction of all fans, don’t make them bigger than they are. What’s next? Someone gets tossed for being supposedly anti-family? Anti-European? Sergey wasn’t forgiven because he never said anything to begin with. Måns was defended by LGBT community first of alll… Read more »