Croatia’s Eurovision 1994 act Tony Cetinski slams Jacques Houdek over “My Friend”

It’s been just over a week since Jacques Houdek released his Eurovision 2017 song “My Friend”. So far, reaction has been mixed to say the least. The bilingual, pop-opera song has proven to be a daring (and divisive) song drawing a range of reactions from love to loathing.

At the same time, the song’s social media campaign — #bemyfriend — has received some notable support. Artists supporting the campaign include last year’s Croatian representative Nina Kraljic and Eurovision 2007 winner, Serbia’s Marija Serifovic.

Podrska dragom kolegi i prijatelju @jacques_houdek Good luck ???????????? #BeMyFriend @eurovision #Croatia

A post shared by Marija Serifovic (@serifovic) on

Unfortunately, one singer in particular seems a little bitter about all of this. Croatia’s Eurovision 1994 act — and Jacques’ fellow judge on The Voice CroatiaTony Cetinski. He’s accused Jacques of copying his pop-opera crossover from his song “Caruso”.

In an interview with, Cetinski said:

“I am greatly disappointed because of its shamelessness. Jacques is an exceptional vocalist who listened attentively to my performance ‘Caruso’ and picked up the shock torque changing techniques of singing from opera to pop tone of voice. The arrangements are excellent, the production is beyond all expectations, but my suggestion would be to sing normally and be yourself at least once in your lifetime or at least in this contest.”

Cetinski’s also said that it would be a bad idea for Jacques to sing and look like his idol, Pavarotti. According to Cetinski, it’s because Pavarotti “does not deserve this”. Here’s the song in question:

Tony Cetinski — “Caruso”

The reaction has not been all negative. Many artists, in fact, have come to Jacques’ support. Emilija Kokic, lead singer of Eurovision 1989 winners Riva, is full of praise for Jacques’ participation. She says:

“Life is a miracle and we need it to live as if every day is the last. Jacques celebrates diversity, emits a noble message and this is the first time since Croatia sends the song to the Eurovision Song Contest that someone thought deeply about the song and the presentation, in every sense of the word”.

Of course, pop-opera crossover is also nothing new in the world of Eurovision. The likes of Malena Ernman and Cezar Ouatu have already given the genre to attention in the contest. Y’all, this feels a little like sour grapes and a bit too personal to us!

What do you think about Tony Cetinski’s allegations over Jacques’ “My Friend”? Let us know all your thoughts by shouting out on the wiwibloggs app. You can also leave a comment in the comments section down below, and don’t forget to vote in our “favourite act” poll if you’re supporting Jacques!

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