Croatia: Jacques Houdek performs “My Friend” as two-person duet

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In Kyiv, Jacques Houdek showed that it’s possible for one person to duet with himself. But now the Croatian star has made the surprising move of singing his Eurovision song “My Friend” as a traditional two-person duet.

Jacques duet partner (and friend) was the Croatian soprano Lana Kos. She’s an established opera singer and has performed in productions around Europe. Lana took on the Italian opera-style lines from the song, leaving Jacques his original R&B part in English.

In Kyiv, while Jacques is a trained opera singer, he admitted it was extremely challenging for him to switch between the two styles in the song. With Lana there to take the more difficult opera part, Jacques is able to focus on delivering the R&B part to the best of his ability.

The end result is a strong performance and shows the power of the song itself. It works as both a duet sung by one person or two.

The performance was part of the Croatian music show A Strana. The show is a celebration of Croatian music. It features both established artists and newcomers, including stars from The Voice of Croatia. The show aims to profile Croatian music spanning many decades, and it sometimes delivers new takes on classic songs.

Jacques and Lana’s performance was accompanied by the HRT Symphony Orchestra and the HRT Choir. It gave the performance a full, lavish sound — something that not even the Eurovision performance could manage.

Croatia at Eurovision 2018

Earlier this year, local media speculated that broadcaster HRT would return to using the national final Dora. This would have meant Croatia would be joining countries such as France, San Marino, Cyprus and the Czech Republic by returning to a national final for their selection.

However, HRT has still not confirmed how it will select its act for Lisbon.

Croatia used its national final Dora to select its acts from its Eurovision debut in 1993 to 2011. From 2012 onwards, Croatian acts have been internally selected by the broadcaster.

The change of tack has worked for HRT. Since Croatia’s comeback in 2016, they have qualified for the grand final in each year. In Kyiv, Jacques Houdek placed 13th, Croatia’s best Eurovision result in a decade.

What do you think of Jacques two-person duet? Should he have performed “My Friend” this way at Eurovision? And who should Croatia send to Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!

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