Zeljko Joksimovic, Serbia’s Eurovision contestant in 2004 and 2012, has sparked controversy after making insensitive comments about a transgender contestant on X Factor Adria.

The remarks were broadcast on November 5 during his critique of trans singer Fifi Janevski. Zeljko asked Fifi about her gender identity. When she explained that she should be referred to using female pronouns, he said: “I personally don’t like that…but you are a good singer.” He then laughed, told the other judges that Fifi was struggling with a male-female battle, and said “there are two of them.”

Janevski won over the three other judges with her rendition of the Cher song “Dov’e L’Amore.” But Joksimovic said he needed to hear more to decide whether to send her through to the next round.

Fifi does not play, y’all. She busted out Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful,” telling Joksimovic that she’s beautiful no matter what he says. “Words can’t bring me down,” she sang. “So don’t you bring me down today.” Take that!

Fifi made it to the next stage of the contest, and Joksimovic has faced criticism from LGBT advocacy groups. Gayten-LGBT and Labris, two of the country’s largest groups, issued a statement condemning his remarks.

Zeljko Joksimovic, being a public persona and a well-known musician has a responsibility towards what he states in public. He has shown a basic ignorance of the right to gender expression and thus we find that he broke the anti-discrimination law, judging a person based on her personal characteristic, not based on her singing abilities. In that way, Zeljko Joksimovic contributes to an even more difficult position of trans people in Serbia, who are exposed to multiple violence and discrimination on daily basis.

Was Zeljko out of line to say that on national TV? And what do you think of Fifi’s response?

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Winter
Guest
Winter

Ya’ll don’t know anything about the LGBT community. I’m a transgender woman. I go by the name Winter (Win). True there are some of us who flaunt our pride, but that’s because ignorance made us fear to embrace who we are. We flaunt it like any minority who has finally gained their right to be themselves. I agree, I disliked Fifi’s outfit, but that’s because of personal taste. I personally loved HER and I think she is being herself. If you can’t accept that she is being HERSELF, then I feel sorry for you. Take it from a child of… Read more »

Petar
Guest
Petar

Whaaat? I think that you have missunderstood this a bit. :O I am from Serbia and I watched this when Fifi came. I hope you know Zeljko, the fact that he likes to make jokes. Not only for Fifi but for every contestant that sung. This time you got it all wrong… What he was truly demanding is that Fifi sings something on Macedonian, cause it’s her mother language. He asked not only her for that but every contestant that was singing only English song… Sooo… His intenions weren’t to insult anyone.

Arianna
Guest

Lol’d so hard at Zelijko’s face when she broke out with “Beautiful”

takecare
Guest
takecare

@martin, there is difference between feminine and trash! transsexual men wanna look so badly like a woman to the point of exaggeration and they end up looking like whores, prostitutes, trash!!! thats what i dont like about them, what you didnt get?

David Thielen
Member

@Martin – very well said. Very very well said.

Martin
Guest
Martin

…and one other comment. EVERY SINGLE TIME, someone states that “children would be troubled by this” it is always a complete lie. Children are NEVER troubled by difference – the problems ALWAYS begin with the parents and society forcing a narrowness on their minds and telling them that things are not good or are to be discriminated against. Children almost always accept and compute difference without judgement – it’s their parents (and scandalously their teachers- particularly in religious schools) who cross their wires and inject prejudice and evil into their minds.

Martin
Guest
Martin

LOL and Takecare – grow up and realize that people are different and that every single one of us is on some sort of continuum or curve. There is room for everyone in this world and everyone should be encouraged to express themselves as they see fit rather than how a generally unforgiving society like Serbia would demand. Do you feel more comfortable if a gay man is masculine, or are you just at odds with the concept that people should be allowed to love whomever they see fit? If this person feels feminine, there is nothing wrong with dressing… Read more »

Katie Wilson
Editor

I love Fifi! Also, am I the only one that thinks she looks like Ryan Dolan with make-up on?

Alex
Guest
Alex

Wow, the ignorance…

lol
Guest
lol

And what this gay, transgender, travesti, transsexual and other unfortunate people are thinking? Of course, they have some errors in their genetic and it is not their mistake, but we can give them tolerance, but not preferences of them. They are thinking, that they will make a loud parades and showing us their effeminate motions in every show and we will applaud them? We can accept them (despite, they are funny and totaly crazy for us), but nothing more. They are ill and we must say to our children, that they are not normal and that they can’t copy them.… Read more »

takecare
Guest
takecare

i get it, you re what ever you are or what you want to be…but at least be decent !!! thats what i dont like about gay people…

Alex
Guest
Alex

SUCH a shame. One of my favorite acts in Eurovision, too. Shows that even the best can make some bad mistakes. Hopefully he comes to understand why what he said is deeply hurtful and adjusts accordingly in the future.

Emily
Guest
Emily

That is so low.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Wowowowo always hated that Joksimovic with his self liking face. You go girl. Hope she brings it far!