Last week, Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) finally confirmed that Jacques Houdek will represent Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. And yesterday they kept the news flowing with the revelation of the song’s title “My Friend”.
Speaking about the announcement the animated crooner said: “My wish with this Eurovision song, like with all my songs so far, is to promote the sense of togetherness, friendship and respect for diversity”.
The theme — which is giving us major Miss Congeniality vibes — continues with his digital campaign #beMyfriend. Writing on his official Facebook page, he posted a photo encouraging people to create new friendships.
“Remember your friends, make them happy by dedicating a photo to them, show them how important they are to you, make new friends. Let this song and the #beMyfriend campaign be a celebration of friendship, the joy of living and a priceless wealth of love, trust and mutual respect.”
“We believe that by the time we post new interesting details about our performance at the Eurovision Song Contest, the #beMyfriend campaign will exert a positive influence on creating a friendly atmosphere and celebrating diversity, which the Eurovision motto encourages us to do.”
Fans and observers on various Eurovision forums have already suggested the song and associated campaign are an attempt to wash away years of allegations that Jacques is a homophobe. In 2011 Croatian news site Index nominated him ‘homophobe of the year’. In a report from 2005, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) listed Houdek as ‘a public figure who gave homophobic statements’.
But those comments were then and the #beMyfriend campaign is now, giving the singer a new chance to show the tolerance and respect Eurovision is built around.
Although the song title was revealed yesterday, the entry is yet to be released, with more information coming over the next few weeks. Croatia’s Head of Delegation Željko Mesar says: “For now, the song will remain a surprise. At this point, let’s just say it will be very interesting, Eurovision-y, and its structure and complexity is extremely thought-provoking. We are confident it will arouse interest.”
According to Croatian newspaper, Jutranji List, Jacques will demonstrate the full power of his extremely strong voice with a song that combines both classical and pop genres while also channelling his idol Luciano Pavarotti. It is also reported that he will perform in a costume with one side that conjures the look of a classical pop singer and another side that is more of a party outfit.
Jaques is not new to the Croatian Eurovision scene. He’s tried to represent his country multiple times with the most recent effort coming in 2011. Over the past two years he’s been a coach of The Voice Croatia, where he mentored last year’s representative for Croatia at Eurovision, Nina Kraljic.
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