In May Jacques Houdek placed 13th in the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest, giving Croatia its best result since Severina in 2006.

And on Monday it was clear that broadcaster HRT hopes to keep the momentum going, as it confirmed to Croatian site eurosong.hr that it will participate at Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. The broadcaster did not reveal how it will choose its act.

Croatia, which joined Eurovision in 1993, enjoyed six Top 10 finishes in its first decade of competition. But at some point it lost its way, suffering four straight non-qualifications between 2010 and 2013. Its entry in Malmö was called “Misery”, providing an apt description of their fortunes at the time.

But after sitting the contest out in 2014 and 2015, Croatia returned with new-found desire in 2016.

The Voice of Croatia winner Nina Kraljic emerged as a fan favourite with the studio version of her song “Lighthouse” and she managed to get Croatia back to the final. Jacques, her coach on The Voice, did even better in 2017.

His freak show fantasy saw him portraying a smooth balladeer and an opera star, in falsetto and baritone, and singing to images of himself on stage. It may have been divisive, but it ultimately went down a treat.

The broadcaster threw its resources behind Jacques and gave him all the support they could. But afterwards Jacques revealed on his Facebook page that they were barely acknowledged, let alone supported, by Croatia’s top officials.

“To be honest and without bitterness, I can now tell everyone — there is no support from the state leadership,” he wrote. “They did not do anything to help us in order to be the best in Kiev.”

“Eurovision is a music competition, the biggest in the world, but we have seen how much politics is present, inevitably. If we ever think of winning there, we have to work together, and well in advance. There’s no other way — that’s absolutely clear!”

“For months we wrote to our esteemed presidents, we did not receive an answer for months…and we only finally received the answer from her office three weeks before the departure to Kiev.”

Are you excited about Croatia’s return? Which artists do you think can take them even higher? Let us know in the comments box below!

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filipko54
Guest
filipko54

Czech politicians don’t even know about Eurovision and do our acts and Czech fans care? No because it shoudn’t be about politics

Colbert
Guest
Colbert

How does his wife not know?

NickC
Guest
NickC

He is just sour grapes.

I wish Croatia could go back to their golden era (i.e 90s).I still listen to Sveta Ljubavi, Marija Magdalena, Neka mi Svene. Those songs were pure art and Croatia was my favorite ESC country. I don’t know why they do not send songs of that caliber anymore.

Colin
Guest
Colin

That’s a great news! I am so voting in May!

Hopefully, we again get to be represented by a talented singer with a good song 😉 One more final, and we can give high-five with Poland.

umerkim
Guest
umerkim

Bring back Danijela from 1998

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

Nina said she didn’t get support either back in interviews, Moldova poorest country in Europe got 3rd keep hopes up!

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

Hopefully something better than the crap they sent last year.

James
Guest
James

Apart from having to pay a participation fee to take part in ESC and find an act to represent the country, what other role does the participating public broadcaster has to fill that can also be done by either the artist and/or the artist’s record label/management?

croat
Guest
croat

What about someone who is not known to the public? check on Instagram for stefankrivak, he is working very hard, without any support, and he is doing everything to be the chosen one. If somebody wants to help him, he is very welcome, thank you.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Lorde has honorary Croatian citizenship. Just saying…

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

Yes, that news came to Croatia and it is pretty frequent in our media these days. Furthermore, she was in company of our president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarevic while she was visiting New Zeland and Croatian community there.
I guess Mrs. President has heard critisism from Jacques about lack of support so she wants Croatia to win in Lisaboa hahaha 😀
p.s. for those who do not know – Lorde is half Croatian.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Have you seen her VMA performance? It was a disaster, she would be hopeless at the Eurovision.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Good point Polegend Godgarina. I think that goes for a lot of globally successful acts. Adele for instance has needed to stop are restart a couple of her big live performances and admits she can be a “bit pitchy”. That’s not good enough.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I love Croatia is back!

I don’t think it’s the only country that doesn’t receive the proper support from the government. However, they did well 2 years in a row.
Keep up the good work Croatia! We all want a competitive contest with many good songs to enjoy!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Jacques is only saying that bc he didn’t finish as high as he expected lbr. Croslaytia is coming for blood again next year.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Looks like Jacques doesn’t know about ESC. The state and it’s leaders shouldn’t be involved at all. That is making the contest political. They shouldn’t even be giving support, since that might be seen as interfering and political.
Don’t know why Jacques contacted the president, what did he expect the president to do? Travel abroads telling other leaders to vote for Croatia?

azaad
Guest
azaad

There’s a difference between getting involved in the contest and asking other countries to vote for your act, and giving your act some support in a neutral, bipartisan message.

Heads of state wish sports team good luck all the time. I think Jacques was just looking for something equivalent. Hell, even Lucie Jones was given interviews and support not just from BBC (she appeared on Graham Norton as a performer, and did tons of radio interviews) but from the BBC’s main rival, ITV as well (she was on Lorraine).

Twisted French
Guest
Twisted French

Haha!! They will have support if the artist can be supported and if the song is good. Jacques was a controversial and non supportable act, he’s just bitter cause he thought he was the queen of Europe when he’s just vaguely famous in his country…. Send a BIG song in Croatian with an artist that deserves to be supported and you’ll have the support you need…

KESC
Guest
KESC

Well, happy that they are with us again, but I just read that Slovakia won’t return to the contest. Such a pity! :((
Now let’s hope Bulgaria etc will confirm as well.

azaad
Guest
azaad

Bulgaria will definitely come back. The last two times a top 10 finisher didn’t return (Ukraine-2014, Russia 2016) were due to unavoidable political circumstances. Portugal and Bulgaria are both in the EU and appear to be amicable, so no problems there.

azaad
Guest
azaad

I think the broadcaster wants to quit, but they keep doing better, so they continue to participate, albeit without giving the acts much support. This creates an interesting outcome however- as the acts need to come with money and prestige to begin with, which means that Croatia is more likely to produce a more famous act than some other countries of comparable status. I think Nina and Jacques qualifying and doing relatively well when Feminen, Nina and many others didn’t means that they’ll likely be singing in English from now on however. As Croatian and Serbian are dialects of the… Read more »

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

a song in croatian plz