Roko Blaževic will represent Croatia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “The Dream”. An emotional power ballad, Roko is hoping he can do as his song implies — reverse Croatia’s fortunes and qualify for the final.
Roko won the right to represent Croatia after winning the national final Dora 2019. With a performance full of astounding vocals and larger-than-life angel wings, he won over both televoters and jury members.
To get to know the man beneath the angel wings, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Roko Blažević. Let’s do this!
1. He comes from a musical family
Roko has music pulsing through his DNA. Roko’s mother Marija is a singer of the typical Balkan ballad genre, while his father Mario sings ‘klapa’ — the traditional a cappella singing style which many will be familiar with from Croatia’s Eurovision 2013 entry “Mižerja”. His brother is a guitar player.
2. He’s competed in Serbian and Croatian singing contests
He won the Serbian singing show Pinkove Zvezdice (Pink Little Stars) as a youthful 16-year-old and came second in the Croatian show Zvezdice in 2018. The latter show, which has similarities to The Voice franchise, saw him stand head and shoulders above his competitors. His performances also grabbed the the attention of a certain Eurovision star he now calls his mentor…
3. He is mentored by Eurovision 2017’s Jacques Houdek
Former Croatian representative Jacques Houdek was a judge on Roko’s series of Zvezdice. The pair developed a close bond and performed together on the show. Jacques even wrote Roko’s Eurovision track “The Dream” alongside Charlie Mason, the songwriter behind the 2014 winning song “Rise Like A Phoenix”. And with that, he comes full circle. Because Roko performed his own cover of that Eurovision winning track on Zvezdice. It’s as if the relationship between Roko, Jacques and Charlie was fate!
4. He performed with Eurovision 2007 winner Marija Šerifović
Earlier this month, Roko met Serbia’s only Eurovision winner Marija Šerifović. She asked the young star to perform his Eurovision song on stage during the Zagreb leg of her current tour. He also treated the crowd to an a capella rendition of the track, filming his call and their answer on Instagram.
5. He’s been called the Croatian Michael Bublé
In one of his performances on Pinkove Zvezdice, Roko impressed the entire judging panel with his rendition of “Cry Me A River” — one of Michael Bublé’s go to tracks. With his boyish good looks and charm, he was soon touted in the media as the Croatian version of the Canadian crooner. The comparison is fitting. Bublé’s roots are originally from Croatia, with his grandfather Mihovil hailing from Trogir near Split.
6. He likes his teeth as white as his outfits
If you’ve seen Roko performing as of late, you’ll know he definitely rocks the all-white outfit with style. His look at Dora was nothing short of angelic, adorning a white leather jacket with wings. With white representing the purity and innocence, it goes without question that Roko has been making sure his teeth are a couple of shades lighter — and really popping — in time for Tel Aviv. Don’t worry, he assures us the procedure wasn’t painful!
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Iako izgledam ka da umirem, virujte mi da nista nije bolilo!? Salu na stranu, kad sam u sigurnim i njeznim rukama naseg Adnana u @adident_dentalcentar , strahu nema mjesta! Hvala najboljem stomatologu dr. Adnanu Šabuli?u i veliko hvala @boriskosmac na pozivu u emisiju Celebrity Makeover by Boris Kosma?! • • • #Repost @adident_dentalcentar • • • Pobjednik ovogodišnje Dore – Roko Blaževi? sredio je zubi?e prije odlaska na Eurosong u Tel Aviv! ? @rokoblazevic_official ??? #adident #zagreb #zoomlaser #izbjeljivanjezuba #osmijeh #teethwhitening #smile #dentalclinic
7. The dog filter is his filter of choice
A person’s choice of Snapchat filter says a lot about them. The “flower crown” says you know how to look good, and you love your look. The “big mouth” means you like to make others laugh and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Roko’s Snapchat filter of choice is the “dog” which allows users to place a canine nose, ears and tongue over their faces when taking a selfie. There are misconceptions about what this filter means. But for Roko it no doubt implies that he is strong and confident.
8. He’s a big fan of the UK’s Michael Rice
The two shared a lot of love on stage recently, performing on Croatian broadcaster HRT for their version of the celebrity singing show Just The Two Of Us. The twosome spent some time catching up and having a go at singing each other’s songs. A duet at the Wiwi Jam, boys?
9. Venezuelan actress Gabriela Spanic is a fan
Gabriela Spanic — a well-known telenovela actress in Venezuela — recently shared her adoration for Roko with her one million Instagram followers. The actress posted a video on her social media commending Roko for his win at Dora and wishing him all the best in Tel Aviv. Those wings are spreading south of the equator! Taking about the singer, she said:
“It gives me great excitement to say hello and wish you success on your visit to Israel! You represent the land of my ancestors to whom I keep a gigantic love and love – Croatia. My humble advice is that you do not tell anyone your life, your fears, do not open your heart or your home to anyone! Other than that – trust yourself!”
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I'm speechless!? Thank you so much @gabyspanictv !? Hvala @vinko.paic !? • • • #Repost @gabyspanictv • • • Mi @rokoblazevic_official me da mucha emoción saludarte y desearte éxito! En tu visita a Israel tierra Santa! Vas representando a tierra de mis ancestros al cual le guardo un gigantesco cariño y amor! Croacia! También tierra santa! Hoy decreto tu victoria! En el nombre de Jesús Rey de Israel! Mi humilde consejo es que no le cuentes a nadie tu vida, ni tus miedos,no le abras tu corazón ni tu casa a nadie! Que tú mano izquierda no sepa lo que hace la derecha! Porque a veces cometemos ese error, y nadie de los cuales abriste tu corazón y sinceridad lo valora! Utilizarán tus palabras para amedrentar! Aunque ellos digan peor o te den la razón! Nunca cuentes tu vida! Porque habrá gente que juró muchas cosas por ti ! No cuentes nada, porque después le darán la razón a tus enemigos! Y lo qué hiciste no valió la pena! A parte de eso! Confía en ti ! Ten fe en el señor! Abrázate y bendícete, imagina que eres el ganador, que tu mejor amigo sea Jesús! Es más fácil complacer a Dios que al mundo! Ora , reza, aclama! Aunque te digan loco, no te preocupes! Dios te brindo dones y talentos, siempre da gracias por lo malo , por lo bueno! Lucha cada día, no te me deprimas si estás fuera de tu país y los tuyos, es difícil! Pero el mejor amigo y Salvador te dará las fuerzas y discernimiento para triunfar!! Eres un guerrero de Dios! Y él te acompañará por siempre! Cada vez que salgas al escenario reza un padre nuestro, bendícete, y pide a Dios que seas instrumento de él! Que te te dé su vista, sus palabras, su inteligencia, su luz, di yo soy el que soy , Cristo en mi! Te amo a tiempo! Profetizo que Dios te dará la victoria, para mi hermosa Croacia, para ti , y para la honra y gloria de nuestro señor Jesucristo! Amen! Dios ya te lleno de su gloria Roko! Te amo a tiempo y Dios desde que naciste!
10. His ‘mirror selfie’ game is on point
Roko clearly has a favourite side — and boy, does he werk it.
How do you think Roko will do in Tel Aviv? Could he soar high with his angel wings and win? Sound off in the comments below.