Pictured the national flower of Croatia, iris
Jacques Houdek (36) was internally chosen to represent his country with My friend, a song he co-wrote with Tony Roberth Malm, Siniša Reljić, Arjana Kunštek, Fabrizio Laucella and Ines Prajo.
Željko, who likes to be called Jacques, is a familiar name in Eurovision world and in the Balcan area. He has studied in the Berklee Collage of Music in California, and in France, Italy and Greece. He has tried to get to Eurovision many times before failing to win the national final: 2002-2006 every year. Then again in 2011 when he lost in the final match to Daria Kinzer to sing Lahor/Celebrate. He has also tried his luck in the UK in Open Mic UK and X Factor. He has been recording artist since 2004 and has collected a pile of silver, gold and platinum discs. But music isn't his only interest.
He has been involved in politics supporting conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and later supported a populist mayor candidate. Afterwards he said he's apolitical and those where only work. Ok.
He has also been named The Homophobe of the Year in 2006 and nominated as the Homophobe of the Decade in 2011 for his remarks that gay people cannot be equal to others and saying same sex marriage is sick, earning him the questionable title of "the biggest homophobe in the Croatian showbiz". He has stated later he has nothing against love of any kind and he's very gay friendly. Ok.
Well, what about the song? First hearing I thought it's kinda funny, bizarre but in a good way. The second hearing left we totally irritated. In a bad way. This is bad. But not bad enough to be good. A joke. The singing in two voices is maybe liked by someone but not me. And these fake pop operas with Italian lyrics put together from love letters and pizza menus are so corny and cliché I have no words. Il Volo is art compared to this cheapness. Actually I dare to listen to this only third time now when writing this review and no, it's not getting any better. 1/10 from me. And yes, it's all Frozen in some lines. A bit too much. Let it go, let it gooooo....