Review: Croatia- Jacques Houdek ‘My Friend’

jacques houdek croatia eurovision 2017

Jacques ‘The Voice’ Houdek will take to the stage for Croatia in 2017 with song ‘My Friend’. Already an established artist and TV talent show judge in Croatia, Jacques is hoping to expand his fan base by appearing on the Eurovision stage. But just how good is his song and can he make it to the final?

Jacques’ musical style mixes elements of classic music with pop in this power ballad, which acts almost as a duet, despite having only one singer. Jacques almost has two personalities in the song. The song opens with Jacques talk singing words of advice, followed by a poppy almost boyband-esque vocal, then it gets interesting with his operatic intonation kicking in.

In terms of music we can expect lots of stringed orchestral instruments; violin, cello, double bass. The lyrics performed in a mixture of English and Italian reflect the song’s title. ‘My Friend’ is about friendship, inclusivity, reaching out to others. Jacques offers his ‘friend’ advice in the lines:

‘Do your best
Take a chance
Dare to dream and
Make it real
Segui la verità, via della libertà
My friend
My friend’

The video follows through on these themes showing a number of disparate figures from a different backgrounds being able to have meaningful friendships with each other, from the Eric Saade lookalike ballerina, to the hipster guy who fancies the male cellist, the young disabled girl playing and the couple who care deeply for each other who drive around in the car. It’s clear to see Jacques has embraced this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate Diversity’.

I definitely commend Jacques for his ideas, he definitely gets an A+ for effort and there’s no denying he is a fantastic singer(s). However, something about this entry just doesn’t work. I think it straddles the border of corny and sincere, ending up more on the cheesy, corny side. The song feels a little bit dated as well, especially when you set it alongside the likes of Norway’s JOWST in the running order.

My Ranking: 39th

My Prediction: 18th in Semi Final 2 (Will not progress to Final)

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