Ahead of his first rehearsal on stage, Eurovision.tv met Jacques singing Johnny Logan's classic Hold Me Know, in the backstage area. "It's my favorite Eurovision song, and although it’s been 30 years ago it won, it’s an oldie but a goodie one," Jacques said.
You can make a difference every day
It had been a while since Jacques Houdek wrote his last song, until he got together with a few friends to pen down My Friend, which he considers his best work ever. Switching back to opera for his Eurovision Song Contest performance after 15 years was a challenge however, he admitted.
Jacques fondly spoke about the key message of his entry: "The song is about the miracle of life and the values that are, or should be, most important to every human being — love, friendship, treating others the way you want to be treated. It reminds us that our time is precious and that you can make a difference every day."
Jacques will perform alongside his two violinists and is supported with picturesque graphics and a decent bit of fireworks at the end of his act.
Shortly after his first rehearsal, Jacques was still recovering from an adrenaline kick: "The crew was amazing, I think they are real magicians! I am very happy with the first rehearsal, it was relaxed, more or less, but I could do much better".
"Friends are your chosen family "
Jacques considers himself to be a lucky person as he grew up in a happy family. However, there are a lot of people who are not that lucky: "There is a saying in Croatia; friends are your chosen family. It means friends whom you decide to spend your life with are the most important ones, may be even more important than love sometimes."
"I love people with talent"
Jacques had an amazing opportunity to be a mentor on The Voice of Croatia for two seasons. "I love people with talent and always listen to the contestants with my heart." His candidate Nina Kraljić won the first season of The Voice and last represented Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest last year in 2016.
"When I was a kid, there was a war in Croatia and ever since my country was always in some kind of need. Helping other people in any way possible is like a usual thing in Croatia and we are happy to do that," Jacques concluded.
Jacques will rehearse again on Saturday, 6th of May, and will take part in the second Semi-Final on Thursday, 11th of May.