Since Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Leppilampi got to know they were chosen to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 on February 5 just a few hours before the big press conference, their days have been filled with script writing, language classes, dress fitting, rehearsals and most of all taking care of themselves by having enough sleep and eating well. Now they are ready to face the challenge of a lifetime.
Jaana says she had never dreamt of presenting the Finnish Euroviisut but gladly accepted when she was asked. “My colleagues were asking am I good enough for anything else? Poor little thing! No-one feels like this anymore these days. That job has led me to this in just 3 years. I am now getting advice from people who never cared for Eurovision before. Everyone wants to be part of it, it’s cool to see the change” she says.
Mikko has been a fan since his childhood. “We watched the Eurovision and Live Aid and such events together with my family. I was very touched when the Te Deum started playing in the press conference and I realized what I was going to do in 3 months!” Jaana feels Te Deum is more like a wake up call for her. “I have been involved in the Eurovision the past three years so it is very familiar. It means “Here we go!” to me.”
Both still feel they are a bit confused by the offer. “I never dared to dream of anything like this. I have a lot of experience in presenting and hosting but this is so different. I will think warmly of all the commentators sweating in their boxes while I am standing on stage. They work so hard but are kind of invisible” she says. “I am very flattered to have been in a situation in my life and career that I was chosen for. When I was initially asked for the first time in summer I knew I would accept it if I was chosen. This is something I don’t want to regret in a rocking chair when I am old man!” he laughs.
They are not very worried about the live transmission. “We don’t havean auto cueto help us, and the earpiece isn’t so helpful either. We must know the script by heart” Jaana says. “We will learn it so well that if you wake me up at night I will know what to say. We must know the show so well that we feel like we were on stage showing people our own living room, we can’t get lost there” Mikko adds.
Both have been taking French lessons and practising English as well. Jaana promises some Spanish, too. “I am interested in languages and Spanish is the last one I have studied. For obvious reasons I have been speaking it a lot lately” she says. When asked if this is because she has a Spanish boyfriend she gets unusually quiet but Mikko comes to her rescue: “She has a stray Spanish cat!” Both promise also a few words in other languages, too.
Jaana and Mikko both say they have been living unusually healthy lives since February, having a lot of sleep, taking care of their physical condition and eating well. “It gives us security and serenity. I have a feeling everything will go well. On that stage you must be a little narcistic in a right way” Mikko says. “And a little bit of madness helps, too” Jaana adds laughing. "All I hope for the final day is that I will have time to eat a banana at some point and go to the loo, the day is really fully booked with a minute by minute schedule!”
Looks like the presenters of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 are ready to entertain the millions in front of their TVs and the audience in the Hartwall Areena and enjoy every second of it themselves!