The arena predictably filled up for the performance of Hanna this morning, who will be flying the flag for the home country this year. Finland's first rehearsal is marked by dark, goth-rock elements in the staging, with Hanna turning in a sound performance.
The presentation plays with several different Gothic-style motifs throughout the song, the most striking of these being silhouetted trees which the camera moves through on the screen, against deep blue or fiery background. Additionally, there is some Celtic symbolism evident in the swirls and patterns that occasionally appear against scratchy, distressed textures. At points, bright white lights flicker neurotically on the stage along with the staccato notes of the metal guitar, pushing that jaded, messed up vibe that the song builds on. The stage bursts from blues to red and yellow flames for the last chorus, with fake flumes of silken fire exploding into action behind Hanna.
Hanna looked every inch the rock chick, in a black vest and trousers, complimented by a long string of beads around her neck, hair billowing in the wind as the song reaches its angry climax. She plays the part of the used, twisted lover excellently through the act, and the mood is reflected around her in the lighting. She is accompanied by a four-piece rock outfit, with bassist and guitar player joining her front stage, and drummer and keyboardist in the thick of the dry ice at the back of the floor.
In a nice twist for Hanna, Eurovision head honcho Svante Stockselius appeared in the secure area to supervise part of the rehearsal. He has no cause for concern over the home entry, as everything went splendidly for the Finns this morning; the whole performance has strong overtones of Evanescence, and it could just grab votes from the same fan base, if they are watching on Saturday.
The first Finnish press conference
Hanna was met by a great number of journalists and fans and there seemed to be no end to the photos and autographs. Once things calmed down and the press conference started Hanna answered the questions looking rather nervous at first.
Several questions circulated around her song title Leave me alone, isn’t she afraid the voters would do just that? Markku from Finland, famous for his YouTube clips, asked then isn’t it a very Finnish things, the need to be left alone. She said it probably it is but then sung her song with new lyrics: “Don’t leave me alone, I don’t want to go home, I don’t feel like dying” to a loud applause.
All in all she was very happy with the stage and the rehearsal and refused to tell about the surprise we can expect in the final as then it wouldn’t be a surprise any more.
Then she was asked what gives her more joy; the fact she is the co-lyricist of the song or the fact the contest is in Finland but she couldn’t answer that. How she has prepared for the contest: touring, having some time in the summer cottage gardening and sleeping a lot.
Questions about her future plans abroad followed, about her song writing and if Mr Lordi has given her some advice. Yes, there are plans for abroad but nothing definite yet, she will be writing more songs in the future and Mr Lordi just said her to be yourself, do your thing and good luck!