Just few days ago YLE announced the names of the 12 invited artists that will compete in Finnish National Selection.Now we know the dates which the artists will perform their songs. The acts have been organised in groups of three for the four semi-finals. See who will perform and when below.
Thenames of the12 semi-finalists in Finland have nowbeen sorted into the four semi-finals, to beheld at the Tohloppi Studios in Tampere. Each performer will have to sing two songs in their semi-final, and the favourite song of each singer will qualify for the final. The Finnish national final will be held at the Caribia Spa Hotel on February 17 2007 in Turku hosted by Heikki Paasonen & Jaana Pelkonen.
The 12 invited artists will each sing one song, and tv viewers will decide by televote which of them will have the ticket to represent the host contry in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. The voting in the Finnish final will be in two stages. These are the acts of the Finnish semifinals (biographies courtesy of our friends at www.escfinland.eu):
Semi final 1- January 20th
- Jani & The Jetsetters – The band claims to have coined a new musical genre, surf pop. They have the backing of Kalevi Puonti, who has experience in Eurovision selections in Finland. The band say their songs will follow up on the style of their debut album Uusi aalto. One of the songs is slower in tempo than the other, and their chosen language is said to be Finnish all the way.
- Hanna Pakarinen – Hanna is probably still the most popular of the 12 to take to the stage in Helsinki. She says to be happy to take part now, when she is not forced to conform to a typical Eurovision format, but can participate with her own type of “American pop rock” and her band. According to Hanna Lordi broke the mould and now her rock style is more welcome on Eurovision stage. She also thinks her songs are strong enough to take part. She has taken a year off touring so taking part marks a minor come back for her. Also she can commit herself to the project wholeheartedly. Backed by the label behind Lordi’s success, Sony BMG Finland who should know what it takes to win.
- Thunderstone- The band say the request to take part in Eurovision was so odd, that they could only say yes. The band, which has already released three albums of their well produced melodic heavy metal say that they look the same as Lordi on stage, but need less time for their make-up. Thunderstone is signed to a German record label, and are reasonably well known in heavy metal circles. Lead singer Pasi Rantanen, sometimes dubbed Finland’s answer to David Coverdale says a catchy chorus is what is needed of a good Eurovision song.
Semi final 2- January 27th
- Jukka Kuoppamaki– This schlager veteran does not think he is too old for the contest, and mentions bands like the Rolling Stones or Genesis getting back on tour being same age as him. This man, whose Sininen ja valkoinen (Blue and White) has almost the status of an unofficial national anthem in Finland says he could not even think about singing in English. He promises us pop and even rock in his two songs.
- Humane – The band leader, model Kim Herold says they only decided take part after much discussion within the band. As they already are somewhat known abroad, he does not think they really need the extra exposure of Eurovision. Their two songs will follow up on the very laid-back atmosphere of their English language pop.
- Katra – This classically trained singer used to sing with Lovex, who she now faces as competitors in the Finnish national finals. She says her two songs will have some oriental flavour and mystical energy. She says they are a bit harder than her first single Sahara and the inspiration for the lyrics comes from ancient Greece. Her two songs are written by the very productive team of Risto Asikainen and Ilkka Vainio. Even if she prefers to sing in Finnish, and will do so in the semi-final, she will swap the language to English if she gets to represent Finland in Helsinki. She also says she will go for a full show on stage.
Semi final 3- February 3rd
- Johanna Kurkela – Johanna was encouraged to take part by her record company. She will sing her typical ethereal ballads in Finnish. She hopes to reach peoples’ hearts with her fragile ballads.
- Kentals – The musician from Vaasa is happy to be allowed to sing his own material. He has recently released his first album Finally with his band Wee People.
- Lovex – The band say some of their fans might be shocked by the decision to take part, but don’t generally care what anybody thinks of them. Their album Divine Insanity has almost sold gold. “We were given a chance to do our own music and go on annoying people, so we said yes”.
Semi final 4- February 10th
- Beats and Styles – This duo will not sit quietly and say they are going to impress by their fresh approach. They hope the audience will join in the good time they have on stage. The band has collaborated before with several schlager artists like Danny and Jari Sillanpää, so guest artists are not impossible.
- Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue – Jann Wilde is already behaving like a proper rock star and is convinced he is what is needed for Eurovision. The band want to be noticed and surely will be so with their outspoken style and visuality on stage. Their first single is likely to chart in Finland this weekend.
- Laura Voutilainen – Laura says she is not going to repeat her performance from Tallinn 2002, even if at least one of her songs will be written by the same songwriter, Maki Kolehmainen. “I will bring a full show on stage this time!” she enthuses. She says one of her songs is a slow one and in Finnish, whereas the other one is faster and in English.
YLE has promised to announce the titles of the songs and their authors on the 5th January 2007 at the latest.