Meet the Presenters

by Ilari Karhapää 55 views

Yesterday YLE announced the names of the two presenters of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki. As always the decision didn�t please everybody even if most seem to agree with the choice. Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Leppilampi are on every Finnish paper�s front page, and they also visited the TV morning shows. Let�s see what they have to say and how Finns have reacted.

The presenters chosen are relaxed, charismatic and easy on the eyes,” says YLE’s Ville Vilén. ”I’m hardworking and real,” adds Jaana Pelkonen, ”and very honoured for this opportunity! It all came as a surprise as I never was officially asked. Maybe my involvment in Euroviisut in the past three years was a sign I would be. "

"The phone rang last night around 20.00 and I was in pure shock after that call -alone with my cat and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone,”Jaana laughs.

They asked me if I would accept if I was asked some six months ago,” Mikko Leppilampi reveals, “andI did a test film with Jaana last week, but I only knew I was selected Monday evening at 20.45.” Monday morning there were still three candidates: Jaana, Mikko and Heikki.

No comment. I have to think this over before I say anything,”responds Heikki Paasonenwho was Jaana’s partner for three years in Euroviisut andthefavourite for the post along with Jaana. Ilta-Sanomat claims EBU’s Reference group thought his language skills were not good enough when they met in Helsinki last week. “Language skills, presentation and looks were all considered and it seems Mikko was ahead in all three fields,” says YLE’s Timo Suomi.This must be a bittermouthfulfor Heikki, as he still has to host the last Euroviisut semi final this Saturday and the final on February 17 with Jaana. The Finnish media believes Heikki has been promised some job in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 though, maybe the greenroom?

Finns have made a big issue of the language skills, especially French. Jaana has studied French at school and also speaksEnglish and Spanish. Shedemanded language courses by YLE in the press conference. Mikko has studied two years in Canada and speaks fluent English and some French. He has presented the Finnish EU presidency’s opening gala in Brussels in French. The pair joked they will be spending a lot of time together speaking French from now on; they asking the tabloids to leave them alone – it’s all work related.

This morning in YLE’s morning show the couple proved their chemistry works even after two sleepless nights; they were good humoured and ready for the task. Both are ready to work hardstarting right now. Today theymeet with YLEto beginworkingwith the script. “The script is very strict, each and every sigh is written down,” says Jaana, “but we hope we can make it ours. And, of course be ready if something unexpected happens.

The team is completely Finnish,” adds Mikko, “so surely there will be Finnish elements in it and it all will be done the Finnish way. It will be different from last year as much as the script allows.

The presenters promise to study the past few years’ editions carefully but notcopy anyone. Mikko even joked he will learn each and every song this year and go on Eurovision tour this summer performing all the songs himself.

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