The twelve acts that will fight it out for the chance to represent Finland in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest have been announced today by YLE. Amongst the participants there is a drag act, two singers-songwriters at the beginnign of their career, a super model and only one Idols finalist.
Cristal has been performing from a young age. At the age of 20 she moved to New York to study in the theatre program at City College of New York. In New York she added performing in drag as an extension to her acting. In 2003 she had to return to Finland and eventually entered and won the annual Miss Drag Queen competition in 2006. She has released two singles "Cristal Clear" and "Pump It Up" which have been hugely successful in clubs and online. Her musical style is Electro pop.
Crumbland has existed as a band for several years. Band members are Jontte Genberg (vocals, guitar), Antti Pylkkänen (bass), Pexi Parviainen (drums) and Teemu Seppälä (guitar, b.vocals) In autumn 2005 Crumbland was signed to a small indie label called Terra Recordings, and their debut album was released in June 2007. The fourpiece make grungy indie rock.
Hanna Marsh is a 27-year old singer-songwriter from Helsinki. She has studied music extensively and in August 2006, Hanna Marsh released her debut album "Chameleon Girl – Sleeping Under The Rising Sun" on EMI Finland, which consists entirely of her own songs. She wants to tell stories with her Tori Amos-esque songs, and she also states Kate Bush as one of her influences.
Jenna Bågeberg was crowned the Tango Queen 2007 on the hugely popular annual televised Tango Festival in Seinäjoki. A year prior she had already been the tango princess. She was born in Kontiolahti in 1988. Her debut album "Aamukuuteen" is released by Edel Finland in November. Her style could be described as schlager pop.
More information on Jenna here (in Finnish)
Jippu is a 21-year old singer from Helsinki. She has already won an Emma for her debut album. She was the first ever signing for the record company Helsinki Music Company. Her musical style is ethereal ballads.
Kari is a veteran artist on the Finnish schlager scene. He was born in November 1945 in Suonenjoki. He started performing in the 1960s and joined the Finnish superstar Danny on his legendary tours in the 1970s. His breakthrough came with a few cover hits in the 1970s, beginning with "Laula kanssain" (Sing My Love Song by Jackpot) and "Viisitoista kesää" (Living Next Door To Alice by Smokie). His version of Italian Eurovision winner Toto Cutugno's "L'italiano vero" (Olen suomalainen) has almost become an unofficial national anthem. Kari won the Iskelmä Finlandia Award in 2003 and an Emma-award in 2005. His recent music is influenced by country music. He has previously taken part in the Finnish national final in 1988 with the song "Tää kaipuu". Kari has also recorded a few Finnish Eurovision covers during his career. He records for Edel Records Finland.
Polarartistit (in Finnish)
Video from Finnish national final 1988 YLE Elävä arkisto here.
Kristian was born in 1979 in Espoo. He became fourth in the Finnish "Idols" in 2007. He is also a musician and songwriter. He released his debut album "Ensiaskeleet" on SonyBMG in 2007.
Mikael is 23 years old and was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lives now in Helsinki. He shot to fame by performing with the military big band in the annual president's Independence Day Ball in 2006, and was promptly signed for Universal Records Finland. His style is traditional Finnish schlager with 60s influence. He will release his first album in the spring.
Movetron was a hugely popular eurodance outfit in the 1990s and have only recently made a comeback. The band consists of lead singer Päivi Lepistö and Jukka Tanttari and Timo Löyvä. Their first smash hit "Romeo ja Julia" from 1995 was followed by a gold selling number one album by the same title and three follow-up albums. They released their comeback single Ei kenenkään maa in 2007 receiving respectable airplay.
Ninja Sarasalo is a singer and a supermodel from Helsinki, born in 1983. She has worked for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Garnier and her photos have been published in magazines like ELLE, Vogue and GQ. Sarasalo has also modelled on catwalks in Milan, New York, Paris and Tokyo. She released her first single "Fashion" in 2006 on Warner Music Finland and first album "I Don't Play Guitar" in 2007. Her second single "Hush, hush" was also released in Sweden.
Teräsbetoni is a heavy metal act and was signed to Warner Music Finland in 2004. The Viking rockers' 2005 debut album Metallitotuus was a sales success and was followed by Vaadimme betonia in 2006. The band also won an Emma Award in 2005.
Official site (for audio samples select "Kuuntele")
Vuokko Hovatta was born in Espoo in 1972. She is a singer and actress and became famous as a member of the hugely popular band Ultra Bra. It is anticipated that her entry will be written by another former Ultra Bra member, Kerkko Koskinen who wrote the fan favourite "Shanghain valot" for Annika Eklund in the Finnish national final of 2006. Vuokko has recently starred in the Finnish adaptation of the musical Evita, watch on YouTube here.
Vuokko took part in the Finnish national finals with Ultra Bra in 1998 with Tyttöjen välisestä ystävyydestä and again in 2000 with Kaikki on hetken tässä".
Music video of Finnish national finals entry of 1998 here on YouTube
A photo gallery of the participants is available here .