|Mr Lordi searches for musical inspiration
Jaakko Laajava theFinnishAmbassador to Britain has admitted to having a taste forheavy metal music. Commenting on his country’s amazing victory in the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday (20th May 2006), he told the BBC that there was “anelementof heavy metal in me too”, and that he was “thrilled” and “encouraged” by his country’s first ever Eurovision Song Contest success.
The winning song, “Hard Rock Hallelujia” sung by the heavy metal band Lordi, featured performers dressed asmonsterswearinggrotesquemasks, and hasappalledsome of Finland’s cultural elite, with many feelingoutragedthat such anhorrificact should be allowed to represent their country, potentially damaging it’sreputation.
However, the Finnish President, Mrs. Tarja Halonen quickly congratulated the band in atelegramafter Lordi won, and they have now become nationalicons. Culture Minister Tanja Karpela said Lordi's victory proved Finnish music could be successful abroad.
In the Finnish capital Helsinki, trafficground to a halt, with police intervening to clear thejam, as hundreds of people celebrated in the streets, waving flags and singing Lordi's song.
One fan, Erkki Turunen, said Finland won "because it put on a genuine show". "This wasn't some sort of rubbish. This was really cool," he said.
In London there were celebrations amongst Finnishex-patriots, one Eurovision fan, Dr. Jussi Kalkkinen said: "I hate heavy metal, but when we saw those guys, you just had to vote for them."
Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomatproclaimed: "It's official: Hell has frozen over. Finland has won."
The song was given the highest ever score in the Song Contest’s history and gained the maximum 12 points from voters in Britain whophone inwith their scores.
Britain, which takes part in thecontestevery year only achieved 19th place out of a total of 24 other European countries. Critics suggest that thesentimentsof the UK song, Teenage Life by Daz Simpson, would not have been understood outside the UK, whilst the performers’costumes, school uniform, would havemystifiedmost, as it is a mode of dress generally unknown on mainland Europe.