As many traditional media sources have already gleefully reported, the 2006 Finnish Eurovision song contest entry will definitely not be what you’d expect. But let me correct these aforementioned sources – the entry is very much what you’d expect if you knew about the Finnish deadpan humour and mentality.
I am delighted and even a little gleeful that my lovely, quirky homeland has decided to share its sense of humour around the world by entering Lordi — a Finnish Spinal Tap, or thereabouts — into the contest with a song called "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Sadly, and rather predictably, not many people (not even all Finns, judging by the local media reaction) "get" the tongue-in-cheek element of Lordi.
Reports from the Eurovision 2006 host country Greece and from the Finnish church authorities, asking for immediate removal of Lordi from the contest, suggest that some people seem not to be getting the joke. Lordi sounds like a hybrid between all of the ’80s cheesy hard rock bands; a soundtrack to a B-list horror flick; with an underlying pop-sensibility that might even make it popular in countries other than Finland.
The Guardian wrote:
The trauma of losing the Eurovision Song Contest can do funny things to a country. In Finland, where the words "nul points" are burned into the national psyche, they have decided to take radical action and appoint hard-rocking death metal band Lordi as their Eurovision entry for 2006.
A far cry from the breezy folk tunes and ultra-safe pop of traditional Eurovision fare [...]
Wait a second there, matey! You are confusing Finland with Norway! I don’t recall any folk song entries from Finland! Oh, I admit. Most people seem to happily lump Nordic and Scandinavian countries into one compartment in their heads, probably entitled "That meatball guy from The Muppets".
Still, I felt it was my duty as a Finn to write the alternative announcement about Lordi, so here I am. Finland has graced the Eurovision song contest with its presence since 1961 and has always entered with a fabulously cheesy pop song in the true nature of the contest. Definitely no folk songs in sight. Who knows, with groups like Värttinä, maybe Finland should have used a folk song once in a while?
The 2006 Eurovision song contest will be broadcast from Athens on the 20th of May.