beauties vs beasts

03 Finland Left 2006
(Lordi – Photo from Eurovision)

The first that I ever heard of LORDI was in an email about two weeks ago from fellow-blogger Anna in England: “Lordi lordi, whatever next? I really think that you should do a piece about these guys…we are  about to be deeply shocked apparently.” I wrote back, “I’m missing something here… what guys? what’s shocking?” Then Anna sent me this link. Ohh!

So, Lordi is the monster heavy-metal band that is representing Finland in this year’s Eurovision song contest. I must say I’m not a fan of heavy-metal rock. I first heard their entry Hard Rock Hallelujah at BBC (via Pinseri). The Lordi members are from Finnish Saame (Lapland) and credit Kiss for their inspiration. They have never appeared without the heavy grotesque makeup and costumes nor revealed their true identities.

What got me interested in them initially is this mystery, a hint of Lord of the Rings, the “Arockalypse” (as they post on their homepage) and the pyrotechnics in their huge performances – is it clever marketing? The huge media coverage Lordi is getting seems to indicate success, just look at the blogs, online news in Finland, the UK and Canada including the CBC, and print news such as even our conservative Vancouver Sun with two articles “Monster-rock band has even fellow-Finns feeling horrified” and “Euro songfest’s easy-beat challenged”. (That’s enough links already, eh!)

Lordi was voted in as one of ten finalists, a first ever for Finland, both elating and upsetting many conservative Finns. The finals of this 50 year old contest are presently underway as I write this, and I’ll be back as soon as I know the final results of the voting.

UPDATE 3:45 pm PDT – FINLAND WINS! Learned first at Pinseri, then Finland for Thought (great photo here). The Eurovision site is slow updating, guess the Finns have been watching TV into the wee hours!!

LATER: BBC has a report and list of runner-ups.

ADDENDUM: May 21st: Lordi is now in Wikipedia in English and Finnish. (Thanks to blogisisko)
AND the feedback from Helsinki’s main newspaper: Helsingit Sanomat where there are also some great photos

May 24th: Lordi-mania is still humming away, though I said to myself that I wouldn’t write anymore about this. However an interesting article about lead Tomi Putaansuu and his labour of love is too good not to share. Also, read the comment and question from Anna Amnell below – anyone have an answer?

May 20, 2006 in Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music by Marja-Leena