17 April – But what if I stay and wait till she comes home?

Would you want to be the home entrant if you were in a Eurovision Song Contest. You have no issues with the host country’s culture, but you won’t get to travel to somewhere exotic.

On the plus side, the crowd in the arena will be right behind you. And home entrants have won in the past. Five times in fact. Today’s birthday girl Hanna Pakarinen was Finland’s lucky participant in 2007 and travelled from Lappeenranta to Helsinki to do her stuff. She had come a long way from her days as a fork-lift truck driver, to being the toast of her country. It’s arguable whether the host broadcaster really wants to win, so in that respect Hanna did YLE proud and finished 17th. But she did get two maxima and also beat a certain neighbouring country that flies a blue-and-yellow flag. So it wasn’t all bad.

Hanna is 40 today.

Hyvää syntymäpäivää, Hanna!

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