Monday, November 27, 2006


Is this a fantasy dream?, sang Ami Aspelund in ESC 1983 and most of the Finns were thinking the same thing on a May night 23 years later. Victory in Eurovision has been just a fantasy for Finns for 45 years, so what would be a better theme for Eurovision 2007 than "Fantasy Dream"? Greeks were feeling the rhythm, Turks were under the same sky and Ukrainians were awakening andFinns will live out the fantasy that came true. That is the red line in all visual effects on ESC 2007 and the theme for the sub logo that will be revealed in January.
YLE has hired a very young Finnish team to take care of all that and the stage design as well. Visual Design will be created by Dog Design agency (Ilona Ilottu, 36, Petri Salmela, 35 and Eeva Sivula, 39). The stage design will be done by students from the University of Art and Design (Kristian Schmidt, 28, Jenni Viitanen, 25, Samuli Laine, 23 and Kalle Ahonen, 25).
Also Finland and different Finnish contrasts will be included, such as summer's light and winter's darkness, hills and mountains in the north and archipelagos in the south, being close to nature and still very high tech, being silent and creatively mad.
"We wanted to find a way to dress Helsinki in Eurovision in a way that it is seen by all of Europe" says Ilona Ilottu. "Our idea is like a kaleidoscope, that portrays the Finnish minimalism".
"The stage design will we based on Finnish mythology, how Väinämöinen showed he was the best singer/storyteller of them all" says Kristian Schmidt, "it's a mixture of Finnish nature, design and high technology!"
TeliaSonera, the biggest telecommunications provider in Scandinavia and the Baltics, is the main sponsor (no Nokia!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Elena Mady - An Actress

I'm still wondering how this would have done if it had won... Different for sure, all or nothing kind of song, a bit like "Hard rock hallelujah" in that sense, risking it all... If only Finns had been braver last year!

Hanna Pakarinen - How can I miss you?

Arja Saijonmaa - Högt över havet

Arja Saijonmaa - Vad du än trodde så trodde du fel - MF 2005

Lordi gets to the Eurovision Song Contest final 2006

This is how it all started....

Finland 12 points!

Unbelievable, earth shakingly memories that still give shivers everytime... :-p

Lordi - Hard Rock Halleluja [Final]

This is why we are here!

i treni di tozeur

My all time favourite. One of them...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Arja Saijonmaa releases a CD in Finnish again

La Arja (62) has released a new CD "Rakkaus on rohkeutta" (Love is being brave), her first in Finnish since 2000. Multilingual and political artist and United Nation's Goodwill Ambassador, lately she has been moving away from her early days Mikis Theodorakis songs and collaborations with Inti Illimani singing Violetta Parra to Scandinavian schlager, and this one is described as "Schlager ballads". Her first single is from 1969 and album from 1972. Fourteen albums in Finnish, eleven in Swedish and other recordings in Norvegian, Spanish, Italian, French, Greek and German. She has participated twice in Melodifestival: 1987 "Högt över havet" lost with one point and went on to win Second Chance later that year, and "Vad än du trodde så trodde du fel" bombed in 2005. Also twice in Euroviisut: "Talvilintu" in 1971 and "Gabriela" came third in 1990. She has also starred in three Finnish movies and has written a book about the Scandinavian sauna culture. She was also one of the contestants in Swedish TV's "Let's Dance" in 2005-2006 and later posed with her partner in "erotic" photos causing quite a scandal.

She is also a candidate to host Eurovision 2007 if you believe fan forums....

Masked? No party!

The debate of Lordi's masks and the president's annual Independance Day reception goes on wild in the media. Lordi themselves have made it clear already after the victory that id they are invited they will go only in full masks. Last week the invitations came and the president's staff commented yesterday "the invitation gives the dresscode which is frack or dark suit and honorable medals if one has them. Masks are not part of it". In Iltalehti's online poll Lordi has divided the nation in half again, just like when they won Euroviisut. Half of the people want them to drop the masks and go unmasked, 30% want them to keep the secrecy and masks while 20% think it is the president's mistake: she knew all along they wouldn't go unmasked so why bother asking them? One solution that has been offered is that Lordi would perform in the castle and therefor be able to wear the masks... But at the moment it looks like we won't be seeing Lordi in this reception that gathers every year nearly 2 million Finns in front of their TVs following it live.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tickets! Dates! Prices!

Here it is. The plan. Over 70.000 tickets in all, one third of them sold abroad (one third of them through OGAE), prices from 5 euros to 195 euros each. Maximum 5 tickets per person. Tickets will be sold by starting at noon on December 10 by phone and in their desks. Internet selling will start on December 12 and details on that will be given later. Tickets are divided in 3 categories. First category tickets are sold in two different packets, second and third category tickets separately. Half of the tickets are sold as packets.


(semifinal rehealses Wednesday at 2pm, semifinal rehealses Thursday at 2pm, final rehealses Friday at 9pm and the final Saturday 10pm)


(semifinal rehealses Wednesday at 9pm, semifinal Thursday at 10pm, final rehealses Friday at 2pm, final rehealses Saturday at 2pm)


semifinal rehealses from 10 euros to 20 euros, final rehealses from 50 to 70 euros, semifinal 90 euros, final 195 euros.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

President sends out invitations

All Lordi members have been invited to the President's Independance Day reception on December 6. This reception broadcasted annually live by YLE and closely followed by all media is every year the most watched TV-programme in Finland and the only real high class society happening. The only question is how Lordi can arrive fully masked, due to security reasons... as the others dress up formally in long dresses and dark suites!

Lordi at Stockmann

Lordi met their fans once more before the break at Stockmann's yesterday. Over 1000 fans were waiting and caused a little chaos inside the department store and it took them 1,5 hours instead of the planned one hour, and yet only half of the fans got their autographs, photos and hugs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Eurovision at Bio Rex

In May Helsinki's Lasipalatsi will host the Eurovision info and meeting point and bar was announced already earlier, organized by and YLE amongst others, but now it is also known that its legendary 700 seats movie theater will show both the semifinal and the final live! So the fans who don't get tickets to the Hartwall Areena may gather there. The protected building is a protected landmark in the very heart of Helsinki.

Comments and polls

Some artists have commented about Euroviisut now that the final 12 names are out. PMMP (who released a new album last week that has gone already platinum) confirmed they had been asked but they thought Eurovision didn't quite suit them. Tarja Turunen on the other hand said she wasn't even asked. YLE's official comment on The Rasmus, HIM and other big names Finns were hoping for is that they didn't have anything to gain in Eurovision. Also Universal records confirmed many of their artists were considered and asked but most of them were just too busy to dedicate most of the months from January to May only to Eurovision.
MTV3 has its own web poll for who should win and Hanna Pakarinen is leading with 24,3%, followed by Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue with 17,9% and Lovex with 17,6%. Beats and Styles follows with 12,7%, Thunderstone 8,2% and Humane 5,3%. The others fall between 0,9-3,5%.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ticket info already on November 20

YLE will announce its ticket info as soon as next Monday, November 20 instead of November 28 as announced earlier, maybe due to confusion caused by some web based operators who claim they're selling tickets to Eurovision. This is not the case, but these companies are only working on the speculation that they would manage to obtain and sell tickets with huge profits. The only authorised means to get tickets will be announced by YLE and EBU. They will inform the public when ticket sales will start, where to buy them, how much they will cost and the number of tickets available for the public. There will be different priced tickets for rehearsals and the semi-final and the final. The info will be available on YLE's website at 10 CET. Members of national OGAE fan clubs should hear about fan ticket allocations via their own club very soon.


Finland sees more Eurovision related books published this year and early 2007 than all the 45 years of history before put together. Besides the aforementioned two Lordi books "Euroviisutriviaa vuosi vuodelta" or "Eurovision Trivia year by year" will be published in January giving us important information year by year; such as where the winners are now, who of the artists have visited Finland and when. It also includes a quiz so everyone can test their knowledge, from the Finnish view of things of course!

In February comes a book concentrated on the Finnish entries only. "Euroviisut kautta aikojen" or "Finnish Eurovision entries of all time" will have complete music and lyrics to all songs, information on the artists and so on.

In April the Finnish edition (pictured) of John O'Conner's "The Eurovision Song Contest - Official History" will be released. He has written a new section about Finland in this book and of course Lordi is featured in the cover.

In January comes also Asko Murtomäki's book "Finland! 12 points!" about the Finnish Eurovision history. Asko is an OGAE member and YLE's Eurovision specialist taking care of the website and commenting the contest on TV.

Chart topping ESC related albums

Vesa-Matti Loiri (1980) released a new album "Ivalo" a few weeks ago. He sings Finnish, mainly rock classics in a very minimalist acoustic way. Recorded in a small portable studio in Ivalo, Lapland. It entered the chart as #2 and is now #1.
An accapella group, Rajaton joined forces with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, also on record, after a sold-out tour in Finland and even some gigs in the US performing ABBA classics. Before they've collaborated with Beatles music and Finnish Eurovision tunes (maybe one day on record?). This album should see a release in other countries, too, in the future but in Finland it went straight to #1 and drops to #3 this week.
Oh... and the Ratzz album enters at #9...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The first participant in Helsinki 2007 is now known! RTÉ announced it has chosen a folksy band Dervish to represant the country. Those who have had enough of Irish ballads or were afraid Ireland would hop on a hard rock train can take a sigh of relief. Formed in 1989 the band has released so far 7 albums (the last "A Healing Heart" released in 2005) besides a compilation of their finest work and a live CD/DVD. Playing traditional Irish music the band is no stranger to huge stages and audiences, has experience on performing live and on TV and has been touring worldwide. In 2006 they have performed in China and have toured the US. More on

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Official Lordi book a flop?

The official Lordi book was released last Thursday but so far it seems to be selling very badly in the two biggest bookstores Akateeminen Kirjakauppa and Suomalainen Kirjakauppa. In Akateeminen they hope for a boost next Friday when Lordi themselves will be signing the book at Stockmann's it belongs to. The book is a stylish coffee table book telling Lordi's story so far with lots of private pics, full discography and so on.... Well, Christmas is still coming so the first 10.000 copies print may not be a flop after all?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

How did the fans of artists react to the news?

Now that the names are out the reactions by the fans of the chosen artists have been rather varied, besides the general disapproval of YLE's choices. Beats and Styles themselves make a big thing about the participation in their website, and their fans seem to agree in the forum. Also Hanna Pakarinen's fans give their full support, which is a good news for the televoting, unlike Lovex fans, who seems to be rather sceptical and some even say they won't vote for them as they think Eurovision is a mistake. Their support might go to Katra who used to be their back up singer. Also Thunderstone fans don't warm to the idea. But Laura's fans seem to be thrilled. Humane's and Jani & Jetsetter's website ignores Eurovision completely while Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue's makes a big deal about it in three languages: Finnish, English and German. Their fans aren't as happy. Kentala's and Johanna Kurkela's websites don't have a forum to see what their fans think about them and Jukka Kuoppamäki doesn't even have a website. So, it's looking good for Hanna and Beats and Styles!

Running order for the semis

The aertists for the first semifinal on January 20 are Jani & Jetsetters, Hanna Pakarinen and Thunderstone. For the second on January 27 Humane, Katra and Jukka Kuoppamäki and in the third one on February 3 Kentala, Johanna Kurkela and Lovex. Beats and Styles, Laura and Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue finish it off on February 10.


The rumour is that they wanted to participate last year as well, but their record company said no, and that they are genuine fans of Eurovision, hmm? They already represented Finland in the newborn Sopot Festival last year. Beats and Styles are two DJ's: Alimo and Control. Alimo's real name is Asmo Sainio (34) and from Espoo, Control is Jaakko Manninen (25) from Helsinki. Being DJ's their discography is a mess with featured vocals and guests, different remixes and singles in different countries. "Our goal is to be noticed for the good feeling we have on stage, we want people to think we enjoy this, that we are fresh!" says Control. No doubt they stole the show in the presentation press conference!
More on


Jani & Jetsetters is a new band that had rapidly gained popularity in radio waves with their "surf-schlager". Their two first singles have been top-3 hits in radio play and the third single is currently on radio play top-10 and their début album is in top-10 in the official charts as well. Jani Forsman is the blond lead singer, Kaitsu Seppälä and Japa Mattila are the guitarists, Petteri Pyhähuhta plays drums and Abe Määttä bass. In a year the band has achieved a lot and let's see how they will do in Euroviisut... "We are here thanks to our producer and we believe we have a pan-European appeal" says Jani, but doesn't comment on whether they will sing in Finnish or English.
More on


Humane was formed in 2004 and first considered a joke as its front man is an international top model, Kim Herold. Rumour has it that he was in Paris doing modelling and on one day off got bored, then saw and bought a guitar. To cut a long story short, he was friends with a record producer who heard him. Next he was in a studio, a single was out and it became a hit. Easy? How he started his modelling career was as easy: he was visiting his model sister in Milan and when leaving the agency someone saw him from the window and shouted at him... Too easy? Anyway, the band is not only him but also includes Kim Liljeström, a multi instrumentalist who plays guitar and piano in Human, Markku Metsola on bass and Raine Kokkinen on drums. With two albums so far and several radio hits under their belt, they have proved wrong the initial critic who said it's just a pretty face trying to sing something, even if it's still Kim's face on the sleeves. "It wasn't an easy decision but now that we are here we will enjoy it to the fullest, though it might be difficult to win Kuoppamäki!" says Kim.


This group is propably the less know name here and their debut single "Boys from New York" will be released only November 15, 2006. Formed in 2005 at the moment they're touring Germany with Negative. Big words on their website: "They won't go unnoticed wherever they land their space rocket. They will charm you with their flamboyant, glamorous rock and seductive sweet pop, theatrical performances and shamelessly catchy bubblegum pop tunes. Their music draws influences from the glam rock of the 1970s and new wave of the 1980s - all wrapped up with a cunning punk attitude. Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue is not just a band. It's much more... Besides we are perfect for Eurovision. We will surely attract attention internationally!"
More on

Friday, November 10, 2006


Katra (22) is practically unknown. She has released one single "Sahara" so far and is recording her début album. Already labelled the poor man's Tarja Turunen by those who were disappointed, Tarja isn't in. She has studied singing and piano since she was 5. "My music is opera-rock in Finnish, with a touch of mystic etno and big sounds" she says. "I try to combine my classical training with ancient mythologies and mystics in my lyrics." She has also studied dance and has incorporated that in her performances. Could she be the unknown surprise of 2007?
More on


Kentala is practically unknown, except for the fact that he was the runner up in Euroviisut 2005 with "Deck of cards". He came from nowhere and disappeared as soon as he appeared, only to emerge again now. Apparently he does gigs with a band called Wee People and is recording his first solo album. He promises the same recipe this time: soulful music in English. "I was given a chance to present two songs on prime time TV, so of course I took it!" he says.


Jukka (64) is the odd one in this group and has forced everyone to wonder about YLE's motivation and Jukka's reason to accept. He has his merits as a singer but he had his last hit in the 1970's! He has written many hits for other artists like Katri Helena and Jari Sillanpää, even recently but still: why? Besides being a song writer and singer, he is also a priest and has lived in Germany for the past 20 years or so. His daughter Inka participated in Euroviisut in the 1990's.

He started singing in the late 1950's in a group called Neloset and released his first solo album in 1965. He won Syksyn Sävel 1973 with "Kultaa taikka kunniaa". He has written several songs that are considered rather patriotic like "Sininen ja valkoinen". He has also written many songs in Euroviisut before including Katri Helena's runner up in 1969. He won the Rostock Festival twice in the 1970's. He has sold three gold discs. His latest album release is from 2006 (but did anyone notice it come out?!)
"I will sing my usual songs. I won't try any Eurovision tricks but just good songs. In Finnish. "


Johanna (21) is still rather unknown to the great public and perhaps her best known song is a duet with Tomi Metsäketo, Lordi's runner-up. "I hope to touch people's hearts with my songs" she says, and promises to keep her style: soft romantic ballads in Finnish. "It is wonderful to be a part of Finland's first Eurovision final process." She released her début album last year and a new one is coming in March 2007. She's a fan of Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, Katri Helena, Elton John, The Carpenters and also Aikakone.


Lovex must be the most stupid, or best, band name ever. The band puts the same irony and humour into their music, which is based on 80's rock and 90's boybands. It was formed in the winter of 2001-2002 for fun and shaped up to its present form in 2004. Their first single "Bleeding" was a no 2 hit and the second single "Guardian angel" shot straight to no 1. They have a huge fan following and will surely be dangerous in televoting come February... "We were given the chance to scandalize people some more and we took it" says the lead singer Theon. "We don't think our image will suffer from Euroviisut. And we don't really care!" The band is made up of Theon on vocals, Vivian Sin Amor (yep, it's a he!) on guitars, Sammy Black on guitars, Christian on keyboards, Julian Drain on drums and Jason on bass. Of course all are fake names and yes, they all wear eye shadow...
More on

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Hanna (26) shot to the fame in 2004 when she won the very first Finnish Idol talent show. During the show her strong voice and absolutely adorable personality won over the public and judges and her debut single "Love is like a song" went straight to no 1. Her debut album "When I become me" was kept from no 1 spot only by Nightwish being no 2 for weeks and selling over 55.000 copies (platinum). In 2005 she was nominated for Emma Awards. Second album "Stronger" was a huge success as well and she is in studio recording her third album to be released in February. She's Finland's number one rock chick.
"When I was asked if I wanted to do Euroviisut 2007 I thought Hell yes! because I have one damn good song for it!" she says. "Of course I did some soul searching and thought it over, but somehow after Lordi it is so much easier!"


Thunderstone will follow Lordi's hard rock in Euroviisut. The link is very clear as their lead vocalist Pasi Rantanen sings the chorus in "Hard rock hallelujah"! They have also toured the Europe with Lordi and are great friends. The band was formed in 2000 and has released 3 albums so far and is formed by before mentioned Pasi Rantanen in vocals, Kari Thomack in keyboards, Titus Hjelm in bass, Mirka Rantanen in drums and Nino Laurenne in guitars.

"We look like Lordi but use less time in make-up!" they joke. "Our power is big hairy men on stage doing great heavymetal music. And a great chorus is the main thing in a good song!"


Laura (31) gives Eurovision another go. She represanted Finland already in 2002 in Tallinn with "Addicted to you" and was considered a favourite and caused a huge mediahype in Finland. Also the official delegations in Tallinn chose her and the song the best one. However, the result was the usual Finnish flop. Now she has teamed again with Maki Kolehmainen and promises more show. "I have been there once so I know how it is. I won't try the same thing again but it will be something else. I will just give it all, enjoy it to the fullest. "
Laura has been singing since kindergarten and formed her first band when she was 15. Her debut single "Muuttanut oot maailmain" in 1993 was a huge hit and was followed with another one "Kerran". Her debut album has sold already 135.000 copies and the second album sold doubleplatinum at its release. She has also won two Emma Awards (1994 new comer, 1996 female artist). Her next albums in 1998 and 2001 have sold gold. In 2003 released album had Laura for the first time as an author, too. Next year she build up her own home studio and the next album in 2005 was released by her own label and mostly written and produced by herself.
2006 she released her first Best of compilation.
She also worked in several musicals productions and shows and interpreted cartoons like "Madagaskar".

Lordi at Stockmann!

Lordi will sign autographs at Stockmann's next Friday 17th at 16.30-17.30. They appearance is part of Sony promotion in the department store and also PMMP (Wednesday) and Arja Saijonmaa (Thursday) will do the same.
More Lordi news: the official book "Mie oon Lordi" has been released today. They have also confirmed they will perform in the Euroviisut final "ending this Eurovision period with a bang" and then starting to work for the USA and Japan markets. And the film? It has been postboned, the time just run out.

Finns shocked by the artists

Finns are not happy with the choices YLE made. Several newspapers had online polls and comments right after the names were announced and the positive comments are almost non-existent. Iltalehti entitles the article "Finland zero points". 85% of the 3.741 voters thought there's no potential in this group. Most criticized seem to be Jukka Kuoppamäki and Laura Voutilainen. The general idea seems to be that YLE is playing it safe. There will be no Helsinki 2008 for sure.

In Iltasanomat the same negativity goes on but in comments Hanna Pakarinen seems to get the most, both negative and positive.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So here they are: Hanna & co.

A very mixed group indeed as YLE promised. From disco-reggae beats of Beats & Styles to Hanna Pakarinen's pop-rock, Humane's radio pop to Jani & Jetsetters schlager rock, Jan Wilde & Rose Avenue's 80's glamrock mixed with 70's punk to Johanna Kurkela's radio pop, to Jukka Kuoppamäki's evergreens, Katra's girlie pop, Lovex hard radio pop to Thunderstone, who has toured with Lordi, Laura, who's addicted to Eurovision, Kentala, who's giving it another try. At this point - a little bit disappointed - my personal vote goes to Hanna Pakarinen. No doubt about it! Mind you, I have never heard of Jan Wilde & Rose Avenue or Katra before...
The song titles and composers/authors will be made public by January 5, 2007 at the latest. However, Maki Kolehmainen returns as Laura's composer (and he has also sent songs to various European countries, he says. In the past years his songs have been in the finals of Estonia and Russia already). Also Jukka Kuoppamäki and the bands will surely perform their own songs, and Risto Asikainen-Ilkka Vainio are behind Katra.

Here are the stamps!

The Finnish post office published today the stamp sheet that it will release in May 2007 for the Eurovision Song Contest. It's a nice surprise as not only Lordi and Mr Lordi himself are featured, but also the Eurovision logo and a stamp featuring Marion, Kirka, Katri Helena and Laila Kinnunen! :-)
Release date : May 9, 2007.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Waiting for tomorrow....

Tomorrow's a big day in many ways. Most importantly, the 12 Finnish candidates to follow in Lordi's footsteps will be revealed in a press conference at 1pm. Amongst the speculated names are not Antti Tuisku and HIM, however. They have confirmed they are not in.
Also YLE's website will have a new three language version and from now on all the information will be available not only in Finnish but Swedish and English, too.
YLE also stated that the applications for volunteers - numbering around 1.000 by now - will be finalized. Now they will start selecting the lucky ones who will be notified in January at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Finnish post office will make public the stamps that will be issued in May 2007, and that feature Lordi.

Ratzz cover Hard Rock Hallelujah in Finnish

A novelty band called the Rattz has recorded Lordi’s Eurovision winner Hard Rock Hallelujah in Finnish. This follows in the mode of the Smurfs and also another recent number one album act in Finland, Pikku Orava (Little Squirrel). The lyrics are comical, and more about rats than a direct translation of Lordi’s song. The band also has its MySpace page at Check the video at (source:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Keep the organisation rolling

YLE and the City of Helsinki both have given some information on their plans for May 2007. YLE will use external firms for the ticketing, organizing the accommodation for the delegations, the graphics for the logos and all PR-material as well as the stage and also technics for lightning and sound. YLE will also hire the other performers for opening and interval acts. The budget is 12-13 million euros. The rent of Hartwall Areena is a secret and will be rented for 4 weeks.
The City of Helsinki will take care of security and has hired Palmia.
A special committee has been formed to organize everything and make sure all goes together in perfect co-operation. The committee is formed by the mayor of Helsinki, the CEO of Hartwall Areena, CEO of the Finnish Tourist Board, CEO of Finnish Music Export, managers from Forum Virium (internet/cell phone provider), YLE, ministry of education and foreign ministry.
The City of Helsinki is also planning a two week festival linked to the Eurovision for the delegations, fans and all those who don't get a ticket to the Areena. People behind the annual "Art Goes Kapakka" (Art goes to pubs/bars) are amongst this group who say "it's important that something is going on somewhere all the time". Besides the Eurovision club and hang out, concerts and performances are planned all over the town.
Helsinki expects 10.000 Eurovision guests and also shops, restaurants, bars and hotels are getting ready. The Helsinki Tourist Board has indicated that charter flights have already been booked from Spain and Germany.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Simo Frangén and foreign guests

Comic Simo Frangén will read Eurovision related news from Finland and abroad in the Finnish semifinals. "No, I won't be wearing a monster mask, I think my face is weird enough!" he says, "this is a dream come true. I always wanted to be a news anchor, my first words as a baby were "Good evening from the news!"

YLE also promises foreign Eurovision stars to perform in semifinals, and Lordi might perform in the final.
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