Tuesday, August 23, 2005

John Ward, international correspondent

I wrote to the Tangomarkkinat organisers expressing my disgust at Ailamari's treatment. I copied it to Seinäjoki's local paper, a celebrity gossip magazine, and Ailamari herself. The local paper actually printed it in full, only correcting my Finnish grammar. Here it is:

I have attended Tangomarkkinat for five years, but now I find myself disaffected with it. In my opinion Ailamari Vehviläinen was treated extremely badly. To give her a place in the final and immediately afterwards snatch it away again was dishonourable, unjust, heartless and cruel. I thought that the purpose of the Tangomarkkinat competition was to find the best interpreter of tango. Abuse and humiliation of the competitors is not the point. It isn't "I'm a celebrity get me out of here".

I'm not disputing the result. Actually, I tell a lie. I can't understand how anyone could place Ailamari other than first. To my mind Ailamari is tango. She has the fire and the passion. But I am only a foreigner. Perhaps you Finns admire restraint and maidenly modesty more than strong feelings. [I wanted to put "naked passion" here but was afraid it wouldn't come out right in Finnish.]

Be that as it may, I believe that the viewers' favourite should be announced first, then the judges' choice.

Ailamari's treatment has upset me. If she appears next year (and in fact Taina Kokkonen succeeded at the fourth attempt) [this was Ailamari's third] I will come to Seinäjoki again. But otherwise, probably not. The event has been spoilt.

John Ward
Bristol, England


Post a Comment

<< Home