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Taina Kokkonen

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Taina Kokkonen (b. 15 May 1975 in Vantaa near Helsinki, Finland) is a former award-winning Finnish singer. She has performed on Italian TV, in Brussels, and in Argentina and Uruguay as part of the Tango 2000 educational tour.

She first tried for the prestigious Tangomarkkinat competition in 1995, but did not reach the semifinals. In 1996 she got through the Raisio semifinals and was one of the 10 best. She rather frightened herself with her success: “I was in a great panic. I thought, do I really want this? . . . I secretly hoped I wouldn’t get any further. I have watched my performance on video and it shows how unexperienced I was.” (Nyman, p. 175)

She did not however reach the Seinäjoki finals, and Saija Varjus became Tango Queen. Taina’s third attempt was in 1998, when she reached the finals and became Tango Princess, losing the winning place to Kirsi Ranto. After a record of four attempts, she finally became Tango Queen in 1999.

In 2002, taking advantage of the new rule that songs may be in any language, Pertti Haverinen composed an Italian-language entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. This was “Silenzio”, and was performed by Taina Kokkonen but it was not selected, and the Finnish entry for that year was the English-language “Addicted to You”, sung by Laura, which came 20th with 24 points.

In the spring of 2003 Taina announced that she was retiring from show business, saying that she wished to leave when at her peak. She moved to Italy, and in 2007 announced her engagement to Cemo Tinuel, and that the couple had moved back to Vantaa (Source: Iltalehti, 05/07/2007).

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