– Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsErkki Turunen, holding a beer glass in one hand, shouted that Finland won “because it put on a genuine show.” “This wasn’t some sort of rubbish. This was really cool,” Turunen said. President Tarja Halonen congratulated the band with a telegram, and Culture Minister Tanja Karpela said Lordi’s victory showed that Finnish music could succeed abroad. Since March, when Lordi won the competition for the Finnish entry, many in this self-conscious nation feared the metal band would damage the country’s reputation. Finnish officials vouched that the Nordic country will stage one of the best Eurovision competitions when it hosts the show next year. Finns poured into the streets Sunday to fete their monster victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, and the president congratulated latex-masked hard rockers Lordi for breaking the country’s losing streak. After 40 years of trying and eight last-place finishes, Finland finally won the melody contest late Saturday in Athens with the band’s unconventional piece “Hard Rock Hallelujah.” Fears that Lordi would give Finland a bad name gave way to celebration as hundreds of people cheered in the streets of Helsinki, waving Finnish flags and singing the Lordi song. Cars honked their horns and sped through the wet city streets. “I don’t claim to be a rock fan, and it’s not my favorite music, but I admire these guys,” said Nina Laisi.