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Mikko Räsänen, the journalist who revealed the rumored identity of NIGHTWISH's new singer in the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, explained the decision to run the story to Norway's Dagbladet:

"The name Vibeke Stene [Photo#1, Photo#2] first appeared a year ago, but so many vocalists have been mentioned that I didn't give it much thought," he said. "We decided to run the story after I talked to Frank Stroebele [manager for WITHIN TEMPTATION and ANASTACIA], who is one of Europe's biggest managers. He was pretty sure that this is true. I think Vibeke is a good choice. She knows the band since the time TRISTANIA [Vibeke's former band] and NIGHTWISH toured together."

This latest development raises eyebrows in the TRISTANIA camp.

"If that's the case, it's pretty surprising," says TRISTANIA's male vocalist Østen Bergøy.

When Vibeke — who, like the rest of TRISTANIA, hails from Norway — recently announced her departure from the band due to "personal reasons," there was no mention of her joining NIGHTWISH.

"No, she didn't say anything about it," claims Bergøy. "Now I'm as curious as you to find out [if it's the truth]."

"If she gets the job and does it well, she will be one of the most high-profile singers in the metal scene," believes Asbjørn Slettemark, who hosts the Norwegian metal show "Pyro". "Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazines will throw themselves over her, print huge posters and do everything in their power to make her an icon of the same caliber as Amy Lee of EVANESCENCE and Cristina Scabbia of LACUNA COIL."

The only public information about the new vocalist that has come out of the NIGHTWISH camp so far has been offered by the group's manager, Ewo Pohjola (a.k.a. Ewo Rytkönen) of King Foo Entertainment. "She is getting along very well with the guys," he said. "She is very talented, clever and sweet."


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