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Finland send Käärijä to Liverpool with 'Cha Cha Cha'

25 February 2023 at 22:03 CET
Käärijä will represent Finland at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest Yle / Nelli Kenttä
Finland has spoken! The Nordic nation will be sending Käärijä to represent them at the 67th Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Cha Cha Cha'.

Saturday 25 February saw one of the most hotly-anticipated national finals in this year's pre-selection season take place. In Turku, Finland's UMK saw the Nordic country select its entry to the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

7 highly-tipped songs competed for the UMK trophy, which in the end went to Cha Cha Cha performed by Käärijä. It triumphed with a landslide of 539 points. In comparison, the song which finished runner-up - Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan by Portion Boys - earned the silver with 152 points.

The Finns watching at home had a majority say in how the voting went. The public vote held a 75% weighting towards the final result, while an international jury contributed 25% of the scores.

As a result of the Finnish fondness for his song, Käärijä will now be representing his country in Liverpool. The artist won both the public vote and the jury vote, with Cha Cha Cha.

Käärijä is an artist who is almost impossible to define. Unabashed and unpredictable, Käärijä loves to break boundaries, follow his own beat and explore new things. Käärijä’s debut album Fantastista was released in 2020. The artist’s music takes on a whole new dimension live – indeed, Käärijä’s unfettered live performances are what he’s known for.   

Käärijä’s passion for music started with drumming. In grade school he began taking drum lessons, but when he started middle school his interest turned to rap: Käärijä started to practice his freestyling during English classes. 

His debut single Urheilujätkä was released in 2016 and since that time Käärijä has done his own thing. Käärijä hates being confined to a specific genre, preferring to combine elements from, among others, rap, metal and electronic music. His lyrics deal with everyday things, the passage from youth to the threshold of adulthood, from house parties to after-parties. 

Käärijä has watched Eurovision since he was a little boy, with Verka Serduchka’s Dancing Lasha Tumbai being an especially memorable performance. He has also been interested in UMK for several years. This year, he was 150% sure that he would be submitting an entry, because when Cha Cha Cha came along, Käärijä knew the time was right. 

‘Finland is a party country, a heavy metal country and a pop country – this song brings all of those together,’ he says.

Finland's UMK23 lineup

Finland will perform in the First Semi-Final at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

You can listen to all 7 songs that competed in Saturday night's UMK right here.

Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest

Finland made its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961. Despite the relatively early participation, however, they had never placed in the Top 5 until Lordi won the contest in 2006, with Hard Rock Hallelujah.

The Top 5 finish has eluded Finland further since 2006. Though they did come close at the 2021 Contest in Rotterdam, when Blind Channel finished in 6th place with Dark Side.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

Don't forget to download our app (for iOSAndroid), sign up to the official Eurovision Song Contest newsletter, and subscribe to the official podcast!