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Finland’s ballroom party: Käärijä is Cha-Cha-Cha-ing in Liverpool

04 May 2023 at 11:43 CEST
Käärijä from Finland in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU
The Eurovision stage better be ready for Käärijä’s party-metal entry for Finland, ‘Cha Cha Cha.’ He’s shaking off long days and ready to let loose - destination Liverpool. It’s crazy, it’s party!
Käärijä rehearsing Cha Cha Cha for Finland at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

Finland’s favourite shirtless rapper stormed through the country’s national final, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, held in the southern city of Turkuu. After the 7 acts performed, the jury and televote both agreed - Käärijä should be given the Eurovision ticket. In fact, he got three times more points than the runner up. And just like Käärijä says: “Nyt lähden tanssimaan niinku cha cha cha…”. Or, for any non-Finnish speakers in the room, he’s heading towards that dancefloor... come along for the ride!

Käärijä’s performance was always going to be one worth watching, especially for those amongst you who wake up and choose chaos every day. For his first rehearsal on Monday 1 May, he arrived wearing his trademark green bolero jacket and performed Cha Cha Cha with his unique band of dancers. The experimental rap artist hopped around the stage making full use of every inch of it, before forming a 'piggy train' (his dancers' words, not ours - just check out the next episode of the official Eurovision Song Contest podcast on Friday 5 May, to hear more from them).

Käärijä rehearsing Cha Cha Cha for Portugal at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Bopping along is compulsory, when it comes to Cha Cha Cha. The official Eurovision Live Blog wrote: "There's also a stack of pallets and a huge wooden box - he starts inside it, then climbs on top and throws a few moves before returning to the floor and leading his dancers in a routine that is uniquely Käärijä."

Given his music video is set in the ring, we asked Käärijä what his entrance music would be if he was a professional wrestler. He went straight for a classic: Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’. And based on the evidence, we reckon his wrestling one-piece outfit would be a toxic shade of green. He wears it so well.

Käärijä mixes a whole range of different genres, with a particular love of heavier music. But if you want to get him up on the dancefloor, he says it’s all about Stromae’s floor filler, Alors On Danse. 

Käärijä told the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast host Steve Holden about the dancing element of his song. He told Steve that he's been using YouTube to learn a bit of the Cha-Cha-Cha. And of course, he’s got those four very memorable dancers on stage. He joked: “They are professional... But I’m definitely not a professional dancer!”

There’s more from Käärijä on Episode 7 of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

You can learn more about Käärijä from Finland right here.