Today the first rehearsals for Eurovision 2023 continue in Liverpool. Countries rehearsing on Day 2 includes Israel, Azerbaijan, Czechia, The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Armenia, Romania, Belgium, and Cyprus. The fifth to rehearse today is Finland’s Käärijä.
Käärijä’s first rehearsal
The fifth to take to the Eurovision 2023 stage at Liverpool Arena in Liverpool today was Käärijä. Käärijä will be competing in this year’s competition with his entry “Cha Cha Cha” following his win at the Finnish national selection UMK.
Following Käärijä’s first rehearsal a clip of what went on was posted on the official TikTok account of the Eurovision Song Contest. The clip showed Käärijä before and after he took to the Eurovision stage for the first time, as well as giving us some insight into how well his first rehearsal went.
What did we learn about Käärijä’s staging?
Everything fans loved about the national final performance has remained according to the Eurovision Live-Blog. The Green bolero outfit we have seen in all of Käärijä’s performances remains. We also see the wooden crate boxes from the national final remain, although he starts off more boxed in and jumps out 1/3 of the way though the song, he also stands on the boxes and sings during the rap part of the performance. Käärijä is joined on stage by his cha-cha dancers who are like the national final all dressed in Pink. The dance routine and human caterpillar used in the second half of the song also remains, which brings a real sense of joy to this performance. One change from the national final performance is the use of Pyro in the last run through.
What we thought of Käärijä’s first rehearsal
After Käärijä’s first rehearsal. Rosie gave her initial thoughts on the snippet that we saw.
Who is Käärijä?
Käärijä is the stage persona of Jere Pöyhönen, a 29-year-old singer songwriter from Vantaa, a suburb of the Finnish capital Helsinki. He first started his journey into music learning how to play the drums, growing to music production when he was 20. As well as this, he had a particular passion for hockey.
In 2014, Jere was rushed to hospital when he was diagnosed with the bowel disease ulcerative colitis, which results in ulcers throughout the colon. The condition worsened until Jere’s life was threatened due to the illness. Emergency surgery resulted in his colon being removed, leaving him with a stoma. The scar eventually healed and can be seen on Jere’s lower right abdomen. However, the incident signalled a turning point in his artistic career, allowing him to focus solely on producing music.
Jere later began to make music as Käärijä in 2017, a play on words for rapping and rolling. Several of the songs in Käärijä’s discography relate to gambling, which ties into the ‘roll of the dice’ motive in his stage name. After releasing music independently, Käärijä was signed to Monsp Records. Two subsequent singles – “Koppi tules” and “Nou roblem” were released. This culminated in his first studio album, Fantastista, being released in 2020. Following this, Käärijä was formally signed to Warner Music Finland.
His song for Eurovision 2023 – “Cha Cha Cha” – was written by Käärijä himself, as well as Jukka Sorsa, Aleksi Nurmi and Johannes Naukkarinen.
Finland’s Eurovision Journey
Finland debuted in the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 10th with Laila Kunnunen’s “Valoa ikkunassa.” Since then they have competed 55 times, and appeared in the final 47 times. Finland has finished in the top 10 an impressive 13 times. They have won the contest once in 2006, with Lordi’s performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah” getting 292 points. Finland’s most recent entry was “Jezebel” by The Rasmus. Qualifying for the final, they gained a total of 38 points, earning them 21st place.
What do you think of “Cha Cha Cha? Can Käärijä bring Eurovision back to Finland? Let us know your thoughts! Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok as we prepare for Eurovision 2023!
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Credit: Corinne Cumming/EBU