Finland: Käärijä and Cha Cha Cha

Is Käärijä review-proof? I mean, this is a man whose music reflects his mantra of “It’s Crazy. It’s Party.”

And the answer is yes. It’s hard to review something that is so out of what might be expected. It’s not rap. It’s not pop. It’s an ode to a cha cha without any cha chas. And it’s performed by a man whose job description is probably ‘chaos goblin.’

But Cha Cha Cha isn’t a joke entry. It may seem like a joke entry – simplistic melody, memorable costume, that bowl cut – but it’s very much not a joke entry. The song is 100% a party in spirit, but it’s more nuanced in its lyrics, which many of us don’t get because they are a. in Finnish and b. being growled at us by a man in a neon green vinyl bolero jacket.

The song is actually the lament of a Friday night warrior – freed from the weekday grind, their outlet of fun is heading to the local club. But they can only muster up the courage to be their true self with copious amounts of alcohol. They can only become the confident, outgoing guy they want to be – the guy who can do the cha cha cha in front of others – after several pina coladas.

What I love about Käärijä is that he can empathise with the person who needs the pina coladas to let loose. He probably was that person in one life. But his performance – both in the song and in life – is the complete opposite of that. Käärijä has transcended the need for pina coladas and has just become the confident, happy, goofy guy all the time – he’s evolved into his true self. And that may be why so many of us love him – not because he’s a joke or doing an act, but because he’s really just being his complete, authentic, stupid, and wholly comfortable self. It’s something that takes years for many of us to achieve.

All that being said, all that’s going to matter on the night are two things:

  1. People seeing this absolutely unhinged performance
  2. People hearing the immense reaction to this unhinged performance

I’m not interested in whether or not Käärijä wins Eurovision. I’m interested in seeing how much Europe will embrace this man and his mission to help all of us accept our true stupid selves. If Maneskin can become stars singing in Italian, I expect similar things for Käärijä.

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