Finnish Punks For Eurovision

There’s been a transgender diva, a bearded drag act and even a group of 70-year-old Russian grannies, but Finland’s entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest may be more notable than any of them.

Photo: AP Photo / Lehtikuva, Markku Ulander
Punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN) celebrates in Helsinki after being selected to represent Finland in the Eurovision song contest.

The four punk rockers in Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat, or PKN, who have learning disabilities ranging from autism to Down Syndrome, were chosen to represent their country Feb. 28.

The bookies have immediately installed them as 5/1 third favourites for the final in Vienna in May, with only Italy and Estonia at shorter odds.

“We are rebelling against society in different ways, but we are not political,” PKN bassist Sami Helle told The Guardian.

The act, which will perform their 86-seconds-long song “Aina Mun Pitaa” (or “I Always Have To”), met in 2009 at a workshop organized by an association that provides support for people with disabilities.

Helle said he hoped that “people really are ready for the punk music of four disabled men.”

“We don’t want people to vote for us to feel sorry for us, we are not that different from everybody else – just normal guys with a mental handicap,” he explained.

Finland last won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with masked monster rockers Lordi.