Eurovision 2015: Finland's PKN become contest favourites
Punk band with learning difficulties who sing about their hatred of chores becomes surprise favourite for Eurovision 2015
Finland's entry into this year's Eurovision Song Contest is a punk band made up of musicians with learning disabilities. The group, PKN, whose members have Down's syndrome and autism, will perform their song Aina Mun Pitaa (I Always Have To) after being picked by the Finnish public.
PKN (Pertti Kurikka's Nameday) are now ranked among the favourites for the contest by bookmakers, reports the BBC. They are 5/1 to win the contest, according to Betfred, making them third favourites behind Italy and Estonia.
Their song is about the frustrations of everyday life, whether it’s eating healthily or doing chores like washing up.
"Every person with a disability ought to be braver," singer Kari Aalto said. "He or she should themselves say what they want and do not want," he told Finnish broadcaster YLE.
The group, made up of four middle-aged men, is the first punk band to compete at Eurovision. But not everyone was happy with their selection, reports The Guardian. Wiwibloggs, a website devoted to everything Eurovision, gave the song a score of one out of ten. A reviewer wrote: "This is not music. It's noise with a good backstory".
But the band members are unfazed by criticism. "We are rebelling against society in different ways, but we are not political," bassist Sami Helle told The Guardian. "We are changing attitudes somewhat, a lot of people are coming to our gigs and we have a lot of fans. 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."
PKN say they are aiming to raise awareness of people with learning disabilities, but also "have a f***ing good time".
PKN aren't the only outsiders to find themselves in the Eurovision spotlight. Earlier this month Australia became a first-time wildcard entrant to the song competition, scoring a one-off invitation to join in the event, the first in the competition's 60-year history. On May 23, Australia will be fast-tracked to the final in Vienna, but for the moment the act and their song is being kept a secret.
Some commentators though, thought the surprise inclusion was a bit of a joke. "Let's be honest: Australia only got allowed to enter #eurovision because most of the world confuses Austria with Australia," tweeted @kazonis.