Finland's disabled rockers earn Eurovision semi-final spot

Finland's disabled rockers earn Eurovision semi-final spot
Finland's Eurovision song contest representative, punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (PKN) celebrate heading to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna after a spectacular win on February 28th, 2015 in Yle's New Music Competition in Helsinki.

HELSINKI - Middle-aged rock band PKN has won the spot to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest after TV viewers strongly backed the rockers with learning disabilities.

Their entry song - a rowdy tirade against the numbing nature of daily chores that clocks only 87 seconds - earned just 10 per cent of the jury vote but soared to 37 per cent once viewers had their say, comfortably beating tastemaker favourites Satin Circus, Finnish public broadcaster Yle said.

After winning the Finnish qualifiers on Saturday night, the band now heads for the semi-finals in Austria.

"We'll do it the same way in Vienna. One shouldn't fix something that's not broken," the band told Yle.

PKN, short for Pertti Kurikka's Nameday after its frontman, formed in 2009 during an artistic workshop for people with disabilities and have since toured Europe and the United States.

The rockers with an attitude caught international attention with a 2012 documentary that followed the band with learning disabilities on tour.

"Every person with a disability ought to be braver," vocalist Kari Aalto told Yle on Saturday.

"He or she should themselves say what they want and do not want. Those who work with us ought to know that if we say something, it's what we want," he added.

In 2006, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi became the first hard-rock contestants to win the Eurovision.

Last year's Eurovision final was won by "bearded lady" Conchita Wurst, an Austrian diva with a lush black beard and never-ending eyelashes.

Vienna will now host the Eurovision semi-finals on May 19 and 21 before the final on May 23.

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