BBC reporter on Kaarija Eurovision mix-up: I’m viral for all the wrong reasons
A BBC reporter says she went “viral for all the wrong reasons” after mixing up Finnish Eurovision entrant Kaarija with a fan.
Following a preview of the first semi-final on Tuesday, reporter Katie Walderman spoke to several fans who tipped Finland to go the distance in the competition.
This included one man who was dressed in a similar luminous green top worn by Kaarija onstage, with Walderman mistaking him for the Finnish artist.
The Finnish entry for Eurovision was in the headlines for other reasons when our reporter mixed him up with a fan lookalike! We caught up with them, and they're both enjoying being in the limelight in Liverpool. https://t.co/xIqKO4s2D4 pic.twitter.com/uIFNcmC4cq
— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) May 10, 2023
Speaking to BBC North West Tonight on Wednesday, Walderman said: “What a 24 hours…I’ve gone viral for all the wrong reasons.”
She recalled seeing a man signing autographs and asking if he was “the Cha Cha guy” – referring to the song the Finish entrant sang.
The strapline underneath the interview had read “Kaarija – Finland entrant”.
Walderman added: “I wished him luck for the semi-final – so I put them in my (news interview) package. Then I came off air last night and my phone just went boom and I was like, ‘oh, no’.”
The BBC then showed Walderman’s interview with the real Kaarija, who said he had found the mix-up “funny”.
Found the real guy and have been reunited with my imposter friend! @BBCNWT #Kaarija pic.twitter.com/9r95du6f9f
— Katie Walderman (@KatieWalderman) May 10, 2023
“It’s looking great, and I love it when people do the crazy Kaarija things,” the rapper said.
“It’s so weird, but I’m so happy because people give me so much support.”
The first Eurovision semi-final took place on Tuesday, with Kaarija among the 10 acts selected to advance to the grand final on Saturday.
A BBC North West Tonight spokesperson said Walderman’s mistake had been “a case of Eurovision fever”.