BBC reporter on Kaarija Eurovision mix-up: I’m viral for all the wrong reasons

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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.

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”.

“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”.

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