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Seattle opera singer finds family, reality TV fame in Sweden

Katie Malik, 34, was a contestant on season 4 of "The Swedish Adventure," battling it out with other Swedish decedents to meet long-lost family members. (Katie Malik via Facebook)

A Seattle opera singer has found fame in an unlikely place: Sweden.

Katie Malik, 34, was a contestant on season 4 of “Great Swedish Adventures,” battling it out with other Swedish descendants to meet long-lost family members.

Her attention came packaged up in one of those tempting tabloid selling-stories, and the coverage got a little personal. Malik has cystic fibrosis and the average lifespan of someone with that condition is 37.

“In my particular case, I’m 34, but I’m still healthy. I’m singing opera, I’ve been singing professionally and living a very active lifestyle,” Malik told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. “So, it was hard for me to be acquainted with this, ‘Oh no, she’s in her last few years.'”

According to Malik, one of the tabloids had a headline like – ‘Wants to cheat death if goes to Sweden.’ “I was really angry when I saw that headline. I just had to trust that as the series unfolded and people could watch it they would see that I’m active, vibrant, living every day. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.”

In a country of 9 million people, 2 million Swedes watched the “Great Swedish Adventures” finale.

In the final episode, Malik was six seconds away from winning, but couldn’t beat her challenger in the contest where they set a dining place settings using Nobel Prize tableware, then matched Nobel Prize winners to their category and the date that they won.

She was sent home on a plane the next day – her prize – a chance to meet her long-lost family, lost.

But as the show was starting to air, the producers gave her a phone call. “They said they’re filming a Christmas special, and they’re flying back four of the previous contestants and we’d like you to come back and there will be some aspect of meeting your family at Christmas.”

She can’t fill us in on the details yet – the special is set to air on December 22.

And Sweden hasn’t seen the last of the Seattleite either, next summer she’s hoping to bring her close family to meet her new, extended family.

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