“Alt for Norge” and the Trump effect

Norwegian reality TV show benefits from some Americans’ newly elected desire to leave the US and return to their homeland

A group of people with Norwegian mountains in the background.

Photo courtesy TV Norge
Contestants in season six of Alt for Norge all revved up to begin their adventure in Lofoten. You could be one of the group in the upcoming ninth season—casting is currently underway nationwide.

Special Release
O’Connor Casting Company

Nationwide casting for season nine of Alt for Norge is underway and notably attracting applicants who are disgruntled with politics in the United States and want to explore relocating to Norway. Alt for Norge is the Emmy-award-winning Norwegian reality TV show that takes 12 Norwegian Americans to Norway to reconnect with their roots while competing in cultural and adventurous challenges. The winner receives $50,000 and meets long-lost Norwegian relatives.

According to O’Connor Casting Company Casting Director Joan O’Connor, “After the election, I began to see a shift with some applicants not just wanting to go to Norway to reconnect with family but to possibly move there as well. I find it fascinating that people whose ancestors fought to immigrate to the States are now searching to return.” She adds, “The good news is now that the show’s eligibility requirements have loosened, more folks have this awesome opportunity.”

Previously, eligibility rules prohibited anyone who had ever traveled to Norway from being on the show. Producers recently changed those rules and applicants now may have traveled to Norway as long as they were age 14 or younger when they were there.

However, some aspects of the show haven’t changed. The show continues to focus on cast camaraderie. Cast members always experience amazing adventures like climbing glaciers or sailing in the Arctic Ocean. And the journey of discovering their personal Norwegian narrative remains transformative.

Season eight’s Odessa Stevens says, “Regardless of all the helicopter, train, or boat rides, the absolute best ride has to be the opportunity to learn more about your very own family history. That, above all, is priceless.”

Season seven’s Richard Brummond agrees. He fell in love with Norway and recently moved to Oslo. He says, “I wanted a new life adventure where people looked at life a little differently than in the States. The political climate in Norway is so much more open to new ideas and how to help people within their society in positive and constructive ways. The rest of the world laughs at America in this aspect and is also terrified of how insane people with power seem to be there.”

Season eight’s Brennan Finn says he encountered hundreds of everyday Norwegians and “Almost every Norwegian asked about Trump.” During filming Finn learned that the Norwegian (Nynorsk) word trump means a big, stubborn, and inelegant being. It can also be a person who tries to put pressure on you or threaten you in an inelegant manner. (Watch the moment from the show at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv-39PemdG0).

So why is the show so popular in the country the United Nations ranked as the happiest on the planet? Brummond says, “They see Americans become enthralled with Norway and it gives them a sense of pride that their country and way of life is a good place and a good way to live. Norwegians are really proud of their country and for them to see Americans share that pride, I think evokes strong emotions of unity.”

Casting is nationwide. An open casting call is being held on Saturday, October 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Seattle Downtown 1113 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. To get on the VIP list email castingnorway@gmail.com.

To be eligible, applicants must have some Norwegian ancestry, be at least 18 years old, and have not traveled to Norway after the age of 14. For all information and to apply, visit oconnorcasting.tv/norway-2. To view clips visit www.youtube.com/user/oconnorcastingtv.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 20, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.