Norwegian TV crew films Seattle reunion

Alt for Norge!

TV Norge

Photo: Lars Phillips
Participants in Alt For Norge gather at the Seattle home of season 7 contestant Lars Phillips before marching in the Syttende Mai parade. This year, they were joined by a camera crew from Norway (right side of photo), who interviewed those in attendance.

John Erik Stacy
The Norwegian American

If your last name is Cascioppo, will people think you’re Norwegian? Maybe not, but you had a Norwegian grandma, and she created Norway in your heart through her stories and love. Now imagine one day you find yourself on a Norwegian reality TV show. Wouldn’t that be a crazy dream come true?

This is Alt for Norge, a TV show that crafts a feel-good experience for Norwegian viewers by messing with unwary Norwegian Americans. The people chosen for the show have no first-hand experience of modern Norway—a requirement is that they must not have visited the country as an adult. These naïve contestants are then faced with a series of challenges that relate to Norwegian culture and customs. The contestants are organized into teams so that they must both cooperate and compete with the other teams. Along the way, they learn about their Norwegian ancestors and where they lived. The game works by eliminating individuals from teams, and eventually one winner is brought to the location of their ancestral home in Norway to meet their distant relatives.

TV Norge is the station that created Alt for Norge and it has been hugely popular, having now been through nine seasons. More than 100 Norwegian Americans have been contestants on the show, drawn from all over the United States.

This year, a crew from TV Norge came to Seattle to interview and film past contestants in a celebration of Norwegian Constitution day, Syttende Mai. The Alt for Norge stars included people from Florida to Alaska and many points in between. Apparent also was the span of human experience represented in the group—a very interesting bunch of people! The Norwegian American was at the party, hosted by the family of Lars Phillips, and met many of the contestants and the TV Norge crew. The whole party marched together in the 17th of May Parade in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. We look forward to seeing the Alt for Norge episode that comes out of it!

Visit the official Alt for Norge Facebook page:

This article originally appeared in the June 28, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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John Erik Stacy

John Erik Stacy grew up in Wayzata, Minn., and has now returned there after over 30 years divided between Oslo and Seattle. He studied Biology at the University of Oslo and worked there several years leading the DNA laboratory for Systematics and Ecology. He also worked as a senior scientist and team leader for a biotech startup at the Oslo Research Park, where he developed automated systems in antibody discovery. He continues to hold investments and consult for companies at the Research Park and travels frequently to Oslo.