All for Norway!
Saturday, April 24, 2010 10:09:03 AM
The series is filmed in Norway and offers a great opportunity for those interested in our fair country to see the landscapes and the people, with the program so far showing a good balance of cities, countryside and 'the nature' of which Norway is so proud. As with most reality TV series the game revolves around weekly challenges, which require the contestants to compete in (stereo)typically Norwegian tasks. But unlike most series, in which contestants are eliminated by voting each other out, this game is solely based on how well participants perform in a challenge, and contestants win immunity for the following week by showing the greatest team spirit and enthusiasm in the current tasks.
For example, in the second episode of Alt for Norge the contestants were divided into two teams and made to participate in the high school graduation festivities of Russ (right), where - as it is for Norwegian students - the goal was to collect as many 'Knots' trinkets as possible by doing silly activities. This included drinking a beer without using your hands, eating a kebab in 10 minutes without your hands, kissing someone of the same sex, driving around a traffic roundabout 10 times, and more. The winning team were rewarded with traditional costumes from their ancestors' region and the opportunity to participate in the Norwegian national day parade in Oslo (right). Members of the losing team had to compete in an individual challenge, in which they had to learn the Norwegian national anthem in two hours and perform it at a local school.
As such, the program is quite insightful for those interested in seeing more of Norway and learning more about the culture. The series opened with a helicopter dropping the contestants at Prekestolen (a sheer - and unfenced - cliff that forms Norway's most famous natural landmark), and moved onto other Norwegian staples like hiking, a stay in a countryside cabin (with a grassed roof), eating traditional foods like sour-cream porridge and whale meat (yes, you read correctly), packing together a traditional Norwegian lunchbox, and taking a Norwegian language lesson. It even managed to mention Norwegian/Swedish rivalries, the local alcohol akevitt, and how Norwegian strawberries are apparently so much better than those of any other origin.
At first I thought it was a little cruel that Alt for Norge brings these hapless Americans all the way here, goes to so much trouble to track down their long-lost family members, but then sends them home kin-less if they can't drive a tractor fast enough or sing a Norwegian party song with appropriate degrees of gusto. However, as some closing credits in the last episode explained, the losing contestants are put in contact with their relatives anyway () though returning to Norway to meet them is at the contestants' own expense.
The third episode of the series has just screened here this Thursday night, and can also be viewed on the TV channel's website. One week's access to all the channel's programs online costs 39 Norwegian kroner (US$6.50), so you may want to wait until the series ends so you see everything more cheaply. Enjoy!
(All photos come from TV Norge's website www.tvnorge.no.)