Casting call: Reality TV producers back in MN looking for Norwegian-Americans


Wanted: Norwegian-Americans who want to become reality TV stars – in their ancestral homeland.

The seventh season of "The Great Norway Adventure" (aka "Alt for Norge") – which puts members of the country's diaspora through games and challenges as they reconnect with their heritage – is gearing up with an open casting call at the Mall of America on Sunday, Nov. 8, according to a news release.

Ultimately, 12 contestants will be chosen. The Norwegian Emmy Award-winning show has been compared to "The Amazing Race," but for a better idea of what its cast members are in for, have a look at this promo video from a previous season:

The contestants are also in for some (culturally and financially enriching) prizes if they win – $50,000 in cash and a meeting with "Norwegian relatives they don't even know exist."

The Chicago-based O'Connor Casting Company has handled the casting call at Bloomington's Mall of America for at least three years – so, why Minnesota?

Easy answer: there's a heck of a lot of Norwegians here.

According to WCCO, more Norwegians live in Minnesota than in any other U.S. state. The station points to a 1990 survey that found Minnesotans with Norwegian ancestry made up about 17 percent of the state's population at the time.

But O'Connor Casting has another, less obvious reason: "The Norwegian viewers really respond to (Minnesotans') authenticity and vulnerability," said Casting Producer Joan O’Connor. "They’re not in it for the drama or the fame.”

She also noted that the now-underway season six of "Adventure" has five Minnesotans among its cast, the most the show has ever had.

For your chance to be a member of next season's cast, you can show up to the Executive Center at Mall of America on Sunday, Nov. 8. and enter the casting call (as long as you're 18 or older), which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casting agents are seeking applicants who have never traveled to Norway.

As for your ancestry, yes, "applicants need to be a U.S. citizen with Norwegian ancestry," but producers stress that "even a little bit counts."

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