Blogmas Day 9: I tried out for a Norwegian Reality Show?!?! Alt For Norge

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Hello everyone! My Alt For Norge Audition

So I've been meaning to start this 6 day YouTube series but I might just wait until next month because I don't want it to be rushed and I work until like 8 every night and exhausted. So tonight instead of googling pictures and stuff I'm just gonna type!

So I've told this story to a few people and mentioned it in a status update, but didn't really share the whole story online. But first I'm going to start from the beginning.

I've always been super interested in genealogy. Like, really interested. When I was in elementary school, my parents told me I was descended from a man who signed the declaration of independence. I grew up with this fact but it wasn't until last year that I wanted to prove that that story was real. (Spoiler: It was true. His name is Abraham Clark. Here's a pic. Can you see the resemblance???)

I signed up to make a family tree on Ancestry and got a free 2-week trial to get access to all the records. Now last summer was not a great summer, as I was too late to apply for internships by the time I got home from LA and even though I applied to a bunch of places, I ended up not getting anything. It was ROUGH. So I had all this free time to kill and decided to try to find out as much about my ancestry as I possibly could. It became something of a mix between a crazed need for to go back as far as I possibly could and also just a need for something to chase, a puzzle of sorts, as I had spent the entire summer doing absolutely nothing. Within a span of 2 weeks, I kid you not, I went back nearly 2000 years on one line. It was nuts. Since a large part of my grandfather's side is British, I stumbled upon a royal line that then lead me to so many royal lines that have already been highly documented by Genealogists for hundreds of years. It was mind boggling. There were so many cool ancestors that no one in my family knew we had, some so far back, like Thomas More, who I had watched a film on in my freshman history course in college or Charlemagne, which was actually discovered by me while watching an episode of the genealogy show "Who Do You Think You Are?" on TLC in which Cindy Crawford, whose family is from Minnesota, traced her lineage back to Charlemagne and while they were doing so, I noticed some names on my tree and used screenshots of the show to trace back on my tree. Weirdest thing ever.

Everybody has a story, and some are more interested in learning about their past than others.

A strange twist to this tale happened a few weeks ago when I started trying to find out more about my grandmother's Norwegian side. I got a message on my Ancestry.com account from a man in Norway named Kolbjørn saying that he was my long lost relative. I checked it out and believe that it is true and we started talking about our families history and he invited me to join his family tree on another site. He had done an extensive amount of research on the Norwegian side of my family. it was so cool that through the internet I was able to connect with a living relative in another country.

Literally 2 days after this, I saw a posting for Minnesotans to try out for a reality show based in Norway where Norwegian-Americans go to Norway (sort of like the Amazing Race). I decided "Why not? It would make for a good story"

So I emailed in to get onto the VIP list and then went to the auditions on a Saturday a few weeks back at the Mall of America. I got to the area and there were at least 40 people in line. About 3 minutes after getting to the end they asked if anyone was a VIP. I was the only one that raised my hand and I ducked under the rope thing that they have at movie theaters (and like a klutz knocked it off). I followed the guy to the checkin and passed everyone while they basically gave me death glares (probably not they are all really nice). Myself and another girl got to check in and they gave us something to fill out. After I filled that out I entered another room with maybe another 75 people in it. A few minutes into waiting they asked again if anyone was VIP. It was myself and 3 others, the original girl and a married couple. They put us in these nice leather chairs and we waited for a few minutes. Then they called us over to a woman and a camera. She asked each of us about ourselves and it was filmed and we each got about 2 minutes to respond. And then it was over. If I hadn't signed up as a VIP I would have had to wait for hours and may not even have gotten in. I then had to fill out a super long application online. They said they would let us know in January if we made it past the first round. I thought I did fine but I'm not holding my breath; there were so many people who auditioned.

Then last week on Cyber Monday, I decided to finally purchase my Ancestry DNA kit. It was something I've been wanting to do for a while. The technology becomes better and more precise each year, plus it matches your dna to others in the system and you can find long lost relatives. I'm so excited to hear from them in 6-8 weeks! I will be posting a reaction video (if I'm not 100% either Scandinavia or Great Britain I'll be shocked...fingers crossed that there's more variation in myself!) Here's an example I found online below of how the results look

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So whether or not I'm going to be a reality star in Norway or if I find out I'm part Russian, Genealogy is a really fun way to discover who you are from where you came from. I highly recommend starting a free trial on ancestry. You have no idea what you'll discover!

Jenna