Review – Alt for Norge (All for Norway)

Editor’s note:  If you missed seeing episode 1, it will air again at Merlins Rest Pub on December 28th.

Last night I attended the Minneapolis premier of the Norwegian reality tv show Alt for Norge. The draw, for me, in attending was two-fold:  a) I’ll take any excuse to go to Merlins Rest Pub and b) local musician and  Völva, Kari Tauring, was a contestant in the show.


Kari Tauring at Merlins Rest Pub - photo credit, Jeff Wheeler of the Star Tribune

To read an interview with Kari Tauring about the TV show, see this article.

The show, a contest that pits 10 Americans of Norwegian heritage against one another for a prize of $50,000 and a chance to meet their Norwegian relatives, was charming.  Watching the show for the breathtaking views of Norway is worth it.  Add in the very diverse contestants and the quirky challenges they face and you have the makings of a very enjoyable and engaging program.  While watching the show the crowd of approximately 25 people of all ages cheered for Kari whenever she was on the screen.  Towards the end of the first episode we clapped and Kari, who was present at the Pub and going from table to table visiting with everyone who attended,  took a bow when she was awarded the Norwegian Spirit Award.

However, that isn’t what made the evening go from pleasantly interesting to riveting.    It was the Q & A session after the program, and possibly the two hard ciders I had, that made the experience not to be missed.  Kari told us that during the taping of the show she felt very isolated, despite making friends with some of the other contestants.  “It was a different experience for me than it was for anyone else there,” says Kari.  One of the examples she gave highlighted this difference.  “When we were at the Unification monument everyone else was lifting a glass to cheer King Harald, but for me it was a very profound moment.    This was a place of civil war, like Gettysburg.  This was where a monotheist High King won over the democratic Heathen petty Kings.  It wasn’t a ‘Yay, King Harald!’ moment for me.”

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See Kari Tauring in Norwegian Reality Show Tonight

Merlins Rest Pub plays host TONIGHT to a showing of the first episode of Alt for Norge, a Norwegian reality show that took ten Americans  with Norwegian ancestry and had them compete for a prize of $50,000 and a chance to meet their Norwegian relatives.  Kari will give a brief introduction at 5:30 and start the episode at 6. Each episode is mostly in English as the contestants do not speak Norwegian.

Alt fo Norge (All for Norway) Contestants. Kari Tauring is front row, third from the left

While the participants came from all over the United States, four of the ten were from Minnesota, including our own Kari Tauring.   Kari Tauring is best known throughout the Pagan community as a Staving musician, rune reader,  and Völva, which is a type of Nordic Shaman.

The first episode started at Prekestolen where they were challenged to hike down to Prekestolshytta. Other challenges were preparing something called a matpakke  and figuring out what to buy for dinner by translating from a list.  The clip below is from the first episode of the which will be shown in its entirety tonight.

PNC Minnesota caught up to the very busy Kari and asked her how she ended up on a Norwegian reality show. (Interview behind the cut)

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