Somehow I missed one little detail when I read the AP story we published last week about “Alt for Norge,” the Norwegian realty show that gives Norwegian-Americans a chance to look foolish in the old country:
Anyone who has ever been to Norway need not apply.
I had spent part of the snowbound weekend thinking about the audition video I was going to make (slow pan across the Christmas tree in my living room, coming to rest on the garland of little Norwegian flags. Cut to “morning routine” sequence, in which I try to decide which Norwegian sweater to wear today, before heading to the kitchen for a soft-boiled egg).
I reread the story this morning, when the Star Tribune published it (four days later, but who’s counting?), and there it was: Contestants must never have been to Norway. I said a swear word, in English, though I know how to say it in Norwegian.
So there you have it: Being a contestant on “Alt for Norge” is prohibited for those of us who would be most likely to jump at the chance. Among us Norway nerds, success in life is measured in the number of trips we’ve managed to make there. I never had the illusion that having studied Norwegian in college would be useful, but I didn’t think it would actually count against me.
The whole thing leaves me despondent. See? Just one more way I’d be perfect for the show.