Grand Forks woman reaches final of reality TV show ‘The Great Norway Adventure’

GRAND FORKS – Cindy Dahl has her bags ready — her trunk, actually, the trunk her grandmother, Ronag, brought over from Norway early last century.


Cindy Dahl. Photo: www.dl-online.com.

Cindy Dahl. Photo: www.dl-online.com.

Dahl would love to take the trunk back to the Old Country, which she has never visited. But the first stop is Chicago.

Dahl, 49, an eligibility worker at Grand Forks County Social Services, responded last month to a “casting call” issued by producers of a Norwegian reality TV series. She sent in a video clip and an overview of her deep Scandinavian roots.

“The Great Norway Adventure” will blend elements of “Survivor” (think goat cheese and pickled herring) and “The Amazing Race” (ski the glacier?) in a competition aimed at “fun, outgoing Americans with Norwegian ancestry.”

They called back. (E-mailed, actually.) “Cindy, congratulations! You have officially been chosen by the producers to come to the Chicago finals, which also means you passed the background check.”

Background check? Did they find out about the Swedes?

Dahl’s maternal grandfather, Peder Lorenson, came as a boy with his parents from near Tromsø, Norway. Her maternal grandmother, Ronag, also came to America from Norway. “They both married Swedes,” Dahl said.

How’d that work out?

“They were married a long time.”

Snakker du norsk?

Since last fall — before she heard about the Norway adventure — Dahl has been on a whirlwind journey into her family’s Nordic past. She joined the local Sons of Norway lodge in October, and she is taking Norwegian language lessons and learning the distinctive Norwegian art of rosemaling.

“Before, other than eating lutefisk and head cheese, not so much,” she said. “But the heritage stuff has been stirring in me lately, so when I heard about this, I just had to be part of it.”

She got advice from her mother: “Be sure to take warm clothes.”

But the Great Norway Adventure runs through May and June, after contestants clear a final cut in Chicago in March. Dahl realizes she may not make the final list, but she’s approaching that with a “could be worse” Norwegian spirit. “At least I get a trip to Chicago,” she said.

There may be others from the area who sent in applications and will be in Chicago for the finals, according to a spokeswoman for the Chicago company promoting the competition. The company looked for applicants throughout the United States, but made a special push in North Dakota, Minnesota and other states with large Norwegian-American populations.

Dahl said it took her more than two weeks to work through an exhaustive questionnaire sent out by the competition promoters, with questions such as “Describe your perfect day,” and “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?”

They also asked which famous person she most reminds herself of. “I said Kathy Bates — from ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ not ‘Misery’ — Rosie O’Donnell and Mimi from the Drew Carey Show — or maybe Drew Carey himself.”

Asked about skills, she told about growing up on a farm west of Thompson, N.D., and developing a voice with Kate Smith volume. “I can call the cats from three hundred yards and they’ll come running,” she said.

Her back story

She is assembling photos of the grandparents who came through Iowa and Minnesota to settle in North Dakota (including the Swedes) and collecting as much of their story as she can.

The eventual winner of the competition will receive $50,000. But Dahl hasn’t spent much time thinking how she might spend that. Like the Apollo astronauts who went to the moon, she wants to come home with a rock. “My cousin went to Norway, and she brought home a rock from our grandfather’s farm,” she said. “I want a rock of my own.

“It would be an adventure like no other adventure I’ve ever had. I hear it’s so beautiful there. “And to stand on ground where my great-grandfather stood, to see the waters where he fished — it would be so wonderful.”

By: Chuck Haga - Grand Forks Herald

11 thoughts on “Grand Forks woman reaches final of reality TV show ‘The Great Norway Adventure’

  1. Raspberry Keytone

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  2. jojoba oil hair treatment

    Yourrrre able to unquestionably call at your devotion inside operate youre producing. The planet hopes for the ton far more serious novelists just like you that arenrrrt anxious to convey how they contemplate. Continually do the heart..

  3. jojoba oil reviews

    I seriously delight in this template you’ve got obtained likely on in your web page. Precisely what is the name in the design and style incidentally? I used to be contemplating of working with this fashion with the website page I am likely to create for my class project.

  4. kasa fiskalna dla lekarzy

    Fairly decent submit. We simply located a person’s web page plus wished so that you can state this We have truly appreciated reading through a person’s site plus articles. However I’ll often be signing up a person’s feast plus I actually hope so that you can read through a person’s site again.

  5. pornhub

    I have to show appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of scenario. As a result of surfing throughout the world wide web and meeting concepts which were not powerful, I believed my entire life was well over. Living minus the answers to the issues you’ve resolved by means of your good short post is a serious case, and ones which could have badly affected my career if I hadn’t noticed your website. Your good natural talent and kindness in playing with every item was valuable. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a point like this. I am able to at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for the skilled and results-oriented guide. I will not hesitate to propose the blog to anyone who would like counselling on this situation.

  6. Eldridge Thoby

    I think that a property foreclosures can have a important effect on the borrower’s life. Home foreclosures can have a 7 to few years negative impact on a debtor’s credit report. A new borrower who has applied for home financing or just about any loans for that matter, knows that the actual worse credit rating is usually, the more complicated it is to have a decent financial loan. In addition, it can affect a new borrower’s chance to find a quality place to let or rent, if that will become the alternative real estate solution. Good blog post.

  7. Danette Sloane

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  8. katalog ciekawych stron

    I’ve been surfing online greater than three hours today, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before.

Comments are closed.