If you’ve ever heard a good “Sven and Ole” joke, you can credit that to the large Scandinavian population that settled in Minnesota. Nearly 10 percent of our population has Swedish ancestors. According to the 2000 Census, 586,000 Swedish-Americans have settled in Minnesota.
For Minnesotans tracing their heritage back to their home country can be a daunting task. But a Swedish reality television show could help. It aims to do the genealogy leg-work and fly contestants to Sweden to meet their relatives.
This reality show doesn’t have hidden alliances or back-stabbing brutality. Allt For Sverige flies 10 American to Sweden for a six-week excursion that traces the contestants Swedish heritage. The grand prize has nothing to do with cash or fame, but the winner gets to meet their relatives in Sweden. The competitions were team-based; teaching the contestant about their homeland. The further along they made it, the more they learned about their family’s life in Sweden.
Maple Grove mother of two, Debra Sisneros, heard about the show from a friend and sent in an audition tape. Something about Sisneros struck a chord with the show’s casting director, and Sisneros made the cut over the 3,600 Americans who auditioned…