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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
May 16, 2012     Walsh County Press
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May 16, 2012

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c i PAGE 10 THE PRESS MAY 16, 2012 /LT FOR NORGE FROM PAGE 1 attempting to prove which among them can best adapt to the Norwe- gian lifestyle, nature, manners and culture. The Americans who best adapt live to play another week. Those who don't adapt as well are kicked offthe fjord, so to speak. Dakota's aunt and mom thought he'd be perfect for the show, so, they encouraged him to complete the application and send it onto the producers. "Thousands of people apply, but only 12 get chosen," Roxanne said. "We were overjoyed to receive the e-mail that said "Congratulations, you've been selected for a screen test!" A few days later, Dakota was on a plane headed to Chicago, all expenses paid, for the audition. "I had never been to Chicago before, and I thought it was pretty neat. Even if I didn't get on the show, I already thought the experi- ence was worth it," he said. The screen test was just like a job interview, Dakota said. "They asked about my life and what I do for a living. It was a pretty good ex- perience." A few days after Dakota re- turned home, Roxanne received a call from the television producer to let her know that Dakota's next flight would be to Norway. Before that could happen, though, a film crew had to come to the ranch to shoot some promo- tional videos for the show. That happened on Easter week- end. Dakota's mother, brother and girlfriend were also filmed as he explained his ranching lifestyle and performed a couple of tricks on horseback. The shot of him run- ning up to his horse and jumping into the saddle from behind aired in nearly every commercial promot- ing the show, his Norwegian rela- tives later told Roxanne. The crew also filmed Dakota as he and his brother Colton rode to Easter Sunday services at the little country church his family attends that is about a mile away from the ranch. They also filmed Dakota shoeing a horse, checking the mares and conversing with his fam- ily. "It was still kind of cold out, so we were a little limited on what we could do." Two days later, he was on an in- temational flight to Norway. The first episode of the show helped viewers get acquainted with the contestants. A total of 12 people competed, one from Colorado, two from Washington, three from Cal- ifornia, one from New York and several from Minnesota. "I wasn't worried about him go- ing to Norway. I was excited for him," said Roxanne. In the second episode, contest- ants were flown by helicopters from the mainland to a cruise ship where they were given a crash course in speaking Norwegian. The contestant who had the longest conversation with a native countryman speaking Norwegian would win the contest. Next was a team challenge where contestants had to cross- country ski 1.5 miles across a gla- cier and then down-hill ski. Unfor- tunately, Dakota's team lost the challenge and they had to partici- pate in a team-elimination chal- lenge involving dog sleds. Each of the contestants had a dogsled pulled by four dogs. They started the race in 30-second inter- vals. The person with the best time had immunity from elimination. "I was the last one to start the race, and, luckily, the first one to finish," he said. That win gave him immunity from the next challenge - singing in Norwegian. The third episode featured a se- ries of farming challenges, begin- ning with building a traditional Norwegian round pole fence, called a skigard, using green wood Jo NORTH DAKOTA STATE SENATE Questions? Contact Joe at: Friends for Joe Miller PO Box 151. Park River, ND 58270 701-331-1491 but no nails or metal. Teams had an hour tocompletethechallenge. Fun run: l:SP keeps kids moving Dakota's team wove the bendable branches together as fast as they could, but in the end, they had the shortest fence. Luckily, they were allowed to move on to the next por- tion of the contest. As they approached a pen full of sheep, the show's host explained that they had to guess how many were in the pen. "After that, we had to milk a cow and drink the warm milk down before nmning to the last part where we had to roll out a ball of lefse, cook it and eat it. In Dakota's final challenge, con- testants had to shear approximately half of a sheep and spin its wool into yam. Dakota excelled at sheafing the sheep, but the yam-spinning was his downfall. At the end of the chal- lenge, his string was the shortest and he was sent home. "I'm a cow- boy, not a yam-spinner," he said. After elimination, TV producers sent Gillespie anywhere in Norway he wanted to go. He chose the cap- ital city of Oslo to experience the metropolitan area and got to see the castle where the king and queen of Norway live. Gillespie's Norwegian adven- ture lasted nearly a month and has inspired him and his buddy to set out on another one this summer. "We're seriously considering cross-country trip riding our horses from York to the tip of Texas next summer," he said. Episodes and other promotional videos from "Alt for Norge" can be found online at grammer/alt-for-norge. Individuals interested in audi- tioning for "Alt for Norge 3" can apply online at oconnorcast- Top: Park River Elementary teacher Alysha Thompson presents Claire Wharam with her participation medal following the fun run. Bottom Left: Some seemed to enjoy the run in ode/38 the rain at the ESP first annual fun run, such as Dylan Myrvik, (I-r) and Jaden Chalich. Editor's Note: Dakota is the Bottom Right: Stacy Johnson gives her daughter Brynn Johnson a ride on her back grandson to Jack and Linda Gille- during the ESP fun run. Those attending did one lap around the track as the rain spoiled spie and the great-grandson of Dorothy Gillespie, all of Park the plans to walk or run the bike path. 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