Willmar native to appear on Swedish TV show
WILLMAR — Ties to Sweden run deep throughout Minnesota, and a Willmar native is getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to find out the depth of her Scandinavian ties.
Sarah Steinman, a Willmar-born resident of Minneapolis, is in Sweden filming her part of a genealogy-infused reality show called “Allt för Sverige,” or the “Great Swedish Adventure.”
Contestants on the show are shuttled around Sweden to learn tidbits about their heritage while competing in contests, as in past seasons when contestants swam in ice cold water and ate rotten fish, to stay on the show. The last person standing at the end of the show gets to meet the Swedish part of their family.
Steinman, who could only reveal certain information because the show is still filming, said she and other contestants have already traveled all over the country.
“It has been really fun,” she said Monday during an online audio chat.
Contestants — currently in Stockholm — are usually unaware of where they are headed next, sometimes not knowing where they will be within the next hour.
“It’s a whirlwind,” Steinman said.
But the group has grown close because of their extensive time spent together, she said, adding that all 10 of them have “big” personalities.
Convinced to petition for the show by a friend, Steinman said she was contacted quickly after she auditioned. Though initially unsure if she would make it onto the show, her confidence grew after she was flown out to New York to meet with people who worked for the show.
Her father, Tom Steinman, still lives in Willmar and has long been interested in family history. He recently traveled to Sweden — completely unrelated to the show — to meet some relatives, he said, and now there is a chance they could end up being on the show.
Sarah Steinman hasn’t been able to provide him with anymore information about her travels, he said.
“We can say hi and things like that, but not much more,” Tom said.
When the show airs later this year after wrapping up filming in June, Sarah Steinman will follow in the footsteps of fellow Minnesotans who have competed on the show as the fourth contestant hailing from the state.