Woke up at 9:45 right before breakfast ended and joined the rest of team red who had done the same.

Me, Derrick, Kate, and Johnny went on a walk to “Moods of Norway”, a Norwegian brand that was started right here in Stryn and has an outlet store all of a 4 minute walk from our hotel.

I quickly realized that Moods was a clothing store (I actually didn’t know ahead of time), but while I was totally out of my element and would have typically left after 2 minutes, it was a blast to see Johnny, completely in his element. While he was in the dressing room trying on about 15 items, I found a backroom with shoes priced at 3 pairs for 15 Kroner. That comes to ~$21/pair for some very stylish kicks. Johnny was in heaven and ended up buying 6 pairs of shoes. I’ve never worked retail, but helping him find shoes his size and helping him find up to 6 pairs that worked was a blast.

Back to the hotel, we quickly turned around for lunch with Martine, and then it was off to join the blue team for their results. As we arrived, we saw them on skate skis, and would later learn that their competition involved skate skiing to signs with possible answers to questions posted by Fridtjof, and then reciting answers back to him. Answer wrong or pronounce something incorrectly, and it was back to the post on skate skis. To top it off, they had instruction from Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, who is an Olympic silver and bronze medalist!

As always the results and big reveal was drawn out. “3rd place, Lauren, 2nd place, Jeff who “put it all on the line”, 1st place, Thomas who had never skied in his life but won by more than a minute.

Cross country ski champ Thomas!
Cross country ski champ Thomas!

It was down to Richard and Brittany. We were told that Richard missed quite a few answers, and that Brittany was the slowest skier but didn’t miss any questions. When it was down to 2 they made us reshoot everything from very beginning to get a wide shot, which had to be excruciating for both Brittany and Richard.

When Fridtjof finally delievered the news, it would be the amazing, bubbly, always smiling, great attitude Brittany that would have to go home. She had apparently gone into the competiton with a bit of apprehension about skate skiing, but put forth an amazing effort after only an hour of practice. We’re all sad to see her go… really really cool girl.

Whenever anyone is eliminated it’s really tough, but the immediacy of the situation makes it particularly hard. One minute they’re there, the next minute they’re literally whisked away never to be seen until we inevitably reunite in the states. Unless I win this thing, when it’s my time to go, I’ll make a point of saying my goodbyes to the crew as well, they’re great folks.

We shot the group scene afterwards like we always do. Johnny very deservedly got the troll, and Fridjof revealed the postcard replica of Johnny which was outrageous, and looks almost identical to the postcard we got in Flåm.

If another girl gets eliminated next week, my guess is Joni, Lauren, or Kelsey would get the troll (Kate already got it and it’d be a bad look to keep seeing girls dropping). If a guy gets eliminated I could see Jeff getting the troll, he’s overdue and a huge personality. I don’t see me, Tom, or Richard getting it anytime soon, as we’re just not the huge personalities or as outspoken as some of the others, but I could be totally wrong. Frankly I’m fine with it, the dream is to get the troll when there are 6 people left (the last troll given) which is worth almost twice as much as a week one troll. I know I’m way overthinking this and there’s really very little that I can do to affect when I might be graced by his noodly appendage and get a week “off”, but I’m too much of a numbers guy not to think like that.

Regardless of numbers or odds or anything, I’m genuinely grateful for every day I get to spend here, and I hope this adventure lasts as long as possible.

Jumping for joy for at least another week in Norway!!!
Jumping for joy for at least another week in Norway!!!

Back at the hotel we had a great dinner with the crew. Alex and JK both commented that I should consider a career becoming a sports broadcaster or commentator based on my on camera interviews. No idea where that came from, but they tell me I “can go from topic to topic smoothly without hesitating.” Look out Aaron I’m coming for you!

Dinner was great – I just caught up with my journaling from the last two days, and tomorrow we leave at 9:15 on a long bus ride! No idea where or how long, but every new adventure has been amazing, and I can’t wait for whatever comes next.

Tonight we’re planning on watching the Norwegian Emmy’s with cast and crew – Alt For Norge is up for Best Reality TV show for a 6th year in a row. Members of the crew have also worked on other shows that are nominated, so we’ll be rooting for them too! After the Emmy’s (unfortunately AFN didn’t win) we went out to one of the two bars in Stryn, and rolled back to the hotel late at night / early in the morning. Travelling tomorrow!