The day started with a walk around Åsgårdstrand to film our “arrival” in town. In a sense this time it really was our arrival as we hadn’t been allowed to leave the hotel last night. At one point they had Kelsey, Lauren, and Kate pose on the dock – one of the many things we never think anything of, but later would learn was a reenactment of an Edvard Munch “Ladies on the Pier” painting at the same location – very cool stuff.

It came as little surprise to use when we ran into a man painting in a yard with a note for us. A famous painter lived nearby, and we could find his yellow house not far away. Clearly Edvard Munch’s based on Lonely Planet books, our hotel, and someone by the dock earlier.

We arrived and were greeted by Fridtjof who welcomed us to a week of Art and Culture. Admittedly from a competition standpoint, art is a weak point for me – in watching previous seasons, the single challenge I feared the most was the “make a painting, whoever’s gets auctioned off for the lowest price goes home.” There are a lot of great artists in our group – I’m the numbers guy with an artistic ability equivalent of a 4th grader.

We tour Edvard Munch’s home which was real cool, do some interviews, and then head back to the hotel for lunch. Later at Edvard Munch’s house we get our teams and first competition.

Red: Lars, Kelsey, Richard, Jeff (Troll)

Blue: Kate, Thomas, Johnny, Lauren

Having Jeff on the team drops my chances of staying in Norway from 87.5% to 83.3% (-4.167%), but there’s clearly nothing I can do about that. Interesting that I still haven’t been on a team with Kate – but this will be my 4th completion in a row with Kelsey. (No complaints, Kels is a perfect 4 for 4!)

Regardless, for this week’s first competition to gain an advantage, we’d be recreating an Edvard Munch painting – Four Girls in Åsgårdstrand, which we’d be doing in two parts. In part one we’d be picking up supplies from the townfolk at the same time as the other team. In part two we’d be putting on our outfits and taking a photo mimicking the Munch painting.

Not much longer and part one was underway – head to head, red vs blue competing for the same “resources”, or clothing from the townsfolk. Now this is where things get interesting – we quickly walk up the street, find some locals (all clearly plants with plenty of stuff for us to wear). We keep walking down the street – and we look back, and Team Blue is nowhere to be seen. They seemed to be enthralled with the first house. Over the course of the next 25 minutes we have our pick of the litter in terms of outfits and pillage as much as we can – we pick up a number of similar hats, knowing we could just pick the best one later. We also got tape.

We felt great about our outfits, but a little unsure of the location we picked, a house near Munch’s, but not Munch’s house itself which was the “correct” location (which the blue team got right). We threw together our outfits which looked great, and snapped our photo. Forty-five minutes later we’re ready for results. Seeing the Blue Team photo, I’m confident – they had the right location, but our attention to detail in the outfits was spot on.

We soon learn that we had won the competition, and will have an “advantage” tomorrow. With that said, so far the advantage has made zero difference in any team competition. We also later learn that Team Blue had gone into the first house after being invited in by a boy. He wasn’t a plant – it was just a local’s home. The plants on the other hand, were all wearing Salvation Army clothes picked out specifically for the challenge – many of them still had price tags on them. With that said, Thomas’ shower rug hat was brilliant.

Afterwards we’re told another art experience is waiting outside the home of the 4 girls. After a 30 minute wait, we walk down the street and see 8 easels set up! Would this be a paint and wine type event? We quickly see how wrong we are when we walk into the backyard and see a stark naked guy posing for us to draw. Wow. Certainly unexpected and pretty funny. We all comment on how funny/hilarious it would be if Joni was still here.

Over about 40 minutes we all draw our own depictions. Jeff draws nothing but a dick – funny, and to his credit, he’s a great artist. Everyone else had pretty well done drawings. I could hardly see the model, and drew my exact point-of-view with my fellow artists, their easels, and my own easel. Artception I called it. While my skills may be that of a 4th grader (no offense to all those 4th grade artists out there who are much better than I am), it was a unique and fun piece.

We went back to the hotel for dinner, and then drove 75 minutes back to Oslo. We learned tomorrow would be an Oslo filming day, and after tomorrow we’d no longer be relegated to the red box here in Grünerløkka. Woo hoo! Tomorrow should be another blast!

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