Next time you’re at the grocery store or the post office in Columbia Falls, take a look at the people around you. One of them might be a Swedish reality television star.
On Monday, Dec. 17, Anna Mohr of Columbia Falls was crowned the winner of “Allt for Sverige,” or All for Sweden. The reality television show brings 10 Swedish-Americans back to their homeland to compete in a game exploring their own family roots.
“If you’re going to win a reality television show, it’s good to do it in another country,” Mohr said, laughing.
“Allt for Sverige” first aired in 2011 and wrapped up filming for its second season early this summer. Mohr heard about the show two years ago and had applied for the first season, but was not picked. Earlier this year, producers of the show contacted Mohr about appearing in the new episodes. At first, she didn’t think it was real, but after a few more emails and a phone call, Mohr was convinced. She headed to Europe in May.
For the next few weeks, Mohr and nine other Americans traveled across Sweden learning about the country’s culture and history. Each episode included a lesson about Sweden and then a game based on the lecture. In between, contestants would see everything from a centuries-old farm to a modern music festival.
“We experienced all the random cultures of Sweden,” she said. “And the competitions were very random and very different.”
After each competition, the losing team would be split up and play against each other to stay on the show. Mohr said she was often on the losing end of the main competitions and was shocked to make it to the final round in June.
During the final competition there was a quiz about everything they had learned during the preceding weeks as well as a puzzle of Sweden they had to complete. Mohr said the puzzle was the key to her victory.
“I think I won because I’m always doing puzzles with my kids,” she said.
After completing the puzzle, she was named the winner of “Allt for Sverige.” And the first thing she did was call her three children back home in Columbia Falls.
“It’s awesome,” said Kara Mohr, 11. “It’s really cool to have your mom be on a television show.”
But because the television show hadn’t aired yet, no one was able to announce that Mohr had won. It was a tough piece of news to keep quiet and on two occasions one of Mohr’s three children leaked the secret.
After winning, Mohr was awarded a family reunion with some of her distant relatives. Although she was born in the United States, four of her great grandparents were from Sweden. She said getting to meet distant relatives was one of many benefits to appearing on the show.
“I feel really blessed because I feel like I made a positive impact on how the Swedish view the United States and their own country,” she said.
Even though 1.6 million people tuned into the season finale of “Allt for Sverige,” it’s unlikely many people will be stopping her in the streets of Columbia Falls, and that’s fine by her. It might be a different story back in Sweden.
“I’m definitely well known in Sweden now,” she said.