I don't believe I've ever met someone who has been a contestant on a reality TV show, especially a show that's produced and broadcast in Sweden. Well, I didn't have to go to Sweden to meet such a person.  All I had to do was travel to Girard.  

I met Desiree Davis.  She was decked out in a shirt she received as a contestant on the popular Swedish reality show called Allt for Sverige.  The show recruits Americans of Swedish descent and sends them to Sweden to learn about and participate in activities involving the Swedish culture.  At the end of each show, the contestants must test their skill about everything that they've learned.  One by one, someone is eliminated.  

Desiree was born in Sweden.  Her dad, Philip Carlson, loves Sweden and watches the show online. He urged Desiree to try out so she could learn about her homeland.

“I followed the program throughout the series,” says Philip. “I thought it would be interesting because she never had an interest like I did."   

The producers loved Desiree's personality and background. She is a bodybuilder and runner.  She is a standup comedian, clown, and balloon artist.  She was chosen as one of ten contestants for Season 11 that aired last year.

"I didn't have a motive like I'm going to be who I think they want me to be.   I was just myself.  My thought was if I'm chosen, it's meant to be,” says Desiree. 

The contestants experience a lot of fun and cultural activities.  However, there's also a serious side to the show.  Each contestant is taken aside. They read a letter that outlines their Swedish genealogy.  Desiree was driven to a farmhouse built by her ancestors.  After years of not really caring much about her ethnic history, it finally hit her.  She was sitting on the very property that's portrayed on a painting on her living room wall.  She was in Sweden.  She felt at home.

"I left that location with a sense of peace. Like this is why.  After my story was shot, I know that is why I went. It was like a divine appointment.  This is what it was about,” she says.  

Yes indeed, Desiree's appearance on a Swedish reality show was meant to be.  Desiree was the fifth contestant to be eliminated in Season 11.   The winner received a party in which they get to meet family members who live in Sweden.   By the way, Desiree learned on the show that she is related to the legendary Swedish actress Greta Garbo.