Most wanted

Norwegians Google like everyone else, but for things particularly Norwegian, they often Kvasir.  Search engine Kvasir revealed one of the favorite lists for Internet users, the most ‘sought after’ people in Norway. Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by attractive young women who have gained fame or notoriety in a variety of ways.

Tone Damli Aaberge. Photographer: Ernst Vikne

Pop culture is a quick route to getting to know a place, so this list is a crash course in pop Norway. The winner, Tone Damli Aaberge, is a typical modern celebrity. After nearly winning Norwegian Pop Idol in 2005, Ms. Aaberge has had a more successful music career than most of the show’s winners, and she has stayed in the spotlight thanks to a run in Strictly Come Dancing … and from being extremely photogenic.

The reader might want to have a quick search of some of the other names, I must confess that I don’t recognize them all. The most interesting one is arguably artist Marianne Aulie, who is famous for her series of paintings about clowns, and also for using her … extremely photogenic body to promote her painting career.

Aulie, a protégé of the Sand family of artists, has used a potent combination of scandal and nudity to promote her art career. Her latest stint in the headlines came after she appeared panty-less on a high profile TV talk show.

The only man to break into the top ten was Eurovision Song Contest winner Alexander Rybak.

Kvasir information consultant Renate Morken told finance web site that the result showed that Norwegians tended to be most curious about Norwegians, and their curiosity was piqued by Norwegian TV.

A number of academics and industry figures were quizzed for their reactions to the list, but they were unable to produce anything profound. Sociologist Trond Blindheim at the Oslo College of Marketing at least summed it up well: “Before you had to have done or be someone special to be famous. Walk to the North Pole, win medals or be part of the royal family. Now the requirements of celebrity are far more democratic. The only talent you need is an enormous urge for exposure – and to be liked.”

The top ten:

1. Tone Damli Aaberge
2. Triana Iglesias
3. Marianne Aulie
4. Aylar Lie
5. Isabella Martinsen
6. Jenny Skavlan
7. Alexander Rybak
8. Anne Rimmen
9. Sandra Lyng Haugen
10. Alexandra Kakurina


4 responses to “Most wanted

  1. ikkenorskgirl

    Apart from Alexander Rybak, I havent heard of any of the others :s Its so sad that Norwegian culture (be it merely pop culture) doesnt really go much outside Norway (and I presume) Scandinavia. But, I bet they could name quite a few of our British celebrities (let alone US ones).

    • Jonathan Tisdall

      Well, it’s not a terribly impressive list really, pretty glamor based. We are still in the age of using the search engine primarily for eye candy…

  2. E. C. Williams

    Reidar Aulie – I found his painting in a resale shop in St. Louis MO, USA. I am looking to sell this painting but do not know norweigan. Plaese could you advise me on where it would receive the best exposurer (I tried ebay international but was not successful. Thanking you in advance for any help you can give. ECW

    • Jonathan Tisdall

      I know very little about this. My reaction would be to enquire with Norwegian art dealers and see if they can advise you or perhaps even show some interest in the painting. You should be able to find these by googling, and the major ones will have English pages, and all of them will be able to speak to you in English if you send them an email. One leading house can be found here: – Gulden Kunstverk is run by a Norwegian American, who might be happy to help? That site is here:

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