If you’re in a slight state of disbelief after reading the title of this post, you’re not alone because it’s been over six months since this happened and I still don’t quite believe it. But yes, I was scouted and asked to audition for a reality dating show in 2019 and given my current state of lockdown boredom, I’m sharing my experience now that we’ve all binged Love is Blind and Too Hot to Handle.
In this post I explain how it all came about and the different steps I went through for the audition process. There are a few tidbits of information that I’ve held back for fear of getting sued but it’s generally only a name or two. Other than that I have included all that I can remember but as this happened over six months ago, there are bound to be a few details that I’ve missed.
This happened around September/October of last year so I’d been single for four or five months. I’ve previously mentioned on my blog how I was dumped by text hours before my last exam and due to the savage nature of this breakup, I took some time to myself rather than jumping straight back on Tinder. I was still in this period of learning to self love when I was contacted, so had the production company not scouted me, there is no way I would have ever auditioned. Due to my general appearance and demeanour, it was something that I never took that seriously because I didn’t ever think I would make it onto people’s television screens. Given I am not longer single, it’s not something I would try now but at the time it was funny to do and makes for a great story afterwards.
I receive a generous amount of spam to my email address so when I received an email titled, “Media Casting,” I assumed that I was being told about another ambassador programme for a Instagram-based company I had never heard of. I did some digging into the contents of the email and the sender, and found reasonable evidence to suggest that it was all genuine. Of course, given the absurdity of the subject I still wasn’t convinced it was real. Why would a television production company be interested in talking to me? I don’t necessarily possess the looks of a stereotypical dating sow contestant. A particular line of the email did make me rethink this though:
“We are looking for girls who are currently single and may be into their image/clothes/makeup!”
I’ll know I like to look good and wear nice clothes but I didn’t think this was generally portrayed on my Instagram account given the somewhat student/travel appearance to my feed. Nonetheless given my interest in the notion of being on TV I emailed back to confirm that yes, I was the vain girl they appeared to label me as. The casting researcher and I exchanged a few emails and I agreed to a phone interview later that day when I finished my work shift. I was a bit taken aback by how fast it seemed to have escalated but I guess that’s showbiz?
The Phone Interview
The phone call that we had lasted around 30 minutes with a third of that being dedicated to explaining GDPR around the situation. These 10 minutes spent going over legal bits did make me feel a bit more secure because at this point I still wasn’t 100% convinced that it wasn’t a huge joke at my expense. They also couldn’t tell me the name or concept of the show for legal reasons so you can see why I was so sceptical. I was then given a breakdown of how the show would be shot, provided that I made it that far, such as filming location, dates, travel arrangements and where I’d be throughout the process. The series was not being filmed in a villa so I can assure I was not auditioning for Love Island.
By the time we started talking about me I was utterly bewildered by the conversation so far. I don’t exactly talk about filming locations a lot in my day-to-day life and I honestly needed time to process what was actually happening. We started out with basic questions such as my work, hobbies and studies and I chatted about how I moved to Edinburgh to study Music Technology two years prior. The questions then moved towards my dating life and what I look for in a partner. I’ve written a list of all the questions I remember regarding that topic as well as ones I was asked about celebrities and how I see myself.
- How long have you been single for?
- Are you looking for ‘the one’?
- What’s your ideal first date?
- Which celebrity do you compare yourself to?
- If there was a movie made about you, who do you hope would portray you?
- Which celebrity do you think you look most like?
- Which three words do you use to describe yourself?
- What do you think is your best physical feature?
- Do you have any dating horror stories?
- Do you prefer looks or personality in a partner?
- Which three qualities do you look for in a guy?
I had the chance to ask them questions if I wanted to and my goodness did I have a lot, most of which were a variation of, “what just happened?” I settled for asking how they found out about me and what was it in particular they had seen and liked, could be useful for a job interview in the future, you never know. By the end of the phone call myself and the casting researcher were getting along really well and laughing together which I took as a good sign. This was confirmed when they said they were enjoying our conversation and would love to pitch me to the producers of the show. They still had a call or two with other girls after me so I was told that I would get an email with instructions about a video submission later on.
The Video Audition
Ending the conversation with that kind of feedback was pretty encouraging and it’s nice to know that I can come off well in a phone interview, even with different circumstances. Again, later that day I received an email asking me to submit a video to be shown to the producers. I was instructed to sit facing a window, “looking as if you were going out on a date.” I wasn’t particularly glamorous given that it was Autumn in Scotland and I was recovering from a cold but the outfit I chose was one that I had worn on a first date so I figured it was good enough. I answered some questions about myself, similar to the ones in the phone interview in a five minute video and sent it back within a few days.
- Your full name and age
- How long have you been single?
- When do you NOT wear makeup?
- Who’s your ideal man? (think celebrities!)
- Three words to describe yourself?
- What’s your idea of a perfect date?
- What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
After that, I never heard from them again.
These questions popped up on Instagram when I asked if there was anything in particular people wanted to know about m audition experience. If you have any more, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer.
Do you now know which show you were auditioning for?
I do have ideas, and I believe it’s one of two shows. The major difference between them is that one has been broadcast and the other has not. This means its hard for me to distinguish which one I could have been a part of without seeing both of them to compare them based on my knowledge of filming dates and locations
If you had gotten all the way, would you actually have gone through with it?
Honestly, I have no idea. I seriously wasn’t looking for a relationship at that point in my life but it could have been a massive career move to get my name out there. Had I been offered a place on the show, it’s likely that the anxiety of being on TV would have held me back especially because I don’t want the entire nation seeing how bad I am at flirting. However, it would have been a one in a lifetime experience so maybe I would have just done it anyway.
Did you have any expectations of what kind of guy they would set you up with?
I have no idea who they could have set me up with. When they told me to think about celebrities I did allow my imagination to run wild with thoughts of my crushes but I knew I was just daydreaming. Given my answers for what I look for in a guy I hope I would have been set up with someone like that but I guess different people see me with different types of partners.
In a way, I’m glad that the audition process ended when it did, though a little less abruptly would have been preferred. On the off chance that I had been asked to be on the show it would have been a major decision that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with making. In the end, it turns out that I don’t need a TV show to find a partner and I’m happy with where I am now. The whole process was fun albeit a very small fraction of my life but it makes for an excellent ‘fact about myself,’ whenever I have to do ice breakers.
I hope you enjoyed this little lockdown read and it made you laugh. If you happen to be reading this as preparation for your upcoming audition, good luck and let me know how it goes. As I said earlier, if any of you want to ask more questions just let me know in the comments or in my social media DM’s and I’ll get back to you.