(I wrote this article for my peeps over at Wetpaint, but in honor of Emily’s big night, I wanted to post it here as well!)
If you’re a fan, you know the franchise loves throwing in dramatic twists just to keep things spicy. This season’s first shocking surprise? Instead of shipping a slew of eligible hunks to L.A. for some romancin’, they’re holing up in Emily’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, so the single mom won’t have to be away from her little girl while husband hunting (until the whirlwind globetrotting dates kick in). Not to mention her reported salary is $250,000 (more than twice what’s normally paid, and more than any other contestant in the show’s history) and they’re supposedly letting her pick her own engagement ring!
I’m a reality TV casting director who’s cast a ton of reality shows (including The Bachelor), and I must say that this is a pretty unprecedented move on the producers’ part. Rarely does a show bend as much as it seems they’re bending for Emily. It just goes to show how much her fans (and advertisers) adore her.
So, how will the guys stack up for this shocking season? One can assume they’ll be super hunky and have flexible enough job schedules for them to disappear for two months (rumor is that Emily made sure all eligible suitors are extremely “well to do”).
So, that begs the question — just how does ABC find these eligible bachelors, anyway? As someone who’s been in the reality TV casting biz for over 10 years, lemme break it down for you. There are a few ways a show like The Bachelorette typically finds a cast:
1. Apply Online or via Mail
You’ve seen the commercial breaks: a softly lit rose and Chris Harrison’s come hither voice asking If you’d like to date the next Bachelor or Bachelorette … go to the website on the screen. If you go that route, you’ll fill out an application, submit a photo and/or a video via the web or by mail and then… cross your fingers.
2. Go to an Open Casting Call
If there’s an open call near you, you’ll find yourself in a room full of swinging singles all sizing each other up. There, you’ll likely still fill out an application, wait around for a while, and then get to meet with a member of the casting team who will put you on camera and grill you interview style to see if you have what it takes to get on TV. (Keep reading to discover where you can learn some tips & tricks on how to nail your audition!)
3. Get Recruited!
The third way you can get on the show is to get recruited by a Casting Associate out on the streets or in a bar. This is rare, but it does happen. I should know, it used be my job!
While you may have missed the love boat for a shot at Emily’s heart this season, the franchise is currently on the hunt for both ladies and gents for upcoming seasons. In the wake of Ben Flajnik’s lackluster season, it looks as though they’re expanding their pool of potential Bachelors and Bachelorettes to unknowns.
Who knows? With my help, you might be the lucky one handing them out…
- 18 Tips To Get You Cast On A Reality TV Show
- Casting Agent Reveals The ‘Snooki Formula’ That Gets People On TV
- Tips from Prime Time Reality TV casting expert Sarah Monson: Exclusive!
- What Does A Reality TV Casting Director Do, Anyway?
- Wanna Be On TV? You’re Gonna Have To Hurry Up and Wait