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It’s true, friends. Last Saturday on a hot and humid Tennessee afternoon, my friend Kelsey—a fiery, sassy, beautiful red-head in a black dress and pumps–and I—a girl with a humidity-induced fro, shorts, flat sandals and, let’s be honest, sweaty armpits—ventured to Hotel Indigo a few minutes from my house in Nashville, where auditions for next season’s The Bachelor were underway. Judge as you will. I deserve it.
Kelsey and I had promised each other a couple of seasons ago that if Bachelor auditions ever came to Nashville we would go. Lo and behold Kelsey found out they were coming, so we went, expecting a party, drinks, food, producers to be schmoozed. And what did we find instead? A dimly lit hotel conference room with lines of chairs facing one direction and about 30 girls wearing extremely tight clothing and extremely high heels. That last part, about the clothes, was to be expected. But the part with the dark room, no drinks, and no food was very disappointing.
This, as it turns out, is how an audition for The Bachelor actually works:
-Girl walks into a dark hotel conference room that has ugly carpet and no AC.
-Other girls already seated stare her down and judge her for being underdressed.
-As girl walks in the dark room she is handed a black marker and instructed to write her name and phone number on a mini white board. She is then instructed to stand against a wall and pose holding the white board in front of her while photographed: close up, far away, full body.
-Girl sits with friend Kelsey and fills out a six-page questionnaire, then signs a contract basically agreeing for the network to exploit her however they see fit with editing and to not sue the network when discovering they had cameras hidden all over the Bachelor/Bachelorette mansion.
-Girl is then shuffled to the back of the room and told to sit on the back row of chairs and wait.
-Girl is then shuffled into the hallway and told to sit in a chair against the wall and wait to be called for an on-camera interview.
-Strange girl sitting next to her in the hall reads off girl’s questionnaire and says her mom’s maiden name is “Lucado,” pronounced “Luk-uh-doo” and then they discuss what a small world it is until strange girl is called into her on-camera interview.
-Girl asks her friend Kelsey, who is sitting beside her in the hall, if her pit stains are really noticeable. Kelsey suggests girl avoids raising her arms during her on-camera interview.
-Girl is called into her on-camera interview and is instructed by the interviewer to write her name and phone number, yet again, on a mini white board. Girl says she feels like she’s rushing, but the interviewer doesn’t get it and says she doesn’t have to rush.
-Girl sits awkwardly in front of a small video camera propped on a tri-pod. Interviewer asks her things:
Q-“Why do you want to find your husband on TV?” A-“Why not? I mean, blah blah blah, I need to get out of my comfort zone, blah blah blah, I’ve always been kinda shy around guys [interviewer giggles at girl] I mean, I know I would have to be aggressive on this show, but I’m not very good at that, blah blah blah” Q-“What are you looking for in a guy?” A-“Oh you know, he needs to be funny and a good conversationalist and I’m a Christian so it would be really great if he’s a Christian. I’ve dated non-Christians too and they were greatybutitwouldjustbereallygreatifwehadthatincommonit’dbegreat.” Q-“What’s your dating history?” A-“Well, it’s probably kinda limited compared to most 24-year-olds. I’ve only dated a couple of guys seriously but those relationships ended. They were both quality guys though. No hard feelings. It was really just circumstances that tore us apart. And the rest of my dating history has just been a few dates with a few other guys. Yeah, that’s it.”
(To sum up the impression girl left during the on-camera interview: “I am a big time Christian, and kinda lame, and pretty low-drama, and have little material to offer for reality TV.”)
-And then the low point of the audition arrives. Girl is asked to stand up, take off her microphone, walk to the corner of the room and TURN AROUND SLOWLY FOR THE CAMERA. She complies while saying “This is really weird…” and trying to remember to not raise her arms in any way.
-Interviewer asks girl if she has any questions. While there are hundreds—like, how do you sleep at night after making hundreds of girls a day feel like a spinning piece of lamb in one of those kebob food trucks? NOW TURN AROUND SLOWLY FOR THE CAMERA—all she asks is when they would hear back about the audtions and learns it will be at the end of the month.
I can almost 100% promise you I will have no announcement to make at the end of June regarding my being cast to be on The Bachelor and I think I am 100% ok with that.
On February 1, 2016, I turned in the first draft of English Lessons to my…