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The Bachelor: Inside a Reality TV Casting Call

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Caroline Yoo
The area's most eligible eye candy auditioned for The Bachelor this past weekend.
Love was in the air Friday afternoon on the sixth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, where a total of 208 single ladies and gents auditioned for the upcoming season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette -- 209 of them to be exact, if you include a painfully out-of-place Daily RFT writer.

The St. Louis casting call was part of the producers' nationwide search for men and women "ready to find true love" on future seasons of both shows. Despite the fact that very few bachelors and bachelorettes attain happily-ever-after endings, most of the contestants I met -- drawn from Missouri, Illinois and even as far away as Arkansas -- told me yes, they are ready to try anything, even reality television, to find love.

See also: Photo Slideshow: 'The Bachelor' Casting Call Fashion

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Caroline Yoo
Like most auditions, The Bachelor's casting call involved lots of waiting around.
Though the audition wasn't officially scheduled to start until for 4 p.m., twenty or so well-dressed men and women were already scattered about the sixth floor ballroom, filling out forms and quietly chatting, when I arrived at 3:30 p.m. A couple of production assistants greeted me and handed me a packet of forms to read through and sign, and cheerily instructed me to sit in a chair on the left side of the room.

Let's talk about those forms for a moment: It turns out that finding true love requires quite a bit of paperwork. The six-page contestant questionnaire is available to download off the show's website, but it didn't appear that many people knew that. Two dozen auditioners were hunched over their laps or seated at tables, scribbling their hopes, wants, dating histories and dreams with ballpoint pens. The result was that the scene inside the ballroom looked a high school prom crossed with the SATs.

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Caroline Yoo
Alas, cheating off someone else's paper won't help your chances on this test. Probably.

Ever the Boy Scout, I had taken the time to prepare my answers, fashioning a dating profile that, I felt, fairly and accurately represented my romantic goals for The Bachelor.

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I confess I may have been suffering from hunger-related delusions while coming up with some of my answers.

See also: St. Louis Women Are Some of Least Choosy On Online Dating Sites: Study

After signing the legal contracts, I returned to the producers at the ballroom entrance and handed in my questionnaire, which was added to a stack. One producer then walked me near the balcony window to snap some closeup and body-length photos, and then instructed me to sit on the right side of the ballroom and wait to be called for the individual interviews.

I found a seat next to a tan, athletically built man in a powder blue T-shirt and dark jeans. He introduced himself as Ryan, a 30-year-old traveling salesman from Springfield.

"I've been very busy with a job and career. It's a very busy job, I play baseball, I work out, I own a house, but it's tough to just go and find women," he says. He's a big fan of The Bachelor, and says he knows what the show is (and isn't) looking for in a male contestant. "Some people are hesitant. But a couple seasons ago, the guy, you could tell he was ready. I think that's what they're looking for. A guy who knows what he wants and is willing to take that step if he meets the right one."

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Caroline Yoo
Every ten minutes or so, a producer walks in to call the next four people to the back rooms for the interviews. It's not long before Ryan and I are sitting at the front row along with two women from St. Louis, Christina and Megan. Both are disillusioned veterans of the local dating scene.

"On my 30th birthday I got a picture of a penis from a guy I don't know," laughs Megan, a blonde in a light orange dress. She and Christina had seen promos for the local audition and decided to go together. "So I thought, 'Why not?' This must me better than online dating."

"You always watch the show and it looks like so much fun, you think 'I wish I could do that,'" agrees Christina, a brunette 35-year-old project manager for a construction contractor. "Well, I could do that. There's nothing to say it couldn't be. But you still have to put yourself out there and do it."

"People are looking to hook up," bemoans Megan, describing the state of dating culture in the real world. "It's hard to find people that really want the same thing you do, a relationship, someone to spend time with."

"It seems really hard to find," she says. "Or I find them 25 years old or 48 years old. I don't know where the ones in their 30's are. That's my problem."

A few minutes later a producer walked in, pointed at Ryan, Megan, Christina and me, and lead us out of the ballroom for the actual casting call.

Continue for the thrilling conclusion to Daily RFT's reality-show audition.


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33 comments
Gary Muich
Gary Muich

He needs tro get rid of that RP Lumber shirt first off! The owner and son are a complete joke! They live in a mansion with Italian marble floors and under pay their workers!

Jillian Ashley
Jillian Ashley

20 people showed up half an hour early. Whoop dee do.

Sara Anne Mac
Sara Anne Mac

Lol I know I was so mad when I found out Randi Slusher

Randi Slusher
Randi Slusher

Sara Anne Mac Where were you?! Men everywhere.

Sarah Glidewell
Sarah Glidewell

Michael Petruso, can't wait to hear this story. Glad your hair looked amazing. ;-)

Jeff Petruso
Jeff Petruso

I'm not sure how I feel about this but one thing I am sure of if you are selected you will win.

Michael Petruso
Michael Petruso

Ohh geesh, had I known they were gonna use it as the cover photo I would have respectfully declined. Getting jawed pretty hard about this lol, but thank you all!

Tara Purnell
Tara Purnell

That's just crazy... Petruso possibly on the bachelor!!!

Stephen Mennemeyer
Stephen Mennemeyer

Hey everyone were extending an invite to come check us out for all your blues memorabilia and just having a great time. We're having an event on the 12th for all types of fun and prizes. If your a blues fan you don't want to miss this! www.facebook.com/groups/StlouisHockeyBuySellTrade/

Rex Lupo
Rex Lupo

Lil, I know the guy in the cover mike he's such a good guy hope he makes it.

Anna Gruber
Anna Gruber

Ryan huh???? Sorry but your better as a Mike!

Maria Christine Tabacchi
Maria Christine Tabacchi

If this guy is on the bachelor I might actually watch that show! Where is this guy in stl?!

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

I could totally see Michael Petruso on the bachelor go for it dude!!! I'd watch it if he was on it

Micah Hefner
Micah Hefner

Did you change your name Michael Petruso? And didn't know you went by Ryan? Haha

Fahmy Hassan
Fahmy Hassan

Mikey is trying to show off his big guns on the national tele;)

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