"Candidates must be willing to be videotaped under intimate circumstances." That's one of the stipulations for contestants on ABC's series "The Bachelor."
News Channel 8 and The Mix 95.5 FM hosted a tryout for young bachelors and bachelorettes, with the help of Harrah's Reno, at the hotel's Sapphire Lounge from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
"The producers sent us the idea, and we accepted it," said Matt Eldredge, director of sales for Channel 8. The ABC staff wanted a casting call in Reno because they're looking for more "real people" to be on the show, according to Peter Carlson. Rather than the typical reality show cast of portfolio-building Hollywood types, they hope to highlight young people who are actually looking for "The One."
In the sexy setting of the 4-month-old Sapphire Lounge, single women in hip-hugging slacks and muscle-bound men with gelled hair carefully filled out applications by candlelight while sipping drinks.
Makeup artist Chris Robinson, who works with Soleil Salon Day Spa, applied a combination of Revlon foundation and TrYcco Pro Coverage then a light powder for a final polish on hopeful contestants. Some eyeliner and lip enhancer were the final touches -- even for the men.
Disc jockey Eric J laid down a steady flow of House and Top 40, such as Madonna's "Ray of Light." Later, he said, he would shift the sound to more of a Top 40-R&B-House combination.
Completed applications, with a Polaroid stapled in the corner, were stacked near the door to the elevator, where potential "The Bachelor" participants lined up for a brief videotaped interview. Upstairs, in the last waiting room before the lights, camera, action, nervous women joked about the perfect guy. There was Lisa, 23, a recent graduate of Pepperdine at Malibu, and Heather ,who is "about to turn 22. I have one more week," she said.
In the final room, white lights produced so much glare that an interviewee could hardly make out the shape of the interviewer.
With a tiny microphone clipped to their right collar, contestants answered questions about their passions, about why they should be on "The Bachelor," and about any unique talents.
Ambir Hukkanen of Santa Rosa, Calif., came down from her interview even more excited than she went up. As Sapphire Lounge flair bartender Jason Young spun a bottle upside down in his palm, she explained: "It's just fun," she said. "I mean, who's NOT gonna go?"
On the net
The Bachelor: http://abc.abcnews.go.com/primetime/specials/bachelor/