There was so much preparation for nothing. So many misleading hints that I’d make it. Little signs. The amount of time and effort I put in to this process all seems like a waste.
It began with an audition video and a small series of questions I had to fill out in both the online form and in the video. Initially, I was worried; there wasn’t much leg room to say anything or do anything I wanted to make the video entertaining. Answering the required questions took up the full two minute time frame they provided.
After submitting the (what I thought was embarrassing) video, I didn’t expect much else. At least I could say I applied. To my dismay, I received a call from The Bachelor Canada the following week.
“We loved your video and we would like to have you in Toronto for an interview February 11th. And we want you to dress as if you’re stepping out of the limo on that first night.” First of all – this call came in at 11:11, which has always been a time of good luck for me. Secondly, the scheduled interview was on the same date I met Rachel Brathen (my idol) the previous year. No. Way. This was a sign from the universe, I knew it. I had such a good feeling… it was like it was meant to be.
Of course, I tried not to let myself become too optimistic and “expect” to get on the show. But the previous events and what comes next and on the day of the interview all seemed to convince me to disregard the fact that I may not succeed.
The next step was another questionnaire to fill out – this one was 107 ish questions long. I spent roughly 7 hours completing it. It was a very long night and I was confident with my answers; I was both serious about finding love and humourous with the light questions.
Let’s not forget the dress code I was informed of during that initial phone call. Dress as if I’m stepping out of the limo the first night… immediately I pictured myself in a stunning, flowing maxi dress. Nothing in stores came in my size or looked right on me; I had no other option but to order online.
I fell in love with a long, red dress on LuLus.com. I read the reviews of other tiny girls similar to my size. Girls who were my height, girls with my boob size… the reviews sounded promising; the length didn’t drown them and an xxs fit snug. Perfect! I had to order express shipping for it to come in on time and I wasn’t at all worried about it not fitting.
A few days before the interview, my beautiful gown arrived and the whole thing seemed so surreal… I could actually be walking towards a handsome bachelor on tv and partake in a crazy, dramatic show.
Unfortunately, the dress and its straps were a little too long. The dress already costed $270 and now I’d have to spend money on alterations. I also had to order heels for the occasion because, well, I don’t really have any.
Since the phone call and leading up to the interview, I was communicating with Nathan* through emails. He sounded incredibly stoked to meet me and it made me excited and had me thinking that I might already have the upper hand. I’d done a video and form submission, I answered 107 personal questions about myself and I had a single interview. I wasn’t part of the “open casting calls” that were occurring in Toronto that weekend. That had to mean I was already ahead of the game…
I practiced walking in the dress in my new heels with the alterations and it wasn’t so bad if I lifted the dress slightly as I walked. I felt so glamourous. I felt like a bachelorette.
The morning of the interview, my sister helped do my make up and she did my hair. (I’m not exactly girly so I suck with these things)
On the way there in an uber, I held two of my favourite crystals in my hands (yes, I brought them for good luck!) I held them each tightly and prayed to the universe that everything would go well and I’d make it on the show.
After navigating around the hotel to where the auditions were being held, I finally found – who I assumed to be – the producers or casting crew sitting behind a check-in table. Across from it: lights, cameras, contestants and interviewers. Almost instantly, and with much enthusiasm, Nathan leaned forward, “You’re Nadia! It’s so nice to finally meet you!” (Seriously, he seemed overly thrilled to meet me in person and it came across as a really good sign).
After changing into my limo-appropriate red gown and cute heels in a tiny stall, I walked (as I practiced) back towards check-in and ET Canada and girls who were being interviewed and photographed.
I’m not trying to be cocky, but as soon as I came into view, I turned heads. Never in my life has that ever happened! I was just a regular girl, but in that moment, I felt famous. I have to give most of the credit to the dress; everyone was commenting on how stunning and beautiful it was.
I was directed towards a room next to check-in where rows of chairs were set up. A handful of other girls were there filling out paperwork or sitting, waiting. Waiting for what? I thought. Shouldn’t they be having some sort of group interview? Not ALL of these girls submitted a video online. I also noticed I was the only one who seemed to be the most “glammed up.” What’s a better word for that? I looked elegant, I guess. Most girls wore little, cute dresses and those who were auditioning on the spot weren’t dressed up at all. I felt a little out of place… but I also felt like I already made it.
On the back of my number, 0563 (or 0365?), were several questions I had to answer before heading back out to the crew. I scribbled so fast, I don’t even know if it was legible.
ET Canada then wanted to spontaneously interview me, claiming it would be “great preparation for the actual interview.” I agreed, but soon came to realize the questions were very silly and would not actually help prepare me in any way. Maybe for people who haven’t been on camera it would be good practice having one in your face, but I grew up in the entertainment industry. So, even though I only guessed one quote correctly from a selection of old, romantic films I’ve never seen, it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t the real interview.
I didn’t wait long to be lead to the room where the interviews were being held. As I waited outside the door to be called in, there was a girl sitting near me on her laptop. We got chatting and then she offered some advice. “From what I heard, they like hearing that you’re a big family person. Talk about kids and family somehow.”
I’m not going to reveal what questions were asked or too many details, because I’m pretty certain that’s against something I signed… but I can tell you how I felt bout the whole thing.
It’s a bit of a blur now, but I wasn’t as nervous as I expected myself to be. I let myself have fun with it and I stayed true to who I was. And for that, I am proud. They were smiling and I made them laugh so I was feeling good about it. I’m no Corinne, but I thought I was definitely good enough to make at leeeast the top 10 or 20. Also, my answer to her last question was, in her words, “the best answer I’ve heard all day!”
[side note: Corinne was on the most recent season of The Bachelor with Nick Viall]
On my way back to the bathroom from the interview, I was stopped by three students in uniforms. “Oh my gosh, excuse me, hi!” “We know you haven’t made it yet but we are already you’re biggest fans and think you’re so pretty and genuine!”
What. Is. Happening?!
“Wow, thank you so much!”
“Mind if we take a picture with you?”
We took selfies and then they took photos of me by myself.
Before taking off they admitted that they already told the casting crew that they should pick me. I was incredibly flattered and they were making the entire experience even more surreal than it already was. If random people were already wanting me to be picked then I must have made a damn good impression!
On the streetcar ride back to my sister’s, as I replayed everything in my mind, something wasn’t sitting right with one part of it all: I didn’t say goodbye or thank the casting crew.
In the moment, I didn’t even think of it. I thanked the woman who interviewed me, changed and left. I also thought Nathan might be too busy with more sign-in’s and I didn’t want to interrupt.
But in hindsight, I probably should’ve went back. It’s my only regret.
I can’t put what happened next into words because the conversation was a bit far-fetched on the spiritual side, but a random man started speaking to me by asking what my dress was for. He assured me that I was probably getting the part. How would he know? It was odd. But I rationed that it had to do with all these little green flags: the fans, my great answer, the date, etc… basically the Universe telling me this was my calling.
Tuesday rolled around and I sent an email to the casting address, thanking them for their time and wishing them a wonderful day of love (it was Valentines Day). By Thursday, I hadn’t received a reply so I gave Nathan a call with the number he gave me in one of our previous conversations.
Again, so much enthusiasm: “Nadia! So good to hear from you! It was so lovely meeting you. How are you?!”
I explained that I wanted to thank him and everyone else and that I wanted to know if there was a certain date I should be hearing back by.
“If you don’t hear from us by March first then you can assume you didn’t make it. So wait until then!”
And we said good bye as if I’d be talking to him again. But maybe this was simply his personality. Who knows.
Painfully, March 1st arrived with no phone call yet. How have they not contacted me yet? Are they doing this to get a surprised reaction out of me? My thoughts were racing. The previous night, I started to tell myself I wasn’t being chosen. I had to start accepting it so when then end of March 1st came, I was already easing into the rejection.
Still. I had hope.
I kept my phone on silent (with a vibrate) in my pocket during work hours (when it should’ve been in my locker). I wasn’t expecting any phone calls, so if my phone was vibrating, it could be The Bachelor and I didn’t want to miss their call.
The hours dragged on. and on.
My stomach started vibrating. “I need to use the washroom quickly.”
And I bolted to the staff washroom to check my missed call.
“Hi Nadia. I’m calling from Brampton’s Job…” and I hung up.
The days following, I was in disbelief. I still am. I thought I had it, I really did. At first I wasn’t so sure, but everything fell into place and all these little signs and good vibes elevated my confidence. I am bummed, but I’ll probably try out again next year. And if they chose Mike Ogilvie as The Bachelor, I won’t even be able to watch the show knowing I could’ve been there having an amazing time getting to know him!
Two months of 2017 dedicated to The Bachelor. But, you regret the things you don’t do more than the ones you did.
ps. sorry my first 3 fans!
May we all find love within ourselves before loving another soul
*Name changed for privacy