Off the 8s: WTOP staffer recounts ‘Bachelor’ audition

Chris Cichon, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — It’s Gameday baby.

Those were the first three words that popped into my head when I woke up without an alarm last Thursday morning. Later that night, I would audition at Maryland Live! Casino for a role in future seasons of either “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.”

As a single guy in the D.C. area, I applied because I work a lot of nights and early mornings, so it’s tough to go out and date regularly. And online dating just isn’t for me.

When I first found out about the auditions, I didn’t consider the idea seriously. But after a cold winter, I wanted a motive to eat better and work out.

I could find love this way, I decided, and I’d be totally cool with it.

Preparation

The morning of, I cooked up a spinach omelette with low-fat mozzarella cheese and brewed some black coffee. The protein and caffeine was the fuel I needed to last all day.

Next up was a trip to Diego’s in D.C. for a haircut and beard cleanup. On my way, I got a phone call from The Washington Post asking for an interview.

I may have been too honest with the Post, telling Michael Livingston I’m different from most bachelors from prior seasons because I haven’t made millions yet.

Oh well, I’m not going to stress it — the right woman will love me for who I am, right?

After the haircut, it was time to get the confidence levels up by pumping some iron. I found a workout years ago on Men’s Health called “The Friday Night Workout.” This hits what I like to call the “glory muscles” (biceps, triceps, chest, traps).

Now it was almost time to head to Arundel Mills. But before I did, I wanted to get a feel for what the people were saying about my audition on WTOP’s Facebook page, where a story about my upcoming audition had been posted.

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Getting pumped up for "The Bachelor." (WTOP/Chris Cichon)

After checking the comments, I have to say to all of the ladies out there who tried setting me up with your daughters and friends: That made me feel really good. Thank you!

The Audition

After pulling into the parking lot, I did the outfit change in the car (didn’t want the wrinkled-suit look), dabbed on some cologne and walked into the casino. I couldn’t help but feel nervous, but those are good nerves, right?

The first producer I met was Lyndsey. She may have been lying to me, but she told me I was the best-looking guy she’d seen all evening. I needed that.

If you take anything away from this article, try to compliment someone every day. It does wonders for someone’s confidence. And if you’re a single person looking for love, confidence is the most important trait you need.

After I filled out the necessary paperwork, I was placed into my group with 11 women and three guys. As our group walked to the interview area, I tried to send out a selfie tweet to see whether people approved of my tie-less look — but the tweet wasn’t going through.

They say everything happens for a reason.

I ended up being last in the line right behind a beautiful red-headed woman named Eve. Thinking about exactly what I wanted to say in the one-on-one interview, I was still very nervous. But to take the edge off and get out of my own head, I struck up some friendly banter. Eve and I definitely vibed, and ended up chatting right until the question process.

When I went into the small, black room, the young lady from ABC2 in Baltimore asked me just four questions: my occupation, dating history, hobbies and why I want to be on “The Bachelor.”

As far as my occupation, I hope the producers pay attention to the radio business and think I’m a big deal because I work for the No. 1 billing station in America.

As far as my dating history, I told them I had had two serious girlfriends in my life, but not one since college. I’ve had several “flings” but not sustained love.

The hobbies question stumped me a bit. I like to play, watch and talk about sports. A lot. I’m also into electronic dance music and weight lifting.

Did I sound like too much of a bro with that answer? Is that what “The Bachelor” producers are looking for?

But for the final question, “Why I am the best candidate for ‘The Bachelor’ or ‘Bachelorette,'” this is where I had to distinguish myself. Whether this was the best answer I could have came up with I’m not sure, but I spoke from the heart.

I told them I’m on my grind at the moment, working 60-plus hours a week, and I haven’t made it in this business or in life yet. I’m not well off financially. I can still be immature at 26 years old. But I know one thing: I’m looking for a partner to love and grow with through the ups and downs of my later 20s.

I want a risk-taker to take a chance on me, and “The Bachelor” is full of young women taking a risk on finding love on television. I’m a different kind of bachelor. I’m some new blood this show needs.

Post Audition

I asked Eve whether she would take a picture with me after we were done. She went before me, but waited for me to finish my interview. We took the picture and started comparing our accents. I noticed she and I pronounce “coffee” similarly. Sometimes you have to think quick when it comes to nervous small talk.

The vibe continued, and she shared with me that it was her birthday, so she was staying at the casino to celebrate.

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Chris and Eve smile for the camera after their auditions. (WTOP/Chris Cichon)

Don’t blow this Chris … ask her for her number.

The thoughts ran through my head for a few seconds, and, finally, I just came out with it:

“I hope this is OK, but can I have your phone number?”

We’ve been texting since we met. I hope to ask her on a date soon.

It will be about two months before I know how my audition went. Whether I make the next round and beyond in “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” competition, I felt like a winner that day.

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