Have you seen Love Island USA? According to the show’s narrator, Matthew Hoffman, the Midwest really loves it. Like, Minnesota loves it so much that we’re one of the biggest markets for the program.
Our passion for the British reality show spin-off is part of the reason producers and cameramen were at Surly last Saturday afternoon, casting season two via an open audition. Minnesota was one of two states to get an open audition, Florida being the other.
The concept of the show is simple enough: Somewhere in Fiji, 10 hot single people meet, pair up, and compete in challenges. Viewers at home get to vote on their favorite couples, and week after week drama unfolds as people break up, recouple, fall deeply in love, and pretend to fall deeply in love. Episodes air five days a week, typically on the same day they’re filmed.
When the crew came to town, my best friend and I decided that we would force her little sister to audition. We encouraged her to do this partly for research purposes and partly because she’s beautiful and smart and honest and would be a great addition to the show’s pool of hotties.
At the event, potential contestants walked in and were handed paperwork. They filled out the forms, signed a release, and were led into a room where they talked for two minutes in front of a camera about why they’d be a good contestant.
On her application, my sister’s friend described herself as a dogsitter, and mentioned that her own dog is “mean to men”—perhaps suggesting a guest spot/storyline with her pup?
As all this was happening Hoffman ran around, live streaming and photobombing selfies, and convincing unsuspecting Surly patrons (like a man named Colin standing next to me) to audition.
“It’s so cold here! You deserve to go to Fiji!” Hoffman shouted to the group.
Season one winner and influencer Elizabeth Weber worked the crowd as well, where she was joined by a local friend. “We went to college together!” she exclaimed.
Two brothers, Trent and Lee, had high hopes for the event. Trent, a self-described Love Island superfan and hopeful contestant, had snagged Lee from work and brought him to the auditions.
“He’s the perfect person for it,” Lee admitted. “I always think about him when I watch.”
But Trent’s decision to audition was based on more than just potential fame or a free trip to Fiji.
“I want to find true love,” he said.
Trent rated his audition performance a 7 out of 10. “I kind of gave the cameraman ‘the look’ as I walked away,” he explained.
Pre-audition paperwork asked the important questions, including “Are you single?” Hopeful contestants were encouraged to talk about past relationships and describe their ideal romantic partner in front of the camera.
Now that local auditions are out of the way, there’s no word about what the next step will be. We may need to stay tuned until the show’s premiere on May 21 to find out who made it. But hey, we might just have a winner from Minnesota heading to Fiji.
And what’s after Fiji? Maybe, just maybe, they’ll end up in love with someone from Tampa.