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NDtv holds open auditions for ‘The Irish Bachelor’

| Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This spring, a group of women will compete for one Notre Dame man’s heart on NDtv’s The Irish Bachelor.

NDtv Station Manager Caitlin Crommett said the idea for the Irish Bachelor was prompted by the success of last year’s Irish Bachelorette — a dating show modeled after ABC’s The Bachelorette.

“[We thought] it might be fun to bring in people that aren’t in NDtv to be in NDtv, and we had extreme popularity – we weren’t expecting this many people to turn out for everything,” Crommett said.

Crommett said the station received numerous requests for an Irish Bachelor.

“We of course said we couldn’t have two Irish Bachelorettes in a row, so we thought we’d move on to The Bachelor,” Crommett said.

Claire Rembecki, who will work production for The Bachelor, said the show’s predecessor, The Irish Bachelorette, prompted discussion on the dating experience at Notre Dame. This year, the show plans to delve deeper into issues posed last season, she said.

“[Dating at Notre Dame is] such a weird phenomenon,” Rembecki said. “We kind of want to put that on camera, not because we want to make people fall in love – obviously, if that happens it’s great, we don’t have that high of expectations. … We kind of want to put [the contestants] in front of a camera and see what it’s like – when you first talk to the guy you find attractive, when you first go on a date, when you’re weighing whether to date them or not — it’s fun to watch.”

Rembecki said last year’s show also drew some negative responses on campus.

This backlash, along with the popularity of the show, made the role of The Irish Bachelorette difficult, last year’s Bachelorette Kirsten Fernandez said.

“The Bachelorette ended up being much bigger than I originally thought it was going to be,” Fernandez said. “I did not expect that so many people would recognize me from the show and ask me about it while I was in class, at work or out with my friends. Although most people’s comments to me about the show were positive, I did not enjoy that kind of exposure and the negative comments on social media and The Observer were hurtful to deal with. I don’t think I would choose to do it again.”

This year, the show plans to make a few changes, including a longer production time and more focus on documenting the dating experience at Notre Dame, Rembecki said. Dates the contestants go on will also be primarily off campus, she said.

“We’re looking at getting more out into the South Bend community, so doing dates in South Bend, maybe even in neighboring cities,” Rembecki said. “To get us away from the show we had last year, but also more in touch with the community because there’s so much of an issue with being in the Notre Dame bubble, so we wanted to use the show, which is kind of a social experiment in itself, to break out of that.”

Crommett said The Irish Bachelor is hosting open auditions this year. Auditions for the show’s hosts, the Bachelor and the contestants will be open to students in the Sorin Room of LaFortune on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.

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