‘Big Brother’ watches Kent State

Denver Collins

With only two minutes to wow the producers, students resort to using shocking antics on stage

WATCH interviews with some of the people who tried out.

Dozens of Kent State students and area residents waited for their shot at fame yesterday when the CBS reality show “Big Brother” came to the Kiva.

Rob Boenau, marketing director for the Cleveland CBS news channel, said the reason they held auditions in Kent is because most of the contestants on the show are between the ages of 20-27, so they wanted a college campus.

“Of all the colleges in the area, Kent State has a reputation for being the most fun,” he said.

Possible contenders completed a 12-page application, answering intensely

personal questions pertaining to religion, relationships, drinking, anger-management, body type and their most shameful moments.

The applicants were then given two minutes on stage for an audition tape to show producers why they should be chosen.

Some had embarrassing stories, others had gags, but Boenau said he’d just about seen it all.

“Once there was a guy who pulled a fish out of his pants and bit the head off, you know, to show he was tough,” he said. “We’ve had lots of people get naked on stage. Unfortunately, they’re almost always dudes.”

Moments after Boenau said this, one such “dude” started his audition and stripped down to a cut-off shirt and short-shorts. The contestant, Adam Prevost from Garfield, showed no inhibitions in front of the audience.

“Don’t tell anybody, but I’m wearing my girlfriend’s pants,” he joked.

These kinds of antics are one way to get noticed by the producers, but Boenau encourages contestants to show off their personality with a really good story.

“The ones who are on ‘Big Brother’ now are great story tellers,” he said. “Half of them are lying out their asses, but they seem to believe it.”

Sarah Kotzman, marketing and events producer for the Cleveland CBS news channel, said she was pleased with the turnout for the casting call.

“I think it’s an intimidating show for a lot of people to do because there’s cameras on you 24/7 and you’re in a house full of people with little privacy,” she said. “It takes a lot more courage for someone to try out for ‘Big Brother.'”

The auditions started at noon, but Kotzman said there were up to 30 people waiting in line before the doors opened.

“Some were waiting for hours,” she said.

The network is still accepting applications and audition videos online until April 25, so those who missed the open casting call may still have a chance at winning the $500,000 grand prize.

After his audition, Prevost explained what he’d do if he won the money.

“I’d probably buy a car that could get me back to Cleveland,” he said. “And I guess I’d get some new clothes.”

Contact entertainment reporter Denver Collins at [email protected].