Looking for love? Meet Sandra Petko and Stuart Brazell, casting directors for the VH1 reality TV series Real Chance of Love Season 2.
The Los Angelenos have been canvassing the Strip for a week, hitting three clubs a night, corralling attractive, spunky women who will agree to move into the Stallionaire Ranch for three weeks to compete and catfight with other women for the heart of bad boy Chance or his long-locked brother Real.
Now the two are inside Planet Hollywood with their camera crews and clipboards, at 10 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, interviewing the last few women before catching a flight back to L.A. in the morning.
Out of the 100 or so women Petko and Brazell have unearthed in Vegas, only between 1-10 will be cast. The show, featuring 17 women (filtered out of hundreds in a month-long cross-country search), will shoot in May and air in the fall.
“The main thing we look for is personality, someone who stands out and is opinionated,” says Petko, who has long blonde hair and noteworthy cleavage. “We try to cast good-looking people, someone you’d like to see on TV.”
But are the women looking for their soulmate or their 15 minutes?
“A lot of the girls really like these guys and they’re really attracted to them,” claims Petko.
“Girls are looking for the guy they want to fuck or the guy they want to marry,” Braznell says bluntly. “Chance is crazy, a total asshole. He’s feisty. I love him. Real is down-to-earth, looking for true love and the mother of his children.”
And, of course, the fame and money are pluses.
All the girls are paid on a daily basis to appear on the show, and, as anyone who owns a television can deduce, appearing on a reality TV show can metamorphose a nobody into a household name overnight.
“The real successful ones can make a living doing promotional appearances at clubs, start their own show or go on a show where they are competing against cast members from past shows,” Braznell explains. “It is an experience of a lifetime. You never know how far it could go; it could change your life. You’ve branded yourself, so whatever your passion is--songwriting, music production, acting--you’ll go so much farther because the exposure that you get on shows like this is huge.”
Braznell would know. After she appeared on the dance competition show Dirty Dancing, the casting director who cast her hired her as a fulltime VH1 employee. Petko made her Hollywood debut on Temptation Island 3.
While the casting directors visit every major city looking for fresh meat, they claim Vegas is the best place to hold a casting call since it is a melting pot and people are partying all night. The directors even meet people from Kansas and other states VH1 usually flies over.
“When you’re in a city like Las Vegas, you get the craziest personalities and schedules,” says Brazell.
“Nothing shocks me, nothing surprises me anymore,” remarks Petko.
Petko and Brazell are trying to create the ideal balance between wild girls and bring-home-to-mom types in order to ensure fireworks. The pair maintain that every onscreen moment of passion, PDA and brawling is real.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” says Brazell. “It’s not scripted. When people are confined in a house, they get stir crazy. So things happen. They are saying what they think. Someone always does something outrageous. I couldn’t write that. It’s brilliant.”
For a representation of the party girl/good girl types, view ex-stripper So Hood vs. tiny blonde Corn Fed from season one.
Or check out these two women who were both at the HTZ audition, hoping to move into the manor and land a man.
The Bad Girl: Kat Cortez, 25, promotional model
Who she wants: Chance
Why she wants him: "Because he’s got a gap between his front teeth like me. We’ve got the same personality. I really like Chance because he’s so sensitive, he has emotions."
How she heard about the show: "I watched the show. I’m a big fan. I Tivo-ed it."
Why she wouldn’t: "What happened with Real and Corn Fed? They were a good couple. Why is he doing another show? It makes me feel bad because it’s not real (literally, haha). I’m thinking that maybe they had sex and she didn’t like being with a black guy.
"If I went on the show, I would tell him, 'What the hell? What happened to Corn Fed?' I didn’t see the connection between him and the other women on the television set, but I did see the connection between Corn Fed and Real. I’m so disappointed. I want an explanation.
"And the girls are scrappy. I’m a MA [Martial Artist] so it would be dangerous. I might go to jail.”
The Good Girl: Megan Elliott, 21, retail manager
Who she wants: Real
Why she wants him: "I saw the show with New York [Real and Chance were contestants on Vh1's I Love New York, where they were eliminated after making it to the final round] and Real seems like a really nice guy. Chance seems like a fun guy, but just not my type. Real is really respectful and sweet and wouldn’t take advantage of situations that other guys would."
How she heard about the show: Elliott, who lives in Oregon, is in Vegas on vacation for a week. “I was just walking by the other day and saw the sign and was like, 'I’m here, why not? I’m single.'"
Why she wants to do the show: "You really don’t get many opportunities in your life to do something crazy, so you might as well take advantage of it.
"I was in a really long relationship, I’ve been on a lot of dates, but I’ve never had that connection. It always seems like they are more into me than I’m into them. I definitely want marriage, kids, the whole family. But it has to be sincere, it can’t be with someone you don’t feel it with."