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How can I audition for reality shows?

We've collected application information for more than 40 programs

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Last year, one of our most popular columns was this one, in which we rounded up as many applications for reality shows as we could find. We're asked all the time how to audition for this or that show.

Some shows have easy-to-find Web pages, and keep their casting info prominent year-round. Others are harder to find, or only list their casting information for that short period of time when they are actively looking for new contestants.

We're often asked how contestants on brand-new shows find out about them, and there's really no one way. Some shows run TV ads. Some are mentioned in magazines. Easiest of all, some networks have online casting pages that mention new shows as well as old. We've highlighted new shows below under a special heading for those adventurous types who want to try to be cast for a show no one has seen yet.

It seems obvious, but if you're really interested in making it on a show, you should read every word of the application information as if you're Jack Bauer and it's telling you how to defuse a bomb. If you don't follow the instructions, your application is likely to get deleted, and that means no million dollars for you. If you're really serious about pursuing a show, you'd be smart to dedicate some time to your application.

As far as tips for qualifying for specific shows, "American Idol" vets offer tips here, Idol" auditioner Whitney Henry shares her experience here, and some "Deal or No Deal" tips are offered here.

Here's our latest roundup of shows.

"American Idol": Obviously, the show isn't looking for singers now, as it just finished airing audition episodes taped late last year. You can still read through the application materials online here, but make your calendars for late summer if you're determined to audition next season.

"American Inventor": If the e-mail we get is any indication, everyone out there has an invention. The show's casting began March 18 with open calls in six cities.

"America's Next Top Model": The show is not casting now, since the eighth season (sorry, "cycle") is about to premiere, on Feb. 28.

"Amazing Race": The All-Star season has just started airing, but "Amazing Race" keeps its applications online year-round. The latest one says applications were due January 17, but bookmark the site for the future.

"Apprentice": The current L.A. season did its casting last summer, but if you really want to work for Trump, bookmark this site and check it again in a few months. The show is supposedly coming back for another season after this one.

"Bachelor": Want to be "The Bachelor," or date him? Here's that show's casting page. Looks like they don't have a way to apply to be "The Bachelorette." Even if they do another season of that show, they'll likely just pluck the woman from a previous "Bachelor" cast.

"Bad Girls Club": Like its Bunim-Murray comrades "Real World" and "Road Rules," this show is accepting applications on an ongoing basis.

"Beauty and the Geek": The CW show is currently casting for season four, so if you're a gorgeous but dim girl or a smart, socially inept guy, check it out. Weirdly, no deadline seems to be given.

"Big Brother": We're always asked: When is "Big Brother" coming back? And we always reply: In summer, same as always. "Big Brother" doesn't list a deadline on its application, instead saying that information will be posted on CBS.com 10 days before time's up. But they're currently planning semifinalist and finalist interviews for May and June 2007, so we'd guess now's a great time to get your application in.

"Biggest Loser": Ready to shed those pounds? Apply here to be a "Loser."

"Cowboy U": CMT's "wanna be a cowboy" reality show is not currently casting, but future opportunities will be posted on this CMT page. Other CMT show casting is also listed on the same page, including shows called "I'm a Competitive Eater" and "Addicted to the Dukes of Hazzard."

"Deal or No Deal": It's a game show, not a reality show, but we're asked about this one so much that we're including a link to the show's application (and here are tips for getting chosen).

"Extreme Makeover" (plastic surgery edition): As we reported earlier, this show did return last year, but was canceled after one episode. ABC says it has no plans to air any new episodes, although they did not address the online application we found, which had a Jan. 31, 2007 deadline.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition": This page has all the details on how to nominate your own family or another deserving family for a home makeover. And here's an article about a memo from early 2006 that describes the specific issues the show was looking for, at least at that time.

"Hell's Kitchen": Apply for future seasons here.

"Identity": Another game show, more or less, but NBC is seeking both contestants and "strangers," that is, people with unusual jobs or accomplishments, to participate on the new season of the guess-who-I-am show. Game show "1 vs. 100" is also casting.

"Last Comic Standing": No funny business. Open calls are planned throughout February and March in New York, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Tempe, and even abroad! We're often emailed by Canadians complaining that they don't qualify for many American reality shows, but here's a chance for the Canucks, Aussie and Brits to break through.

MTV shows: We cover "Real World," "Road Rules," "Pimp My Ride" and "Bad Girls Club" separately in this list, but MTV has a ton of other shows looking for contestants. Their hard-to-follow casting page is here.

"Nanny 911": Are you living through a parenting emergency? Apply for the FOX show here. (Down a little further in the list, we provide information for similar show "Supernanny.")

"Nashville Star": Here's the country-music show's audition FAQ, which directs interested singers to this page, which does not seem to list any current open calls.


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