I wanted to blog about our experience since it has really consumed our lives for the past two months (which really feels so much longer...)
Casting Call:The whole casting process had it's roller coaster emotional moments, from super excited to super bummed to "just hurry up already and tell us if we're picked or not!" On the day of the casting call (Saturday, July 19) we stood outside for 5 hours (from 7:00am - noon) in the HOT , JULY, DALLAS, TX, SUN (yes July and Dallas, TX are adjectives to described how hot it was). We were probably the 200th and 201st person in line. It really was an act of God that my hair stayed fixed, my make up did not run off my face (like so many others), and both Zach and I really didn't sweat much at all (which for two fat people is beyond amazing). The week prior to the casting call, Zach found some very helpful blogs (about the casting process) that said to dress nice and be prepared. We waited for another 3 hours inside Dave and Busters before we FINALLY got to see the casting directors. The blogs said to really stand out and speak up when meeting with the CD's. We had our applications and pictures (both fat and skinny) in hand and were the first couple, of our group of about 12 people, to walk into the room with the CD's. Tad Patrick Frank (the CD) told us some information about Season 7, that this season would have 15 final couples and would be on the ranch for 5 months instead of 3. He warned that there would be no internet, radio, television, newspapers, mail, phone calls...NOTHING! Although each contestant would be paid $100 each day they were on the ranch, the money would have to get sent home since there was no use for it on the ranch. He said that they would be conducting callbacks over the next 4 days in Dallas, so if you didn't hear anything back from them tonight by 8:00pm, then you didn't make it to the next round. He went through all of this information in about 2 minutes and told us to have our applications in front of us but facing him and he prepared us for the questions he would ask: your name, your relationship with your partner, how old you would be at the end of September, how much you weigh and how much you wanted to lose. I was up first and as bubbly and as excited as I could I said "My name is Lindsey Stewart, and this is my husband, I will be 24 years old and weigh not going to tell you but will lose not going to tell you!!!" Tad asked how long Zach and I had been married and Zach, our of nowhere, immediately said 2.5 years...I looked at him and said "more like a year and a half!"
Side note: The ENTIRE time we were waiting in line(s) I was so nervous since I knew we only had this ONE chance to impress the CD's and it just ate away at my stomach, all day long. However, Zach was so calm, he kept telling me to relax and that everything would be ok. We met a few people in line and Zach was just being Zach and told jokes and made everyone laugh, even at our holding tables he seemed so at ease....UNTIL we talked with the CD's and he just lost it! It's so funny to me, because the second we sat down in front of the CD I was totally fine...and Zach was the nervous wreck.
So, then it was Zach's turn and even though he was nervous, he did a great job! We were the only couple that brought pictures and I think that really helped. One of our pictures was us at Vegas for my dad's birthday last year and Tad said "You look like Natalie Maines!" Gail Payne is the only other person in the whole world that has ever said I look like her and so it really caught me off guard and I just kept smiling and Tad said "That's a good thing, she's really pretty" and then he moved on to the next couple. He made it through all 6 couples in about 3 minutes. So we had waited for 8 hours and got to talk to the CD for a total of 30 seconds and then we were escorted out of the room. We were walking to our car with a college roommate couple that we had met in line and they both said "You two will totally get picked, y'all would be so great for the show!" We got in the truck about 3:10pm and headed south on Loop 12 towards home. We made it as far as Texas Stadium when Zach's phone rang from a 310 area code and I joked "IT'S TAD!"
He answered the phone and I of course was anxious to know who it was but Zach just kept saying, "yes sir, ok, great, sounds good, yes sir, yes sir, thank you" and hung up. I said who was that! He said that was Tad and they want to see us on Monday for an on camera interview. I don't think Zach has ever heard me scream so loud! I started crying and was just so in shock! We weren't 5 minutes down the road and they already wanted to see us again! We called our parents and friends and told them the good news!
**To be continued**