Staff of the celebrity game show Hollywood Squares auditioned over 75 UM students on Monday for the chance to compete on the show.
Personality and trivia responses.
“We’re looking for very vivacious people,” said Hollywood Squares tour coordinator Lauri Janover. “The schools we audition at are chosen because of their size, diversity, and regional location.”
The auditioning staff will choose one representative from UM to play against students from 13 other schools, including NYU, Emerson, Northwestern, and UCLA.
Last year, Hollywood Squares selected UM student Alex Osuna to play on the show.
The auditionees were ushered into the UC ballroom and asked to fill out a form with their contact information and anything interesting about themselves.
“We once had a boy on the show who everyone called ‘Chewy’, even his parents,” Janover said. “That was interesting. And memorable.”
After the information form, each student was handed a test.
The test consisted of 25 statements to which the student had to mark “Agree” or “Disagree”, just like on the show.
Statements included trivia like, “The Statue of Liberty stands on Ellis Island” and “Alicia Silverstone appeared in three videos with Aerosmith”.
The students also had to have their picture taken while giving their best smile.
The tests were graded quickly while those who were auditioning watched a short tape of a previous Hollywood Squares College Tournament.
After the tests were graded, a staff member called out the names of students who made a high enough score to go on the next stage of auditioning.
According to organizers, about half passed.
“50 percent is an average amount for most of the schools we go to,” said assistant tour director Gary Light, who graduated from UM with a degree in communications.
Janover tells participants that they will have to “listen, watch and concentrate” if they want to do well on the show.
After the test, those who proceeded to the next round got to play a mock round of the game, while displaying as much enthusiasm and energy as possible.
“It would be a fun opportunity,” Becky Buran said. “You get prizes no matter what you do. Plus, I’m in communications, so I’d get to see the making of a television game show.”
Even if you answer every question wrong, every participant on the show gets an all expense paid trip to L.A. for the taping, and a $500 stipend.
Once on the show, they get to compete for cash and prizes.
“You win no matter what,” said Light.
“I was nervous at first,” Tiffany Yelden said. “But once I passed the written test, I got to be silly and have fun.”
The series of tournament style games will all be taped on Jan. 18. The shows will then be aired throughout the second week of February.
Janover promises that if students who wanted to participate missed the opportunity, they will be back next year for more auditions.