COSTA MESA — Makeup: check. Styled hair: check. Application listing criminal history and past relationships: check.
Dressed to impress, Christina Gibson sat in the ballroom of the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel during Saturday's casting call for "The Bachelor." The Glendora nurse was among the 300 women vying for a place in the 15th season of the successful ABC reality show.
"It was either this or Match.com," Gibson quipped. "Where else can you meet people? You have to try."
And if she doesn't make the cut?
"If not, oh well."
In the show, 25 women try to capture the fancy of a rich bachelor. The line at the hotel was a like conveyor belt of single women "looking for love," many of them said wryly.
"It's for someone looking for an opportunity to find love," casting director Lacy Pemberton said. "It's kind of an adventure. I don't think it's so much about being on TV."
The applicants showed great enthusiasm, she said.
"If you're going to have 15 minutes of fame," Pemberton said, "you might as well go on a game show where you can win a million dollars, right?"
Pemberton thinks the applicants were also fans of the show. But not all who stood in line follow the series.
"I really wanted to see what this was all about," said Bill Kalman, who drove up from San Diego.
Kalman turned in application for a chance to be the next bachelor, who has not been decided yet.
"I don't want to get famous. But if it happens, I wouldn't be opposed to it," Kalman said, flashing a wide grin. "And being surrounded by 300 attractive women isn't a bad thing."
After turning in their paperwork, applicants are interviewed on camera. The show's producers ask for details about their past relationships, their families and what they do for fun.
Waiting in line to get her photo taken, Tanya Wyatt joked that she was there because she's 26 and single, and because her mother reminds her of that.
"Why not?" the Costa Mesa resident said. "You never know unless you try."
While there are plenty of tears among the contestants on TV, no one seemed to be emotionally invested in casting agents' decisions at the South Coast plaza hotel.
"If I don't get it, I'll lock myself in my apartment for a whole month," Sara Marina, 29, said sarcastically. "I'll cry and won't come out of my room."
Saturday's casting call was one of several being held nationwide. Applications and videos are submitted online as well.
The show's finale drew 15 million viewers last season, according to Nielsen ratings.