The celluloid has been screened, the audition tapes logged and The Score has chosen 10 finalists to vie for sportscaster supremacy on Drafted 2.
Among the contestants picked July 18 are three local game aficionados: Leasider Andrew Gould, midtowner Launy Schwartz and Bloor West Villager Phil Perkins.
For lead judge and Score personality Greg Sansone, it’s a chance to see what talents those finalists bring to plate.
“For all of these people, it’s their dream,” he said. “So this really is an amazing process and I know people have their own opinion of reality television, but for the finalists this is their own reality.”
Though the reality show won’t get underway until September, the 10 competitors will not be on reprieve.
Last year’s winner Paul Brothers will do promos with Gould, Schwartz and Perkins, along with Vancouverite Austin Spencer, Brent Furtney of Ridgeville, Ont., Edmontonian Kacie Collins, Mississauga resident Kareem Duhaney, Calgarian Megan Morrison, Montrealer Rick Tirelli and Sean Francois of Dartmouth, N.S.
It may be all fun and games, Sansone said, but there will be some tough hurdles to jump.
“You certainly have to know the sports inside and out. We cater to the hardcore sports fan and our viewers are not forgiving when it comes to people not being 100 percent of the sports knowledge,” he said. “We’re looking for someone knowledgeable about sports, somebody who’s passionate about sports and someone who is going to give their own unique perspective on things.”
As for whether or not the local boys have cut the mustard, well that’s all up to the ingenuity they’ve shown in the audition tapes.
Gould and Schwartz both created their own creative trailers. While the ginger-haired Gould hammed things up with a little introduction to who he is and what he knows, his fellow midtowner went undercover, donning a hockey helmet and interviewing NHL players like Mark Messier, Alexander Ovechkin and even commissioner Gary Bettman.
“They were some very unique pieces,” Sansone said. “You got to see a side of them through both their on-air ability and their production value.
“That’s important for us because we’re looking for creative people.”
Perkins was a walk-on audition during The Score’s booth set-up at the Eaton Centre in May.
Still, the Bloor West Villager had the pizzazz to stay fresh in the Score’s mind.
“He had that kind of personality that would really engage our viewers,” Sansone said. “To me, Phil has a ton of potential.”
The fun begins when the gloves come off on-air Sept. 13, Sansone predicted.
“This whole process is people vying for a job. It’s a competition,” he said. “Right now, all the contestants are playing well with each other, but when the competition gets going I’m sure it will be very interesting to see how the dynamics change.”