It’s hard work finding great candidates, even for Canada’s No. 1 makeover show, Style By Jury. That’s according to executive producer, Carolyn Meland, who says casting is one of the most challenging parts of the job.
“Great candidates are the heart and soul of any successful reality show,” she says. “Subtlety does not work on TV, so we look for big personalities with a distinct look and story to tell.”
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Since its launch in 2003, nearly 100 lucky people have experienced a Style By Jury makeover and in the process helped make the lifestyle reality show a huge ratings success for W Network. The premise of the show is simple: people make important judgments about us based on the first impression we make.
In Style By Jury, the potential makeover candidate is secretly viewed by a group of people, the “jurors,” who record their first impressions on videotape. Then, these comments are played back for the candidate, who is often shocked to discover she isn’t coming across the way she really wants to. While the jury’s opinions are sometimes uncomfortable to hear, it’s an important wake-up call that can help people get their lives back on track.
But the show is always about happy endings, and the candidates walk away with thousands of dollars in cosmetic procedures, including dental veneers, and looking better than they ever dreamed.
Scouts from Style By Jury scour the city seven days a week looking for candidates from all walks of life … students, doctors, single mothers, waitresses, airline pilots, journalists, dog walkers, bodybuilders, you name it.
“Even though the candidates get everything for free, it’s still incredibly tough finding the right people,” says executive producer, Jeff Preyra. “We get a lot of people who apply to the show thinking they need a makeover but they really don’t. We need men and women who have bad haircuts, terrible clothes, and neglected teeth … people whose lives and aspirations are hurt because they make a terrible first impression.”
If you’re interested in a free makeover (or know someone who desperately needs one), he suggests sending in several photographs along with a brief description about why you’d be a great candidate for a makeover, and especially how your looks are holding you back from getting what you want.
- Style By Jury airs on W Network weekdays at 12:30 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.