‘Big Brother’ show holds auditions at Hilligan’s

Andrew Henderson

Latrobe, Pennsylvania native Terry Stackowicz owns of 80 acres of land in Morgantown for the purposes of hunting, recreation and some peace. He comes to Bowling Green about once a week and always makes it a point to go to Hilligan’s Bar & Grill, he said.

He appreciates the food, drink and atmosphere that Hilligan’s provides. What he didn’t necessarily appreciate were the hordes of people auditioning for Big Brother on Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m.

“You know I got my drink pretty quick, I put in a food order it’ll be 15 minutes, but there’s a lot more folks here certainly than normal,” Stackowicz said. 

Bowling Green CBS affiliate, WNKY, held a casting call for the television show Big Brother on April 23 at Hilligans. Julie Milam, General Sales Manager, said Bowling Green was selected as one of 14 markets in the United States to hold a live audition for Big Brother.

Bowling Green is the only city in Kentucky to host the show.

“We have people here tonight from Louisville, Cincinnati, Little Rock, people came last night and slept in their cars in the parking lot, so it’s been a really good reception,” Milam said. 

Milam said Big Brother is “like a human chess game” as houseguests are locked in a house with no access to the outside world for 90 days and left to their own devices to get other guests voted off the show. She said if someone from Bowling Green were to make it onto the program she would absolutely love to see that.

People came from all over for a chance at fame. Caleb Schweiger drove approximately six hours from Athens, Ohio for his chance to audition. He said Big Brother was the only reality television show he’s ever seen and has watched it since he was seven or eight years old.

Before his audition he said he was feeling confident.

“I legitimately think I have a chance to win this,” Schweiger said. 

Erin Corken, native of Cincinnati, Ohio, said before watching the show she didn’t realize people would lie just to get ahead in the world, and that this made her naïve. She said the show “changed my life” as it provided her with a new perspective of the world she hadn’t considered before.

“I think it was a disadvantage for me to be walking around the world going, ‘Hmm, everybody’s really nice,’” Corken said.

Bowling Green citizens also came out to audition. Willie Walcher, manager of the Bowling Green branch of Sun Tan City, said he thinks his audition went really well. Walcher is also a big fan of the show and he started out watching the show early, skipped a few seasons and then picked it back up again. He believes he would be a great contribution to the program.

“I’m such a diverse person, I’m non-judgmental and I can gain the trust of everyone, so I think I would be able to be in an alliance with everyone until the end,” Walcher said.

For WKU alumna Simone Payne, auditioning for Big Brother has always been on her bucket list. The Evansville, Indiana native thought she had a lot of support from the crowd and generally felt a good vibe for her audition.

“I just went in, did my thing and came out, “Payne said. 

She described the audition process as one with relative ease, requiring participants to fill out an application, wait for their provided number to be called and then answering questions. Payne said she believes her presence on the show would be of great contribution.

“I feel like I would contribute just the bomb personality. I told them in there, I was like, ‘I’m just too legit too quit,’” she said.

Current students of WKU were also found at Hilligans gearing up for auditions. Lexington junior Candice Wagner said she recently started watching the show within the last year and became hooked quickly. Wagner said she believes her audition went well as she showcased her peppy and energetic nature. 

She also thinks they liked her because her special talent included eating a 17-pound watermelon. 

“I would contribute peppiness, if they have watermelons I can eat them and I’m just a lot of fun and I would keep the liveliness in the house going,” Wagner said.