Audition Day 1: Friday, 16 January 2009. We were lining up out the front of the Perth Convention Centre from 7:30am. My son was with my beautiful next-door neighbour for the day.
Some people had been in line since before 6:30am. Keen as mustard. There were eskies, bags and boxes everywhere. I knew I was in for some stiff competition. Thankfully, my brother and good friend, Hayley, were there with me from the start [Hayley was at my place all perky and ready to go at 6:25am! Now there’s a true friend]. We met a few interesting people in line before the cameras started swooping.
I was interviewed then pressed to the front of the line, as a breastfeeding mother (there were two of us). This proved to be a real boon.
As we registered (~9am), we were told that Perth was the first city to be auditioned. We had only just settled ourselves into the holding room, when my name was called. I was part of Group 1! Envious eyes followed me out of the room.
I was the last person to have my dish on the table following plating time [no further details for now – other states still have to audition!], which made me the first person in Australia selected to introduce myself and my dish. We critiqued each others dishes and listened intently for our numbers as the producers announced those who had made it through to the next room.
The next room focused less on food and more on me. I was drilled about how I would handle moving on in the competition, given the fact I had a six-month old son. They questioned my commitment and passion, asked why I would want this when I love my current job.
Group 1 comprised ten interesting people from diverse backgrounds. Six of us made it through to the second audition – and five of the six made it through to Day 2. They were all gorgeous people and I look forward to catching up with them very soon.
Day 1 was, for me, a five-hour day (7:30am-12:30pm – not including prep/travel time). For some, it went until 8pm. We all had high hopes for a shorter Day 2.
Audition Day 2: Saturday, 17 January 2009. We arrived at 7:08am. I had a few more friends joining me, along with my son and partner – we left yesterday’s board games at home, having been told that Day 2 would move much faster.
And now we reach the point where a Confidentiality Agreement was signed. Sorry, folks. All will be revealed in good time.