Chip McAllister and his wife, Kim, wanted a spot on "The Amazing Race." When the couple auditioned for the reality show in 2003, they dressed in funky costumes and pretended to travel from Australia to Hawaii. "It was the hokiest, craziest audition tape you could imagine," McAllister says.
It worked. The two landed on the show and even won the grand prize of $1 million. Now McAllister is the spokesperson for a site that will help other reality-TV wanna-bes make their dreams come true. RTVStar .com, which launches on Aug. 22, is like Friendster for people who want to connect with the next Richard Hatch. For an annual $24.99, members post their photos, fill out a questionnaire ("When was the last time you hit... something in anger?") and sit tight. The site then asks casting professionals--it's signed on 80--to comb through profiles and look for matches.
Which shows need the help? Founder Brian Ostrovsky says not everyone gets flooded with applicants like "American Idol." Just ask Marla Brodsky, the casting director of "Extreme Makeover," who's signed up. "A lot of our mail has stopped," she says, since "people don't think we're still on." The site's future offerings will play off the idea that getting onto a reality show is no different from applying to college. "I could see a scenario where someone would work with a consultant," Ostrovsky says.