Alex Joustra says he has been looking for love in all the wrong places — but he lives in the right town to change that.
Joustra, a 23-year-old bartender at The Station, auditioned Friday for “Lovetown, USA,” a reality dating show created by the BBC and the Oprah Winfrey network that might choose Carrboro as its setting.
He joined other residents Friday as the town held events to attract the production, including individual audition interviews with singles and a town photo shoot.
To bring “Lovetown, USA” to Carrboro, the town must prove it has the small-town feel and enthusiasm producers are looking for.
Joustra, who moved to Carrboro three year ago, said the town is filled with love and can win over the networks’ hearts.
“It has a lot of singles in town and a lot of young and diverse people,” he said.
More than 50 people showed up to interview and participate in a photo shoot organized at Carrboro Town Commons in hopes of proving they are the town with the most love.
Residents outlined the shape of a heart while dancing, chanting and twirling hula hoops. A fire truck elevated photographers to get the whole scene.
Annette Stone, Carrboro’s economic and community development director, said she was proud the community came out and participated.
“I am so excited and so appreciative of you,” Stone said. “If nothing else happens, it was still a fun day.”
Stone said she thinks the town might get a decision sometime in January.
The networks have not made an announcement about when they will be making a decision, said Richard Jaimeyfield, the owner of Dogwood Productions.
Jaimeyfield’s company coordinated the production for the application process.
Stone said if Carrboro is chosen, the show could benefit the town in more than one way.
“It can build a sense of community and it can bring national attention to Carrboro,” she said.
Stone said the show could bring visitors who might decide to establish a business.
“If this TV program picks us, think of the exposure we’re going to get,” she said.
Jeriann Cramer, a manager of Southern Rail and The Station, said her business hosted singles’ interviews Friday to help out with the town’s nomination.
“I think it would be very good for our business,” Cramer said. “It’s going to bring a lot of customers, plus I think we would make good reality TV.”
Stone said the networks contacted the town and expressed interest in making Carrboro a candidate.
“I can’t think of any other place that should be Lovetown, USA,” Stone said.
Sherry Calhoun, a casting producer for the BBC, said Carrboro’s charm caught the network’s attention.
“They have enthusiasm and spirit. There are a lot of fun, mostly young people ready for love,” she said. “They’ve done very well.”
Nick Mathis, an exercise and sport science graduate assistant and new resident who joined in the fun, said he auditioned because he was looking for love and enjoyed being an ambassador for his new home.
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