Crazy, random experience’ competing for love on farm

Alexandra Finkel

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Amanda Tudesco was eating lunch one day last May at Norris University Center when two talent agents approached her with an offer to try out for a new reality television show. A few months later, Tudesco, Communication ’08, was living on a farm, competing with nine other girls for the affection of a buff farmer.

Tudesco spent one month last summer on the set of “Farmer Wants a Wife,” a new reality TV show for The CW network, shown locally on WGN-Ch. 9. The show, which premieres April 30, follows 10 “city girls” competing to be the wife of a 29-year-old Missouri farmer.

Originally from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Tudesco was approached inside Norris last May by two women who identified themselves as casting agents for the show and asked if she would tape a short interview.

Thinking nothing would come of it, Tudesco agreed. But the 10-minute interview sparked countless callbacks, a trip to Los Angeles to meet with casting agents and eventually a month-long stint in Missouri last summer where the show was filmed – something she said was not prepared for.

“I actually had an internship lined up for that summer, so I had to cancel all my plans,” she said.

The opportunity to appear on the show was something Tudesco said she couldn’t turn down.

“I couldn’t walk away from it without wondering what it might have been like,” she said.

“Contestants on “Farmer Wants a Wife” compete in weekly challenges to prove their love for life in the country or “risk being sent back to the city,” according to the show’s Web site. Tudesco, who graduated in March, said she isn’t allowed to discuss the details of the show before episodes air.

Tudesco said she originally thought her appearance on the show might hinder her efforts to become an actress.

“Amanda Tudesco is beautiful, talented, charming, and the last person in the world I would imagine giving up a budding theatrical career for a life on a farm,” Linda Gates, head of voice in the Department of Theatre, wrote in an e-mail. “However, neither her reputation nor the school’s will be hurt by this program, in my opinion.”

Roommate Abby Lerner agreed and said she encouraged Tudesco to go on the show.

“We knew she was interested in acting and TV,” the Medill senior said. “Some people who have been on reality shows have broken into the field so we figured she should go for the opportunity and see what happens.”

Being filmed around the clock and living on a farm was a unique experience, Tudesco said.

“It was really strange being filmed 24/7, but eventually I got used to it,” she said.

Tudesco said she is happy with her choice and is confident she will be portrayed accurately on the show.

“I tried not to do anything I would regret,” she said. “I always had it in the back of my mind that my parents and grandparents would be watching it.”

Despite her “crazy, random experience” and regardless of the show’s final outcome, Tudesco said her reality show days are over.

alexfinkel@u.northwestern.edu

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