Miami University senior Dave D’Amore never considered a career in broadcast journalism-until he became one of 12 finalists for the Gillette Rookie Reporter Showdown.
D’Amore said he signed up for the contest at a Cleveland Indians game with his friend.
The contest began earlier in the summer with auditions at 12 participating Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums.
“I thought I had just as good a chance as anyone else,” D’Amore said. “I read some lines on camera and didn’t think anything of it.”
According to junior Tim Lohn, who went with D’Amore to the game, D’Amore was just the kind of person to enter a contest like this.
“He’s a fun-loving kind of guy,” Lohn said. “You get him talking about Cleveland sports and you can’t shut him up. I’ve had three classes with him so far. He’s always answering questions in class. He was great for this kind of thing.”
D’Amore said intimidation from other contestants was a big factor in the judging process. “One guy was a broadcast journalism major,” D’Amore said. “I was the one here on a fluke. I knew he had to have more experience than me.”
After a few weeks, Gillette representatives asked him to come back for a more difficult round of auditioning.
“That was the hardest part-memorizing lines while two models were rubbing my face and running fingers through my hair, it was pretty difficult,” he said.
Once the footage had been taken of all contestants, the videos were posted online for the public to vote on.
D’Amore thanks his friends and family for helping him in the contest.
“I’m just lucky to have really great friends who voted all the time, including my mom and sister,” he said.
Although he had help from those closest to him, it wasn’t enough to claim the grand prize: two tickets to a 2008 World Series game of their choice and the chance to interview one current or former baseball player or coach on MLB.com.
“I just kept thinking; I’m an accounting major, I don’t have any business doing this,” D’Amore said. “But it did make me more interested in the field.”
On Tuesday, D’Amore was notified that he had not won, yet is still proud that he had the opportunity.
“It was all really interesting,” he said. “It’d be a great dream job to have, but it just takes so much work and you really need a lot of experience.”
The final winner of the contest has not yet been announced.
For D’Amore though, even being a finalist in the contest could have been a life-changing experience.
“I’d love to pursue something like this as a career, it really opened my eyes to how much effort it takes,” he said.