Bravo Offers Unique Opportunity To Join a Virtual ‘Watch What Happens Live’ Audience
Bravo posted a call to “die-hard” fans. “Calling all Bravoholics,” the network shared on a number of social media platforms, including Twitter. “We’re looking for the biggest, most die-hard Bravo fans to be part of our virtual WWHL audience.” Contestants are urged to share their contact information via email, plus why they should be chosen to be in the audience.
Like with the live audience, viewers must be at least 21 years old to be considered. Submissions are being accepted on an ongoing basis.
Will ‘WWHL’ transition back to the studio?
Host Andy Cohen quickly shifted to hosting the talk show from his home when the pandemic struck in March. The show briefly went dark when Cohen was diagnosed with COVID-19. But he quickly recovered and resumed both his Bravo talk show and Sirius XM radio show.
Cohen has also hosted a number of show reunions virtually too. However, The Real Housewives of New York City reunion was shot in-person and socially distanced. The first in-person reunion since March will air in three parts beginning Thursday, September 10.
So does the call for a virtual audience mean Cohen will be shooting in the studio? Possibly. A number of productions have returned to the studio, but without a live audience. Several late-night hosts have either returned to the studio or are planning to begin the fall season from the studio instead of shooting from home. Also, Saturday Night Live is scheduled to return to the studio in some capacity too.
Bravo has yet to make a formal announcement that the series will return to the New York studio.
A virtual audience may be the only way ‘WWHL’ can work
Part of the magic of WWHL is the intimate audience. Less than 30 people make up the live audience each night and the studio is no bigger than a large living room. Audience seats are packed tightly together, leaving nearly no opportunities for social distancing.
Audience members must either be personally invited to attend the show or tickets can be won via auction. Websites like Charity Buzz often had tickets for auction, usually going for thousands of dollars. Otherwise, some audience members are invited by Cohen during chance encounters in airports. Or some people are invited because they have connections to the WWHL staff.
Part of the in-person experience is the hour leading up to the show itself. In typical party fashion, WWHL hosts a small cocktail party before the show begins. Audience members can belly up to the bar for a few pre-show cocktails and strike up a conversation with a fellow Bravo fan. The bar area also features a large, life-sized Andy Cohen cut out and most people take a photo with the cut-out before heading into the studio.
Also, Cohen interacts with the audience during commercial breaks during the live show. He speaks with the audience members and is usually open to taking photos with some of the audience after the show is over.