Check out our Bad Boy Films section for more posts about Bad Boy Films.
Anthony Violante, who works in New Media Marketing at Bad Boy, agreed to write, exclusively for Bad Boy Blog, about his experience attending the Orlando casting call for Making the Band 4. We saw parts of this casting call in the first episode.

Hello everyone! My name is Anthony Violante and I work in the New Media Marketing department (online promo to make it simple) for Bad Boy Entertainment. Patrick had suggested that I share the experience I had attending a Making The Band 4 casting call, so here it goes. On January 23, 2007, I had the privilege of attending the Making The Band 4 casting call here in my hometown of Orlando, Florida.

Let me first say that I am not new to Making The Band. I actually used to work at Transcontinental Studios, home of the very first Making The Band with O-Town. But, for weeks before the Orlando auditions, I had been working with some of the ladies from MTV casting who were great enough to let me join them and be a part of the team for a day.

It was "Day 2" as they like to call it. The group of contestants had been cut down by then to about 30-35 I'd say. After a hour long of trouble trying to get in, I finally hooked up with one of my MTV contacts and she escorted me inside and off to a roped off section on the side where MTV personnel, artist assistants, etc. were all hanging out. As I walked in, the boys were in the middle of learning dance steps by a very intense Laurie Ann Gibson. Now this was the first time I'd seen her in person. She looks great, by the way!

Anyways, I then was introduced to some other MTV casting workers - some high ranking, some just assistants - but everyone was really nice and very friendly. I sat with Susan, the MTV casting director right across from the side of the judges table which consisted of Slam (Bad Boy A&R), Laurie Ann Gibson (choreographer), Ankh Ra (vocal coach), Michael Bivens (New Edition) and Joe (R&B singer). I have to admit the first two things that hit me were seeing Joe and Michael Bivens in person.

So, there we were for a few hours with them breaking down each contestant. The day seemed to concentrate on dancing, so I assume Day 1 was the singing portion. Dan Sky was the first kid I took notice of, the minute I sat down and watched all the contestants on the dance floor at once learning steps they would have to do on their own soon. Dan was really killing it. Laurie took notice and, as you saw on the show, was very proud of him. As the dancing part was wrapping up, it was getting a little late in the day and the judges announced that each contestant would come up one by one to sing one last time.

Some were good, some just OK. I noticed Dan had a great voice, I really felt like he had it - the voice, the dancing - he just needed to work on his image a little. Another kid that caught my eye was J Rome. This kid can really really sing! We'll have to wait and see if he can put it all together to make this

And the highlight of the day had to have been Julius. He is a very small guy; almost looks like a little kid, but it was his turn to sing and he was having trouble with the lyrics to the songs that the judges had chosen for them to sing. After starting and stopping about twice, I started to notice that the judges and, in the very background, the other contestants really seemed to be pulling for him. Everyone from the contestants, judges and MTV staff were all clapping and rooting for him to dust it off and try again.

He explained how he was the son of a pastor and is only used to singing in church and isn't too sure of the lyrics of these songs. I remember them telling him to go in the back and wait, as the judges all took a break (they seemed to take a lot of breaks, for which I don't blame them). When they returned, they ended up around the table going over everyone's papers.

Then the paper for Julius came up and everyone seemed to disagree. Slam seemed to want him; Michael, Joe and Ankh seemed to be 50/50 and Laurie who, in her heart, loved him; did not want him to go before Diddy. It got pretty heated as Laurie kept arguing with the other judges about how she wanted to "save him" from getting his heart broken because she was sure that Diddy would say no to him. Probably hearing them arguing about him, Julius popped his head from around the corner which must of caught Laurie's eye because the next thing I know, Laurie stands up and is pointing at Julius. "Julius... come here!", she yelled.

Poor Julius who, like I said, looked like a scared little kid, with the spotlight on him, with all the judges watching... I can't remember the exact words but Laurie said something along the lines of "If you want this, Julius, your gonna have to show us, because I'm not gonna give you false hope and have you be crushed by Diddy." It didn't look good for him. She yelled that if he knew a song - any song - he had to sing it now. He nodded in agreement.

The place went quiet and Julius began to sing. Now, at first, he was singing low. But, then really put his heart into this song - you could tell this song was coming from his heart. I don't know the name of the song, but whatever it was - he killed it! The whole place was crying and, when he got done, Laurie, the judges, MTV staff and everyone else erupted in applause. It was a really amazing moment and I remember thinking "Wow, this is gonna look great on the show!"

The judges and contestants all came out to hug Julius and, from then on, I really was rooting for him. As the night wrapped up, they called out Dan Sky, Julius, J Rome and Chris to tell them they had made it to New York. Of course, they went crazy, hugging each other, hugging the judges - it was really an amazing thing to see. The MTV staff started to wrap up the set and the judges, who seemed tired, were ready to go as well. I remember taking the time to say hi to Joe, Slam and Laurie Ann who was very sweet.

I thanked all the MTV staff members who were so nice and helpful to me that day and, as I walked out of Club Paris down a couple blocks down town to my car, I kept thinking about all the amazing things I got to see that day, the people I met... I started to think about Julius and how emotional that must have been for him and I started to think maybe Laurie Ann was right. What if he gets all the way to one of the final cuts in New York and Diddy votes him off? That would crush his heart even more. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I don't think I'll ever forget that day, though!

Diddy sent an e-mail out to everyone at Bad Boy last week about how proud he was of the show. He said he had seen the first two episodes, he was "blown away" and he really loves it. So, it looks like it's going to be an interesting season. From what I understand, the final cuts are live, so we'll all have to wait to find out who makes it and who doesn't! I hope you enjoyed hearing my experience! Don't forget to check out the Making the Band 4 and Diddy MySpaces and make sure you watch every Monday at 10:00 PM ET on MTV. It's gonna get crazy!

Thanks Anthony for sharing this!