Residents of New Haven will soon be able to watch one of their alderwomen find love on a Spanish-language dating show.
After making it through the local, regional and state auditions, Ward 16 Alderwoman Migdalia Castro — an American of Puerto Rican descent — will be the sole Northeastern bacholerette on the Spanish-language Telemundo dating show “12 Corazones.” Castro will be taking an expenses-paid flight to Los Angeles Tuesday to film the show, which will be broadcast sometime in April. She said that despite the show’s premise of finding love, she will not be too sad if she does not find Mr. Right. Castro said she was reluctant to audition at first, but her friends and family urged her to take a break.
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“As an alderman, people see you as an elected official. This is the time when you’re seen as a human being,” Castro said.
For Castro, TV show-love may be written in the stars.
Castro said the dating show selected contestants nationwide to represent each of the 12 zodiac signs — she’s a Taurus.
During the course of the show, a hostess places the men and women in potentially embarrassing scenarios, such as dancing or forced romantic questions, on the show’s studio set. Contestants are then voted off the show by other contestants based on how they deal with awkward situations. Castro said that in some versions of the show targeted at younger audiences, there are scenarios which include pole-dancing. Castro, who is a mother and grandmother, added that the show only requested one thing for her to pack: clubbing clothes.
“Ever since I knew I was selected, I’ve been looking for what to wear,” Castro said. “This will be very different, because I’m usually dressed conservative.”
Castro said her friend, an owner of the Four Roses restaurant in West Haven where the auditions were held, invited her and other friends to audition. She said she arrived after the auditions only to find that they were still open for a few minutes. As her first audition, Castro said she was asked to perform an imaginary commercial. Though she has never appeared on any show of this type before, she said that co-workers at the Hancock Pharmacy — where Castro is comminications manager — call her Lady Gaga for her theatrical personality. Her only other media exposure has been for political advertisements on the radio, for which she has lent her voice and Spanish-speaking ability.
“Whether I find a match or don’t … it doesn’t matter,” Castro said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Back at her job as an elected official, Castro is a member of the Finance and Education Committee and worked on a two-year project to create a commercial district on Grand Avenue that ended this year. Ward 15 Alderman Joseph Rodriguez, who most recently canvassed with her for the Grand Avenue project, said that he was surprised when Castro informed him of her television appearance after a community meeting two weeks ago.
“I didn’t hear her going through all the stages of applying; no one knew she actually applied,” he said.
Ward 7 Alderwoman Frances “Bitsie” Clark said that Castro, in addition to being very popular with her ward, is an emphatic and talented speaker. Clark said that last spring she watched Castro speak well past the allotted time at an event held by the Black and Hispanic Caucus.
“She’s a character,” Alderman Francis Clark said. “She speaks with great passion. She talks very softly, but with a breathy passion.”
Castro will return to New Haven on Friday to resume her aldermanic duties.