In order to compete on Total Drama Island, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, and Total Drama: Pahkitew Island, potential contestants have to send in audition tapes. They are first seen on Teletoon's official website the day after a new episode of Total Drama Island premieres, and shows the audition tape of the camper eliminated in that episode. All of them can now be seen on Cartoon Network's official website.
Each tape would be shown immediately after a contestant's elimination. Due to this, Gwen, Owen, Shawn, and Sky are the only contestants whose audition tapes have not been shown, due to neither actually being eliminated in Total Drama Island nor Total Drama: Pahkitew Island. Although, a clip from Sky's is shown in Lies, Cries and One Big Prize. Sierra, Blaineley, and Alejandro do not have an audition tape either, due to making their debut in Total Drama World Tour. However, Sierra she states she at least auditioned twice for Total Drama during the song Paris in the Springtime.
The audition tapes are shown in the season one DVD as an extra (called "cast interviews"). Chef Hatchet's, Izzy and Chris's, and Mr. Coconut's exclusive clips are also included in the set. Some auditions, such as Courtney's and Tyler's are left out for unknown reasons; possibly because they are already seen in TDI Rundown.
Amy states in her audition that she considers her twin sister Samey's audition tape to be "pathetic" and that she herself would be a better choice than her. She then affirms that she was born first, and that Samey has been lesser than her ever since. Finally, she ends by saying she is packed up and ready for a limo to take her to the show.
In her audition, Anne Maria states her name and states that she'd never watched "Total Drama Rama whatever", until her friends made her sit through "one of those singing episodes," and knew that the show "needed" her. She then starts to sing badly, and when she hits a high note, the camera lens cracks, ending the audition.
B's audition begins with him riding into a room on a mechanical chair. He presses a button and a hand appears from the chair, brushing his teeth, cleaning his shoes, and putting on his cap for him. He then tries to speak, but his mechanical robot comes in, asking him a question, which B seems to allow it to do. He then tries to speak again, but the battery in the camera dies, ending the tape before he can talk.
Beardo starts his audition by beat-boxing. He introduces himself and, in rhythm to the music, tells how he is pretty shy and that, until he warms up to people, he tends to speak through sound effects and ends up being bothersome. He hopes that if he's chosen that his team will be able to see past this and see what a great guy he really is.
For her audition, Beth performs a song about boys, but halfway through the song, her father asks her what's going on. She responds "Nothing," and tells the camera that she'll be a star. In TDI Rundown on Cartoon Network, the audition tape is shortened to just the singing, and at the end when she smiles, there is something green trapped in her teeth.
Brick starts his audition by stating his name in an orderly fashion and asks permission to explain why he would be a valuable asset to Total Drama. He then states he has sharp senses from years of training, he can take anything the show throws at him, and states that nothing gets past him (while the camera falls down without him noticing), and then walks off camera.
In her audition, her friends, mostly males, cheer her on while she attempts to whistle "Yankee Doodle" through her nose. After claiming she "sucks" at it, she then explains she is a good friend and will try her best and either win with integrity or leave with her head held high.
In Cameron's audition, he states that he is known as a "bubble boy," and that his mother was very overprotective of him while he was growing up. He then states that he had never even gone swimming before. He also states that until six hours before the audition, he has "never done anything before." Additionally, he stated that he is still a force to be reckoned with. A monarch butterfly then flies into the room, which fascinates Cameron. It lands on his head and proves to be very heavy for him as he falls down onto the couch. The audition then ends.
After checking to see if the camera is on, he goes over to an electric keyboard and does a horrible rendition of a rap song about girls. About midway through the song, Cody's father tells him to stop making such a racket (again.) He assures himself that his father doesn't seem to see his "talents." He says that he'll be a big star someday. Even bigger than someone, but the video ended before we could find out whom.
Courtney tells the camera that she is running for student council president. She promises to conduct herself with honor and integrity if she wins, and then accidentally mixes up her two speeches by promising to donate two new pop machines for the cafeteria. Then she says "oh", and a swear word and argues with the cameraman, Tom when he refuses to tape a re-do before telling him that he won't be her secretary if she wins class president. The audition ends when we see her face, and she says "Vote for Courtney!"
Dakota greets viewers by telling them hello and her name. She then states that she will one day be a reality show mega-star, fashion model, and award-winning movie actress. She then adds that she may also be a pop music star if she has the time. Then, she tells the viewer that they may want to preserve her audition for prosperity. The last thing she says is that when she is done on Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, she will be the "biggest thing ever," ending the audition.
Dave's audition takes place in his garage, where he enters from the left and messes up his introduction. He starts over but continues to fumble over his words and wishes he had written down what he wanted to say. He states that he would have, but the only available pen was chewed on, which grosses him out. Due to this, he walks off again and comes back with disinfectant, which he starts rubbing on himself, and comments that he would be a vicious, cold competitor that only cares about winning the money.
Dawn's audition begins with her greeting the "citizens of the universe." She then says her name and is recording this so she can participate in Total Drama: Revenge of the Island. A squirrel jumps on her hand, and she calls it a blessed little one. She says that, according to her tea leaves, Total Drama would make her a lot of money. Then she adds money isn't important to her, and that nature and her animal friends are, petting the squirrel. She says she will win Total Drama and donate her money to help Mother Earth. Suddenly an eagle swoops down on them, taking the squirrel, scaring her, which ends the audition.
DJ stands in his room, narrating reasons why he thinks he could win because he's kind, works well with others, strong and then says he was raised right by his mom, showing the camera a picture of her, explaining she is the reason he wants to win. He then cries about his mom and ends the video.
Duncan is seen talking about his qualities while climbing down the wall of the juvenile delinquency hall he was staying at, but he implies he lives in some sort of mansion. But as soon as he hits the ground, he gets hit by a search light, the alarm goes off and he says "bye" as he runs away from the guard dogs.
Ella starts by explaining how she loved Total Drama World Tour and how she memorized every song and performed them at her local mall in a one-person flash mob. She goes on to say that the security guard told her she has a beautiful voice and that she was banned from the mall. She sings the words "please pick me" which angers one of her neighbors because of the thin walls in her apartment. She ends the audition by apologizing to her neighbor.
The scene cuts to Eva as she finishes the last four of sixty chin-ups. Upon getting down from the rail, she goes on to explain that she's the only girl in her school who can do more than ten of them. Because of which, she tells them that she can handle anything that the producers throw at her, to which, appropriately enough, someone throws a basketball at her. She responds by chasing down the unlucky gym-goer and beating them up. Cutting to later that day, she tells them to pick her because she says that she's a really strong contestant who gets along with everyone, which she doesn't. She then asks the camera guy to edit the tape; the camera shakes up and down, meaning "yes," and she says "Awesome, thanks," ending the audition.
After confirming that the camera's rolling, Ezekiel tells it that he's going to shoot a moose with an arrow. He plays the kazoo, and hears a rustling in a nearby bush. He takes out a bow and arrow, and, without aiming, shoots one arrow with a satisfied look on his face. He then hears a woman screaming and rushes in horror to help her. Apparently, he had just realized that he'd accidentally shot his mother.
In his audition tape, Geoff is relaxing in a beach chair, with a drink next to him. Geoff is at a "typical weeknight" party with a couple hundred of friends and about seventy pizzas. Geoff then lets out a cheer and high-fives one of his friends. Geoff then goes on to say that life is over very quickly and that if you don't have a party every day of the week, you're going to regret it. Geoff then adds "peace, chill out, party," and puts his hat over his head as he lays back on his beach chair to relax once again.
In his audition tape, Harold is standing in his room wearing a possum scout uniform. He then goes on to talk about the badges he has earned, such as bass fishing, basketry, model making, rabbit raising, and stamp collecting. Harold then says that he has a master badge in compass reading and exhales deeply. He then pulls out his keyboard and starts to play it, but it falls over. The screen then has static and fades to black, ending the video with only Harold's wheezing being heard. In the TDI Rundown, the wheezing scene is cut.
Heather walks out of the shower with nothing on, but a purple towel, and a second one on her head, and starts talking about how she will not be nervous if she was on national TV. She also talks about how she looks prettier than other girls, and she adds that if they choose her, she promises high ratings. She then throws off her towel, off-screen.
Unlike the other campers, Izzy has two audition tapes. In the first one, she stated three talents she has while hanging upside down. Rolling her eyes up in her head, double-jointing her elbows, and wrapping her tongue around her head, where the camera falls over. In the end, her mother calls her and she yells back at her.
In her second audition tape, she explains to the camera some things that she feels they should know about her. She claims that she's loyal, intelligent (she claims to be a certified genius), and that she can masterfully twirl fire batons (which explains the parade outfit she has on). She eventually sets off the sprinkler system and apapologizes to her mother.
Jasmine is seen in her room where she describes some interesting facts about her home country, Australia. She explains that is home to eleven of the world's deadliest creatures, and that toilets do not flush backwards. She is satisfied that she's covered everything, but then her pet cat Whiskers jumps onto her shoulder. Jasmine introduces her cat, before it bites her, causing her to fall over. However, she dismisses it as Whiskers being playful.
Jo begins the audition by greeting Total Drama producers. She claims she should be chosen because she is the best, the strongest, the smartest, and, by extension, the meanest; she also claims that she will win the $1,000,000, but then states that the money should be handed over to her right away because no one can possibly be better than her. She then ends the audition saying "That is all."
In an eleven second, black and white video of him on the beach holding a washed up starfish, letting the water drip on him, while a dolphin washes up on shore as well. All the while, a deep voice repeats his name three times.
This audition is shown in two parts, one for each of them. In Katie's part, they are shown dancing to '80s techno music (the same music heard in Not Quite Famous). Things go well until Katie spins a too fast towards the camera, resulting in accidentally knocking it down. The music goes out at this point (as does Katie.) In Sadie's part, the music starts back up, and Sadie picks the camera back up. She and Katie (who, by now, has regained consciousness) do a mock pillow fight. Katie knocks Sadie lightly, and they share a laugh. Sadie accidentally knocks Katie unconscious again, and she realizes what she had done and turns off the camera.
Leonard talks about how he'd be a good contestant because he has taken down vampires and demons from other dimensions. He is interrupted by a call from his friend Timmy, and tells him how he can't come over because he's making a video, his unicycle was stolen, and he can't walk because it's raining and his cape is made of paper.
Leshawna talks about all of her strengths in her audition, saying that she would be perfect for the show. She is then seen holding onto her cell phone waiting for the Total Drama Island producers to give her a call, after listing why they should pick her. When they don't call immediately, she yells that she doesn't have all day to wait on them.
Lightning is sitting on a punching bag in a football field. He says that Chris should have let him be a team of one, and that he's used to carrying his teams back home, but that they know how to play the game. He then says that his fellow contestants will be "a bunch of losers" and that if Chris is trying to make him look bad, he can think again. He says he never gives up or surrenders, and ends his tape saying "Sha-Lightning!"
Lindsay is sitting on her bed with her dog, listing all of her qualities and talents. She says she's pretty, smart, and she gets along with everyone, even ugly girls. She admits she loves camping even though she's never gone. She has bikinis for every season, even the ones not listed on the calendar. She also says she's "Bi-languagal" (bilingual) and claims to speak fluently in both English and American, and doesn't realize that "American" isn't a language.
Max, in his room, says how being on Total Drama is a good first step to taking over the world, along with meeting new people since he doesn't get out much. He warns the producers that he is more evil than anything the show has ever seen, and that there should be a new word to describe how evil he is. He comments on how he hasn't had time to create this new word because of his babysitting and french horn lessons.
Mike's audition takes place in what appears to be his room. He lists his talents, saying he's agile, graceful, tough and scrappy, "with the keen senses of a wilderness survivor," which hints at some of his alternate personalities. He then states that he's ready to "win this season," and doesn't care what his doctor says. He quickly tries to cover it up, but he accidentally says that he meant psychiatrist. He then panics and goes to turn off the camera, but trips and knocks the camera over, ending the tape.
In his audition, Noah introduces himself, saying that although the viewer doesn't know him yet, they soon will and that he has a plan. His explanation is interrupted when a classmate of his, Joey, congratulates Noah on winning class president, telling him that he deserves it. Noah seems annoyed at the interruption at first, but smiles and thanks him before turning back towards the camera and saying that intelligence is what wins in the end, ending his audition by re-assuring the viewer that he's "got this one in the bag."
Rodney begins by telling how if he is chosen, he will be leaving behind a special girl, who he hasn't actually talked to, but feels it was love at first sight. He then begins to list off other girls he'd be leaving behind which seems to be a great number. He feels they will be worried about him meeting another girl on the show, but figures there is a low chance of that happening.
He says he has a strict morning routine, which is warming up with a little bit of 'game blob', then hit it hard. He then cheers and says he got the sorcerer's medallion, and punched out the ninja overlord. The power suddenly goes out, and he says that he's blown a fuse again, laughing and saying "That's cool." sarcastically.
Samey starts by quickly saying her name is pronounced "Sammy" and not "Samey". She becomes nervous that saying this implies that someone pronounces her name "Samey" and quickly denies it. She also denies having a sister, and assures that she is a confident person because of it. From another room, Amy yells at her and refers to her as "Samey". Due to this, she quickly ends the audition and tells the producers to pick her for the show.
Scarlett is sitting in what appears to be a laboratory, full of test-tubes, flasks, and Bunsen burners. She explains that her parents named her "Scarlett" deriving it from a surname with an occupational meaning: someone who sells cloth. However. she states that she has higher expectations for her career, and that if she won the million dollars it would ensure that she could attend a university of her choice. She also states her belief that Total Drama's popularity is responsible for today's troubled youth. She thanks the selection committee for their time before ending the video.
In the audition, Scott shows how his father (whom he refers to as "Pappy") taught him to kill kitchen rats. Then, a rat appears and Scott gets a baseball bat to hit him, rhetorically asking if Chris liked his moves at that moment. Scott fails two of his three attempts, but in the end, he manages to hit the rat.
Though Sierra's audition tape has never been released, she states she at least auditioned twice for Total Drama during the song Paris in the Springtime.
Although Sky's full audition was unseen, Chris shows part of it in Lies, Cries and One Big Prize. In it, she introduces herself and that she will miss her boyfriend Keith if she is chosen to participate on the show, while Keith was filming the tape.
In the audition, Staci starts by claiming that she will win Total Drama: Revenge of the Island because she came from a long line of people who think outside of the box (obviously a lie). She then points, with a stick, to a board that has pictures and text about her relatives. She then states the many relatives' inventions, such as forks, invented by her great grandfather Dave; plates, invented by her great great aunt Lois, and floors, invented by her great, great, great uncle George. She also explains how people managed to do things before these inventions were created. In the end, Staci tells that she is very excited about telling everyone about her family and that she knows they will be impressed.
Sugar, on her farm, comments on how she's been on TV before. The camera then cuts to Sugar's appearance in a commercial for Darwin's Food Safari, where she is dressed up as a cow, singing. She momentarily mixes up a line, then falls forward onto her face, commenting on how she "nailed it," and farts afterwards.
In his audition, Topher is in a room with his cat, named after Chef, and a picture of Chris McLean on the wall. He says how people keep telling him he looks like a younger Chris, and how he nicknamed himself Chris 2.0. He yells into a megaphone in an attempt to mimic Chris, which frightens Chef the cat. He then states how he doesn't care about the money and that he just wants a chance to introduce the show like Chris. Chef the Cat then attacks Topher, ending the audition.
In his audition, Trent sings a song about "that one girl," while playing the guitar in a recording studio. Trent later says "Aw, crap" after a string breaks, which is unedited in Cartoon Network's TDI Rundown.
Standing on a football field, he explains to the producers that the thing that they need on the show is a real athlete, and that he's their man. He then proceeds to show them some of his "athletic skills." First, he tries to throw a football, but trips over his duffel bag. Next, he tries to do a high dive into a pool, and belly flops. Finally, he tries to do a slam dunk, but instead, he hits the pole and the basketball lands on his head.
Zoey's audition tape begins in her room. She says she wants to join Total Drama because she wants to hang out with other teens her age outside of her small town, go to indie theaters, and wear horn-rimmed glasses. A loud cheering noise and the honking of a car is heard, and Zoey sighs and explains that every Saturday night, the jocks drive up and down Main Street cheering for the football team. She ends with saying that if she were to get on the show, her worst nightmare would be getting voted off by a jock, but she then laughs and says what are the chances of that.
- Alejandro, Blaineley, Gwen, Owen, Shawn, and Sierra are currently the only contestants not to have audition tapes.
- In the cases of Blaineley, and Alejandro, they did not audition for the show and had joined the show by other means. While Sierra joined the show in a similar way, she has mentioned that she auditioned twice.
- As confirmed by Julie Giles, Shawn does not have an audition tape.
- Both Cameron's and Lightning's auditions were recycled from confessionals later in Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er! and Truth or Laser Shark.
- Bridgette's, Geoff's, and Justin's audition tapes all take place on a beach.
- The music playing in Justin's audition tape is the same one playing during Gwen's New Age music challenge in No Pain, No Game.
- Jasmine's, Lindsay's, Topher's, and Zoey's audition tapes all feature pets.
- Tyler's, Justin's, Max's, Ella's, and Jasmine's audition tapes all feature music playing in the background.
- Class president candidacy is mentioned in both Courtney's and Noah's auditions.
- Dakota's audition seems to take place in the Celebrity Manhunt studio.
- In his audition tape, DJ shows the audience a picture of his mother; her appearance differs greatly from how she appears in The Sand Witch Project onwards.
- In Leshawna's exclusive video message from home, her friend Jasmine auditions for the second season.
- Izzy is the only contestant to have two different audition tapes.
- Scott's house resembles the house used as a nuclear test site that Geoff's rescue party stumble across in Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special.
- Several of the audition tapes foreshadow many later story elements:
- Dakota's vow to be the "biggest thing ever".
- Mike's audition hints at him having multiple personalities.
- Rodney foreshadows him falling in love with a girl on the island.
- Scarlett hints she may not truly be as she appears in the form of a globe stabbed with a meat cleaver and knife.
- Zoey's audition mentions a fear of being eliminated by a jock.
- The football field in Lightning's audition is similar to the movie set in Million Dollar Babies.
- Samey has a second place ribbon in her room during her audition, which alludes to her being "second" to Amy.
- In Mike's audition tape, there are several awards hung in his room, probably won by Svetlana for ballet or gymnastics.
- Almost all of the contestants who sing in their audition get interrupted at some point, be it by an event or another person:
- Amy's, Katie's, Sadie's, and Samey's audition tapes are the only ones to feature/reference another contestant.
- Sky's audition tape is the only one to be seen during the competition, as well as the only one to be revealed that is not seen in its entirety.
- Anne Maria misnames the show as "Total Drama Rama whatever" in her audition tape. The name is eventually used for a spin-off series.
- A poster in the backgrounds of Mike's and Jasmine's auditions is of Ayers' Rock, which is seen at the beginning of the Australia montage in Shear the Sheep.
- Cody's audition tape features pictures of celebrities Elton John and the Farrah Fawcett in the background.
- The name of the restaurant that Sugar advertises for is called Darwin's Food Safari which may be a reference to Charles Darwin.
- This restaurant's food was the intended prize for This Is The Pits! until Chris decided to destroy dinner out of anger of all the teams ignoring the challenge.
- In Ella's audition, a man referred to as Mr. McGillis is heard yelling at Ella through the wall, a reference to the show co-creator Tom McGillis.
- In Izzy's first audition tape, her wristband is missing when she double joints her arms.
- Although Cameron pronounces danaus plexippus as "duh-nay-is plex-ip-is" in his audition tape, it is actually pronounced "dan-ay-is plex-ip-is".
- Geoff is seen without his bracelet in his audition.
- In Scarlett's audition, the top left row of her periodic table has two element squares rather than the usual one.
- In Sadie's audition, a part of her cleavage is missing when she is fixing her camera.
- In Amy's audition, her mole disappears just before she stands up.