What really goes on behind the scenes of the longest running reality television series ever? What really happens when people stop being polite and start getting real? Take a look at some of the behind the scenes stuff and memorable seasons of MTV’s The Real World.
The Real World is a reality television series that began in 1992 and is currently going strong today. Many of us grew up watching episodes of The Real World and saw lots of the memorable moments that occurred on the show. You all remember the funny moments, the romance, and of course, the feuds! If you have ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes of the show, then look no further than this article. We will also take a look at some of the most memorable seasons.
The Real World Is The Longest Running Reality Television Series To Date
The producers of The Real World probably did not realize that the show’s popularity would last after the first season. The first season, which premiered in 1992, was just a test to see if the show would actually work. Putting strangers together in a house and seeing how they would get along with each other was risky. You had people of different backgrounds and different views living together, which could have been a powder keg within itself.
The show turned out to be a success after the first season despite some of the conflicts that occur on the show. The Real World is the longest running reality television show to date, and it is still running today.
The More Diverse The Show, The Better
The whole premise of The Real World is to bring people of different backgrounds together. The whole idea of the series is to show how people would get along with folks of different backgrounds and to see how people would react. The producers try to find diversity in whatever they can find it in. This does not just include a diverse racial background or sexual preference.
The diversity that the producers want is diversity in religion, politics, and various life experiences. The show has had a slew of very different people, including a comic book artist, comedian, a country singer, a bike messenger, and the like.
Videotaping Daily Lives Was A First On This Show, Or Was It?
Some may think that The Real World was the first reality television series to feature a group of people of different backgrounds co-existing with each other and being documented on film while they live with each other. We all know that the show possibly influenced several other producers to make similar shows like this, one being The Bad Girls Club which is almost entirely about fighting and drama among girls.
As with many television series, The Real World was taken from another idea that had already been implemented by PBS. In the 1970s, a show An American Family documented the lives of the Loud family. The show even featured a gay family member for the first time, which was very taboo at that time.
Is the Real World Really Real?
Nothing is as it seems it seems on television. Many wonder about reality television. Is reality television “real?” As the show suggest it is about people being real. You have heard the promos for the show if you had a chance to watch the show in its beginning stages. A lot of the promos caught on and made the show even more of a success.
As with most shows, The Real World began as a scripted program which was supposed to be like a soap opera, but creators Jonathan Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim wanted to use real people and no scripts to get the real feeling of emotions from the cast.
The Real World Has Deep-Reaching Messages For Their Audience
There is a much deeper meaning to The Real World. Aside from the romances and the drama, there are some seasons that included a very deep message that affected millions of viewers. The whole concept of a real message on the show occurred years ago on a very touchy topic that occurred during one season in particular.
Perhaps the one season that stood out among all other seasons was Season 3. The Real World San Francisco featured a man by the name of Pedro Zamora who had full-blown AIDS. Pedro was on the show educating the audience about AIDS and HIV. The last episode of the San Francisco season gave tribute to Zamora, as he passed away during the last show of the San Francisco season.
Don’t Just Sit Around, Get a Job!
The Real World catered to the high school and college audience. Most of the people on the show were in their late teens or either their early 20s. These folks were either in college or they just got out of college. These young folks are given a very nice house to live in, and so it is only natural for them to get a job.
In the first few seasons of the show, the cast had several different jobs. As the show progressed, the creators did not want some tedious jobs to occupy the show. They came up with the idea of letting them work on group projects. Now they had more drama to build upon with these group projects and the show became even more interesting. Some people carried their weight and some did not. This was another twist in the show’s plot that made for great television.
Do You Want to Watch More Than Just the Real World?
Some folks perhaps got a little bored about just seeing episode after episode of The Real World and perhaps needed something a little bit more. The producers of the show probably realized this after the first few seasons of the show. How did they remedy this situation? The producer started to make spinoff shows based on The Real World.
Spinoffs are used to keep interest and to further the whole reality thing. There is another show that was created a few years after The Real World called Road Rules. It had essentially the same elements of The Real World, only the cast was on the road instead of a house. There were also more spinoffs such as The Challenge which paired the cast members from both shows together and made them compete for prizes. Some other shows would later follow this idea such as The Amazing Race and Survivor.
Get The Money While You Can
In addition to getting a job on the show, have you wondered how the cast gets money? Have you wondered if they are just catered to day and night when the cameras are not rolling? Many people, including myself, have pondered on these types of questions. These folks are on television for all of the world to see and do they get anything for it?
You may be surprised on the amount that the cast gets on the show. They get an abundant amount of $300 a week. Okay, that is not an abundance of money, but they do get to stay in a house for several months, a nice house at that. They also get paid $2,500 to do reunion shows as well.
What Does The Real World Contract Include?
Before any cast member begins to lodge in those nice houses, they must must sign a contract. What is in the contract, you ask?
You may be surprised about the type of stipulations that are included in the contract. Here are some of the requirements from an actual Real World cast contract:
1. I represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, I do not currently have any sexually transmitted disease. However, I acknowledge and agree that other participants in the Program may have one or more sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases. Honey we all agree.
2. Participant further understands and acknowledges that neither Producer nor any other party has represented to Participant that any other participant is or will be free of HIV, herpes, hepatitis or any other sexual transmitted disease.
3. In the event I do become pregnant during the Program, Producer shall have the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to terminate me from further participation in the Program. Unless you are 16 and pregnant, MTV will be unable to market you.
4. I waive the exercise of any moral rights and droit moral and any analogous rights however denominated in any jurisdiction of the world.
5. Producer may depict, portray me and my Life Story either accurately or with such liberties and modifications as Producer determines necessary or desirable in its sole discretion for the purposes of fictionalization, dramatization or any other purposes, including without limitation to achieve a humorous or satirical effect, and by means of actors who may or may not resemble me.
What Is up with the Confessional Room?
If this is reality television, why does a show need a confessional room? Inquiring minds would like to know the answer to this question. To many people the confessional room may take away from the reality aspect of the show.
The whole concept for the confession room is to expand the editor’s work. When you deal with scripted material, everything is predetermined and the direction can go either way. You are left with a lot of reels that must be converted into something compelling. The confession room pieces together ”gaps” and allows for the storylines to flow more smoothly and makes the drama more interesting. The Real World became a forerunner in starting the whole confession room concept for other reality shows to follow.
When Does The Cast Have To Spend Money?
Along with the cast members doing team work and having jobs and that lovely chuck of change that they make, the $300 a week allowance, the cast has to spend money on certain unforeseen events.
What happens if a cast member has to all of a sudden leave the show for a while? What if there is a family emergency that occurs during the filming of a particular season and a person must absolutely leave reality television land and go back to the real world for a week or two? These types of cost come from the cast’s pockets and not from the show’s pockets. Travel expenses in this case are paid by the cast member themselves. There is also a clause in the contract that says the cast member must reimburse the team for long distance phone calls when a season ends as well.
Who Is The Most Successful Real World Cast Member?
There have been many individuals who have gone on to do great things after appearing on The Real World. Perhaps the first person to have at taste of success was Eric Neis from Season 1. There have been other individuals who have had their share of the reality success pie as well, such as Tammy Roman of Season 2, Sean Duffy from Season 6 who is a politician and lawyer, and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin” who is the current WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Many people consider Jacinda Barrett of Season 4 to be the most successful cast member. Jacinda went on to become an actress who has played in such works as The Human Stain, The Namesake, and other films. She appears in the Netflix series Bloodline.
Real World Season 8: Hawaii
The start of The Real World: Hawaii began like no other show before it or maybe none of the seasons afterwards. Some of the cast members introduced themselves, and very shortly thereafter stripped naked and jumped into a pool. As the other cast members arrived to meet their new cast mates, they got a glimpse of their cast members in the buff. This may have been a first in any reality television series.
There was a more serious issue that arose with a cast member by the name of Ruthie Alcaide. Ruthie’s alcohol addiction was at the center of Season 8, and it caused a lot of problems with most of the cast members. One incident was so bad that the producers had to step in and prevent Ruthie from driving intoxicated.
Real World Season 7: Seattle
Season 7 of The Real World was situated at Pier 70 in Seattle, Washington. There was a first in this season too. Cast mates Nathan Blackburn and David Burns knew each other previously. They both attended Virginia Military Institute and were friends before the season began. The promo for Season 7 says “Seven people picked to live in a house..” instead of “Seven strangers picked to live in a house..” because of Nathan and David.
This season was known for a serious subject, as roommate Lindsay Brien had a friend who committed suicide while the season was in production. There were other happenings that occurred which included one of the staff being fired because David Burns was not permitted to date any of The Real World staff members. The most memorable moment was when Stephen Williams got upset at Irene McGee because of a sexual reference. He gave her a slap on the forehead as she was leaving the show. It was dubbed the slap heard around the world at that time.
Real World Season 3: San Francisco
The Real World: San Francisco is the most memorable season of all because it dealt with the taboo subject of AIDS and homosexuality during this season. Pedro Zamora was a cast member who had the AIDS virus and stayed with the cast until he got very sick and had to leave. MTV pushed the controversial topics of homosexuality and AIDS on a few episodes to let the public know that this was something that needed to be discussed. There was another cast member who was also very memorable who complicated most of the season due to his eccentric behavior.
David “Puck” Rainey is one of the most recognizable cast members because of his filthy habits and rude attitude towards Pedro Zamora. Puck always had to be the center of attention, even stealing the spotlight from Puck. He was eventually voted out of the house because the cast could no longer deal with him.
Real World Season 13: Paris
The cast of Season 13 spent their lives in the Chateau, which was constructed in the 1800s. Paris is known to be the city of love, but there was no love lost on some cast members. The cast got a job and had to work as a group for a travel guide company called Frommer’s. They had to write reviews every week on attractions around the city. Sometimes working in a group does not go as planned, and such was the case with some of the cast members of this season.
Some of the drama included two cast members, Chris “C.T.” Tamburello and Leah Gillingwater, submitting fake reviews. C.T. really stood out as a hot-head, especially when he got into a fight with someone outside of a bar, and then was calmed down by Adam King, in which he then started attacking Adam for no reason at all.
Real World Season 19: Sydney
The 19th season of The Real World took place in Sydney, Australia. During this season the cast worked for Contiki Tours, a vacation travel packaging business in Sydney.
As with all of the seasons, there were memorable moments that were talked about and watched for many years to come, even after most of the season was forgotten about. In Season 19, there were several memorable feuds. There was a feud over the use of a phone, which sounds childish, but hey, this is reality television. The fight between Parisa Montazaran and Trisha Cummings turned into an all-out brawl that is still talked about today.
Real World Season 20: Hollywood
Season 20 of The Real World came with a major change. The other previous seasons were filmed for thirty minute time slots. Season 20 is the first season to have a one-hour time slot. The cast for this season had to learn how to perform comedy as this was their assigned job.
With some comedy comes a more serious tone. In this season of the show, the show centers around one cast member in particular by the name of Joey Kovar. After having a breakdown about his drug use, the producers offer to put him in rehab. Joey passed away in 2012 due to an opiate overdose.
Real World Season 2: Los Angeles
After the success of season one in New York, Season 2 took place in Los Angeles. The season had many firsts, such as picking up a cast member from another state and then traveling across state to the season destination. The show went from 13 episodes to 21 episodes starting with this season. There were several clashes that occurred throughout the show, in particular centering around comedian David Edwards.
This was the first season in which a cast member was kicked off of the show. The memorable funny but turbulent moment that occurred between Tami Roman of Basketball Wives LA (how ironic) fame and David Edwards. The feud started out when David pulled a cover off of Tami. Tami was laughing with Beth Stolarczyk trying to cover her as David kept trying to pull the covers off. Minutes later, Tami became enraged and engaged in an argument and said those famous lines “It Wasn’t Not Funny!” referring to the cover pulling incident. David was asked to leave shortly afterwards.
Real World Season 1: New York
The granddaddy of them all! We cannot forget Season 1 of The Real World. This was the brainchild of Mary Ellis-Bunim and her business partner Jonathan Murray. The show was composed of people of different backgrounds and thrown together essentially to see how these individuals would co-exist. They came primarily from the east coast, with one cast member coming from the southern United States area. With a diverse group of people comes a little confusion and of course, some conflict.
Julie Gentry probably went through the most changes. She was a country girl from Alabama and she was not use to the city life. From her famous “Do you sell drugs?” moment with Heather Gardner, to her blow-up on the streets of New York with Kevin Powell, and her confusion about Norman Korpi’s bisexuality, she made an impact. The show would become legendary because of issues that arose out of uncertainty and sometimes fear of the unknown.