There’s a reason why I’ve been slow with this week’s Real World recap (again). It’s because on Tuesday night, while most people were watching the Real World: Austin from the comfort of their living rooms, I was watching the Real World: Austin from the comfort of a folding chair… about twenty feet from the entire cast.
Yes, the assembled group of Melinda, Lacey, Nehemiah, Rachel, Danny, Johanna, and Wes took to the stage Tuesday night at California State University at Northridge (known affectionately as “CSUN”) to talk about various topics such as alcohol abuse, safe sex, self-esteem, and, of course, farts. As a dutiful — and now fairly pathetic — TV blogger, I trekked out to the Valley to document this madness, incurring the derision of both J-Unit and my colleagues at Defamer. Let it be known, however, that I will stop at nothing to supply the tender morsels of gossip our readers so desperately crave. I will even go into the Valley. Sometimes.Let me set the stage. Basically, the auditorium was full of mostly girls in their late teens. And me. It was one of the more manly moments of my life. Actually, there were a bunch of frat guys there too; so my male ego managed to stay somewhat intact.
Anyway, as I nestled into my little chair, I heard two excitable girls babbling about how they just totally saw Danny and like OMG they took took a picture with him! They then spoke at length about how awesome it would be to join The Real World, and I slowly realized that pretty much everyone there was hoping to get plucked from the audience and be transformed into an MTV superstar. This is where MTV’s The ’70s House gets its cast: CSUN.
After a significant delay, the cast finally walked out on stage where they were greeted by an errant paper airplane. (NOT thrown by me, thank you very much. I did chuckle though.) Wes kicked things off with a fairly affable if not forgettable speech about safe sex. He was a decent talker and surprisingly quick and funny. Seemed like much less of a douche bag than on TV. It became very apparent to me that this evening would not be filled with the gossip-worthy tidbits I had so dreamed for.
Here is one of many terrible pictures I took. It’s Wes talking. Fascinating.
Next up was Johanna who gave one of the more ridiculous speeches of the night. No, her topic was not the degree to which Everybody Loves A Spicy Latina. Instead, she tackled the heavy topic of alcohol abuse. When not giggling and calling the students losers for not going out on Thursday nights, she read off statistics about binge drinking and then eventually listed many of the downfalls of alcohol abuse: getting sick, being late to class, opening yourself up for date rape (to which she added, “And that’s not very funny.”), and of course, gaining weight. On the plus side though, alcohol does give you confidence! Way to go, Johanna!
Don’t abuse alcohol. Unless it makes you feel good!
After Jo-Jo wrapped up, Danny took the podium to talk about… drinking and driving. That’s cool and everything, but… don’t you want to talk about coping with death? I guess not. Truth was that Danny really sucked. I had all this good will stored up towards him, and he just completely destroyed it. The guy had this sort of cocky arrogance on stage, which was fairly unwarranted because a) he’s only a reality star; b) he gave a very poor speech; and c) he’s only a reality star. Either way, I had an extremely adverse reaction to him, possibly bolstered by some girls sitting behind me who said they had met him earlier in the week (the cast had apparently been there for a few days) and he had been a major asshole to them. So you heard it here first! Danny sucks.
Oh, and in person, his head sort of looks like the alien from Alien. Really weird. Can’t describe it.
Melinda stands for her man. And I think she’s pointing to her vag too.
Danny with a short-brimmed hat? How refreshing!
Hey Danny, go away.
Rachel came up next to talk about stress and how to cope with it. And no, this did not result in a seven minute discussion about the stress of receiving melted cotton candy ice cream in the mail. Her speech was actually pretty good, despite it sounding like something you’d hear in an 8th grade classroom. Rachel spoke about her military experience, and the account was surprisingly engaging and fascinating. Unfortunately, she seemed to think that we’d forget how everything tied together with her central theme, and so after nearly every sentence, she’d announce, “And that was very stressful,” or “And that was very stressful too,” or “As you can imagine, that was a lot of stress.” She literally told a story about how on the first night at camp, the sirens went off because a scud missile was heading towards them. She then added, “It was a lot of stress.” YA THINK?
Melinda penetrates me with the glassy eyes of a SHE-DEMON! REPENT!!!
Next up was Nehemiah who happily took the stage with arms open and flapping, urging the audience to cheer. His topic was anger management, and blah blah blah, there wasn’t really anything too memorable here. But Nehemiah was very good on stage. He really commanded the audience; although, that might have been because he was nearly yelling into the microphone. People were literally saying “SHHHH!!!” to him. But I’m pretty sure he didn’t hear (considering that he continued to bellow out over the crowd).
Giving probably the best speech of the night was Lacey who treaded through familiar territory about acceptance and tolerance. She talked about her boyfriend who’s paralyzed and various other handicapped people she’s met in life, mostly in her beauty salon. It was a very earnest speech that seemed to have sincere emotion behind it, unlike some others (cough, Wes, cough, Johanna, cough DANNY).
“That crazy Lacey. What is this ‘virgin’ concept she talks of?’
And finally, there was our favorite nympho, Melinda. She also gave a strong speech about self-esteem and all that fun stuff. She called her ex-boyfriend an asshole and then babbled on about low self-esteem for a while. By that time, however, I was hungry and no longer interested in these After School Special topics, so I kind of zoned out, despite Melinda’s quality as a speaker. Oooh, but mine ears did perk up when Melinda talked about how her ex-boyfriend pressured her into threesomes and sex with other people. Yes, murmurs were heard all around.
Little-known fact: Melinda was studying to be a dentist before The Real World. She just liked any field involving the term “oral.”
Okay, now I feel badly because Melinda seemed really sweet. Actually, with the exception of Danny, the whole cast seemed like very nice people. Speaking of Danny, he took to the stage again to announce that he wasn’t originally going to talk about his mother’s death, but because he was SUCH a GOOD guy, he was going to. Thanks Danny! He then rambled on for about two minutes, not really talking about his loss, but instead imploring us to make sure our loved ones know we love them. Fantastic.
After the speeches, the group fielded questions from the audience, and Danny — Mr. Too Cool For School — nearly grabbed the microphone out of the moderator’s hands with every chance he could get. Here’s what I can remember: Melinda and Lacey applied for The Real World because they both lived sheltered lives and wanted to experience new things. That’s legit. Danny claimed he applied as a joke (riight) but he also wanted to experience new things (as evidenced by him spending the season bundled up in his bed). As for the rest of the cast, their motivations revealed a sad state of affairs, if you ask me. Nehemiah admitted that he wants to direct music videos, so he applied solely to develop a relationship with MTV. Wes, Johanna, and Rachel, meanwhile, simply confessed they wanted a break from their lives and to party. The Real World indeed!
As for other tidbits: Melinda never took a shit in the house the entire time there. Nehemiah left raw chicken in the fridge, which then dripped everywhere. He also left raw hamburger on the kitchen counter, causing blood to run all over the place as well. (And in case you couldn’t tell, the roomies had to clean up everything themselves.) As for farting, Nehemiah said that it happened quite a bit.
And now some completely shallow observations:
- Johanna looked great in person. She had huge breasts too.
- Wes and Nehemiah must be hanging out with Rafael Palmiero. They were pumped up.
- Danny, as I mentioned before, looks like an alien.
- All the guys in general were quite short, veering on trollish.
- Yes, Lacey looked much better in person.
- Melanie from Real World: Philly was there and honestly, she looked super hot. I’m not even joking. This girl has gone Hollywood.
- Did I mention that Danny was a dick?
The kids watch a video clip of their inanity.
Some bitch stepped right in front of my camera and screwed up my autofocus. Thanks, jerk.
Do not worry. I am not so lame as to get an autograph from these people.