Tuesday, January 9, 2001

The Real World 10: Back to New York

The Back to New York season was filmed January 9 to June 2, 2001, and premiered later that year, with the cast living in a four-floor loft at 632 Hudson Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. As its title indicates, Back to New York was the first season of The Real World to take place in a city that had hosted a previous season, as the show's first season was set in New York in 1992.

Assignment: The Back to New York housemates were assigned jobs as receptionists for Arista Records during the day, and helped gain publicity for their up-and-coming bands at night.

The cast lived in an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2), four story loft at 632 Hudson Street in Manhattan's West Village, just over a mile from the SoHo loft used in the filming of the first season. The building was built in 1847, and for forty years following World War II, housed a Spanish-style sausage factory called the Esteve Packing Corporation. The building was purchased in 1993/1994 for $450,000. The 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) third and fourth floors, which included the Penthouse level and Roof Deck, were renovated for the series. The production equipment included fifteen video cameras, twenty-nine monitors, 142 studio lights, dozens of microphones, and a mile of cable. After completion of the season, the building was placed on the rental market for special events and short-term stays.


  • Coral Smith
    Coral Jeanne Smith

  • D.O.B.: January 19, 1979
    Height: 5'6:
    Birthplace: San Francisco, California
    Biography '01: Raised in the Bay Area, Coral is as intelligent and witty as she is beautiful. Growing up, Coral straddled the worlds of privilege and poverty. She lived with her mother in government subsidized housing, while continuing an elite education funded by her father's savings. A keen observer of the world and people around her, Coral doesn't have any qualms about speaking her mind. Watch out, roomies...
    Season Highlights: clashing with Mike, but later being best of friends.
    Now: Coral has been working at a rape crisis center. Smith was present at a gay pride event at Paramount's Great America amusement park in the Spring of 2007. Smith reportedly answered questions concerning why she was present, with the comment that her sexual orientation was "very cloudy", and that she was "venturing toward [her] lesbian qualities".
    Challenges: Battle of the Seasons, The Gauntlet, The Inferno, Battle of the Sexes 2, Fresh Meat, The Gauntlet 3
  • Photobucket
    Kevin Dunn

  • D.O.B.:
    Birthplace: Austin, Texas
    Biography '01: A native of Austin, Texas, Kevin has it all--popularity, good looks, intelligence and athletic prowess--oh, and he's pretty darn charming too. Diagnosed with testicular cancer at the beginning of his senior year in high school, Kevin was forced to reexamine the things that most of his fellow students took for granted. After a long journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery, Kevin emerged with a sharp sense of humor, along with a deeper spirituality and sensitivity to those around him.
  • Photobucket
    Lori Trespicio

  • D.O.B.: March 11, 1979
    Birthplace: Roseland, New Jersey
    Height: 5'2"
    Ethnicity: half-Filipino half-Caucasian
    Biography '01: The youngest of three daughters from Roseland, New Jersey, with a striking mixed heritage--Filipino and Irish--Lori was labeled early on a "super star" child by her sisters. While she has excelled at everything she has tried, her real passion in life is singing. Blessed with a gorgeous voice, Lori was one of the lead vocalists in a Boston College singing group called the Bostonians. A self-described drama magnet, Lori says she gets bored unless she has some kind of conflict in her life. Lori was the winner of the MTV.com Online Casting and beat out four other finalists to win a spot at the finals.
    Challenges: Battle of the Sexes
  • Malik Cooper
    Malik Cooper

  • D.O.B.:
    Birthplace: Berkley, California
    Ethnicity: half African-American & half Caucasian
    Biography '01: Hailing from Berkeley, California, Malik is the biracial son of a white mother and a black father. Fueled by a determination to succeed, Malik became the first child in his family, and the only one of his friends, to attend college. Though he'll graduate from the prestigious University of California at Berkeley soon, Malik isn't all work, no play. His obsession with music has helped establish him as a popular Bay Area club/party DJ.
  • Photobucket
    Michael "Mike or The Miz" Mizanin

  • D.O.B.: October 8, 1980
    Birthplace: Parma, Ohio
    Resides: Los Angeles, California
    Height: 6'1"
    Website: Mike "The Miz".com
    Biography '01: A fireball of energy, Mike is the quintessential all-American boy from Parma, Ohio, a predominantly white middle-class suburb of Cleveland. An only child whose parents are divorced, Mike found a sense of family in his college fraternity. While Mike seems to be quite the chick magnet, he's a bit naive about relationships and has a deep need to be loved.
    Now: is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name The Miz. He is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he competes on the Raw brand as the reigning WWE United States Champion.
    Challenges: Battle of the Seasons, The Gauntlet, The Inferno, Battle of the Sexes 2, The Inferno II
  • Photobucket
    Nicole Jackson

  • D.O.B.:
    Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
    Ethnicity: half African-American & half Caucasian
    Biography '01: Having watched her mother suffer through a long, abusive relationship, Nicole has managed to beat the odds. A graduating senior at the top of her Morris Brown University class, Nicole is one smart cookie--just check out her 4.0 grade point average. She pays $22 a month rent for an apartment in a subsidized housing project in Atlanta. Although she has a mix of black and white roots, she remains proud of her African-American heritage and only dates black men.
  • Photobucket
    Rachel Braband

  • D.O.B.: October 31, 1982
    Birthplace: Orland Park, Illinois
    Biography '01: Wide-eyed, bubbly, and ready for life, Rachel is at a turning point in discovering herself as an adult. An only child, Rachel was raised outside Chicago by her mother, who worked hard to give her daughter every opportunity for a bright future. A pop-punk fanatic, Rachel loves concerts and blows all her extra cash on CDs. Though she's still inexperienced in many ways, Rachel is testing boundaries and opening up to new experiences--with some pretty amusing results.
    Challenges: The Gauntlet


    Episode 1: 'Welcome to New York

    Coral, Mike and Lori are the first to arrive from the Staten Island Ferry. As they drag their bags across town, they wonder who will be their other roommates in the loft on Hudson Street. Coral and company enter the loft first, and are blown away that this amazing place is their home for the next five months. The other group-Malik, Nicole and Kevin-arrives shortly after and everyone explores the "phat loft."

    Episode 2: 'Conviniently Single'

    The mysterious seventh roommie finally makes her appearance. Everyone is stoked to see that it is Rachel. The roommates begin to get to know one another. It is quickly revealed to Kevin that Lori is now "conveniently single." The flirtation between them begins the first night as the roommates go out drinking together. Meanwhile, Mike gets his first lesson in being socially conscious as he inadvertently generalizes about the intelligence of African Americans. Malik keeps quiet, but Coral lets him have it. After being ignored for two days following the incident, Mike confronts Malik and Coral and makes peace. The sexual tension continues to mount between Kevin and Lori, but Kevin keeps backing off, stating that he "knows they will hook up eventually, but it doesn't have to be now." Lori feels somewhat rejected and begins to become insecure about the situation. Stay tuned...

    Episode 3: 'Coral Vs. Mike'

    The tension between Mike and Coral continues when Mike is unaware that February is Black History Month. Coral is unwilling to give him any slack, and it is clear that the other roommates think she is being unreasonable. Malik, on the other hand, is really patient with Mike and offers to teach him about one black figure every day of the month. Nicole tries to overcome her insecurities and agrees to go on a date with a guy named Rene that she met at a club. Though she's physically attracted to him, she is turned off when he admits that he voted for George Bush. She decides not to see him again because of his conservative beliefs. When she returns home, Malik pours her a glass of orange juice, and she remarks, "why am I going out when I got it at home?"
    Meanwhile, Malik's friend Namane comes to town and gets a chance to witness the Mike/Coral saga. After observing their interaction, Namane sticks up for Mike, saying that his first impression of Mike was someone who's genuinely enthusiastic about learning black history. Coral gets annoyed by Namane's opinion. The house vibe is that Coral should just relax and cut Mike a break.


    Episode 4: 'Get a Nightlife'

    As the roommates explore the nightlife of NYC, Rachel's having a tough time being the youngest roommate and under 21. The female roommates convince Rachel that a little makeup, a tube top, and a fake ID are her tickets to a fun night out. Rachel isn't quite ready for a scamming guy who informs her that she is making him "hard." Will Rachel ever venture out again at night? On the hook-up front, Lori is falling even harder for Kevin, if that's possible. The situation gets even more complicated when Kevin kisses Lori in the heat of the moment on the dance floor. However, he quickly qualifies the kiss by telling her that although he finds her attractive, he doesn't want to be with her. Humiliated, Lori begins to notice that Kevin is not only snubbing her, but flirting more with the other female roommates. Will she get over this obsessive crush and find love in NYC?


    Episode 5: 'Valentines Day'

    Valentine's Day has arrived and the girls are not happy with their single status. Brace yourself for this one...Mike is in the doghouse again with Coral. It all starts when Mike refers to his visiting female friends as "some freak panty-droppers." The female roommates then snub the "panty-droppers" and make references to this nickname to their faces. This, of course, pisses Mike off. When he confronts Coral at a house meeting, she lets him have it. There is a little love in the air, however. Lori finds a new focus for her flirtation: a cute British bartender named Stevie B. Meanwhile, Kevin sends flowers to his girl Emily at home, and Mike enjoys a date and goodnight kiss from "panty-dropper" Becky. The female roommates decide to make a statement on V-Day by dressing in black and having a girls' night out. Mike is left alone to sulk. He decides to try and win back Coral's affections by surprising all of the girls with personalized flower vases and cards. Coral responds by jumping into his arms and giving him a bear hug. How long will this strange behavior last?


    Episode 6: 'Get a Job'

    Mike still can’t seem to find his place among the women of the house. They don’t want to hang out with him and don’t understand his sense of humor. This is quite a shock for him, because he is used to being the funny guy that everyone loves to be around. His only method of release is attending heavy metal concerts such as Linkin Park, which the other roommates refuse to attend. On a happier note, the roommates are stoked to find out that they’ll be working for Arista Records. But the excitement fades for most of the roommates when they discover the job requires them to form a street marketing team focusing on rock bands. Mike, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier. Just when he was feeling like the house outcast, he finds something that could possibly change his life. Of course, the first day on the job has to have some drama. Guess who Mike has to share a desk with for the next five months? You got it, Coral. She’s more pissed off than we’ve ever seen her--first when she finds out she has to promote rock bands, then when she learns she has to see Mike’s face day in and day out for the next five months. It will be interesting to see how each of the roommates handles this job. Stay tuned for more drama next week--drama that actually doesn’t involve Mike and Coral.


    Episode 7: 'Nicole vs. Malik'

    You thought Mike and Coral's arguments were bad? You'll see the art of arguing taken to the next level between Malik and Nicole. Whatever sexual tension that existed between them when they first met has been destroyed by their inability to see eye to eye on numerous topics, all related to black culture and how they choose to live their lives. The bottom line is that Nicole accuses Malik of being hypocritical because he promotes black culture through his appearance, style and music, but is open-minded about dating outside of his race. Because Nicole feels very strongly about marrying inside her race, she struggles to understand Malik's openness and feels let down by his behavior. Malik gets crushed in any argument with Nicole on this topic, and when Kevin decides to stick up for Malik, Nicole lets him have it and tells him that he doesn't understand because he is "not a black woman." The fact that Malik discusses the situation with Kevin makes Nicole even more upset. There is suddenly a very distinct wall between the sexes in the house. Malik and Nicole attempt to have one last civil discussion on everything, but end up fighting without resolving any issues besides the fact that they will never be friends. Will there be more wars in this heavily divided household? Tune in next week to find out.


    Episode 8: 'Lori's in a Band'

    Lori seems to be the focus of the house these days because of her fondness for singing at the top of her lungs while her roommates try and go about their business. How annoying is it? Kevin describes her singing as "a seal in labor." Even easy-going Rachel can't deal and tells Lori, "We love you...but please don't sing." Lori feels put out, because she thinks that the roommates don't understand how important music and singing are in her life. Meanwhile at work, the roommates are broken up into two teams that are responsible for creating focus groups for Arista's new rock artists. Nicole, Rachel, Kevin and Malik don't take the assignment as seriously as they should. Their focus group members and the group's outcome end up being a complete joke. Mike, Coral and Lori's group is a success, mainly because of Mike and Lori's ability to find people who truly enjoy rock music. Lori gets an added bonus from some of her focus group members, who happen to be searching for a female singer for their own band. Lori attends her first band audition and ends up getting the gig. Tune in next week to see how some of the roommates are rewarded for their participation at work and how others react to this reward.


    Episode 9: ‘Coral and Nicole are Outkasts’

    So we start off this week with a familiar scene...Nicole and Coral yelling and giving one of their roommates a hard time. However, this time they aren't yelling at the boys, but at Rachel. It seems that Nicole and Coral were giving Rachel a hard time and she finally got to the end of her rope and starting crying. The general opinion in the house now is that Coral and Nicole are isolating themselves more and more each day from the rest of the roommates.

    On the job front, the roommates seem to enjoy working for Arista with the exception of Coral and Nicole. Neither of them hide the fact that they would rather be shopping or napping than sitting in an office promoting rock bands. Nicole and Coral learn a hard lesson regarding their work ethic when they choose to skip out on a voluntary day at work and miss out on free Outkast tickets. When they find out that their roommates were given the tickets as a reward for working, they blow up at Lori and Rachel for not asking for extra tickets for them. Coral yells, "Part of having a friend is that in my absence, things are still going to go smoothly". The unbelievable part of this story is that Nicole and Coral went in to talk to their boss about their work performance and actually asked for tickets after they were told that they weren't performing as well as their fellow roommates. Needless to say, they didn't get the tickets.

    Episode 10: ‘Let's Go to Morocco’

    Just when the tension in the house has reached a record-high level, the roommates find out that they are jetting off to Morocco for a week-long vacation. The guys aren't overly thrilled about the trip because of their female travel companions, but they quickly change their minds when they arrive at the ultra-luxurious desert oasis where they will be staying. Things continue to get better. As the roommates lounge by the pool, a mysterious white van pulls up, and out jumps the six Road Rulers. Everyone is stoked to have some new friends to hang with for the week, particularly the guys. Well, everyone but Coral and Nicole. They couldn't care less about the Road Rulers as they continue snubbing everyone around them. Coral may have finally met her match. Adam isn't going to take her attitude for one second and throws it right back at her. During their first night at dinner, Coral snaps at Adam, "I think you are the dumbest person I have ever met." Adam replies," I hope we go to the desert so we can trade you for some f**king camels." Adam's behavior makes the Real World guys realize that they should stick up for themselves around Coral and Nicole. It also affects Rachel and Lori's decision to confront Coral and Nicole. After a long and tearful discussion, Coral and Nicole agree to work on their behavior. On a lighter note, Rachel and Blair seem to be hitting it off really well. Is there a kiss in their future? Tune in next week to find out.


    Episode 11: ‘Back to Reality’

    The roommates are back from their trip to Morocco with a new appreciation for New York and a new attitude towards each other. Mike has vowed to be himself at "a level 10 rather than a level four." Mike is also excited for a visit from his friend Sarah from Ohio. He describes their relationship as "friends with privileges" and notes that Ohio girls are much more fun than the girls he has met in New York. Fun, indeed--Mike gets the self-proclaimed honor of being the first in the house to "get some ass." The girls are shocked and disgusted to find out that Mike did the deed while Malik and Kevin were trying to sleep in the same bedroom. Coral even threatens to "never have sex again" if they keep discussing Mike's sex life. Meanwhile, Rachel's got a crush on a guy named Gabe who plays guitar in a band. She informs her female roommates that he kissed her "after the Warped Tour last summer." Everyone is a bit skeptical of this boy and Coral warns Rachel, "I better not find you in his hotel room." Gabe is in New York for a concert and makes plans with Rachel. Rachel sits by the phone and remains totally available even though Gabe's plans seem unstable. Finally, at 10:30 p.m, Rachel gets the call that Gabe is ready to hang out. Unfortunately, she learns that Gabe has a girlfriend, so her night is over very quickly. Back at the house, Rachel says, "Gabe is too good to be true, so I should have been prepared for this." Lori chimes in and says she doesn't understand why she and Rachel are the only ones in the house without any romance. Next week, the roommates are in the doghouse again at work and Lori wanders into a recording studio at Arista. Tune in to see if she gets to fulfill her singing ambitions.


    Episode 12: ‘Lori Works It’

    Lori's band is not going as well as she had hoped. The practice sessions have not moved past jam sessions. They don't have any real songs or even lyrics. Lori tells Rachel that she is "a recording artist" and that she is shifting her focus in that direction. As luck would have it, Lori and her roommates get the opportunity to tour the Arista offices and meet the president of Arista and Arista recording artist Usher. They also get to sit in on a real recording session with a new Arista recording artist named Lennon, who happens to be a 19-year-old girl. Lori is excited as she watches Lennon record. The following day, Lori, Mike and Rachel decide to explore the Arista offices some more. They meet a music supervisor named Nicky, who shows them some of the music he is working on. Lori tells him that she is a singer and that she would love to give him a demo CD. Several days later, Nicky calls Lori into his office and admits that he was really surprised at how well she sings and that he would like to use her on a track. Obviously, she is extremely excited. Her roommates encourage her, saying this could be her "big break." Meanwhile, Coral and Nicole are putting more time into their work and Coral is rewarded for her efforts. Everyone seems to be getting along really well now. Even Mike remarks on the difference in Coral.


    Episode 13: ‘Meet Mike's Parents’

    The tension in the house is diminishing these days, except between Nicole and Malik. They still aren't speaking, although Malik hopes that they can all be friends someday. Most of the roommates seem to think that Nicole should just let it go. Meanwhile, Malik and Mike are expecting visits from their families. Mike is surprised to learn that his separated parents are coming to visit him "together." The roommates find that Mike's parents are different than they expected. Coral describes Mike's mom as "a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader." As Kevin joins them for dinner, Mike gets embarrassed by his dad's comments about black culture in Cleveland. It is obvious that Mike is experiencing a tremendous amount of growth during his stay in New York. Meanwhile, Malik prepares to meet his father's family for the first time. Malik explains to Mike that he never knew his father, who left the family when Malik was just six months old. Malik is anxious to meet his new extended family but wonders whether they will accept him. His fears quickly diminish as he discovers that they are warm and embracing. Malik also celebrates his birthday with visiting friends from California. Mike admires Malik because his friends are so diverse. Nicole still won't speak to Malik, even though it's his birthday. She chooses to stay home alone rather than attend his birthday party. But it is obvious that she has some feelings towards him, because she gets emotional when she talks about the situation. Next week, the girls decide that enough is enough: They all agree to go out on at least one date with a new guy in the near future.


    Episode 14: 'Virgin Margarita Party'

    The girls are fed up with being single. During a "Girl's Night In Virgin Margarita Party," they make a pact that they will each try and get a date by the end of next month. Lori decides to work on getting her date immediately. As a result of her daily walks to and from work, she discovers a cute doorman standing outside of Harry Winston's. She gets up the courage to approach him and they end up having a very flirtatious conversation. He invites her back later in the week for a tour of the store, and Lori thinks this one is in the bag. On tour day, Lori gets the full princess treatment, including the opportunity to try on expensive one-of-a kind jewels, one of which was worn by Madonna on her wedding day. After the tour, Lori asks out the cute doorman. He replies uncomfortably that he is busy. Then he adds, "I am practically married." Thoroughly embarrassed, Lori mumbles goodbye and heads towards Arista. So much for that! Meanwhile, the girls are annoyed that the guys are such kiss-asses at work. The final straw occurs when the guys get to meet Run-DMC and all receive autographed Adidas tennis shoes. Lori and Rachel decide to get even by hanging a poster above Mike's bed that reads, "Arista Kiss-Ass and Proud." Needless to say, Mike isn't too thrilled to find this work of art above his bed. He questions Rachel on who made the poster and she claims, "Lori did it." Rachel is busted by the rest of the roommates when they find out that she lied. Next week, Nicole continues to have interaction problems with the other roommates. This time it is serious enough to cause speculation that she might leave the house.


    Episode 15: 'Meet the Miz'

    The roommates are excited to find out that they get to compete in a window display contest as part of their job at Arista. They are split up into two teams. Rachel, Mike, Nicole, and Malik must build a display for Dido. Kevin, Coral, and Lori must create a display for Outkast. Each team gets to work with a BMG representative who will help them execute their ideas. Nicole comes up with an idea for her team and gets upset with Mike when he tries to give a suggestion. It is clear to the entire group that it is "Nicole's way or no way." Things get even worse after Nicole and Mike have a screaming match on the streets of New York, just because Mike took the van without telling Nicole. Nicole's attitude affects the team spirit and subsequently they lose to the Outkast team. Nicole tells Coral that she "is glad that her team lost." Everyone is pretty annoyed with Nicole at this point. Meanwhile, there is a strange shift in the house. Coral and Mike are actually getting along! Mike has decided that he is going to act like himself for the rest of his time in New York, which includes playing around as his own Pro-Wrestling character, "The Miz." Coral's attitude towards "The Miz" is: "If you can't beat him, join him." She and Lori come up with their own female wrestling characters and take Mike head-on in a two-on-one wrestling match. Out of the blue, Nicole calls a house meeting. Realizing that her attitude is destructive, she asks forgiveness from all of the roommates. Everyone is impressed with her courage to open up and show her vulnerable side. The roommates end up in a group hug, which is a strange sight for this ensemble! Will this unity last? Tune in next week to find out. Also next week, Nicole is looking forward to a visit from a special boy from home.


    Episode 16: 'Bobby Gets Puked On'

    Believe it or not, there is still peace in the house. The tension and conflict seemed to have disappeared. Coral and Mike are hugging, Coral and Kevin are having serious talks, and the guys and girls are actually hanging out and enjoying it. Coral even admits that she has been going down the wrong path and intends to make a change. What happened? Meanwhile, Nicole is consumed by the fact that her dream boy, Bobby, will visit her in New York. The only problem with Bobby, Nicole says, "is that he doesn't like me." So Nicole devises a plan to "get some" from him. She will pretend that she's feeling saucy from the alcohol and will make a move on him, blaming it on the booze. The plan seems to be working at the beginning of their date, as they sip expensive champagne before heading out to a club. However, Nicole forgets that she is a "lightweight." After several glasses of champagne, two martinis and a body shot, Nicole is not feeling too well. Her perfect evening with Bobby turns ugly when she uncontrollably pukes all over the sidewalk on the way home from the club. When they arrive home, Bobby passes Nicole off to Coral, who takes her into the bathroom to get her back together and into "the scene." Nicole returns with fresh makeup, a new outfit, and the determination to get some lovin'. She and Bobby go up to the roof to stare at the stars when suddenly Nicole pukes again, this time right next to Bobby. Coral's rescue efforts can't save Nicole from this scenario twice. Nicole ends up with nothing more than a bear hug from her "Super Bobby." Oh well, at least none of the other girls in the house are gettin' any. Stay tuned next week to find out if there is more romance in store for the roommates.


    Episode 17: 'Boston Road Trip'

    The boys have made a pact that they won't get involved with the girls in the house. They are going to treat them like sisters. Not surprisingly, this pact has helped improve the Lori-Kevin relationship. Lori's no longer enamored with him and Kevin has his eyes on Beth, a model he met at Nell's. Kevin and Beth connect almost immediately and quickly start dating seriously. Kevin likes her "because we can finish each other's sentences. It's very rare when you have that with someone." Unfortunately, it's the roomies' last month in NY and Kevin doesn't think it makes sense to get serious with someone when he's going to be leaving soon. While Kevin deals with the trials and tribulations of love, Lori is busy preparing for her final show with the Bostonians, her college a capella group. This final performance is so important to her that she's willing to get involved in a hum war with current arguing champion, Coral. Lori's frustrated because she can't pick a final song to sing or find a place where she can rehearse without annoying anyone. The whole gang is going on a road trip to Boston, and on top of rehearsing for her show, Lori is planning the entire trip. She rouses the gang , gets them packed and dressed, and hustles them into the cars to Boston...only to get lost once they get there. Despite driving in circles and little fender benders, they finally make it to the show. Lori brings back memories of the casting special with a rousing rendition of "Respect" and then debuts her final song. She chooses "Hold On" by Sarah McLachlan because it embodies everything she's feeling. The solo is a success and everyone is amazed by her performance. As Malik says, "Lori has a phenomenal voice and a great presence on stage. She looks like she's supposed to be there."


    Episode 18: 'Jisela Rocks the House'

    Rachel's youth is starting to show. She and Coral get in a tiff about house cleaning. Apparently they've set a schedule in the house for cleaning and Rachel's the only one that can't seem to follow it. She's used to her mom taking care of her, and it's tough getting used to being responsible for yourself. But it's even tougher when you're trying to figure out who you are while worrying about how your mom is going to react. When Mike challenges Rachel about her mom, Rachel shuts him down: "We're not having this discussion." Meanwhile, the whole RR gang is in town and the RW crew is excited to see them. Malik is especially psyched to see Jisela. There is always a lot of sexual tension when they both are in the room. Malik says, "Jisela brings a lot of fun-loving spirit. A lot of energy." And apparently that energy spreads to everyone else as Rachel finally joins in the fun when they all go out to the West End. Lap dances, girl-girl kissing and drinking are the activities of the night. Rachel then tops it off with a pole dance in the middle of the subway. Rachel might not be a stripper in the making, but she's definitely starting to become her own person. While Rachel is finding herself, Malik and Jisela are finding each other...intimately. They break it down in the bed and everyone in the house knows about it. As Coral says, "His Afro was all sweatin'." But they seem to really care about each other, so it's all good. Malik wishes Jisela had been in the house the entire time. Maybe Malik spoke too soon, however, because next week, Blair and Jisela are both in the house and they're naked...together. Oy vey.


    Episode 19: 'The Hamptons, Darling'

    The Real Worlders are going to the Hamptons! As an added bonus, they're each allowed to bring someone from Casting Finals along. That’s no problem for Malik, who'd been trying to get Jisela back for a visit anyway. Malik is in love with Jisela and he’s letting it show. He tells Mike, "We both really fell for each other really quickly. We both really love each other. That’s just honest and true." The other person in love in the house is Nicole. Her dream boy, Bobby, was supposed to visit at the same time as the trip, so she gets to invite him along. Lori tries to get Nicole to define the Nicole-Bobby relationship and she can’t. This time, however, she doesn’t have a secret plan to take advantage of him; she wants to lay it all out on the table and tell him how she feels. He’s her best friend and she wants him to know how much she cares for him. Jisela arrives before everyone else and she and Malik are the cutest together. But it's obvious that while Malik is looking for a serious relationship, Jisela is, as Blair puts it, "a free spirit." Once Jenn, Vanessa, Patrice, Blair and Adam arrive, the party comes to life and romance is dead. Blair and Jisela seem to have brought whatever attraction they had in Morocco to a new level once they are together again in New York. The sexuality going on in the house is crazy the night before they leave for the Hamptons. Everyone is kissing everyone and the night ends with Blair and Jisela doing some serious making out in the confessional sans clothing. When they get to the Hamptons, Jisela is spending way more time partying with the crowd than hanging with Malik, and he’s hurting. While their relationship seems to be falling apart, Nicole and Bobby’s relationship seems to be growing. Nicole and Bobby are off getting a little closer as Jisela confesses to Malik that she’s kissed just about everyone there. Malik wants to spend more time with her, but as Jisela says, "He’s making [her] feel terrible for being who [she] is." Next week, more crazy Hamptons action.


    Episode 20: 'Sex, Lies & Videotape

    As we've already established, Nicole wants Bobby. But he’s not sure if that’s what he wants. As he says, he’s "not ready to be had." The other girls don’t see what Nicole sees in Bobby. She seems to be a different person with him. For someone so assertive and in control, she lets him boss her around. Coral thinks she’s way too into Bobby and she worries that Nicole "will make a fool out of herself." While Nicole’s foolishness is in question, there’s no doubt that Jisela is acting a fool while she’s in the Hamptons. Jisela brought her own video camera and spends large amounts of time making fun of the guys, especially Kevin and Malik. When Malik sees the video and shares it with the other roommates, Coral gets pissed. She doesn’t appreciate Jisela talking about people when she’s an invited guest. She lets Jisela know that Kevin, Malik and Mike are like brothers to her and that "if [she] was making a joke, it wasn’t funny...[she] needs to clear it up." Jisela tries to explain herself to the guys but is very defensive about it. Malik thinks she’s being kind of two-faced. He really wanted a special relationship with Jisela but she didn’t feel the same way. Nicole wants a special relationship with Bobby and...he does feel the same way! To the delight of everyone in the house, especially Nicole, the two finally consummate their relationship the last night of their trip. Kevin informs us "that Nicole told [him] that she hadn’t had sex in four years."


    Episode 21: 'Hasta La Vista, Arista'

    It’s the last week working at Arista and the gang has one huge final project. They are responsible for getting Arista’s new rock band, Adema, added to the playlist at New York’s world famous K-Rock. The gang is unprepared for the task ahead of them. When they get to K-Rock and make their pitch, they are bombarded with questions that they can’t answer and seem totally underwhelmed by the whole situation. Malik notes, "None of us are really feeling the music and it shows." Surprise, surprise, K-Rock doesn’t choose to add the song to their roster. While the group’s musical career is coming to an end, Lori’s is just beginning. Nicky, the Arista producer whom Lori met earlier in the season, wants her to come in and try singing on a track for him. She’s nervous about the whole process and invites Mike, Coral and Nicole to come along with her. Lori’s excited about getting in the booth and singing, but it's not happening the way she wants. When she gets frustrated by the whole thing, Coral is right there to support her friend. Lori doesn’t think she could have gotten through the session "without Coral lifting [her] up." The gang gets another opportunity to pitch Adema to K-Rock. They come in with a completely different attitude and a video from the band. Their enthusiasm gets to K-Rock, who decides to add Adema to their playlist. Kevin is especially proud because it was his idea to get the band to personally support their music. Arista sends the Real Worlders off with a great going-away party. The seven strangers are sad to leave their job, but things get even sadder when they realize that their time together in New York is almost over.


    Episode 22: 'Bye, Bye NYC'

    It’s the last few days in the house and everyone is reminiscing about the times they’ve had together. Coral and Mike have lunch together to discuss their tumultuous relationship. They reminisce about how they started off on the wrong foot, from Mike’s comments about race to Coral’s attacking him for the way he talks about his friends. From that difficult beginning, they’ve grown to trust and truly care about each other. When Coral opens up to Mike about her father leaving her when she was 9 because he had to do jail time, Mike realizes that "this girl really trusts [him]."
    Rachel, meanwhile, is delighting in making fun of Mike’s alter ego, The Miz. She lets her friend Stubu wear Mike’s toy belt and takes pictures of the kid and all his 40-pound glory. Mike responds by drenching Rachel in the shower and giving Stubu the Atomic Wedgie. The gang gets together for a final meal and party. Mike gives everyone T-shirts that he designed for them and Lori brings four bottles of red wine. The combination of sap and alcohol leads to tears and hugs and an incredible sense of togetherness. These seven began as strangers whose personalities clashed from the start, but now they are family. As Coral says, they've "all made friends, lost them and then made them again. It's been a big roller coaster ride." It has. Thanks for letting us watch.

    No comments: