"This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World..."
How many times have we heard those words? The Real World was the first reality show on tv, premiering in 1992. It is still on the air, about to air it's 21st season, set in Brooklyn. When The Real World was created, it created a new genre of television that years later would be copied by other networks and become almost an obsession around the world. MTV originally wanted to make a soap opera, but the costs were too high, so they thought "what if we could get rid of writers, and scripts, and sets?". That resulted on the first Real World, set in NY neighborhood of SoHo, Manhattan, where 7 people that had never met before had to live in a house together for some time.
As the years went by, The Real World slowly gained its shape and space. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Hawaii, New Orleans, Chicago, Las Vegas, Paris, San Diego, Philadelphia, Austin, Key West, Denver, Sydney and now Hollywood...all these locations have hosted the show. Auditions to be a cast member today attract hundreds of thousands of people in hopes to be one of the strangers in the house. Living rent-free for 6 months in a very hip house with very interesting (and often annoying) roommates, and being on an internationally broadcast tv show is quite attractive to people in their late teens/early 20s.
How much of the show is actually true we'll never know. A lot of what we see on tv is edited to make it look like it all happened in a certain timeline. All the houses have cameras everywhere, and there's a clause in the contract of each housemate that says they're not allowed to go places where the cameras are not allowed in. And all the sounds are taped in a separate way, so, according to Melissa from New Orleans, a lot of times when they're talking and you can only see the back of their heads, the words you hear might not be the words they actually said at the time. Edited or not, none of the scenes aired on the show are acted. They all happened, without scripts.
Each cast member receives around $250 per week, plus their house expenses paid (not including food. That's why every time a parent comes over, they cook). Anything else they want, they have to pay for. Plus, they don't get to take any of all the cool stuff you see in the house.