by John Wenzel on June 12, 2006
Current cast members weren’t publicized as showing up (although I’ve heard that at least a couple did), since it was meant as a promotional event for the brand in general, not just the Denver show. So what was the attraction? A reunion of former cast members, of course.
A Myspace profile calling itself “The Real World Denver” (since deleted, btw) said Jose from Key West, Johanna from Austin, Cameran from San Diego, Teck from Hawaii and Ace from Paris were in attendance. We talked to everyone but Cameran, (if only because she was moving around so quickly all night).
Scott and I showed up around 10 p.m. and the club was already insanely crowded with sparkle-topped women and guys with pop-up collars. Lines going down the block in either direction attested to the popularity of the show — and the celebrity worship that Americans are so fond of. We headed straight for the club’s breezy rooftop bar where most of the former cast members were hanging out, cornered by gaggles of men and women with digital cameras, pens for autographs and other stuff. After hanging out for a bit my girlfriend headed for the long line at the women’s bathroom, where someone unceremoniously puked on her leg. Nice! And it wasn’t even 11 p.m. yet. So much for pacing yourself.
– Scott and I fought our way through the masses to chat it up with Jose about the experience of being flown to Denver just for the launch party. Apparently the promotion company for the party, and not MTV or Bunim/Murray Productions, paid for the airfare, hotel, food and drinks for the former cast members. They were only in town until that next morning, although they made the most of their time by appearing on Mania TV beforehand to host music videos and talk about their time on “The Real World.”
– “I’m just here to get my drink on and meet some ladies,” Jose told us, his sly smile betraying his buzz. Indeed, the other male cast members (Jose, Teck and Ace) were also getting mobbed and groped by women all night long. Jose had counted six offers of sex by 11 p.m. (he seemd to be keeping score by notching his arm with a pen).
– In the VIP lounge Scott and I met up with Ace, who assured us he had a steady girlfriend and really wasn’t all that interested in the hype. Apparently he was the “nice guy” of the Paris season, although I haven’t personally seen that one. “I hate reality TV and I hardly ever watch TV in general,” he said, which was a bit, uh… weird, considering why he was there.
– When we talked to Johanna she confirmed what all the others had told us: the current cast is forbidden from talking to any alumni because MTV wants to keep the experience as “real” as possible. You’d think the paid-for clothes, meals, house, legal fees, and etc. would play into that too, but hey — it’s MTV. Ace also told us the interview process to get on the show was fairly rigorous, which is unsurprising since MTV frequently brings cast members’ personal lives into the story lines. “Do they investigate you like the CIA?” we wondered. He nodded knowingly but said nothing.
– Jose filtered into the VIP lounge and proceeded to hang out in the corner with some more ladies while Ace and Johanna talked, oddly unmolested for once. We snapped some pics before a guy named Robert (didn’t catch his last name) came over and started snapping some of his own. A Denver native, the illustrator told us that he had sent audition tapes to “The Real World” at least twice to try to get on the show. Keep trying, dude.
Teck was a friendly enough guy when we talked with him, posing for hundreds of photos and getting a lot of attention from the ladies. He later left the smoky, shoulder-to-shoulder fray to DJ in the rooftop dance room, the stage quickly filling up with hangers-on and dancers. His affinity for club hits was apparent as he tore through basically a playlist of hip-hop radio stations and TRL gangsta faves.
– As the night wore on we became soaked in sweat and other peoples’ crappy cologne and perfume, and the cast members seemed to dissipate, so it was goodbye and good riddance. Even around 1 a.m. people were still lining up outside, although I can’t imagine many of them got in as it took about 20 minutes just to walk from one side of the club to another, and another 30-40 minutes to order a drink or get your tab. According to a Monday e-mail from Play Coed Denver, 2,000 people showed up. Not too shabby.
– After all the stories of the current Denver cast getting kicked out of places for being obnoxious drunks (like when a female cast member was pulled out by the hair at Club Vinyl not long ago) these reunion members seemed like intellectual saints. Maybe reality TV really does mature you after all. Then again, look at Richard Hatch.