By Emily Mitchell
MTV has just begun its 22nd season of The Real World. Since 1992, The Real World has brought seven or eight strangers together to live in a house for about four months in various cities across the world, including Paris, Key West, and Chicago.
This season, the location is Cancun. Let the bikinis reign, and the Patrón and tears flow.
The show begins with cast introductions. The cast is a plethora of personalities and backgrounds. Let’s begin with a short introduction of each member:
CJ– This 24-year-old hunk of a man is an NFL free agent. A punter, to be exact. And if you couldn’t already tell that this blonde hair, blue-eyed boy was an athlete, the huge championship ring that he sports wherever he goes will surely give you a hint. Classy. He also has a girlfriend back home.
Emilee– She is from Boston and works at Hooters. She is very pretty. She was adopted, like fellow castmates Derek and Jonna.
Ayiiia– In her own words, her name is pronounced like the late R&B star Aliyah, without the “L”. She is 21-years-old, from San Diego, CA. She won a four-month online contest where she was voted onto the show by fans.
Bronne– A former nude model for the Penn State Art Department, he brings plenty of laughs into the house. He is from Yardley, PA, and is a student at Penn State. He is goofy, and his anti-drama nature is visible in the way he talks to his castmates. He is there to have fun and be merry.
Derek– He is one housemate who seems to be scholarly and education-driven. He was his high-school valedictorian and captain of various teams. He is finishing his degree in Kinesiology at Arizona State University. He is the only gay housemate. In Tempe, AZ, he works at a bar with former housemate Jonna.
Jonna– Jonna is also a server at a bar in Tempe. She is multi-racial, with striking blue eyes that have all the straight guys in the house crushing on her. However, she has a serious boyfriend back home, who she is constantly on the phone with, reassuring her love.
Jasmine– She is five feet tall and less than 100 pounds, but she is not one to be messed with. She claims to suffer from “Napoleon Syndrome.” She is from Friendswood, Texas, and is a Chili’s waitress. She is a firecracker with lots of energy.
Joey– He is 21-years-old, and he is trying to make a name for himself in punk music with his band Late Nite Wars. Definitely one of the most confrontational castmates, he wants to be the first housemate to “get ass.” Nice.
EPISODE ONE: Yes We Cancun
There are a few things different about this season — instead of a house, the roommates are staying at a beachside resort called ME. Their suite is decked out with bright colors and plenty of amenities: pool table, hot tub, group showers (?). Not to mention close and easy access to bars, clubs and the like.
The introduction of the house is like watching a group of teenage girls who were just presented Jonas Brothers tickets: pandemonium. Screaming, shrieking, frantic running around. It is a huge suite, and everyone is giddy. They head down to the beach, and the drama begins.
The rocker Joey starts to get on Emilee’s case about being a waitress at Hooter’s. He does a great job of getting on her nerves. Later in the confessional, Joey says “It’s humorous to me how mad girls get when you call them out. You’re a waitress, Emilee. Get over yourself.”
This phrase, “get over yourself,” is going to become commonplace throughout this whole show. In reality, each castmate is completely into himself or herself, and it’s quite humorous to hear each other say it to one another.
Anyhoo, Emilee retracts with her own opinions in the confessional. “It’s hurting my feelings that he is making it out to be a joke. Don’t make me feel dumb for working at Hooter’s.”
After the drama, everyone goes out to the bars. However, by 9 p.m. Joey is way too drunk to keep bar hopping with the others, and his roommate CJ brings him up to his room before they all continue on to the infamous Señor Frogs. Pennsylvania native Bronne (to put it in blunt words), blows chunks, whilst at the club. But the night ends well and everyone makes it home safely.
The next day, everyone hangs down at the beach all day. The most significant thing to happen is Joey’s purchase of a mannequin head that a woman on the beach carries to display the beautiful braids she will put in your hair that in no way scream “tourist!” The head, complete with dirty hair and grimy braids, is purchased for $100. Yes, $100. Where do these kids get the money?
That night, it’s time to go clubbing again in the city. Joey meets a girl, Courtnee. They start making out. And guess who else is making out? Bronne and COURTNEE’S MOM!
Let’s see what the roommates have to say about this.
Jasmine says, “I look over, and Bronne is makin’ out with Sharon Osbourne’s twin!” CJ also quips, “I’m all about cougars and stuff. If the cougar’s hot …”
I think all would like to know how this hook-up happened, but Bronne just laughs it off saying “Unique family dynamic you two…” Oh, Bronne.
Joey is indeed the first roommate to “get ass.” He takes Courtnee home with him, and kicks his roommate CJ out. CJ decides he is sleeping with Emilee. (Mind you, CJ has a girlfriend.)
During Joey’s “alone time” with Courtnee, Ayiiia and Jasmine sneak into his room to investigate the action. After, they go to the confessional to state some opinions:
Ayiiia: Girls are so easy! Why do you think we have such bad reps, ladies?
Jasmine: The first time she met him she gave it up.
Ayiiia: Is that losing your dignity?
I was glad to hear some people have sense in this house. But in my book, Joey is equally as skanky. Especially after he said this: “I feel accomplished to be the first one to get ass in the house. I’m kinda proud of myself.”
I suppose without these people the show would not be as interesting or dramatic. The point is to see how other people live their lives. But it’s sad and unfortunate.
The CJ and Emilee sleepover ends with CJ breaking up with his girlfriend back home. CJ explains the situation to his girlfriend, how his roommate had a girl and so he slept with Emilee. Although nothing sexual happened, CJ’s girlfriend was not having it. She argues that there were couches available, but he deliberately chose to sleep with Emilee instead. It is obvious that CJ is just looking for an excuse to break up with his girlfriend back home, because after his girlfriend sent him an accusing email, he had had enough and broke things off.
Emilee felt mad and hurt, calling herself a “home wrecking b****” and regretting letting CJ sleep with her. She says that she knew she shouldn’t have let him sleep with her, but because she has a crush on him, she did. Her crush goes away after she sees how immaturely he handled the situation.
Bronne puts the situation best: “If you’ve got a boyfriend or girlfriend back home, cuddling, uh, well, if you like walking the line … I don’t think your friend back home would like that too much.”
That pretty much sums up the first episode. Everything is, for the most part, hunky-dory. But episode two is a real mess.
EPISODE TWO: Jerkface Joes & Romeos
This show begins with CJ entering a “Hot Body” contest. Oh jeez. Naturally, the all-American heartthrob wins the contest.
Jonna and her serious boyfriend Matt continue their long phone conversations. Matt’s voice comes across as worried and anxious every time they have a talk. He is convinced Jonna will cheat on him, and Jonna has to reassure and reaffirm her love for him by constantly saying “I love you so much” and “I wish I could have packed you in my suitcase.” How cute. But at the same time she is doing a lot of cuddling, hugging, and touching with CJ. Since he is newly single, CJ has turned up the flirting, and although he has stated that he understands the “boyfriend boundary” Jonna has, he doesn’t act like it.
During one of CJ and Jonna’s “cuddle sessions” on a hammock, Jonna leaves to go email her boyfriend and Bronne decides to pull a prank on CJ. With Jonna’s help, he wears one of Jonna’s wigs, sprays on her perfume, and grabs a blanket. He goes and lays back down with CJ, and CJ totally falls for it. Although it only takes him about 10 seconds to realize “Jonna” is actually Bronne, the prank was successful. And hilarious. Jonna’s boyfriend Matt doesn’t think the prank is very funny.
In fact, he’s mad. “I’m not snuggling up with any girls.” However, the flirting continues, until one night at a club, when CJ tries to kiss Jonna on the lips. She won’t let him. Later in the confessional, Jonna says she is done with the flirting.
“The provocative dancing and flirting, I need to take a step back. It’s not worth it. CJ, you’re not worth it.”
Meanwhile, conflict is brewing between Aiiiya and Joey. Joey doesn’t like Ayiiia’s attitude in general. He thinks that she thinks “she is the s***.”
These two have the biggest egos in the suite, mind you.
Aiiiya, on the other hand, doesn’t get Joey’s sarcastic sense of humor, and the fact that he “always has something to say.” On a night out on the town, their digression towards each other comes full circle when Joey spits on Aiiiya’s tacos after she was rude to him at a club.
Aiiiya is genuinely pissed, and has to be restrained by her roommate Jasmine. She bloodies her knuckles after punching a wall (instead of Joey’s face). Back in the suite, Joey continues to taunt Aiiiya while she is out on the balcony with Emilee and Jasmine. They are all disgusted with Joey. So when he decides to bring his guitar onto the balcony and sing to them about how ridiculous they are, the girls throw water at him. He eventually goes inside, upset because he retreated and for the fact that his duo electric/acoustic guitar may be ruined. But quickly, Joey realizes that he acted completely inappropriately, and that it’s his fault.
He calls his mom (aww) and describes the situation. He realizes he needs to make amends with people in the house because he can’t live with tension. The next day, he apologizes to Emilee. She says “It’s nice to see that Joey is a person rather than this ass**** all the time.”
In a confessional, Joey describes how he feels. “What happened last night? Why did I do that?”
He also goes on a walk with Aiiiya to clear things up. “What I did was out of line. It was wrong. I sincerely apologize for taking it to that level.”
Ayiiia is glad that he sees what he did was wrong, and accepts his apology.
But they decide to have some fun with the housemates, and make it seem like they got into another fight. Jasmine and Derek are in on the joke as well.
Joey storms into the house with Derek, and tells the other four housemates that Aiiiya just hit him in the face. While he is going off, Derek is explaining all that happened. Then Aiiiya and Jasmine walk in both screaming and freaking out. Aiiiya approaches Joey like she is going to hit him again, but they hug.
AWWWWW! So once again, there is peace in the house.
So, my friends, thank you for reading this EXTREMELY LONG POST on the first two episodes of The Real World Cancun. Until next week…
Photo Credit: Rene Cervantes/MTV