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'Real World' Hopefuls Vie for Shot At Reality Show Stardom

By Quinn Ford | March 30, 2014 8:45am
 Sheldon Ross, 22, and Oba Daniels, 20, were two hopefuls who auditioned for a spot on the upcoming season of MTV's "The Real World."
Sheldon Ross, 22, and Oba Daniels, 20, were two hopefuls who auditioned for a spot on the upcoming season of MTV's "The Real World."
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DNAinfo/Quinn Ford

GOLD COAST — Most people who have experienced the stretch of bars on Division Street in the Gold Coast probably have a memory or two they're happy nobody caught on camera.

The 20-somethings who went to McFadden's on Saturday are not those people.

All were vying for a spot on the upcoming season of MTV's "The Real World" and had come out for an open casting call at the bar.

Like most hopefuls, J.D. Collins said he's been a longtime fan of the show, at least of the "old-school 'Real World.'"

"There was substance there compared with the reality shows today where it's the baby mommas of basketball players, hip hop stars," Collins said. "When we were younger, we lived through these people, like diverse people — gay, straight, black — in a house together, fighting."

Producers put out a call for anyone over the age of 20, who looked 20 to 24 years old. At 27, Collins didn't let the age requirement deter him.

And he said during his brief group interview with about 10 others, he knew exactly what producers wanted to hear.

"You gotta sell that drama, that controversy," he said. "That's what they're looking for."

And most weren't shy to show their wild sides to a group of strangers. There were stories of naked bike-riding or various sexual escapades.

Oba Daniels, 20, said he was asked some basic questions — his age, his name, where he's from — but he and about 10 others were also asked about the most "scandalous" thing they've ever done. 

"That was the cool part," Daniels said. "Everybody around the table did porn or were escorts or strippers, so it was interesting."

Daniels also said he grew up watching the show, which began airing in 1992, two years before he was born.

He rattled off some of his favorite "Real World" roommates. Tami Roman, who has since gone on to star in "Basketball Wives," was at the top of his list, Daniels said.

For 32-year-old Bianca Armstrong, the clear favorite was Teck Holmes, from "The Real World: Hawaii" season.

"His ass was crazy," she said. "I think he's frickin' awesome."

Like most people at the casting call, Armstrong had an idea of what kind of character she would bring to the show if she got picked.

"I'd be like the dominatrix that makes everybody do what the f--- I say," she said, smiling. "I'm the crazy girl."

Armstrong said the idea of being on reality television appealed to her because she wants to do something different and she "enjoys being seen," even if that means being filmed 24 hours a day.

And J.D. Collins said he isn't worried about the downsides of being a reality television star. The Columbia College graduate said "The Real World" is a path towards his goal of entering the entertainment industry.

"Even if they portray me negatively, it will give me more followers on Twitter, Instagram, whatever," Collins said. "You know, it's MTV. I would live it up to the fullest."

Collins brought his friend Brandon McRoyal along to the bar on Saturday. McRoyal said he also auditioned but had no intention of getting on the show.

The 32-year-old said he has no interest of having his crazy moments on camera.

McRoyal said the casting call was exactly how he'd imagined it be, with one exception. Turnout was pretty low.

"I expected there to be a line down the street, but I guess that shows the age of the show, 'The Real World,'" he said. "Had this been years back, the line would have been around the corner down the street."