The Real World: London

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Template:Infobox television The Real World: London is the fourth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships. It is the only season of The Real World to be filmed in the United Kingdom.

The season featured seven people and is the first of four seasons of The Real World to be filmed entirely outside of the United States, being followed by The Real World: Paris in 2003, The Real World: Sydney in 2007, and The Real World: Cancun in 2009.

The cast moved into the Notting Hill Gate flat in January 1995, and lived there for five months,<ref name=EWPage1>Fretts. Bruce, (July 21, 1995). "The British Invasion: The Real World returns for fourth season -- The MTV hit invades London". Entertainment Weekly. Page 1 of 4.</ref> moving out in mid-June.<ref name=People>Tom Gliatto and Lydia Denworth. "Brave New World: Mtv's Real World Cameras Feast on An International House of Flatmates". People. Vol. 44. No. 2. July 10, 1995</ref> The season premiered on June 28th of that year, and was viewed by 2.7 million people.<ref name=EWPage1/>

Regarding following the emotional high points of provided by the struggles of Pedro Zamora and David "Puck" Rainey the previous season, series co-creator Jon Murray stated, "In terms of big dramatic issues, there's no way we could match that. So this year plays on more of a Moonlighting, romantic-comedy kind of feel."<ref name=EWPage1/> The most notable event of the season occurs when cast member and singer Neil Forrester kisses a male heckler during a performance, who then bites the tip of Forrester's tongue off. This event earned Forrester a place among other reality television personalities who have been injured during filming on MTV's 2008 "E.R. All-Stars". The season also features a guest appearance by Blues Traveler, whose lead singer, John Popper, dedicates a song to cast member Jay Frank, an aspiring playwright and fan of the band.

Season changes

This was the first season of The Real World to be set outside the United States. The cast is also the only cast to be predominately made up of non-Americans, with three Americans, two Britons, a German and an Australian.

The residence

File:18 Powis Terrace 1.jpg
The Powis Terrace flat where the cast resided.

The cast lived in a 6,000-square-foot, three-story, four bedroom, renovated Gothic townhouse at 18 Powis Terrace in the trendy Notting Hill neighbourhood of London.<ref name=People/><ref name=EWPage2>Fretts. 1995. Page 2 of 4.</ref><ref name=RealWorldHouses>Powis Terrace Flat. Real World Houses. Retrieved November 27, 2011.</ref> The ground floor of the building is leased to ScreenFace, a professional make-up supply company.<ref name=RealWorldHouses/> Template:-

Cast

Producers considered 25,000 applicants for casting. The seven selected were not well-acquainted with the series. The two American men chosen to help appease the home audience, Jay Frank and Mike Johnson, were not impressed with what little they had seen of it, with Johnson relating that he channel-surfed past it, saying, "This is stupid. I want videos." Entertainment Weekly's Bruce Fretts says that this ignorance precluded them from aping the behavior of past seasons' casts.<ref name=EWPage2/>

Cast Member Age1 Hometown Biography
Kat Ogden<ref name=SeattlePost>Template:Cite news</ref> 19<ref name=EWPage4>Fretts. 1995. Page 4 of 4</ref><ref name=KatMTVBio>"Kat: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref><ref name=Episode1>Template:Cite episode</ref> Yelm, Washington<ref name=SeattlePost/><ref name=Episode1/> Kat, who is one of four children, was born on Kodiak Island, Alaska, where her father, Fred, works as a commercial fisherman. Her mother, Margaret, is a freelance writer. Her family settled in Yelm, Washington when she was eight, and she credits her parents with stressing education, saying, "For years we didn't have a couch. But there was always enough money for books." At age 11 she took up fencing, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a 1930s feature film stunt fighter,<ref name=People/> an ability that earned her an academic scholarship<ref name=KatMTVBio/> to New York University, where she is currently a sophomore<ref name=People/><ref name=KatMTVBio/> majoring in anthropology,<ref name=KatMTVBio/> and fencing on the varsity team.<ref name=People/> During her stay in London she attends Richmond Adult Community College on a semester abroad program, and participates in the Junior Olympics in San Jose, California.<ref name=People/><ref name=KatMTVBio/> She has read accounts that describe her as "applecheeked and bubbly", but insists that she has "a hard, cynical streak".<ref name=EWPage4/> She is excited about the cultural differences that await her in London.<ref name=Episode1/> Although Mike perceives romantic feelings between her and Neil (who is in a long-term relationship with another woman), Kat denies any physical relationship with Neil, and is offended about Mike speaking about her and Neil outside of her presence, claiming that their mutual attraction was blown out of proportion. However, in an interview conducted subsequent to the season's completion, Jay accused the pair of "[trying] to hide it from the cameras" and commented that "the directors got all pissed off about it. It brought an uncomfortable element to the house", with Mike adding his opinion that "[they both] lied to all of us".<ref name=EWPage1/><ref name=EWPage2/> Kat expresses an occasional loneliness, and finds it difficult to meet new people because she fears that she makes poor first impressions, and doesn't like herself when she's in a relationship.<ref name=Episode14>Template:Cite episode</ref>
Neil Forrester<ref name="indep">Template:Cite news</ref><ref name=Episode7>Template:Cite episode</ref> 24<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=Episode1/><ref name=NeilMTVBio>"Neil: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref> Oxford, England<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=Episode1/> Neil is a graduate of Oxford University's Wadham College, and is taking time off from his Ph.D. studies in experimental psychology to play with his band, a "techno-noise"<ref name=NeilMTVBio/> band called Unilever,<ref name=EWPage1/><ref name=Episode7/> of which he is the lead singer.<ref name=EWPage1/> He is also "keeps his options open" by being involved with a couple of other bands,<ref name=Episode3>Template:Cite episode</ref> and wishes to show that one can take an "intellectual" approach to music.<ref name=Episode1/> Described as "super-cynical",<ref name=EWPage1/> he concedes to being both misanthropic and xenophobic, and that this makes it difficult for him to meet new people. He also says he dislikes America, remarking that he finds that Americans' upfront friendliness "smacks of insincerity",<ref name=Episode1/> and that Americans "demolish all semblance of culture. It's interesting in the same way car crashes are interesting."<ref name=EWPage4/> These feelings are underlined by his relationship with Mike, whom Neil perceives to have a "brash temperament" typical of the aspects of the United States that he dislikes.<ref name="Episode3"/> He nonetheless comes to like Mike,<ref name=Episode23>Template:Cite episode</ref> though he becomes closest to Lars, more so than Mike and Jay.<ref name=Episode22>Template:Cite episode</ref> An advocate of body piercing, the hardest part of filming is the separation from his girlfriend, Chrys, and the prospect of sharing a room.<ref name=NeilMTVBio/> Sharon relates that Neil likes to play mind games with people, and provoke them in order to see their reaction.<ref name="Episode3"/> In Episode 7, Neil responds to a drunken male heckler during a Unilever performance by leaning over and French kissing him. In response, the heckler bites the tip of Neil's tongue off, requiring 15 stitches to sew it back on,<ref name=EWPage1/><ref name=Episode7/> earning Neil a place among other reality television personalities who have been injured during filming on MTV's 2008 "E.R. All-Stars".<ref name=MTV-ERAllStars>Montgomery, James. "David Cook and the Reality Show ER All Stars". MTV. April 2, 2008</ref> Neil subsequently spends a portion of the season communicating during his "confessionals" using a computer voice synthesizer and through Chrys' recollections.<ref name=EWPage2/>
Jay Frank<ref name=KOHDNews>Jay Frank. KOHD News. January 26, 2010</ref><ref name=Oregonian>Template:Cite news</ref> 19<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=JayMTVBio>"Jay: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref> Portland, Oregon<ref name=Oregonian/><ref name=JayMTVBio/> Jay, described as "the quietest, least active one" in the cast, is an aspiring playwright and actor. His parents, Linda and Greg Streight, divorced before he was two. He was adopted by his stepfather, Scott Frank, a management consultant,<ref name=People/> when Jay was in the seventh grade, but Jay's biological father opposed Jay taking his stepfather's surname, and took Jay to court and cross-examined him himself, which Jay relates as a "strange" experience. He remains somewhat estranged from his biological father, and receives a surprise letter from him from Saudi Arabia in Episode 13.<ref name=Episode13>Template:Cite episode</ref> Described by Real World producer-director George Verschoor as "a sensitive Jimmy Stewart type", Jay wrote a one-man show, Bedroom, about an insomniac teenager with an extremely active imagination, when he was a senior at Grant High School, for which he was named a Presidential Scholars Program by Bill Clinton at a White House ceremony.<ref name=People/><ref name=JayMTVBio/> He decided to move to London to visit the theater scene, and hopes to write his next play and continue his education in drama school. He is very close to his family,<ref name=JayMTVBio/> and has a 16-year-old girlfriend named Alicia.<ref name=Episode1/> Some of his housemates come to believe that Jay makes little use of his opportunities while in London, which earns him the label "slacker".<ref name=Episode7/> He explains says that his tourist visa prevents him from either working or doing volunteer work. As a result, he puts on a presentation of Bedroom in the flat for friends in Episode 13.<ref name=Episode13/> Though this earns him accolades from his friends, they continue to feel he does not make productive use of his time in London afterwards. By Episode 16, the change he feels he has undergone makes him ambivalent about his visit home to Portland and his relationship with Alicia.<ref name=Episode16>Template:Cite episode</ref>
Mike Johnson<ref name=Episode12>Template:Cite episode</ref> 21<ref name=Episode1/><ref name=MikeMTVBio>"Mike: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref> St. Louis, Missouri<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=Episode1/> Mike is a business-marketing major at Westminster College and a race car driver from a wealthy family who races Formula 2000 cars at Gateway International Raceway. Mike was introduced to the sport by his father, Duke, who runs a company that manufactures food-service equipment, but who races on the side. Mike's mother, Terry, who divorced Duke when Mike was two, does sales for a paint company.<ref name=People/><ref name=MikeMTVBio/> Despite the offer from his father to race with his team of seven years,<ref name=Episode5>Template:Cite episode</ref> Mike prefers to find his own sponsors in London, where he tries racing Formula Renault.<ref name=MikeMTVBio/> Although he has been to Europe once before, he has never been to England. Though he is looking forward to the trip, he chafes against his father's opposition to the trip<ref name=Episode5/> (though his father denies being unsupportive of him<ref name=Episode9/>) and his words of caution, perceiving it as part of his father's typical negativity.<ref name=Episode1/> He is also ambivalent about exploiting his father's connections.<ref name=Episode5/> His family includes a younger brother and sister, his stepmother, Kathy, and his half-brother, Duke, Jr., the latter two of which visit London with Mike's father in Episode 9.<ref name=Episode9/> He is unbothered by Neil and Jacinda's observations that he is conspicuously American, refusing to adopt a Europhilic attitude while in London,<ref name=Episode3/> and is surprised by the realization that Britons are not as universally enamored of Americans as he perceived them to be via the American media,<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=Episode22/> but finds himself experiencing reverse culture shock when he returns home to visit his family in Episode 20, having acclimated to England.<ref name=Episode23/><ref name=Episode20>Template:Cite episode</ref> Mike gravitates to Kat in the beginning of the season, but subsequently feels excluded by the romantic tension between her and Neil.<ref name=Episode2>Template:Cite episode</ref> Responding to the accusation that this was motivated by jealousy, he stated in an interview, "I'm not attracted to [Kat] in the slightest", with Kat also referring to the suggestion that Mike had a crush on her as being "rubbish".<ref name=EWPage2/> Mike also becomes close to Jay, the only other male American in the house,<ref name=Episode22/> and because their activities in London are limited, the two are known to sleep in the day and spend nights engaging in antics that sometimes anger others such as Jacinda.<ref name=Episode6/>
Lars Schlichting<ref name=Episode4>Template:Cite episode</ref> 24<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=LarsMTVBio>"Lars: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref> Berlin, Germany<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=LarsMTVBio/> Lars works for an event and marketing agency while attending the University of Berlin, where he studies communications and North American studies. He spends his nights deejaying at techno clubs and enjoying the nightlife.<ref name=LarsMTVBio/> He also does promotional work for 98.8 KISS FM Berlin.<ref name=Episode4/> He hopes to work for a club, record label or public relations firm while staying in London.<ref name=LarsMTVBio/> Remarking on his line of work, he says, "There's not a lot of good German house DJs. I'm the first German who's ever spun on a Saturday at [London's] Ministry of Sound".<ref name=EWPage4/> Though Neil becomes the closest to him, Neil questions Lars' direct approach to expressing himself, as when Lars reacts to the cast's apathy over the theft of his mountain bike from the flat's foyer, which the two discuss during the trip to Africa.<ref name=Episode22/>
Jacinda Barrett<ref name=PeopleJacinda>Orloff, Brian (August 28, 2007). "Jacinda Barrett Welcomes a Baby Girl". People</ref> 22<ref name=Episode1/><ref name=JacindaMTVBio>"Jacinda: The Real World: London". MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 26, 2011.</ref> Brisbane, Australia<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=JacindaMTVBio/> Jacinda has been a professional model since the age of 14,<ref name="Episode16"/> and left her native Australia at 17 to pursue that career internationally. She lives in Paris, is represented by the Storm modeling agency (which also represents Elle Macpherson and Kate Moss), and continues her career while in London, having been featured in many top fashion magazines in Europe. She is also pursuing her pilot's license and a certification in parachuting, and says that she has "a million" career goals she would like to accomplish,<ref name=JacindaMTVBio/> commenting, "Modeling is great money and great travel, but I just find it really empty, so I can't continue doing it full-time. I would do my head in".<ref name=EWPage4/> Sharon nicknames Jacinda "Ms. Mischief" for her spontaneous, "cheeky" way of horsing around with people and provoking them.<ref name=Episode16/> Among the antics with which Jacinda amuses herself are pinching strange men's rear ends on the London Underground in order to get a reaction out of them,<ref name=EWPage1/> prank calling total strangers and streaking outside the flat with Kat.<ref name=Episode16/> She has a boyfriend named Paul who is also a model, though she observes in the premiere that they've been together for less time than she'll be in London.<ref name=Episode1/> In Episode 8, she adopts a Shih Tzu dog she names Legend.<ref name=EWPage1/> She is described by Mike as "free-spirited", in contrast to Paul, two years her junior, who Mike feels is less outgoing and the submissive one in their relationship. Lars, who is opposed to her adoption of Legend, finds it frivolous, comparing her desire for a dog to a little girl's desire for a Barbie doll.<ref name=Episode8>Template:Cite episode</ref> Sharon, who addresses Jacinda as "Jacy",<ref name=Episode16/><ref name=Episode10>Template:Cite episode</ref><ref name=Episode11>Template:Cite episode</ref> becomes irritated at Jacinda when the unhousebroken Legend's soils her room, and does the cast in general with her lack of consideration for other people, which comes out in Episode 10 and during the group's Outward Bound camping weekend in Episode 11.<ref name=Episode10/><ref name=Episode11/> Neil and Mike say that although she is fundamentally a nice person, and that they like her very much when she is alone with one of them, that she undergoes a dramatic change when more than one person is around, exhibiting behavior they find abhorrent, which Neil speculates may stem from the fact that she has not had a normal life since age 14.<ref name=Episode16/>
Sharon Gitau<ref name="indep"/><ref name=Episode6>Template:Cite episode</ref> 20<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name=SharonMTVBio>Sharon: The Real World: London. MTV. 1995. Retrieved November 24, 2011.</ref> Essex, England<ref name=EWPage4/><ref name="indep"/> Sharon is a singer/songwriter who performs with a jazz funk band. She is a fan of performers such as Hue & Cry, U2, Tori Amos, Leslie Garrett and Enya. She is very close to her mother<ref name=SharonMTVBio/> (who appears in Episodes 4<ref name=Episode4/> and 15<ref name=Episode15>Template:Cite episode</ref>), who raised her as an only child. She is also an experienced traveler, having found the U.S. particularly enjoyable. MTV describes her as "an affable young woman who was looking for something new in her life before she went on the show".<ref name=SharonMTVBio/> The others perceive her to be very talkative,<ref name=Episode4/><ref name=Episode10/><ref name=Episode11/> which proves to be a problem in Episode 4, when she is required to remain silent following surgery that removes a swollen growth on her tonsils that threatens her singing.<ref name=EWPage1/><ref name=Episode4/> She becomes to be a target for teasing from the rest of the cast.<ref name=Episode22/><ref name=Episode11/><ref name=Episode15/> When the cast goes on a group vacation to Kenya, Sharon, a vegetarian, expresses discomfort at the Maasai slaughtering a goat for dinner.<ref name=Episode21>Template:Cite episode</ref> During that trip, the cast asks her about her tendency to hold back much about her singing and her relationships, and she attributes this to a number of formative influences, including being raised an only child by her mother, attending an all-girls school, and lacking any father figure, as the closest male family members were an uncle and grandfather whom she only saw once a year, due to their living in the United States. As a result, she was not used to being around men, and due to this and some negative experiences in her youth, it took her a long time to feel comfortable with her sexuality and herself.<ref name=Episode22/>

Episodes

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After filming

Neil Forrester became a researcher and academic in England specializing in the field of developmental disorders and language at the University of London.

Jay Frank graduated from City College of New York with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He subsequently became a morning live reporter and then a morning anchor in the Tri-Cities, Washington area before becoming the main anchor for KOHD-TV in Bend, Oregon. He wrote another play, Ten Cent Treasure, which plays locally in the Tri-Cities area. He lives in Kennewick.

Mike Johnson and his wife, Cheryl, run a real estate business. Mike is also the team manager for the Stevenson Motorsports Grand-Am road racing team.

Lars Schlichting lives in the United States, and runs his own company that deals with DJ equipment. He is also a nationwide consultant and trainer for Pioneer ProDJ.

Jacinda Barrett went on to become a feature film actress, appearing in such films as The Namesake, The Human Stain, and The Last Kiss. In 2004 she married actor Gabriel Macht. On August 20, 2007 she gave birth to a daughter, Geraldine Macht, in Los Angeles.<ref name=PeopleJacinda/>

Sharon Gitau works as a singer, song writer, composer and producer.

Real World/Road Rules Challenges

Cast Member RW/RR Challenges Challenges Won Total Money Earned
Kat Ogden Challenge 2000 None $0
Neil Forrester RW/RR Challenge None $2,206
Jay Frank - - -
Mike Johnson Battle of the Seasons None $0
Lars Schlichting - - -
Jacinda Barrett - - -
Sharon Gitau Battle of the Seasons None $0
Bold indicates the contestant was a finalist on the Challenge, but lost in the Final Race.

References

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External links

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