Ranking the Real World Seasons of the 2010s from best to worst

Allan Aguirre
8 min readJul 31, 2017

Let’s argue!

1 Real World Back to Vegas (2011)

Cast: LeRoy Garrett, Nany Gonzalez, Mike Ross, Heather Marter, Dustin Zito, Naomi Defensor, Adam Royer, Heather Cooke

5 most memorable moments:

— Revealing of Dustin’s gay porn past.

— The Nany/Heather hookup.

— LeRoy acting like Adam for a night.

— The night that everyone hooked up while Mike slept in the living room.

— Naomi’s pregnancy scare.

Real World Vegas is a season that had it all, multiple hookups among roommates, real relationships between people, and a kick-ass house for people to live in. Living in the Hard Rock sounds like a once in a lifetime experience that we’d kill for. They hit a ton of demographics with this cast and stereotypes. They all came together for one of the best seasons all time.

Every single person had something about them that people could relate to. Maybe not Adam Royer, but everyone has a family member like Adam.

2 Real World Skeletons (2015)

Cast: Tony Raines, Sylvia Elsrode, Bruno Bettencourt, Nicole Zanatta, Jason , Madison Walls, Violetta Millerman, Jason Hill

5 most memorable moments:

— The first skeleton arriving in the house.

— Tony hooking up with 2 exes and Madison all in the same house.

— Madison/Violetta fight where Sylvia blindsides

— Bruno’s burger freak out

— Jason meeting his estranged father

While people have been unhappy with the two recent seasons of the Real World and their “twists”. The twist on Skeletons was actually very authentic and it brought out some great television. What helped was how deeply flawed and fucked up the people were on Skeletons. As a person who comes from a dysfunctional family, I know a person like Madison, like Sylvia, like Jason, etc.

This cast brought in some people who had glaring faults as human beings and put them in a house together. You can try to hide the person you are for a while, but over the course of a few months it easily comes out eventually; when you encounter those that have hurt you in the past, it is all out there. Watching people deal with their problems in a setting around people who are also just as flawed was really refreshing. The final episode where Jason meets his estranged father who left when he was a baby was such a powerful episode. I don’t know if this cast was completely likable, but it was especially real and one you could empathize with.

3 Real World Ex-Plosion (2014)

Cast: Cory Wharton, Jenny Delich, Thomas Buell, Jamie Larson, Jay Mitchell, Arielle Scott, Ashley Mitchell*

Exes cast: Brian Williams, Hailey Chivers, Jenna Compono, Ashley Caesar, Lauren Ondersma*

5 most memorable moments:

— The exes moving in.

— Brian and Cory’s car fight where Brian kicks Cory.

— Jenny and Cory’s bear sex in the confessional room.

— Jay’s mother passing away.

— Ashley’s actions leading to her leaving the house and being evicted after 3 episodes.

I wrote this originally with Explosion being the fourth best season of the 2010s, then while recounting some of the best moments from the season, this one was really dramatic and had so much action for a Real World season. To start off, Jenny was an incredible Real World character who was fun to watch. She was there to have fun and hook up. That was until her boyfriend came back. Once Brian was there, it became so emotional and awkward that it was an addicting to watch.

Cory had been hooking up with Jenny until her boyfriend returned, and until his ex-girlfriend was there. He had sex in the same bathroom with his girlfriend as he did with Jenny. She left an episode later after finding out she was pregnant (not by Cory).

Thomas Buell had a relationship with roommate Jamie Larson. There was an awesome filmmaker in Arielle on the cast who was in an on again/off again relationship with her girlfriend Ashley who had troubles with Arielle’s androgyny. For a season that was so dramatic, it felt totally real.

There is a lot of revisionist history with this season. People do not view Jay, Thomas, or Cory highly these days. Jay was a great guy the first half of Real World, he brought the house together like a family, and when his mom passed away, you could really for him. Ashley’s 3 episodes themselves were insane. This season was off its rocker and is a must watch if you have not seen it.

4 Real World Back to New Orleans (2010)

Cast: Ryan Knight, Jemmye Carroll, Ryan Leslie, Mackenzie Coburn, Preston Roberson-Charles, Ashlee Feldman, Eric Patrick, Sahar Dika

5 most memorable moments:

— Ryan calling the cops on Preston for peeing on his toothbrush and scrubbing it in a toilet after Ryan had stuffed Preston’s cigarettes in his ass.

— Ryan being evicted from the house.

— Knight and Jemmye hooking up for the first time, Jemmye’s first white boy.

— Jemmye’s drunken flopping around the house.

— Building a house for habitat’s for humanity.

New Orleans was brilliant in that it was a sloppy group placed in a party city. Ryan Leslie was the worst and the best part of the New Orleans seasons. He was somewhat like a Puck type. His actions annoyed you, yet you hated him so much that you had to watch. When he was finally evicted, it made the world so happy.

Ryan Knight has to be one of the most intriguing Real World stars as he was the unsuspecting star of the season. He had a battle with addiction, was a master manipulator, fought with roommates Sarah, Preston, and Mackenzie, and somehow was still lovable. He ended up creating a relationship with roommate Jemmye, and most of roommates viewed him as a brother. Crazy season, chill re-watch.

5 Real World Portland (2013)

Cast: Averey Tressler, Jordan Wiseley, Jessica McCain, Marlon Williams, Anastasia Miller, Johnny Reilly, Nia Moore, Joi Neirmeyer

5 most memorable moments:

— Avery/Nia/Johnny’s fight

— Fight between Jordan & Nia/Marlon about race.

— Nia threatening Jordan with a blowjob.

— Averey and Johnny’s relationship, and hook up in the bathroom of the pizzeria they worked at.

— Jessica forcing the 6'5 guy she brings home to sleep on the couch instead of in the bed with her. It was a tiny couch.

Like RW Explosion, there’s been quite a bit of revisionist history with this season. Due to Portland giving out strong performers in the Challenge like Jordan, Reilly, Marlon, Nia, and Averey, people talk about RW Portland with more reverence than when it originally came out. Jordan was an asshole on Real World Portland who was a elitist, and at some points a bit racist. Since then he has redeemed himself on the Challenge.

Nia’s behaviour on the season was atrocious. She accepted a job at the pizza place where all the guys were working and treated the bosses like shit and that she was above it all. Jessica wouldn’t let the guy she was dating sleep in her bed, and Joi left after 3 episodes as the RW was not paying her enough money or attention. Think about this: Johnny Reilly was one of the most likable people on the season. That’s not a good thing.

6 RW St. Thomas (2012)

5 most memorable moments:

— Brandon is removed for failing a drug test.

— Robb’s self harm and the intervention by the guys.

— The cast celebrating Carnival.

— Swift being accused of not wiping his ass at the reunion.

— Everyone hating each other by the reunion.

Yikes. This season wasn’t good. Robb was the best looking and best all around guy on the cast. He’s a great guy, but in most seasons he’s the 3rd guy, or the 2nd guy on a weak season. Marie, Laura, and LaToya were gems, except they were forced to live on an island with the only eligible bachelors for them being Trey, Robb, Swift, and Brandon. That is a tough world to live in. These people had possible potential, but it was also ruined by the setting.

7 & 8 RW Bad Blood & RW Go Big Or Go Home

9 RW Back to San Diego

BB Cast: Theo Bradley, Jordan Anderson, Mike Crescenzo, Anika Rashuan, Robbie Padavono, Katrina Stack, Tyara Hooks, Anna Stack, Kassius Bailey, Jennifer Geoghan, Peter Romeo, Orlana Russell, Kimberly Johannson, Will Groomes

GBOGH Cast: Kailah Casillas, Dione Marini, Sabrina Kennedy, Christopher Ammon, Ceejai Jenkins, Dean Bart-Plague, Jenna Tomasson, Dylan Moore

SD Cast: Zach Nichols, Ashley Kelsey, Frank Sweeney, Priscilla Mendez, Nate Stodgill, Sam McGinn, Alexandra Governe

Bad Blood has gotten a somewhat bad wrap in my opinion. Recency bias has turned that season into what is known as the worst season in Real World history. GBOGH was set in Las Vegas, given a Road Rules type vibe, and still failed. Kailah has gone on to be awesome on the Challenge, though she was still the girl who claimed she had a golden pussy that always forces guys back, then cried once the guy moved on. Add in the Ceejai-Jenna stuff, and it was a whole bunch of awkward. GBOGH was so bad that it negatively affected the way people viewed Real World and set up Bad Blood for failure.

The weakness of the Bad Blood season was that they cast too many people, and the cast dealt with the issue that MTV focused so hard on finding people with “Bad Bloods” that they didn’t cast the best 7 people. Overall, people liked Theo during the season, Jordan had quite a bit of fans, and it wasn’t as bad as San Diego or GBOGH.

If you haven’t watched San Diego in a while, it’s terrible. While he has matured now, Frank Sweeney in a non-competition environment is the worst person. The way his emotions would shift and he would melt down in front of the cameras worked on the Challenge as he could fight and manipulate his way through the game in order to win. In the Real World house, that’s just being annoying. Zach was an asshole, Ashley an enabler, Nate was a bad drunk, and Priscilla couldn’t even drink. Then you add in the homophobia and all that stuff, MTV might want to forget the season.



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.