The Real World Philadelphia premiered on Tuesday, September 7, 2004. This is the 15th season for this landmark MTV reality series.
The Real World cast resides in a 10,000 square foot building at the corner of 3rd and Arch Streets which was a former bank building and former home to the Seaman's Church Institute, a non-profit organization geared to helping visiting seamen that come to port on various ships and tankers. The building was transformed for the Real World Philadelphia cast to include an atrium with an olive tree, a basketball hoop, and hot tub along with many of the other amenities familiar to Real World fans.
This year's cast consists of seven strangers including four single guys and three single girls from around the United States. Let's meet this year's cast.
Currently living in Los Angeles, Karamo is a 23 year-old African American from Houston, Texas whose parents are from Jamaica. He's the youngest of four and has three older sisters whom he considers the most important people in his life. He lives his life for others and gives much of his time to charities, politics and non-profits. Karamo struggles with his feelings about interracial dating as a result of his upbringing that was filled with strong anti-white prejudices. He works toward keeping an open mind and overcoming these fears and prejudices. Karamo attended Florida A&M University where he majored in Business Administration. Recently, he worked at the Brotherhood Crusade in Los Angeles writing proposals for grants and establishing new programs to help people who live in underprivileged areas.
Landon is a 24 year-old sports fanatic from Wisconsin. In high school, Landon was a state champion in doubles tennis and ranked fifth in the state in wrestling. At the University of Wisconsin, he was on the waterskiing and wakeboarding teams. Landon is sensitive about being labeled a "dumb jock" and is afraid to "let go," fearing that others won't accept him. He recently ended a seven-year relationship with his high school sweetheart and still hasn't gotten over her. He loves female attention, and he craves a real relationship again.
Melanie is a 21 year-old California girl who most recently attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and hopes to become a high school English teacher. Her long-term companionship with her friend Andy has evolved into a steady romance. Melanie claims to have a spontaneous, wild streak, loves to dance and party and believes if you follow your heart, you'll be happy.
MJ is a good-looking, blond, hard-bodied 23 year-old Southern boy from Tennessee with a warm heart. He is a recent grad from Vanderbilt University where he majored in Human and Organizational Development and played the role of the star football player. He had dreams of playing professional football, but those dreams were recently squashed when he was turned down by the NFL. MJ entered a two-month relationship before moving to Philly, and he struggles to maintain this relationship while living with his new roommates.
Sarah is a 23 year-old born and raised Floridian. Sarah just graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA and plans to attend the University of Florida School of Law in the fall. Sarah isn't afraid to use her sex appeal to get what she wants. She is most attracted to bad boys who are witty, independent, athletic and a challenge. She's highly opinionated and ready to debate at a drop of a hat. Sarah struggles with her weight and has overcome an eating disorder.
Shavonda is a beautiful 21 year-old African American woman from California who is the life of the party and loves attention from guys. In high school, Shavonda was a cheerleader and her school's first African American homecoming queen. Shavonda struggles to support herself without any family aid and is putting herself through Grossmont Community College in El Cajon, CA. Shavonda currently has a boyfriend to whom she wants to be faithful, even though he is not the kind of jock that usually pursues her. She likes a jock with a sense of humor and likes to be pursued. As a result of a turbulent childhood, Shavonda generally hopes for the best, but expects the worst.
Willie is a 23 year-old gay Puerto Rican American from New York City who loves his friends and is passionate about the arts and performing. His religious parents don't accept his lifestyle which caused Willie to leave home when he was only 15. Willie and his straight twin brother are the oldest of six children who all remain close. Willie admits that he possesses the "stubborn" family gene and isn't afraid to be confrontational. At times, Willie insists that it's "[his] way or the highway!" As a child, Willie worked in commercials and musical theater and was a regular on the children's television show Ghost Writer that promoted literacy for children.