MTV didn’t pay for Melinda’s ring; Danny doesn’t want a Newlyweds-type series

Fresh off of the confrontational and entertaining reunion, Danny and Melinda from The Real World Austin stopped by my sleepy town to lecture a few hundred college students about safe sex, STDs, self-esteem, and responsible drinking. The irony of all that aside, they also cleared up a number of persistent rumors, or at least gave their versions of the story. Also, by “they,” I mean Danny, because Melinda didn’t talk much.

  • Danny said MTV did not pay for the engagement ring he gave Melinda. “I wish,” he said, adding later, “I’ll be paying that shit off the rest of my life.” The store was featured and mentioned, he said, “to be able to show [the store] on TV.” They were both paid $2,000 to do the reunion, however.
  • They’re aiming to get married in a year and a half. What if MTV wants to film it? Danny said, “If they want to put our wedding on TV, they better pay for it.”
  • The couple was sort of vague about the possibility of their own Newlyweds-type series. “We have some people asking but I don’t know if we want to do it. I can’t deal with another Real World,” Danny said. Later, another person asked the same question, and Danny said, “I don’t see it happening at all.”
  • Of the reunion confrontation with Nehemiah, Danny said, “I think he made himself look like an asshole.” He said that it was “way out of left field” and “uncalled for,” especially because, before the reunion, they were hanging out and drinking together.
  • An audience member asked, “Do you guys feel like you’re being exploited by MTV?” Danny replied immediately: “Absolutely.” Later, he said, “MTV doesn’t pay you shit at all.” He said he even had to reimburse MTV each of the three times that he broke a $336.97 lamp that was in the phone area. Other cast members also broke the lamp and had to reimburse producers for it.
  • Tomorrow night, MTV will air “The S@#t They Should Have Shown,” a clip show of unaired footage. Melinda said that among the footage will be a clip of Rachel embarrassing herself. Melinda said that despite Rachel’s excuse, “It’s like, ‘No, girl, you’re drunk and you pissed the bed.’”
  • After a college appearance in the south, Danny went to a bar, where he says, “I got slipped a roofie. … I have no idea what happened that night.”
  • Both confirmed that they just participated in the Challenge that filmed in Australia, which features viewers versus cast members. Danny said that just for appearing, cast members are paid “thousands of dollars” in addition to any prizes they might win.
  • Unlike Ace and Cameran’s discussion of pot use in San Diego, they both said they had no knowledge of the quality of the pot in Austin. “Don’t know, man. Sorry,” Danny said.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.