From left to right: Chris Wiggins, Beth Ploger and cast members Callie, Emily and Ashley.
So I mis-tweeted last night.
After arriving at Metromix’s Real World DC premiere party, I called the event the “official RWDC party.”
For the event to be official, it would probably need to be thrown by MTV. And no one from MTV was around that I saw at least. Instead of watching the first episode with network publicists, the four cast members at BlackFinn last night sat with Chris Wiggins and Beth Ploger, two of the cast’s certainly unofficial, most devoted local followers during filming.
Wiggins funneled cast member gossip through his RWDC tweets all summer long, while Beth “Elizabethany” Ploger recorded frequent videos of her and her friends on the hunt for cast members, posting them to her pop culture blog.
For months, they were the “stalkers,” showing up wherever the cast might be partying and ticking off producers and crew members. You would think the former housemates would disdain Ploger and Wiggins after a certain point—-after all, they only signed up for a certain kind of attention. Official cameramen: Yes. Random girl with camera constantly in hand: No.
But I was mistaken.
They were chatting with the cast, and shared front row seats with them before one of Blackfinn’s biggest TVs. Wiggins helped organize the event (his name was on the press invitation), and Ploger was a co-host.
…I am naive about this stuff.
They weren’t the only ones there to reunite with old “friends.” A lot of the people I met proclaimed to have a connection to the cast—-some more tenuous than others.
Toward the front of the bar, Ashley Gum and Barbara Moorman—sorority sisters, both graduated now, from George Mason University—sat in a booth eating dinner around 8:30 when I arrived. They said one of their friends, Krystal, was going to be in the first episode. She met the cast out at a club and then went back to the house. Krystal was apparently not concerned about how she would be portrayed. “She wanted it,” one girl told me, “She just went in the hot tub and the confessional and bitched about her ex boyfriend.” (If Krystal was in the first episode, I missed it.)
Then, there was Tim Hanlon, who I met on a step near the kitchen overlooking where the cast was seated and talking to reporters. He said he met Mike—-the bisexual jock from Colorado—-and Callie—-the sweet photographer girl from Texas—-during the season.
“I’d like to touch base with Callie,” he says. “She looks like she lost at least 20 pounds.” It soon became clear that Mike has maintained his friendships with the cast in the same way thousands of others can: By Facebook.
Tim and Callie reunited.
Then there was the girl who said she knew Emily—-the former religious fundamentalist from Missouri—-but wouldn’t say how other than to mention that they had dinner that night.
And for the record, the lack of MTV oversight didn’t stop Ploger or Metromix from dubbing the party the “Official Real World DC Premiere Party” on their own.