In late April, Jezebel moderated a conversation between three reality TV alumni: Amber Marchese (Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Season 6), Irene McGee (MTV’s The Real World: Seattle), and Shii Ann Huang (CBS’s Survivor: Thailand). In a lively discussion, the trio traded stories about their filming experiences—where they overlapped and where they differed, why they chose reality television, and how the genre has evolved.

In Part 1 of our roundtable (the video above), McGee also got passionate about the dangers of alcohol on set—“We’re watching these Housewives get drunker and drunker and drunker,” she noted. Huang talked about fair edits and psychological testing for Survivor. And Marchese explained the difficulty of turning off her rage post-filming.

While reliving her time on The Real World, McGee argued that MTV producers could have not aired her classic confrontation with castmate Stephen, who slapped her on camera, and Marchese offered a grand summation of the producers’ role on these shows: “It’s like they’re God. They get to see everything.”

Watch Part 1 of our roundtable above, and look out tomorrow for Part 2, in which the women discuss our reality TV president.


Senior Producer: Jennifer Perry; Producer: Zoe Stahl; Editor/Animator: Heather Hass; Shooters: Phoebe Bradford, CJ Dominguez, Santiago Garcia