|The Real World: Key West|
The cast of The Real World: Key West
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||25|
|Original release||February 28 –|
August 15, 2006
The Real World: Key West is the seventeenth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships. It is the second season of The Real World to be filmed in the South Atlantic States region of the United States, specifically in Florida after The Real World: Miami.
The season featured seven people and was shot in the Key Haven neighborhood of Key West, Florida from August to December 2005. It premiered on February 28, 2006 and consisted of 25 episodes. The season premiere was viewed by 3.33 million people.
The production faced a lawsuit by tourism mogul Ed Swift, a neighbor to the Driftwood Drive house, who sought to stop filming at the location, on the grounds that the production's floodlights, commercial-sized air conditioners, and outdoor cameras capable of rotating towards his house were a nuisance, and that local zoning laws prohibit commercial use of Key Haven homes. After MTV threatened to cancel production in response to the lawsuit, a judge threw out the lawsuit and allowed Bunim-Murray Productions to continue filming the season, with some minor production restrictions put in place.
During filming, Hurricane Rita made landfall, forcing the cast to evacuate to West Palm Beach. Subsequently, Wilma hit the area, forcing them to evacuate again, first to Ft. Lauderdale, and then to Orlando.
Almost every season of The Real World, beginning with its fifth season, has included the assignment of a season-long group job or task to the housemates, continued participation in which has been mandatory to remain part of the cast since the Back to New York season. The Key West cast was assigned to assist in starting a Mystic Tan franchise at the Pineapple Gallery. It closed briefly after Hurricane Wilma had devastated the store, and later reopened.
The cast lived in a nearly 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) Spanish Mediterranean-style, five bedroom, four and a half bathroom house at 32 Driftwood Drive in Key Haven, just north of the Key West city limits. The property spans 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) of waterfront property, and includes a tennis court, indoor racquetball court, gym, and an open dock. The house, which, along with two adjacent lots, was leased from June 28 to December 30, 2005, also included a 12-foot (3.7 m) x 20-foot (6.1 m) indoor pool that was converted into a sunken lounge area for filming. The house also included an outdoor pool. The house sustained some damage from Hurricane Wilma.
|Zach Mann||22||Vashon Island, Washington||A communications grad from Lewis and Clark College, Zach comes from a Jewish family. Zach was at one time overweight, but has since transformed himself and emerged as an energetic, confident young man. He angers Svetlana when he informs her that he would also like to apply for team leader of Mystic Tan. At the reunion show, all of the castmates laughingly point to Zach when asked who "got the most booty."|
|Jose Tapia||20||Brooklyn, New York||Known to his friends as "The Don." He was raised in Brooklyn surrounded by drugs, violence, and the influence of "the wrong crowd". During the season, viewers learn that while living in Key West he is in the process of moving out of an apartment he shares with his former girlfriend. He attended Florida State University, and is the owner of multiple rental properties and the holder of a real estate broker license.|
|Paula Meronek||23||Meriden, Connecticut||Since her graduation from Quinnipiac University, Paula is a corporate employee by day, and parties at night. Paula is still experiencing problems with an abusive ex-boyfriend, and with her body image.|
|John Devenanzio||22||Fullerton, California||A recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University, his casting made headlines in the Daily Collegian, PSU's student newspaper. During this season and onward throughout numerous challenges, he was appointed as "Johnny Bananas". He initially flirts with Svetlana but she remains faithful to her boyfriend at home. At one point during the season, he jokingly removes Janelle's bikini top in the ocean. Concerned about being asked to leave the house, he apologizes to Janelle and she accepts but not without reprimand. He and Tyler share a relationship characterized by numerous practical jokes they play on one another.|
|Janelle Casanave||23||San Jose, California||Friends describe her as "independent." She was accepted to the University of San Francisco School of Law, but before becoming a lawyer, is launching a career as a makeup artist. In 2008, Janelle later appeared on The Real World: Hollywood, in which she dates cast member William Gilbert.|
|Tyler Duckworth||23||Minneapolis, Minnesota||A gay gymnastics and figure skating enthusiast who describes himself as "manipulative" and "mischievous". At one time, he was on track to becoming a world-class swimming champion, until a freak accident that nearly took away his ability to walk shattered his Olympic dreams. A recent graduate of Tufts University, he must decide what to do with his life. In the show, he admits to feeling the closest to Jose in the house.|
|Svetlana Shusterman||19||Richboro, Pennsylvania||Svetlana is a pre-med student at Temple University who was born to a Jewish family in Odessa, Ukraine. A first generation immigrant with a reputation for being the "crazy Russian chick," she is torn between her dependency on her family, and the need to venture out and experience life. During this season and her only challenge season, she was nicknamed as "Fitz". In 2007, her 21st birthday was featured on MTV's My Super Sweet 16.|
|Title||Original air date|
|1||364||"Welcome to Key West"||February 28, 2006|
|The seven housemates come to Key West after waiting out Hurricane Katrina in separate locations. Paula tells the girls she thinks all of the guys are attractive. John and Zach are drawn to Svetlana, who has a boyfriend.|
|2||365||"Roommate Anxiety"||March 7, 2006|
|The roommates try to have a little fun before their job starts. The roommates believe that Paula has an eating disorder. John comments about Paula's weight causing her to confide in Zach about her insecurities. She appears to experience an anxiety attack and Janelle and Svetlana calm her down.|
|3||366||"Club Hoppin"||March 14, 2006|
|Tyler introduces the others to Key West's gay nightlife, but John prefers chasing girls. The roommates urge Paula to get help dealing with her issues.|
|4||367||"Svetlana's Tough Times"||March 21, 2006|
|The roommates prepare to open the tanning salon. Tyler doesn't want to work with Svetlana, who he says is immature and irritating.|
|5||368||"Troubled Waters"||March 28, 2006|
|Svetlana has a spat with her boyfriend and considers dumping him for John.|
|6||369||"No Friends of Mine"||April 4, 2006|
|Svetlana wants to manage the tanning salon, but she gets competition for the job from Zach.|
|7||370||"Zach Steps It Up"||April 11, 2006|
|The looming deadline for the store is causing everyone's true personalities to shine and conflict.|
|8||371||"John's Got Game"||April 18, 2006|
|John brings home two women, and Jose ends up being his wingman. Paula reveals a startling secret about her ex-boyfriend.|
|9||372||"John and Paula's Fight"||April 25, 2006|
|Hurricane Rita spoils the housemates plans for the opening of their tanning salon. Paula interferes with John's date, and he calls her a lesbian.|
|10||373||"Gettin' Stormy"||May 2, 2006|
|Hurricane Rita's arrival forces the roommates to evacuate to West Palm Beach, where they have fun partying until John and Tyler start arguing about John's insensitive remarks regarding gay people.|
|11||374||"Clarification"||May 9, 2006|
|Paula knows she has issues but is afraid of going to therapy, and Zach begins a relationship with a local.|
|12||375||"Tyler's Night of Fun"||May 16, 2006|
|Tyler has a one-night stand with a hottie, who Svetlana doesn't think is gay, but starts to wonder if her boyfriend is.|
|13||376||"Opening Day"||May 23, 2006|
|The roommates open the tanning salon, and Paula is angry at John for sleeping on the job.|
|14||377||"Janelle and Jose's Fight"||May 30, 2006|
|Janelle questions Jose's work ethic, and he doesn't take kindly to her remarks.|
|15||378||"The Burn Book"||June 6, 2006|
|Svetlana tells John about Tyler talking trash behind his back. They make up and make a burn book against Svetlana. A possible visit by Paula's abusive ex-boyfriend causes a reaction among the roommates.|
|16||379||"Zach's Girl Trouble"||June 13, 2006|
|Zach is torn between three women at once. Svetlana goes home to be with her boyfriend, Martin, after hearing his father is terminally ill.|
|17||380||"Let's Get Physical"||June 20, 2006|
|John and Tyler work on a float for Fantasy Fest as a hurricane approaches. Janelle is cross with John after he jokingly removes her top.|
|18||381||"Hurricane Wilma"||June 20, 2006|
|Hurricane Wilma forces the roommates to evacuate to Fort Lauderdale, but the storm follows them.|
|19||382||"Wake of the Storm"||June 27, 2006|
|The roomies return to Key West and survey the hurricane's impact on their house and business. Svetlana gets angry with Tyler when she finds the burn book.|
|20||383||"Spanish Getaway"||July 11, 2006|
|The roommates vacation in Spain, and John's out every night cruising for girls. Meanwhile, Svetlana is mad at Tyler and Janelle, so she mopes in her room.|
|21||384||"Jose Gets Stranded"||July 18, 2006|
|Tyler obsesses over arranging a publicity visit with Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Amanda Beard, causing friction with the other roommates and an argument with John.|
|22||385||"Relationships"||July 25, 2006|
|When Janelle's ex-boyfriend Kasib visits, the couple get into a fight and he's thrown out of the house with nowhere to go.|
|23||386||"Regaining the Pace"||August 1, 2006|
|Tyler plans to run a marathon, but only wants Jose, Paula and Zach to be there in person to cheer him on, which offends the others in the house.|
|24||387||"Svetlana's Birthday"||August 8, 2006|
|Svetlana's looking forward to her boyfriend visiting for her birthday, but she doesn't know that Tyler is planning a surprise for her. And as Paula's therapy ends, she reflects on how she's changed.|
|25||388||"Time To Say Goodbye"||August 15, 2006|
|The roommates bid farewell to each other and Key West. After being postponed by Hurricane Wilma, the roommates finally go to Fantasy Fest and enter costume contests. John ends up encountering trouble with the gang's parade float.|
After the cast left the Real World house, all seven of them appeared to discuss their experiences both during and since their time on the show, Fun, Sun, and Now Totally Done: The Real World Key West Reunion which premiered on August 22, 2006, and was hosted by Susie Castillo.
At the 2008 The Real World Awards Bash, Svetlana won the title of "Hottest Female" and Johnny was named "Hottest Male". Other nominees included Paula for "Best Meltdown" and for "Best Phonecall Gone Bad", and Tyler for "Roommate you Love to Hate", "Best Dance-Off" and for "Steamiest Scene" alongside Bhakti.
In 2006, Paula Meronek was arrested for assault for allegedly biting then-boyfriend John Alyward. In April, 2014, she married Jack Beckert and gave birth to three babies: Atlas (born in 2014), Athena Rose (born in 2015) and Aurora Mae (born in 2019).
Svetlana Shusterman became an aspiring actress and model who appeared in FHM as one of the "Girls of FHM". In 2007 she was arrested for disorderly conduct. In March 2014, Shusterman filed a restraining order against Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd. Boyd responded that he did not know her, and did not recall having ever met her.
Janelle Casanave got married on June 13, 2015.
In 2011, Devenanzio alleged in a lawsuit that the TV series Entourage damaged his name and personality and caused him emotional distress by featuring a character named "Johnny Bananas", played by Kevin Dillon. One year later, the judge ruled in HBO's favor. In 2017, he appeared on Fear Factor alongside Leroy Garrett from The Real World: Las Vegas. In 2018, he started hosting 1st Look, a late-night travel series on NBC. In 2020, Devenanzio competed in season 19 of Worst Cooks in America.
|Cast Member||The Challenges||Challenges Won||Total Money Earned|
|Zach Mann||The Gauntlet III||None||$0|
|Paula Meronek||The Duel, The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III, The Island, The Duel II, Fresh Meat II,
Cutthroat, Rivals, Battle of the Exes, Rivals II
|Rivals, Rivals II||$126,000|
|John Devenanzio||The Duel, The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III, The Island, The Ruins, Cutthroat, Rivals,
Battle of the Exes, Rivals II, Free Agents, Battle of the Exes II, Battle of the Bloodlines,
Rivals III, Invasion of the Champions, XXX: Dirty 30, Vendettas, Final Reckoning,
War of the Worlds, War of the Worlds 2, Total Madness
|The Island, The Ruins,
Rivals, Battle of the Exes,
Free Agents, Rivals III,
|Champs vs. Pros, Champs vs. Stars 2||Champs vs. Stars 2||$51,000|
|Janelle Casanave||The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III||The Inferno 3||$40,000|
|Svetlana Shusterman||The Duel||None||$0|
|Tyler Duckworth||The Duel, The Gauntlet III, Cutthroat, Rivals||Cutthroat, Rivals||$92,000|
Challenge in bold indicates that the contestant was a finalist on the Challenge.
Note: Paula appeared on the 2010 MTV special Spring Break Challenge as a color commentator.
- Episode synopsis list for The Real World: Key West at MTV.com
- "Real World Denver watched by less than half of Key West's viewers, but not according to MTV". November 29, 2006.
- Petski, Denise (May 20, 2019). "'MTV's The Real World' Reboot Gets Premiere Date On Facebook Watch". Deadline.
- Matley, Alyson; "Swift: 'Get a Life'". keynoter.com. August 27, 2005
- Summary page for Episode 10 ("Gettin' Stormy") at mtv.com
- Summary page for Episode 18 ("Hurricane Wilma") at mtv.com
- The Key West house at realworldhouses.com
- Key West House Pre-Renovation Outdoor Pool at realworldhouses.com
- Key West House Hurricane Wilma at realworldhouses.com
- Biography page for Jose Tapia at mtv.com
- "Real World: Key West: Coral's Casting Couch: Meet Paula". MTV. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Salvatore, Rosanne. "'The Real World' cast members: Where are they now?". Daily News. April 1, 2011. Page 34 of 44
- "Real World: Key West: Coral's Casting Couch: Meet John". MTV. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Biography page for John Devenanzio at mtv.com
- Biography page for Janelle Casanave at mtv.com
- Biography page for Tyler Duckworth at mtv.com
- Biography page for Svetlana Shusterman at mtv.com
- Salvatore, Rosanne. 2011. Page 35 of 44.
- Cast Page for The Real World: Key West at mtv.com
- The Real World: Key West Reunion at MTV.com
- "The Real World Awards Bash: Nominees" Archived March 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. MTV.com. 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "The Real World Awards Bash: Winners" Archived September 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. MTV.com. 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- Jordana Ossad (February 2, 2015). "'REAL WORLDS NEXT GENERATION: SEE THE FORMER CAST MEMBERS' CAMERA-READY KIDS". MTV. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Jordana Ossad (November 12, 2015). "'CHALLENGE' CHAMP PAULA BECKERT WELCOMES A MINI-WALNUT". MTV. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Matthew Scott Donnelly (July 14, 2014). "'CHALLENGE' CHAMP PAULA BECKERT WELCOMES BABY BOY". MTV. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Longeretta, Emily (May 30, 2020). "'The Challenge' Babies: Which MTV Stars Have Given Birth". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on June 15, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- Svetlana Shusterman at Girls of FHM
- "Incubus frontman responds to claims he threatened the life of reality TV star". NME. March 31, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Casanave, Janelle (June 15, 2015). "The most epic first dance at a wedding by Kinji and Janelle!". YouTube. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- Gardner, Eriq (May 16, 2012). "HBO Wins Lawsuit Over 'Johnny Bananas' Character in 'Entourage'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- Ossad, Jordana (September 14, 2017). "Johnny Bananas and Leroy Are Trading The Challenge For Fear Factor". MTV. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- Falcone, Dana Rose (July 12, 2018). "Johnny Bananas Will Host NBC's 1st Look — Does That Mean He's Done with The Challenge?". People. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- Spinney, Kimberley (April 3, 2020). "The Challenge's Johnny Bananas is officially part of the Food Network family now as he joins Worst Cooks". Gulity Eats. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- MTV's The Real World: Key West official site
- House rental lease for Real World Key West
- Svetlana Shusterman's blog