The Real World is donning flannel and boots for its upcoming Portland season, but to gear up for that premiere on March 27, I thought we’d take a look back at the show’s cast members who were damn good at wearing not-so-many clothes. Here they are, the 11 hottest male cast members in Real World history. (You’ll be happy to know the gays took over the list; I wasn’t even forcing it!)
11. Eric Nies (New York)
Eric Nies introduced us to Real World hotness on the first season of the show, and he’d continue his hot streak with The Grind, where Queen Latifah once asked him how much he was paid to show off his nipples. The answer? Never enough, Dana.
10. Davis Mallory (Denver)
Denver! That was a caustic cast. Oh, Brooke! You have almost certainly killed someone before. Tyrie! You’re diagnosable. And Davis! You are gay and good-looking and that confrontation with Tyrie was scaaaaaary. Thank God you’re a part of the AfterElton family where I can be sure you’re safe. Phew.
9. Tyler Duckworth (Key West)
Tyler’s Olympic swimming dreams may have been dashed by a freak accident, but his dreams of remaining a Herculean out dude with a wicked sense of humor remain ever intact. You could actually converse with this guy, and that makes him even more attractive. His Twitter has some cute commentary! And also tidbits about how he can squat 300 pounds now. Phew!
8. Dan Renzi (Miami)
Hunky gay model Dan enlivened an already spicy season of The Real World with dependable quips, A+ reaction shots, and the occasional fit. Oh, Melissa and the envelope. That wasn’t hers to open!
7. Pedro Zamora (San Francisco)
Pedro remains the only cast member of The Real World whose season-long arc should be taught in classrooms. As one of the first HIV/AIDS activists the MTV generation ever saw on a week-to-week TV basis, he was inspiring, ahead of his time, and gorgeous. When he died in November of 1994, his legacy as an important figure on reality TV only billowed. It’s hard not to keep missing him.
6. C.J. Koegel (Cancun)
Sometimes The Real World serves up hyper-athletic straight princes with comic book hero bodies. And we just have to accept it! C.J. was a relatively low-drama cast member of the Cancun cast, and that was refreshing considering what a nightmare Ayiiia put us through. (Never trust a woman whose name is technically all vowels.) Nowadays, C.J. can be seen in a number of fitness videos alongside ol’ Road Rules alum Mark Long.
5. JD Ordonez (Brooklyn)
The Brooklyn season was often very tense (unless Chet was off pursuing his dream of hosting TRL only to find the show wasn’t on the air anymore), and during one memorable freakout, JD broke a glass table. But no matter: He was gay, hot as hell, and legit enough to win the affections of Anderson Cooper for a time (allegedly). That makes him a legend.
4. Jose Tapia (Key West)
I tried not to include two cast members from the same season, but what can I say? Key West had it going on. Jose was a straight guy with perfect skin, a million-dollar grin, and a soul patch that I remember forgiving. Though he grew up in a tough situation, he emerged into one of the most memorable hunks in the show’s history. A triumph.
3. Mike Manning (Washington D.C.)
Mike Manning was cute as a button with blue eyes deeper than the Mariana Trench. On the D.C. season, he began as a timidly out bisexual who eventually became a gay activist with the HRC. And who could forget his dad’s inspiring visit to the house, where the two bonded like never before? Siiiiigh. Adorable people being adorable. Can’t beat it.
2. Alton Williams (Las Vegas)
I’d like to congratulate the first Las Vegas cast for remaining the smuttiest single season more than 10 years after their original debut. Though there wasn’t a gay guy in the house, there was plenty of eye candy for the gay viewer: Steven was a blond and bastardly Zach Morris type (who worked at a gay bar to pay for college), Frank was a defecting farmboy, and Alton was so hot that his apprehension about gay people was somehow tantalizing. I can’t explain it. Because I’m staring at THOSE ABS.
1. Danny Roberts (New Orleans)
There’s no getting around it: The angelic Georgia boy from the first New Orleans season is still the ultimate cute/sexy/hot thing in the show’s history. I liked that Danny was both innocent and a bit devilish, and his escapades with blurred-out army boyfriend Paul were intriguing and veeeeery scandalous. Thank God we can catch grownup Danny on DTLA now, otherwise I’d still be watching footage of him bunking naked with Melissa from 2000.
Who are your favorite Real World hotties?