‘The Real World Seattle: Bad Blood’ exclusive: Anika Rashaun details ‘Bad Blood’ twist, future aspirations
This season of “The Real World” carried with it some extra baggage courtesy of the “Bad Blood” twist, one that forced the original seven house-mates to be confronted with a person from their past. It marked an opportunity for fans to watch the cast mend fences, or watch the relationship dissolve into disrepair.
While you could spend the majority of the season focusing on the twist, ultimately, this is a show about the people and what they choose to get out of this experience. Anika Rashaun is one of the original cast members for the season, and just as she and the others were starting to settle in and get to know each other, the remaining seven arrived — including her ex Will (pictured). Their relationship has not been heavily featured on the show so far in relation to some others, but will it? That’s something that you will have to see as MTV continues to air new episodes Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
We had a chance to interview Anika recently about her time in the house, what she was surprised by in terms of Will’s arrival, and also what she hoped to get out of this experience in terms of a future career.
CarterMatt – Back when Real World first started, there weren’t a whole lot of other options out there for people looking to have this sort of adventure on TV. Now, the landscape’s changed and there’s a pretty wide array of avenues. What was your interest in this show in particular?
Anika Rashaun – The Real World was a reality show I grew up watching, so I’ve always had a connection to the series. My reason for wanting to be involved on the show was not only for nostalgic reasons but because I loved that the format of the show was based off of your personality, life experiences/differences, and how well they mesh together in a house full of strangers.
Beyond that, I knew that this would also be a step in the right direction for promoting my brand and furthering my opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Going back to before the Bad Blood twist entered the equation, what did you think of the experience then? Did it match what your expectations were going into it?
In the beginning of the season I liked the dynamic of only having 7 people living in the house. I felt as though my roommates were able to have deeper conversations and connections were built faster.
Once the twist happened, it took a long time ( in my opinion) to get back to that point. There were many issues going on with the roommates and their Bad Blood counterpart, which I think made it hard to focus on the experience at times. I tried not to go into the house with any expectations of the experience because it was something I’ve never done before. However, I did expect a themed season of some sort and I was right about that!
When you first saw Will and realized that he was going to be a part of this show, did it change those expectations for the rest of the season?
Yes and no. Having Will’s presence in the Real World house definitely affected my experience and changed the expectation for the rest of the season for me. I had an idea that he possibly would be coming to the house for the twist, but I wasn’t aware that the additional cast would be there throughout the entire time of taping.
I was not looking forward to sharing my time with someone I broke up with 4 years ago and was now forced to live with and be around for months at a time. With the type of person I am, I knew that regardless of who was coming into the house and the length of time they stayed, I was still going to enjoy this life-changing moment.
Were you nervous or concerned at all about having your personal history shared with everyone with Will there?
My experience on the Real World started two weeks prior to the Bad Blood cast members moving into the house. Luckily, I was able to bond and get to know my OG roommates beforehand and had time to explain a little bit of my back story with Will. Since Will and I had a very dramatic relationship while we were dating, my biggest concern was having an extreme blow out and fight while filming.
Where we are in the show right now we’ve seen a little bit of you and Will interacting, but it’s been on a smaller scale to some of the other cast members. Do you anticipate the two of you having more of your story play out?
To be honest, early on in the season Will and I had very minimal interaction. We would walk right past each other and not speak for days, just because of the nature of our relationship at that point. Because I didn’t want my experience to be surrounded solely on Will, I was closer to others in the house.
I spent 97% of my time in the house with other roommates, but since the season is based around the dynamic of people and their Bad Bloods, there was little to show of us together in the beginning. As the season continues, there is definitely more to our storyline that plays out and gets dramatic, so you’ll have to keep watching!
Based on where we are right now on the show, who are the people you’re closest to?
We are currently halfway through the season and I would say I was definitely closest to Jordan and Robbie at the time. Jordan and I hit it off immediately and Robbie and I started to have a closer bond once the Bad Bloods came into the house since we were both going through similar situations having exes around.
Is there anything in particular you’re excited for people to see?
Yes, I am excited and hopeful that you will get to see more of my personality as the season goes on. I don’t think my personality was fully developed from the beginning and viewers may be unsure of whether or not they should love or hate me.
I’m also really excited to have viewers see me in my natural element of hosting a talk show. During my time in the house, I did an interview style chat with my cast members and had some juicy conversation. One of my biggest goals in life is to become a talk show host and last year I began producing my show, “Cooking and Conversation,” from inside of my kitchen in Harlem!
Has this show changed the perception of yourself or Will in any way?
With regard to Will, the show didn’t change my perception of him because I’ve known him for years and was very familiar with his personality. In my opinion, there were times when he acted out of character, but since we are not in each other’s life it wasn’t something that affected me greatly.
I definitely learned a lot about myself throughout the experience. I’ve learned how to grow as a person, how to forgive, and how to live and interact with extremely different personalities on a daily basis. My time spent in the house gave me multiple opportunities to self-evaluate myself. It has been a long journey of self-reflection that didn’t end when the filming stopped.
What are you hoping is going to be the next step for you after Real World?
I’ve always been a very determined and hardworking person with huge goals. However, my number one goal has never changed and that’s to have my own talk show, and continue to build my lifestyle brand ASKANIKA.com. If you want to keep tabs on me and see what’s to come after Real World, follow me on my Instagram & Twitter @NikaRashaun.
We want to give a special thanks to Anika for being so generous with her time. Remember that you can check out more of our “The Real World” coverage by heading over to the link here. (Photo: MTV.)