After battling Puck, Ruthie, Eric Nies, and the rest of the Bunim/Murray cradle-to-the-gravers for a month on ''The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes,'' Colin Mortensen (with teammates Jamie and Mark) walked away with a share of the $150,000 grand prize and a new car. That doesn't mean the 23-year-old respects the series, to which the ''Real World: Hawaii'' vet had vowed never to return: He regularly lampoons it on his website, Colins World where he is also selling his new book, ''A New Ladies' Man,'' a frank, graphic, and humorous collection of advice for young men on ''how to get a girl interested in you, and what to do when she's interested and interested in sex.''
Considering how much you slam ''The Real World'' on your website, why did you decide to do ''Battle of the Sexes''?
They've called me for the last three and a half years [for ''Challenges''], but this time I had a vested interest and a game plan. I have my book, and if you've got some kind of buzz, it's gonna be a lot easier to sell copies. So I got in my frat-guy mode -- short hair, clean-shaven face, in good shape. If I'm gonna give them an image, I'm only gonna give them the same one they already have.
You sound very savvy about ''Real World'' editing, but it seems like very few of the other returnees learned anything from their first time.
Put it this way: If you're still on that show and you're 34, the savviness has gotta be lacking.... I don't think they're horrible guys. I think they're very involved with themselves, so they give the producers everything. They spend their time running their mouths off, and what they don't understand is the producers are gonna cut that and turn you into any character they want.
Would you ever advise your teammates to watch what they say?
People would come back from their interviews and say, ''They asked me a question about you.'' They can say whatever they want about me; that's what I signed up for. But I would go, ''Say what you like, but you're gonna look like the a--hole. It's never the person who's being talked about, it's the person who says it who looks negative.'' The only reason [the men's team] had the scheme to vote out the guy with the lowest score every week is because a couple of the more mature guys were like, ''I won't be caught dead sitting in a group like a 14-year-old with two other guys as we go, 'Well, what about that guy, he's pretty weak.'''
Are you very wary about what you say during those one-on-one interviews?
My mind was like was a machine. They would ask me a question, I would stop, phrase it in my mind, understand how that could be perceived, and begin. A director said, ''If you just free-flow, it's a lot easier, we get better stuff.'' I was like, ''Are you kidding me? If I free-flow, you f--- me! I'm gonna wait here, plan my response, tell you my sentence, and if you don't want to use it, fine.'' When Puck left the show [after smashing his room], he didn't give them an exit interview, he told them to f--- off. So they said to me in my interview, ''Don't you think it was really aggressive and violent the way Puck left?'' And I started laughing, and I said, ''Objection, your honor. Leading the witness?''
Well, for drama they can always go to people like Jisela, who got worked up about a challenge where you just had to hold your breath underwater.
I know! And she was under the water for 14 seconds! But who the hell thought that challenge up? Who said, ''We need really exciting television. I got it! We'll see if they can hold their breath!'' What kind of TV is that? And still shots of people sitting on ice? People hanging upside down? Are you serious? Who thought that up? And why were they ever hired? The sad thing is, they're making more than their talent.
And yet the bulk of the show is dedicated to these challenges, and you never even see some of the contestants.
There are so many people that even I have seen in interviews and been like, ''Oh, are they still on this?'' Like Jamie [from ''Real World: New Orleans''], who is f---ing hilarious. Seeing him on the show is my favorite part: You just see his ass with a beard in the background walking around. He had just spent 30 days in the desert by himself, where he pitched a tent for 30 days, drank water, ate oats, and meditated all day. That's some interesting s---. But why don't we find out anything about who he is now or why is he so far out?
Well, they were busy focusing on Puck.
The first day Puck got there, he went up to one of the other cast members and said, ''Hey, I'm Puck. This is my show.'' And it IS, it's Puck's show until he decides to leave. Bunim/Murray has this love/hate thing with him -- he's the only reason people are watching this show.
I loved watching Jon Murray having to adjudicate whether David could spit on Puck to keep Puck on the show. I imagined him repeating to himself in his head, ''Remember, these people made me a millionaire...''
He's a grown-ass man, negotiating a spitting deal between other grown men! At one point, you have to look yourself in the eye and go, ''I don't know what kind of life I'm leading.''