Tonight’s episode of Real World Las Vegas made me kind of mad and not for the reason you might think. I’m mad that so many people acted so childishly and even hypocritically when it came to the big reveal that Dustin had done some webcam stuff in his younger days. Look, I get why some of them would be upset, specifically Heather, but I’d like to remind everyone that Adam was involved in a SHOOTING. The fact that anything involving sex can be considered worse than a near murder is ridiculous to me and just shows how screwed up society is, especially this group of young people who all seem to have such open views on sexual mores. Hit the jump to see how things went down. Thanks to the preview at the end of last week’s episode, we knew that Dustin’s big secret was going to come out tonight (no pun intended). Earlier in the season, possibly the first episode, he explained to the camera that, when everyone else went to college, he lived in a house filled with cameras and ran around naked. It was a pay service where people would subscribe and see him and the other guys doing all kinds of stuff from sexual things to mundane tasks like laundry. It took a lot of back and forth to finally find out what exactly he did on camera, but we’ll get to that. Since I knew this was dropping today, every time they showed a phone ring, it was kind of nerve-wracking like “is this the call that will inform them?” Okay, not really nerve-wracking, but kind of tense. This is just a TV show after all that gives away WAY too much in the commercials.
Anyway, the episode actually starts off with two things that inform the rest of the episode. You’ve got the gang all going to some attraction that is supposed to look like Venice with gondolas you can ride in. Dustin makes a big deal about not wanting to get in with guys because that will look weird. Unperturbed, Leroy and Mike jump in one of the boats and feign being in love. It’s pretty funny, though less so in light of later events. After that, Dustin gets call from his mom. She’s bipolar and used to be a junkie. He thinks she’s “racing” which apparently means she’s been off her meds. It’s a sad exchange and then he talks to Heather about his mom and how she used to go out and party and just leave him along all night until she got back. I highly doubt all this stuff actually happened on the same day, but it makes sense to edit it all together to present Dustin’s case to the audience. I think it’s actually more fair than the editors tend to be with things like this.
The phone rings again. Is this the call? Oh, it’s just Adam calling Nany, couldn’t be, right? WRONG! Mr. Anger Management/Douchenozzle has been looking around online and found out about Dustin being on this porn site. Being the good, solid friend she is, Nany immediately runs to Naomi and tells her in the shower which is huge and probably one of the more echoey rooms in the house. Now they both know, but don’t really look into it. All the “know” is that Dustin did some kind of porn under the name Spencer. Like I said, they’re great friends and don’t tell Heahter, meanwhile, Nany will not shut up with her sanctimonious prattling about how Dustin had done Heather wrong and she should break up with him. Really? You KNEW Adam had a girlfriend while YOU had a boyfriend and yet you still slept with him. You also know that he’s a violent sociopath but you think the long distance thing will work. Great. I’m sure he’s not banging his current girlfriend while on the phone with you. That would never happen because you’re such a fantastic judge of character.
Okay, so, right after that, we see Heather get an email from her mom of all people telling her pretty much the same stuff that Adam told Nany. Can you imagine? Not only do you find this crazy information out, but it’s from your mom of all people? Dustin’s in the shower while she reads the email and once he’s out, she asks him if there’s parts of his past he hasn’t told her. He says there’s lots of things, but knows what she’s talking about. He looks kind of like a caged animal and leaves the room. That leaves Heather looking sad. So of course Nany and Naomi swoop in and Nany says she knows all about it and that she just didn’t tell her. So, not only is she a shitty friend, but she’s also calling firsties AND rubbing Heather’s nose in the fact that people have known about this while she walks around blissfully unaware. Up until this point, his digital past has just been referred to as porn. Then the girls kick Mike off the computer and Nany thinks it’s gay porn when all it looks like they’re actually seeing is all the naked stuff. I guess it’s a thin line, but Nany sure leaps to that conclusion.
Dustin comes back and finally talked to Heather about things. It becomes immediately evident that it’s incredibly difficult for Dustin to talk about these things and possibly even separate fact from fiction because he’s been lying about this thing and ignoring it for so long. He tells Heather that he didn’t have sex on camera, that it was just a bunch of straight dudes running around naked. No big deal. He hints at something more than that done outside the confines of the webcam show, but doesn’t get into specifics yet. He also talks very highly of the man who hooked him up with this gig and repeats a few things throughout the episode: he wasn’t forced into doing anything by his boss and he’s not gay.
In an amazing stroke of bad luck, the gang has tickets to some sexy Cirque du Soleil thing where Dustin gets taken up on stage and partially undressed by a bunch of showgirls and dudes dressed as women. Wacky timing, huh? Afterwards, Heather’s still dealing with everything and they tell Leroy that Dustin was involved in gay porn. Leroy looks pretty shocked. I can’t remember who told Cooke, but she says her crush on Dustin is cancelled out now. Heather and Cooke have a heart to heart and it seems like everyone but Mike knows. Dustin walks into the kitchen and everyone’s in there. He thinks Heather told everyone, freaks out and leaves the suite again.
When he comes back Leroy asks him if they can talk. Leroy tells him that he doesn’t care what Dustin did in his past, but does call out the fact that Dustin seems homophobic when, in reality, he’s the closest thing to gay in the house. I get where everyone’s coming from on this point. But, my problem with everyone freaking out about it so much is that they didn’t seem to care at all the Adam was lying to each and every one of them about different aspects of his life and when he wasn’t lying, he was literally wrecking their home. But it turns out that Dustin has this deep dark secret he didn’t want to get out, it does and said secret actually says a lot about him (he doesn’t want people to think he’s gay just because he did some gay things so he overcompensates and gets defensive when it comes to those kinds of things). Light bulbs should be going off instead of alarm bells. Leroy seems pretty cool with everything, but that won’t last.
There’s another conversation between Dustin and Heather where he gets mad at her for telling everyone. She explains that Adam called and told Nany. Still, I think that puts Nany at telling one person (Naomi) and Heather telling two (Leroy and Cooke, possibly Mike, we never see him get told). That’s all on you. I know she’s going through a lot, but I’ve noticed over the past two episodes that Heather really hides behind the cute little girl shield quite a bit and uses it to deflect criticism. Dustin feels like everyone is judging him–a completely accurate assessment by the way–so he packs a backpack and leaves. While he’s gone, the roommate all talk about and judge him. Mike says he thinks Dustin should go home so he can deal with his problems, saying that this isn’t the best environment to do so. He also says that he doesn’t think Dustin would have ever told them the truth if he could have avoided it. My response to that is, so what? You’re reality show cast members, not a family. Did everyone in the house explain every bad decision or potentially upsetting thing they’ve ever done on day one? Nope. That would be ridiculous. Anyway, at some point, they break up.
The next day the roomies read more about Dustin’s history while Heather’s mom calls her and talks about all this. So much awkwardness. Mike is really freaking out about all this which definitely surprises me. He seemed a lot more openminded, but this really seems to have shaken him. Eventually, Dustin comes back and asks the roomies to get together. He explains that, after high school, he was approached by the guy that would become his boss about doing this webcam house thing. He didn’t feel used or cheap and doesn’t regret any of it because it made him who he is. Leroy questions who he is and Naomi points out that it sounds like the boss might have been using him. Dustin says that’s crazy and that the boss was like a father figure to him. Dustin also makes a very good point that he didn’t judge Leroy for being a garbage man, so why should he get judged for a job he did, noting that it’s not who he actually is, just something that he did. Things break off and Dustin leaves again.
Down in the casino, Mike and Leroy are talking about how much they both want Dustin to leave. Huh, strange how the day before Leroy was telling Dustin he stood by him and respected him. Strange how Dustin being honest with everyone lead to them judging him, huh? Almost like all of his fears had been proven correct by close-minded pinheads. Leroy says he’ll be uncomfortable if Dustin says and Mike calls him crazy. Later, Mike writes Dustin a letter that basically says he doesn’t like Dustin and wants him to leave, but feels bad about it. Distraught, Dustin decides to sleep in the confessional.
Okay, here’s my piece on everything before I get into the aftershow highlights. Nany’s a bitch, plain and simple. Naomi raised some interesting questions during the group talk, specifically about Dustin being used by his boss as things escalated to more and more sexual territory. Still, she didn’t try to talk to him after finding out and also didn’t tell Heather. Heather has a complete right to be upset because Dustin wasn’t truthful with her. In my book, she’s the only one who deserves to be upset. Cooke was in the episode for 2 minutes and probably wonders what the hell she got herself into. Leroy has problems with gay people, that’s clear, but I don’t think he should be saying one thing to Dustin and another to Mike. Also, don’t forget that Leroy has no problem having sex with any woman in Vegas who will jump into bed with him, yet has a problem with his roommate’s sexual past. You’ve got no skeletons in your closet there slick? Meanwhile, Mike is all of a sudden the morality police with Dustin? Or, if not morality police, the “call Dustin on his shit” dude? Where were you when Adam was being a lying shit bag? Or Nany a hypocrite? What zeroes your rage in on Dustin and why can’t you see why he’s so nervous about such things? For a bunch of supposedly enlightened and sexually free people, these clowns sure got freaked out by a little gay stuff.
I did watch the aftershow which featured Heather, Dustin, Mike and Cooke. Heather kicked things off and basically said how she felt betrayed. Then Dustin comes out and says that he did want to tell Heather (on their first date but didn’t want to ruin it) and then his roommates, but crazy shit like Adam leaving and Cooke coming in kept happening so he never felt truly comfortable. He also explains that he didn’t think it would catch up with him in the RW house because they’re usually so cut off from the rest of the world. There’s more talk about his boss and how he kept offering Dustin more money to do more things he wasn’t comfortable with. He mentioned oral sex and actual sex at different times, but doesn’t seem able to talk about any of it fully. This got me thinking that the boss was probably the one who released the information. That would make sense right? I guess someone could have recognized him, but the cast isn’t super hyped before filming, right? Say Dustin still talks to this father figure of his and mentioned going on Real World. Next thing you know word breaks and Dustin becomes the most popular person on this guy’s website. I know Dustin keeps saying the boss was a good guy that didn’t force him to do anything, but he really sounds like a battered spouse. He says it was all him, it helped him grow, he wouldn’t be where he is now without it, but I can’t help but think he was abused or at least taken advantage of.
See, Dustin also explains that, considering his past, his options were basically to work an oil field or sell drugs. He used this webcam thing to get out of a shitty situation and maybe took a few wrong turns along the way (either on the cam or the way he handled it afterwards). He was young and stupid enough to think he could avoid his past his whole life (super unlikely considering how digital our lives have become). I feel for the guy, you know? He did what he could from a really shitty situation and tried to do something on his own. I can’t imagine having a mom like his, between the drugs and the bipolar, but I can imagine that getting the hell away from that would be priority number one.
After that Mike comes out and he basically just says the same thing he said before. He didn’t like the homophobic-type things Dustin had said and thought it was bullshit that he said such things. Well, thank goodness Mike’s there to make sure everyone’s super honest and open. I really liked that dude, but he’s fallen in my opinion. Dustin explains how he was treated when people thought he was gay and says he didn’t like it. Makes sense to me that he’d go over the top the other way and be nervous about such things. Why no one else can see that is a little saddening to me. Cooke’s presence on the aftershow adds nothing except some awkwardness between her and Heather that wasn’t really needed.
All in all, I guess I understand why the roommates were upset with Dustin, but I would hope that logic would take over and they’d all realize that they’ve all done things in their past that are questionable. I was really disappointed that no one came to Dustin’s defense or figured out the things that I mentioned in this post. I guess those might be the product of age or not actually being involved in the proceedings, but I was just hoping from more from this cast.