Elka

Like sadistic teenagers who introduce fire ants into an otherwise docile ant farm, the producers of MTV’s voyeuristic soap opera The Real World make casting decisions based not on avoiding conflict but on encouraging it. This season’s stereotypes are a jock, a poet, a comely lesbian, a city girl, a black stud who dates white women, a black woman who resents the black stud, and Brownsville native Elka, whose proudly advertised status as a virgin made her a natural for the role of sheltered innocent. The nineteen-year-old was chosen from an applicant pool of thousands to live with the six others in a converted firehouse in Boston’s stately Beacon Hill neighborhood. “I’m a Catholic, and I was rooming with an atheist, so there were tensions from the start,” says Elka, who adheres to MTV policy by not revealing her last name. “This show was a good chance for me to get a point across. I have morals and values that many people lack.” Now that filming is over, Elka hopes to study broadcasting at the University of Texas at Austin (“I’ve always wanted to be the next Barbara Walters,” she says), where she’ll have the distinct advantage of plenty of on-camera experience.

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