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'Real World' meets the real world

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The cameras stopped rolling on MTV’s The Real World back in May (the final episode airs on Aug. 8, following a three-hour marathon of episodes 6 through 12), but the drama is far from over for the seven young castmates of the ”reality soap opera,” who got three rent-free months in a dreamy New York City loft in exchange for permission to videotape their every move. Here’s what the gang’s been up to since leaving loftland last spring:

Heather B, 21: The Jersey City rapper has been polishing her first album, scheduled for release in late August (no title yet). Some bad news, though: Her cat Smokey (a regular on The Real World) has disappeared. ”I got her the day before I moved into the loft and she ran away the day after I moved out. I was really bumming — that cat could have made a fortune doing 9-Lives commercials.”

Julie Oliver, 19: After rooming with Heather in New Jersey for a month, the aspiring dancer from Alabama found her own Manhattan digs in June. But she’s still jobless and suffering from severe post-loft depression. ”It’s super-hard to see yourself on TV, but still be scrounging under sofa cushions for quarters. I’ve got fame, but not fortune.”

Norman Korpi, 25: The bisexual graphic artist is back in Brooklyn, designing T-shirts and umbrellas. Fame has had some odd side effects, though: ”I get phone calls from fans who want to date me,” he says. ”I got one from a woman who told me her breast size and promised to send pictures. Then I got a call from a football player. He gave me his measurements — 6’4”, 240 pounds — and said he wants a date too.”

Andre Comeau, 21: ”The only change in my life is that people don’t think I’m as big a scumbag anymore,” says the grunge guitarist. Since leaving the loft, he has been living with the members of his band, Reigndance, in their communal house in New Jersey. ”The band’s been getting better gigs and bigger audiences,” says the Kirstie Alley-look-alike. ”But other than that, everything’s exactly the same.”

Eric Neis, 21: ”I’ve been spending time at home with my mom,” reports the Jersey-born model. He has also been auditioning for movies and soap operas and had a modeling gig on MTV’s House of Style. The biggest life change since leaving the loft: ”Missy (who made a Real World appearance) and I broke up. I found out that she was fooling around with one of my friends. We don’t even talk anymore.”

Kevin Powell, 26: ”I’m back uptown in Harlem,” says the journalist-poet. ”Along with my writing thing” — he wrote two album reviews for Rolling Stone this summer — ”I’m really getting into acting. I’m interested in the whole spectrum.” Though fame has opened some doors, it has also been a bit of a problem: ”The other day I was chased down the street by this group of screaming women. That sort of thing happens all the time now.”

Becky Blasband, 24: The singer split New York in June to spend the summer writing songs in a cabin in Northern California. She did a TV ad for one of those plastic cosmetics organizers before leaving the city — ”It’s just a bunch of girls putting on makeup in front of a mirror” — and is planning on moving to Los Angeles in August to find more TV or film work. ”Fame is really bourgeois these days,” she says, disdainfully. ”Everybody is famous, but only 10 percent of those people really deserve to be famous.”

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