Spy websites give you an advance peek at "The Real World," which premieres tonight

When the seventh season of MTV’s “The Real World” begins tonight at 10, the “true story” will be old news at the various spy sites that have been posting undercover observations of the seven cast mates since they moved into their Seattle house in January. While being taped by MTV’s omnipresent cameras, the cast members, who include two military cadets, an African-American Jew, and the requisite virgin, were also shadowed by locals who documented the bars they entered and the drinks they drank. “We did the stalkerazzi thing a couple of nights,” says Rob Ryan, who posted pictures of one of the women walking her mother to her hotel on his site. “We see them as public figures just like if Stallone came to town to film a movie.”

The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly paper, documented the MTV invasion through sightings E-mailed from readers. And most recently, the cast’s activities at a June 6 wrap party were documented by website artist Katie Mochizuki, 21, who chatted with a couple of loose-lipped cast members. “Everybody wants to know about them,” says Mochizuki. “So who am I to keep it from them?”

A lot of the spying came from a desire to undermine MTV; many Seattle locals still hold a grudge about the network’s claims to have discovered grunge in the early 90s. The native youth also grew irritated at seeing MTV orchestrate an unrealistic version of their lives, setting its cast up in an enormous house on a pier and getting them jobs at a local rock station. “There’s a lot of genuinely struggling people in their age group out here,” says Shirley Rodell-Szynyjec, who wrote the Stranger’s “Real World” column. “They feel the cast is getting special treatment and it’s getting represented as ‘real’ on TV, and obviously it’s not.” —Josh Wolk

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