From cast-mates, to husband and wife, and now, back under one roof, Melinda tells all!
For MTV, it makes for great entertainment—country girl meets Boston boy on The Real World: Austin. The two fall in love on the show, go on to compete in Challenges (and have yet to win one), then get divorced. Now, they're back together. Well, on TV at least. Melinda Stolp, 29 was nervous when she was offered an opportunity to be on this season of Battle of the Seasons 2, since it involved living with her ex-husband, Danny Jamieson. So we got all the details to tell you to get ready for tonight's big show.
"The Real World was always something I wanted to do," Melinda said of her original season from 2005. "I was in a rut, in a bad relationship, and I needed something."
That relationship ended when going on the show, because of the distance, and because of Danny. "My advice now for anyone going on The Real World, don't be with somebody," she said. "Your whole life changes!"
For a girl who grew up in Wilconsin, Milwaukee, things definitely changed in Austin. So, does she feel the same way when it comes to going into a challenge with a significant other?
"I hated doing Challenges when Danny and I were together," she said. "We'd get angry, and it would cause more problems. Danny would get really angry." Oh, you don't say...
However, when things didn't work out with Danny, Melinda moved on and is now in a new relationship. "Before the show started, Danny and I talked, and agreed we could do this. We made an agreement it wouldn't be awkward." However, for all of us who have seen the trailer for the new season, we do see an Austin castmate asking Melinda "how could you divorce this kid?" Awkward!
Melinda, who has been on a total of four challenges, says now she is happy with where her life is. In a serious relationship, she's learned so much during her time on MTV about life, love, and about herself. Although she's in a relationship now, she said that when it comes to dating, it's a strange experience.
"When I meet someone, I think I prefer when they don't know who I am and have never seen the show," Melinda said. "This way, they don't have preconcieved notions about me! You know, on The Real World, I was 21. I'm 29 now, a completely different person."
Although some personalities may seem to get turned around on camera, Melinda explained that MTV does a good job of showing what's significant and what's real. "If you're being a jerk, you're being a jerk. MTV couldn't write that in."
Speaking of jerks, Melinda's castmate from Austin, Wes Bergmann is also on her team this season. Over the years, Wes hasn't gotten the best reputation and is known for being not such a nice guy. "Wes is like my brother!" she explained, sticking up for him. "I love him. I haven't been on a challenge with him since Fresh Meat, and it's like no time has passed. I really love that kid." She has also stayed in touch with other castmates from her 2005 adventure. "Johanna [Botta] is my best friend! I love her, we definitely keep in touch!"
So, now that she's back home from the show, Melinda has gone back to her every day life —working as a dental hygenist (yes, she cleans teeth).
"I love what I do!" she said of her career that she's been working at for eight years. "I wouldn't change it. People don't believe it when I tell them that. I had a patient who came in and was like 'I can't believe the girl from The Real World cleans my teeth!' It was so cute!"
She's also looking forward to the future. We know what you're thinking. Is there more challenges to come?
"I guess it depends," she said. "It depends on if it's the right time. Six weeks is a long time to be away. But I've never been able to do an independent challenge. I've always been on teams, and I'm over the team thing!"
This season, you can catch Melinda on "Team Austin" with her "brother" Wes (who has been on seven challenges and won one), her ex-husband Danny (who has been on six challenges), and Lacey, who is a rookie!
Although she's lived with some of these people before, Melinda gave us a little hint that although she has a super goofy personality, we may get to see her more... agressive side this season. "If you mess with someone I really care about . . ."
Well, we'll just let you watch! Don't miss the 90-minute season premiere of Battle of the Seasons 2 tonight at 10 pm EST on MTV.