Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW landscape architecture major unlikely ‘Real World’ star

When Landon Lueck, a UW senior majoring in landscape architecture, cut ahead of people waiting in line for MTV’s Real World casting call at State Street Brats last year, he did not think he would actually make it on the show. Little did Lueck know he would spend his summer with seven strangers in Philadelphia and receive a glimpse into the life of a celebrity.

The 15th season of the Real World features Lueck, a Wisconsin native from River Falls. A member of both the UW water ski and wakeboarding teams, Lueck says he is an active student on campus.

After several friends urged Lueck to go to the audition, he was interviewed in the last group of students and asked to answer the question, “What do you consider cheating?” Later, Lueck filled out a 15-page questionnaire, taped a casting video and eventually went to Chicago and Los Angeles to be interviewed. While the interview process was intense, Lueck said, they kept it fun.


“You are able to learn about your life very quickly. I’ve never had someone listen to me so intently,” Lueck said.

After he landed a spot on the cast, he said he still could not believe it, adding his time in Philadelphia was fun and stress-free.

“It’s like Christmas everyday,” Lueck said.

Although Lueck enjoyed being filmed, he admitted the cameras and life on show took some getting used to. The seven roommates encountered many people who would go to extremes to get on camera, often yelling offensive statements at them, according to Lueck.

Lueck said viewers often question how “real” the show is. Although some may doubt the show’s authenticity, Lueck said he believes that for the most part everything was captured accurately.

Lueck, who receives copies of the episodes in advance, was able to watch the first four episodes with his roommates from the show. He said he gets along and keeps in contact with each roommate.

“There are certain things that will tie us together forever. There is no one else who could understand,” Lueck said.

While some viewers say MTV cast people on the show to play a certain type of role, Lueck said he believes it is not done on purpose, but it often just works out that way.

Jil Shah, a UW junior and fan of The Real World, claimed to have seen Lueck and one of his roommates on campus.

Lueck, however, is unable to comment about much that happened while filming because each cast member signed a confidentiality agreement. Avid watchers, like Shah, wonder about his relationship status with Real World roommate Shavonda. Whatever the status, Lueck cannot answer yes or no.

Although Lueck does not mind when students approach him, he admitted it can be overwhelming for him and his friends.

“Its exactly what I would do. Its hard to say [being approached] is annoying when I’d do the same things,” said Lueck.

After living together for the summer, leaving his roommates was very difficult for Lueck.

“It was the best four months of my life. We were like a family,” Lueck said.

Lueck is excited to watch each episode with his friends in Madison. Lueck claims many relatable and important issues are yet to come in the season and that it will perhaps be the best season thus far.

“There was a lot of crazy sh-t that happened,” said Lueck.

Shah is excited to watch the upcoming episodes because she can relate to the cast.

“Lueck seems just like any one of my guy friends and that is what makes the show seem real,” Shah said. “He is the closest thing we have to a celebrity here on campus.”

Lueck has no regrets looking back on his time spent filming The Real World, especially showing he was born a Badger.

“I tried my hardest to represent the Badgers and wear my Wisconsin gear as much as I could,” he said. “I tried to represent us students in a good light because I love our school.”

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