A FRIEND OF mine ran into three “Real World DC” cast members at a party. They were nervous. The MTV reality series debuts on Dec. 30 at 10 p.m. The cast members were afraid the EDITORS would make them look, like, STUPID or something and not focus on their efforts to improve the world.

A recent reality show contestant had a different perspective on the power of TV editors. I recently spoke to Eli Kirshtein, who made it to the final five of this season’s “Top Chef.” I asked the Atlanta foodie if he’s like he seemed on TV — a bit brash and immature at times. He had a contradictory response. On the one hand, yes: “The producers may ask leading questions, but at the end of the day, if you said it, you said it.”

On the other hand, he noted, one’s TV persona isn’t necessarily spot-on. “You think you know who I am from that minute of airtime,” Kirshtein said. “That’s funny!” Nonetheless, viewers will pass judgment. In fact, they’ve already begun to critique the Real Worlders. One comment for the series trailer on YouTube accuses the cast of committing the cardinal sin of reality TV: “This looks boooorrriiing.” Believe me, no editor would aim for that.

Written by Express contributor Marc Sliver
Photo courtesy MTV