I have special treat for you guys today....a BB fan and reader of my website attended the party thrown by Bullies Reality in James' hometown. That is Tim Levasseur, the founder and president of Bullies Reality on the far right of this picture, with his wife Krissy next to him and Rodney Lavoie Jr. in the middle wearing the white T-shirt. Rodney is listed on the Bullies Reality website as the Director, which would be an officer-level position at a typical corporate entity.
For the rest of this post, everything you read is a first-hand account from the front lines of the two events. If I chime in with my comments, the text will be red. Like this.
And we all know I can't shut up. So here we go.
When I had the opportunity to meet some reality show people within a couple hours from my home, I had to make the drive. I’d spent plenty of time there and had a place to stay. It’s a mid-size Texas town of 100,000 with all the chain restaurants a couple of Wal-marts. It has some of the friendliest people you will ever meet but seems like an odd place for a reality star gathering other than the fact that it’s home to James from Big Brother. I think the city’s only other recent notable is the band Bowling for Soup.
So we hit the road and made it to the site for the first event, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop around.
(FYI: Mike Holloway is a recent winner of Survivor 30 who started dating Meg after meeting her at another reality event.)
Meg is taller and, believe it or not, prettier than on TV. Mike is sporting the man bun. He kiddingly said he was trying to be Joe, but he then told us how when he was in third grade, there was a girl with leukemia that lost her hair and the girls in his class made fun of her. He felt terrible, and as soon as he could, he started growing his hair long and cutting and donating it to a charity.
General thoughts on those I met:
* Mike is very charismatic and friendly. You are just drawn to him immediately. Nothing like how I felt about him after watching the show. It’s easy to see him and Meg together which before meeting him I thought they made an odd pair.
* James and Natalie are exactly like they were on the feeds. They are just so damn nice and genuine.
* Liz and Julia are incredibly fun and friendly. They were clowning around with everyone there. They are the life of the party.
* Are James and Natalie a real couple? Who knows. They certainly seem to care about each other and have chemistry. It looked to me like there was something there. James did seem a little quiet, but they’ve had a crazy schedule since leaving the house.
* Rodney and Sierra were very friendly.
Will Sims was pretty quiet but very nice. His wife was there, and she told us that it took a long time to get to the Survivor site in Nicaragua for the family visit. She said that he was allowed to tell her how he did on the show because she had to sign a confidentiality agreement as well. I always thought they couldn’t discuss anything with their family.(Both Rodney Lavoie and Sierra Dawn Thomas were contestants on Survivor 30. Sierra will also appear on the upcoming season of Survivor, airing early in 2017. And Sierra is one tall drink of water.)
(Will is also part of the Survivor 30 cast. That is some juicy Survivor scoop, actually.)
After our five minutes, we went into the restaurant and ate lunch. Afterward, I saw that the line had died down and so I wanted to go back again. This time we were allowed in and we didn’t have a time limit. I got a picture with James and Natalie and spent a decent amount of time talking to Jackie. I always liked Jackie on the Amazing Race and Big Brother. We talked for quite a bit. I kept thinking others would want time with her, but she wanted to visit, and no one else seemed irritated I was hogging her time. She told me that Jason Roy had planned to be there, but, well, he’s pre-occupied.
I asked about the house. She said you can see the cameras along the top and that it does have a ceiling similar to a regular house but it is higher. I thought it might look more like a television set. She said it was very bright in there with the lights. I asked if it smelled bad with all those people living in there, and she said no, that Becky kept the place pretty clean, but that dishes did tend to pile up. She confirmed that it was very boring. We took a couple pictures, but I didn’t want to dominate her time, but it was very cool to just be visiting with her. She’s as awesome in person as on the show.
That night’s event was held at a country bar. I don’t know about everywhere else, but here they are huge. They were supposed to arrive at 10, but it was 11 before everyone showed up. They had an elevated roped off area where everyone sat.
This is Meg chatting with a Nolan...I believe that is Liz Nolan.
(Meg's left leg looks like she just played Survivor, but of course she didn't. What the hell happened there?)
I believe this is the aforementioned "roped off area" where the reality stars congregated. The "VIP Area", apparently.
This is Sierra and Jackie, of course. And Jackie is still a stunner.
Liz and Meg again.
I always loved the Twins. They have such a great energy and love for life-ah.
They arrived, stood up on the stage, looked around and in minutes, Liz and Julia jumped off the stage and were on the dance floor. You know, I think about 90% of the people there that night had no idea who these people were. Most of the reality stars hit the dance floor and just kind of blended in. They would stop and take pictures with anyone that asked, but it was too loud to have much of a conversation. Still you might be dancing and next to you would be Meg and Mike.
James hit the dance floor.
This is Tiffany Chantal on the left, who I think is one of Natalie's friends from The Amazing Race, next to Rodney Lavioe and Jackie Iberra, of course.
This is Will Sims II and Tiffany Chantal. Will's wife is on the far left.
A glimpse of James here, probably looking at his phone.
And because this is 2016, everyone is staring at their smart phone. Of course.
That is Tim Levasseur's hand holding up the phone on the left.
And here is Tim again, lurking on the sidelines.
They had a girl sing that was very good. Vivian Hicks. https://www.youtube.com/user/
AlleyHicks I’m not sure the relation to the group, but she was very good.
At the club, everyone was very well behaved. Damn! I even saw Rodney turn down a shot someone offered him! These are reality people, there are supposed to be fights and smashed furniture!
This is a local news article about the event.
So I’ve seen talk about Bullies Reality here and on Reddit about just what is it and how it was founded. I read an article that they refer to it as a foundation. Which if they are, they would be a 501(c)(3). I’m not sure what they are, but they did present a check for $5,000 to the families of a couple of girls that were involved in a shooting walking home from school. All the donations requested, and it was very low pressure, were requested in the name of the charity for the girls.
(Bullies Reality was formed on December 3, 2015 as a Texas Corporation. An IRS representative stated on October 11, 2016 that there is "no record of tax-exempt status" for the Company.)
Judging from the crowds, when you figure in travel for everyone, I doubt they made that much in revenue to cover donations and expenses so I think someone is kicking in some money. I thought this was a very well run event and a treat for a town that doesn’t get this kind of event very often. (Usually you have to drive to Dallas.) What it looked like to me was a group of people that were having a blast hanging out. I told my friend that I would like to on a Reality show just so I could join this group. Either way, they seem to be having fun and doing some good along the way.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE GENEROUS READER WHO TOOK THE TIME TO DOCUMENT ALL OF THIS. THEY WISHED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, BUT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WE ALL THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS!