The Challenge Champ Says He ‘Might Have Been Dead’ If Not for The Real World

MTV The Challenge and Real World

MTV MTV's The Challenge and The Real World logos

Recently, a true OG on The Challenge and one of its earlier champions, Eric Nies, credited his appearance on The Real World with saving his life. Eric was one of the seven cast members on the inaugural season of the groundbreaking reality TV show, set in New York, and he shared the impact of the season on his life in a teaser video for an upcoming reunion show.

The teaser video is for a reunion of the entire cast of The Real World: New York, hosted by Andy Cohen, which is part of a documentary series set to be released titled “For Real: The Story of Reality TV.” The series will explore classic reality TV shows and speak with its top stars, Cohen previously announced.

Following his appearance on The Real World, Eric, now 49, joined the cast of the very first season of The Challenge, titled Road Rules: All Stars. He then returned for the show’s sixth season, Battle of the Sexes, and the ninth season, Battle of the Sexes 2, which he won. Eric also co-hosted the fifth season of The Challenge along with Mark Long.

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The Teaser Video for the Andy Cohen-Hosted Reunion Featured Eric Opening Up About How ‘The Real World’ Saved His Life

Eric Nies Explains How "The Real World" Saved His Life | E!The OG contestant of MTV's iconic "The Real World" series looks back at his journey of hardship and healing to get where he is today. Watch the moment on "For Real: The Story of Reality TV." SUBSCRIBE: About E! Entertainment: E! is on the Pulse of Pop Culture, bringing fans the very best original…2021-02-22T17:59:50Z

The teaser video for the Andy Cohen-hosted reunion featured a frank interview with Eric in which he said, “If the Real World didn’t happen and my life didn’t go the way it did, I might have been dead.” He went on to explain:

There were a lot of wounds that I was suppressing from my childhood and I was on a self-destructive path. I started using drugs at a young age. I was able to look at myself and see the things that I didn’t like about myself that I wanted to change. So, in a way, The Real World kind of saved my life.

He said his drug use began after he received “physical abuse, verbal abuse and sexual abuse,” but he stopped using drugs in The Real World house because he was on probation and getting tested. The special preview episode for the documentary series featuring the reunion is set to air on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. on E! while the official series premiere will be on Thursday, March 25.

In Addition to the Reunion, the New York Cast Will Be Appearing in a Paramount+ Revival of ‘The Real World’ Titled ‘Homecoming’

The Real World Homecoming

MTVThe Real World Homecoming: New York

The New York cast also reunited for a revival of The Real World titled The Real World Homecoming: New York, which is set to drop on ViacomCBS’s new streaming service, Paramount+, on its launch date of March 4. The entire cast of “seven strangers” returned to the same iconic New York City loft for a multi-episode documentary series nearly 30 years after the show’s debut.

According to a press release from MTV, the original seven cast members, Becky Blasband, Andre Comeau, Heather B. Gardner, Julie Gentry, Norman Korpi, Eric Nies and Kevin Powell, will “revisit the shocking moments and explosive issues that transpired during the historic season and discuss how they parallel in today’s social climate.” They will also speak about how their lives were changed by The Real World and what they’ve been up to since the show’s filming ended.

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