Not since Alicia Calaway's finger-pointin' brawl with Kimmi Kappenberg on Survivor: The Australian Outback has a physical quirk caused such a fuss: During last night's 10th-season premiere of MTV's pioneering reality soap The Real World, African-American spitfire Coral responded to sheltered housemate Mike's racist comments with a simple yet menacing stare. It was enough to send the Ohio frat boy begging for her forgiveness.
Surprisingly, Coral insists that her gaze of terror is not some secret weapon she uses to punish her enemies. "When I was watching [the episode], the face felt familiar," the 22-year-old San Franciscan tells TV Guide Online. "But I've never really had anyone say, 'Coral, you've got that stare like you want to kill me!' I've never had that happen."
Well, there's nothing like an ignorant remark to bring out the worst in people. "It hurt and it p----- me off," she says of Mike's comment that his uncle refuses to hire black people because they're uneducated. "I was more surprised at the audacity of him saying that. It just seems like something you wouldn't say to a black person sitting next to you."
Still, considering Mike's homogeneous upbringing he described his Parma, Ohio hometown as "really white" Coral concedes that such a showdown was "inevitable." However, she's quick to laugh off any suggestion that their hatchet-burying embrace at the conclusion of Tuesday's debut hinted at a future romance. "No!" she exclaims. "Let me just tell you that No!"
Another relationship that won't be blossoming anytime soon is the one between Coral and her Road Rules rival Ellen. On last week's Real World-Road Rules casting special, the divas-in-training came thisclose to re-enacting one of Alexis and Krystle's legendary Dynasty catfights. And despite Ellen's seemingly successful attempt at an 11th hour reconciliation, Coral maintains that their feud is far from over."Nobody kissed and made up for nothin'," she sasses. "It was the end of the casting special and everybody was very, very happy about being chosen. I was sitting there and she wanted to talk to me about something, promisin' to do something I don't even remember what the hell I said. I just wanted to go. I wasn't like, 'Oh yeah, Ellen, you're so cool now' at all. By no means was all forgiven and forgotten and you can quote me on that."