The New Orleans cast of MTV's The Real World say it was a real eye-opener to finally get the chance to interact with the camera crews and producers who had followed their actions for the previous five months.

Although MTV's crew was ever-present throughout the production, it was not until the final day of taping that they were permitted to actually interact with the seven housemates. Crew members were under strict orders to give the silent treatment to everyone they came in contact with.

"That was the coolest thing, actually meeting our crews," housemate Julie tells the TV Guide Channel. "You talk to them and you're like, 'Wow! You're very different than I ever thought you would be!' And they know things about you. You're like, 'Yeah one time I did this,' and they're like, 'Yeah, we know.' And I'm like, 'Oh yeah, that's right; you were there.' "

Matt says he and his Real World housemates actually made repeated attempts to talk to the camera crews. "We'd toy with them sometimes. But they were not going to talk with us; they weren't going to communicate. I mean, even until the last days. They were very still, like robots."

"Some of them are very good at being robotic and very objective," recalls Melissa. "But they're humans and they laugh at our jokes and they cry when they see us going through hard times. I think at times, too, they respect our privacy and leave the room when it's just gotten to be too much."

The housemates were particularly wowed when, on their final day of taping, they got to see the hidden control room where producers monitored all their actions. "It's overwhelming to look at 50 screens and all the angles they have of us and then to know that there are wireless mikes in these bedrooms," says Melissa.