The Celebreality Interview – Tami Roman

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Tami Roman is a fascinating specimen. Seventeen years ago, she was part of the second season of the first modern reality show, MTV’s The Real World. With the second season of Basketball Wives (premiering Sunday, December 12 at 8/9c), she returns to the genre that launched her career. If ever there were a person to examine the effects that appearing on reality TV has on one’s psyche and life, surely it is Tami. However, since I’m no psychologist, the primary effect I’m concerned with is that her time on reality TV didn’t stop her from coming back for more. Above, we talk about The Real World: Los Angeles, on which she was a pioneer for a concept that would be come to known as “over-sharing” — the complete and utter soul-bearing that non-celebrities do as a matter of course on the Internet and reality TV alike (the show famously documented Tami’s abortion). We also talk about the difference between filming reality TV in the early ’90s versus now.

And, for those who followed Tami as closely as I did 17 years ago, there’s a bonus clip under the jump that hearkens back to those days…

There was a really famous scene that played in Real World: Los Angeles episode previews, commercials and a few times throughout the actual season, in which Tami rapped (while recording with her amazingly named R&B girl group, Reality). The lines “I’m a slave, I’m a slave, I’m a slave for your lovin’ / I can’t resist the fever of your kissin’ and your huggin’” will forever be burned in my brain, and now they can be in yours, too: I asked Tami for a rendition of the rap and she graciously obliged below.

Seventeen years later, she’s still got it (and this goes for her time on Basketball Wives, too, which is nothing short of spectacular).

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  1. Ty says:

    This is why I love Tami! She is REAL! Nobody else would have been honest about how the shows are really set up. I think Tami is probably the only REAL one in the bunch and I cannot wait to see her set it off this season!

  2. Kamisha says:

    I agree with Ty, Tami is sooo real. It was really sweet of her to consider how her situation could help others. I think she has gotten a raw deal from a lot of people because she was so willing to be open. It’s amazing that she would make herself so vulnerable to try to help others. In a world where eveyone thinks about themselves and nobody else, it’s nice to see that there are real people who will make real sacrifices to help others avoid making the same mistakes they have made. Kudos to you Tami.

  3. Nanette says:

    Tami is really a strong woman, she has taken a lot of heat for being real and open but she continues to keep it 100% real. I think that it took a lot of strength for her to make herself vulnerable to public ridicule just to help others avoid making the same mistake she made. It’s real easy to talk about folks and just look out for yourself like some of the women on the show, but Tami has shown that she genuinely cares about others. I don’t know many people who would make themselves vulnerable to being ridiculed by the whole world just to try to help others avoid making the same mistakes they did. I have a lot of respect for this woman.

  4. liniblet says:

    Tami Roman is real and not fake like most and i appreciate that. Look forward to seeing her on Basketball Wives II

  5. Sassy Mouthâ„¢ says:

    I think I might actually like her. She is so well spoken. Only time will till if I’ll continue to like her. She already won me over when she got at Evelyn(can’t stand that snob wannabe).

  6. Z says:

    Yeah, I remember that promo for “The Real World-California”
    (yes, real headz know THAT was the original name of the 2nd season)and we thought it was SO embarrassingly bad and sad that Tami was tryin to rap! LOL— But and still we loved her she was a real, REAL black girl on TV and we supported her from our living rooms. I was 17 yrs. old when the show aired and what she went through helped me keep myself together as to not get pregnant like SO MANY of my friends were getting pregnant back then. The choice she had to make was heartbreaking to watch

  7. Shelly says:

    I am so happy to see an old school wife. Tami is not alone, there are more than a few of us that have similar stories – if not worse.
    Her being added to the show has definitely added the “real” to the “ity”.

  8. pattithoms says:

    Hey now.. Ms Tammy is bringing the HEAT!!!It’s about time they got a real sista on the show with these fake asses…Royce seems to have changed for the better, but what the hell is up with Evelyn..”Susie is out of the circle because I said so” PLEEZE!!!

  9. Donna says:

    Looking forward to this season. I can’t stand any of those fake heifers so I think Tami will be bring it on !

  10. Kay says:

    Tami said she never got anything from her divorce becuz of a prenup, does that include child support

  11. Jacci McCoy says:

    While I recognize that Tami represents more of the population than Jennifer, Evelyn, and Shaunie, I hope you are aware that you are being painted as “ghetto”. I would suggest removing your children from this situation. I think they deserve their privacy and hearing you state you were on food stamps may not have been smething they wanted their peers to know as it was no one’s business. The economy is tough right now, but I wish you would touch on why or why not you chose not pursue Kenny in the court system. He may not have had to give you alimony, but he should have had to pay child support. I really want to see some positivity unfold in the coming weeks and I see there is a fight brewing, but I feel this is being perpetuated by the producers…beware of how they paint you-your girls are watching.

  12. Veron says:

    Tami is an inspiration. So out spoken but she knows when to hold her tongue. Its nice to have her the the second season of basketball wives. from her childish 17 years old ways to more womanly Tami! i just cant wait to watch more of her and how she takes care of her children and herself. shes a changed woman and i believe she will be great as she develops herself more.I like her the best than the other ladies at the show. Best of luck to you Tami! dont let the other ladies get to your nerve.