The Real World’s Heather B. Gardner Wants Another Reunion: 'There Is Some Unfinished Business'

As much as fans have enjoyed seeing the original cast of The Real World come together for six episodes of Homecoming on Paramount+, the reunion was never complete. All seven strangers never actually wound up physically together.

And Heather B. Gardner is as "bummed" about it as anyone.

Eric Nies was never able to move in with his former roommates after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, he beamed in on a television screen and on phones, and participated as much as he could. Additionally, Rebecca Blasband left the SoHo loft halfway through the series following an explosive argument.

"I feel bummed that the seven of us, literally, still have not stood in the same room together in 29 years," Gardner, 50, tells PEOPLE. "I don't know if it means they'll have to have a Homecoming season 2. It's just about who's trying to catch that unicorn. It's crazy."

That Nies wasn't able to join the roommates in person was especially disappointing for Gardner.

"We only got 50 percent of Eric," she says. "I don't think Eric was able to share his full story being on that video screen. But I think the producers did a great job at trying."

As for Blasband's departure and subsequent FaceTime conversation with cast member Kevin Powell, Gardner is surprised by how many people have questioned the validity of their heated conversations on race.

"People have been hitting me up, even family members, asking, 'Was the conversation with Kevin and Becky real? Did that really happen? Was this orchestrated?' And it was very real," she says.

"I found out later that producers reached out to Kevin and to Becky to kind of resolve this, because I think we owed that to the audience to try to resolve it and just to not let her leave or to not let Kevin just walk away and not try to resolve this. That's not fake. That's just them trying to tell the story. I don't think it would have been fair to fans to not know whatever came of that," Gardner shares.

Despite that friction and everyone having their own adult lives, Gardner is confident that the gathering of all seven former strangers — including Julie Gentry, Andre Comeau and Norman Korpi — is on the horizon.

"I think it will eventually happen," she says. "It needs to happen, at this point, because there is some unresolved business. I don't know what this magic is with these six other people that I've been blessed to live with and know, but there's something that happens when the seven of us walk into a room together. I can't explain it. I wish I knew, but we still have to make that happen."

In the meantime, Gardner, who works in radio — with SiriusXM on Sway in the Morning and on her own show The Happy Hour with Heather B. — and Gentry remain deeply connected.

"That is my sister," she says. "Obviously all of us have different relationships, and Julie and Norman and I are very close, but Julie and I are probably the closest."

Throughout the reunion series, Gardner kept daily lists answering the questions: "What do you know, and what did you learn?" PEOPLE couldn't help but turn the tables and ask Gardner to answer the same about her experience moving back in with her former roommates and having her life taped once again, 29 years later.

"What I knew going in is that, even if people didn't want to admit it, everybody needed to heal from something, that everybody was going through something," she says. "And what I learned is that everybody has a different way of healing. We were all dealing with some kind of healing, but I just didn't realize, in a house with six other people, how differently we all heal."

All six episodes of The Real World Homecoming: New York are available for streaming now on Paramount+.


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