The Decade-Long Ballad of Justin Bobby and Audrina Patridge: Real Deal or The Hills Showmance?

Can MTV viewers buy into their New Beginnings' relationship drama when they've spent years downplaying their past?

By Tierney Bricker Aug 12, 2019 7:51 PMTags
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"Truth and time tells all."

Over 10 years later, we're still trying to figure out what truth and time are trying to tell us when it comes to Justin Bobby Brescia and Audrina Patridge as their rocky romance is once again playing out on MTV.

After viewers watched Audrina's on-and-off romance with the bad boy with two first names play out on The Hills over the course of its six-season run, they tuned into The Hills: New Beginnings, the series' revival, to find the not-really-a-couple still doing the same old song and dance. 

The problem? In the years since The Hills' original run came to an end in 2010, most of its stars, including Audrina and JB (Cool if we call you that?), have given (many) interviews about how manufactured a lot of the drama and relationships were on the show. Yes, including Audrina and Justin's, so it begs the question: Can we invest in a possible reconciliation when they've spent so much time dismantling the relationship? 

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Let's evaluate whether or not Audrina and Justin's will-they-or-won't-they dynamic is the real deal or a showmance cooked up for the purpose of reality TV drama, hoping to prey on people's nostalgia for the days of fighting behind dumpsters at Les Deux...

While New Beginnings' is documenting Justin Bobby's career as a musician, his beginning on The Hills back in season three was as a celebrity hairdresser. 

"When I met Audrina, I was working on a Madonna music video with a team of hairdressers, and it happened to be at Quixote Studios where she was a receptionist," he told InStyle for their oral history on the show. 


Audrina continued, "He kept walking in front of my desk and asking if I could get him things…magazines, waters. We had just started filming the show, so I asked if he wanted to cut my hair on camera."

He agreed (and also charged her for the cut). At least in the show's version of how things went down, as Audrina revealed it wasn't actually thh first time they had filmed a scene with Justin cutting her hair. 

"I knew Justin before I started the show. The producers asked if I would film with the guy I was dating, and I asked him, 'Why don't we just do a scene at my apartment where you're doing my hair or something?'" she revealed to Us Weekly. "That was in the very beginning, but it never made it to air."

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Justin recalled, "I went and did my first cut and they filmed it, but it didn't go in the story line. It was like, 'Why is this dude just showing up and cutting hair?' But we had a good time."

Producers immediately found the bad boy intriguing and wanted him to film again. Never super comfortable on-camera, he was hesitant.

"At the time I was a hairdresser for Maroon 5. It came down to them going, 'Whatever you make, we'll triple it,'" he told Us Weekly

Audrina would later admit to Rolling Stone that she started dating Justin, who would infamously become Justin Bobby thanks to his awkward first meeting with Lauren Conrad and Lo Bosworth, earlier than normal because of the show, explaining, "Because it's for TV, you push yourself to do things that you normally wouldn' me and [Justin Bobby] being girlfriend and boyfriend right away. I would have waited."

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Even Justin Bobby downplayed their relationship status, telling Us Weekly, "Audrina and I were friends. [The relationship] was more for the show. The people they were making her go on dates with weren't really up to her speed, and she hadn't been feeling it."

Ah, the beginning of every great love story. 

According to the show's producers, filming with Justin Bobby was as unpredictable as the weather, his mood seemingly changing as soon as the cameras began rolling. 

"He was so difficult to wrangle, and he had sort of like a superpower of not caring what people would think if he was being a dick," producer Josh Harnden told MTV News

"He was so unwilling to shoot. It was very hard. He would give us so little of his time, and I think that there aren't any shoots we did with Justin Bobby that didn't make it to air," executive producer Sean Travis added in a Refinery29 interview. "I think every single scene we shot with him is on television."

It just so happened that every single scene they shot with him proved to be reality TV gold, thanks to his eccentric behavior and philosophical (for MTV anyway) musings. 

His most memorable musing was dropping the now-infamous phrase "truth and time tells all" on Audrina in a season three episode. 

That line was about us being together. Justin was very philosophical," Audrina explained. "He'd never really give straight answers, but he'd have these brilliant one-liners, where you'd be like, 'That sounds really great.' But afterwards you'd think about it, and you're like, 'What the heck does that mean?'"


Some of that behavior, of course, included being a s--tty boyfriend to Audrina. You know, leaving her at parties without a ride, making out with another girl at a club in front of Audrina, wearing combat boots to the beach, etc. 

For Justin, he admitted the cast's level of fame started factoring into his behavior and feelings towards Audrina, explaining to InStyle, "You spend so much time with each other in the spotlight and it can almost play a trick on you. You almost believe what is out there in the air rather than your thoughts and beliefs, and I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up. I tried to stay true to what was in my heart. People can believe anything they want now, but time and truth really does tell. It was a blessing to be able to speak freely like that and give something inspirational to people who don't think that way."

Of the couple's more dramatic moments on the show, JB said, "We'd do these scenes and some of them would be intense and somewhat passionate. And then we'd stop filming and go back to our own lives."

As the seasons continued, the storylines became more planned out, according to the stars, especially when Kristin Cavallari joined the show in season five, replacing Lauren. 

"Producers had a bunch of different story lines for her. She was supposed to be the crazy, wild drama-starter," Audrina said of the Laguna Beach alum coming in. "When she and Justin started fake-dating, the producers kept wanting me to fight with her over him, and I was like, 'I'm not even with him!'"

And she wasn't, as Audrina was in the midst of her relationship with ex-husband Corey Bohan, who she also began dating in 2008. The Australian BMX rider appeared in three episodes, with Audrina going on to date him on-and-off until the show's end and on her shortlived VH1 reality show, Audrina

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If Justin Bobby's scenes with Audrina were over-dramatized, his moments with Kristin were completely scripted, with the Very Cavallari star admitting, "I never saw Justin when we weren't filming. He's a really nice guy, but he's not necessarily my type."

By series' end, Justin Bobby was completely over The Hills, at least that's what he told Us Weekly in 2015.

"It wasn't for me," he said. "It was hard to get me to shoot after a while because it was repetition and there wasn't anything artistically happening and I wasn't growing. So I said, 'If you guys get some real writers in on this, I'd be all about it and we could build characters,' but it never went to that."

Three years later though, Justin Bobby had a change of heart, as he was on-hand for the reunion announcement, along with Audrina, Whitney Port, Spencer and Heidi Pratt and other cast members, on the red carpet at the 2018 MTV VMAs. 

While Lauren and Kristin opted to sit out of the revival, Stephanie Pratt was also announced as a cast member. But what no fan of The Hills was likely expecting when they tuned into New Beginnings was a love triangle between Audrina, Justin Bobby and Stephanie, as JB and Spencer's sister barely interacted during the show's original run. 

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The cast members' continued willingness to pop holes in the fourth wall for viewers, despite their producer's likely protests, has already come into play, with Stephanie taking to Instagram on July 23 to 1. announce she wasn't returning for season two. 2. call out many of her cast members for acting fake on the reality series, especially Audrina when it came to Justin Bobby. 

After denying that she had every hooked up with JB (calling him her "rock" throughout the first season of filming), Stephanie said Audrina was "crazy" and called her out for not having real feelings for her ex. 

"like you dated this guy ten years ago... you married someone else & have a child with him! And-As if you liked Justin!!" she wrote. "you were dating someone off camera!! (the guy u went on a blind date with the night after the festival)! No one plays a better victim than you (OMG you actually should go into acting)!!"

Regardless of whether or not their rekindled romance is all for show (and E! News reported Audrina was dating Matt Chase in February), it's clear Audrina and Justin Bobby share a deep bond, thanks to their experience on one of reality TV's most iconic and generation-defining shows. 

"Justin and I had an understanding with each other before the show," Audrina said of the pair when he joined The Hills in 2008. "He understood what I was going through, and we became really close. Then one thing lead to another. First and foremost, we were friends who really cared for each other."

Justin felt the same way, saying he always felt Audrina was honest with him and looked out for him while filming. 

"Doing what we do, you really have to peel back the layers and see into somebody's heart and what their intentions are, and hers were super pure from day one," he told InStyle. "I think that's why it [the relationship] did what it did. You get to this point where your castmates become like family. Then you get into situations where you have romantic dinners. Being in your early 20s, that stuff's going to come to fruition. You're not going to be opposed to certain things that come your way."

While they lost touch for years prior to New Beginnings, Justin always spoke fondly of his time with Audrina in interviews, even while playing down their romantic past.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

"I was always a friend to her from the get-go and there for her as a friend. We went through the things together," he said. "I felt like a stronger partner on the side who was like a teammate, who was like ‘Hey you got this! You can do this. This is good.' That was real, that was awesome."

And in the premiere of New Beginnings, Audrina, now a single mother to daughter Kirra after her messy divorce from Corey Bohan, and Justin Bobby reconnected, speaking for the first time in years during a dinner date, which ended on a hopeful note for the former couple. 

Alas, that hope was shortlived, as Justin Bobby soon returned to his old ways. (Take note, Bachelor in Paradise boys, as JB was the OG reality TV "f--kboy"!)

"Whether we've hooked up or dated in the past or not, how he's speaking to me and treating me despite everything, that's where he's really, like, hurting me," an emotional Audrina said in a recent episode

Real or not, the drama will continue to play out as MTV renewed The Hills: New Beginnings for a second season, at least according to their co-star Spencer Pratt, who predicted to E! News that Audrina will hook up with Brody Jenner, fresh off of his split from wife/co-star Kaitlynn Carter, next season.

From his lips to MTV's ears...

The Hills: New Beginnings airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV.