Kristin Cavallari, Oprah Interview

OWN

What would Kristin Cavallari's life be like if Laguna Beach never happened?

This weekend, the reality star takes a trip down memory lane and admits hindsight is 20/20.

"I was a junior in high school and MTV showed up and did open casting," she recalls in Oprah: Where Are They Now?, airing this Sunday. "You grab this 20-page packet and then they would take your Polaroid, and from there, they did on-camera interviews. They sort of narrowed it down to these eight people."

In addition to Cavallari, the show's first season followed Lo Bosworth, Stephen Colletti, Lauren Conrad, Morgan Olsen, Trey Phillips, Christina Schuller and Talan Torriero. "We had no idea what we were doing," Cavallari, 27, acknowledges. "We were just going along with whatever MTV was telling us to do."

In fact, Cavallari felt that the producers sometimes took advantage of the teens' naivety. "My boyfriend at the time [Coletti] would take Lauren Conrad to dinner and buy her flowers, which never would have happened if it weren't for the show and MTV," the reality star says. "I felt very used and manipulated."

Cavallari served as Conrad's foil, and it was a tough pill to swallow. "Being 16, 17 in high school, not knowing really how to handle your emotions or even realizing what's going on, I put up a wall. I put up a really tough exterior because I felt like they were really trying to take advantage of me," she says. Being labeled the "bad girl" made her feel, well, bad. "When I saw it air and saw the way that they represented me, I was really, really upset. I cried for hours and hours after I saw the first episode," Cavallari admits.

Laguna Beach aired for three seasons, though the final season featured a new, younger cast.

Cavallari, who is now married with two children, replaced Conrad in The Hills in 2009. Still, she has mixed feelings about Laguna Beach. "I still to this day think you should be 18 to do a reality show," she warns, "only because of my experience."

Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

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