Audrina Tells The Story Behind "Justin Bobby"

by Maggie Malach

From its iconic fashion moments to its amazing soundtrack, The Hills will always have a special place in my heart. Lauren Conrad, together with her glamorous group of friends, made up my early-2000s squad goals. (And, I'm willing to bet, yours too.) Of course, no show centered around hip, young professionals would be quite complete without some romantic entanglements. That's why when I sat down to talk Audrina Patridge, who now hosts 1st Look on NBC, I couldn't resist asking her about one of the gentleman on The Hills: Justin Brescia aka Justin Bobby.

In fact, Patridge is the reason Brescia appeared on the show to begin with. She says of the hilarious backstory behind how they first met:

I met Justin when I worked at Quixote Studios when I first moved to L.A., before the show. I was working as a receptionist and he was there assisting one of the hair guys for a Steven Meisel shoot. He kept walking back and forth in front of my desk and I was like "What is this guy doing?" So finally he came up and he was like "Hey, can you help me at the coffee bar, I want to get something to drink." ... So I went over there and I’m like "What do you want to drink?" And he’s like "Whatever you would want." And I gave him a blueberry smoothie drink. Come to find out months later, he actually hates blueberries!
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As Brescia's cast-member status confirms, the two eventually hit it off.

"He drank it and that same day, he just kept walking back and forth, asking for magazines and asking for things and finally before he left, he gave me his number and said 'Hey, you know I do hair if you ever want a haircut or whatever. Here’s my number,'" Patridge continues. "And I was like, 'OK, cool! Free haircut.' So I called him and he did my hair like a week or two later and we were kind of inseparable for awhile, hanging out."

Of course, that leaves the question: How did he end up on the reality show?

"Then I started filming The Hills and asked if he wanted to film with me, which we did a little trial film and he just didn’t really like it," she says. "But we were friends for a really long time and then it was like we were together, serious, and then he didn’t want a label. It was just that off and on, crazy life. I’m happy for him. He’s doing great."

As any avid fan of the show will tell you, Justin Bobby's nickname is as well-known as his incredible head of hair. However, there wasn't one specific moment when the cast universally adopted the moniker. Patridge's recollection of the nickname's origin is very similar to what Brescia told Bustle when we spoke with him a few months ago.

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"I always called him 'Justin,' but then he’s like 'Maybe like, start calling me Bobby. Call me Bobby on the show,'" Patridge says. "So when I talked to Lauren and Lo [Bosworth] about it — and I told them this off-camera, they chose to talk about it on-camera, which now made him Justin Bobby. So off-camera I told them 'What am I supposed to, I know him as Justin, but for the show, he wants us to call him Bobby, so it’s going to be weird calling him ‘Bobby,’ but let’s do it.' And so then this — 'Justin Bobby.' And then it just stuck."

Even nine years after the show wrapped, some things haven't changed at all.

"I still call him Justin," Patridge adds with a laugh.

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