Ahhhh… New Jersey. Never a dull moment in the garden state!Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudce just cannot stop talking about each other or blaming each other for the notorious Real Housewives of New Jersey feuding! They talk about each other so much I want to start a collection for every time one of them utters the others’ name. Then, I’ll be buying red bottoms left and right, too!
In response to Teresa’s recent sit-down where she promised that Melissa and Joe were invited to Gia Giudice‘s birthday party, Melissa spoke to HollywoodLife about the status of her relationship with Teresa and let everybody know she will definitely be at Gia’s party. Hopefully no one gets in a drunken brawl! Also, can I just say it’s pretty lame of them to be dragging Gia’s birthday into this ridiculous feud!
“I’m actually going to Gia and Milania’s birthday party on Saturday [Jan. 28],” Melissa broadcast while attending the premiere of One for the Money. “This will be the first time that we get together [since] the reunion. She’s been with Apprentice, and I’ve been doing a lot of appearances promoting my single, so we’ve both been really busy.”
Melissa claims she is anxious for the families to put the past behind them. And certainly exonerates herself form any blame for the family upheaval. “I honestly have tried everything I can to mend the relationship between Teresa and her brother,” Melissa clarifies.
“I think a lot of people were very confused and thought it was between Teresa and me, but a lot of it does stand between a brother and sister. Somehow I get caught in the middle.”
The “On Display” AutoTune-er is positive Season Four will show viewers a different side of her role in the battle of the sister-in-laws from hell. Seriously, they need to go on the WWE and hash it out already! “On season four, you are going to see me really do everything in my power to make it better,” Melissa shares. “I might get slapped in my face, I might not. You have to watch and see, but I can put my head on my pillow at night.”
Melissa also promises to watch Teresa on Celebrity Apprentice. “She will fight to the death,” Melissa assures us.
Speaking of family members who don’t get along with Teresa, Kathy Wakile is giving her opinion on the family drama. “I got a lot of heat [from fans] saying I went against my blood. Well, Joe’s my blood too, and I never went against Teresa,” Kathy insists. “I tried to make her see where she and Joe were misreading each other.”
Additionally, Kathy is adamant that editing definitely plays a role in how viewers perceive things. “If you said it, you said it, but you don’t know what I said before and you don’t know what I said after,” she explained to the WaynePatch. “So where editing comes into play and where you might get a little ‘oh, well I said something really nice before that but they didn’t put that in there.’”
Kathy cites last season’s Posche Fashion Show fight as an example. “I said I was trying to reason with her [Teresa] intelligently, and then they got the clip ‘I guess intelligence is just a foreign language to her,’ and they put that somewhere else. That’s editing.” Good lord, that fashion show is the nexus for every bit of unsavory drama on RHONJ!
Confessing that doing the show has been a challenge, Kathy reveals the Christening brawl occurred on her second day of filming, which initially gave viewers a negative opinion of her. Nonetheless as the season progressed fans started to understand her perspective and saw a different side of her issues with Teresa.
“I think the story started to unravel a little bit and people got to see reactions back and forth and how I continued to try to reconcile with Teresa,” Kathy believes. “I think people got to see a little bit more of who I was and how I am with my family.”
“I don’t like trouble; I don’t,” Kathy insists, claiming she never wanted to get stuck in the middle of the Gorgadice family drama! “I really cringe at confrontation. I try to avoid it all times.” Well, then she’s in the wrong business!
Despite the drawbacks of participating in a show which broadcasts all your flaws and missteps to the world, Kathy believes fans will have a more positive experience watching the fourth season. “It’s a really great, fun season, season four and there’s a lot going on and a lot happening, and Jersey comes alive in the summertime,” Kathy shares.
Of course, viewers will also get more exposure into her rocky relationship with Teresa, which definitely isn’t Kathy’s fault. I’m pretty sure blaming others is the state pastime!
WILL SEASON FOUR SHOW US A DIFFERENT SIDE OF MELISSA AND KATHY? IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THIS FAMILY TO WORK THINGS OUT?
Poor Jacqueline Laurita has been combating rumors that she was once a stripper in Las Vegas since the first season of Real Housewives of New Jersey. In Touch Weekly even claimed to have proof of Jacqueline’s days on the pole, citing sources who remember her working at club called Glitter Gulch. Seriously that is the worst name is strip club history!
Jacqueline’s denial of her past employment seems to be legit as it recently came out that the nefarious Danielle Staub was responsible for starting and circulating the rumors! Backing up Jacqueline’s claims, Tom Murro of Celebrity Magnet discovered some photographic evidence demonstrating that during the time Jacqueline was supposedly flashing her panties at Glitter Gulch, she was actually employed as a child care worker and waitress.
From 1992-1993, during the times Danielle claims Jacqueline was stripping, she was actually employed by a daycare during the day and waiting tables at night to support daughter Ashley Holmes.
Uncovered employee IDs stemming from way back in ’93 show Jacqueline with a movable face and crazy big hair as well as support Jacqueline’s accounts of how she earned income during her Vegas days. There are two IDs, one is a Food Handler’s Card and the other is a Child Care license. See the hilarious ID’s featuring Jacqueline’s ’90′s style below! A video of Tom Murro discussing what he learned is also below. The RHONJ segment begins around the 2:24 minute mark.
Of course, these IDs don’t exactly prove that Jacqueline did not work in a strip club, they just show she had other, more respectable forms of employment. There is no evidence that Jacqueline was a stripper and there is also no evidence saying she wasn’t, save for her own adamant denials.
Jacqueline again denied her involvement in exotic entertainment, telling The Huffington Post, “I swear on the life of myself, my husband and my children that I was never a call girl or ever got paid for any sexual favor of any kind, either.”
“Do you honestly think that I am the kind of girl that lies?” Jacqueline insisted. “Honestly? Lying is my biggest pet peeve. I am the biggest open book there is. Almost to a fault.” Well, I don’t know about that, but I think Jacqueline is more honest than some of her castmates!
Following comments Joe made on Twitter stating he hadn’t been invited to Gia Giudice‘s 11th birthday party, Teresa claimed on Gia’s actual birthday things were pretty low key, “My parents were over and we had some cake!” As for a birthday party, no Giudice child could be without an over-the-top fete, which, of course, the Gorgas are definitely invited to!
“We’re throwing Gia a birthday party next week and we sent our invitations and definitely got it by now. Of course I’m going to invite my brother, his wife and my nieces and nephews.” Either Teresa is backpedaling because she really didn’t invite Joe and Melissa, or they actually hadn’t gotten their invites yet! hmmm… Either way hopefully these “adults” can remain composed and remember what’s important here!
“We haven’t really spoke,” Teresa says of the status of her relationship with Joe and Melissa. “I love them both and that’s my only brother. We’ve always been close and I’m hoping for better days for the sake of our children and my parents.”
And unlike Melissa, Teresa seems to have some regrets about deciding to appear on a reality show, which ended up ruining several of her friendships and causing her family a possibly irreparable rift. “I came on the show for fun. I was with friends and strangers and I was a stay at home mom and thought it would be a fun experience. I didn’t sign up on the show to be with my family. That just happened and I’m just kind of dealing with it,” Teresa reveals.
“The way people view my family on TV was never how we were. We were very private and close. And now that we are all on the show, were not at the place we used to be and it’s hard.”
Additionally, Teresa emphatically refutes Melissa’s claims that the show has brought them closer. “We’ve never gone without speaking before she was on the show. I invited her to all my parties and would tell her about the housewives and what went on in the earlier seasons. She knew many things and we were close.”
Teresa also reveals she hasn’t seenKathy Wakile since filming the Season 3 reunion. “I of course miss and love them. They are my family and we have spoken since. I just haven’t seen her.”
DO THE ID CARDS PROVE JACQUELINE WASN’T A STRIPPER? THOUGHTS ON TERESA’S INTERVIEW?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO VIEW JACQUELINE’S EMPLOYEE ID CARDS!
While Danielle Staub was busy allegedly selling fake stories to tabloids and creating Twitter attack dogs out of her followers, she was also battling her former employers to avoid taking her clothes off! And Danielle has won her case, which is a relief, because I can’t think of all that many people who are lining up to see Danielle sans pants!
Last year, with few employment prospects on the horizon following her firing and in desperate need of attention, Danielle inked a deal with the infamous Scores Gentleman’s Club to resurrect her stripping career. Shortly after agreeing to return to the pole, the former Real Housewives of New Jersey star abruptly changed her mind; claiming she was “coaxed” into signing the deal. After walking away, Danielle decided to seek psychological help which obviously did little good.
In response Scores filed a lawsuit against Danielle for $375,000, claiming she was in breach of contract for failing to make agreed upon appearances at the club and on their website.
The lawsuit was just settled in federal court and TMZ has learned that a judge dismissed the suit based on the grounds that Scores failed to show why Danielle had further legal obligation to the club after initially making a strip video, for which she was paid $25k.
The judge claimed Scores drew up a “vague” contract and never explicitly specified Danielle’s additional obligations to the club. While things are temporarily settled, if new evidence comes to light Scores can re-open the case. Were they really expecting to make that much money off Danielle parading around naked? I imagine the interest level is quite low!
In other RHONJ news, Melissa Gorga continues her quest for over-the-hill pop stardom! The 33-year-old mother of three is currently in Chicago to lipsync perform “On Display” at the gay club Spin. Melissa took time out to interview with GoPride.com, where she talked about her family and if she regrets joining the show.
To make a long story short, of course, Melissa has no regrets about exposing her family drama for all the world to see accepting the offer to be on TV. “I have no regrets in signing up for the show,” Melissa states. “My hardest challenge is being a wife, being a mother and being on a reality show. Its not always easy to balance it all but some how I manage to do it. As of right now, I am loving every minute of it.”
“No matter how busy life can get, my family is always my priority. I will never allow what I am doing for a living to change who I am or how I take care of my family. I am very careful about balancing my schedule and how much I will take on in one week. Nothing will ever come before my children.”
While things are wonderful with her immediate family, Melissa and her infamous sister-in-law Teresa Giudice are still on the outs. Despite all the problems, Melissa claims she isn’t harboring any grudges, thanking her background in psychology (say what?!). “I am very receptive to other peoples feelings and why they are feeling that way. I think that’s why I am so quick to forgive and forget,” Melissa explains, adding that, “Sometimes having the pressure of millions of people watching you can make you act or say things that you wouldn’t normally do or say.”
And despite the turmoil in their relationship, Melissa is wishing Teresa the best in her foray on Celebrity Apprentice. “I am happy for her, its a great opportunity and we wish her the best!”
In the meantime Melissa has three new songs coming out in April, right before Season four of RHONJ airs!
THOUGHTS ON DANIELLE’S LAWSUIT BEING SETTLED? DO YOU BELIEVE MELISSA TRULY HAS NO REGRETS ABOUT APPEARING ON THE SHOW?
As I’m sure you know the Real Housewives of New Jersey drama never ends. Long after she left the cast, Danielle Staub continues to be at odds with her former co-stars and has continued to be the subject of much controversy and speculation.
Melissa Gorgawas infamously accused of communicating with Danielle and giving her dirt on Teresa Giudice — a tale that has never been substantiated nor disproved. Jacqueline Laurita has long suspected that Danielle was spreading false rumors about her and the other ladies. Well, vindication is Jacqueline’s.
Jacqueline’s persistence on Twitter has finally paid off because after Danielle had a falling out with her number one fan and co-conspirator Mardigrasbarbie, sh*t hit the fan. Or Direct Messages did anyway! Mardigrasbarbie was able to provide “proof” that Danielle was intentionally stirring up trouble and going to the tabloids with stories that were apparently made up. Oh, to have Danielle’s imagination and spare time…
Mardigrasbarbie, a longtime fan of the show, was apparently crazy naive enough to consider Danielle a friend even though they never met in real life and had only an online relationship. Mardigrasbarbie’s real world name is allegedly Nikola Charpentier, and together with Danielle, the poor man’s Thelma & Louise would hang out on Twitter all day (jobs, anyone?) engaging in arguments against any detractors. Mardigrasbarbie became Danielle’s henchman — her online Danny, if you will.
Their relationship started to unravel about a week ago. Danielle suddenly unfollowed Mardigrasbarbie on Twitter and Mardi was apparently tired of doing Danielle’s evil bidding. Signs of trouble began to appear with ominous Tweets such as this: “Sometimes ppl are manipulated to do things out of their nature. Not because they are weak, but bc the manipulator is a professional at it!” There’s many more like it, but you get the drift.
It seems that Mardigrasbarbie has run into the curse of Danielle, a situation experienced by many before her — including former nemesis by association only, Jacqueline! The unfortunate side-effect of being Danielle’s friend (besides associating with Danielle herself) is that Daneille doesn’t tell the truth and she uses everyone.
See, once Danielle has no use for her little friends, she turns on them or drops them faster than you can say “Posche!” Or “Strip club!” And very often it is about the same time these friends realize Danielle is a manipulator with a little problem called dishonesty. Can you imagine if she and Taylor Armstrong teamed up? Oh lawd…
In order to get back at Danielle, the spurned sidekick is now releasing a plethora of communications between Danielle and herself. And they expose Danielle basically telling Mardigrasbarbie to make up stories and and tweet them to the other ladies on the cast and even contact the tabloids with false information! Some of those exposed conversations are below! They are a little hard to follow, but you’ll get the gist.
Amidst the revelations comes the idea that many of the stories we have used to harangue and hate several NJ Housewives likely aren’t true at all! Oops. I guess the age old adage is true — always consider the source!
Jacqueline has claimed that Danielle made up the story about her being a stripper and leaked it to the press. Immediately after learning the news of Mardi’s betrayal, Jacqueline turned to her best friend in times of crisis: Twitter, where she embarked on a rampage to spread the truth.
“WOW! SOOO MANY CRAZY LIES PUT OUT THERE! I INTERCEPTED THE CRAZY HOUR LONG INTERVIEW I TOLD U ALL ABOUT! DANIELLE STAUB NEEDS SERIOUS HELP!!,” Jacqueline Tweeted.
Following that up with this: “HEY @BravoAndy I STAND BY MY OPINION THAT DANIELLE IS CRAZY AND DANGEROUS! LIES! LIES! LIES! I SMELL ANOTHER DEFAMATION CASE GOING HER WAY”
“PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE UP FAKE STORIES AND LIES ABOUT PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN PRINT,SELL IT AND GET AWAY WITH THAT.U WONT!,” Jacqueline seethed. I love Jacs when she gets all fired up! I can just see her freaking out to Chris as she furiously types away at her iPhone while Chris sips some red wine. Some more of Jacqueline’s Tweets are below!
Sadly, Andy Cohen has not made any comments about this latest crazy incident. Ahhhh… Danielle, the original shady character of Housewives and our first notion that Bravo background checks were not nearly thorough enough! Also withholding comment — for now — is Teresa! I cannot wait to hear what she has to say about all of this!
The most unfortunate result of all the lies, is that Danielle’s behavior is likely partially to blame for Jacqueline’s and Teresa’s friendship ending. A fan asked Jacqueline if she was going to apologize to Teresa after learning that she was not responsible for all the false tabloid stories. Jacqueline responded, “NO. Because she does it too,” and included Teresa on the Tweet. Jacqueline quickly added: “but mostly about herself.”
Danielle is, of course, exonerating herself from blame and claiming that Mardigrasbarbie has made all of this up and it is the work of a lone crazy, obsessed fan. “I had [made up lies] do you honestly think I’d tell someone I never met? she’s playing u all,” Danielle Tweeted to Jacs and In Touch Weekly (the magazine that “uncovered” the so-called proof of Jacqueline’s past as a stripper).
“You know no one can break you when you’ve done nothing wrong darlin- in time all in good time people will see they r playing fools,” Danielle added. Danielle also claimed that a new fansite, D_Staub_Fans, that had cropped up in her “honor” was a fake account run by Mardigrasbarbie to further disparage her reputation.
Danielle claimed Mardi acted alone and would create constant fake accounts (remember the “little eggs” drama surrounding the RHONJ on Twitter) and attack other Housewives and fans. So what broke up the dynamic duo Danielle and Mardi? Ultimately Danielle asserts: “I asked her to STOP fighting w people it was bad energy! She wouldn’t – I blocked her”
Mardi Tweeted just how she got so wrapped up in this Danielle drama, “my heart went out to her. I truly felt bad. She’s the underdog so I was pulling for her. I was blinded.”
In response to the so-called mesages between Danielle and Mardigrasbarbie that seem to prove Danielle’s involvement, AllAboutTRH asked Danielle about what happened.
“I thanked her but her dm’s made me extremely uneasy. If i spoke to anyone she would attack them!,” Danielle remarked. And regarding the photograhic proof of said conversations, Danielle responded, “Honestly you see partial messages. At best she lives on her twitter. GN. Not defending myself bottom line! I’m a public figure. She got a little to aggressive. I was uncomfortable. Period” Ok, then!
Finally, in a bit of RHONJ that is not totally insane. Or maybe it is depending on how you look at it. Caroline Manzo the mama bear matriarch of the New Jersey ladies is in talks to get her own spin off. We all know she’s Andy’s favorite because he’s in love with Albie!
According to a new report the only Housewife already confirmed for Season 5 of the tumultuous show is Teresa and Jacqueline is definitely out (which has been corroborated in multiple reports). “They’re always looking for new cast members that would add something to the show; they’ve been heavily courting a few people from other networks who have shows,” a NJ insider tells Reality Weekly.
Caroline is still deciding whether or not to sign on for a fifth season and she is also in talks to develop her own show! About what I could only imagine? Babying her adult children and crying about how proud she is? “It’s all about timing,” the source explains. “She doesn’t jump into anything — and this is no different.”
[Photo Credits: WENN.com]
THOUGHTS ON THE SHOCKING INFORMATION ABOUT DANIELLE’S CONNIVING WAYS? DO YOU THINK JACQUELINE AND TERESA WILL MAKE AMENDS FOLLOWING THE REVELATION? WOULD YOU WATCH CAROLINE ON HER OWN SHOW?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO VIEW DANIELLE’S INCRIMINATING CONVERSATIONS!
It seems there is never a dull moment with the Real Housewives of New Jersey and the cast works overtime to keep the drama coming day after day. I guess they don’t want us to forget about them! Surprisingly this latest news update has nothing to do with Teresa Giudice squabbling with any Housewives! Shocked? I know — me too. It also has nothing to with Melissa Gorga making backhanded comments about anyone! Shocked? I know — me too.
As well all know Teresa is moving onto other projects besides being a hot-tempered Housewife and recently announced that she will be starring on Celebrity Apprentice. It seems that Terea’s stint on the show was a great experience for her and she gets along famously with The Donald.
Appearing on New York Live, Teresa warned fans that while some tempers flared Celebrity Apprentice was a totally different reality show experience. “I loved it. At first we are working 20 hours a day — getting up at 4:30 a.m., sometimes working until 2:00 in the morning, but overall I have to say it was an amazing experience and if I had to do it all over again, I would.”
Even though there were still some mean girl antics, no one let it get in the way of professionalism. I mean, what’s a little drama when it’s for a good cause, right? “The girls are very catty you know, but this was different from Housewives. We were asked to do tasks and we did them. Donald is amazing. It’s about charity, so it’s totally different from Housewives.”
Teresa admits there’s “definitely clashing” as there are “a lot of us Italians on the show,” but for the most part she wasn’t giving anything away about her rumored dispute with Victoria Gotti, whom Teresa described as “lovely.”
As for her relationship with the show’s infamous host, Teresa loved working with him! “Donald is amazing,” Teresa gushed. “He just said ‘Teresa, I see a different side of you. This is not the Teresa I know.’ And I’m like that’s what I wanted everyone to see,” Teresa regales. “There are going to be a lot of surprises on the show.”
You can check out the video below. Teresa also talks the differences between Housewives and CA and other aspects of her life.
While things are looking up for Teresa professionally, her husband Juicy Joe Giudice was recently indicted which might land him in prison for up to ten years. On the very same day he was indicted Joe proved he is a Giudice at heart as he shopped through his pain and was seen “trying on a mink coat and hat!” I can tell he’s taking this whole felony thing very seriously. As well as this whole paying back his creditors thing…
Apparently, the thought of leaving his marble mansion behind for a cell hasn’t really sunk in for Joe, who continues to put on a happy face. “Everything he does he laughs at,” a source tells Us Weekly. “He doesn’t take anything seriously.” Teresa is reportedly furious and embarrassed by her husbands legal incident. And frankly, I would be too!
Moving on to another Joe who also has some problems managing his money,Non-Juicy Joe Gorga recently settled a lawsuit brought against him by a Paterson window company.
According to NorthJersey.com, Joe owed the Starlite Window Manufacturing Co. Inc. an approximate $25,000 for unpaid services and agreed to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount before the case went to trial. Starlite’s attorney Darren Del Sardo revealed that the exact settlement amount would remain confidential by “mutual agreement” of both parties in the case.
According to Joe, he hired the Starlite to install windows in the Courtland Suites apartment complex in Paterson and was given an estimate of $100,000 for the work. During the course of the project the company increased the price by another $30,000. Joe willingly paid the originally quoted $100k for the job but refused to pay the additional $30 grand which resulted in a lawsuit against his company, Gorga Enterprises Inc.
Starlite decided to go through the Passaic County state Superior Court’s Civil Law Division to recoup their loses on the basis that Gorga Enterprises “entered into a contract” with the company “from December 2008 to January 2009 to deliver $25,577.19 worth of windows.”
Joe claims he had no formal (a.k.a. written) agreement with the company for the monies owed because “he does business with a handshake.” Joe, a developer who works with large-scale projects, claims “discrepancies happen all the time” in his line of work and people “always want to sue you.”
Indeed, court records show that Joe and Gorga Enterprises, Inc have been the subject of 26 liens and civil court judgments for small-claims matters mainly less than $15,000. In 2010 Joe was sued for breach of contract by another New Jersey company for the installation of a fire suppression system in that same apartment complex.
The most interesting thing about this entire situation is Starlite Window’s attorney Darren Del Sardo. This is not Mr. Del Sardo’s first affiliation with the RHONJ as in 2009 he represented former Housewife Danielle Staub in a lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend over his attempt to release sex tapes starring the racy mom of two. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.
He then represented Danielle again when she filed a complaint against Ashley Holmes for ripping out her extensions during Season 2′s Posche Fashion Show. Del Sardo was seen in an episode walking with Danielle from the courthouse with Kim G looking like a “broke down Sex And The City,” Jacqueline Laurita famously quipped.
Oh that Danielle – those were the good old days when your cray-cray brought the drama and the laughs and no one was hating on their family and ruining their child’s welcoming into God’s kingdom with a knock-down, drag-out drunken brawl.
And speaking of family drama – you know there is no RHONJ news without some – G-to-the-eeya Giudice turned 11 this weekend and celebrated with a huge blowout befitting of a queen. No just kidding, Teresa actually had a modest family party for her eldest daughter and posted photos of the celebration on her website.
“Being a mom is the best gift I could have ever been given. Gia was the best gift I’ve ever been given. All my girls are,” Teresa wrote. “I love you, Gia! You are a beautiful, amazing girl and I’m so proud of the young lady you are turning into.” Very sweet.
If you are wondering if Joe and Melissa were guests at the party, indeed they were not! Joe Tweeted “wish I had an invite” when asked by fans if they were present. Melissa added that they called instead and wished Joe’s goddaughter a Happy Birthday over the phone. “we called I think that was much better,” Melissa explained.
Photos of Gia’s fete are below. I cannot believe how big the first girls of Jersey are becoming! It seems like Gia was so little when the series started. Happy Belated Birthday Gia from all of us here at Reality Tea!
Celebrity Apprentice premieres on NBC, Frebruary 12th at 9/8c. I, for one, cannot wait to watch!
ARE YOU EXCITED FOR CELEBRITY APPRENTICE? DO YOU THINK JOE WILL SERVE TIME IN PRISON? THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT CONCERNING JOE GORGA?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR PHOTOS FROM GIA’S BIRTHDAY!
I think it’s fair to say that the Real Housewives franchise has changed television. The intensely popular shows that prove to us that anyone can be a trashy trainwreck — regardless of marriage partner, pedigree or income bracket — have become one of the most discussed and hotly debated things on television. Indeed, the shows have become a must watch for millions of people worldwide captivating real housewives and celebrities alike. Even Oprah admits to watching!
The real question is — Why? Why are we so drawn to the dysfunction, the orchestrated drama and the opportunity to observe women embarrass themselves and ruin their lives on national television? The even bigger question is: How much of this is reality at all?
The Hollywood Reporter set out to answer just those questions in an in-depth investigation into “the guiltiest pleasure on television” which is worth an estimated half-billion dollars to the NBC-Universal network. Putting together a group of ladies they refer to as the Housewives All-Stars (their version – not mine), the legendary entertainment magazine interviewed producers, insiders, Andy Cohen and the ladies themselves to figure out just why we watch and why the women participate.
“People want to watch rich girls behaving badly,” explains Linda Ong, president of brand strategy adviser Truth Consulting. “The franchise started as a real-life Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous but became this cultural analysis after the economic breakdown. Every town became a sociological experiment, a very real-time reflection of what was happening to the 1 percent.”
“We wanted something very authentic and they started to film something Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque,” Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Style Media, explains of how Real Housewives of Orange Countywas developed. “It required a whole revision, so we came to a point where we had to decide whether to sink more money into it or just pull the plug.” Obviously money was sunk.
Housewives was originally supposed to be a film — a real documentary — of the gated community where RHOC is filmed. Entrepreneur Scott Dunlap set out to capture the lives of rich women in the affluent suburb of LA after observing his friends while attending a dinner party in the exclusive Coto community. “Everyone was sitting around the table, the ladies blinged-out, talking about family vacations to Tuscany and all bloviating the same thing: ‘Our life is perfect,’ ” he remembers.
The film never got made, but a decade later Scott eventually turned the idea into a reality show and it became a surprise hit in its very first season. Berwick, who had just green lit the surprisingly successful Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, was in good graces with the network and they decided to take a gamble on the Housewives show with her encouragement.
After reshooting the first few episodes and an “incredibly, incredibly long edit,” the show finally went on the air. “It was an experiment,” a network insider concedes. “They weren’t envisioning this huge franchise; the network was just trying to depict a lifestyle. They didn’t put a lot of advertising or money into it at first.” Shockingly, the show took off with the difficult to reach 30-something viewers the network coveted. Viewers who were still young, hip, and influential, but who had money, education, and technical know-how.
The network immediately signed on for a second season, but decided to hire drama based veteran reality producer Doug Ross who has helmed shows such as Fear Factor and Big Brother.“Scott did a great job at identifying killer cast members,” Ross explains “but the network thought with the help of some ‘grown-ups’ this thing could really blossom.”
Bravo had been working on a show called Manhattan Moms, which was the inception for Real Housewives of New York. The series was originally supposed to be about wealthy NYC moms trying to get their children into ultra elite private schools. With RHOC bringing in ratings Manhattan Moms quickly transformed into RHONY. It was at that point that Zalanick decided to turn Housewives into a franchise. Since most of the season had already been filmed the network and it’s production company, Shed Media, decided to simply go with the footage they had.
The network didn’t even tell the cast members (then Jill Zarin, LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, and Ramona Singer) about concept change. “We went to check out the artwork on the computer and it said Real Housewives of New York City,” Jill describes. “At first we were a little disappointed, to be honest.” How Bethenny Frankel was added I don’t know, but it was her vision to use the show to promote her business that changed the format completely. Thanks B — because of you we have the Bravo Home Shopping Network!
After the first season success of RHONY, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of New Jersey cropped up shortly thereafter. “Bravo unwittingly had stumbled upon television’s next guilty pleasure: a vehicle that showcased the lives of a handful of spoiled, consistently imperfect women whose only real distinction was the city in which they reside — and their unerring ability to behave badly.” With the premiere of RHONJ (now arguably the most hotly contested of the franchise) Bravo was able to capture more than just the 30-something audience and gained fans across all age ranges — including men and older viewers.
And casting is at the nexus of the franchise’s success. Bravo has shown a ruthless ability to let go of stars that no longer agree with their vision — hence the firing of four members of RHONY including original cast members Jill and Alex. They also seem to have an innate ability to locate women whose propensity for drama will result in big ratings. Teresa Giudice, anyone? And to keep the perspectives fresh, Bravo regularly adds new Housewives into the mix.
The real shocker (or perhaps not so real shocker to regular viewers) is the requirement for the women to craft their own storylines. “We started meeting with producers to discuss storylines,” former Housewife Peggy Tanous reveals. “I started getting anxiety thinking about all the forced drama that does happen on occasion.”
Peggy starred in one season of RHOC which featured a season finale argument with her former close friend (and the woman who got her scouted for the show) Alexis Bellino. Peggy has cited the end of this friendship and the contrived storylines as her reason for deciding not to sign on for a season two. While that may be the case, shortly after Peggy resigned (or was let go), news surfaced of her family’s financial distress.
Doug Ross contends that the producers in no way stage scenes or fabricate drama, “The audience could sniff that a mile away, so why even bother?” Although he does admit that the women are expected to plan events expressly for filming purposes.
Shed Media’s Maureen O’Connell agrees, “Honestly, sometimes I wish they would do what I tell them. I wish I had that kind of puppeteering power. But it’s the women who ultimately drive the train.” The responsibility of keeping the drama alive is an important one because drama = popularity with fans (sometimes) = ratings = maintaining their position in the cast roster and well, their paycheck.
But are they taking it too far? Since the franchise’s inception it’s bared witness to countless financial crisis (foreclosures, bankruptcy, tax evasion, etc), the destruction of friendships, arrest, divorce, murder (Kandi Burruss‘ fiance was in a fight, resulting in his death, outside an Atlanta strip club in 2009), alcoholism, family strife and now domestic abuse and suicide. Yet — the women and the viewers keep coming back.
On the converse, the cameras have also captured the good: friendships, marriage, love, pregnancy, incredible financial gains and business opportunity. Andy thinks the network is more than conscientious of the colorful cast of characters that pay his bills and garnered him his own TV fame in the form of Watch What Happens Live. “I have a deep responsibility to the women,” Andy insists. “And I take that very seriously.”
Some disagree. It was the suicide of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast mate Taylor Armstrong‘s estranged husband Russell Armstrong this past summer that caused fans, viewers and the media to question just what the reality of filming the show entailed. Particularly after reports surfaced that Bravo and NBC may have encouraged Taylor to file for divorce from Russell to remain on the show.
Bravo and Andy had questioned whether or not to air the footage from this past season featuring Russell and there was news of re-editing to present a softer storyline. Obviously that did not happen. “We talked endlessly,” Andy acknowledges. “In the end, we decided to capture what happened as sensitively as we could.” It seems that ultimately the network has decided not to feature Russell’s death in the storyline. The season ends Jan 23rd and no mention of it has been made.
Defending his position — and the network’s — Andy reminds viewers that the women agree to participate and the producers are not responsible for the issues that arise during filming. “Look, this franchise is a documentation of a period in these people’s lives. All of these women have stories to tell and some are dealing with some really serious issues.”
Despite the bad taste such episodes have left in viewers mouths the ratings continue to grow (the season premiere episode of RHOBH was up 42% from the series first season premiere) and show no signs of slowing down. It is Bravo’s ability to bring the constant and unexpected drama — a White House crashing, a huge family blow out at a Christening — that keeps viewers unable to look away, not knowing what there is to expect next.
Additionally, it is the women themselves that keep the drama happening and their decisions to return season after season, year after year. The reason is likely money. Jill even recently admitted that she was sad to be off the show because of the paycheck it generated.
And just how much money do the women make to expose their lives to the non-stop drama? A Lot. A lot, a lot. Particularly given the opportunity to develop their own brands — which is encouraged — and have the ability and support to promote these brands on the show which reaches huge audiences. All earnings from which the network takes a percentage of.
“Combined, the Housewives have published more than a dozen books; received product deals from makeup and jewelry to sex toys and alcohol; average well over 100,000 Twitter followers (Atlanta‘s Leakes has nearly 600,000); and receive an approximate six-figure salary each season (the New York cast is drawing a $250,000 payday for season five) — not movie-star money, but steady income for people arguably of limited talent.”
The desire for that success and the monetary wealth that comes with it is sometimes all-consuming. At this particular behind the scenes shoot, Housewives All Star Pinot Singer spent the whole afternoon hawking her pinot grigio line, advertising it to anyone who would listen and scaring off her fellow Housewives. I think it’s fair to say Ramona has a one-track mind.
Ramona was brought to the attention of producers by her then friend Jill, but she wasn’t interested. “By age 39, I already had $1 million cash in the bank,” Ramona dishes, grabbing a bottle of what else? – Pinot! “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but no thank you. I don’t have time. I don’t need to be famous.’ ” She gave it a second thought after the producers convinced her it would be a good platform for her business, True Faith Jewelry. And after five years on the successful series and the development of her own Pinot, Ramona is hoping to follow in Bethenny’s footsteps and nab her own spin off. Seriously? No.
“I’m already thinking ahead,” Ramona reveals. “Initially I thought I wanted to do something like [advertising executive and TV host] Donnie Deutsch and actually visit companies looking for help. I can’t just sit on a couch.” I’m guessing that means she wants to try a Tabatha Coffeyapproach…
Not all the drama is caught on camera – backstage at THR’s exclusive photoshoot with the RHOBH’s Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards were overheard talking. “One of the girls asked me what I think of Brandi [Glanville],” Lisa whispers loudly to Kyle, while Brandi sits alone pretending to ignore them. “And I said, ‘Who?’ ” Then the two friends burst into laughter. Yeah, Brandi doesn’t fit in – that’s obvious, but why so mean ladies? I expect more from Lisa.
Andy insists the show has no malicious intent, and after all the characters drive the storyline. And the viewers are obviously liking what they see since they return season after season. “It’s good, clean fun,” he asserts. “Its like eating a bowl of no-cal popcorn; guilt-free gossip. You can watch it, you can talk about it with your friends and, at the end of the day, you can feel better about yourself and your life.” Right… I’m not sure I agree.
Jacqueline took to Twitter (Where else?) to debunk the rumors claiming she is still deciding if she wants to return. “Thats not true.Its all undecided rght now but Im considering it if everythings in the rght place.Lets say theres talk right now.”
There’s been some rumors circulating from purported insiders that Jacqueline’s salary will be reduced if she is brought back for Season 5 and Bravo is basing her inclusion on whether or not they find a suitable Housewife to replace her. Jacqueline notoriously skipped the vengeful Season 3 reunion claiming she was feeling sick, which is a MAJOR no, no. Multiple reports have stated Bravo can no longer trust her, hence their reason for wanting to fire her. I guess we’ll see what happens!
Moving right along, Kathy Wakile recently did an interview with The Norton Report where she talked about her decision to come on the show and what’s next for her.
Explaining what motivated her to join RHONJ (besides the obvious), Kathy reveals: “I was at a point in my life where I wanted to do something outside of the house. I had been a stay-at-home mom for 17 years, my kids don’t need me as much, and it was at a time where they needed to realize I have to start doing some things on my own.”
“I thought, should I go out and get a job? And this opportunity just really fell into my lap at the same time,” she adds. “It really all fell at the right time, especially for my kids who are older and can handle being in the spotlight. It’s been a fun adventure.”
“I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve done different things I wouldn’t normally be doing, interacting with new people and it’s just been a great experience so far.” I’m not sure how a huge, embarrassing family feud played out in a public arena is a great experience, but whatevs!
Kathy also talks about her role as a mediator amongst the cast: “Well, I’ve always been a good listener. I believe in order to be able to help people with conflict you really need to listen to what they’re saying. If you’re doing all the talking, you’re not getting all the facts. Being a good listener really is the number one component to being able to help.”
“I don’t like conflict so I like to create balance and try to understand everyone’s point of view. I always try never to hurt anyone’s feelings; we’re all imperfect so unfortunately that happens sometimes, but my intentions are always good.” For someone who doesn’t like conflict she sure got a raw deal with the family situation! Yikes.
Interesting that Kathy did not mention her cousin Teresa once during the interview! I hope these two truly are mending fences and building a stronger family relationship.
And since Kathy is now a member of the Bravo Home Shopping Network we can expect a whole host of products from the kitchen-savvy Housewife. Kathy lets us know that a prepared cocktail, a Goddess jewelry line and a dessert collection are all in the works. Ugh.
Finally, Christmas never ends for the Giudices! Teresa recently took to her website to post photos of her girl’s Christmas gifts. She thanks fans for giving her suggestions. It looks like a pretty modest Christmas for a family that has recently withdrawn their bankruptcy filing and agreed to repay their creditors the old fashioned way, with you know their own money.
“Thank you all for your suggestions on what to get my kids for Christmas! They didn’t really ask for anything and aren’t crazy for any fads right now, but I got them things that match what they’re into, and just girl stuff,” Teresa wrote.
“Audriana got a pink tricycle and a pink and white polka dot baby doll carriage. Milania got a little vanity with a make-up case. Since Gabriella is so into art, I got her an art table, one of those with the roll of paper attached to the side and art supplies. And Gia got a little laptop.”
Teresa also included an adorable picture of Gia dressed up like Santa Claus. “So every year someone in our family dresses up like Santa on Christmas Eve,” she explained. “You saw on the show that last year it was my mom.” All the photos of the Giudice Christmas activities are below.
In other news Melissa Gorga, currently in Miami to host a New Years Eve party, appears to have gotten some “work” done on her lips. In recent pics of the NJ housewife, her lips appear to me much fuller but we’ll let you be the judge! Those pics of Melissa, all from this month, are below!
WHAT DO YOU THINK – WILL JACQUELINE GET THE BOOT? SHOULD SHE? THOUGHTS ON TERESA’S FAMILY PHOTOS AND KATHY’S INTERVIEW? DID MELISSA GET HER LIPS DONE?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE MELISSA & TERESA PHOTOS!
Jacqueline Laurita has a hard time keeping her comments to herself on Twitter and in light of that insiders are claiming Bravo has given her the boot for sitting out the reunion and spilling details about the just completed Season 4 of Real Housewives of New Jersey!
AllAboutTRH recently got the details from an insider who claims Jacqueline “violated her contract” by refusing to attend the Season 3 reunion! The source (who purports to be an insider very close to production) goes onto add, “Jacqueline won’t be returning to season 5 because she violated her contract and Bravo doesn’t trust her anymore. Her contract is now terminated.”
Apparently, Caroline Manzo is on the fence about a return to the show. “Caroline will possibly be on season 5 and she can’t stand Melissa Gorga! They rarely speak only when it’s regarding the show and have only seen each other at Albie, Greg, and Chris’s apartment a few weeks ago.” Wait — is this trouble in made for TV fauxship paradise I’m hearing of? You mean Caroline and Melissa weren’t true friends? You don’t say!
After the report came out, Caroline did manage to tweet Melissa wishing her a happy and safe trip to Miami where Melissa will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party alongside her husband, Joe Gorga!
So, who will Bravo be bringing back for Season 5? According to the AAT’s source — everyone’s favorite feuding family! “No one has been signed for Season 5 but Teresa [Giudice], Kathy [Wakile], and Melissa will be in it for sure.”
Bravo is also looking to add three new Housewives to the line up and some of the rumored additions are Teresa’s other sister-in-law (this one actually likes her, I think), Sheila Giudice and Heather Robinsonthe wife of NJ Nets player Clifford Robinson.
Heather is considered a friend of Kathy’s and the two have been tweeting back and forth a lot lately. Heather was also reportedly present at the party Melissa and Kathy attended with Sherri Shepherd where Melissa allegedly got into a verbal altercation with her stylist!
Moving right along Teresa may have received some unfortunate news regarding Joe Giudice‘s indictment, but she didn’t let it dampen her spirit! Teresa posted some family photos on her website and updated fans about Christmas. She also posted a non-Christmas themed photo of her four daughters.
“I wanted to share one more picture from our Christmas card shoot this year. I LOVE the pictures so much, but I don’t want to have Christmas scenes hanging in my house all year, so the photographer Linda Marie always makes me a non-holiday shot I can use,” Teresa said. The non-holiday photo is below!
“We had a wonderful Christmas. Everyone was at my house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year! Over 20 people and tons of food. We did fish on Christmas Eve, and then lamb and hot peppers and pasta yesterday. The girls are off school this week — so excited to just hang out with them,” Teresa continued.
Not included in the Christmas Eve gathering? Joe and Melissa! “I did invite my brother and his family of course, my house is always open to them. xx,” Teresa shared. Present at the holiday feast instead were members of the Giudice family along with Teresa’s parents. Photos of Teresa’s family Christmas are below! The food looks amazing!
Joe and Melissa spent the holidays with Melissa’s family. Melissa’s sister posted a photo of Joe on the Marco Sisters Twitter page. The same photo was also posted on their Facebook page under the heading: “Merry Christmas!!!! We’re all together and that all that matters!!!” Joe confirmed via Twitter that he spent his holiday with Melissa’s family.
THOUGHTS ON THE INFORMATION? DO YOU THINK JACQUELINE AND CAROLINE WILL BE RETURNING FOR SEASON 5? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TERESA’S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION PHOTOS?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR MORE OF TERESA’S HOLIDAY PHOTOS!