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Real Housewives of New Jersey

In case your DVR wasn’t already working hard enough on Sunday nights, it’s time to add another show! The highly anticipated fourth season of Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres tonight, and Bravo has got the press machine in overdrive for its arrival. The video preview, released weeks ago, is very dramatic and shows how different this show is produced versus the other Housewives franchises, who stick to a combination of fights spliced in with fun vacation scenes. On the RHONJ universe, it’s all gloom and doom.

The show is definitely being framed as Teresa Giudice versus everyone else, so intensely, that the producers even allowed Teresa to skip the press activities required of the other women before the season airs. In an interview with HollywoodLife, Teresa insists there was a real reason, “My new book, Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit, is coming out May 15 and I need to do press for it on TV shows, but you can’t get booked for the same shows within a span of three weeks.” She adds, “I really need to go on the shows to promote my cookbook and both our RHONJ network, Bravo and the shows producers are fine with me missing the RHONJ promotions, they understand.”

I’m sure they understand; Teresa’s absence fuels the fire! And if you’re curious if Teresa makes jokes about the precious Manzo boys in her new book, she learned her lesson: “I wasn’t saying anything malicious about Caroline or anyone else in the cookbook, and I’m sincerely sorry that I offended Caroline. I really like her. I was joking in my cookbook.”

We all know if a joke doesn’t end in a punchline about Lauren Manzo‘s weight, Caroline won’t laugh. The humorless matriarch of the Manzo clan turned on Teresa in the last season and brought along her puppet/sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita with her. Caroline tells the Huffington Post that Teresa was always Dina’s friend, “Teresa was and still is Dina’s friend. The viewers make assumptions that we were best buddies, but no, she was part of a group, an ensemble that we traveled with.”

She goes on, “But the relationship between Teresa and I was never that deep. I did respect her as human being and as a person…” That respect is now probably totally gone. HuffPo asks Caroline if her relationship with Teresa is salvageable and she gives a vague, Bravo, “watch what happens” answer:

“You can never say something’s never salvageable, but when you’re sorry you have to mean it. You have to be genuine in what you say. And if you’re not genuine in what you say then don’t waste your words… So right now, where I am, is pretty much where you saw me last, but you’ll see the story play out in the season and who knows where we’ll wind up.”

Of her relationship with Dina Manzo, from whom she is currently estranged, she is confident that they “will end” and that “Dina will be back.”

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Our favorite reality stars can’t get enough of the limelight during their regularly scheduled time slots, so they take to Twitter to share even more with us.  And we love them for it!  Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite photos from the Twitterverse this week!  Enjoy!

Above: Mob Wives stars Renee Graziano and Big Ang.  Renee Tweeted: “This is what friends r for #mobwives”.

Below you’ll find Snooki, Caroline Manzo, Kim Kardashian, Teresa Giudice, Reza Farahan, Melissa Gorga and more!

[Photo credit: Renee's Twitter]

 

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There’s always something with the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Which is probably why they’re our favorite of the Housewives franchises. The ladies can never keep the drama or the fashions tame and understated. As the ladies have been making the media rounds to promote the upcoming season, one key member of the cast has been conspicuously absent.

Teresa Giudice has been keeping a lowish profile as of late – at least where the RHONJ is concerned – and focusing on her other reality venture, Celebrity Apprentice. Apparently that’s a calculated move on her co-tarts’ part as they are refusing to do any publicity with her! Eeks.

“It is so ugly between Teresa and the rest of the cast that they can’t even be in the same room with each other,” a network insider tells The Huffington Post. “But this isn’t one-sided, and the hate goes both ways. Caroline Manzo, Kathy Wakile, Jacqueline Laurita, and Melissa Gorga want nothing to do with Teresa, and she wants nothing to do with them.”

And apparently the cast is yet again blaming Teresa for all of this season’s drama.  “This season is the most dramatic yet,” Melissa one cast member reveals. “It got so ugly that I’m not sure any of us will want to return for another season if Teresa remains on the show. The betrayal and backstabbing is heartbreaking. I have not seen how it will be all edited together yet, but let’s just say everyone will get to see [Teresa’s] true colors.”

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In the April 8th episode of Celebrity Apprentice, Teresa Giudice raised $60,000 for her charity of choice, The NephCure Foundation.

At an event held yesterday at Trump Tower, Teresa presented the check to nine-year-old kidney disease patient Matthew Levine, whose dad serves on the board of directors of The NephCure Foundation.

Teresa shared in the press release: “No one — especially a child — should have to deal with FSGS or Nephrotic Syndrome. I have met a number of kidney disease patients since I joined up with NephCure. Many of them you wouldn’t even know are sick. They look healthy from the outside, but these diseases are tearing apart their kidneys. Anyone who has FSGS or Nephrotic Syndrome should contact NephCure; they are making a difference.”

“I am so grateful that I can use my platform to help.  Life is too short for drama and negativity and my work with NephCure reminds me every day to focus on what really matters in life. Please make a difference and join me in supporting NephCure.”

On hand to show Teresa some support was her husband Joe Giudice and also Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.  This is reportedly the only time the Trump family showed up for any of the charity check ceremonies.

Only a few more days until the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey!  Are you ready?!

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Melissa Gorga OK! Magazine's Pre-Grammy Event

Earlier this week I spoke with Melissa Gorga. I had no expectations going into the conversation and I was very excited to get her perspective on the drama that has encapsulated her life since joining the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

First of all, I have to admit – it's very strange to speak to someone that you see on television. We as viewers are so close to these reality stars lives, yet so far away. We are offered a very limited glimpse of the truth and yet it feels far more personal than that. RHONJ has captivated fans more than any other Housewives series because, not only are the women former close friends, they are family and their drama is palpable and relatable.

Melissa understands this and was candid about discussing it. Watching the show last season I had so many questions to ask the women directly and it was amazing to get the opportunity to do so in person.

Melissa was open, honest, and heart-felt in her answers and was very forthcoming about her family drama, her feelings on reality television, and the opportunities it has presented for her and her family. She strikes me as a down-to-earth person who has a supportive marriage and a positive outlook on life. I asked Melissa questions I wanted answers to and she answered each one willingly.

It was more like a conversation than an interview. Sadly, she didn't say "Thank you, Jesus!" once. I was hoping for it! An excerpt from our conversation is below:

RT: What was your first season of being on a reality TV show like?

MG: "It was crazy, I guess. I wasn't used to it, but now it's kinda – I'm easy with it. When it was airing last season I was a little uncomfortable. I was, like, what did I do? Why am I putting my life out there like this? But now, it's just a way of life. Our show, it's about family and it's real. Everybody goes through it with family. Everybody has in-law issues, and sister-in-law issues, so we just kinda put it out there."

"I've been very lucky," Melissa adds. "Things have been good."

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As par for the course, the children of the Real Housewives of any location are always dragged into the mess that is the show – and sometimes being on TV isn’t so fantastic. Glamour Magazine recently interviewed the adult daughters of some of our favorite (and least favorite) Bravo moms. The girls were candid about their experiences on the show and how it has affected their lives.

Lauren Manzo, Pandora Sabo (née Todd), Briana Culberson (née Wolfsmith), Tierra Fuller, and Victoria de Lesseps spoke out about what it’s like to be on reality television and how they’ve handled their moms’ dramatic experiences on the shows.

Interestingly, some of the girls would love to do reality TV in their own right, while others have absolutely no desire. “I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get caught up in being on TV for a little bit,” Lauren admits. “I said to my boyfriend, Vito, a while ago, ‘I found a ring that I want. Go buy it, and we’ll get married on TV.’ And then I said to myself, That’s not what I want right now. It doesn’t make sense to get married. I need to become a woman on my own. And I don’t think I could do that right now with a ring on my finger.”

Pandora, who did get married on TV, and whose wedding was featured in last season’s finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, confesses she had to seriously consider letting such a personal moment be played out in public. “I’m a more private person than my mother is. So when Jason proposed, we had to think about how we were going to do this wedding,” Pandora shares.

“My mother’s [Lisa Vanderpump] life is on television, but mine really isn’t. I didn’t mind that the planning was on TV, because, to be honest, it’s quite nice to have a record of all that. Who else gets to relive picking out their invitations or their bachelorette party?”

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With Celebrity Apprentice dwindling its roster down to the most dramatic of celebs, it’s only natural that Teresa Giudice remain standing.

Teresa recently took time out of her busy schedule to speak with The Huffington Post’s Dr. Shannon Kellog – a psychologist. Why aren’t ALL reality stars speaking to a psychologist? Dr. Kellog doesn’t diagnose Teresa, but she does quiz her about reality TV–most specifically the non-stop arguments that seem to make up Teresa’s chosen profession–and find out how she copes with the drama. An excerpt from the interview is below!

Dr. Kellogg: On Celebrity Apprentice, you seem to have a different approach to getting along with others than we’ve seen in RHONJ. What was your strategy for getting along with the other players?

Teresa: I didn’t really have a different approach. I used the same approach I use in my everyday life: I give people my heart right away, I don’t hold anything back, but if you cross me, you will hear about it. What people forget is that I was on Housewives with some of my best friends and we got along great for the first two seasons. The only drama from me came when I stood up for my friends out of loyalty.

My strategy for Celebrity Apprentice was to go in being myself because I knew that would throw people off, that they would be expecting the table-flipping Housewife, and really, that’s only a small percentage of my personality. I have degree in fashion marketing, was a buyer for Macy’s, and wrote three successful cookbooks.

I think the big difference in the two shows is how they’re filmed. For Housewives, they film us here and there for months and months, and then pick and choose little pieces to show, sometimes out of order. Like someone can pick at your nerves for months, and when you finally blow, that’s the scene they show first. You could take the same 1000 hours of footage and give it to 10 different editors, and you’d come away with 10 different versions of who that person “really is.”

For Apprentice, they filmed us for two solid months, and we did so much during that time, so many tasks, that they have to use a lot more of the footage, and mostly in order. And we all lived together in Trump Tower with almost no breaks so what you see is real: our real tension, our real frustration, and our real bonding.

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Teresa Giudice finally gave Donald Trump the sparks he was asking for when she got into it with Debbie Gibson on last Sunday’s Celebrity Apprentice. She even decided to insult Debbie’s choice of wardrobe for the occasion like there was some kind of dress code. In an interview with Zap2It, Debbie insists she was happy to be done with the show: “Once the potshots started, I was glad [to leave]. I can take constructive and professional criticism.”

Wait, so “your tits are hanging out” isn’t professional criticism? That explains a lot. What’s even more interesting is Debbie’s revelation that, post show, she found out she had actually fund-raised more money for the guidebook challenge than chopping block-mate Dayana Mendoza. That makes the inclusion of Aubrey O’Day, who raised less money than both of them, even more suspect. But we all know Dayana’s money is worth more to Donald because it came from Dayana’s model friends. If there’s one thing that man likes, it’s to look at, and discuss tall, thin women. It’s not hard to do the math here.

But, in Dayana’s defense, Debbie has this to say: “I don’t think she was the hardest worker or the most creative, but she certainly wasn’t a problem. They were calling her distracting, and I thought it was all a bit contrived.”

Does Debbie’s former ally Lisa Lampanelli know that Debbie was quoted saying something positive about Lisa’s Venezuelan nemesis? Is Debbie a new target for Lisa’s humor?

In another interview on Debbie’s post-firing tour, she tells The Deadbolt that she still doesn’t understand why Teresa was so angry with her in the boardroom. “Teresa never delegated anything to do with the visuals for the kiosk for where we were selling the book. She never delegated it. It wasn’t my job to wonder who she delegated that to.” I felt the same way when watching the episode. When Debbie brought up the kiosk to Teresa in the war room, Teresa looked at Debbie like she had four heads. The kiosk was kinda essential to their task and should have been a priority.

In response, Teresa blames the editing and says, “I’m the one who actually thought about that at some point later in the day and that translated to I was setting her up. If I was setting her up, I wouldn’t have brought it up at all and we would’ve shown up and had an undecorated kiosk.” Actually, if they’d had a bad kiosk, Trump would have taken that as poor management, not the under-handed strategy Teresa thinks. She would have been fired.

In the end, Debbie thinks she was let go for the very original reason of “jealousy.”I don’t really get it. I just think she wanted me gone. Maybe she was threatened at that point because I was a strong player. I don’t really know what her deal was.”

In other Teresa news, Real Housewives of New Jersey’s fourth season is just around the corner! So, it’s time for the ladies to do their media blitz. While watching the preview, it’s clear that Teresa will continue to be the odd man out, a complete turn around from the beginning of the series. In an interview with Star, Teresa shares how the show has destroyed her relationship with Jacqueline Laurita and Caroline Manzo.

“Jacqueline and I had a wonderful relationship for about 10 years. We were great friends, but not anymore. It’s so sad. We actually went through a ‘friends divorce,’ which is so hard. Then, Jacqueline basically attacked me on the show about a magazine article that said I was going to jail. She was upset that she hadn’t heard it directly from me, but I wasn’t going to jail … the whole thing was so ridiculous.”

She says both Jaq and Caroline “take everything that is small, and turn it into something serious.” Like an innocent joke in a cookbook. Loosen up Manzo-Lauritas!

Teresa also has choice words for her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga, saying “I felt deceived.” It’s not hard to see why, when it’s clear that Melissa was cast to not only bring the real tension they’d been experiencing for years onto the show, but also to create more drama. That Christening episode last season is still one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on television. And as you all know, I recap Bad Girls Club! But the issues between the Gorgas and Giudices are so deep and so ugly, and I can understand why Teresa would be upset.

Sadly, she reveals she’s estranged from her brother Joe. “I haven’t spoken to my brother since before Christmas. We haven’t gone this long without talking in my whole life! I’d have to say that reality TV ruined our family, and it’s a disgrace.”

DO YOU THINK DEBBIE WAS FIRED UNFAIRLY FROM CELEBRITY APPRENTICE? DO YOU THINK REALITY TELEVISION RUINED TERESA’S FAMILY?

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