The Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: What Bankruptcy?

We are now onto the 12th episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and while it wasn’t as good as next week’s episode will be, it was still very interesting to say the least.

There are two angles one can go with in doing this recap. One is we finally get to meet Tom Staub, the man behind the legend, you know the man who decided Danielle Staub was fit to be his wife and the mother of his children. The other angle is Teresa Giudice of course, who was one of the most searched people on the internet yesterday thanks to the news of the impending public auction of her home items, and her thirst for diamonds, you know considering this episode was taped just a few weeks after she signed off on the bankruptcy documents. Oh what the hey, I say let’s go with both angles!

The episode starts off with some precious family time with the Giudices as they do monopoly night. When Joe wasn’t busy threatening to kick one of his daughters, Teresa decides to bring up their upcoming 10th anniversary. Teresa can’t believe she and Joe have been married for 10 years because “it feels like 5.” Teresa asks the kids for anniversary gift ideas and one of their daughters suggests chocolate and flowers, but bankrupt Teresa makes it clear that’s not good enough. Joe has an even better suggestion, when he jokingly suggests the $100 luxury tax ring, before retracting it, joking saying that he couldn’t even afford that. Must say the financial jokes by Joe are very telling. Notice how they seemed to start just a few episodes ago? Teresa however makes it clear there will be no hanky panky for one month if Joe doesn’t come through, and I can’t help but wonder if Teresa can even go a week with no hanky panky from Jiucy Joe.

Danielle decides to meet up with her friend/party planner to plan a party for herself her daughter Christine‘s sweet 16. Danielle then lets us know she plans to make this a memorable party for herself Christine because she never had a birthday party “thrown to” her until she was 47-years-old. Really Danielle? Not even a party at 1? 10? 16? 18? 21? 30? 40? 45? Well since Danielle is not known to ever lie or exaggerate, I will go ahead and take her word for this.

Christine reveals her idea to donate all proceeds from her party to a charity and Dirty D decides this is a perfect moment to take credit for Christine’s idea because that’s her daughter and she gave birth to her. And I take a moment to ponder how Danielle’s daughters seem to have turned out amazing and well grounded in spite of their mother. Danielle asks Christine if she wants to invite her father and Christine answers yes. Danielle then lets us know that Tom hasn’t been the best father in the world to his daughters, and I can’t help but wonder if Danielle is being truthful about this, or just trying to paint her ex in a bad light out of vengeance, not that this is Danielle’s MO or anything.

Jacqueline and Caroline meet up and yet again Caroline is making perfect sense when she advises Jacqueline to distance herself from the three-faced Kim G. and focus on her daughter.

The Giudices and the Lauritas have a get together during which Joe, who looks rather stressed, ponders what to get his wife for their upcoming 10th anniversary. Joe mentions the 10-year gift has to be a “big one,” bankruptcy be damned. Teresa, who just signed off on bankruptcy papers to the debt of $11 mil a few weeks earlier, is then shown having a conversation with Jacqueline. “I love diamonds, diamonds and diamonds and diamonds,” says the bankrupt Teresa when asked what she wants for her anniversary by Jacqueline. And how genius are the show’s editors for choosing the oh so perfect background music for this ridiculous scene.

And it’s now that time of the show, when we get to see the hotness known as Albie Manzo. This time around, Albie is sporting a buzz cut, which might or might not be slightly taking away from his hotness, and we find out Albie has joined the police academy while waiting to get into a new law school. Must say it’s nice to see a Manzo with ambitions that go beyond the Brownstone.


It’s back to party planning time, and Danielle informs Christine that her younger sister, Jillian, will be performing at her birthday party. And all I can say is move over Kris Jenner! There’s a new pimp extraordinaire stage mother in town. It seems Danielle is also as surprised as we are at how grounded her kids seem to be, because she once again mentions how great of a mother she is. “I must be doing something right,” exclaims Delusional D. Once Christine leaves the room, we hear a shy Jillian say she’s not really excited about performing because she doesn’t want to sing in front of people. Is this just Jillian experiencing normal nerves? or is this Jillian being pushed by her mother to do something she really doesn’t want to do? Not quite sure, but we do see Jillian burst into tears and Danielle attempts to console her.

It’s finally anniversary day for the Giudices and Teresa reveals Joe has a surprise for her. Joe, still looking somewhat stressed and disinterested about the whole event, tries to put on a happy face for his wife. The day starts out with a helicopter ride and champagne. Teresa asks Joe, “Can we go to the Hamptons?” Joe replies sternly, “They’re closed.” Good save there Joe. And since when does the Hamptons “close” and open? Oh well, it doesn’t matter! Teresa is a moron and believes the Hamptons is closed for business. They get to their Jersey hotel and Teresa receives her surprise gift – Diamonds!

And in this scene, we get a clear understanding of why the Giudices are bankrupt with $11mil in debt. Oddly enough, in her one on one interview, Teresa acknowledges the economy has affected Joe’s businesses, but really who cares? They are now debt free and Mama’s got her diamonds! I don’t even know what Joe and Teresa were thinking, if they were even thinking at all. Did they not know their bankruptcy filing would become public knowledge?

This entire scene is just so disgusting and wrong on many different levels. I mean it was filmed only a few weeks after they filed bankruptcy, and Teresa cannot play dumb because she signed the papers as well. The very little remorse I had for these two is completely gone. The only ones that have my sympathy are their kids. And oh yeah, we get a TMI scene with Teresa riding Juicy Joe and umm yeah, moving right along.

Danielle and her kids are getting ready for the Sweet 16 party and as the kids get ready, Danielle mentions the fact that her ex-husband will be in attendance with his new wife. So what’s a drama queen/attention whore to do? Well if you’re Danielle, you spring out your old engagement ring. Yes she really went there, and seriously, who does this? Christine mentions to her crazy mommy the fact that she’s been “divorced for like three years.” Must say it’s never a good sign when the kids have more common sense than the parent.

Jacqueline decides to teach Ashley some kind of lesson or reward or something by driving her to the post office to pick up her summons. Not sure what the lesson is here, perhaps making her walk would have made more sense. Ashley reads her summons and laughs along the way. We find out she is being charged with harassment and assault. Ashley reveals she will be pleading guilty to the much lesser charge of simple assault. Ashley tries to make light of the situation and Jacqueline is not happy with the smart alec.

We see the lavish location for the sweet 16 party, and Christine & her friends getting their hair and make up done. And I wonder who is paying for all this, you know since Danielle is suppose to be broke and all. It seems Danielle read my mind, as she later takes the time to mention that all the party items were donated because the party is for charity. And how exactly is this party for charity? Does she mean the gifts Christine will be receiving will be donated? Will the party-goers be charged a cover charge? Where exactly are these charity proceeds coming from?

While I ponder these questions, Kim G. arrives and Danielle mentions she is hurt by the fact that Tom’s new wife is a few years younger than her, and by a few years, she means two decades. But Danielle is however ready to move on from all the drama, and what better way to move on than to wear your old engagement ring?

Tom and his new wife arrive, and we finally get to see where the girls get their looks from. Danielle rushes over to give them hugs. A few moments later, she decides to give Tom another hug, and judging from Tom’s stern reaction, it’s obvious he’s not buying whatever it is his ex-wife is trying to sell. I once again wonder why this man, or any man for that matter, would decide Danielle Staub was wife or mother material. I simply don’t get it. Not much is known about Tom, other than he is/was the CEO of Aerobics, Inc. The company has however filed for bankruptcy in May 2010. And according to Danielle’s memoir, she met Tom while working at a strip club. His new wife’s name is Colleen Fairman Staub, and based on the information on her private facebook page, they are expecting a son.

Jillian does her cute performance, and Danielle, who’s sex tape was just released in June, mentions the party was a huge success before going on to declare she is the “best mom in the world.”

We get one more mandatory scene with Jacqueline and her husband Chris playing good cop/bad cop with Ashley, and if it feels like you’ve seen this scene many times over, it’s because you have. Ashley yells, Jacqueline yells, Chris plays peace maker, nothing gets resolved and Ashley is still a brat.

And we’re on to the previews for next week, which will bring a major confrontation between Kim G. and Danielle. Should be good.

Watch What Happens – With Bethenny Frankel and Kim G. as guests, I was expecting a much better episode that what was shown, but perhaps I should have realized Jeff Lewis was not on again. Andy Cohen did a crappy job with his Kim G. questions, and we didn’t really learn anything new. Some people mentioned last week that Jeff Lewis should replace Andy on the show, and I can’t say I disagree. Bethenny was however funny in mentioning how Kim G. had managed to finagle her way into being a regular on the show. Oddly enough, the poll question yesterday was who would the viewers want as a mother. The choices? Caroline, Teresa, Jacqueline, Danielle and Kim G. Caroline won the poll with 70% of the votes, with Teresa coming in a surprising second with 19% of the votes.

UPDATE: As suspected, Danielle was indeed just trying to paint her ex-husband in a negative light. Here’s what Jacqueline had to say on twitter – “Their Dad goes to EVERY track meet, dance recital,everything!He also gets them every weekend so I don get why she acts like he doesn’t on tv.”