Teresa Giudice made a reality TV career out of sharing her family strife on camera for twelve seasons on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her brother, Joe Gorga, and sister-in-law Melissa Gorga have also been staples on the show since Season Three. The two families teeter between feuds, emotional makeups, and superficial gestures. All the while, keeping score as to who aggrieved whom.
You would think most of the drama would occur between Teresa and her sister-in-law. But, surprisingly, Melissa seems to be more of the peace maker between her husband and Tre. It can’t be an easy feat when Joe inserts himself into all drama, even to the point of engaging with his niece Gia Giudice.
Yes, a new generation of RHONJ is bringing it on Season 12. Gia, 21, has grown up on camera and decided to take an active role in her family’s feud. Gia also had no problem taking on her mother’s nemesis Margaret Josephs when the published author refused to wear Teresa’s active-wear line.
Gia famously sang on camera about her family’s struggles. Now, as an adult, she brushed away her tears and is presenting her point of view with a notable degree of maturity. Uncle Joe doesn’t necessarily respond in kind. It was reported that he stormed out of the RHONJ reunion after a confrontation with his niece. And certainly those cast members in the Gorga camp are of the opinion that Gia should not be getting involved.
RHONJ newbie Traci Lynn Johnson is one. Traci opined to Us Weekly, “I think Gia has every right to state her opinion to her uncle, but I think at the end of the day, she has to remember she’s 21-years-old and her uncle has been there for her since the day she was born. So have a little respect, too.”
While Traci is very comfortable voicing her opinion about Gia, she didn’t have the same ease dealing with Teresa. According to a Reality Blurb article, it took awhile for her to feel comfortable confronting the RHONJ OG. “I think in the beginning, I was a little hesitant to ever really speak my mind to Teresa because she does come off very aggressive,” Traci said, “But the further along in filming I got, I realized she has a lot of bark but not a lot of bites. And the worst she can usually do is yell at you.”
Teresa also weaponizes tables, especially if she feels that her love bubble is being threatened. And certainly Teresa’s cast mates gave her and fiance Luis Ruelas no rest about his questionable past. She responded in kind by bringing up a rumor about how Traci and husband Tiki Barber got together.
Traci responded to the rumor during the interview. She said it was untrue that, “Tiki and I had this big affair,” and invalidated the rumor that she, “was the nanny or the babysitter, which was patently not true.”
It all comes with the territory of being on a reality TV show. “I think all those things came up, and I was very happy to have a platform to address them, finally,” Traci acknowledged.
Some couples succumb to the pressures of having their personal lives under scrutiny, but Traci claimed it was a positive experience for her and Tiki. She said, “I don’t think he would say it changed our relationship. [But] I think for me, it made me admire him more because I suddenly become so much more busy than normal, and he was so supportive, always gibing me the most confidence to go out there and to my thing and not be afraid. It really made me respect him more as a husband.”
While navigating marital strife was effortless, Traci admitted that the hardest part of joining RHONJ was that, “people really don’t let things go.”
“I was very shocked to see that you think you’re okay one day, and then two weeks later, the same thing gets brought up again, and I’m kind of sitting back going, ‘I thought we resolved that two weeks ago,'” Traci explained, “I still go back to Teresa being mad at me for things my husband asked her boyfriend. To me, I’m still to this day confused at why you’re mad at me for something my husband did, but you’re not mad at him.”
Traci’s opinion about Gia was probably influenced by what went down at the reunion as well. While viewers wait for the episodes to air, Traci offered up a take away from her first RHONJ rodeo.
She said, “I didn’t know reunions could be so crazy. I haven’t experienced such a long day of women basically pulling out every receipt they had of every conflict they had throughout the season. It was intense but fun. It was great to see some things have resolutions. It was sad to see others not. I felt like my main issue was always talking to Teresa about her still being upset with me for something Tiki did, and I think we kind of addressed it during the reunion. But I’m not sure where it goes from there.”
Certainly, the explosive cast trip to Nashville came up. Traci labeled it a “wild ride,” and reacted to Teresa’s shocking attack on Margaret.
“I didn’t see it coming,” Traci admitted, “Quite honestly, I don’t think I ever would have anticipated an almost 50-year-old woman clearing a table of drinks at someone. That just isn’t people I associate myself with. And what Marge was saying wasn’t something that warranted that reaction.”
Welcome to New Jersey then. It seems Traci has yet to accept the level of hypocrisy that Teresa lives by. “It’s just another example of a Teresa-ism in her life where she gets to make the rules and not play by them,” Traci continued, “My husband’s not allowed to ask her boyfriend a question that’s happening in real-time, yet she can look up 12-year-old fake news articles about me and try to talk about it.”
When asked to detail an unseen moment from Season 12, Traci recalled a conversation between herself and Tiki. “I cried,” she admitted, “I don’t think they showed it. I was like, ‘I am so sorry I brought you into these crazy people.’ It was like an image out of a zoo. It was like they let the animals out of the cages.”
This reunion is sure to be engaging, and will hopefully tie some loose ends from the season.
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TRACI’S COMMENTS REGARDING GIA? SHOULD GIA BE GETTING INVOLVED? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE REUNION? DO YOU WANT TRACI BACK FOR ANOTHER SEASON?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]