“Real Housewives of New Jersey”: My big fat Italian vacation

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I’ve seen some people kvetching online about how lame this week’s “My Big Fat Italian Vacation” episode of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” was, but I loved every minute of it.

If only what happens in Italy, stays in Italy./Photo credit Bravo

And there were a million and one reasons to love it. And much of the credit belongs to Teresa Giudice, who came up with the idea in the first place and whose antics before, during – and who knows, probably after, too! – made for some pretty amusing television. Just watch:

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By the way, I’m so relieved to see “Fabulous!!!” works in any country. Now if only they could learn to say it in Italian…

Favoloso!

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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”: Bringing on the crazy

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The first ladies of the Garden State – that would be Teresa Giudice, Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita and, oh yes, Danielle Staub – have been all over the place in the past few weeks. Have they been in your neighborhood?

Gee, I wonder where Danielle could be?/Photo credit New York Daily News

“I know crazy when I’m looking at it” – Caroline on Danielle

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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” get real

You want it, you got it: Here’s my quick, in-a-nutshell recounting of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” appearance on Saturday at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. (And look out -this time I was sitting in the front row and have some great pix of the ladies!)

Dina Manzo small

You can't really tell here, but Dina Manzo's T-shirt reads "Last year's Versace." Copies of the shirt were also for sale in the theater's lobby. "I can't help myself," Dina said. "I'm a wise a**."/All photos by Ava Gacser

While much of the material covered territory similar to last month’s appearance by Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice (along with “Real Housewives of New York City’s” Alex McCord and Jill Zarin) in Englewood, there were a few new tidbits of information.

First of all, although it was never stated outright, I get the distinct impression all five ladies will be back for the second season (slated to premiere on Bravo sometime in 2010 with – get this – about 18 episodes!!!). I know there’s been some question about Dina Manzo’s participation, but based upon things she said – such as “I’m trying to make (Project) Ladybug be part of the show” and “He’s (Dina’s hubby, Tommy) not in Season 2; he won’t be around” – there’s no doubt in my mind she’ll be back.

Dina proved amusing during the approximately two-hour event, joking that seeing herself on television convinced her she needed major plastic surgery.

“I’m getting a nose job, I’m getting lipo,” she laughed.

She also took responsibility for getting the controversial “prostitution whore” herself, Danielle Staub, on the show.

“Ironically, it was my fault,” she admitted.

According to Dina, Danielle had quite the reputation at Chateau, the Franklin Lakes salon several of the women frequent. And because it was the owner of Chateau, Victor, who was the one Bravo originally approached for help in finding women for the series, salon clients were obviously preferred.

“What about that crazy one?” Dina said is how she recalls referring to Danielle. “Why don’t we take her out to dinner and find out if she’s good crazy or bad crazy?”

Dina also set the record straight about her husband, Tommy, who co-owns The Brownstone with Caroline’s hubby, Albert.

“He wants nothing to do with the show,” she said, adding that initially that bothered her but now she’s glad he isn’t involved. “It’s brought us closer” and makes their time together more special. “It’s just the two of us… it’s just like boyfriend/girlfriend time.”

Caroline Manzo small

I couldn't get a clear shot of Caroline because of that ridiculously placed speaker.

Caroline’s popular son, Albie, was in attendance (as was Dina’s daughter Lexi and Jacqueline Laurita’s daughter Ashley), and she revealed Albie now has a girlfriend named – wait for it – Danielle.

“Can you believe the irony?” Caroline added.

And when the subject of “Regis and Kelly’s” recent Halloween episode featuring the pair dressed up as Caroline and Teresa, respectively, Caroline admitted it was funny but said she couldn’t help wondering, “Why do they always pick a man to imitate me?” (*This isn’t the first time: Earlier this summer, another Jersey girl, talk-show host Chelsea Handler, did a spoof on the “Housewives” and a man played Caroline then, too.)

(In case you missed the “Regis and Kelly” spoof, here it is:)
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more about “Regis and Kelly ARE The Real Housewiv…“, posted with vodpod
Teresa Giudice small

Unlike last time's form-fitting (and gorgeous) glittery dress, Teresa opted for this flowing shift.

Teresa denied that she carries hundreds of thousands of dollars around in her purse.

“I don’t walk around carrying $120k with me,” she said.

She also confirmed that her upcoming cookbook is called “Skinny Italian” and will feature “great quick Italian recipes.”

One of the funniest moments of the evening came when Teresa started trash-talking “Real Housewife of New York City” Bethenny Frankel. After alleging that Bethenny bad mouths her, Teresa called Bethenny a “b*tch,” “slut” and “big ho.”

“You should’ve gotten married first,” she added, obviously referring to newly engaged Bethenny’s recent announcement that she’s pregnant.

Jacqueline Laurita small

It was good to see Jacqueline laugh.

Jacqueline gushed about her newborn son, Nicholas, whom she lovingly refers to as “monkey.”

“I hold him all the time,” she said. “He looks nothing like me. He’s my husband all the way.”

Speaking of which, Jacqueline also hinted that fans will see more of her husband (and Dina and Caroline’s brother), Chris, in 2010.

“Next season you might see him a lot more,” she revealed.

Jacqueline also said that she wished last season had shown her family’s relationships in a more positive light.

“It seemed to highlight all of the negative moments with my daughter (Ashley),” she said.

The evening was once again moderated by comedian Geno Bisconte.

“We all have our a**hole moments, and we all have our endearing moments,” summed up Caroline. “…If we ever forget where we came from, kick our a**.”

Here are a few more photos I took that evening:

ladies standing small

This was the best shot I could get of all of the ladies standing but it gives you an idea of how tiny they all are. Moderator Geno Bisconte is in the center.

Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo small

Teresa and Caroline.

Sisters-in-law Jacqueline and Dina were peppered with plenty of questions during the event.

Sisters-in-law Jacqueline and Dina were peppered with questions.

Dina tweeting small

Dina whipped out her leopard-covered Blackberry for some impromptu Twitpics, but for some reason they didn't wind up on her Twitter page (www.twitter.com/dinamanzo).

All of the ladies are on Twitter and/or Facebook. If you need any of those addresses, feel free to drop me a line. Hopefully everyone saw the In Touch Weekly photo spread of Jacqueline, Teresa and the babies. It was really cute! In case you didn’t, the photo below is from the article.

IN-TOUCH-HOUSEBABIES

Proud mothers Teresa and Jacqueline show off their newest additions, Audriana and Nicholas. I love the facial expressions on both babies!/Credit In Touch Weekly

A “Real Housewives of New Jersey” guide to the Garden State, take 3

I can’t believe it, but we’ve come to the end of the first season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” It’s hard to imagine life without Teresa Giudice, Dina Manzo, Danielle Staub, Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita, much less the FABULOUS!!! granite and marble and onyx.

Now this we've got to see!/All photos credit Bravo

Now this we've got to see!/All photos credit Bravo

Where did these ladies visit and who did they see in this fantastically entertaining final episode? Take a look:

Episode 6

Cafe Amici (Wyckoff) – Italian restaurant that Caroline, Dina and Lexi visit for dinner. Dina ponders giving up her career as an event planner and interior decorator to stay home with her 12-year-old daughter, whom she’s dismayed to discover is growing up. “I turn around for five minutes to work and all of a sudden she’s got t***,” Dina tells her sister. Classy!

Bernard Kerik – A good family friend of Caroline and Albert Manzo, Kerik is the former New York police commissioner who is presently fending off such assorted charges as “lying to the White House, failing to declare income, filing false returns and corruption,” reports The Star-Ledger.  He’s also, apparently, a friend to dogs. The four-legged kind, I mean.

Didn't you just love the moment when Jacqueline finally snapped?

Don't you just love the moment when Jacqueline finally snapped?

Lu Nello (Cedar Grove) – This is it – the site of the fabulicious blow-out between Dina, Caroline, Teresa, Jacqueline and Danielle. (I’m still trying to figure out how Danielle smuggled in that copy of “Cop Without a Badge.” Clearly, it’s too big to fit in her purse.)  Yes, memories were made during this meal. I mean, will you be able to look at another oyster again without thinking about Joe Giudice’s raging libido? I wonder how much Bravo had to pay the place for Teresa’s little table-flipping incident? But the best part of the evening came when Jacqueline finally stood up to her sister-in-laws, shouting at one point, “You’re such a liar, Dina! I’m not covering for you anymore.” (I cheered, I admit it.)

Teresa Jersey girl. jpg

For those of you who are dying to get their hands on the “Jersey Girl” T-shirt Teresa sported in this episode (see above), you can do exactly that – by going here.

And those who are interested in learning what the “Real Housewives” are up to lately, The Star-Ledger has a short but informative piece right here. It includes such nuggets as this: It wasn’t Dina’s idea to park in the handicapped spot outside Chateau Salon.

Oh, and there’s also Dina’s interview with People in which she splits hairs about whether or not she was the one to blab about Danielle’s past. And Caroline talks to Newsweek.

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Thankfully, the thrill is not totally gone just yet. We do have tonight’s director’s cut – dubbed “The Last Supper: Second Helping” – to delight us (tune in at 9 p.m. for that), and there’s also the highly anticipated two-part reunion, which airs next Tuesday and Thursday (both nights at 9 p.m., I believe).

And, as usual, you can view the master list of all of the faces and places of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” right here.

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