“Chelsea Lately” goes Johnny Weir and “Jerseylicious”

What things come immediately to mind when you think of New Jersey?

If it’s a lack of U-turns, then you have something in common with male figure skater/reality television star Johnny Weir. The Lyndhurst resident (who trains at an ice rink in Wayne) gracefully defended the Garden State during a conversation with Livingston native Chelsea Handler on her E! talk show “Chelsea Lately” Tuesday night.

Chelsea’s interview with Johnny veered onto the New Jersey Turnpike as he spoke about the rigors of practicing on ice for hours on end.

“On top of it, you have to live in New Jersey,” Chelsea pointed out.

“Well, you’re a Jersey girl, too,” Johnny replied with a laugh.

“And you know where I went when I was 19 years old?” Chelsea quipped. “Out of New Jersey!”

“I love New Jersey, though,” Johnny responded. “There’s something very special and aggressive and ‘no U-turning’ about it.”

“There’s something very special and aggressive and it’s called the ‘Jersey Shore,'” Chelsea shot back. “Have you ever met anybody from that show?”

“No,” said Johnny. “And I don’t really need to.”

This was the second time Chelsea has mentioned her home state within a week. She recently turned her critical eye toward the Style Network’s “Jerseylicious” about a “gross hair salon” in Green Brook. Take a look:

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“New Jersey, would you please stop embarrassing me?” Chelsea pleads. “I know you’re New York’s chunkier, sluttier younger sister, but pull yourself together, girl.”

There’s nothing more “Jerseylicious” than… Franklin Township?

I knew “Jerseylicious” was filmed in the general vicinity – aka Somerset County, New Jersey – but I had no idea it was in my backyard.

Welcome to Franklin Township, the fifth best place to live in America!/All photos by Ava Gacser

In the first two episodes alone, the ladies of Green Brook’s Gatsby Salon have ventured into my neck of the woods a whopping three times.

The sign may be relatively new, but the Somerset Diner has been part of my stomping grounds my entire life.

In episode 1, Olivia and her new roommate, Briella, wolfed down “disco fries” (french fries with gravy and mozzarella) at the Somerset Diner on Easton Avenue. (Quick note about the Somerset Diner: This is THE diner in my town. I’ve known it my entire life and to see it on television is just, wow, surreal.)

But that was just episode 1. Little did I know “Jerseylicious” would be back this week, with two more stops in my lifelong hometown.

Franklin tip: If you're looking for apple cider vinegar with *the mother,* then Nature's Weigh is exactly where you need to go.

Next up was Tracy and boyfriend Lorenzo (who also happens to be Olivia/Snooki’s ex), who dropped by the health food shop Nature’s Weigh (which is located in Village Plaza, right next to the diner) to buy some creatine so Lorenzo can bulk up some more. While there the pair discussed Olivia and her faults. “She’s going to be late for her own funeral,” joked Lorenzo.

Then the show moved on to the new digs Olivia shares with Briella… which just happen to be a Korman Community called AVE Somerset on Pierce Street near Elizabeth Avenue (close to the Franklin/South Bound Brook border).

What strikes me as funny is that AVE Somerset is an upscale, fully furnished apartment complex for “short or long-term stays.” Somehow I doubt management would approve of the hot pink paint Olivia and Briella used on their living room wall, but hey, I’m sure the Style Network has that covered.

“We’re from Jersey,” Olivia said while picking up a paint brush. “We don’t pump gas and we definitely don’t paint.”

Another area establishment that was featured prominently in episode 2 was Alfonso’s Family Trattoria in Somerville (which may also appear on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” this season as Teresa Giudice was filmed eating there in September with her father), site of this ridiculous exchange between hairstylist Gigi, her boyfriend Frankie and some hapless waiter. All of them need serious acting lessons:

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Gigi and Frankie (who lives somewhere in Hunterdon County) are the embodiment of the typical Jersey love story (not): The pair met at Dunkin’ Donuts at 3 a.m. He made fun of her rhinestone-studded license plate cover. She sassed him back and that was it. “Who knew he was going to like me when I told him to go f*** himself?” Gigi jokes.

Other Jersey joints featured in”Jerseylicious” include the 46 Lounge in Totowa (episode 1) and Planet Chicken in Dunellen (episode 2), the site of Alexa, Anthony and Gigi’s lunch.

“Anthony, very classy place,” Alexa cattily commented about the eatery. “I have white (wine) in a merlot glass.”

(If Anthony were super-quick on the uptake, he should have responded with this “Seinfeld” zinger: “Merlot? I never heard of it. Did they just invent it?”)

There’s no telling where on Easton Avenue “Jerseylicious” might take us next week.  Blockbuster? Stop N Shop? Unclaimed Freight?

I have no idea, but it sure is fun finding out.

Get your “Jerseylicious” fix right now

Can’t wait another minute until Style Network puts Green Brook, N.J., on the map?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jerseylicious episode 1“, posted with vodpod

Then you’re in luck, because I’ve got your back (courtesy of E!).  You can now watch the entire first episode of “Jerseylicious” by clicking on the above video. Or, if you’d rather, you can wait until the show’s official premiere at 10 p.m. Sunday on Style Network. And if you’re dying for more, tune in to “The Tyra Banks Show” on Friday to meet the hair stylists from Gatsby Salon.

And for a “Jerseylicious” tour of the Garden State, go here.

You can’t get more “Jerseylicious” than Green Brook

Big news, New Jersey residents: The Garden State will no longer be defined by “The Sopranos” and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”


Fuggedaboutit! Thanks to The Style Network, New Jersey will no longer be known just for its abrasive personalities and big hair. Then again, maybe it will.../Credit HBO (above) and Bravo (below)

RHNJ reunion necklace

No, sirree. Instead, the little state that could will from now on be known as “Jerseylicious”… or so The Style Network hopes.

The network has given the greenlight to the *reality* show – and yes, it’s most definitely called “Jerseylicious” – which will follow both the professional and personal lives of six hair stylists. The action, according to New Jersey Newsroom, will take place at The Gatsby Salon in Somerset County’s Green Brook (which also happens to be the home of “Real Housewife of New Jersey” Teresa Giudice’s favorite furniture store, Unique Furniture).

“Our viewers are in for a wild ride when they enter this hairspray mayhem,” Salaam Coleman Smith, president of The Style Network, said in a statement obtained by New Jersey Newsroom. “We love that this series takes a fun look at the always entertaining personal lives and real-life drama of this outrageous staff while also capturing the fabulous makeovers and ‘Jerseylicious’ styles at the salon. It’s a perfect combination for Style’s young female audience.”

The salon, located on Route 22, is run by Gayle and Christy, a mother/daughter team. After two marriages, Gayle is back on the dating scene, and Christy is working hard at building up her stake in the business, says the article. Other stylists profiled on the show include Gigi, who is described as a “Bridezilla”-wannabe, and Anthony, the lone male who is trying to provide for his family.

The show, which is set to debut in the spring, will also be filming in other Central New Jersey locales. It is produced by Endemol USA, which also produces “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Deal or No Deal,” Big Brother” and “Wipeout.”

You can check out The Gatsby Salon’s Facebook page right here.

“Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” features New Jersey planner

Springfield, New Jersey’s own Jenny Orsini is one of two wedding planners featured in tonight’s new episode of “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”

Jenny orsini

The episode “Where’s the Cantor?” involves Jenny – who is the owner of Pampered Bride Weddings – creating an interfaith ceremony that comprises both Filipino/Catholic and Jewish traditions, explains a press release. It’s a challenging job – especially when Jenny has a hard time tracking down the officiant. The episode airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on the Style Network.

Jenny was one of four New Jersey-based wedding planners I interviewed earlier this year for a story about planning weddings on a budget. That story was full of great, helpful tips, thanks to Jenny, Marie Danielle Vil-Young of A Votre Service Events in Franklin Park, Tracee Wright of Weddings Done Wright in Scotch Plains and Kathy Polanco, president of Diamond Bride Planners in North Brunswick. You can read the entire story here.

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