Note from Rob: On a recent Friggin Five podcast, Nicole said that Real Housewife of New Jersey star and recent Celebrity Apprentice contestant, Teresa Giudice, was going to be getting her own show. I said that after a whole season of Celebrity Apprentice, I still didn’t understand what the big deal was about Teresa Giudice. I asked listeners to tell us what was so great about Teresa Giudice and Rob Has a Website correspondant, Zeke Smith, answered the call. Here is Zeke’s report:
What’s the skinny on our favorite Jersey Housewife turned Celebrity Apprentice contestant?
First, let’s tackle pronunciation. Is it…
I’ve heard different members of the RHONJ (Real Housewives of New Jersey) cast use all of the above pronunciations, so take your pick. According to the little Italian I know, the last one – with the “soft C” – is technically correct. But, expecting Italian authenticity in New Jersey is like expecting Italian authenticity in a jar of Ragu.
In season one, the cast consisted of four women related through various blood and legal channels, and one woman unknown by the others: Danielle Staub. As the season progressed, it came to light that during her troubled youth, Danielle was involved with drug dealing, prostitution, theft, kid napping, and other illicit activities detailed in the book, Cop Without a Badge.
She, of course, contests the circumstances of these charges, but the other RHONJ women weren’t convinced. In the spirit of peace, Teresa threw a dinner party to confront Danielle about the book. The following ensued:
Teresa screams one of her classic lines, “prostitution whore,” flips the table, and lunges to take Danielle down.
Is Bitch Better?
Now, I’m not a fan of the Housewives series, primarily because the show is driven by women getting drunk and intentionally behaving badly. The longer the run, the more contrived the drama. So, about mid-way through season two, after avoiding Danielle for several months, Teresa decides to strike up a friendly conversation with her after a charity fashion show:
Yes, Danielle tries to walk away several times, drug back by the older blonde woman (who I swear is a covert producer, she’s always in the middle of these scuffles), and balks when Teresa calls her “honey.” Teresa, the sweetheart peacemaker, responds, “is bitch better?” Thus, a star was born.
Joe Giudice, affectionately known as “Juicy,” and it’s no surprise why – the bulging muscles, the roid rage, the expectation that his head will explode at any moment – is Teresa’s adoring husband.
In season one, he was billed as a “construction tycoon,” often paying for the construction of his huge new home with thick rolls of $100 bills, as many non-members of organized crime do. This house, apparently decorated by lottery winning trailer trash, overflows with nominally expensive but tastefully bankrupt gold, marble, and gaudiness. Unsurprisingly, it created some financial difficulty.
Between seasons two and three, it came to light that the Giudices were almost $11 million in debt. Hundreds of thousands spent on designer clothes and accessories – for Teresa and her four daughters; millions in parties, cars, and other extravagances.
Teresa claimed to know nothing of their financial troubles. She admitted that Joe took care of all the finances and never said no when she asked for money. You know what, I believe her. She is as dumb as a bag of hammers. Cognitive function very low.
As mentally lacking as she may be, at least she possesses enough brain matter to listen to the right business/publicity people. Her three cookbooks, Skinny Italian, Fabulicious, and Fabulicious: Fast & Fit are all New York Times Best Sellers. None of which she wrote, mind you. But, the proceeds from book sales, signings, and her appearance on the show keeps her family afloat.
She does all kinds of press on her own family scandals (for which she is well compensated), endorses a panoply of products, and, according to my mother, just came out with Fabellini, a sparkling wine. I do hope Arsenio Hall gets his cut.
Just for clarification, she is not the creator of the “Skinny Girl” line of booze. Bethany Frankel, a former Housewife of New York, and current star of her own Bravo show, Bethany Ever After, is its much more intelligent creator.
Last I saw, Joe owns a pizza parlor in which he makes the pizza and mops the floor. Though he’s been implicated in several cheating scandals, he remains married to Teresa.
No, not the boob job Teresa had in season 1, her four daughters/models/singers/dancers/actresses: Gia, Gabriella, Milania, and Audriana. Perfect names and training for future employment as, um, dancers.
Over the past couple weeks, rumors circulated that if Juicy were convicted, Teresa would score her own spin-off. This, however, is not so much true, as it was a misreporting of another Housewife’s confessional.
But, I’ll provide you with the relevant context, nonetheless. The aforementioned Danielle left after season two. She was replaced by two women – one of which is Teresa’s sister-in-law, Melissa, who is obviously married to Teresa’s brother.
Melissa and Teresa fight constantly, as do their regularly intoxicated husbands. The latter tend to do it with fists at baptisms, holidays, and the like.
Speaking of drinking and misbehaving, Juicy enjoys not only starting fights after a dozen vodka shots, he also enjoys driving and running into things. After a couple DUIs, his license was suspended, but he continued to drive…and was caught. He then tried to get another license using his brother’s birth certificate…and was caught. It’s not as if he’s a recognizable face on a rather popular show about the state in which he committed these crimes or something.
So, Juicy faces some jail time, though it’s still unclear how much. According to the blogosphere, it could be up to five years. Honestly, for the rest of the Giudice family, the longer the better.
In the mean time, Teresa graces the cover of tabloids over the many feuds she fights with her fellow Housewives. Since Danielle’s departure, she’s become the group’s leper. Most of these tiffs stem from arguably negative comments made in Teresa’s most recent cookbook. Or rumors about cheap eye-liner. Or grandparents appearing to favor one set of kids over another.
One of the Jersey Housewives is inevitably in the news, but rarely does anything legitimately newsworthy occur on the show. Indeed, it is mildly shocking to see designer fur clad, weave covered, over make-uped, Botox filled women throw hundred thousand dollar parties and then scream bitch and whore at each other, while their height challenged, roided up husbands exchange punches.
The series revolves around the drunken family rows that most of us keep private and solve quickly. They’ve managed to turn it into a multi-million dollar television series. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but if you’re compelled, click you can see all of Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season One on Amazon Instant Video.