RHONJ Season 5 Episode 18: AKA “Salon Farewell” The Nightmare Before East Part 2

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Bravo calls it Salon Farewell. I call it The Nightmare Before Easter. When I introduced you all to my title last week I couldn’t exactly say why. Now that I know what was aired…and more importantly what wasn’t…I hope by the end of this article you will all understand. I hope I can clarify a few things for you, even though I personally will never be able to make sense of what I witnessed that night.

The Posche 2 party occurred on Saturday March 30th which was the eve of Easter 2013. It was an odd night to hold a filmed event, an even odder night for the mayhem that ensued. There was nothing holy about that evening.

As I previously wrote the party started out light and fun. Chris Laurita and Joe Giudice got a little dose of metrosexual pampering, Jacqueline Laurita had her hair and makeup touched up, Melissa Gorga was in a great mood and socializing. Only one person tipped me off that there might be a problem. Someone loosely affiliated with the show motioned to Penny Drossos and told me she had a “bad feeling” that something would happen simply because Penny was there.

In the background you can see people mingling on TV. You can even see me if you look for my pale face and blonde hair. I stick out like a piece of Wonder Bread in a bakery of whole wheat loaves…I will never be tan enough for New Jersey. It wasn’t until we saw Johnny The Greek walk in looking really pissed off that we knew we were about to see some major drama. At this point my pale white ass got stuck in a sea of spectators. We all turned towards the back of the shop where JTG approached the escalating argument between his wife and the RHONJ cast.

This is when things got ugly and two thirds of my team went running for the hills. JTG’s voice got loud and the last thing I heard was “Ask your f*cking sister.” Then I heard smashing, thrashing, and glass breaking. I was caught between staying put, backing up, or moving closer to get more of the story. I decided to stay put. I couldn’t see what was happening, but I could hear enough to know it was bad. I was jostled back and forth, frontward and backward as the crowd backed up to avoid the debris. Yes I said debris, because my head would never have been able to wrap around what all that crashing and banging was unless my eyes hadn’t seen the aftermath.

While I was being tossed around the Manzo kids burst through the door and into the crowd like superheroes. I later found out they had been dining nearby and came when they received a text from Caroline that there was major trouble. I’m pretty sure that Albie and Chris were strictly there to protect their mom and weren’t involved in the fight. While this was going on Jaime and Brent of TBB had escaped to the sidewalk out front where a group of people on the street gathered. They wanted to know what was going on. When they were told it was a RHONJ filming they started asking Jaime and Brent to take pictures with them, so while I was being tossed like a salad, my staff was getting the star treatment.

As quick as chaos tookover, it suddenly subsided. JTG was escorted out the back door and the crowd began to disperse. Kim D was visibly shaken and screaming at Penny who I was shocked to see didn’t walk out with her bleeding husband. Yes, bleeding, there was blood everywhere. It was splattered on the walls, on the floor, even on some of Kim’s inventory. Speaking of Kim’s inventory I’m sure thousands of dollars of her cuffs and fashions were ruined along with the display cases, which would account for some of the shattering. The rest of the shattering came from two hairwashing basins that were in the area. You know those giant thick porcelain sinks that you lean into at the salon? Well two of those were smashed to pieces.

In my lifetime I had never seen such brutality and I hope never to again. I’ve seen bar fights and people rough eachother up. I’m not THAT sheltered, but this was beyond. After it was over I spoke to a shaken castmember whose name I will not reveal. “Can you believe all this for a show? That this is what our show has become. It’s sad, it’s not worth it anymore.”

However, let’s go back to the finale, because after all this is supposed to be my final season 5 recap. I was pleased to see this season end on a high note. Kudos to Sirens Media for putting the drama first and all the love and light at the end. This was much better than how season 4 ended, and even though it was known the night of March 30th that the party would most likely make the finale show, it wasn’t known just how perfect the finale would end. All the cast at the Giudice’s shore house laughing and eating, it was like the old times, like the last two seasons were some ridiculous Dallasesque bad dream and everybody finally woke up.

So where do they go from here? It feels like there’s nowhere to go really. The conflict was resolved, everyone was happy, in the land of scripted television that would signify the end. There are many rumors about what will and won’t be next season. I more wonder should there even be a next season? What do you all think?

RHONJ Season 5 Ep 17 “Hair We Go Again” AKA “The Nightmare Before Easter :Part 1”

The confrontation. Who should Melissa believe? Credit: Bravotv.com

The confrontation. Who should Melissa believe?
Credit: Bravotv.com

When I attended Kim D (DePaola’s) opening celebration for her Posche 2 store in Ridgewood, New Jersey, I figured I was in for a night of cocktails, finger foods and fun with perhaps a dash of drama. This was the fourth Real Housewives of New Jersey filming I had attended and I kind of knew the drill. Fortunately at this point everything I had seen had been quite tame. Perhaps that’s why none of it made the show. This party was anything but mild. Team TBB walked out probably more shocked than we had ever been. It was our first taste of true RHONJ drama and a frightening reminder that, despite the creative license of editing, much of what we see on this show is real, and quite sad when all is said and done.

With just one installment remaining in the franchise’s fifth season, RHONJ will soon be just another Housewife memory. We will forget what we liked and didn’t like and move on to the next group of privileged Bravo ladies and involve ourselves in their cat-fights and chaos, until next summer when the slate is clean and we tune in again (of course that is if the show survives.)

On the latest episode we start with Mel and Joey who are still perplexed by their run in with Penny Drossos in episode 16. Rumor has it that the editors moved that footage which in real time was taped before the Arizona trip. While I have no inside knowledge if this is true I will say that I believe it is possible. Things are taken out of linear time quite frequently on all reality shows to create a story. Reality television is filmed for months at a time, then the producers have to break down that footage and piece it back together in a way that will tell a story and captivate the viewers. Some viewers feel this is sneaky and unfair, I disagree. I feel it’s necessary because great stories make for great television and life, as it naturally happens, isn’t always that exciting. Oh, and as for my personal proof this happens, I will get to that later.

Back to Mel and Joey. They have two issues on this episode. One is getting Penny’s mouth under control and the other is getting Mel’s voice under control. They fly to Florida to the “compound” for Mel to learn and execute a song live for a radio station. She has 24 hours to perfect this or her singing career could be in the crapper. If she does well she will be invited to perform in front of 150,000 people at an annual concert. While she sings in FL, the rest of the cast listens from either Jac’s house or Tre and Juicy’s car. Unforgettable was the look on Kathy’s face as Mel attempted those high notes.

Mel and Joey aren’t the only ones who have beef with Penny. Jac and Chris are also ready to confront Penny and her husband Johnny regarding tweets in which the duo claimed that Nicholas’s diagnosis was a sham. I don’t blame Jac and Chris for being angry over this, I don’t see how anyone could. That’s an extremely horrible thing for somebody to suggest.

Teresa is lunching with Victoria Gotti, whom she befriended after the two appeared on The Apprentice together. Victoria is asking Teresa a lot of personal questions regarding Juicy’s phony license case and possible jail time. Teresa really doesn’t want to discuss it even though Victoria is relentless. Mind you this was all before the current charges against the Giudices surfaced. I think airing footage of Tre hanging out with the daughter of the most famous organized crime boss of our time was not very kind on Bravo’s part.

Kathy and Rich are over Joseph’s Ferrari joyride from earlier this season. So over it that they buy him a brand new Jeep. Rich claims he just gave his son a couple “inches” to his manhood. Though he doesn’t say manhood. I’m sure quite a few people cringed at the penis extension reference, I mean the kid is sixteen and this is international television, but it’s Rich Wakile, by this point we don’t expect anything less.

The Manzos, who we now know have been shown as a constant unit in preparation for their spinoff, are busy preparing for the opening of Chris and Albie’s restaurant, Little Town, NJ. Here is that proof about creative editing I referred to. The Posche 2 party occured on March 30th (hence why I refer to it as The Nightmare Before Easter). The restaurant party happened on April 17th. I know because I was at Lauren’s Cafface anniversary party on April 8th when Albie invited me to the opening. I ended up unable to attend that night. Too bad because it ooked like fun. Lauren’s party, though a favorite event for me, was yet another night that landed on the cutting room floor.

Once Mel and Joey come back from Florida the show goes full speed ahead into the Penny and Johnny conflict. Jac confronts Penny who says she would never say such things becase she “taught autism” whatever the f*ck that is supposed to mean. Penny literally points the finger at Teresa for not only spreading the Melissa cheating rumors but for also setting Mel up at season 4’s Posche fashion show…affectionately remembered by fans as Strippergate.

Prior to the beginning of the end the evening was quite pleasant. Here are some of the things you didn’t see:

1. Chris Laurita getting glammed up by the Moxie Salon staff. They showed Joe Giudice’s turn in the chair but I don’t recall seeing Chris’s on TV.

2. Jac’s makeup being touched up by the Moxie girls. While this was happening Jac and I had a 15 minute conversation about her tummy tuck surgery which was completely filmed as they held the camera on us and a boom mic over me.

3. An incredibly stunning photographer who probably should spend her time in front of the camera standing on top of every piece of furniture imaginable to get the perfect still shots.

4. The bar of adorable sandwiches that nobody, except yours truly, seemed interested in eating. I understood why when a few bites dragged my lip stain to my chin and the Moxie makeup artist had to fix my foundation.

5.Heather Robinson, of season 4 hot tub fame, who was in attendance. Robinson held an event at Christmas time that also ended up nixed from the final edit.

Though everybody was hoping for the best there was a slight air of tension. As one attendee told me, “I’m worried something is going to go down, especially with Penny here. I have a bad feeling.”

I know you are all dying to know what happens next. All I can say now is that it is shocking. I will tell you all more after the finale airs next week. Stay tuned.

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RHONJ Season 5 Ep 16 “The Blonde Drops a Bombshell”

Did Penny just blow Teresa's cover? Credit: Bravotv.com

Did Penny just blow Teresa’s cover? Credit: Bravotv.com

Instead of giving you all a huge song and dance, which is not me being authentic, I’m going to open up and be totally honest. I was NOT feeling this episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I think it’s a combination of factors from just having finished my first full week back in the working world, to a long day at my future SIL’s bridal shower, to the fact that BOTH my sons came down with bad colds right after the party…then again it could simply be that I, like a lot of you, am getting tired of the same old thing. I’m also getting tired of Bravo and Siren Media operating under the assumption that their viewers are idiots.

Instead of my usual chronologically structured recap I’m going to go through the cast and talk about what they were up to last night. That’s right, last night, as I was so not with it that I’m writing this a full day later as opposed to thirty minutes after the show.

Jacqueline: The Manzo/Laurita clan is hosting a sports themed event to raise money for an Autism charity. Jac needs to speak at this charity and is nervous so she employs Tre to assist her with writing her speech, which Chris finds so hilarious he loses his normally stoic composure and cracks up during his OTF interview. I suppose he feels that this is a blind leading the blind scenario. So Jac’s storyline last night revolved around a fear of first time public speaking. Really? Well this is all fine and dandy for the show, however this was NOT her first time speaking publicly. Last September, long before this was filmed, I attended Jac’s Sparkle Speaks event. This is an annual charity dinner hosted by Jacqueline and her nieces to raise funding for Autism Speaks. Jac spoke at that event. She spoke about Nicholas’s diagnosis, treatment, and how Autism Speaks has been a tremendous resource for her family, very similar to what she said on the show last night. (FYI Sparkle Speaks will happen again this Thursday, and yes I will be there.)

Teresa: Teresa is now getting to be Jac’s BFFL again and that means making Nicholas comfortable around her. She may want to take the voice shriek down a notch, I mean that even frightens me sometimes. Tre is also working on getting along with Melissa and Joey since the Arizona trip. The big happy family meets for dinner with the elder Mrs. Gorga, however Mr. Gorga Sr. is unable to attend due to kidney stones.

Kathy: Kathy is still busy pushing cannoli creme into shells in an effort to push her cannolis. She’s given a great opportunity to have an event at New York City’s famous candy emporium Dylan’s Candy Bar, which, for those of you who don’t know, is owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that little bit of trivia because Richie didn’t know it either, despite all those RL collars he likes to pop. The theme of “poor voiceless Kathy” is perpetuated by none of her “friends” showing up on time. Kathy is pissed…well as pissed as she can sound, this is Kathy Wakile we are talking about. Richie’s lack of fashion family knowledge, by the way, is nothing compared to his sister in law and cousin in law’s lack of reproductive knowledge. When Rosie asks Juicy if he wants a son Juicy replies that he doesn’t think Tre wants to be pregnant again but maybe they can take her eggs and his “eggs” and combine them. I suppose this is the neanderthal definition of IVF. He then asks if he has eggs and asks Rosie what his “are called.” Totally expecting Rosie to laugh and say “sperm” she instead says that she doesn’t know as she’s not good at this stuff. I’d be totally amused, except these people are probably making more money than my braniac ass with a Master Degree is. I now feel like the fool.

Caroline: Was she even in this episode? Oh yeah, for a second…with another migraine.

Melissa: While Kathy is cracking cannoli shells, Melissa is cracking the tunes, or just cracking. Blaming a fuzziness in her earphones for a lackluster rehearsal doesn’t go over well with her producers. She gets the we invested in you, don’t embarrass us lecture. She also gets lectured on her work ethic, as in this recording career needs to come first or else. At the end of the episode Melissa and Joey are out at a restaurant and surprise surprise Penny is sitting at the bar. Another insult to our intelligence, as are we really expected to believe that this is just a coincidence? Note to Siren, I think not. Anyway Mel and Joey confront Penny who states that Tre and her really are friends and that Tre is the one behind all of the cheating rumors. This will all come to a head in the next episode when the long awaited Posche 2 party is aired. I was there…hope I don’t look fat on camera.