Jacqueline Laurita On Being Back, Coming Back, and Backing Herself Up

imageOn an unseasonably cold November night Jacqueline and Chris Laurita attended an event to learn more about healthy eating habits for children. The event (which we will revisit later on) addressed issues like gluten intolerance, which is very personal for the Lauritas since their son, Nicholas, must follow a gluten free diet. After the presentation I was lucky enough to catch up with Jacqueline and ask her some of the fans’ burning questions like if she’s coming back to Real Housewives of New Jersey for season 7 (see her answer below). I was also lucky enough to have the Lauritas walk me back to my car post event. What can I say, it was dark, I was alone, and I’m terribly neurotic. Thank you Jac and Chris for looking out for me! Happy Thanksgiving!

TBB:Why did you come back to The Real Housewives of New Jersey?

JL: I came back because I actually never left (laughs). I had asked to go part-time because I’m working on a lot of other things right now and the stress from the show got to be a little much with trying to do everything I wanted to get done. So I needed a break from the show and they offered that. I said I would do part-time but then I was told my sister-in-law (Dina Manzo) wouldn’t come on full-time if I was part-time. So I said fine. I guess it was in March they wanted me to come back in so I said ok because it’s good money, I was done filming for Manzo’d (With Children) so I felt , “I’ll do it, why not?”

TBB: Did you miss (RHONJ) during the break?

JL: No! (laughs) I didn’t miss it. It was very nice having a break, I enjoyed the break, but part-time to me is very manageable and it’s not as stressful. Once you’ve been away from it for a little while you get this temporary amnesia where you forget why you were stressed out.

TBB: Kind of like when you forget what childbirth is like and you have another baby?

JL: EXACTLY! That’s exactly what it’s like!

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TBB: Any desire to come back full-time?

JL: There has been talk about me coming back full-time and I’m still considering it. I would like to do another season of Manzo’d, but I am considering either full-time or part-time (for Housewives). I really haven’t decided. I think the network also is still deciding in what direction the show is going.

TBB: I have to ask about your behavior on Twitter. You really, really went after (Dina) a few weeks ago when part one of the RHONJ Reunion aired. It was the first time anything about the family feud had been spoken about publicly. Do you regret that?

JL: You know if I’m feeling something I say it and I stayed quiet for a very long time, but when I saw that my husband, my son, and I were being talked about, and Dina was telling her version of the story, I had to speak up. So that’s why I (did it). Twitter is my place, that’s where if I feel like saying something I say it and I don’t care who likes it or not. So I was basically just responding to things that were said and I wanted to get my side out there.

You know, I am ALWAYS open to reconciliation with ANYBODY, including Dina. We have tried so many times to make things good with her that it just became frustrating. We tried to get together before Lexi’s graduation to talk, but they weren’t open to that, so we did offer to take Lexi to dinner privately to celebrate her graduation and never got a response. That’s why I responded the way I did to what Dina said at the reunion. I don’t hate Dina, I’m just frustrated with Dina.

TBB: Will you see Teresa (Giudice) before she goes to her sentencing?

JL: I doubt it.

TBB: Have you spoken to her?

JL: I texted her, she answered me, and that was it.

So there you have it folks! No final decisions yet on whether Jac will be back. What are your thoughts? Do you want to see Jacqueline and her family return to RHONJ for Season 7?

 

Sparkle Speaks 2013

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I can hardly believe it, but it’s been over a year since I first attended Sparkle Speaks, This also means I have known Jacqueline, Caroline and the Laurita/Manzo families for that long. They are quite a phenomenon in that so much of what they do really is a family affair. This is not a show for the cameras ladies and gents, this is very real and the Sparkle Speaks for Autism events are the proof.

Sparkle Speaks are yearly charity dinners coordinated by the Laurita nieces; Candice Laurita (daughter of Caroline’s brother Anthony Laurita) and Cristina Granelli (daughter in law of Caroline’s sister Cookie Laurita Rooney). The cousins work diligently through their joint event planning company, The Sparkling Event, to fill the tables with guests and drum up prizes for the raffles. This year the prizes included two vacations which a pregnant Candice, who is expecting her second child in December, was very excited about.

There are no Bravo cameras rolling during these events. The focus is strictly on helping Autism Speaks which is the most prevalent organization for funding research and programs for Spectrum Disorders. Michael Ginagregorio, chairman of Long Island’s Autism Speaks chapter, spoke as eloquently as he did last year. His recollection of what he has been through with his son Nicholas as well as how the organization was founded was informative and from the heart. Also speaking from the heart was Jacqueline who could not hold back tears when talking about her own son Nicholas and what her family has been through on this journey. She joked that by now we probably all knew that she was both a crier and a nervous public speaker.

What was different from last year’s event was the venue. Though still overflowing with family effort and presence; (both Cookie and Anthony were helping the girls check in guests, and another uncle crooned Sinatra hits) this year’s dinner was not held at Albert Manzo’s Brownstone. Instead the festivities were held at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, NJ. No worries, there’s been no Caroline falling out. The red headed Manzo matriarch was there with daughter Lauren during the cocktail hour. I had a chance to congratulate her on her pilot to which she modestly responded “Thank you” and “we’ll see” when I stated that I think it will be a switch to the lighthearted fun that reality TV fans are currently craving.

Jacqueline looked a bit different. Aside from her plastic surgery, which we witnessed on season 5 of RHONJ, she is also sporting a shorter hairstyle. Falling just below her shoulders her chestnut locks looked full and shiny. Though she’s still a little unsure of the length I think it looks fabulous on her! Jac was in good spirits as was her husband Chris. Both of them listened intently as other parents shared with them their own stories about raising children with Autism and other Spectrum Disorders. There was very little talk about RHONJ from what I witnessed. This was also a week before the rumored season 6 cast shake up which will supposedly bump Jacqueline to Housewife friend status. I’m sure next time I speak with her I’ll get some answers for all of you regarding that. In the meantime, check out the pictures and tell us what you think of Jac’s new do!

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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.