At the start of last night's Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion show, host Andy Cohen compared the ladies to "Jersey royalty like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi" and said that the last season of the Bravo guidette fest "played out like a Greek tragedy." Ridiculous overstatements aside, the ladies all looked decent in their formal wear and there was some serious tension in the air as Andy made the introductions. Unlike most reality reunion shows, in this case you could tell some of the Housewives hadn't seen each other in a long time and would be more than happy to never see each other again. In fact, one of the ladies – Jacqueline Laurita – was so disgusted by one of her castmates (Hint: it's Teresa Giudice) that she decided to skip the reunion altogether.
Caroline Manzo attempted to explain Jacqueline's absence without giving away too much of season 4, but whatever happened the previous night, it was serious enough that Jacqueline decided to violate her contract by skipping the event, just so that she wouldn't (in Caroline's words) "have to look at Teresa." But, don't worry, Jacqueline's not the only one who can't stand Mrs. Giudice. In addition to millions of viewers, pretty much all of the Housewives now realize what a backstabbing bee-yotch Teresa really is.
Caroline was pissed about comments that Teresa made about Caroline and her son in her cookbook. Usually the most mild-mannered of the ladies, Caroline made no effort to conceal her rage last night, telling Teresa, "I would like you to take my picture out, because I don't want to be in your cookbook. You can leave what you wrote about my child and myself in there, because it shows who you are." Burn! Unlike in the season proper, on the reunion show, the ladies can access old footage and even Teresa's blog entries to point out what a terrible, two-faced person Teresa really is. It was a bit like watching someone stand trial for 4,000 counts of being a b!tch.
Danielle Staub (Remember her?) even got dragged into the mix as the first to accuse Teresa on camera of neglecting the Gorga branch of her family. Speaking of the Gorgas, Teresa was apparently less than pleased to find out that Melissa Gorga would be joining the RHONJ cast. "You threatened my life; you told me my forehead was huge and people were gonna make fun of it," Melissa said. Ha! I never noticed before, but she does a damn big forehead. Self-burn! Apparently, Teresa flipped out on Kathy Wakile in a similar fashion. Teresa lamely defends herself by saying that she was upset that "both of youse went on the show without telling me." Riiiiight. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that her fed-up cousin and younger, prettier sister-in-law would now have a venue to tell the world what an evil devil-woman Teresa is. But as if things weren't ugly enough already, it was time for Andy to bring up the christening…
Teresa even managed to tear up when she saw the footage from the world's most dramatic baptism. It's understandable that she'd get upset when reminded that she basically ruined a major family event, but watching the footage again, I was reminded that Joe Gorga pretty much acted like a total dick, as well. In addition to calling his sister "garbage," Joe pretty much threw the most epic mantrum ever caught on tape. Even Melissa described it as a "grown man crying like a baby to his daddy." So maybe Teresa's not the only member of that family that's a few cards short of a deck. Demonstrating a maturity rarely seen on reality television, Melissa even went so far as to concede that "Joe was the one who made it get to the next level" on the night of the christening. Hmmm…maybe Teresa's not as evil as we thought. Nah, she is.
But just when you think everyone had moved on from the christening, the knives really come out. Joe Gorga was apparently upset with his own behavior when he watched the episode. He confessed his guilt to Caroline and when she relayed it to Teresa, Teresa apparently said, "I don't wanna make up with my brother. He's an @sshole." Melissa gasped and Teresa vehemently insisted that Caroline is a liar. Just as it seemed like someone was about to get an eye gouged out with a press-on nail, Andy scaled things back by showing some montages that made everyone look bad equally.
Andy seemed to be the only one on stage who was amused by the clips of mind-numbingly awful grammar. That was followed by a viewer Q & A session in which we finally get to find out what Joe Gorga does for a living (apparently he "works hard"). That conversation led to a discussion of Teresa's accusation that Melissa is a "gold-digger" which prompted Melissa to call Teresa the devil. Sigh. I was fully anti-Teresa at the start of this, but after seeing everyone gang tackle her like this, I'm wondering if there isn't more to the story. Although, seeing Teresa dodge questions about her husband's bankruptcy and her own weirdly anti-semitic comments reminded me that she's a bad combination of stupid and immoral. Kinda like a giudette version of George W. Bush.
Hopefully, part two of this epic reunion show will shed some more light on things. Naturally, we'll have the recap for you.