After a brief advertising campaign for Burger King, the cast of Jersey Shore announced that they would be having a reunion in the city they partied in over five years ago. It was an opportunity for the cast to take a trip down memory lane, tell their fans what they've been up to since the show ended, and earn an uninspired paycheck.
Vinny, Ronnie, and, Deena were missing from the Jersey Shore reunion, but that didn't stop the other cast members from enjoying themselves. Many people were anticipating that the reunion would be as much of a sh*t show as Jersey Shore was but were pleasantly surprised to see that everyone had their lives together. Snooki's a mom, JWoww's an editor-in-chief, Pauly D is making insane amounts of money, Sammi hosts her very own podcast, and The Situation is trying to make amends for how he looked on television.
With most of their adult lives happening in front of an audience of millions on television and even more on social media, the cast hasn't been able to keep many secrets over the years. But that hasn't stopped them from trying. Here are 15 secrets that the cast of Jersey Shore has been trying to keep hidden.
15 The Situation Was Paid To Stop Wearing Abercrombie & Fitch
As you're probably aware, Jersey Shore was considered one of the trashiest television shows when it was airing. Almost everyone was throwing shade at the cast for their GTL lifestyle. While some brands were using the show's notoriety to make a fortune, other brands were trying to disassociate themselves with the cast as much as possible.
For many years, it was rumored that Abercrombie & Fitch had offered Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino $10,000 to not wear their clothing on the show. If you don't know, Abercrombie & Fitch is pretty picky about their brand image. The CEO, Mike Jeffries, has gone as far to say that fat or ugly people shouldn't wear A&F clothing. Furthermore, Jeffries stated that A&F tries to market toward the "cool kids" in school. Apparently, The Situation is not one of the cool kids.
According to reports, The Situation agreed to the $10,000 deal. After all, there were probably a number of companies paying cast members to endorse their brands. Despite paying The Situation $10,000 to not wear their clothes, Abercrombie & Fitch made a fortune on their 'The Fitchuation' and GTL t-shirts.
14 Pauly D Accidentally Had A Kid
Pauly D was one of the most immature characters on the show. Arguably, he was one of the most entertaining characters to watch because he was there for a good time. He rarely found himself wrapped up in drama and always managed to make the audience laugh. Pauly D was responsible for coining some of the most iconic phrases on the show, including "Cabs are here," "T-shirt time," and "Burgers for the boys."
In 2013, Pauly D announced that he had some growing up to do after a one-night stand with a woman named Amanda Markert led to the birth of his daughter. Sadly, Pauly D wasn't told about the birth of his daughter, Amabella Sophia, until she was a few months old.
When Pauly discovered he was a dad, he posted a few photos of his daughter, including tea time. However, Pauly quickly stopped sharing photos of his daughter online. Former castmate Angelina Pivarnick criticized Pauly, implying that he wasn't active enough in his daughter's life.
She does make a fair point: finding photos of him and his daughter is a rarity.
13 Jersey Shore Creator: "House Is Like A Herpes Nest"
Due to the promiscuous lifestyle of many of the cast members, fans (and critics) of Jersey Shore were under the belief that the guidos and guidettes that they've grown to love had some sort of infection. Seriously — with all the sleeping around that they do, they were bound to catch something at some point.
The creator of Jersey Shore, SallyAnn Salsano, a Jersey Shore native, said that the set of the show was like a "herpes nest." During a roundtable discussion about the production of reality shows, Salsano revealed that she handed out herpes medication Valtrex "like M&M's."
The worry of STDs was so severe that MTV included a clause in the contract given to cast members that said they were not liable for any sexually transmitted diseases contracted during production. Though it seems a bit extreme, an inside expert said that these types of clauses in contracts are only common for reality shows!
12 Deena Auditioned For Season 1 And Was Rejected
Deena Cortese joined Jersey Shore in Season 3. Initially, she was seen as Snooki's friend from home, but Deena slowly found her place in the house. She had a much more sincere personality than some of the other cast members. And, despite entering the show late, fit in the Jersey Shore house perfectly.
When the casting for Jersey Shore began, Deena auditioned around the same time as her best friend Snooki. Originally, Deena was rejected by the producers, though some reports say that she rejected the role to be with her family.
After Angelina Pivarnick was evicted from the Jersey Shore house just a few episodes into the first season, producers gave her another chance at the start of season 2. Unfortunately, the cast members were not as welcoming to Angelina the second time around, and she ultimately left the house for a second time.
During Angelina's absence, Snooki suggested to producers that they cast her friend, Deena, in season three. And, well, they did.
11 Whatever Happened To Angelina?
Any fan of Jersey Shore can tell you how awful Angelina is. Whether or not her attitude was an act, Angelina constantly found herself at odds with the other cast members. She would yell at them, saying they were fake and that she hated them, and would make the other stars of the show miserable at the drop of a hat. She regularly argued with the stars of the show and physically fought Snooki a number of times. After such an appalling appearance on the show, how could Angelina show her face in the real world?
Desperate to find work, Angelina tried to start a music career with the release of a song "I'm Hot." It's terrible. Do not listen to it. She tried to start her music career, again, a year after the release of "I'm Hot" with the song "Gotta Go Out" under the name Miss AP. The song charted at #37 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs in the United States. She further tried to break into the music scene with her single "Serendipity," which was released to apologize for a number of homophobic comments she made on Twitter.
Angelina appeared in a number of other reality shows, including Couples Therapy, NY Ink, and later, the reality dating series Excused. Though she appeared in a better light than she did on Jersey Shore, Angelina faded from the limelight.
Today, Angelina works as an EMT in New York City. She has since admitted to leaving Jersey Shore. But hey, who needs to be a millionaire like her former castmates when she can save lives in NYC!
10 JWoww Is Actually A Nerd
When Jenni 'JWoww' Farley was cast on MTV's Jersey Shore, she told a story about how she was given her nickname. It all started when she was working at a bar as a young adult. One of the bartenders noticed that whenever she would walk by certain groups of guys, they would look at each other and do the same. Because he thought it was funny, the bartender started doing it as well. Slowly, as nicknames do, this inside joke developed into a full-fledged name (and eventually her own brand!).
Despite living a typical guidette lifestyle on MTV's Jersey Shore, JWoww is secretly a stereotypical nerd. At the age of 21, JWoww moved to Long Island with a degree in computer programming. Additionally, JWoww holds a degree in graphic design, which she now uses for fashion design.
On top of having one of the nerdiest degrees around, JWoww has a passion for cartoons. She's expressed this not only in interviews but also on her social media pages. She seems to be a Disney fanatic and refers to her husband, Roger Matthews, as beauty (implying that she's Beast). She also has a Disney-themed tattoo sleeve!
What a dork.
9 Snooki Made A Fortune Giving One Speech
At the peak of her popularity, Snooki was paid a whopping $32,000 to give a speech at Rutgers University in 2011. This fee was $2,000 more than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, who spoke at the University that same year. During her speech, Snooki told students to "Study hard, but party harder." Furthermore, Snooki told students to use Australian brand shampoo for better hair care.
Due to her ludicrous speaking fee, Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio wrote a bill that would limit how much speakers at public universities in New Jersey could earn. Under this bill, speakers would be limited to earning $10,000 per speech. DiMaio argued that spending $32,000 of state funds was "ludicrous and wasteful" and has fought for seven years to get the bill passed.
In May 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed what became known as the Snooki Bill.
8 The Situation Might Be A Criminal
What is it with reality stars and not wanting to pay their taxes? In 2014, The Situation and his brother, Marc Sorrentino, were indicted on charges that included tax evasion and structuring and falsifying records. This wasn't the first time The Situation had been in, well... a situation with the law.
On top of the charges handed to him in 2014, The Situation was facing charges of conspiracy, two counts of filing false tax returns, and one count of failing to file a tax return.
According to reports, The Situation and his brother used companies that they controlled to filter their income. Furthermore, the two of them took funds from the company to purchase high-end vehicles and clothing and used the money for "personal grooming expenses."
Some reports estimate that The Situation owes approximately $8.9 million in income tax. Maybe that's why he was so eager to have a Jersey Shore reunion!
7 Why MTV Ended It In The First Place
Due to its controversial nature, everyone loved watching Jersey Shore. For many people, it was a show that made them feel better about their own lives and gave them the opportunity to ridicule people they had never met. For others, it was a guilty pleasure. 8.4 Million people watched the season 3 premiere, making it the most-watched series telecast of all time. At no point was the series struggling to find viewers, so why did MTV cancel it?
According to MTV's Network Executive VP of Programming Chris Linn, the show was canceled for a number of reasons. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Linn stated that MTV only wanted to do the show "as long as it made sense." When relationships on the show changed (and Snooki wanted to have a baby), MTV thought it was time to cancel the show.
Rather than drag the show on longer than needed (and take away from the original premise) MTV thought it would be best to end on a high note. Instead of dragging Jersey Shore out, MTV decided to give almost every cast member his or her own reality show.
6 How Much Does Pauly D Make Djing?
While the cast of Jersey Shore tried to build careers outside of reality television, the only person who found success was Pauly D. Even at the beginning of Jersey Shore, Pauly D talked about his career as a DJ and how it has always been his passion.
Before appearing on Jersey Shore, Pauly D was making only a few hundred dollars DJing at clubs on weekends. By no means was it a glamorous living. But three years after starring on Jersey Shore, Pauly's music career hit new heights. Reports state that Pauly D was being paid an average of $40,000 per show at clubs, private parties, and a brief stint on Britney Spears's Femme Fatale tour.
On his success, Pauly said, "Everybody was skeptical at first because how everybody heard about me is probably from Jersey Shore ... but now, I'm six seasons deep in the show, and I've been touring all over the country, touring with major pop acts and stuff like that. That legitimizes everything, and they're starting to say, 'This kid isn't just a reality star; he's an actual DJ.'"
5 Snooki & JWoww Aren't Even Italian
Typically, a 'guido' (or, in this case, a 'guidette') is an Italian American who presents himself or herself in a certain way. The term used to be derogatory but has been adopted by Italian Americans as a term used to describe a way of life. Typically, 'guidos' have bizarre hairstyles and expensive clothes and love to party.
For many years, Snooki was branding herself as a 'guidette princess.' While her cast members are Italian Americans (therefore 'guidos), Snooki and JWoww are not. JWoww is actually of Spanish heritage, and Snooki is Chilean, though she was adopted by Italian parents as an infant. In interviews, JWoww has hinted that you don't need to be Italian American to be considered a guido. To her, it's just a scene in Long Island.
Has your perception of Snooki and JWoww been ruined? What if you learned that Snooki doesn't even like her nickname? In an interview in 2011, Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki) said that she wanted to go back to just being Nicole. Yeah, good luck with that, Snooki.
4 Businesses Pulled Their Sponsorships After The Show Aired
Because of the controversial nature of Jersey Shore, a number of MTV sponsors didn't want their brand attached to the show. One of these sponsors, Domino's Pizza, instructed MTV to pull all of their advertising from Jersey Shore. Though they were never sponsors of the show, Domino's Pizza said that "the content of this particular program is not right for Domino's Pizza." After the pilot aired, Domino's pulled its advertising from the Jersey Shore time slot.
In addition to Domino's removing its advertising, it was rumored that another company, American Family Insurance, pulled its ads from MTV because of the content on Jersey Shore. This was later proven to be untrue, but that didn't stop the Italian-American advocacy group UNICO from calling for an advertising boycott.
3 Vinny's Song About R--e
Vinny was always seen as the good guy on Jersey Shore. Before auditioning, Vinny thought about going to law school and furthering his education. During the early seasons, he was almost the polar opposite of Ronnie, Mike, and Pauly. He was young, inexperienced, and the type of guy Snooki might bring home to meet her family. As the series progressed, Vinny became more and more of a stereotypical 'guido,' for better or worse. His 'good guy' reputation was almost completely ruined in 2011 when he released a comedy song about rape.
The song, titled "Rack City Mix" was uploaded to his YouTube channel, and pretty much everyone was offended. The song, although brief, was riddled with offensive lyrics and graphic imagery. For example, one lyric is "Actin' like I'm raping it / F*ck her till she fakin' it."
Vinny pulled the video from YouTube after being blasted by the online community. Most notably, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network criticized Vinny for glorifying rape and "trivializing this violent crime."
Although he took the video down, Vinny didn't seem too apologetic. He took to Twitter to say, "Whoa! Some people really know how to take things out of context! #LearnToListenToMusic ...It was fun though!"
2 Ronnie Starred In A Xenadrine Commercial
If you want to ruin any sort of street cred that you have, appear on national television to sell diet pills and say this: "Hi, I'm Ronnie from Jersey Shore, and keeping it real is what it's all about." While JWoww was using her fame to start a fashion company and Pauly D was making $40,000 to DJ a single show, Ronnie was selling weight-loss supplements on the commercial breaks of Jersey Shore. That should say just about anything and everything you need to know about what Ronnie has been up to since the show ended.
To be fair, Ronnie shot his own career in the foot by coming off as one of the biggest douchebags in Jersey Shore history. For the entire duration of the series, Ronnie was fighting with his girlfriend and fellow cast member, Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola. His aggressive (borderline abusive) behavior led to many fans of the show rolling their eyes when he was on screen.
Ronnie briefly appeared at TNA Wrestling's Impact Wrestling, which, hopefully, Ronnie knew would make himself look ridiculous. That said, he does beat up a pair of 'guidos' much larger than himself.
You can watch his Xenadrine commercial and his wrestling debut online.
1 How Old Are They Really?
Though the cast members of Jersey Shore all acted similarly, there's quite an age difference between them all. When the series first began filming, Angelina was 22, JWoww was 22, Snooki was 21, Sammy was 22, Ronnie was 23, Vinnie was 21, The Situation was 27, and Pauly D was 29. It's surprising that JWoww was so young (because she looked so much older) and that Pauly D was so old despite looking (and acting) so young.
Today, Angelina is 31, JWoww is 31, Snooki is 29, Sammy is 30, Ronnie is 31, Vinnie is 29, The Situation is 35, and Pauly D is 37. Against all odds, the cast members of Jersey Shore (for the most part) have become well-adjusted members of society. They've managed to launch their own careers, and although they've gone different directions in life, they all started at Jersey Shore.
Sources: pr.com, usatoday.com, nj.com, hollywoodreporter.com