It’s been almost a year since the season three reunion of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, otherwise known as the one where Jacqueline Laurita was too traumatized to participate.
And Sunday night, during the show’s season four finale, we finally found out why. The season three reunion was taped the morning after the Posche fashion show, the annual event that always results in some kind of housewife quarrel. The squabble was not as fast-paced an violent as past fashion show rumpuses have been. This was a smoldering situation that finally burst into flames at the end.
So, last week we met Angelo, the sketchy bald guy with busted teeth who was supposedly the PR person at the fancy salon where Teresa Giudice and Kim D. got primped before the event. Actually, Posche owner Kim D. looked more hooker-fied afterward, but who are we to judge? Anyway, while Teresa and Kim got ready, Angelo came in to tell Teresa that Melissa Gorga used to work for him as a stripper back in the day.
Since Teresa was in a good place with Melissa and her brother, she didn’t to want to hear it, and left the room. So here’s a play-by-play of what happened after that:
– At the fashion show, sketchy bald guy walked up to Melissa in front of all the other women, tried to make awkward conversation and asked if she remembered him. Melissa didn’t seem rattled by it at all; she told the other ladies she couldn’t remember from where she knew him and continued enjoy her evening. (Don’t you think if she’d really worked for him as a stripper, she’d sort of be freaking out a little bit about the truth coming out in such a public fashion?)
– Teresa pulled Melissa aside to tell her that earlier in the day, baldy told her that Melissa used to strip for him. Melissa was outraged, admitting that she worked for one week in a “bikini bar,” not a strip club, and that Joe already knew about it. But she was never a stripper.
– Melissa deemed it necessary to call Joe right then and there to tell him what was happening. We didn’t understand it at the time, but after more thought, she was probably taking preventative measures to make sure Teresa didn’t try to taint Joe first. Also, at this point, Melissa believes Teresa and Kim D. are in cahoots on the whole thing.
– Teresa got pissed because she didn’t want Joe to come down there, kick someone’s ass, then wind up in jail.
– Meanwhile, back at the table, Jacqueline received a text from a mutual friend of her and Teresa’s. It said something was going to go down at the show, but not to worry, she wasn’t the target. Jax showed the text to Caroline and Lauren. Kathy knew something was up, but she just sat there quietly and ate her salad. I love Kathy.
– Teresa went to track down Angelo and stick up for Melissa, but Kim said he left because they all made him feel uncomfortable. Oh, it was the Housewives that made him feel that way? We swore it was the fact that this was a women’s fashion show, and he looked like a Halloween jack-o-lantern.
– Teresa and Melissa returned to the table Melissa was calm and cool; Teresa was a nervous, rattled wreck. At this point, it really seemed like a lot of bad acting was going on.
– In confessional, Teresa says, “Chris (Laurita) told my husband that he met Jacqueline as a stripper. Maybe she doesn’t want to get involved because she has a guilty conscience.” So now, Jacqueline was a stripper? And even if she and Melissa both danced at one point, who the eff cares? It’s legal, and way better than being a prostitution whore.
– After the show, the women are hanging out outside, when Joe Gorga and Richie Wakile roll up. Joe is pissed, and looking for the bald guy. Caroline, Jacqueline and Kathy all tell him to simmer down.
– Kim D. comes out to see what’s going on, and Joe Gorga goes off on her, telling her “go sniff another line!,” calling her “scum of the Earth” and a “dirty whore.” She threatens him to watch out because she “plays with the big boys.”
– Joe is already pissed at Teresa for being friends with Kim D., but now everyone is telling him Teresa knew this Angelo/stripper thing was going to go down. In her defense, it really doesn’t look like Teresa had anything to do with it unless she planned it all behind the scenes. But she’s done people wrong so many times, nobody trusts her anymore.
– While all this is happening, Teresa is inside, taking part in photo opportunities and schmoozing fans. If she were really concerned about how her sis-in-law was feeling, wouldn’t she be trying to comfort her?
– Joe goes inside looking for Angelo, and is told he worked for the salon “for the day.” Yeah, this has Kim D. written all over it.
– Jacqueline tells Joe and Melissa that a mutual friend knew all this was going to happen, and that she believes Teresa is partially behind it. But for appearances (and cameras), Teresa is going to let Kim D. take the blame for it.
– Finally, Teresa comes outside and it all goes down. Jacqueline confronts her about the intel she received — and this is where she and Jacqueline splinter, probably never to be repaired again. In typical Teresa fashion, she tries to blame the whole thing on Jacqueline! “Maybe someone is trying to set ME up and YOU are involved,” Teresa shouted.
Now, let’s be honest. Jax is a nice lady, but she is in no way smart enough to plan out something so detailed that involves so many people. (And who has the time for that — especially since learning Jacqueline was dealing with her son, Nicholas’ autism diagnosis at the time, which she kept off camera, but revealed earlier this year.) Honestly, we were on Teresa’s side until she pulled the blame game again.
– Teresa tries to plead her innocence to Joe and Teresa, who are trying to drive away. But it’s too little, too late. They argue back and forth, holding up traffic before the Gorgas speed away.
– Jacqueline is a crumpled mess, having realized that her and Teresa’s friendship is pretty much dunzo. Next morning, she is too broken to attend the reunion.
In the epilogue, we learned that Joe and Melissa put their house on the market in an effort to move further away from Teresa. They haven’t spoken since the fashion show.
Do you think Teresa had anything to do with Strippergate, or was she wrongfully blamed? Did Teresa inadvertently bring this upon herself, considering all her past actions? After seeing the whole season play out: Team Teresa or Team Melissa?