The Jersey girls are back, baby! And, so is Danielle Staub! ‘RHONJ’ is back on Oct. 4, and the cast didn’t hold back when they talked about ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ in season 8!
Tonight’s the night! The Real Housewives of New Jersey return to the small screen tonight — at 9 PM ET on Bravo — and we’re in for a wild ride! Season 8 is filled with furniture-flipping fights [and no, it’s not season 2], lethal alliances, and “a lot of broken glass,” as Danielle Staub, 55, told HollywoodLife.com! That’s right — We exclusively sat down with the OG, who is finally back after six seasons, Melissa Gorga, 38, and the newest cast member, Margaret Josephs, 50. The stunning trio from the hit show let us in on what to expect this season.
Melissa, who revealed that she’s not afraid to speak her mind and disagree with opposing opinions this season, told us why Danielle’s return was exactly what the showed needed. Danielle spilled the tea about her growing relationship with Teresa Giudice, 45, and she reminisced about her past on the show. And, Margaret explained why she and her pigtails are the perfect addition to the eighth season. So, let’s dive in! Read HollywoodLife.com‘s full interview, below!
What can we expect to see this season?
DS: A lot of broken glass [laughs]. There’s a lot of ass-slapping this season; Melissa got me doing it! We’re very touchy-feely. We have a great dynamic. We’re the best functional/dysfunctional people.
MG: I’m the a– slapper; I love it. There’s Siggy bringing in one of her friends [Margaret], from her town, who knows her on a personal level more than the rest of us do. Bringing Margaret in really brings in a key piece, because it’s someone who knows Siggy in a different way than we do; It makes it very interesting. Then, Siggy and Margaret end up butting heads, often. Emotions run high this season when sides are taken. It’s all about the relationships this season and saying what you feel without pissing someone off. We go on a ton of trips this season, it’s fun. But, there was a lot of drama in Milan. I think this is the best season yet. I think it’s old school RHONJ, but with a twist. There’s a lot of drama this season, it’s good drama that doesn’t make you feel sick.
MJ: This season, it’s all about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it comes full circle. We also do group therapy!
Danielle, what do you think about the fan reactions when people heard you were coming back?
I was amazed of people’s perceptions of me when the news was announced. I mean, to me, it feels like I never left, because I’ve been kind of mentioned in all of the seasons. Even Andy [Cohen] had threatened to bring me out to scare a couple people. And, there were a few times where I was in the 11th hour and was ready to come back, but then I just couldn’t; it wasn’t the right time. But, the reception for my season 8 return has been incredible and warm. It feels nice, because in the past it was so much hate.
MG: The fans wanted Danielle back, they really did. They wanted to see where she’s at in life and where she’s at now, especially putting her into a new group of women where she actually gets a chance to be herself and really show us who she really is. We didn’t really know her back then [season 2]; it was everyone against one. I feel like you get to really meet Danielle this season.
DS: It’s hard in any situation, when you’re the one that’s constantly ganged up on, and it was constant; it wasn’t only on camera; on camera, off camera, it was happening 24/7. But, it wasn’t Teresa, she would stop when it was off the cameras. She didn’t really do anything to me to be honest with you, that wasn’t intensified by the other ladies. And, I’m not making excuses for her; she and I cleared all of that up this season. I feel like if it weren’t for the other cast members, she wouldn’t have ever treated me that way. At the time, she felt like she was protecting her friends. And, then, when she really found out who I was, she realized she didn’t need protecting from me. I was a broken person inside, but on the outside, I had this calm exterior. But, I was really terrified. I’m glad the ladies this season let go of the past or preconceived notions and got to know me.
Kim D makes a cameo in this season’s preview…
MG: Ugh, she’s not back. Kim D is trying to weasel her way in. She’s never been a part of this, that’s the problem.
DS: Yeah, I’ve been defending that for years because it’s because of me, unfortunately, that she did end up on the show. And, I feel terrible about it. But, at the time, I was doing a friend a favor. At the time she was trying to advertise for her boutique and so I did it thinking it was nice; I didn’t know she wanted to be on the show and have me killed, basically!
Melissa, what’s your relationship like with Teresa this season?
We’re at the point now where we’re true family. We can argue and I can tell her something or how I feel and then we can move on from it; whereas before, I felt like I couldn’t get through and she probably felt the same. We have a fun banter
DS: I feel like you were both in pain before and didn’t know how to convey that to one another. Now, they’re beautiful together.
Danielle, did you ever think there would be a day where you would reconcile with Teresa?
DS: Never in a million years! I had hoped we would resolves things one day, because it’s a horrible way to leave things if there’s no resolution. So many years had gone by and I thought, ‘I guess I’ll let it go.’ Then, when you let go of something, something bigger comes, and it did; she reached out to me; That was the beginning for me. For me, if someone is genuinely sorry after they’ve done something to me, then I will work from there and I have to believe them. And, Teresa was extremely believable.
Margaret, your tag line this season is, “I bring the power, the pigtails and the party!” What’s the meaning behind the pigtails?
The pigtails came about because I always wore them as a little girl. Then, I gave them up for a while, but then I realized I had to bring the pigtails back as an adult. I’ve been wearing them now since I’m in my 20’s. They are charming and disarming, and, people underestimate a girl in pigtails. Then, it’s easy to take over and see people’s expectations of you. And, they make you really bang-able. You can’t really be mean to a girl in pigtails… or can you? We’ll see!
How were you introduced to the show?
Siggy Flicker and I live in the same town and she introduced me to the fabulous ladies; and, you know what, I don’t come from the lucky sperm club, I was brought up by a single mother, I’ve done everything on my own, I’m now an entrepreneur, I’ve been knocked down and I got back up again; salute to the other ladies, everybody’s had their difference, trials and tribulations; and I just think it was important to share all of that. We all bond on different levels.
What type of season is this for all of you individually?
MG: Show-wise, not necessarily storyline-wise, I feel more confident this season, and I’m just me. I never worry anymore about what people think or what they say, or whether or not they’re going to forgive me. I mean I hope people do forgive me. It took me a long time, and it may be with age but I feel like I finally know who I am now. I’m comfortable in my skin at this point. It took me a little bit to get there. I used to be very stressed out about everything I used to say and I used to hold back. Now, I’m able to tell people if I disagree with them, although I’m like, ‘I love you, but I disagree with you.’
DS: I’m learning how to speak my mind. I was kind of tongue-tied for a long time. Now, I have Teresa telling me to just say what I’m feeling, and even Melissa. I really found myself this season. I know that I have alliances and strong friendships that are forming this season. I think I’ve gained a lot of confidence this season. And, it’s nice to see me with a man this season, and in a healthy relationship.
MJ: I think since it’s my first season on the show, it was a turning point for me. Turning 50 in the public eye, it made me have more confidence. Being with these strong women, I think I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of them; even the ones I didn’t get along with. I also learned that humor isn’t the best way to defuse situations with certain people. I became more sensitive and I’ve gotten a thicker skin. I can be a rough, tough creampuff and I don’t think people realize that. My life is an open book this season! My main concern, is watching the show back and saying, ‘I didn’t facelift!’
Don’t forget to catch the premiere of the Real Housewives of New Jersey tonight at 9 PM ET, only on Bravo!
HollywoodLifers, what’re you most excited about this season?