Tonight's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" begins with a lovely reminder as to why Melissa Gorga is a reality star (Read: Someone who is famous for not actually being able to do anything) instead of a dancer. She's rehearsing with her "backup dancers" at Fred Astaire Studio and it's not going well. "Ohh, THAT'S why it wasn't working," she exclaims. "I wasn't walking!" This routine is off to a very positive start. Luckily, choreographer Chris Judd is Jennifer Lopez's second husband -- and as such, he has the patience of a saint. (I'll refrain from saying anything snarky about how his life has obviously taken a turn for the mega-lame since the dissolution of that marriage. I'm not a monster, you know.)
Meanwhile Gia, 11, is reminding us that some children of the corn have pretty decent rhythm. She's also rehearsing for Beatstock, but she's actually pretty good. Her hip hop moves do border on "having a seizure," but it works for her. Plus, girlfriend is awesome at working the fake-smile-game-face. Meanwhile, stage mom Teresa watches from about a foot away, and her satanic glare is enough to light a fire under anyone's heels.
Speaking of things people on this show are kind of decent at, Kathy is tired of being just the "girl who bakes cookies." So, she's going to have a tasting at a very important establishment: the ice cream store where sister Rosie had her first job. I mean, this is going to be a big deal. That place has rainbow AND chocolate sprinkles. She and Rich head inside to meet owner Sal, who informs us that he's in the process of hardening some dessert. "That's what I call my bedroom," Rich laughs. "The hardening box." I'm probably not doing that joke justice, but it really was funny. I love a good sprinkle of sexual innuendo on my ice cream, don't you? Goes down so smooth.
Kathy finally gets up the nerve to show us her confectionary masterpieces: a cannoli, a mini-cheesecake, and some other things that would look really great slapped on Lauren Manzo's hips. Husband Richie does some very helpful things like making tampon jokes and then stuffing his grubby paws into most of the desserts before Hard Sal can try them out. He also puts forth a nice moniker for the little venture: "Richie's Wife's Desserts." The name leaves something to be desired, but it looks like Kathy's about to get her start. She's so excited, her eyes go completely wild. That's our little Betty Crackhead!
Since the theme of tonight's episode is "thinly-veiled product placement," we're also getting a peek at what the Manzo boys are doing as a side gig. They're reping something called Blk., which is kind of confusing. It's water, but according to the internet, it's "not water, it's blk." Apparently it has 0 carbs, 0 sugar and 0 calories -- unlike regular water, which has 0 carbs, 0 sugar and 0 calories. The difference appears to be the "fulvic minerals and electrolytes," and also probably how it's dyed black.
The boys have themselves in a tizzy preparing their booth for the Fancy Food Show in DC, and somehow managed to spend $15 - $20K on their display. They admit it won't be as fantastic as the cave of cheese they saw at the expo last year, though they certainly hope it'll be eye-popping. But let's face it: You really just can't one-up a cheese cave.
Since nothing in the Manzo family is purely Blk. and white, there's a bunch of red being thrown into this equation. Their catering hall, the Brownstone, has come out with its own line of sauce that will also have a booth at this food fest. As part of the promotion, there are Caroline mugs with her marinara -- and the photos are about as hot as a middle-aged woman holding a can of crushed tomatoes can be. In the words of LMFAO: "She's spaghettoni and she knows it."
Speaking of red hot, Melissa takes yet another opportunity to remind us that she has an incredibly rocking bod. She's one of those women who somehow manage to make a one-piece look skimpier than a bikini. If only her husband Joe could tell us exactly what he was thinking in that exact moment. "You look so amazing. Oh my god! You don't understand what that color red does to me. Turn the [beep] around and let me see your [beep]." Sometimes I just wish he'd really spell it out, you know? Then, he refers to his anatomy as "Tarzan" and everyone watching throws up, which is actually great because now we're a little closer to fitting into one of those swimsuits!
"The key to a successful marriage is to have sex everyday," Melissa explains. But with Beatstock coming up, Jane's a little too tired to go swingin'. Since their kids are in the pool too, poor Tarzan has to just sit nice and quiet until the moment passes. It's really a very special family gathering.
Another lovely scene is taking place as the Manzos. fabulous roommate Greg, bald friend, spiky hair friend and Uncle Chris ride in the Blk. mobile to the frufru food and whatever show. They're working very hard by farting on/around each other while Chris -- who actually invested a huge chunk of change into the company -- sweats it out up front. Unfortunately, nobody's made a single dime off this dement-o water. While they try to keep moral high, it's obvious that they expected to get gold from Blk. a lot quicker.
But before they can continue to the show, they must stop at a restaurant for a light lunch: two double burgers with two pieces of scrapple with two fried eggs on two buns and two pounds of fries. "Scrapple" is basically all the gross parts of a pig that nobody ever eats mixed with corn meal. Mmm! The challenge is to eat it all in 45 minutes without throwing up or having a heart attack. Uncle Chris is not impressed by this display of gluttony, and it really is everything that's wrong with America. I mean, nobody even finished! If only Lauren Manzo were here. She could have gotten the job done.
Speaking of things that make you go hurl, Joe is trying to get Melissa to buy a one-way ticket to the bone zone. "Real quick baby, real quick," he purrs. Since Melissa has a huge day tomorrow, Joe graciously wants to help her "release the poison" so she can get a really great night's sleep. Unfortunately, the tiny pitter-patter of feet ruins the moment. Their eldest "cock-blocker" enters the room hoping that one of her sex addict parents can shove over and let her join in the "wrestling." It's all fun and games until someone's in therapy battling repressed memories, yaknowwhatimsaying? Either way, nobody is getting any -- and Melissa's sigh of relief is practically audible.
Back in our nation's capital, fabulous roomie Greg sings, "My president is black! My water is black!" But when they hit up a bar, they're definitely not drinking H20. Now I'm no whiz at math, but I think they order 54 million shots. They toast to hard work, success and loyalty -- and then proceed to completely ignore all the words of wisdom their uncle spews in favor of, well ... spewing.
As the sun rises on another beautifully trashy day in Franklin Lakes, Gia prepares for her big gig at Beatstock. "You look like a boobie girl!" her little sister proclaims. Never one to be outdone, Teresa's also in the makeup chair getting a sort of Morticia-meets-The-Coneheads look that involves spraying her black hair into a torpedo blasting off from her scalp. While they all get ready, they discuss Melissa's performance too. Teresa informs us that she'd love to hear her sing 'like, aca .... like, solo." Gia says she'll probably just lip sync, but then becomes too absorbed in booty popping to continue her tirade. Melissa's crazy busy getting ready as well. She needs to moisturize her arms and legs, read a million texts, talk to her producer and try to keep her husband from humping her into an alternate universe. Doesn't anyone listen to Bob Barker nowadays? Please, spay and neuter your horny husbands, ladies!
The Blk. crew is definitely not as bright-eyed and bushy tailed. They're a wreck as they try to set up, and the actual event isn't going so hot. The overwhelming reaction to the drink is a mix of fear and confusion, so Chris sets us straight: "But you know, coffee's black and coffee is black water. Right? Isn't it water?" Since the crowd isn't feeling it, Greg decides to stalk the one and only Patti LaBelle who, strangely enough, has a hot sauce booth at the show. (No judgements or anything, but this depressed the hell out of me.) They bring her a bottle that she seems to enjoy about as much as someone pretending to enjoy something. All in all, it's a very strange moment that has potentially ruined "Lady Marmalade," water, and all spicy condiments for me for the foreseeable future.
Back at Beatstock, Gia has finally taken the stage in all her neon and tulle glory. She turns it out like a perfect little exotic-dancer-in-training and her dad gets super misty eyed as his princess provocatively thrusts herself across the stage. It's all you could ever want for your 11-year-old daughter, really.
Finally, it's time for Melissa to take the stage and perform her completely auto-tuned song. Her dance moves were pretty decent, but I especially liked the part where she managed to sing without even opening her mouth! Still, she looked beautiful and didn't falter once. Even if she doesn't have the vocal chops, she can command a stage. "I don't like to be cocky, but the dancers and I did an amazing job. I'm allowed to own it and be a diva," she says with pride.
Teresa makes a good effort to congratulate Melissa, but her main focus is the impending road trip to Napa. She has obviously been doing a great deal of research about the area, and she learned that the "roads are really windy." Jacqueline's hoping that the vacation can smooth out the bumps in their relationship, but Caroline's skeptical. She'd rather stay really well-hydrated on Blk., drive Teresa off a cliff and call it a day. You know that saying, "Revenge is a dish best served cold"? Well, you should taste it with a dash of Manzo sauce.