For the first time in more a year, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice will be in the same room on Thursday when they sit down to tape the reunion show. The New Jersey franchise of the Bravo hit made history when the Garden State ladies taped back-to-back seasons without a break. That means what we're watching now was filmed more than 12 months ago.
“This is a super important day for both ladies,” one former cast member tells me. “They haven’t seen or spoken with each other in over a year. The pressure is on as the reunion shows are not only the highest-rated but they're also an audition to decide who is invited back for next season. Pay careful attention to where the producers sit each of the ladies on the couch. The ladies that sit closest to Andy [Cohen, the show's executive producer and host of the reunion episode] are the ones producers think are the most important and want to invite back. If you are seated at the other end of the sofa, you better make sure you perform, or it could be your last show.”
It is interesting that on the season four "Real Housewives of New York" reunion, the producers positioned the ladies in the following order next to Cohen: Countess LuAnn De Lesseps, Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon. Only De Lesseps was invited back.
“We are picked up by cars early in the morning and taken to the venue to do hair and makeup. Then producers want us to start taping at 11 a.m. until, well, as long as it takes! It will for sure be all day,” one of the cast members told me. “We have all been given the last three unaired episodes to watch and it is brutal. This is going to be a blood bath. And let's not forget that free booze is available all day.”
A Bravo insider tells me the location is so secret that even the ladies do not know for sure where they are going before they arrive. Phones are also banned from the set while they tape.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
NAUGHTY BUT NICE ROB ON