Siggy Flicker was born to her Israeli parents in a bomb shelter during the Six Day War. She claims that’s an integral part of what makes her the tough cookie she is today. So, despite talk show host Wendy Williams’ expressions of concern for her friend and frequent past panelist, Siggy is back for Season 8 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ). Yes, Wendy, she can handle the mud-slinging, backstabbing, the “guess what she said behind your back?” mishegas. Yes, she realizes she could have opted not to participate. However, she signed up for another season and she’s willing to do all that the franchise entails. This time, for Siggy who was known for wanting to be a peacemaker last season, that means really bringing the drama. It is an inevitable result of dynamic and diverse personality types having been cast for a show, as well as new Housewives thrown into the Season 8 mix. Siggy will declare for all to hear (which sort of encapsulates her personality) that she’s built for it, so buckle up! The Conflict Resolver/Mamma Bear of last season will be dealing with conflict of her own this time around (beginning with the Season 8 premiere on October 4th). The source according to Siggy? New addition Margaret Josephs, who she says, was inexplicably gunning for her from the get-go and continued to push her buttons during filming.
One of Margaret’s remarks will hit a nerve for Siggy as it appears to be personalized, and perhaps even controversial in nature. It could also just be that the two ladies didn’t “get” each other and their respective senses of humor, but viewers will weigh in and decide for themselves. Either way, the two ladies aren’t hanging out socially off-camera these days. I spoke with the relationship expert and book author about the upcoming season of RHONJ. I really wanted to get a sense of the Siggy we’ll be seeing this time around on TV.
I think fans are really looking forward to you guys coming back because things look very dramatic this season for you, whereas it was mainly lovey-dovey (as far as your character was concerned) last season. Maybe you can give me an inkling about the vibes going back in.
I don’t agree with you about that. Last season was a very hard one for Teresa, Jacqueline and Melissa. It was a very sad season that affected a 16 year friendship and a 6 year friendship. It was a very very rough time. Teresa just came back and lines were drawn and crossed in the sand. Everybody was trying to get back together. Last season really had very little to do with Dolores or Siggy.
That’s what I mean - you didn’t get into so much drama.
It can seem lovey-dovey when looking at it from your beach chair, but it was very sad for me to see the demise of these friendships. I want everyone to get along, to have what I have and more. I want people to be in love, be dancing and have great lives. That’s really unrealistic because relationships are very complicated, and I’ve really internalized that, especially after last season. I really wanted everybody to get along, but you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink. Sometimes people grow apart and have to go their separate ways. Ever since I was young my motto has been to live life to the fullest. I was always the person that said ‘let’s get together!’ I like to make people laugh and see them happy, so it was sad when I wasn’t able to do that. When I go out, everyone has a good time due to the energy I put out.
On the other hand. the minute when I feel someone is against me, the Israeli side of me comes out - I’m vocal and I speak my mind. I was able to have a very successful career and manage relationships in a positive way in the past. I took my divorce and turned that into a positive - Let’s find the best solution even if we weren’t meant to be married. There’s a bigger picture here. He’s still part of my life, we enjoy holidays together and raising our kids together. I always felt that life is too short for bitterness and drama and that’s what I tried to bring in to the relationships with the ladies. This season is different: You’ll see me get frustrated right off the bat because as soon as the gates are open and the horses come out of the gate, I am being attacked for no reason at all.
We do see you get slightly frustrated at the beginning of this new season, but I guess there’s more ahead. There are two new additions to the group. Did you have time to bond with the ladies you already knew (from last season) prior to filming this season? How did the two new cast additions dice things up?
I had never spent any time with either of the new ladies. I knew Margaret through a mutual friend and had a cousin who lived in the same town as her, but didn’t know her well at all. We were two acquaintances who said hello when we saw each other on the street, women empowering women who would like each other’s posts...that was the extent of it. I had nothing but good thoughts about her before the season started. I welcomed her with open arms and rolled out the red carpet for her. The chemistry between me, Teresa, Melissa and Dolores when we see each other is great. We pick up where we left off and we created a tight bond. It’s also no secret that Dolores and I are especially close. I talk with those ladies 3-4 times a week. We text all day long and any time I can pick up the phone and call them, the four of us just enjoy talking. We enjoy being in each other’s company. After going through Season 7, we created a tight bond.
What was your first impression of Danielle and Margaret when they joined the cast this season?
My first impression of Danielle was that she was very sweet and very motherly. I saw her as a warm, kind-hearted person and I had a very fond impression of her. I may not agree with everything she says or does, but it was a good impression. My issue is 100 percent not with anyone else - it’s solely with Margaret.
When we see Margaret in the first episode, it seems she has a wry sense of humor and is snarky.
Margaret was a fabulous addition to the cast. She stands on her own two feet. I just didn’t understand where all the snarkiness was coming from and what I had done. You know, when people don’t treat you with respect and kindness, you have to wonder. When you’re welcoming someone, just like bringing them to a wedding, and they’re ditching you at cocktail hour, you say ‘is it me?’ Sometimes you have to answer yourself with ‘no the chemistry is just not there.’
What do you think now of Wendy William’s past advice to you not to do the show, especially beyond a second season?
Wendy’s advice was coming from her heart. She was trying to protect me. Everybody is on their own journey in life and being on Housewives and having this platform has done wonders for my message and who I am. At the end of the day, I am a Jersey Housewife and you can’t take that away from me. What Wendy was saying is that I did a good job of avoiding toxic people in the past and it’s not always easy to keep doing that while participating in a show. But what makes this so challenging is ‘here’s Siggy who advocates to get rid of toxic energy and she has to deal with it over and over again.’ There are actually lessons to be learned here and that’s always the case with challenging yourself. People do things in their careers - you start at the mail room in an agency and work your way up. You have to go through the darkness to get to the light. If you have platform like Housewives, you have to appreciate all the good that comes from it. The first run of my book has sold out! That means that people have this book anywhere that RHONJ and I’m happy if I’ve helped even one person. Once you pick up my book, you can read what I advise for dealing with toxic people and you realize relationships are about chemistry. I also talk about how to deal with heartbreak and it’s because I had to go through some tough times myself. At the end of the day, these tough times have emboldened me to help other people. I’m grateful to Bravo for giving me this platform. They didn’t have to give it to me. Who am I to complain?! I’m grateful. You’ll see how I deal with Margaret again and again this season and it’s entertaining for viewers, but it also will show how there are lessons to be learned here.
I was born during the Six Day War in a bomb shelter, so I’m not intimidated by much. My list of people who I answer to is very short. I don’t do things for the point of being famous or for a reality show - I’m living my truth. I get emails from across the world daily from people who’ve learned from something I wrote or even said on the show. Many things about me are relatable - my relationship with my mother, my divorce and how I got through it are all relatable experiences and we can all learn from how others have positively navigated their journeys.
Now that you’ve learned so much from filming Season 8, any plans for an upcoming book?
Yes! I wrote a children’s book that is against bullying. My (full) name is Sigalit and growing up, I was teased for it. Kids would call me ‘Siggy the Sea Monster,’ ‘Squiggly Cigarette,’ all these names... The book is about bullying and I’m all about taking a stand against it -it’s due out in 2018.
Do you watch any other Bravo Real Housewives shows? Since there are conflicts between cast members on other shows and you famously put your heart and soul into trying to heal the Teresa-Kathy-Rosie trifecta (last season), where would you like to be teleported to if you HAD to choose a Housewife destination to help fix fractured relationships?
I watch The Real Housewives of Dallas and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I would go to Dallas to help Brandi, Stephanie, Cary and Leanne. Leanne is very misunderstood at times - I'd like to have them all walk off and sip tea together.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres Wednesday, October 4th at 9/8c on Bravo.