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JewishJournal.com

January 26, 2012

A Conversation With Melissa Gorga

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/a_conversation_with_melissa_gorga_20120126/

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Melissa Gorga

Anyone who watches the Real Housewives of New Jersey knows there is tension between Teresa and Melissa.  In fact, you don’t even have to watch the show to know.  Just walk though a supermarket and it is quite clear as every gossip magazine is talking about it.  These ladies sell tabloids.

I like them both.  I watch their show and I blog by episode.  One week I might love one and think the other is not cool, then the next week I do a complete flip and like the one I thought was a drag the week before.  These shows are fun for me because I don’t pretend to know these ladies.

They are characters on a television show and there is, in my opinion, very little reality involved.  It is pure entertainment and while I appreciate this is their lives, I think housewives from throughout the franchise would agree there is manipulation happening from Bravo in the name of “art”.

I write a very opinionated blog.  I have said really lovely things about reality stars and some not so nice things too.  I don’t know these people, but they have put their lives out into the universe in a big way and we are all allowed to not only have an opinion, but also judge what we see on their shows.

That’s entertainment.  You bust your butt to get your name out there, then people attack you.  Some weather the storm and some do not. I’m sure it’s harder for reality stars as there is not always talent, just an interest from viewers to watch their lives.  It’s a phenomenon.

I have been writing a series of articles I call “conversations”.  I have interviewed several reality stars including Jill Zarin, Countess LuAnn, Simon Van Kempen and Brandi Glanville.  I write from the perspective of a fan because at the end of the day that’s what I am.  A real fan.

If I am interested in talking to someone I ask if they are up for an interview.  I’ve never had anyone say no which is lovely, and it’s been a good experience for me. Talking to them about their real lives has been a highlight of the past year and I look forward to more.

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Teresa Giudice from Real Housewives of New Jersey, and there were a lot of surprising things about her.  She was down to earth, honest, open, and made it clear that there was nothing off limits and she would answer anything I wanted.

When I spoke with Teresa she was out with her youngest daughter and it was casual and fun.  We talked about cookingq and kids.  It was like talking to a girlfriend and I loved that about her.  It was not about the show, or what we read in tabloids because I don’t write for a tabloid.

When I conduct interviews I don’t talk about the show really.  I ask things I am personally interested in.  I’m writing to get a sense of who they are in real life and for the most part people have been open and fun.  I have liked them all, even when I was certain I would not.

I have blogged some really unkind things about Simon.  I was not a fan of his on the show, but when we talked on the phone I got a different view.  He was charming and funny.  He really loves his wife and kids and that is what I came away with.  I was proud of him for doing the interview.

His fans told him not to do it because I had been brutal about him on the show, but he did it anyway and when he read it, he called to thank me.  He was nervous to be sure, but he was also decent and so I was decent in return. My blog is not about hurting anyone, it’s just my opinion.

I think the Simon interview is what let the reality stars know it was a safe place to come and talk.  This was about them as people, not about who they are on television. I’m not 60 minutes and they are not nominated for an Oscar.  It’s just reality television fluff, which I happen to really love.

Now, in terms of Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice, I like them both.  I have written favorable things about them, and not so nice things, but again it’s all relative, and all based on the ridiculous television show they are on.  In the war of Teresa vs. Melissa, I have not picked a side.

Both sides could read my blogs and make arguments that I am nicer to one over the other, but the fact is I don’t have a side.  I have not seen anything to not like about Melissa.  I enjoy her relationship with her husband and I love how she loves Jesus and thanks him for everything.

I think Teresa is an amazing mom raising her 4 daughters, and love that she never changes her story.  She says what’s on her mind and she sticks to it. There is no waffling with Teresa and I admire that.  I like that she is so committed to her husband and kids above all else.

After my interview with Teresa posted, I got a lot of support from her fans.  They are fiercely loyal to her and it was sweet how supportive they were of her, and therefore me for being kind.  The thing is, I was not kind.  I was honest.  She was great, I wrote she was great, end of story. 

I also got tweets from Melissa’s fans saying I should interview her because she was so much nicer than Teresa.  Not cool, but reality fans are hard core and I get that they were sticking up for their girl.  Before I had a chance to ask Melissa for an interview, Jacqueline Laurita stepped in.

I tweeted that Teresa and I spoke for an hour and Jac immediately tweeted to complain about Teresa doing “another interview”.  Jac spends a lot of time talking trash on Twitter.  She is irrelevant and not interesting so I get she is desperate for attention and bashes Teresa to get it.

She wrote I was a gossip writer, then Melissa chimed in.  I don’t remember it all and am too bored to go back and find it, but the bottom line is that Jac wrote about it, Melissa agreed with Jac, then I wrote to say I was not a gossip writer, and there was a lot of backpeddling.

Jac said she was not talking about me.  Lie.  Melissa said Jac was talking about another interview.  Lie.  I wrote to them both saying they were clearly talking about me, there was no need to lie, and I called them out on it. They then took to Twitter to publically talk about me, so it was on.

Jac insisted it was not me she was referring to then sent me a message telling me to tell people she never said it was me, as she was getting attacked.  Melissa also sent a private message saying she was not talking about me.  Whatever.  Cut to my saying it was not a big deal.

I sent Melissa a couple of my interviews and asked her if she would like to be interviewed.  She publically tweeted to me, “ANYTIME!”  She said her “assistant” would set it up.  A few days later I got an email from her publicist saying Melissa could not do the interview now because of Teresa.

This is the email:

Hi Ilana,

Thanks for your interest in interviewing Melissa.  We are interested in working with you, however because you just interviewed with Teresa we would like to wait a little while.  We will be in touch soon.  Thanks again.

Thank you,
Robyn

I wrote to Melissa and said it was a shame she was postponing and then let my Twitter followers know the interview was off.  Melissa wrote to say it was shady of me to announce on Twitter she was postponing. I reminded her she wrote me on Twitter and people wanted to know.

I told her it was silly to think she could not talk to me so soon after my talking to Teresa, and she agreed, telling me again we would do the interview.  I wrote her to set it up and never heard from her.  She promised an interview twice, and bailed twice.

She not only bailed, but was kind of not nice.  It’s a drag because I really like her.  My readers and her fans were looking forward to our chat and I was really looking forward to it.  I write a lot about faith, and the loss of my dad, and there was a lot to talk about with her.

At the end of the day it’s not really that big of deal that she bailed. What is a big deal is that she was caught in a lie.  She sells herself as the super nice girl getting screwed by her sister-in-law but in the end she looked more like a jealous fame seeker than a nice girl.

Teresa is great and I like her.  I am convinced that Melissa is also great, but we’ll never know the real her because she is guarded, fake, and under the impression that her publicist knows what’s best for her in terms of her interviews, and dissed the Jewish Journal.

All press is good press I guess, but promising an interview to someone who is going to write nice things and gush as a fan, then bailing and denying that you bailed is just dumb.  Melissa has no need to worry about being compared to Teresa because there is no comparison.

I’m here if Melissa ever wants to do the interview.  None of this will play into the conversation for me.  I get that she is doing the best she can, and gets a lot of requests.  I’m not mad that she bailed, just annoyed that they are lying about it.  No need for drama.

I think Melissa is a great mom, has a great husband, and I respect her faith.  I am also a writer who has dealt with a lot of reality stars and their “people” and I would suggest to this lovely woman that she get a new publicist.  One that will allow her to keep it real.

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