Earlier this month, The Dish headed south to Atlantic City to hang behind-the-scenes during the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion taping. It turned out to be a doozy with all sorts of fireworks, and while we can't give anything away before it airs (part one premieres Sunday at 10/9c), the countless hours lurking behind the cameras did yield some interesting little tidbits for the RHONJ die-hards out there. Here's what we noticed:
1. Family still comes first: From the Housewives themselves to production assistants and crew members, there were tears in nearly everyone's eyes following a montage of Jacqueline Laurita's son Nicholas, who she recently announced has been diagnosed with autism. Nicholas utters a few words in the video that cause Jac to sob uncontrollably, which had everyone misty-eyed for her.
2. Lauren Manzo does double duty: When she's not defending her mom, Lauren's make-up expertise comes in handy, as she does touch-ups and keeps mom Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline looking all done up in between takes.
3. The bar was NOT open: In between the drama-filled taping, both Joe Giudice and Chris Laurita were both in need of a stiff cocktail. Joe G was hoping some of the wine bottles used as decor were corkable (they weren't), while Chris headed back to craft services in search of something a bit stronger. Sadly, there was no alcohol on set.
4. Teresa Giudice doesn't do tanning -- just bronzer and spray tan: Despite Andy Cohen's love of T's (amazing) tanning salon commercial from a few years ago, Teresa's given up the UV lights and opted instead for sprays and bronzers. And after a slew of Andy-arm-grabbing, the remnants of said treatments were left as a souvenir on his suit.
5. Reunions take for-freaking-ever: When all was said and done, Andy was on set from about 9 am until well after 11 pm. The shoot itself lasted roughly 13 hours, including lunch.
6. Cameras take breaks; fights don’t: Throughout the day, even when the cameras stopped rolling, the combat often continued. The 'Wives clearly weren't doing it solely for the cameras.
7. Joe Giudice really enjoys Red Bull: Joe G. needed a bit of a pick-me-up before sitting down for his emotional interview, and Red Bull was his remedy. When the cameras were about to start up, rather than put it to the side, Joe chugged the entire can, leaving Andy smirking and saying "OK, here we go!"
8. Don't ever mention Rosie and Kathy Wakile's father: You'll see at the end of the first episode what we mean here ...
9. Speaking of Kathy, she's has had a little work done: You may notice that Kathy Wakile looks slightly different, and in the first few moments of the shoot, she addresses her newly-revised facial features, making for a hilarious follow-up line courtesy of Andy.
10. Melissa Gorga can sing on cue ... and so can Teresa: There's one part of the reunion when Teresa and Melissa get into it over M's singing caree r, prompting Melissa to bust out a few lines – and Teresa to follow suit. We’ll let you channel your inner Adam Levine and decide for yourself who has the stronger voice.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.