Just when you thought your favorite Jersey Shore cast members were all grown up and had officially left the world of reality television behind them, they decide to return for a little family vacation. And, while some fans speculated things might be a lot different now that some of the cast were mothers and many had taken their lives to a more serious place, the minute they joined forces once more, the Ron Ron juice started flowing and the drama started kicking off. It seems you just can't put these people in a house with one another and not expect something crazy to happen. I mean, it's Jersey Shore!
While Deena Cortese wasn't there until later in the show, having been brought in to replace Angelina and be the other half of Snooki's crazy meatball duo, she definitely became a part of the family, and we can't imagine what the latest season would have been like without her. She may not be as in your face as Snooki, but she's definitely got a strong personality and a whole lot of sass.
Here are 20 things you may not have known about Deena Cortese, the last addition to the Jersey Shore family.
20 She Originally Auditioned For Season One — But Had To Back Out
Okay, you know how we said that Deena wasn't a member of the cast from the very first season on, like the rest of her Shore family? Well, it turns out she could have been — she actually auditioned for a spot on the very first season, according to Elle, but had to give it up because her grandmother was ill and she decided to put her reality show career on hold to help care for her. I mean, as if we didn't think Deena was adorable enough already! Luckily, she got her chance to join the cast when Angelina ended up quitting in a blaze of drama.
19 She Goes By Deena Buckner Now After Tying The Knot
While Deena is definitely as guidette as the rest of them, there's one thing that isn't really Italian about her anymore — her last name! Deena Cortese definitely has an Italian feel to it, but when she married her husband, she took his name — and became Deena Buckner. It seems the Jersey Shore women are on the fence about changing your name after marriage. Jenni kept her maiden name, going by Jenni Farley still, while Nicole took Gionni's name and goes by Nicole La Valle nowadays. Deena hardly let the honeymoon phase expire before she rushed to change her name and become a family with her new hubby.
18 All Her Jersey Shore Castmates Came To Her Wedding
When Deena and her hubby tied the knot, she invited all her castmates to celebrate with her — we're talking everyone. Jenni, Vinny, Pauly, Nicole, Mike, Sammi, they were all there partying by her side and having a blast. The picture-perfect ceremony took place in a vineyard, according to People, and included a luxe reception with a wedding cake made by Jersey bakery Chocolate Carousel. Deena looked totally gorgeous in her gown, and just about every photo taken of her shows her absolutely beaming — she was obviously having one of the best days of her life, which is definitely what you want to experience on your wedding day!
17 She Was A Bridesmaid At Both Nicole and Jenni's Weddings
It seems that whenever someone gets married, the whole crew comes out to celebrate with them — we can't wait to see what Vinny and Pauly's weddings look like, if they ever find the right woman and decide to take that walk down the aisle. Not only was Deena there at Snooki and Jenni's weddings, she was actually a bridesmaid! It just shows that, even though she joined the cast two seasons after everyone else, she's still very much a member of their little family. She's always portrayed as being a super supportive friend, so why wouldn't you want her as a bridesmaid?
16 She's A Bronzer Lover, Like All The Others In The House
In a recent piece on the history of the show, Deena revealed a little detail about the girls' beauty routine that is fascinating — and majorly gross. She admits that "we basically had bronzer prints everywhere because we'd get it on our hands, it would get on our door, it would get on our dresser." While Deena is definitely far more naturally bronze nowadays than she was back in her early Jersey Shore days, where she had a bit of an orange hue at times, she still seems to be a fan of bronzer. I mean, who doesn't want a sun-kissed glow all year long?
15 She Majorly Jazzed Up Her First Car
We usually see the cast hopping into cabs rather than actually driving themselves places. However, they know how to drive, and Deena actually learned how to drive in a pretty unique car. She confessed to Us Magazine that her first car was a 2001 Saturn and she jazzed it up by adding pink dice, blue underglow, and Mardi Gras beads. Uh, so basically exactly what we envisioned a younger Deena would do to her car. We can totally picture Deena picking up her girlfriends and heading out on the town to check out cute boys and dance the night away, pink dice swinging as she sped through Jersey. Amazing.
14 She Claims She Didn't Learn To Stick Up For Herself Until Later In Life
Okay, this little tidbit is one that we're totally impressed by — and we give Deena major props for it. Apparently, she told Us that "before my twenties, I got stepped on all over" but that "I learned to stick up for myself" since then. It's important to learn and grow, and we love that she saw something she could work on and decided to do just that. She's not about to be someone's doormat anymore — she sticks up for herself, and that's something every woman should strive to do, always. After all, if you don't believe in yourself and your worth, who will?
13 She Went To School For Dental Assisting
Deena is always one of the first to flash a smile — she's just a friendly kind of person in most interactions. And, it seems that she almost found her calling before entering the world of reality television as a dental assistant. As she told Us, she actually went to school to study dental assisting and was on that career path before her life took an unexpected turn when she headed down to the shore for a reality show. Who knows, perhaps in a few years when she's looking to start a family and step away from the world of reality television, she'll begin her second career in the dental world.
12 Her First Job Ever Was At Six Flags Amusement Park
The cast definitely hasn't always had glamorous jobs. While they may have been raking in pretty impressive dough per episode once the show took off, they also spent their time working summer jobs in t-shirt shops and ice cream parlors in order to give some extra storylines. You know, to give them something to do between all the fist-pumping and drinking. Well, in real life, Deena's first job wasn't glamorous either — she worked at Six Flags amusement park, and as she told Us, "I hated it." Screaming kids, the smell of fried food, and potential stomach issues from crazy rides? We can understand why it may not have been her favorite.
11 Her Celeb Crushes Are Bradley Cooper And Jimmy Fallon
Nowadays, Deena has eyes only for her new husband, and we love that about her. However, back in 2012, she dished on her celebrity crushes to Us, admitting that she had a bit of a thing for Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper. We totally understand the Bradley Cooper crush — many women have a bit of a thing for the handsome blue-eyed star — but the Jimmy Fallon one is pretty interesting. It definitely makes us wonder about her husband's sense of humor — it seems that she likes funny guys, so we hope Mr. Buckner has her cracking up on a daily basis!
10 She Has A Stuffed Animal That Goes With Her Everywhere
Everyone has their quirks when it comes to things they like to travel with, and for Deena, that thing is a stuffed animal named Squishy. She confessed to Us that Squishy goes with her absolutely everywhere she goes, and that includes the shore house. We have to admit, there's something endearing about the fact that she comes home from a night of shots at the club and cuddles up to a stuffed animal like a little kid. It just proves that all of us need a little comfort from time to time, even if it's in the form of a stuffed animal.
9 She Wasn't Well Received By The Rest Of The Cast At First — Although Now She's Part Of The Family
Deena definitely had a bit of a tough situation ahead of her when she entered the house in season three — after all, even though they had drama, the rest of the cast had been together for two seasons already. And, Ronnie had less than kind words at first, telling Vulture "Snooki walks through the door with this gremlin lookalike and she says she's the new roommate." Luckily, the cast ended up warming up to Deena quite quickly, and she soon was just as much a member of the family as the rest of the cast who had been there since the very beginning.
8 She's A Dancer Who Studied Tap And Jazz For Many Years (And She's Since Mastered The Fist Pump)
Nowadays, if you see Deena dancing, you'll pretty much exclusively see her fist pumping and busting out some moves in the club (usually after having a few drinks). However, did you know that she's actually trained in styles of dance that have nothing to do with the club and everything to do with the studio? She told Us that she did tap and jazz dancing for many years when she was younger. Who knows, perhaps she'll get back into it one day — it's a great workout, and probably a ton of fun! We can totally picture her rocking a sassy tap routine.
7 She's Constantly Losing Things And Has Replaced Her Driver's License Six Times
One of the first major dramas on this season of the show was when Nicole lost her wedding band in the grass outside and proceeded to freak out while the rest of the cast searched for it. However, it seems she's not the only meatball who misplaces things. Deena admitted to Us that she has a tendency to lose things and that she had actually replaced her license six times to that point (and she was only in her early 20s ten!). We shudder to think of how many times she's lost it in the years since — although perhaps she's grown up and developed a better system, who knows?
6 She Used To Love Watching Home Videos Of Herself As A Child — A Reality Star In The Making!
At this point, Deena is probably very used to seeing herself on screen, from the show to the various interviews she's done with the cast to promote it. And, it seems that she's wanted to see her face on the small screen ever since she was a little kid. She confessed to Us that "when I was little, I loved watching home videos of myself." So, it's actually kind of perfect that she ended up as a reality television star — after all, reality television is basically just a home video for a huge audience around the world. If only younger Deena could see how things turned out!
5 She Didn't Own A Cell Phone Until She Was 17
You won't see the cast with smartphones very often, if ever, but it's not because they're not tech savvy — when they're at home, on their own time, they're as hooked on social media as the rest of us. It's just that they're not permitted to have phones, for the most part, when they're actually on the show. After all, how are you going to instigate drama when you're busy scrolling through Instagram? And, while she's a seasoned selfie pro now, it seems that Deena was a bit of a late bloomer in the cell phone department — she apparently didn't have a cell phone until she was 17 years old!
4 She Was A Cheerleader, Just Like Snooki
Most fans of the show know that Nicole "Snooki" was a cheerleader back in her high school days, and given her petite stature, it'll probably come as no surprise that Deena was also a member of the cheer squad at her school. She's not really shown as the most athletic of the group on the show, far preferring to relax by the pool than hit the gym, but hey — she's on vacation! Why not enjoy yourself and take it easy? She hasn't gone into much detail about her cheer experience, but we have a feeling this meatball was soaring through the air just like her partner in crime, Nicole.
3 Her Parents Take Her To The Caribbean Every January (Or, They Used To)
Okay, we officially want to be Deena's sibling, if it means we get our very own annual Caribbean vacation! Now, we're not sure if this is still true now that she's a relatively well-known reality television star with money of her own, but back in 2012, Cortese confessed to Us Magazine that every January her parents take her to the Caribbean for a vacation. Sounds like total paradise. We're not sure when or why the tradition started, perhaps it's a post-Christmas thing that everyone enjoys, but it's definitely a cute tradition to have. Plus, who doesn't want to get away from the cold of the east coast in January and spend some time in the sunshine?
2 She Played Softball In High School
Okay, we have to admit — given all her confessions about her athletic pursuits in her high school and college days, we kind of want to see what Deena's athletic skills are like nowadays. It seems she was quite the athlete back in the day! In addition to cheerleading when she was in college, she also played softball in high school. It definitely fits — we can't envision the petite meatball tearing up the basketball court and slam dunking, but we can totally see her whipping a ball across the diamond in a lively game of softball. Perhaps she'll visit the batting cages with the guys in an upcoming episode of the show!
1 Her Guilty Pleasure Food Is Sauerkraut
It's always interesting to see the kind of things that the cast eats, particularly for big events like their weekly family dinner. And, while they all absolutely love Italian food and consider it a staple in their lives, Deena has a fondness for a particular German dish as well — we're talking about sauerkraut. Apparently, she's a huge fan of the tart condiment and just can't get enough of it. There are many pregnant women who end up craving tart things like pickles, so perhaps if she and her hubby ever have a baby, he'll have to be running out to the store for sauerkraut at all hours of the day.
References: elle.com, vulture.com, usmagazine.com