If there was one word to describe Jersey Shore, it was simply “crazy.” Cast members were flying off the handle, drinking 24/7, partying until they dropped, and even getting into trouble with the law for their behavior. As MTV’s highest-rated reality show that blew the audience’s mind for 3 years with 6 seasons, Paul, Nicole, Mike, Sammi, Ronnie, Jen, Vinny, Angelina, and Deena were either hated or loved by viewers.
The world witnessed 8 members having fun, doing embarrassing things, and experiencing the worst moments anyone could imagine but the challenges and struggles that happened off-screen and even before they started filming were unknown. The masterminds behind the show’s portrayal of Italian Americans in New Jersey were of course, the producers who had everything under their control. Here’s an abundant list of the difficulties the cast members of Jersey Shore had to experience, just to give us one heck of a phenomenal show.
20 Cast Members Weren’t Paid A Single Penny During The First Season
While the cast earned a whopping five-figure salary per episode, they didn’t receive a single penny during the first season. In an interview with Vulture, Vinny said that they had “zero dollars” and only survived through the wages they got from the Shore Store. Furthermore, Vinny explained that he and Ronnie even told production, “Listen, I think we have to leave. We don’t have any money.”
19 Producers Greenlit A Fifth Season Without Letting The Cast Know
None of the cast members were aware that Season 5 was going to happen until moments before it was publicly announced by MTV during a press release. The Hollywood Reporter published in July of 2011 that Producer Salsano explained how the cast won’t have any break, stating that they were going to hate her.
18 Producers Filmed And Aired Snooki’s Embarrassing Arrest
During the filming, Nicole Polizzi (a.k.a Snooki) was arrested for disorderly conduct though it was reported that charges were dropped, and Snooki ended up paying $500 fine with two days of community service. The episode was aired in January 2011 but the actual arrest that happened in Seaside Heights, New Jersey was in July 2010.
17 Producers Aired The Cast’s Embarrassing Audition Tapes
Original casting tapes were revealed showing awkward moments like Pauly D slightly being reprimanded for chewing gum during the interview and was asked to spit it, or Snooki talking like she was under the influence that she was even asked if she was semi-drugged. The cast watched their embarrassing audition tapes and shared their comments.
16 Cast Members Were Encouraged To Party 24/7 And Get In Trouble
Partying hard was one of the rules that the cast had to follow and this normally led them into trouble. One time, Deena was out on a “meatball day” as she called it, which meant lots of drinking, dancing, and partying. She couldn’t find a venue, so she took the party to the streets instead. And guess what? She ended up getting arrested for dancing on the streets.
15 Cast Members Didn’t Live In A House, They Lived In A Bank With No Door Or Shower
When the show’s 4th season was filmed in Italy, Salsano did the most insane thing. Per Bustle, the Jersey Shore house in Italy was actually a repurposed bank. There was no shower, no kitchen, or door. MTV’s art department transformed it into a home in less than a month though there were a lot of things seen on air that weren’t there. In fact, the cast members used a window to get out of the house.
14 Producers Profited From Scenes Of Intoxicated Altercations
In one episode, Ronnie was accused of initiating drunken fights with boardwalk bar hoppers who sued the reality show’s producers. Per NBC Washington, the lawsuit claimed that Ronnie picked fights during the show and the suit filed specified that the producers engaged in a “criminal enterprise” by profiting from scenes of drunken violence.
13 Producers Orchestrated Intense Drama For The Show
During the filming in Italy, there was a brawl between Paul and Vinny, but it turned out that the brutal street fight was staged. A waitress who had witnessed this claimed that she had seen both guys practicing what do to and during that time, security kept the fans and photographers away from the scene.
12 Nicole Polizzi Had No Idea She Was Going To Live As "Snooki" For The Rest Of Her Life
Cast members were asked to give their nickname on the application, so Nicole had to write one down and she chose “Snooki.” Before the show, no one has called her that nickname and Nicole didn’t know they were going to use it. In an interview with Vulture she said, “Now that it’s stuck, I wish I’d put something else.”
11 Cast Members Were Required To Give An Hour Notice Before Leaving The House
For a reality TV show, you’d think that everything was spontaneous but none of the boardwalk trips were. The cast members were required to give one-hour notice before they could live the house, even if they only needed to buy a carton of milk or do their daily GTL (gym, tan, and laundry) ritual.
10 Producers Made It Look Like The Cast Members Were All From New Jersey
Most of the cast members are not from New Jersey and not all of them are Italian. Only Sammi and Deena are from Jersey, Vinny is from Staten Island, Ronnie is from the Bronx, and JWoww is an Irish who grew up in New York State. Snooki isn’t Italian either. She’s from Chile. Only Vinny is the first-generation Italian in the show.
9 Cast Members Were Encouraged To Hook Up...With A Really Specific Caveat
Per Daily Mail, producers encouraged the cast to sleep with each other or even with other people but didn’t want to be responsible in case any of the members contracted STD or any other diseases. Cast members were required to sign a contract so that the network will not be blamed or sued.
8 Cast Members Were Only Allowed One Call Per Week
In an interview with V magazine, Polizzi quoted that filming was “like being in jail for two months.” Contrary to what was shown on the show where they had lots of moments using the ever-notorious wooden duck phone, the members were only allowed one private call per week. The rest of the phone calls done were specifically filmed for the show.
7 Final Cast Members Were Given Only One Day Notice Before Filming Began
It was Angelina Pivarnick who suffered the most from that one-day notice. Per Vulture, Angelina said that the final eight cast members weren’t given too much time to prepare so she ended up putting all her stuff in garbage bags. She further expressed that she’ll never live that one down.
6 The Entire Jersey Shore Town Was Wired
The cast should’ve expected that they wouldn’t get much privacy but who would’ve known there’d literally be cameras everywhere? Per Vulture, Producer SallyAnn Salsano had a 14-camera feed in her bedroom and living room to watch the cast’s every move. She also mentioned that there were 42 cameras in the house, the Shore Store, and even the boardwalk.
5 Cast Members Were Given Scripts To Follow
Remember Season 4 when the cast went to Italy? Well, it turned out that they had to follow scripts. One of the extras on the show revealed to The Daily Beast that everything was completely scripted, including the fight between Guadagnino and DelVecchio. Furthermore, it was also reported that the pizza place where the cast worked was rented out, and that all the customers were extras.
4 Cast Members Were Cut Off From The Entire World
Nicole Polizzi also told V magazine that they weren’t allowed to listen to music, watch tv, or read. They were completely cut off from the world around them and on top of this, they were also forbidden to write notes to each other. Producers instructed to say them on camera or leave.
3 The Cast Didn’t Actually Know What The Show Was Going To Be
Jenny told Vulture that she didn’t know she was going to end up on the shore with roommates, further saying that the show was secretive and she just gave them her cell phone, credit card, ID, wallet, keys and was told she would be back home in 5 weeks if she got picked. Vinny also said, “I honestly didn’t know what the hell it was. I personally thought that it was going to be a half-hour special.”
2 The Sheer Amount Of Footage Shot For The Show Was Unprecedented
To capture the juiciest and most impromptu moments, producer Salsano wired the entire town and lived in the house with the cast members both in Miami and Italy. Salsano told Vulture that she would treat the cameras like baby monitors. “If it was quiet, you ran upstairs and went to sleep. The minute you heard them chirping, you ran back downstairs.”
1 The Only Time Cast Members Were Off Camera Was When They Were In The Bathroom
Since there were 42 cameras rolling and producers were on standby with every single move that the cast made, the only privacy that the cast members ever had was whenever they used the bathroom. Pauly D even told Vulture that they took long showers just so they can get away from the cameras.
Sources: vulture.com, thedailybeast.com, thehollywoodreporter.com, mtv.com, bustle.com, vmagazine.com