Aw yeah reunion yeah! If you were a dedicated, GTL loving Jersey Shore fan, then you’ve probably heard a reunion is in the works.
A pop culture phenomenon, the reality TV show became a hit when it aired from 2009 to 2012. Now, MTV has announced that fans can look forward to a reunion series called Jersey Shore Family Vacation with the original cast (minus Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola for now) for 2018.
A reality TV unicorn among many other series that have fizzled out, Jersey Shore remains one of, if not the most, successful reality series on MTV to date. But among those six seasons of success were a lot of behind-the-scenes happenings that the fans weren’t let in on. Test your Jersey Shore fan knowledge and see how many of these crazy secrets you already knew about.
1. Snooki told V magazine that filming Jersey Shore was like “being in jail.” There was no TV, no reading, no listening to music — forcing them to interact more. Snooki said it was like serving a two-month prison sentence where all you can do is drink. “It’s because there’s nothing else to do! It passes the time and makes it fun,” said Snooki. “If you’re sober the whole time, you will go insane and kill yourself.”
2. It was so strict in the house that the producers even forbade the cast from writing notes to each other! To ensure the cast didn’t communicate off-camera, producers forbade them from even writing messages.
3. The cast was also forbidden from having cell phones while filming, forcing them to use the famous duck phone. Each of the reality stars only got one private phone call a week. The rest of the time their phone calls were recorded for the show.
4. The house’s famous duck phone was a random find at a thrift store called “Don Found It” in Toms River.
5. SallyAnn Salsano, the show’s developer and producer, was known for keeping close relationships with the cast members and their families. According to Salsano, Snooki’s dad always used to call her to check up on his daughter while they were shooting.
6. When a journalist from the Hollywood Reporter visited the apartment, he said he was “startled” by the brightness of it. He described the house, saying it was lit like a soundstage. He also revealed the windows were fake and there were 28 fixed cameras in the corners of each room.
7. The infamous jacuzzi on the rooftop deck? Yeah, that wasn’t at the Jersey Shore house. Although clever editing made it appear that way, the rooftop deck was on the roof of the T-shirt shop the cast worked at, not on the roof of the house.
8. The idea for the Italian flag garage door was actually inspired by one of the beach houses executive producer SallyAnn Salsano stayed at. The furniture was also designed to match the beach houses she stayed at: “A Shore house is everyone’s old stuff meshed together.”
9. You had to sign a release form before entering the Shore store. You also had to stand in line with a bunch of other fans waiting to get in and be schooled by production on how to act. The production company had a tent set up on the boardwalk where you would show your I.D. (you were required to be 18 unless accompanied by an adult) and sign the form. You also weren’t allowed to take any pictures once inside the T-shirt store.
10. The original plan was for Jersey Shore to be a competition show about who could live the most “guido” lifestyle but Salsano advised against it. Salsano shared in an interview that the original idea was for the cast to have elimination-style challenges relating to fist-pumping and tanning. But Salsano felt that following around the right cast and getting all their crazy antics on camera would be entertaining enough.
11. How much was the cast making? The cast was allegedly paid a few hundred dollars per episode for Season 1, NY Daily News reports. But when the show turned out to be a reality TV hit, the cast got a huge pay raise for Season 2: $10,000 an episode.
12. It only got better for the cast by the end of the show, as each castmate was estimated to be making around $100,000 per episode. By the show’s final season, MTV was allegedly even paying some cast members well over $100,000 per episode. Though it’s unconfirmed, Perez Hilton claims Snooki, The Situation, and Pauly D were earning the most among their co-stars at about $150,000 an episode.
13. The second season of Jersey Shore almost had an entirely different cast. The New York Post reports that a group of finalists for the second season of Jersey Shore was picked out because producers were unsure if they wanted to keep the originals. Although assembling an alternate cast just in case, the decision was made to stick with the Season 1 cast.
14. The cast was required to give producers at least an hour’s notice before leaving the house. Snooki told V magazine that they didn’t have the option of making a quick decision to leave or go anywhere and if they did walk out of the house they were always required to have a camera crew with them.
15. The show’s producer SallyAnn Salsano lived in an upstairs apartment above the Jersey Shore house. Salsano took her job very seriously; not only did she keep a 14-camera feed in her living room but she also had another feed in her bedroom so she could keep her eye on the cast at all times.
16. The decision to shoot the show in Seaside Heights was easy. Considering it was the only city in New Jersey that would allow MTV to film there, the producers didn’t have any other options.
17. As the show gained popularity, it became increasingly difficult to film. Police barricades had to be put up around the house to prevent people from trying to enter it but that didn’t deter fans and paparazzi from constantly waiting outside the barricades hoping to catch a glimpse of the cast.
18. The final eight were chosen out of a final 12 candidates just one day before they began filming.
19. A casting director claims that when Snooki came in for her audition, they wanted to cast her right away. They also said she was wearing so much bronzer that “when she filled out the release, it was covered in orange fingerprints.”
20. Deena Cortese had actually auditioned for Season 1 and made it to the final 12. Unfortunately, she had to back out of consideration when her grandmother became ill. Deena was eventually offered a spot in the cast when Angelina Pivarnick (a Season 1 original) left for good.
21. Another fun fact about Deena is that she was already good friends with Snooki. The two had already spent two summers on the Shore together before being cast for the show. Deena would actually call Snooki while she was filming Season 1 to check in on her.
22. In Season 4, when Snooki got in a minor accident with a police car in Italy, the officers were actually the show’s private security escort (something they didn’t reveal in the episode). Although the officers had to be taken to the hospital, they were ultimately fine.
23. While the cast was filming in Italy, MTV negotiated another season with the cast’s agents and lawyers without their knowledge. Since they were all filming in the Florence house with no access to the outside world, MTV figured signing them on before they finished up the season was the best way to prevent them from rebelling. The cast was informed about Season 5 just moments before MTV announced it in a press release.
24. Even though the show ended, the Jersey Shore house still has all the same furniture inside and is actually available to rent out for private events. And the show lives on!