It has been the most explosive season ever on the “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” with on-air drama including a brawl at a baby’s christening, a hot-body competition among sisters-in-law and a smack-down in Punta Cana, Mexico.
As Season 3 of the hit Bravo reality-TV show comes to an end this Sunday, for a show that has seen previous seasons end in shoving matches, banquet tables overturned and cast members leaving the show, the questions remain.
Will the show survive? Will the state survive?
“Expect the unexpected,” fellow Housewife Melissa Gorga added.
While they promised drama on Sunday’s show, neither star addressed recent rumors, first reported by Huffington Post, that Manzo and fellow housewife Jacqueline Laurita had been fired by Bravo from the show’s fifth season.
The network issued a statement denying the reports, but the rumors persist, fueled largely by a Twitter war that has erupted among the cast as the show balances simultaneously filming Season 4 while Season 3 comes to a close on TV.
Smack in the middle of the 140-character catfight is Gargo’s sister-in-law, Teresa Giudice, who has been accused by once-close friend Laurita of spreading rumors that Gorga once worked as a stripper.
“Teresa is scum,” Laurita wrote in a series of tweets last week.
Gorga did not address the stripping rumors on “GMA,” but has previously denied Giudice’s claims via her own website, writing, “This is 100% NOT TRUE.”
The long-simmering feud between the two women escalated this season, with Giudice accusing Gorga of destroying her relationship with her brother Joe.
“It’s always a rollercoaster between Teresa and I,” Gorga said today on “GMA.” “We did fix it, and it goes back-and-forth, back-and-forth.”
“I think in the reunion you’re going to see a lot of what’s going on right now,” she said.
The reunion Gorga refers to has become a “Real Housewives” franchise trademark, the grand finale episode when Bravo brings the show’s housewives back together for a no-holds-barred showdown hosted by Bravo executive Andy Cohen.
Laurita has pledged, via Twitter, that she won’t be a part of this season’s reunion.
“I can’t be part of the Charade anymore,” she wrote. “It’s unsettling. It’s disturbing & against what I stand for. I’m a REAL housewife…No reunion for me. Sorry guys. XOXO!”
If Laurita and Manzo are, in fact, off the show, Manzo, for one, has something to fall back on.
The mother of three, as was seen on camera in Season 3, has begun hosting a radio advice show, something she told “GMA” she can’t believe people find her qualified to do.
“It’s amazing the questions that people ask me because I don’t understand it,” she said. “You name it, I’ve been asked. It goes from being a mom to how to get your strength up. I appreciate it.”
Manzo, the peacemaker among the show’s five Housewives, said fans should look to the reunion for explanations of where things stand among the cast, and how they got that way.
“Things are going to start becoming clear to you,” she said on “GMA” today, after previously telling fans, in an appearance on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” last week that fans should just “relax” and “watch the finale.”
Gorga’s feud with Giudice and flair for the dramatics appear to have kept her safe on the show, so far, but she too now has a back-up career, as a pop star, to turn to, thanks largely to her “Real Housewives” fame.
“It’s doing really well,” Gorga said of her quest for a music career, a central plot line of this, her debut season on the show. ”I’m grateful for the point that it’s at right now. I’m pleasantly surprised.”