Seaside Heights was the quintessential New Jersey beach town; a little down at its heels, featuring a boardwalk with old-fashioned rides, fried Oreos and tattooed people in bikinis. Then MTV came along and it became the vortex of the wild world of “Jersey Shore.”
That all ends at 9 p.m. Thursday when MTV airs the final episode, then a live reunion show. The show was shot long before Sandy devastated the town, shattering the boardwalk and leaving the roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean.
MTV has held a “Restore the Shore” special, featuring the cast, that has raised more than $1 million. Donations can still be made. (For more information, go to www.mtv.com/specials/restore-the-shore/)
Before Sandy meant more to New Jersey than a Springsteen song, the breakout personalities and executive producer of “Jersey Shore” spoke separately with Zap2it.
Q: Why do you think the show became such a phenomenon?
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: Because people weren't expecting us to do what we want and say what we want and saying things people would not normally say and is on our minds. The fact that we didn't really care is why. And we are so relatable. Even with doing something stupid and waking up and having been drunk. I think everybody goes through that.
Q: What is it like living at the house?
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino: You have no phone, no Internet, no TV. You are almost concentrating on the human element.
Vinny Guadagnino: It was fun. It was crazy living with the same people 24 hours a day for two months straight. There was no escape, no TV, no cellphone, no radio, no music, no sounds. All you could do is talk to each other for two months straight. In a way that sucks but in another way it is a cool life experience where you have to go back to the stone age and find things to do to keep busy.
Q: What are the biggest misconceptions people have about all of you?
Vinny: That I am not educated, that I can't speak on anything else that requires a brain, like the only thing I can speak on is “Jersey Shore”-related, and that is my whole world and nothing else — no politics, philosophy and education. I am actually better at that stuff.
Jennifer “JWOWW” Farley: In general, that we are all very uneducated, very narcissistic and only believe in looking good and being fit, and (are) shallow human beings. And really I feel like we are all normal 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds and took an amazing opportunity anyone would. Though it was for the summer and in the public eye, people say, ‘You shouldn't be taking off the summer and having a good time.' ‘You must not care about work or college.' Four of us went back to college when it started.