A week to the day after she was arrested in Seaside Heights, N.J., for disorderly conduct, "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi found herself facing a roomful of reporters in Beverly Hills hotel a short drive from a very different shore.
Along, of course, with her housemates: Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentio, Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, Vinny Guadagnino and the newest cast member, Deena Nicole Cortese, of New Egypt, N.J., who apparently hasn't yet been assigned a nickname, but shares the distinction with Giancola of actually being from New Jersey.
Think how pleased New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be.
Coming on the next-to-the-last day of the Television Critics Association's summer meetings, the "Jersey Shore" invasion was a last-minute addition to the MTV portion of the blend of press conferences and cocktail parties known as "press tour," and caused more excitement here than you'd expect, considering that in past couple of weeks many of us have gotten to rub elbows with the likes of Tom Hanks and the casts of ABC's "Modern Family" and Fox's "Glee."
But that's show business for you: The bright, shiny object is always the one we grab for first.
Last week’s Season 2 "Shore" premiere, filmed in Miami, was watched by 5.25 million viewers, the most so far for the series, which peaked in the first season with a finale seen by 4.83 million. According to MTV programming chief Tony DiSanto -- who, by the way, doesn't see the show as being about Italians, but as a "reality family comedy" -- numbers for Thursday's episode were off only about 2 percent from the premiere.
Missing from the stage (and from the Season 3 filming now under way) was Angelina "Jolie" Pivarnick, who apparently didn't make it through the housemates' recent contract negotiations.
Which, they all insisted, had been no big deal.
"We were going to go to Jersey, regardless [this summer], but the contracts were like a bonus," said JWoww.
And money and fame hasn't changed the group, they insisted (though a reporter who'd eavesdropped during the same smoke break at which I snapped the picture below said he'd overheard them talking about their various offshoot businesses).
“As per filming, we’re still the same kids,” declared "The Situation," even if they’ve found a way to make a lot of money, or as he put it, “some of us are blessed to be successful…we’re taking advantage of as many opportunities as we can.”
As for Snooki's recent arrest, she seemed philosophical. "Stuff like that happens in Jersey...I was in the drunk tank for a few hours."
Wearing her long brown hair parted simply in the middle, Snooki was asked where her famous "pouf" had gone.
"I'll show you," she said, pulling her hair up and pushing it up to achieve a bit of its trademark fullness. "Right there."