Given than Melissa Gorga has an “incredible sweet tooth,” it should come as no surprise that “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star will be hosting an autograph signing this week at the sweetest confectionary shop on the Strip: Sugar Factory.
Gorga is scheduled to be at the Miracle Mile Shops location signing autographs Sat., March 23, at 1 p.m. Guests who attend the event and purchase one of Sugar Factory’s famous Couture Pops will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the reality TV star-turned-singer. Shockingly, the autograph signing marks the first time Gorga has ever visited Las Vegas.
“Joe [Gorga’s husband] and I have never made it out there, so there’s a lot we’ve got to try,” Gorga told Examiner.com in an exclusive phone interview. “We’re going to be everywhere—it will be a busy weekend.”
While Gorga mentioned her “Real Housewives” costar Kathy Wakile may also be making the trip, the cameras that usually follow her and her fellow housewives around “will not be coming.” After all, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! A late addition to the hit Bravo reality series, Gorga was cast following “all the season two craziness” that resulted in original cast members Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub leaving the show. Contrary to popular belief, Gorga said the rumors of her reaching out to star on the series were “not true” and that the producers called her; she simply “took the opportunity.” Gorga acknowledged that there were plenty of misconceptions about her following her first season on the show (season three), but now that she’s been around for a couple of seasons, people seem to understand who she is more.
“They can pin down who I am now, which I like, and they appreciate me for who I am,” Gorga, whose husband is the younger brother of fellow New Jersey housewife (and Gorga’s on-screen nemesis) Teresa Giudice, stated. “They see my true colors.”
Not that there aren’t still some misconceptions out there about the reality starlet. Gorga said there are plenty of positives and negatives that come with starring on a hit reality show like “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” some in part to the fact that “out of a 24-hour day, you only get to see one hour” of the cast’s lives.
“I just try to be who I am so I don’t have to chase my tail later on,” she stated. “But it’s stressful putting all your personal business out there for the world to judge. On the other hand, being on the show has helped my music career and given me the opportunity to meet so many new people.”
It’s also given her a loyal fan base (Team Melissa) who has supported Gorga as she embarked on her professional singing career.
“I’ve been singing since a young age in school choirs and plays,” Gorga replied when asked what first got her interested in music. “I got married and had babies when I was young, though, so I never really got the chance to purse it professionally. Coincidentally, the same time the opportunity came up was about the same time I signed on to do ‘The Real Housewives,’ so the timing was perfect to have the Bravo cameras there capturing everything.”
Now under the management of Johnny Wright, who has managed such notable acts as Britney Spears, *NSYNC and Janet Jackson, the “I Just Wanna” singer just finished recording her fifth single, with “more songs coming.” When asked who she considered to be her musical influences, Gorga replied with several classic artists, including one group that’s now headlining at The Mirage.
“There are just so many: Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men,” Gorga said. “Right now I also love everything Ne-Yo does; I love all of his songs.”
While seeing Boyz II Men in Las Vegas is at the “top” of her to-do list while she’s in town, Gorga admitted that she’ll probably end up bringing a few bags of candy from Sugar Factory back home with her, too. When asked about her dining habits, the bombshell beauty said that she loves “appetizers and desserts” and often will “skip dinner” just so she can indulge on pre- and post-dinner dishes. While one would think she’d have to spend a lot of time in the gym working her guilty dining pleasures off, Gorga credits “chasing three kids around all day” with providing her “9 to 9 cardio.”
“I do workout, though,” Gorga stated, “but I think it helps that, while I generally eat all day long, I eat small quantities. Plus, I love healthy food, too; I eat a lot of fruits and turkey.”
Gorga also spends plenty of time running to her doorbell, as she’s constantly visited by fans. And while she enjoys hosting autograph signings and going out to meet her fans a couple of times a month, it can be a little daunting when they literally show up on her doorstep.
“I’m very friendly and I never say no to an autograph—even if I’m dining out somewhere and I’m mid-bite—but when you’re ringing my doorbell, that’s a little much,” she said with a laugh.
While there’s no doubt “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” has turned its stars into overnight sensations, Gorga knows that it’s not the most popular reality series about people living in New Jersey that’s ever been on television. That honor belongs to MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” When asked which series shows a more realistic representation of life in New Jersey, Gorga couldn’t choose one over the other.
“I think they’re both pretty real,” she replied. “When you’re a kid, that’s what happens out here on the Jersey Shore; that’s what happened when I was young and went down there—well, maybe things weren’t as crazy (laughs). I think there’s something in the water out here, though, because people from New Jersey just have a lot of personality that works really well with reality television.”
As for who else she thinks would make a good housewife, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fan said she’d love to see the show branch out to Texas.
“I think the over-the-top ladies of Dallas would be good,” she stated.
They say everything’s bigger Texas, but it’s hard to imagine Dallas’ housewives beating the New Jersey housewives’ big personalities. And that’s why America can’t wait for season five to begin.
Melissa Gorga will host a meet and greet at the Sugar Factory inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Sat., March 23, at 1 p.m. For more information on the event, call 702-866-0777.
For more on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” visit the show’s official webpage.