Bravo's Andy Cohen talks New Jersey 'Housewives' reunion
As we told you last week, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" were poised for an epic reunion special on Monday night -- and deliver they did, with cast members Caroline Manzo, Teresa Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita reuniting with Danielle Staub for the first time in more than a year.
Bravo Vice President and host Andy Cohen, who served as referee for the Garden State gals, caught up with the Ministry on Tuesday to talk screaming matches, uncomfortable questions and his own battle scars from the evening.
"I didn't know what was going to happen, and that's very nerve wracking...," Cohen admitted. "The questions are so personal and intense, I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row."
Indeed, Cohen had to touch on topics including bankruptcy, drug use, fertility issues, learning disabilities and sex tapes. Mind you, Monday's reunion was Part 1 of two.
"I really give it up to the women. I have a lot of compassion," he said. If only the housewives shared that sentiment for each other.
Within minutes of reflection on their season, Giudice was already off the set couch and shouting into Staub's face -- a familiar sight for fans of the show. The controversial Staub is no stranger to hiring security teams for any interaction with her counterparts.
How on Earth did they get the aspiring singer to the reunion without the Secret Service?
"We assured her she was going to be OK, and I think she was. I wouldn't have resumed filming if I wasn't confident that Teresa wasn't going to get back on the couch."
While Staub remained safe, Cohen himself got body-checked when ...
... trying to restrain Teresa.
"They're calling me Raggedy Andy," he said of the confrontation. "I was really shocked, but what am I going to do? She apologized."
Staub was unapologetic when it came to discussing the aforementioned sex tapes, as several exist of the star with various conquests. We had to ask, did Cohen go the extra mile and screen the tape as prep?
"I didn't watch it," he said. "I didn't want to see it."
A more pleasant sight for Cohen was the big Emmy win on Sunday night for "Top Chef," the reality cooking competition that Cohen shepherded to air.
"I'm busting, I'm so excited. ... I feel like it's always been this little engine that could, and it goes on to beat not only 'Amazing Race' but 'Survivor' and 'Idol,' who has never won," he said.
While the New Jersey Housewives can only dream of Emmy gold, you can catch Part 2 of the reunion Monday at 9 p.m. on Bravo -- where Cohen promises a "jaw-dropping" moment that's not been revealed in promos.
And for you diehards: Casting discussions for next season will go down after Part 2 airs. Though Staub is widely reported to be exiting the show, don't count her out just yet.
"I want to wait for this season to settle, then we'll start talking about things," Cohen said.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Danielle Staub of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." Credit: Bravo TV
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