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'Jersey Shore's' Pauly and Vinny discuss the show's return

January 5, 2012 | 12:10 pm

Jersey Shore returns Thursday for its 5th season
They're back, buddy!

It's that time again. Time for an overload of burnt sienna epidermises, gaudy Ed Hardy gear and drunken moments of overexposure. "Jersey Shore" returns for its fifth season Thursday on MTV.

The eight roomies are back in their natural habitat, Seaside Heights, after an Italian getaway this past summer that saw them navigate the unknown in Florence. And Vinny Gaudagnino and Pauly Delvecchio, who spoke to ShowTracker about the upcoming season, insist there was no break in filming between the two seasons — OK, maybe an hour or two.

"It was non-stop," Delvecchio said. "I think we hit it harder than we ever have this season because we were so glad to be home."

But will viewers be too? Much has been made about whether the show has lost its sleazy charm after numerous installments. The recent Season 4 finale delivered 6.6 million viewers, down 13% from Season 3′s finale. And significantly lower than 8.8 million viewers who tuned in when the Italian season premiered. Was the Florence setting to blame?

"I think that we did fine," Guadagnino said. "Things always die down a bit. Even the Jersey seasons — it starts off really big and then the audience drops off a little bit. I don’t think Italy had anything to do with it. Maybe it was the same storylines, maybe things seemed a little redundant to people. It happens all the time. First it was the Ron and Sam stuff. Now we got Mike and Snooki drama. However, Jersey has its perks. It’s where we started. Italy was traditional and artsy. The background of Jersey lends itself to comedy. We have that to fall back on."

But as viewers will see, being back home couldn't drown out the pressures for Guadagnino; adding a bit of drama to his often drama-less persona — "My character is laid-back," he said — Guadagnino decided he wanted out during filming, and went home.

"You’ve been with us and you’ve seen how we film — it’s intense," he said. "We’re cut off from the outside world. I’m able to do that for one season, but two in a row weighed on me a little bit. I just felt like I needed a break in order to feel good and healthy. I end up returning to the house, but you’ll see how it plays out."

With all the filming Delvecchio is doing, you'd think he'd be the one to crack. The gel-haired professional fist-pumper said he just wrapped filming on his spinoff, described as a reality-version of "Entourage," chronicling his life on the road as a DJ — we might even see his stint on the Britney Spears tour — and introducing his Rhode Island group of friends.

"I'm really exciting about it," he said. "I don’t have an exact date yet, but it should be sometime this year, I hope."

Fellow castmates Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWoww” Farley, also have a spinoff in the works. No date has been announced for it either.

--Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: The cast of "Jersey Shore." Credit: MTV

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