Over the years, MTV has proven to be an innovator in the world of television. Initially gaining popularity for its music-focused content and music videos, the channel eventually found a need to expand its programming. The onset of reality-based TV shows like The Real World and Road Rules proved to be a gold mine for the channel. With the popularity of reality shows reaching most television networks, the need for more unique and interesting programming arose. MTV decided to create a show based on the over-the-top lives of kids from New Jersey. Insert a lavished beach house and plenty of partying and you get the wildly popular series Jersey Shore.
Debuting back in 2009, the series took off unexpectedly, bringing a huge wave of popularity to the cast and the network. The show went on to air a total of six seasons, and included a few cast and location changes along the way. The popularity of the show led to additional spin-off series for the cast members and even influenced similarly formatted shows through the world.
However, the elements of the show that made it popular were not entirely genuine. Reality TV has proven to be “staged” at so many different levels of production with the Jersey Shore suffering from the same fate. In addition, seeing many of the behind-the-scenes photos taken over the years definitely revealed some of the truths of mega hit show.
From overzealous followers to faked moments on the show, here are 20 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Change Jersey Shore.
20 There was No Hot Tub Deck On Their House
Part of the appeal of MTV’s Jersey Show played upon the public’s interest in the excessiveness of reality TV. Not only did we get to take a peek at the lives of these over-the-top individuals but we got to see them excessively drink, party, fight and hook up.
What Jersey Shore "showmance" would be complete without the infamous hot tub scenes show throughout the show?
Viewers saw the cast make their way to their roof for some-after partying. However, many fans will be disappointed to know that the famous hot tub actually resides on top of the Shore Store nearby. All of the staging was just for some cheap thrills on TV.
19 Cast Members Had To Be Filmed At All Times
Being a part of a reality TV show means that you no longer control your daily activities. A crew of producers, cameramen and even “writers” help to guide your daily actions, creating interesting content to be edited later. For the Jersey Shore cast, part of that control included their activities outside of the hour.
According to Buzzfeed, “Cast members were required to give producers at least an hour's notice before leaving the house — no spur-of-the-moment trips allowed. Moreover, they were never allowed to walk out of the house unless a camera crew was with them.” Wow.
Imagine having to get permission (and a camera carrying escort) just to go grocery shopping or take a quick trip to the mall.
18 No Contact With The Outside World
The price of fame gained from being on a show like Jersey Shore is pretty steep when considering you lose personal freedoms. Not only must you make yourself available at all times but you have to be willing to give up most of your privacy to create more entertaining episodes.
Considering each season could take up to 50 days to shoot, a person could definitely lose touch with reality pretty quickly.
Speaking of losing touch, the cast of the show was basically cut off from the outside world while they were shooting. They could not go on the internet, watch the news, or even reach out to people that weren’t directly associated with the show. Just constant scrutinizing in their own “real world” bubble.
17 Fans Began Following Them Everywhere
Known for being a leader in reality TV program game, MTV hoped to regain some of its reality show clout with Jersey Shore. However, MTV wasn’t the only party involved to gain from the success of the show. The cast members themselves found themselves under increased scrutiny due to the popularity of the show.
Filming for the show became more and more difficult as fans flocked to Seaside Heights to catch a glimpse of the crew out and about. They followed them to the beach, on the boardwalk, and any local hangouts that they would frequent.
There was even a large gathering of fans when they took their trip to Italy. Everyone just wanted to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars.
16 Police Barricades Outside The House Constantly
The increased security for the Jersey Shore cast became a necessity as their popularity surged. However, the crowds of fans that generally gathered in Seaside Heights to catch a glimpse of them out and about also found the location of their house too. Because of this discovery, the how had to take extra precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.
The sidewalk in front of their home was often closed off with police barricades to prevent passersby from trying to enter the house or getting near it.
In addition, fans could also see a special (and rather unattractive) tent for their security detail. The side lot also provided a home for the camera crew and their equipment. Last but not least, fans have spotted a Porta-Potty within the same area for the team to use.
15 Their Dedicated Security Detail
As their popularity continued to soar, so did the need to keep the cast safe. Though fans usually kept a safe distance from them while in public, the growing number of people that followed them became an issue. Moreover, with such a large crowd in tow, there simply was no way to guarantee their safety at all times.
Show producers decided to enlist a dedicated security team around the cast whenever they went out. Usually, their security team could be seen escorting them to the Shore Shop, along the boardwalk, and through their journeys to various paid appearances and interviews.
Though the team made sure to stay out of the view of the cameras, fans could easily spot them in person.
14 Executive Producer SallyAnn Salsano Lived Above Them
As fans of Jersey Shore, we spend most of our time fascinated by the everyday drama that the cast provides. From their hookups to all-out brawls, some fans became obsessed with what their daily lives were really like. However, fans should definitely look into how the casts’ daily lives affected the production crew.
The production crew of the show also dedicated their daily lives to provide audiences with as much entertaining content as possible.
In order to be able to accomplish such a feat, they had to immerse themselves into the Jersey Shore world. Executive Producer SallyAnn Salsano actually lived in an apartment over their house. Not only that, but her apartments contained 14 TV screens in her living room where she would fully watch all of the actions of the cast in their home.
13 Staged Moments Between Cast Members
The formulas for most cast-based reality shows follows the same basic formula. Interestingly enough, this pattern was established with MTV in its reality show heyday. Not only does this formula include lots of inebriated escapades and romps, but also confessional moments where the cast reflected on the events of the day (or specifically the episode’s events) and shared their opinions.
Beyond the confessional room moments, sometimes cast members would have “tender moments” with each other that just happened to be filmed at the right time.
Yeah, not quite. Given the lack of sporadic occurrences in the show, being under restrictions by the crew, it’s no wonder that these coincidental moments tend to look like staged events.
12 An Alleged Secret Passageway
Once Jersey Shore debuted and became extremely popular, the production crew had to plan accordingly to keep the cast members safe throughout their journey. While many of their plans centered around their safely, other focuses may have including getting the cast to locations quickly and easily.
One blogger allegedly uncovered the secret to how the cast could easily slip onto the boardwalk with fewer issues - well, other than the crowds that followed them regularly.
He pointed out this particular door on the boardwalk that the cast was believed to have used during their filming.
With its approximate location to all of the action on the shore, the cast could easily use this door to avoid having to run into large crowds by walking around the corner.
11 Staff Treated Them Like They Weren't Famous
When Jersey Shore debuted in 2009, the show became a surprise hit with MTV’s audience. Following the lives of ostensible Italian-Americans living in Seaside Heights, New Jersey made for the perfect formula. Throw in some over the top attire, big hair, and catchphrases galore, and you had the makings for one of the most lucrative shows that MTV had created in some time.
Although the cast soon became very popular, the show’s producers had to continue to act as if the cast were just regular people. As pointed out by Slate, “During Season 2’s filming, TMZ claimed that producers wanted the cast to avoid talking about fame, bragging about their paychecks, or making business deals…”
The reality was that these kids because very famous overnight but couldn’t show this truth on camera.
10 Deena Cortese's Infamous "Meatball Day" Antics
Between the new scrutiny from the general public and their increased fame from the show, the Jersey Show cast often found themselves at the center of everyone’s attention. While the producers went to great lengths to to keep them from within their reality show bubble, they could not protect them from everything.
For Deena Cortese, this included the possibility of breaking the law while filming for the show.
In 2012, Cortese was taken into custody in New Jersey for disorderly conduct.
According to CBSNews, her actions included, “standing in the middle of a street, slapping cars that were driving by.” Even the show itself couldn’t protect her from her “meatball day” antics as she found herself having to be bailed out by her parents.
9 Her Reflection On The Incident
The show’s cast members have never been immune to the very real possibility of breaking the law during filming. In the past, several members have been taken into custody, including Ronnie in season one and Snooki in season three.
After being bailed out by her parents, Cortese seemed remorseful in conducting herself so poorly in public. In an interview with MTV News, she stated, “ I think they wanted to get me away from hurting myself. I probably could've got hit by a car, caused an accident… Rather than me hurting anybody else, I was pretty under the influence at that point."
She also recalled the experience not being completely terrible, but one she did not plan to repeat. The lesson she learned was: “Don't dance in the street."
8 Scenes Being Reshot
Ever since the early days of reality TV, fans often find themselves consumed by each episode, taking into the actions of the shows as real. In fact, many of the events of the shows are compiled from days of filming.
The events in an episode may even be unrelated, but edited to seem like a lot of drama and chaos have taken place in a short timeframe.
The authenticity of shows like Jersey Shore are further disproven when fans witness the show being filmed in person. In the past, fans have claimed that some scenes have been re-created multiple times in public. Not only are the actions “rehearsed” but the production crew reportedly gave the cast lines and instructions.
7 Snooki's Accident In Italy Was With Their Own Security Team
As if their antics stateside weren’t entertaining enough, the producers decided that the Jersey Shore cast should take the show international to Italy. The cast was at the height of their fame, which was definitely confirmed by the hundreds of fans that followed them throughout the streets of Florence.
Despite being in unfamiliar territory, the cast still managed to behave in the same manner as the always did: partying, fighting, and breaking the law.
This time, Snooki found herself in hot water for hitting an Italian police car. The officers even had to be taken to the hospital to be checked for severe injuries. However, many fans didn’t realize that Snooki actually hit members of their private detail. Her stunt led to her international driver’s license being revoked.
6 Snooki's Fake Neck Brace
Given the car accident, you might think Snooki would try to behave as best she could following her accident in Italy. However, just days after the incident, she instead decided to play a prank involving the controversy of her legal issues.
The star was spotted walking around Italy with a neck brace on. Fans and paparazzi immediately freaked out, thinking the Jersey Shore star had injured herself in her fender bender.
She was only wearing the brace as a joke and was seen ripping it off to continue to party in Florence.
An MTV representative reassured fans that “She was joking. “She sustained no injuries as a result of the traffic incident.”
5 Fake Jobs In Italy
While the cast was residing in Italy for a month, they were still expected to work to earn money. While living in Seaside Heights, the cast of Jersey Shore worked in the Shore Shop as a part-time job. In Italy, the cast was employed at O’Vesuvio pizzeria near their apartment.
Much like their “job” back in the States, this employment was nothing more than a means for entertainment for the show. The Daily Beast revealed that "MTV actually rented out the restaurant. The pizzeria’s 'customers' are extras, and authentic customers who try to enter are questioned about their age and intent. (Journalists are not welcome.)”
Even the shop’s owner was contacted weeks in advance to shut down for “regular” customers for six weeks. Yet another staged aspect of the show.
4 The Incomplete Reunion Show Cast
When Jersey Shore came to an end in 2012, it marked a bittersweet ending to the series. Although many of the show’s stars moved on to their own spin-off projects and shows, there was something about the chemistry (or drama) felt in the initial shows that viewers ultimately missed.
The announcement of the Jersey Shore: Family Reunion Special airing in 2018 brought long-time fans of the series so much joy.
Although fans yearned to see their favorite cast members return, one bowed out of returning to the beloved series.
Sammi Giancola declined to return for the reunion special given her history with Ronnie Ortiz-Magro. Despite one member being missing, the original cast returned to share new drama and bad behavior, to the delight of fans everywhere.
3 They Could Only Film in Seaside Heights
There is no doubt that the cast really lived it up during their days on the shore. Usually depicted as partying in nearby clubs, hanging out on the beach, or staying indoors to party at their beach house, they certainly made life on the Jersey Shore to be the best of times.
Given the increased exposure of the shore, thanks to the show, you would think the state would welcome them with open arms. However, the producers were actually restricted from filming in other parts of the area other than Seaside Heights for the original series.
They were allowed to branch out more for the special, however. Cast members were seen hanging out at Point Pleasant Beach during the reunion filming.
2 Jersey Shore House Tours
Any fans who were feeling especially nostalgic about the end of Jersey Shore could easily journey to the area and revisit some of the cast’s favorite spots. However, for the truly dedicated viewers, you could actually take a tour of the beach house made famous by the show.
For $10, fans could tour the home and even take a picture with the famous duck phone!
According to USA Today, the tour also included visiting the confessional room as well as the others rooms in the home. The tour was conducted by a staff member of the Shore Store, with the tour ending in the location for any final gifts and takeaways. Anything for a taste of the Jersey Shore lifestyle!
1 Fans Can Rent The House For Private Events
Although the tour of their home may seem like a great way to relive the Jersey Shore days, some people may want to take the action one step further. Seaside Reality actually made it possible to rent out the beach house so fans could live like the cast -sort of.
Vulture reported that anyone could rent out the home for a mere $1200 per night! Mike Loundy, the owner of Seaside Realty, shared with Vulture that the original rental prices ranged from $3500 to a whopping $5000. Since then the price has been dropped to allow for more fans to be able to afford the pricey rental.
Who’s ready for that Jersey Shore themed weekend of their dreams?
Do you know of any other pictures that change Jersey Shore? Share them in the comments!