Will the Real Melissa Gorga Please Stand Up?

‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Melissa Gorga’s fake storylines are becoming oversaturated.

'RHONJ' cast Season 13
Image via Bravo

The Big Picture

  • Melissa Gorga has relied heavily on her feuds with Teresa Guidice to maintain relevance on RHONJ.
  • Melissa has engaged in fabricated storylines and positioned herself as the innocent victim to stay in the spotlight.
  • Melissa’s relationships with Kathy Wakile, Caroline Manzo, and Jackie Goldschneider have all been strategic moves to oppose Teresa and secure her own position on the show.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey has introduced a multitude of women to the Bravo network, including the iconic housewife Teresa Guidice and the unforgettable Danielle Staub. Some housewives, like Melissa Gorga, have had mixed success. Melissa has been a part of the reality series since its third season premiered in 2011. Since joining the show, Melissa has been embroiled in a tumultuous feud with her sister-in-law, Teresa, which has become her sole solid storyline. Many fans have criticized Melissa for relying on Teresa’s popularity and lacking a storyline of her own. This may explain why Melissa has seemingly concocted storylines over the years to stay relevant. Even though Melissa and her husband Joe Gorga’s ongoing legal battles are never mentioned on the show, she does have genuine material to contribute to the platform. However, Melissa prefers to portray herself as an innocent victim to the audience. Most news surrounding her husband, Joe, is negative, yet instead of utilizing this as her content, she continues to go the lazy route with the revolving feud within her family.

As season 14 approaches, it will be fascinating to observe how Melissa navigates crafting an engaging narrative despite her estrangement from Teresa. Viewers crave an authentic glimpse into Melissa’s life, and after being part of the show for over a decade, it’s time for her to be transparent. Reality television thrives on sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly – which is something Melissa struggles with. Without Teresa as the antagonist in her story, Melissa would likely seek out another cast member to fill that role. It’s captivating that almost every interview Melissa participates in revolves around inquiries about her dynamic with Teresa. This recurring pattern leaves RHONJ fans contemplating the extent of Melissa’s contributions to the show, particularly when she denies that Teresa is her sole storyline.

Melissa Gorga Had a Questionable Entrance Into ‘RHONJ’

Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice arguing
Image via Bravo

Melissa’s track record of fabricating storylines that viewers consistently call out as “fake” is well-known. One of the most widely circulated stories that Melissa has vehemently denied is the claim that she joined the show without Teresa’s knowledge, despite their ongoing feud at the time. This narrative was further supported by former Real Housewives producer Carlos King, who confirmed Teresa’s long-standing claim on his Reality With the King podcast. Carlos clarified that, contrary to Melissa’s claims, Teresa had no prior knowledge of Joe and Melissa joining the show. Teresa only found out about their involvement one week before the infamous christening, which marked the beginning of season 3.

Melissa’s recurring theme loudly echoes Teresa’s name. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Melissa secretly joined the show without Teresa’s knowledge. Teresa has faced false accusations of intentionally excluding her brother Joe and his wife Melissa from RHONJ casting events, fearing that they would be chosen instead. Carlos, however, dismissed these rumors. He revealed that he first met Melissa when she attended Teresa’s youngest daughter Audriana Giudice’s christening, which happened to be a casting event. Additionally, in season 2, Melissa and Joe can be seen attending Teresa’s housewarming party alongside Teresa’s now ex-husband, Joe Giudice.

Melissa Needed Allies in Teresa’s Adversaries

Melissa Gorga and Joe Gorga attend season 7 RHONJ reunion
Image via Bravo

In season 3 of RHONJ, Melissa joined the show alongside Kathy Wakile, Teresa’s cousin, and her family. Melissa and Kathy seemed to have a strong bond as they shared a common experience of being estranged from Teresa. However, once Melissa reconciled with Teresa, she conveniently distanced herself from Kathy, making it clear that she no longer needed their support. Melissa found comfort and security in her close relationship with Kathy and her family, which gave her the confidence to stand up against Teresa. However, when Teresa returned for season 7 after her time in prison, she and Melissa found themselves on the same side, while Kathy was left on the outskirts.

As reported by Page Six, Kathy has openly expressed her family’s severed ties with Melissa and Joe Gorga. Kathy stated, “I wish them well, but I’ve moved on”. In a comment on Page Six’s Instagram post about Melissa and Joe’s absence from Kathy’s daughter Victoria’s wedding, Joseph Wakile (Kathy’s son) firmly stated, “Cut those farm animals out of our life years ago.” It is clear that any possibility of reconciliation between Kathy and Melissa has come to a definitive end, especially when Melissa decided to make Teresa’s issues with her cousin Kathy her own.

Melissa formed an alliance with the Manzo family, aligning herself with them to serve her interests and conveniently oppose Teresa. Right from the start, Melissa made a conscious effort to win over Caroline Manzo and gain her favor. It was evident from the very beginning that Melissa desired to establish friendships with the individuals close to Teresa despite their ongoing feud. It seems that Melissa aimed to exclude her sister-in-law by cultivating a friendship with Caroline. This objective became even easier to achieve when Caroline and Teresa had a falling out. When Teresa’s closest friend, Jaqueline Laurita, also had a falling out with her, Melissa wasted no time stepping in and forming a close bond with Jaqueline until she eventually reconciled with Teresa in season 7. Melissa’s skill set in navigating and utilizing these relationships to her advantage does not go unnoticed.

Melissa Fails to Be Authentic For Reality TV

Melissa Gorga and Joe Gorga make an appearance on WWHL to discuss RHONJ.
Image via Bravo

Melissa’s relentless pursuit of opportunities to undermine Teresa and shift blame onto her has caused irreparable damage to their relationship. This thinking pattern has only fueled the ongoing fallout between Teresa and Melissa, leaving little hope for reconciliation. Once again, Melissa finds herself at the center of cheating allegations, with her supposed friend Margaret Josephs allegedly being the source of this information leak. According to Page Six, Laura Jensen allegedly was first told this cheating rumor from Margaret. While Margaret initially shared this rumor with Laura, Melissa quickly points fingers at Teresa for informing her brother Joe about it. Even when Teresa is not at fault, Melissa will go to great lengths to portray her as the villain while positioning herself as the innocent party.

In the captivating Season 7 of RHONJ, viewers witnessed a remarkable transformation in the relationship between Melissa and Teresa. After years of bitter feuding, they finally found common ground and forged a bond that seemed unbreakable amid Teresa’s return from prison. This newfound harmony allowed Melissa to step out from behind the shadow of their feud and showcase her journey, including the storyline of her boutique, Envy. However, as much as fans rejoiced at the reconciliation, it was not meant to last. By the time Season 12 rolled around, Melissa and Teresa were again at odds, firmly planted at opposite ends of the spectrum. It was a disappointing turn of events, leaving viewers longing for the days when they were united.

Melissa and Jackie Goldschneider’s Relationship Takes a Turn

Jackie Goldschneider attends WWHL.
Image via Bravo

In Season 9, the arrival of Jackie Goldschneider sparked a new bond between her, Melissa, and Margaret. However, things took a different turn when it came to Jackie’s relationship with Teresa, as they initially struggled to find common ground. This led to seasons of intense conflict between them. Whenever Teresa and Melissa engaged in heated arguments about their family issues, Jackie would often interject her own opinions. As a result, Melissa found herself caught in the middle of this feud, leaning on Jackie for support. Regrettably, this tension between Jackie and Teresa caused a significant rift between Teresa and Melissa, further complicating the dynamics within the RHONJ cast.

The long-standing feud between Jackie and Teresa finally reached its end after season 13, leading to an unexpected twist in their friendship. Jackie, who was once close with Melissa and Margaret, now finds herself good friends with Teresa. Following the season, both Margaret and Jackie openly acknowledged the deterioration of their friendship. During BravoCon 2023, Jackie said this about her friendship with Margaret: “There was a trust that got broken, and I don’t know that that’s so easily repaired.”

This rift between Jackie and Margaret left Melissa caught in the middle of their feud, as she was once friends with both of them. However, Jackie clarified her stance on her relationship with Melissa in an interview with InTouch Weekly. Jackie stated, “So I don’t know if Melissa just jumped on what was happening with me and Margaret and made it hers. But I have no problem with Melissa; I never had an argument with Melissa. So I’m officially saying that I have no issue with Melissa.” They reportedly are not on speaking terms any longer after alleged leaked audio of Melissa trash-talking Jackie hit the net. It appears that Jackie was hinting at Melissa’s tendency to involve herself in other people’s problems. Perhaps Melissa saw an opportunity to be part of the upcoming season 14’s storyline, especially since Teresa has made it clear that she refuses to interact with her.

Despite the challenges she faces, Melissa must discover an alternative approach to secure her position on the show without relying on original cast member Teresa, as her previous attempts have proven unsuccessful. Unlike before, Melissa won’t have a support system to assist her in confronting Teresa, as this time, as Teresa has strong allies by her side. Without Teresa Giudice to engage in a feud with, who is Melissa Gorga?

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