‘RHONJ’ Tell All: Danielle Staub, Melissa Gorga and Margaret Josephs Dish on Season 8

Margaret Josephs, Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Siggy Flicker - The Real Housewives of New Jersey - Season 8
Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo
Pictured: (l-r) Margaret Josephs, Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Siggy Flicker

Don’t mess with these Jersey strong women. The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns for its eighth season on Wednesday, October 4, and promises to pack quite the punch. Although no one gets physically hurt (as far as we can tell), there will be a lot of glass throwing, yelling and name-calling over dinner, because how can a Housewives dinner be a Housewives dinner without a couple of broken wine goblets and a few choice words?

Where are the RHONJ ladies when the show returns? Original cast member Danielle Staub is back and hits the ground running. Teresa Giudice struggles with the status of her marriage while her husband Joe serves time in prison. Newbie Margaret Josephs is the “powerhouse in pig-tails,” according to Melissa Gorga. And Siggy Flicker and Delores Catania deal with their changing family dynamics.

Gorga, Staub, and Joesephs sat down with TV Insider to chat all about the new season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

What was it like getting the casting phone call from Bravo?

Margaret Josephs: I was introduced to Siggy by a mutual friend and then she introduced me to all these fabulous ladies. It was exciting, but of course I was a little nervous.

There’s a lot of glass, silverware, and chair-throwing this season. Why the aggression?

Danielle Staub: I don’t think it was aggression. I think you’ll have to see the lead up to all that, but there were things that were said. There were shots fired and you get frustrated. You get really upset and the next thing you know you’re trying to not hurt anyone else so you end up hurting yourself.

Melissa Gorga: It’s a way out of showing that you’re frustrated without actually putting your hands on anybody.

Josephs: Emotions run really, really high.

Were there any preconceived notions you had going into this season?

Josephs: Obviously, watching some seasons previously, I never knew Teresa before and I only met her after she came out of camp and, unfortunately, Melissa and her after her mom passed, so I experienced a softer side to Teresa. She’s sweet and generous and open and amazing. Melissa came across as fun and adorable and she’s exactly who she is. I was nervous to meet Danielle, because I only saw her on Seasons 1 & 2, and she’s extremely therapeutic, warm, and nurturing. We bonded instantly. I knew Siggy from town and she’s exactly like she seems: over-the-top, nails on a chalk board. And Delores is her little side kick.

Gorga: I meet [Danielle] for the first time on camera and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think I was going to like her, but I find her to be very sweet, very vulnerable. She is her own person, definitely unique and intriguing, which I think are great qualities especially on a reality show. … [Margaret’s] a great addition. It’s not easy joining a show in its eighth season and to do that you have to be very strong minded and be able to speak your mind and be able to say what you want to say. I’m not into passive people and she’s not passive at all.

What’s the status of Teresa and Joe’s marriage?

Gorga: I think we talk about a lot of her feelings on the show this season. What I will confirm is that she definitely opens up about how she feels about [Joe] and the situation more than anyone ever expected or has ever thought she would. I know I’m surprised when she opens up and explains she’s frustrated with her husband and frustrated with things. It’s kind of shocking to hear because she normally doesn’t come out and say those things.

Staub: I think she’s found her voice in a more definitive way. She’s learning how to speak with conviction on the things that are really deep in her heart. Now I see her as a really strong woman boss that’s getting her own life back.

Danielle, do you show your engagement on the show?

Staub: [You see] all of it! You’re going to be crying. It was amazing. He’s an amazing guy.

Melissa, why do you think it ended so badly with Jackie over your store Envy?

Gorga: I think we totally bumped heads business wise. Our business senses were totally different. I think she was in this for the fun and I’m like dead serious. We just had two different visions.

Jackie brought the clothes from Envy over to Kim D’s store Posh. Why?

Gorga: Jackie went into the store over a long holiday weekend and pretty much emptied out the store because it was all being turned over to me. So I guess that was her little revenge. Unfortunately, being in this business you want to believe that everyone is good but a lot of the time they’re all about the TV show. Everyone knows I don’t agree with [Kim D]. I believe in lifting women up, not tearing them down, so we’re just very different people.

How is this group of women different from past seasons?

Staub: In this group I have allies. I have people who are treating me like a human being not garbage and trash. I think [the previous cast] misunderstood me completely and might have felt like I was going to spill all their secrets, but don’t keep your secrets; you’re on a reality show!

Gorga: I think we have a really good cast this time around. It’s a really good mix of bringing old and new RHONJ together. We’re super smart women, who are witty, so I think it makes for really good opinionated responses.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Bravo