Angelina Pivarnick on Feeling Part of the Family in ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ Season 3

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Angelina Pivarnick had tears in her eyes watching the opening for season three of Jersey Shore Family Vacation. At long last she saw her inclusion, feeling less of an outcast and officially a main cast member of the offshoot of the popular MTV reality series.

“The reason it’s such a big thing for me because obviously years ago things didn’t work out for me,” she said, referring to her clashes with roommates and abrupt exits from the original show. “Just to be part of that. For me, it was like I finally made it. I am finally on this. I’m full-time. I’m a part of the family.”

And this family endures a lot as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino prepares for a prison sentence and a wedding. This impacts the crew in different ways, but at the same time, they have their own stuff to sort out that goes beyond just gym, tan, laundry.

Here, Pivarnick spills some Staten Island tea.

Why is it so important to you to be accepted by this group?
Angelina Pivarnick: I’m a very genuine person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t know how anyone doesn’t do that, but I have always been that way. It makes me so happy that i”m finally involved in this. I feel accepted. Not everybody, but I would say most of them. It’s something I’ve wanted for years, and now it has happened.

We’ve seen a lot of serious moments last season into this one, whether it’s Ronnie’s relationship drama, Jenni’s divorce and son’s autism diagnosis, and of course, Mike’s legal issues. What is it like being part of a show at a time when these stories are unfolding? Would you say the cast more relatable?
I feel like America and wherever the show airs should be seeing this side of us. Obviously, we’re not in our 20’s anymore. We’re growing up. I mean we can still be immature. Don’t get me wrong. We still like to go out and like the clubs and goof around. That’s always going to be part of us. But we go ahead in life. We’re going to have kids, get married. We go through everyone goes through. So it’s good the show is capturing that.

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We see what happens to Mike in the first episode and the day of his sentencing. It appeared to be a bonding moment where everyone banded together in support of him. How do you remember that day?
We went to this restaurant/bar after he walked into the courthouse. We looked up at the television and saw the news reporter said he got two years behind bars. We all started crying. Everybody couldn’t believe it. We thought at most he would get is 14 months, so we didn’t know what the hell that was.

Little did we realize the woman got the names mixed up and that was really Marc they were talking about. Being in that moment, it was unbelievable. He did what he did years ago, but he is such a changed person now. He is such a better person. That was such a surreal moment for me and everybody. We felt like we were all going through it at that point.

Jersey Shore Cast

His sentence is almost coming to a close. What have you heard about where his mind is? Have you all been planning something to celebrate his release?
We’re going to have the biggest party when he gets out. We’re all talking about it and planning it now. He is in such a good place right now. It’s basically like he is in a nursing home for adults. I say that because we didn’t expect to be the conditions they are. I’m happy that he is doing so well. He is in good spirits, working out. He is probably ripped up like he used to be. He might be “The Situation” again with his six-pack, but I’m happy for him. Hopefully he gets out soon, and we can have a crazy party.

Speaking of crazy party, you’re getting ready for your wedding. What does Chris think of you back in this environment? Do you two watch together where there are scenes you have to go, “Hey babe, you might want to brace yourself for this.”
When I film I’m like, “Oh God, he is going to get mad about this. He is going to get mad about that.” But you know what, I can’t be with a person who is going to get upset with the things I do. That’s just my personality. I’m a very outgoing person. I’m a social butterfly.

So if someone is going to try to change me, I can’t be with them. I’ve told him this going into the relationship. I think we are in agreement that I go ahead and film these things. I hang out and party. I drink. And when I’m drinking, I’m funny and kind of flirty. I think he is taking it pretty well. We’ve gotten into a few fights about filming and about what I’ve done on camera. When he sees it, I’m basically watching it with him and sometimes it doesn’t go that well.

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Do you see this as an example how strong your relationship is because you’ve been through all this?
We’re going through stuff as a couple. I feel like we have some things we have to hash out before I walk down that aisle. We might look into premarital counseling. I think everyone should really do that. I feel really strong about that. As a couple, we’re doing okay. There are some things to hash out, but that’s the same with any relationship.

Are there still plans to have the wedding toward the end of the year?
Right now, we are planning. That’s basically what we are doing. I want to have a long engagement because of everything I’ve been through with my previous two engagements. It was hell for me, which is why I’m taking it slow in this relationship. So hopefully by fall we’ll have a date. Maybe it will be in the fall time we get married. That’s if premarital counseling goes well.

And along with this series, we’re seeing others branch off like Double Shot at Love and Nicole with How Far Is Tattoo Far to name two recent examples. What do you think your spin-off would be?
I think it would be funny if me and Chris had our own show. I feel hopefully in the next season you’ll get to see Chris a little bit more and our dynamic together and us as a couple. I feel like America hasn’t seen him yet really too much. We’re hilarious. We go through a lot of stuff and have a lot of drama in our relationship, but our relationship is funny also. You got to see it. I can’t describe it to you. That would be hilarious. I’ve always wanted to do Dancing with the Stars, too. I would love to dance. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’d be lucky to do that though.

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What can fans expect from the next couple of episodes? We saw a little teaser with you and Vinny getting into it again.
Me and Deena get into it, which you would never think. You guys are going to see what happens, but it’s pretty insane. I’ve never seen her yell like that.

Me and Vinny do get into it again. I don’t know what it is with that kid, but we can’t see eye-to-eye. I don’t know if it’s because we hooked up. I think it’s also the fact that I’m kind of bitter he lied about knowing me for so long. One minute he says he knew me in high school and the next he doesn’t. He doesn’t know what to say. He needs to make up his mind, but I do think from years ago we have this thing because we hooked up. I don’t know why it is. It is what it is at this point. And that’s really it.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation, Thursdays, 8/7c, MTV