‘RHONJ’ Teresa Giudice’s fight with Margaret, according to newbie Traci Lynn Johnson, will be ‘Table Flip 2.0.’
Season 12 of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ is almost here, and rookie ‘friend of’ Traci Lynn Johnson is giving us a sneak peek at what’s in store!
Real Housewives of New Jersey viewers are excited to see what the new season has to offer after seeing that jaw-dropping trailer.
Traci Lynn Johnson, a new «friend of» to the group, promised some juicy revelations ahead of the drama in an EXCLUSIVE chat with HollywoodLife, promising an «explosive» season with plenty to look forward to.
Since Danielle Staub’s departure from the series at the end of Season 10, you’re the first «friend» of the RHONJ girls. Did you feel like you were stepping into enormous shoes?
Danielle probably thought I was a pleasant addition for the majority of the cast [laughs]. ‘We’ve been friends for so long, I think you should come hang out with these girls,’ Melissa [Gorga] remarked when she approached me.
I’m so glad I did because not only did I get to strengthen my friendship with Melissa (we’ve been friends for 8-9 years), but I also got to meet and get to know the other females on the cast — at least the majority of them. I think it was a fantastic chance, and I’m glad about it.
What was your husband’s reaction to you joining the show, [former New York Giants running back] Tiki Barber? Was he completely on board or did he have reservations?
Most people would assume Tiki would say, «There’s no way I’m doing it at all,» yet he had so much fun with Joe Gorga! «Any chance to hang out with Joe more, I’m all in!» he exclaimed.
Who did you get along with the best while filming, and who did you get into the most arguments with, and why?
Melissa is undoubtedly the one with whom I get along best. We’ve been friends since before we started filming, so she’s seen my kids grow up and knows a lot about me. But Margaret [Josephs] and Dolores [Catania] really resonated with me; they’re just such kind people.
They’ll tell it like it is, but they’re both mature enough to recognize that we may have differing viewpoints and that we can live with our differences while still remaining friends — we don’t always have to agree. Which I appreciate since, while I’m not one to back down from a strong position, I also don’t want to constantly argue with you just because you disagree with me.
Several other females, I get into squabbles with people from time to time, as well as more explosive arguments… Teresa [Giudice] for the most part [laughs]. She appears to be the source of a lot of the season’s drama. We’ll have to wait and see how things play out, and there are times when I scratch my head, wondering why.
What information do you have about the cast’s travel to Nashville? Was the vacation enjoyable, and did it serve as a catalyst for further drama?
Nashville became a major cause for more drama to emerge, but aside from those Teresa moments, the rest of the vacation was so much joy and so needed. It was the end of a long summer with these women, and I believe a lot of them let their guard down and really loved everything the city had to offer, and we just had so much fun, we [had] so many varied and fun experiences that I would never have done if I had only traveled with Tiki there.
It was a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our bonds with them and learn more about the women. What’s a trip to Jersey without some drama?
Teresa and Margaret’s huge conflict looks to take place there in the trailer — what can you tell us about that?
Definitely at dinner, what began out as a pleasant chat between Teresa and me […] Margaret jumped right in, and it appeared like the table was being flipped on us in a matter of seconds. It was like a table flip 2.0.
What was your reaction to the fight? Have you chosen aside, and if so, which one?
During that time, I believe I took it aside, but I was in shock. I’ve never seen grown women act like that before in my life. This should have been addressed in high school [laughs]. It came as a complete shock to see that happen. I was completely surprised. Margaret’s entire outfit was damaged, too!
You’ve known Melissa for a long time, so how do you feel about her on-again, off-again feud with Teresa?
It was more difficult to be near Teresa than it had been previously. Teresa and I met a handful of times at Melissa’s children’s activities and other events that we’ve all attended, but I never really got to know her. Now I felt compelled to protect Melissa and figure out […] Teresa may be quite hypocritical in terms of what she wants from her brother versus what she actually provides to him. Her deeds did not always match her words.
So I thought this season would be a perfect opportunity for me to witness and experience these experiences that Melissa tells me firsthand. It was also easy for me to be more sympathetic to Melissa in this way.
What do you believe the Melissa-Teresa dispute is all about? Do you believe it’s due to Joe’s triangulation with Teresa, or because of their close sibling relationship?
I’d want to say there’s a core to this feud, but I believe it’s just that different things are put into the mix year after year. [They’ll] settle one of their scores, but then something else happens three months later. Then they brought up all of the other drama from the past, so I believe the actual issue is that they can’t seem to settle and go on.
It’s almost as though the family drama is continually brought up because something deep is never truly settled.
If a deeper issue hasn’t been handled and they don’t know what it is, the cycle will continue until that one core issue between them is fixed. And I’m hoping it happens soon because I know it tears Joe’s heart every time he clashes with Teresa since he adores her.
Would you agree to return for another season if asked? Why do you think that is?
I’d absolutely come back! Everyone, from my two daughters who enjoyed spending time with Jennifer [Aydin’s] children and Jackie [Goldschneider’s] youngsters to my husband who enjoyed being a part of the house husband crew…
I believe the females are fantastic to be around because they are so real. When we’re all together and in a good mood, which, you know [laughs], it’s such a fantastic dynamic. But it’s just a fun way to spend time with your buddies.