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Vinny Guadagnino successfully transitioned from a MTV reality show that covered he and his castmates drunken debauchery to a show that chronicles he and his mom traveling the country and eating different types of food.

But for the Staten Island native who is still proud to call New York home, the move is far from finished.

“As long as it’s a good product, I don’t have to be in the biggest thing,” Guadagnino explained during a wide-ranging sit down interview on my radio show. He even mentioned that he turned down multiple offers, including big paydays, because he’s “not a great, trashy reality star.” “I’m really not saying I’m too good for anything. I really believe in myself as an entertainer because I’m such a huge comedy nerd.”

Guadagnino also stopped short of saying he has any regrets about the process thus far.

“It’s actually kind of fun, like you were on this big show, and now you have to kind of like, weave your way out of it and on to the next thing,” he said. “Now, you’d be an idiot if you said, ‘Oh that show was not good,’ because people (still) want to talk to me.”

But after that, Guadagnino perhaps best exhibits the difference in mindset between he and his former “Jersey Shore” cast members.

“Every interview is now an audition, every TV show you go on is a stage and now you can just prove it to the world,” the New Yorker continued. “It’s interesting. It’s hard, but it’s fun.”

And while there were the inevitable tough moments on the road with his mom, overall Vinny enjoyed filming “Vinny And Ma Eat America” for The Cooking Channel with his mother Paola. The two are great on camera, and Guadagnino is hopeful for more episodes following the March 11 marathon that aired of the first batch.

Speaking of transitions, the show follows mom and son as Paola travels to new cities and tries cuisines she’s never had before (basically anything that doesn’t fall under the Italian genre). Guadagnino said one of the highlights was his mom eating and actually enjoying sushi, although he is doubtful it makes the “Feast of the Seven Fish” Christmas Eve dinner menu.

If I had to use one-word to conjure up my feelings for Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards I would use: disjointed.

Before I tell you how little I enjoyed of the three-and-a-half hour broadcast (not including the mess that was the red carpet special), let me commend MTV execs for one thing: attempting to break the mold and trying something different. It was obvious from the minute that Vanguard Award-recipient Rihanna took the stage to open the show that this was not going to play out like your typical award show. Yes, it is refreshing to see the network take a chance with its biggest annual flagship program and create a new type of experience.

That said, they failed. Miserably.

We’ll start with the aforementioned Rihanna. Instead of receiving one long block of programming to showcase her prolific work and accept her “lifetime achievement” award, the singer was split in to four different performance segments, culminating with long-time collaborator Drake presenting her with the honor named for the late Michael Jackson. This alone exposes one of the VMAs major issues: a lack of star power so unavoidable that one of the night’s biggest performances was sprinkled throughout the course of the evening.

Think about music’s biggest names that were not in attendance: Justin Timberlake, Adele, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
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Yes there was Beyonce, whose 15-minute medley of songs from “Lemonade” proved to be the night’s undisputed high point. Kanye West offered another bizarre, rambling diatribe before premiering a new music video from “The Life Of Pablo.” Britney Spears, introduced by Kim Kardashian West, appeared to return to old form with a performance of “Make Me” that featured rapper G-Eazy.

But you would have needed five Beyonce-like performances to make up for not only the missing names but mess that occurred when a performance or award presentation wasn’t happening. Comedian Jay Pharoah, who might have been better suited for a more-traditional hosting role or relegated to pre-taped vignettes (think Kevin Hart circa 2011 VMAs) was instead randomly inserted in to the program to showcase his various impressions. DJ Khaled proved that his energy and array of catchphrases play better on Snapchat opposed to live TV.
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And comedians Key and Peele, who again should be commended for attempting something that breaks from the norm, failed in their quest to parody the “social media influencers” (coincidentally, like Khaled) who have become regulars on branded-content heavy programs like this one.

Perhaps just like those influencers, MTV needs to think of yet another new act. Ratings for this year plummeted 34 percent, from 9.8 to 6.5 million viewers.

Deputy Style Editor at People Magazine Sharon Clott Kanter called in after the 2016 MTV VMAs to talk about her favorite red carpet look, the moment backstage that melted hearts and Republic Records’ After Party at Vandal in New York City.
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Fuse Digital Deputy Editor Jason Lipshutz called in ahead of the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards to talk about what he was expecting from the award show and what he was most looking forward to.
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It may simply be a reflection of the times in the music industry more than anything else: a MTV Video Music Award nominee told by the network that he would have to buy his own ticket to the award show.

Actually at first, nominated director Josh Forbes couldn’t even get MTV on the line. When he did connect, the outlet informed him that directors have to buy their own ticket. The cost would range from $450 to $800, depending on where he wanted to sit.

“That doesn’t make any sense. If the director is nominated for a VMA shouldn’t he get a ticket to the VMAs?” Forbes asked on a GoFundMe page he started. “Yes he should. But he doesn’t.”

It’s a little ridiculous: MTV, which barely even plays videos, still holds this annual event to celebrate the videos they don’t play and they can’t even comp the directors that create the art in the first place.

As Forbes also writes on his GoFundMe page though, the idea that directors have to pay their way in is probably more of a nod to the way things used to be than the big giant trying to screw the little guy. Record labels typically cover the costs like this, but naturally those budgets have also shifted with the times.

The Colorado-based director has made music videos for the past decade and also counts Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song” in his credits. His heartfelt explanation and plea via GoFundMe yielded big dividends, to the tune of $2,500. By doubling his goal, Forbes now plans to bring his wife along to the VMAs, along with calling an Uber to get to-and-from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

“Artists and filmmakers get taken advantage of because we’re sensitive people,” Forbes explained in a follow-up post, thanking donors for their generosity.” “We’re not always that great at getting our needs met and valuing our work properly because we’d be doing this for fun anyway. The truth is, the world needs us. And our work is extremely valuable. And I feel this value right now in every donation.”

Regardless of if Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance” wins the Moonman for “Best Rock Video,” its director scored the top prize.

Some credit “Jersey Shore” with reviving MTV, a network that was trying to find its place in pop culture after “The Real World” ratings dwindled, “The Hills” came to an end, and music videos became an online, on-demand commodity.

But, it almost didn’t happen. The original concept for “Jersey Shore” was actually intended for VH1.

“When I applied for it, there was actually a VH1 application,” revealed Seaside Heights star Vinny Guadagnino. The Staten Island-born partier sat down with me at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT before signing copies of his new book, Control The Crazy: My Plan To Stop Stressing, Avoid Drama, and Maintain Inner Cool. “It was asking for ‘orange’ people that have really spike-y hair and big muscles and stuff.”

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Offended that the casting directors thought all people who partied on the Shore looked like this, Guadagnino applied, despite lacking the tan, hair, and muscles. Producers loved him and the reality TV star was a part of the first show pilot, entitled “Guidos.” Initially, the plan was to take the “Flavor of Love” or “Rock of Love” dating competition model and apply it to Seaside Heights. But fearing that there was already too many shows similar on television, Viacom executives changed the concept to a more “Real World”-like model. Vinny was left, but some younger women, such as Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi were brought in. Suddenly, the show was more MTV friendly.

“You need diversity in the cast,” explained Guadagnino. “You need a spectrum from light to tan (laughing). That’s why you pick me, because people want to identify with different types of people. So if you had all the same cast member, it wouldn’t really be an entertaining show, right?”

Probably not, and perhaps the series would not be gearing up for its sixth season. Filming in “the house” begins this summer.

“When I first started, I didn’t know what I was walking in to,” Vinny recalled. “Now at least I know who is going to be there. I know that ‘Snooki’ is pregnant and Mike [‘The Situation’ Sorrentino] was just going through something so, I just know as much as you do. I’m just going to go there and make the best of it.”

That “something” Guadagnino referred to is probably the reports that “The Situation” found himself in rehab, allegedly over addictions to alcohol and prescription pills. The abuse of drugs is one of many lessons Vinny touches on in his new book, as he tries to help others cope with anxiety issues.

“Whenever Mike does something bad, he always comes to me,” Guadagnino said. “He’s like, ‘Vin, I’m gonna do something.’ And I’m like, ‘Alright…’ because he knows that I’m going to give him “the look” afterwards.”

As Vinny found himself needing help, he went to an on-set therapist, who he refers to in the book as “Dr. B.” But not even a professional could prevent the anxiety from getting the best of Guadagnino, and he reveals in the book that it was his personal struggle that led him to temporarily leave the show during season five.

“When it was happening to me, they really didn’t know what to do,” said Vinny, before revealing that his cast-mates offered him amongst other things, strippers, to help him out. Guadagnino appreciated the sentiment but declined. “Anything that ever happens to you can be looked at as a positive thing because the reason why I know all this stuff and I have a book and that I’m very knowledgeable in spirituality is because I’ve gone through it.”

As he said earlier in the interview when referring to himself, Guadagnino truly is the “Dalai Lama” of the house on “Jersey Shore.” If nothing else, he certainly adds to the cast a diversity that he credits with the show’s success.

New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, The Police, Beavis and Butthead… hey, they all came back and reunited successfully. So, why can’t “2Ge+her” – the MTV faux-boy band? Alex Solowitz, who played the role of bad boy Mickey Parke, believes the time is now.

“It would just be funny to get back together and do a show,” Solowitz said in an interview via Skype on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “We’re no spring chickens anymore, but I think that would even add to the comedy of it all.”

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That is how the “band” started out: as a comedy. The whole premise of “2Ge+her” was to spoof the boy band craze of the late 90’s. But after the made-for-MTV movie aired, the popularity of the five guys grew off the charts. The project spawned an additional two TV seasons and two albums. Fans still remember the lyrics to songs like “U + Me = Us (Calculus)” and “Say It (Don’t Spray It).” Solowitz wants to recapture that magic, and the rest of the crew is down for another go at it.

“Me and Kevin (Farley) were at lunch at The Newsroom (restaurant in Los Angeles), and we were like, ‘Dude, we should totally do a reunion show,’” recalled Solowitz. “He was like, ‘Cool,’ and I was like, ‘Alright, pose for a picture!’”

Solowitz posted the photo to his Facebook page and instantly received likes, comments, and friend requests. The light bulb that had gone off in his head moments ago wasn’t turning off anytime soon. Immediately, it was his goal to rally the troops on the social networks and grab MTV’s attention. So far, so good. TMZ and CNN blogged about the story already, and Solowitz revealed during the interview that MTV has also been contacted directly regarding some type of unlikely comeback for this unlikely band.

In addition to Solowitz and Farley, Noah Bastian and Evan Farmer are also on board for the possible reunion. Not joining the group will be the youngest, Michael Cuccione. The teen heartthrob lost a battle with cancer in 2001. Solowitz said that he plans to perform at least one live show in addition to the TV return, with a portion of the proceeds from the concert going to a foundation set up in Cuccione’s honor to fund cancer research.

Saw this tweet in my timeline and figured you or someone you know that lives near New York City might be interested… MTV’s “The Seven” will be welcoming Justin Bieber in to their studio soon and the show is looking for audience members.

E-mail the show your name, age, contact number and the number of tickets you’re looking for. And be sure to drop my name and tell them that Ralphie sent ya! 😉

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In this edition of “TooFab Fridays” on “The Ralphie Radio Show”, TooFab.com Managing Editor David Caplan chatted about the previous night’s episode of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” as well as divulging some exclusive news about some of the cast members of past and present – including DJ Pauly D, Jwoww, Sammi Sweetheart, and Angelina Pivarnick.

TooFab is TMZ’s sister website dedicated to celebrity gossip and fashion.

As heard earlier, check out this clip from MTV News of Lil Wayne making his first public comments since leaving jail… there is a noticable difference in his voice.

I’d imagine the interruption in his various smoking habits while locked up have something to do with it.