In 2009, MTV’s Jersey Shore took the world by storm with Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWoww” Farley and the other “guidos.” The roommates were carefully selected by production based on who would make the best television. Pauly D owned a $10,000 item, which, at the time, pushed him to the top of the list for the show.
How did MTV cast the roommates for ‘Jersey Shore’?
The casting for Jersey Shore began as a call for a project on VH1, America’s Biggest Guido. Casting director Doron Ofir had to find the tannest fist pumpers in the area.
“Back in the day, a ‘guido’ was an Italian guy that usually has spiky hair, tan, muscles,” roommate Deena Cortese told Vulture. “You could spot a ‘guidette’ from miles away — loud Italian girls, with tanned skin, [hair] poufs, animal prints, big sunglasses, and tight, skimpy dresses.”
Executive Producer SallyAnn Salsano explained that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino entered the interview and immediately took his shirt off. Snooki showed up drunk in a miniskirt, with bronzer all over her application. They quickly cast her and The Situation early on for their stand-out interviews.
They found Ronnie Ortiz-Magro out at a club fist-pumping like crazy and knew he was the perfect fit for the show. The casting scouts went to local clubs and watched how potential rommmates interacted.
What $10,000 item put DJ Pauly D to the top of the casting list for ‘Jersey Shore’?
Pauly D was performing as a DJ in Rhode Island when he received a message on MySpace from a casting director. They wanted to film a day in the life of Delvecchio.
“I didn’t take it too seriously until they showed up at my house with cameras,” Pauly D told the outlet. “I’m like, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ They said, ‘Just do what you normally do.’ So I went to the gym, I took them tanning, and then I took them to the club.”
Pauly D fit the description of what the casting crew was looking for. However this one thing they found while filming at his house put him at the top of the list.
“He owned his own tanning booth,” Ofir said. “A tanning booth is like $10,000. Who’s saving up coins and then buying a tanning booth?”
The purchase was so outrageous and perfect that it might be the reason Pauly D made it on Jersey Shore. The rest is history.
‘Jersey Shore’ alums Pauly D, The Situation, and Vinny Guadagnino didn’t create ‘GTL’
Although Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino coined the term “GTL,” he isn’t the one who created it. The producers stumbled across the name while watching footage of the roommates daily.
“At first, I remember panicking in the control room,” Salsano explained. “I’m like, ‘For f*ck’s sake, all I have is four guys getting their goddamned laundry done, going to the gym, and tanning. That’s not a TV show.’”
There were 42 cameras in the house and up the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, to capture every moment.
“We were writing on a dry-erase board — because we always were like, ‘Okay, so-and-so went here, so-and-so went here’ — and every day we’d write ‘gym, tanning, laundry.’ Then we got lazy and just started writing ‘GTL,’” the producer admitted.
The four men adopted the term, and the rest of “GTL” is MTV history.
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