The 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Reach for the Stars
The 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Reach for the Stars
So Joe and Melissa are just hanging out/playing with the kids when Melissa just decides to start singing "Amazing Grace." Why she did that, we may never know, but it leads to discussion of Melissa's future as a singing star. I think she also has a future in songwriting, as she decided to insert "that saved a wench like me," into her pirate-y rendition of "Amazing Grace." Long story short: SHE LOVES TO SING.

Now that Albie and Chris have moved out, things are a lot boring for the Manzo family. And for us. So we get bored watching a segment of Caroline being bored. There's talk of empty nest syndrome, then writing a book. Every Housewife should write a book -- it's just simple logic.

Ashley, Jacqueline's Future Carrie Bradshaw of a daughter, wants a car. Again. Jacqueline reminds Chris, and us, that we've been through this before. Ashley got a car, and then couldn't hold up her end of the deal. She also pulled out Danielle's weave. But hey, if Ashley thinks she deserves a car, she gets a car.

Joe Gorga left Teresa a voicemail message. He got the letter and sort of responded to that, saying they could talk about it, but mostly it broke his heart to see Gia crying at the christening. So he wants to go to her gymnastics meet, which means ... we get to see Gia's gymnastics meet! We already got a preview, as Gia was practicing in the Giudice's giant, gym-sized home.

I'm glad we get to see more of Kathy's family in this episode. I like they way they do things. For example. she had her kids sign drug-free contracts when they were younger, and they've decided it's time to renew the contracts. Victoria promises never to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and not to let her parents down forever and ever amen. Their son, Joey's contract is a little more vague, so he makes it clear: "I'm gonna have a drink on a Friday night or a Saturday night." He isn't about to sign a contract swearing he'll be "Mr. Goody Two-Shoe." I love this whole family.

Melissa and her sister go shopping at Erez, AKA a store that is NOT Posche! I'm not about to object to watching the Housewives try on lovely, gaudy clothes. The topic of Melissa's singing career is brought up again--she just got a piano as a gift, so Melissa has decided to "go for it." The second rule of being a Housewife: if you haven't written a book yet, try releasing a single. To my delight, Melissa will be working with a 22-year old songwriter who goes to Kathy's church. They're going big.

Uncle Joe (Gorga) calls Gia on the phone. Once Teresa takes the phone, Joe gets really distant, but he promises to go the meet. Teresa calls Jacqueline afterward to tell her that she talked to Joe. As Teresa applies her makeup and talks to Jacqueline on speakerphone in her gilded bathroom, Gia happily plays with her iPhone by the stairs. It's somewhat ominous, like when you see the little girl playing by the pool in Beethoven. As the show cuts to commercial, Beethoven has not had to save anyone from neglectful babysitters.

Despite Jacqueline's protests, Ashley gets a Jeep. Even though they bought it for her, Ashley refuses to let Chris and Jacqueline hang on to one set of keys.

As Kathy's family prepares to have pizza together, Kathy tells us that her daughter, Victoria had a brain tumor when she was younger. This is one of the reasons it tears Kathy apart to see her family not getting along.

Antony, Melissa's young songwriter, has arrived. He really thinks he has something, like, really, really sick. Melissa brings him to the new piano, where he gives her a preview for her children to leap around the living room to. Antony tells Melissa that, in his professional opinion, she has what it takes. I will say this: neither of these people are the worst.

As boring as they are by comparison, Albert and Caroline are very sweet. She is going on a radio show to promote her future possible book. She could be like Dolly Parton in Straight Talk!

Enough about everything else, let's get to Gia's gymnastics meet. Next to christenings, gymnastics meets are where all the sh*t goes down. Joe Gorga didn't show up, and missed Gia's bar routine. Gia missed the vault, probably because Joe wasn't there! After a high-suspense commercial break, we discover that Joe didn't make it on tiem and missed all of Gia's events! And Gia fell off of the beam, also probably because Joe wasn't there.

Joe and Melissa show up late, just like Teresa and her Joe showed up late to the christening. Even though he only showed up for awards, Gia is thrilled to see her uncle. Things are really awkward between Joe and Teresa, though. It's so awkward that I feel secondhand uncomfortable for Teresa. The girls had a great time, though. Joe asks Teresa to meet him at Portofino's--the third place in New Jersey where all the sh*t goes down (the other two are Posche and The Brownstone. Oh, and gymnastics meets, unless this one was at Posche or The Brownstone).

Melissa is feeling left out when it comes to the Gorgas. She's a Gorga too, now. She needs to shine like the star that she is, and she needs to sing! I'm with Melissa, though, Joe is the one causing all the family problems, not her. Joe misunderstands, and tells Melissa that Teresa owes her an apology. Next week it's all going down at Portofino's, then at Jacqueline's house!

(Image courtesy of Bravo)