Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the diminutive mascot of MTV’s money-minting hit series Jersey Shore, has officially confirmed rumors that she is pregnant and engaged to the baby’s father, Jionni “Jionni” LaValle. The star tells US Weekly that she found out in early January, at which point she resolved that her partying days were behind her. “No more peeing on porches,” she tells Us. “Those days are over.”
Now, let’s set aside any question about Snooki and Jionni’s readiness to have a baby. (Sure, the father is still in college. Sure, the mother has spent the majority of the last two years living in a vomit-orgy fishbowl flashing her pixelized privates to an audience of millions. Sure, two entire seasons of a popular television series focused on the pair’s let’s-call-it-dysfunctional relationship.) Snooki’s impending motherhood and matrimony is an intriguing new wrinkle for the reality starlet and for her network.
Even with sinking ratings, Jersey Shore is one of MTV’s biggest hits ever. Snooki tells Us that she has no plans to return to the series for the proposed sixth season this summer – “If anything, I’ll visit the shore. I’m not living in that house being pregnant.” Snooki isn’t the only star on Shore – her male counterpart and nemesis The Situation is also a household name, and alleged DJ Pauly D already has his own spin-off – but she’s a big part of the brand. (Remember how long The Hills lasted after Lauren Conrad left?)
There’s another angle here, though. The last two seasons of Jersey Shore have been dull, with cast members halfheartedly going through the motions of partying while occasionally getting embroiled in “story lines” so incoherent that you can practically here the producers whispering dialogue in their ears. Watching the show is a little bit like listening to a one-hit wonder trying to re-create their past success: They don’t know precisely why people liked them before, and they don’t have the same antic energy, but they do have better clothes and more money. (Analogy: seasons 4 and 5 of Jersey Shore = a Night Ranger reunion concert where they only play a two-hour interpretation of “Sister Christian” with tambourines and painkillers.)
Snooki has just changed the whole equation of the Shoreverse. The New York Post recently reported that the long-in-development spin-off starring Snooki and J-Woww has changed gears completely: What used to be a show about two gals partying is now a show about one gal who’s suddenly becoming a grown woman (and another gal who has a body designed by Frank Frazetta). In my last Jersey Shore recap I noted that Snooki probably thinks of herself as a Bethenny Frankel figure, and given how important she’s been to MTV, it seems likely that the network will happily give her the Bethenny Ever After spin-off treatment.
Then again, it’s unclear if MTV’s key demographic – which is currently fifth graders with Twitter accounts who love corporate hip-hop – will actually want to watch a show about Snooki growing up. But you can bet the network will try. Heck, in the US article, Snooki basically lays out her plans for a Kardashian-esque two-part wedding special: “I want bombs going off at the reception – fireworks, pyro. And I want a princess-type gown with a huge train.”
Her soon-to-be-husband has simpler plans, saying he wants “A Disney wedding!” Pause to imagine Snooki dressed as Snow White, Jionni dressed as Prince Charming, and Maid of Honor J-Woww dressed as Ariel – like, she literally has a tail and is wearing a seashell bikini top and is floating in a mini hot tub being pushed by servants dressed in lobster outfits. Pauly D is dressed as Pinocchio, because someday he’ll be a real boy. Ronnie is dressed as Beast, because he’s a wild creature with a big head. Sammi is dressed as Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, because she sleeps all day and she’s terrible. Deena is dressed as Grumpy. Vinny is dressed as Emperor Kuzco, because New Groove is way underrated, yo. When the preacher (dressed as Rafiki from The Lion King ) says “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” The Situation jumps in face-first through a window dressed as Peter Pan, screaming, “I can flyyyyyy!” The end.
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