Melissa socializes with Us Weekly employees and has been featured in the publication numerous times (with one cover story, although it was about Teresa) — no other Housewife from any of the franchises has had the coverage that Melissa Gorga gets from this tabloid, even though she has only been on the show for two seasons.
Chris Stark (@stark3923) contacted several bloggers, including Fame-Whorgas, with the theory that Bravo is using Us Weekly to massively promote Melissa Gorga, with the goal of replacing her as the star of RHONJ. Her theory has weight when you look at the many favorable articles about Melissa in Us Weekly (see links at the end of this article), even now when she has nothing to promote. As Chris Stark points out, RHONJ is between seasons, yet Melissa is still being featured in Us Weekly and other tabloids while Housewives from other shows currently airing are not receiving any press. And Teresa, the bona fide star of RHONJ, basically has had no press since October — a virtual press black out for Teresa — yet Sirens Media is planting articles about Melissa to support storylines for season 5, currently filming.
According to Chris Stark:
“Us Weekly’s articles are a story arc in season 5 filming and a huge Sirens Media plant to boost Melissa’s book sales when her book comes out in the Fall (Melissa’s book publisher is the same as Andy Cohen’s).
“In the Fall, Melissa will do a massive media tour to promote her book. The episodes about her perfect marriage, which they are now filming, will air around the same time as the book comes out. And while on tour we will be seeing Melissa on RHONJ as a housewife who cooks and cleans and cares for kids, all while her hubby works hard — and he can do so because he has the safety and security knowing his wife is home cooking and tending to his three kids. Plus we’ll see more on their hot and heavy sex life. Bla bla.
“The point is, Siren Media is planting the Us Weekly articles — profiles of Melissa three weeks in a row so Teresa can see them, and then she becomes jealous of Melissa and enraged, which is her story arc for season 5. Season 5 is filming now but will be airing when Melissa’s book comes out in the Fall — RHONJ season 5 is an infomercial for Melissa’s book, in my opinion.”
Melissa was featured in the red carpet “Who Wore it Best” section of Us Weekly twice in December, where A-list celebrities are also mentioned.
It is no coincidence that she has been photographed wearing dresses worn by other Housewives.
She also was featured in the Buzz-o-meter section of the December 24th and January 7th issues of Us Weekly.
And she was featured in the January 7th issue of Star wearing her swimsuit.
At the end of season 4, all Andy Cohen’s cronies — Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark, Wendy Williams and Anderson Cooper — were saying that Teresa needs to get off reality TV. And In Touch magazine (which used to be Teresa’s tabloid of choice) ran a story with Melissa saying the same thing. Andy is planting seeds in the viewers heads that it’s time for Teresa to go — essentially Teresa is being ousted to make room for Andy’s new star Melissa.
What Bravo fails to realize about Teresa’s success is this: although plucked from obscurity like all the other cast members, Teresa became a star in her own right because of her charisma. Simply being cast does not guarantee you fame and fortune; the viewers decide that…Teresa gained her fans on her own merit. Bravo can’t expect to make Melissa Gorga the new star of the series by shoving her down the viewers’ throats.
Andy Cohen hates Teresa; however, she is the star of the show so he can’t justify firing her. Instead, he must convince the viewers that Teresa is the villain of the show — vindictive, spiteful, ruthless. Andy wants to turn the fans against her (which he and the producers, along with the cast, failed to do for the past two seasons) and ruin her brand (to make it so no other network will want her).
The following quote from an October 11, 2012, Celeb Dirty Laundry article perfectly demonstrates the image of Teresa that Bravo and the press want to convey to the viewers, and it will be the main story arc for season 5:
“Could this be Teresa Giudice’s final attempt to reveal and revile Melissa Gorga’s shady past? She wants the world to know that her sister-in-law was allegedly not only a stripper but also a thief! … With this new and useful information, could Teresa finally show her younger brother, Joe Gorga, that the woman he married isn’t who she says she is? Well it seems that Teresa is determined to dig up 33-year-old Melissa’s past, and show her true colors and stop at nothing to achieve that. Their sister-in-law bond has been broken and most likely will never be repaired. Melissa also stated at last Sunday’s Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Part 2 that she purposely moved away so she wouldn’t have to live near Teresa or her children. Or did Melissa really move because she is threatened by Teresa, who is uncovering her scandalous past? Only time will tell OR until a new story is released.”
Unbeknownst to Teresa, her season 5 storyline (continued from last season) is about her relentless pursuit to breakup the Gorga marriage and assassinate Melissa’s character, and her vengeful attempt to destroy Caroline Manzo by exposing Albert as a cheater. Bravo, with their crafting editing, will ensure that Teresa fails, and the producers will continue to portray Joe Giudice as a cheater while portraying the Gorgas as the real and sexy couple with the happy marriage. And while season 5 is airing Melissa will be busy promoting her advice book on marriage (“Love, Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage”), which Us Weekly announced on December 19, 2012 (no surprise there!).
The same publisher who released Andy Cohen’s book “Most Talkative” is publishing Melissa’s advice book on marriage, so it seems highly unlikely during season 5 that Andy is going to portray Melissa and her marriage as flawed since he’s trying to sell books about how real and happy her marriage is. Bravo is going to edit the Gorga marriage as one to be envied and emulated (and edit the footage to show Melissa being unjustly attacked by her sister-in-law) — they’ve invested too much in her Bravo character and the image of her perfect marriage to let any of the cast or the media tear it down.
Melissa, who has been married for eight years, will teach readers “practical strategies on how to strengthen their marriage, amp up the passion, and the secrets that make my marriage as sexy and hot as it is warm and loving… I can’t tell you how many times Joe and I are approached by fans asking how they can have a marriage like ours,” Melissa tells Us Weekly of the idea for the book. “A great marriage doesn’t just happen. It’s a job.” Oddly enough, Melissa’s sister-in-law Teresa Giudice tried to break down their marriage during the last season of the show, telling co-stars that she had heard Melissa was cheating on Joe. At the time, however, there were actually rumors that her own husband (Joe Giudice) was cheating on her. Needless to say, one source claims Teresa is “gonna flip” over Melissa’s book deal. – Starcasm, December 19, 2012
According to Chris Stark (@stark3923) on December 5, 2012:
Bravo is setting Teresa up again for a huge fall. Kim D is being paid to expose Caroline and Mel but the edit will make Teresa look bad again. They are getting the victim and benevolent edit. Teresa is getting the hateful, evil, revengeful edit. Kim told Bravo she can “deliver” Teresa and make this whole Mel cheating, Albert Manzo cheating, blow up in her face… again. Kim is being paid to approach Teresa and leak gossip about Melissa/Albert. Teresa will look like she tried to bring poor Melissa down, and now she’s going to look like she’s trying to bring down Caroline and her marriage out of spite and revenge. Caroline will get the Mother Teresa edit and Teresa will get the nasty, jealous, revenge edit.
Bravo wants to supplant Teresa and push Melissa into her spotlight. Why Melissa? Maybe because she is the perfect Bravo employee: she is a narcissistic sociopath and a pathological liar who will do whatever Bravo tells her to do, including lie, for her 15 minutes of fame, plus Andy seems to get pleasure out of Joe’s sexual antics.
Andy’s favoritism with the Gorgas would explain why he never calls out Melissa on her claims that she topped the iTunes charts when, in fact, her iTunes sales have been dismal. Melissa buys Twitter followers and Facebook fans, so she doesn’t actually have a fan base of 600,000+ as suggested by her Twitter account. If she did, her iTunes sales wouldn’t be so weak — her songs aren’t selling on iTunes because real fans buy stuff, fake followers don’t.
Bravo is using the power of persuasion — through creative editing, scripted and rehearsed talking head interviews, staged drama, censored comments on Bravo’s Housewives blogs, rigged WWHL polls, and Us Weekly — to manipulate the viewers. Andy also uses his talk show buddies — Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa and Wendy Williams — to do his bidding.
The following are techniques for manipulation using the powers of persuasion, some of which Bravo is using with the RHONJ viewers:
A simple change in framing — leading people to think of their evaluations in terms of whom they oppose instead of whom they support — leads to stronger, more resistant opinions. Negative information frequently has a more powerful influence than positive messages. So if you want to sway someone when they choose between two options, a good tactic is to be negative about the option you don’t want them to pick.
A number of studies have revealed that the more reasons people are asked to come up with in support of an idea, the less value they ascribe to each. Generally it is easier to think of two reasons for believing something rather than eight. This finding has some clear practical implications. If you want to persuade people by getting them to think positively about your message, idea, product or whatever, ask them to generate just a few positive thoughts — three at most — because that’s easy and they’ll feel confident about their positive thoughts. Conversely, next time you’re in an argument, avoid the temptation to spin the “give me one good reason” line; it’ll only strengthen your adversary’s hand.
People equate certain kinds of speech with lack of credibility. In particular, hesitant phrases such as “I mean”, “you know” and “isn’t it?” reduced a speaker’s power. But no one had looked at the exact relationship between style and content. The researchers asked 118 undergraduates to read a transcript of a testimonial about a scanner. In one version, the speaker used hesitations like “I mean” and “ummm”; in the other, he used none. If you want to be persuasive, don’t stumble, pause or use language that shows hesitation. And for goodness sake, don’t give your listeners time to think about what you’re really saying.
If anger is focused on someone else’s misdeeds or to a perceived injustice, it makes people feel empowered. Anger can be constructively harnessed given the right conditions. First, people have to be convinced that the issue is relevant to them, that it affects them or their children or their community, and then hammer home the point. Once you have got people roiled up, you can offer them a way to remedy the situation. When those feelings of anger are accompanied by the feeling that there is a solution to this problem, then the message is more likely to be persuasive.
Resistance means that very persuasive arguments can backfire. If you want to change people’s attitudes, it’s good to have strong arguments. But if they manage to resist your message, they might become more certain of the very attitudes you want to change. How to overcome this deadlock? Present positions closer to your target’s views, then move them towards your goal a little at a time. You could also try charming them by boosting their self-esteem. When people feel good about themselves, they are more open to challenging messages.
Melissa likes to use flattery to persuade others and lure them over to her side. Just read her Bravo blogs to see just how she does it. And she reiterates her main points over and over again (both in her blogs and her talking head interviews) to convince the fans that what she says is the truth (believing in the theory that if you repeat it enough, it becomes the truth).
Just imagine the boot-licking and brown-nosing she is now doing with the new cast and new producers (she did this with the old producers) to win them over to her side.
The following are some quotes from Melissa’s Bravo blogs (in chronological order), which she used over the past two years to build her case, and storyline, that Teresa is the victimizer and she is the real victim:
“I hope God watches over our marriage through all of this and keeps us strong. This family is my life, my reason for living. I am nothing without Joe and my children!”
“The issue is what she says about my marriage and my loyalty to my husband.”
“First, where did these rumors about my marriage with Joe start? … People weren’t buying her good, supportive sister act.”
“Does she think that if my marriage goes badly hers will get better? Does she think that if she puts the negative attention on me then it will not be on her?”
“You can throw dirt in my face a couple times and I will take it, but DON’T, mess with my family, DON’T mess with my children’s lives, and DON’T mess with my marriage. That is where I will NEVER back down.”
“We have three beautiful children together and are a family. It’s called respect, and I’m not sure Teresa ever will understand that she doesn’t have to like me, but she has to respect my marriage to her brother and keep her “rumors” to herself.”
“Teresa obviously hasn’t learned her lesson because in last week’s blog she continues to talk about the rumors she hears about my marriage. Nothing has changed with her, she is just better at getting others to do and say what she can’t so she looks innocent.”
“She won’t let up and I don’t know how she can look at herself in the mirror at this point. This is her baby brother’s marriage. All I can do is pray for her, and when she is ready to let up, I will talk to her about it then without an audience.”
“I’ve had multiple chances to talk about her personal issues, the bankruptcy, the marriage rumors, etc. and I don’t. How can she not see that?”
“I’m sorry Teresa has such an issue with me, but it’s time she moves on and gets over it like she said she has.”
“I think Teresa needs to realize that this is not her show, it’s Bravo’s. The name of the show is The Real Housewives of New Jersey, not The Teresa Show.”
“What you will see if you pay attention is that Teresa is trying to take me down every chance she gets. She is attacking my character, my marriage, my looks.”
“I know I’m never going to get her to totally change the way she treats me, but as long as she backs off my marriage, we can do this.”
“I hope she is going to start having a more positive attitude about my marriage, my music, and my kids, and just stop overanalyzing me and everything I do. It must be draining for her to worry about me all day and worry about how we are living our life.”
“I put my all into my marriage and show Joe respect — I respect him as a father and as a husband more than words can say. We are so blessed and I am grateful. He’s truly the love of my life! … I’m not going to get into the phone call we saw Joe have. I didn’t like it when Teresa made accusations about my marriage, so I’m not going to do it to hers. They have four daughters that need to be protected from this, so I will leave it to Joe and Teresa to explain it. How they choose to live within their marriage has nothing to do with any of us. I was very upset when I watched the episode, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. We may have our differences, but I would never want this to happen to her.”
“I want to be respected, and I will never let anyone disrespect me, but I am willing to let things slide if that’s what it’s going to take.”
“Teresa and I may never see eye to eye, but I know how much he loves her and wants his family back. I don’t think we will ever be perfect, but I hope to at least get to a place where we can respect each other and have the kids together more and spend Sundays together as a family.”
“I guess the more years I spent with Joe and the more children we had, I realized I wanted to be respected and started to fight back. But during the holidays, I made a promise to myself that I was going to try and not make a big issue out of it anymore. I’m no saint. It’s hard to ignore when someone is trying to constantly cut you down and make you feel inferior to them, but there is love there as well, and I don’t want to lose sight of it.”
“I said it in my first blog on Bravo and it remains true to this day. Teresa likes to be the center of attention. Be beneath her or get the hell out of her way. I refuse to let her walk all over me, disrespect me or my family, and that’s the real issue.”
“I will say I got a sick feeling in my stomach when Caroline said she’s been in the car with Teresa and heard Teresa bashing Joe and me to her mother.”
“Then to tell Caroline that I was a copycat, a stripper, gold digger, whore, and wanted to be her?
“It is terrible to go around and try to ruin someone’s character. It’s just not right.”
“The sooner she stops trying to hurt other people, the sooner her own life will get better. It’s not fair to do these things and lie to all of us constantly.”
“I tried everything I possibly could to fix the relationship between Teresa and me and Joe. It was going really well. I did this for family. I did this for my husband. It is now clear that she tried to poison all the ladies’ and the public’s minds against Kathy and me and got them to feel sorry for her. But now the truth is coming out.”
“We have worked really hard to make a beautiful family of our own and give our children a healthy and happy lifestyle. I will not let anyone, family or not, try to break that. We are giving our all to her and Joe, and I deserve the same from her. Hopefully, she will reciprocate and we can keep this good thing going.”
“We made a promise to move forward, and that’s exactly what I did. You will soon see that wasn’t the case for Teresa.”
“The next two episodes are really telling and you will understand why we are all at the place we are today. Stay tuned for a wild ride.”
“What I love most about this scene is Teresa looks like she has stood in front of a mirror and practiced what face she was going to make for the last two weeks. For a second she actually looks confused, I think she forgot which face she was going to use, then in typical Teresa ah ha fashion she remembered and went with it. Pretty good, pretty good. But your family knows you all too well, sister. Then it cuts to a one-on-one of Teresa saying, “I heard rumors that Melissa was a dancer and now this just confirms it.” Back to the salon, Kim looks like a pig in sh– and Teresa takes the chance to say, “Please don’t ever talk about my family.” I guess only she and her husband can call me a gold-digging, raccoon-faced, lip-synching, fame whore, leave-my-husband-for-a-richer-man kind of girl. But not the creepy, fake PR guy. OH NO! Watching the episode at this point I’m now chuckling. Are they serious? This is the worst acting I have ever seen.”
“I was feeling really genuine about my relationship with Teresa, and I never in a million years thought I was going to get ambushed the way I did. I was completely taken off guard. This is just mean. There is so much more I want to say, but I have to wait until next week’s episode airs.”
“I live my life by three words: trust, loyalty, and respect. I have forgiven and forgotten many things, but I will not let anyone, whether it is an aunt, cousin, sister, mother — I don’t care who it is — ruin my family. I am a mother and a wife, and that comes first with me. I have to protect my family, and if that means staying away from negativity, then that’s what I will do. I would do the same if it was my own sister.”
“Do I still think Teresa set me up? Yes. It was proven in the footage when Angelo said Teresa knew, because he also said “Kim and Teresa wanted me to do this thing.” Come on, everyone, lets be reasonable, there were a lot of things falling in both of their laps that day. The hair salon was just too convenient that day. Why couldn’t Teresa call me in between the hair salon and the fashion show? Give me a warning of what Kim was doing? The heart pounding, the blinks, the nervousness. Then Kim D. comes to the reunion and admits Teresa knew it was a set up for me. It’s all right there, and honestly I know in my heart what she was doing. It’s written all over her face.”
Melissa’s storyline in season 5 will be the same: Teresa is trying to destroy my marriage and assassinate my character while I’ve done everything I can to save the Gorgas.
Bravo staff and The Real Housewives cast know very well that Andy hates Teresa, which is why they were so emboldened in their quest to take her down the past two seasons… and this is sure to continue in season 5, although more subtly.
The following are many of the articles about Melissa in Us Weekly: they are all positive on her behalf, unlike what you see about Teresa (even in her magazine of choice, In Touch):