Real Housewife of N.J. classes up the joint

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 9, 2011 - 7:32 PM

During a book-signing Saturday, Bloomington's Mall of America proudly showcased the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" breakout star who's popularized the redundant insult "prostitution whore."

Don't be too hard on Teresa Giudice. Her catchphrases -- which also reportedly include "Would 'bitch' be better?" -- are not any tackier than some of the thoughts and images to be found on T-shirts and other items sold at the MOA.

And they are words and phrases for which Giudice, now author of her second book, "Fabulicious: Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook," has become well-known, according to four young fans I encountered at the book-signing who said they were students at the University of St. Thomas.

The foursome gleefully reenacted scenes from the Bravo show for my startribune.com/video on Saturday, but by Monday were having second thoughts about me using their names. Kids. As if the Rev. Dennis Dease, St. Thomas' president, never heard such words! (He was at Don Shelby's roast, after all.)

Had I been on my game, I'd have treated the kids to the megamall's CityShirts, where Giudice's words could be made to look classy on T-shirts, even if they're not.

Melinda Jacobs, blogger at theadventuresofmelindajacobs.com, was underwhelmed after interviewing Giudice.

"Did you look at her cookbook?" Jacobs asked. No. I didn't even touch one (and was glad I hadn't after hearing the name of her meatballs recipe).

"Instead of buying her cookbook, I would make reservations," said Jacobs. "I hate to say it. She just doesn't have any class. I don't think she cares.

"But people don't think I have a lot of class, sometimes. Or you," Jacobs said. "We're all in the same boat. I'll be in that boat with you, not her."

Chelsea's new beau

"She's dating Andre," replied Chelsea Handler's PR woman to my weekend text message.

That'd be hotelier Andre Balazs, who as far as I know has no Minnesota connection.

An "Ann Johnson," or somebody close to her/him, has devoted an inordinate amount of time to taunting me via e-mails about not knowing that Handler is dating a Minneapolis guy.

"Ann" needs to pick a comedian not associated with Eva Magdalenski, with whom I've developed an occasionally worthwhile pipeline.

Magdalenski is close enough to Handler to merit a chapter in "Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me," the comedian's latest book revealing her many practical jokes.

Magdalenski seems excited: "Guess what, I have a chapter!" -- her own personal account of getting victimized by the jokester Handler.

Hopefully I'll see them June 4 when Handler's comedy tour stops here.

Minnesota too-nice?

Minnesota women revealed themselves to be some of the friendliest Quinn VanAntwerp has encountered anywhere on tour with "Jersey Boys."

VanAntwerp, who plays Bob Gaudio in the musical that closed here on Sunday, reported some interesting approaches during the show's run at the Orpheum.

"More than usual, I would say," laughed VanAntwerp. "I guess whenever we come to a city, most of us have a Facebook fan page, but our fan base is mostly baby boomers, the people who grew up with the Four Seasons' music -- 60 and over."

Still, "It's not uncommon for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s to come to our show. We get a lot of nice, friendly, great fan comments on those things.

"In this city, I guess I said the other day on the radio [MyTalk107.1's Jason and Alexis show], we [had] only been here for a week, [and] I got an unusual amount of actual personal e-mails from people inviting me out, which is always kind of nice. This is the city it's happened in most so far."

Women here and elsewhere should probably just take a cold shower, as VanAntwerp tells me he's in a relationship with a woman he sounds quite fond of.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.

  • SORRY, 'ANN'

    Comedian Chelsea Handler is dating a hotelier with no known Minnesota ties.

    E-POPULAR

    "Jersey Boy" Quinn VanAntwerp got an unusual number of e-mails inviting him out while he was in town.

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