How did we get here? How is the most normal cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey Melissa Gorga? Did we travel through some Dunkin' Donuts wormhole and arrive in an alternate dimension where everyone but Melissa and her sister-in-law Teresa Giudice are fighting? But it wasn't an alternate universe; it was just Season 6 of RHONJ. With Teresa's legal troubles grabbing headlines and accordingly dominating this season of RHONJ, she finally decided that she had bigger fish to fry than trying to make Melissa's life miserable. The two were completely buddy-buddy this year, which meant that Bravo had to bring in new Housewives to ensure this season was just as drama-packed as usual. So will Melissa return for Season 7 of RHONJ ?
Becoming friends with her former enemy basically rendered Melissa's storyline a little irrelevant and altogether ho-hum this season, which is generally the kiss of death in a Real Housewives franchise. Melissa is now in the role of peacemaker on RHONJ, which is nice, but it doesn't add any entertainment value to the show. When she's not trying to keep the Twins from ripping Amber Marchese's head off, the show puts her in the role of "hot mom." I mean, how many times do we really have to see Melissa's horn-dog husband Joe try to convince her to have sex with him as she tries to fend him off? It gets old. All of this makes her Season 7 status kind of iffy.
As Season 6 of RHONJ has begun to wind down in the past few weeks, the Internet has been swirling with rumors about Melissa's fate. Some say that Melissa will be downgraded to a recurring role in the same way Jacqueline Laurita and Kathy Wakile were during Season 6, because she hasn't been bringing the same drama to the show as she did in the past. However, RumorFix has reported that "a source close to production" said Bravo is interested in having Melissa return for Season 7 in her usual role as a full-time Housewife. The source also said that Bravo doesn't intend to make any changes to the cast because Teresa's absence will already be such a huge change for the show.
Neither Bravo nor Melissa have commented on their plans for Season 7, so we really have no way of knowing if she will return at this point. It seems likely that with the casting shakeup of Season 6 and Teresa probably not being a part of the show for at least part of the next season, Bravo will want to keep as much consistency as possible with Season 7. Plus, we've got to have some representative of the Giudice-Gorga familia on the show. It just wouldn't be RHONJ without them.