As The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 8 draws to a close, a door to a cast rumor-filled foyer opens. But unlike Siggy Flicker’s entryway, you can talk about what’s in this foyer: Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita may come back to RHONJ. The reality show’s lineup is going through some changes, and according to Us Weekly’s sources, producers might be mulling over the idea of bringing back the sister-in-law duo of Caroline and Jacqueline. If this rumor were to come true, it could very well be the shakeup this reality series needs.
The sources may claim that a Caroline and Jacqueline return is possible, but what do the two former Housewives have to say about this? When Us Weekly asked the Manzo’d with Children star about these rumblings just this week, she replied, “It’s not a no and it’s certainly not a yes. It’s a who knows.”
Oh, is that so? To quote Andy Cohen, never say never. Manzo continued,
“But for me it would be a major major decision that I would have to really think very long and very hard on. It’s not something that I would embrace wholeheartedly and say ‘let’s do this!’ It’s something that I would consider very very heavily and for a long time.”
Now, please consider Jacqueline’s response to a fan inquiry regarding the aforementioned rumor:
“I’ll never tell,” she says? A kissy face emoji, she says? Well, that's a whole lot of cryptic, isn't it?
When RHONJ premiered in 2009, Caroline and Jacqueline were two of the five Housewives. However, like all good things, their time on the series did not last forever. Caroline quit after Season 5 for her spin-off, Manzo’d with Children. Jacqueline left after Season 5, returned as a Friend of Housewives in Season 6, came back as a full-time cast member for Season 7, and left again before Season 8.
If Caroline and Jacqueline were to consider rejoining the main cast very very heavily, and then ultimately decide to return, it would be nothing short of terrific. Not only are they fantastic reality TV personalities, but their connections to the existing cast run so, so deep. As great shows like Vanderpump Rules and Shahs of Sunset have proven over and over again, you can’t get much better than a Bravo reality show cast that goes way back. Jacqueline and Caroline may not get along with everyone on RHONJ, but their complicated ties to the other Housewives will make the show all the more rich. Rather than bring on a brand new Housewife who, like, talked to Melissa one time at a party years ago and has no tangible link to the cast, why not bring on two someones who (a) have well-established relationships with a majority of the roster, and (b) are incredible at reality TV?
Just think of Jacqueline and Caroline interacting with Danielle Staub. And Melissa Gorga. And, of course, Teresa Giudice. Come on, Tre accused Caroline and Jacqueline of ratting her and Joe Giudice out to the government. Their reunion would be next-level.
While we’re here, can Danielle come back as a full-time cast member, too? If it wasn’t for her Friend of Housewives performance this year, the Season 8 MVP would’ve been a food fight. The season owes her so much.
Needless to say, centuries from now, Real Housewives historians probably won't put Season 8 of RHONJ on the “best of” list. Sure, it had some shining moments (forever giving thanks to the annual tradition that is the showdown at the Posche Fashion Show), but it really wasn’t playing in the earlier seasons’ league. The cake disaster was no Season 2 Brownstone mêlée, ya know?
Given how middling Season 8 was, a cast shakeup couldn't hurt. Fans already know Siggy has stepped away, but who will be added to the mix (assuming Season 9 happens, that is)? Hopefully, their names rhyme with "Flaroline Flanzo," "Zacqueline Zaurita," and "Panielle Paub."