To start things off, we join Melissa Gorga in her studio as she struggles through rehearsals for her Beatstock performance with the help of a haggard Cris Judd, who is no doubt questioning his life decisions at this point. Talking about her upcoming show, Melissa decides to take the humble route, hoping to get at least some pity love if she can’t win us over with her skills.
Gia Giudice has no such confidence issues, as we watch her drop it like it’s hot while rehearsing with her own dance troupe for the same music festival.
Even when Melissa is ready for bed after a hard day of bopping to the beat in front of full length mirrors, her daughter and part time “cockblocker” Antonia busts up her lovefest with Joe, and insists on sleeping in bed with her parents. Looks like Joe’s going to have to unleash the poison another time.
Meanwhile, Kathy Wakile is taking new steps of her own, trying to take her cooking skills to a new level with a possible partnership with an old family friend who owns a bakery. While pitching her desserts, Kathy gets interrupted by an overbearing Richie who doesn’t really want to hand the reigns over to his usually demure wife. If women know one thing, it’s baked goods, so stand down Richie.
BLK entrepreneurs (backed entirely by their parents) Albie and Chris are gearing up their brand for a showing at the Fancy Foods Conference. But that’s not the only Manzo product in play, as The Brownstone will also be showcasing its’ new sauce. Hoping to market Mama Manzo, Albie Sr. enlists his wife as the face of the brand — a choice which young Albie openly and not too subtly disagrees with, if his mean girl snickering on the sidelines of her photo shoot is any indication. Clearly there’s only room for one Manzo pretty boy at a time.
In the boys’s clown car on the way to the conference, it’s business in the front and party in the back. While the kids play stimulating games like“F***, Marry, Kill,” driver and brains of the operation Chris Laurita plays a game called “Let’s Make Money and Provide for the Family.” The boys are treating it like a vacation, and even when they stop for lunch, Chris and Greg take it upon themselves to eat their body weight in something ominously known as “scrapple.” This goes about as well as you’d think it would, with them looking like a heap of scrapple themselves by the end of the food fest.
But this does little to discourage our intrepid travelers. The night before their convention, it’s back to the frat boy antics as they throw back an endless line of shots. Chris tries to take this opportunity to educate the younger generation, but the thought of learning anything actually sickens the young Chris, who exits stage left to barf off camera.
Finally at the conference, the boys get down to “business,” but not before Greg gets a chance to meet his self described “godmother,” living legend Ms. Patti LaBelle. While the brothers aren’t even sure who she is, Greg is all but praying at her Louboutin-clad feet. Ever the savvy businessman, he says all the right things and manages to get a seal of approval from Ms. Patti. Looks like the boys finally got something right!
Showtime or Showdown?
Now it’s time for Beatstock. Teresa Giudice makes a pit stop at Melissa’s camp, to either wish her luck or gauge Gia’s competition, we’re not entirely sure which. Yet Gia’s already been doing her Real Housewives homework, slinging mud like a seasoned star, as she treats us to a less than complimentary impersonation of her lip synching aunt several times over.
At least she’s got the goods to back it up, because once the music starts, the little Giudice catapults to the front of the stage and hits her steps while everyone does their best fist pumping in the audience.
Then it’s Melissa’s turn, and it seems like Gia was right about one thing. While we’re sure Melissa has some sort of vocal ability, we’re pretty sure it wasn’t “on display” at BeatStock, as her backing track was just a little too obvious. But the girl looked great, and swayed on beat, so it counts as a win in our book.
Post performance, the unspoken competition is over and it’s back to all smiles as Teresa and Melissa, both adorned in an angelic white, play nice while discussing their upcoming Napa trip.
Over at the Manzos’ dinner, the family isn’t nearly as fake happy. Chris Laurita makes the executive decision to have all the husbands over for a pre-Napa convo, an invite which Albie Sr. promptly (and smartly) rejects. Somehow, Melissa’s earlier exclamation of “We’re going to be together for five days!” now sounds more like ironic foreshadowing than a ringing endorsement for the week.