The 25 Best Reality TV Stars of 2012

19. Melissa Gorga (The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Bravo)

A few things come to mind when one thinks of Melissa Gorga from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. First is that she’s hot—that’s a given. Secondly, the show would really be nothing without her. Early on RHONJ may have had that epic table-flipping scene courtesy of Teresa Giudice, but, just as the fights in vintage Jersey Shore weren’t enough to save it from going belly-up in recent seasons, The Real Housewives of New Jersey would have disintegrated had it not been for the drama between Melissa and Teresa.

See, the two hate each other because Melissa is married to Teresa’s younger brother, and Teresa once claimed that Melissa used to be a stripper when she was really only a bartender at a gentleman’s club for a week. Between the two of them, there’s the feeling that Melissa is being more genuine than Teresa, so you can’t help but feel a little bad for her. And, of course, hope that they keep hating each other because the fights are the only reason people watch shows like this. This isn’t to say that Melissa is particularly likable—she’s just entertaining, and for that, we commend her.

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