- Associated Press - Friday, August 6, 2010

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) - Snooki has a new roommate.

Deena Nicole Cortese, a 23-year-old New Jersey native, has joined the cast of “Jersey Shore.” Her addition to the show’s gang of hard-partying twentysomethings was officially announced at a Friday meeting of the Television Critics Association. Cortese, who hails from New Egypt, N.J., joined the “Jersey Shore” cast on stage _ except for outsider Angelina Pivarnick.

Angelina didn’t fit in,” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi later said.

“Yeah, it’s not for everybody,” Paul “Pauly D” Del Vecchio added.

“UPGRADE!” Cortese exclaimed.

Cortese, who was “partners in crime” with Snooki before heading to “Jersey Shore,” had widely been rumored to have joined the popular MTV reality TV series since production on new episodes began last month in Seaside Heights, N.J. She said she was surprised by the barrage of attention, including when video of her using a racial slur made the rounds online.

“I wasn’t expecting that right away,” said Cortese. “That video, I literally didn’t mean any disrespect to anyone. If I did offend anyone, I apologize. It’s just a slang word I said and didn’t mean it. I didn’t want to offend anyone. It wasn’t disrespectful at all.”

The show’s second season, set in Miami’s South Beach, is currently airing on MTV and features original cast members Pivarnick, Polizzi and Del Vecchio, as well as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jenni “J-Woww” Farley, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, Ronnie Magro and Vinny Guadagnino. Cortese will be introduced when the show heads back to The Garden State.

“She fit right in,” Pauly D said. “We’re having fun with her.”

The tanned Cortese, who said she’s spent every summer on the Jersey shore since she was 17 years old, sported a big bruise on her knee Friday, calling it “a battle scar” recently earned from partying. As for the possibility of romance on the shore, Cortese said she isn’t ruling out the possibility of a fling with The Situation, Pauly D or any of her other castmates.

“Whatever happens, happens,” she said. “I think they’re all good looking.”


MTV is owned by Viacom Inc.




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