When it comes to Jersey Shore, few roommates had more interesting hookup situations than, well, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. From Paula Pickard to several Karma randos, Sitch kept himself busy — and that's putting it mildly.
That sentiment especially rang true when the gang headed to Italy in 2011. Despite all of Mike's romance drama with Snooki, the now-35-year-old managed to snag a pair of blonde twins, aptly nicknamed "The Jersey Shore Twins," thereafter.
Today, one of those twins, Brittany Taltos, 28, has reflected on her experience with everyone’s favorite MTV cast all those years ago, and there's a lot more to the story than what fans saw on their television screens.
"My sister [Erica] and I were studying abroad in Italy during the summer of 2011, which was coincidentally the same summer that MTV was filming Jersey Shore," Brittany told Life & Style. "The hot spots in Florence were limited, so we constantly ran into the crew at bars and clubs. Alcohol gave me the liquid courage to approach the cast," she continued. "Looking back, it was a unique experience that not many people can say they’ve done, but I wouldn’t subject myself to it again."
Naturally, the kind of lifestyle that takes place on a reality series like Jersey Shore isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, for some, it can be downright unhealthy. "Since the show, my sister and I quit drinking because alcoholism runs in our family and we were both heading down the path of excessive partying," the Florida native expressed.
"Reality TV was just one example of how drinking negatively affected our lives. We did and said things that we wouldn’t normally have done sober and put ourselves in compromising situations," Brittany said. "Being sober makes me appreciate the life I left behind and grateful that I don’t have that shadow of negative attention surrounding me."
Despite the fact that most reality shows are notorious for being edited, Brittany maintained that what viewers saw on Jersey Shore was true to form. "None of the scenes were 'edited' at our expense. As much as I would like to say things were 'doctored' to make us look bad, that simply wasn't true," she explained. "Whether the show cut out or manipulated scenes, didn’t take away from the fact that we did and said those things," she continued. "My only gripe with the producers was that they allowed us to sign the consent waivers even while we were completely intoxicated."
Brittany explained that she "hardly remembered being inside the Jersey Shore house." A lot of the time, she had to "try her hardest to piece together blurry nights, after the fact." Unlike most people, the twins got to see their drunken nights play out in front of the world.
"From the time of filming in Florence to the premiere date months later, was actually a really scary, nerve-racking time in our lives," she explained. "Our whole reputation, integrity, and morality were sacrificed by what America briefly saw during five nights of partying. America didn't see our battle with alcoholism. What they saw was my sister and I in the grips of addiction, trying our hardest to attribute those drunk nights to 'being young college kids.'"
Despite receiving a ton of "ill-mannered hate" from fans of the show, Brittany and her sister are doing better than ever. "My sister and I live together in South Florida. Since we got sober, we are even closer than ever. We hold each other accountable and cherish the moments of sobriety, health, and happiness without the bottle," she said.
As far their television aspirations, don’t expect to see these lovely ladies anytime soon. Brittany is currently working in marketing at the House of Roots in Miami. "It's a Kava bar that serves as an amazing alternative to alcohol. I spend my time sharing my story and educating people that there are other natural alternatives to alcohol that won't have any negative impact on your life."
Oh, and as far as whether Brittany and her sister watch Jersey Shore Family Vacation, her answer was short and sweet: "Hell no."