If you’re a fan of the Real Housewives franchise, you’ll know one thing is universal across all cities — the reunion. Ahead of part 3 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey season 9 reunion airing on March 6, star Dolores Catania spoke exclusively with Life & Style about how intense the reunion shows can actually be for our favorite ladies. Spoiler alert: the stress is real, y’all.

“Every reunion, not just this one [is intense],” the 48-year-old revealed to us. “I compare it to when the Romans were going into the lion’s den. It’s very suspenseful every year before you get to that couch.” It’s crazy to think the Housewives are as nervous for the reunions as we are as viewers!

On the day of filming, the girls can be more stressed than ever. “Every time you film a reunion, you can’t wait ’til it’s over because it’s the most stressful time of filming for sure,” she explained.

Bravo TV boss Andy Cohen doesn’t exactly help with all that stress the ladies are under, but then again, that kind of is his job. “He’s very good though, he gets the s—t. He knows how to ask a question to lead into something,” Dolores praised the original Bravolebrity’s hosting abilities during the tension-filled episodes.

He’s not just out here crafting the hard-hitting questions, though — he’s also leaving the Housewives in a tizzy over where they’ll be sitting during filming. “That’s protocol for the reunion,” she said of the randomized seating that had Teresa Guidice so annoyed during part 2 of the reunion. “That’s so stupid — of course, you don’t know where you’re sitting until you get there. It shouldn’t have even been brought up. Nobody picks their seat. Your seat is picked for you.”

But once all of that’s out of the way and the cameras are on, it’s good to know that no one is faking it on set. “Everybody is who they are in person. Nobody plays it up for the camera,” she said.

As far as Dolores herself, well, she’s trying to be as neutral as possible as the season 9 reunion comes to a close. “Well you know, I always try to put myself in someone’s shoes and I feel like Teresa’s going through [a tough time],” she explained her reasons for siding with the 46-year-old for a lot of the reunion as she deals with her husband, Joe Giudice, potentially being deported in March.

“I feel bad that it looked as though I have bad, hard feelings toward Melissa [Gorga] and I don’t. You know we all bicker from time to time,” she said. “My heart went out to Teresa because I felt like she was going through something and you know, I mean it was just a very weird emotional time the way things were going and I think a lot of it had to do with what Teresa’s facing very soon.”

Reporting by Diana Cooper.