It’s a Jersey thing

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Oct 242010
 
Authors: Sean Bucher

Most people would not think twice if they saw crowds and long lines winding around Washington’s Sport’s Bar and Grill on a Friday night.

But Friday was no ordinary night in Fort Collins because Angelina Pivarnick, of the “The Jersey Shore,” invaded Old Town with bronzer and fist pumps, the likes of which her show’s fans have come to expect.

When Pivarnick entered Washington’s at 11 p.m., attendees described the scene as out of this world.

“About a month of planning goes into an event like this,” said Ryan Lewakowski, whose event company, Sick Productions, played a part in bringing Pivarnick to Colorado. “The other half is spent hammering out marketing and promotions.”

Washington’s drew in more than 1,000 guests throughout the night, according to Sean McCarthy, event promoter and coordinator. People came from Fort Collins and Denver, thanks to buses organized for the event.

Pivarnick’s appearance comes on the heels of a visit by Paul (DJ Pauly D) DelVecchio –– another Jersey Shore cast member –– to Denver’s Beta nightclub in early September.

“The two events were significantly different,” McCarthy said, noting however, that both shared “the ‘Jersey Shore’ fever.”

Appearances from the show’s cast members have become hot ticket items across the country, usually requiring large sums of money and special treatment for each visitor.

Reality stars like Pivarnick can demand anywhere from $7,500 to an upward of $15,000 for an appearance. Other stars like Mike (The Situation) Sorrento, known for his catch phrases and stints on “Dancing With The Stars,” can receive up to $30,000 per appearance.

For some, the explosion in popularity of these stars is no surprise.

McCarthy said that young professionals and college students are able to identify with reality TV characters.
“These shows catch on so quickly with the younger demographics to the point that sayings like GTL (gym, tan, laundry) can be identified by most college students,” McCarthy said. “Even if they haven’t seen the show.”

Fort Collins is no stranger to MTV reality stars.

Andrew Woods, who formerly worked at Washington’s and as a Collegian cartoonist, saw a large rise in noticeability after his stint on “The Real World.”

Media experts like Brian Ott, a former CSU and current CU-Denver professor, note that although the obsession with these stars may seem like a trend, audiences have given reality stars mass attention which prolongs their “15 minutes” throughout history.

CSU students like Olivia Mastronardi, a senior communications major, were surprised by Pivarnick’s down-to-earth and genuine nature.

“She was different from what I had anticipated from the show,” said Mastronardi, who equated talking to Pivarnick with talking to a friend.

Pivarnick was candid with Mastronardi about her experiences on the show, particularly what is edited and the behind-the-scenes action audiences don’t see.

Both McCarthy and Lewakowski believe they can continue to draw crowds like those seen at Washington’s on Friday by bringing musical act Hyper Crush to The Aggie on Nov. 17.

Staff writer Sean Bucher can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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