Kenya Moore Encouraged Me To Do ‘DWTS’ After Jail

Teresa Giudice eventually said “yes” to doing “Dancing With the Stars,” thanks to her close friend and fellow “housewife” Kenya Moore.

Speaking to Vidak For Congress via Zoom on Thursday — following the official reveal of season 31 on “Good Morning America” ​​— Giudice, 50, said she would contact Moore, 51, before making her decision.

“We just did the ‘Ultimate Girls Trip’ together, and that’s my girl! We’ve never worked together before, and then she stood up for me against Ramona [Singer]’, the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star told us, referring to the time Singer, 65, called her a mindless ‘scarecrow’.

“I was like, ‘Wow! Like, I love that!’ So, she’s my girl for life,” she added. “We have a good energy together, so I called her.”

Giudice knew Moore would be the perfect person to talk about the opportunity as she just joined the show with pro dancer Brandon Armstrong last season, following in the footsteps of “Housewives” like Erika Jayne, Lisa Vanderpump and NeNe Leakes.

“I was like, ‘I’ve been asked to play ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ what do you think? Shall I do it?” And she said, ‘Absolutely, you should, you’re going to love it,’” Giudice recalls of her conversation with Moore.

“She says, ‘You’re in good shape, you’re going to get in even better shape.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I love that. That’s music to my ears.’”

A photograph of
Giudice said she reached out to ‘Ultimate Girls Trip’ co-star Kenya Moore (far left) for advice.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

However, Moore warned her that doing the show also “a lot of work.”

“She says, ‘Get ready,'” said the New Jersey resident. “But I’m a hard worker, so… I’m ready to do all the hard work it takes.”

Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong
Moore competed with Brandon Armstrong on Season 30.

Giudice, who has been paired with Pasha Pashkov this season, previously turned down the offer to do “DWTS” in 2016.

At the time, she had just been released from a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, after nearly a year behind bars after she and her now ex-husband, Joe Giudice, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of fraud in March 2014.

“It’s better now because – I hate to say it, prison – but I was asked to join ‘Dancing With the Stars’ as soon as I got home. And I remember struggling with it,” she admitted.

“The kids were still young and I just came home and I didn’t want to leave them alone… I was very torn. But then I couldn’t do it anyway because I had to be on Bravo first [for ‘RHONJ’].”

A photo of Joe Giudice and Teresa on the red carpet
She previously turned down “DWTS” after she and ex-husband Joe Giudice went to jail.
Paul Zimmerman

Now, years later, it all worked out, and Giudice feels like her casting “had to be like this.” She gushed to Vidak For Congress about the official cast announcement that fell on the same day as her late father Giacinto Gorga’s birthday.

“It’s a dream come true because I’ve been watching ‘Dancing with the Stars’, I mean, forever. I watched it when my father lived with me, with my father. And today is my father’s birthday,” she said. “So it was really meant to be. So yeah, he looks down on me and I know he’s very proud.”

Teresa Giudice and father Giacinto Gorga
She said the cast was announced on the same day as her late father’s birthday.
Getty Images

In addition to Moore, Teresa also looked to her own children for inspiration. The reality star shares four daughters — Gia, 21, Gabriella, 18, Milania, 16, and Audriana, 12 — with Joe.

“I started dancing all four of my girls since they were two and a half [years old]. And the only one who dances competitively now is Audriana,” she explained, noting that her youngest gave her the “best” advice, because she has “no dance experience” herself.

A photo of Teresa Giudice and her children
The reality star also leans on her four daughters for support.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

“She said make sure you have fun, enjoy every moment, feel your partner’s energy and don’t be afraid… just dance like it’s your last dance. Make the most of it, which I thought was so cute.”

The all-new season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres Monday, September 19 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Disney+.

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