'RHONJ's Jennifer Fessler Predicts 'Explosive' Reunion as Season Heads Into 'Bloodbath' Territory (Exclusive)

Jennifer Fessler opens up about her debut season on 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' and the drama just starting to unfold.

Jennifer Fessler has "a funny feeling" the Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 reunion "is not going to go well."

"I don't know why I would think that, but I think the reunion is going to be explosive in terms of where the group goes from here," she tells ET over video chat. "I don't even know where I’m going from here!"

Season 13 is Jenn's debut outing as a "friend of" in the world of Real Housewives. It's also one of RHONJ's most intense seasons ever, as the story hurls toward sisters-in-law Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga's biggest falling out yet, from which most of the cast seems to believe they cannot come back. 

"Teresa, Melissa, sadly, I don't see it going anywhere good," Jenn laments. "Maybe, maybe with time."

That said, Jenn seems to think both women can keep their spots on the show in a hypothetical 14th season.

"I think they can both exist," she offers. "Listen, you've had friends that you've broken up with, right? Or well-- I know they're relatives, but there's still a circle of people that you're close to, that you're both close to, and you co-exist to the best of your ability. I know that it's rough. I know that this cuts way deeper than just friendship, but I think they can do it. I'm rooting for them."

Teresa and Melissa are both new friends to Jenn, who joined this group by way of Margaret Josephs.

"The opportunity came to me, but I did not plan this at all," she admits. "I become a friends with Margaret Josephs because I have a business, called F Major, and Margaret was kind of mentoring me through a mutual friend we met, and she was sort of mentoring me in terms of like my startup business, and she put me on her podcast and introduced me to people, and unbeknownst to me, she sent a business video that I had one of the casting directors and so I got this phone call, and at first, you know -- I don't know if if all the Housewives feel this way -- but I was like, absolutely not! Are you nuts?"

"Then it sort of felt like, I'm 54 years old, like, this is probably a chance that's not gonna come again," she continues, "and maybe it's gonna be this great adventure, and it has been. So, I just sort of wrapped my head around it and jumped in!" 

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Jenn had no intention of ever doing reality TV -- "I mean, nobody was coming after me, nobody was knocking on my door" -- but did have dreams of stardom in a previous life.

"When I was like really young, in my 20s, I went to acting school, and I was a really bad actress," she confesses, "and so, I just waited tables for a couple of years and told myself I was an actress. I was not good at it, but I don't know... reality TV, I seem to be doing OK."

Jenn's proven herself to be an asset on the show, playing both comic relief for and Greek chorus to the cast.

"I was surprised," she reveals of her position within the edit of the show. "I'm that person that, whatever comes into my mind, I vomit out, and that's just been who I've been since I was a young child. My mother will tell you, it's a huge fault of mine, but it is what it is. So, I do always sort of say what I'm thinking, and I guess it shouldn't have surprised me."

"People say that I'm 'a voice of reason,'" she continues. "I think this is the first time anyone's ever said that to me!"

That title came Jenn's way after an intense verbal sparring match between Margaret and Jennifer Aydin broke out at a barbecue she hosted. Jenn shut down the shouting, asked Jennifer to leave the event and then confronted Margaret the next day over her behavior. This was just the beginning of the drama for Margaret, who's since been accused of building an "arsenal" of information to use against her co-stars in the future. Jenn says, if anything, it's an accidental arsenal.

"Margaret doesn't make a habit of looking for information," she explains. "She doesn't spend her days calling strangers and trying to increase her 'arsenal.' She's not like that, but -- and people have said it, I'm not the first -- Margaret is really easy to talk to, and she's very charismatic, and she has a lot of friends and a lot of connections. So I don't think that she is actively trying to build her arsenal, but I definitely think that she's someone who knows some stuff."

The cast seems split on what to believe, especially after Teresa and Jennifer warned Jenn's fellow newcomers, Danielle Cabral and Rachel Fuda, that Margaret is "a better friend than an enemy." The back and forth over that phrasing leads to a finale clash between Danielle and Margaret, first revealed in the midseason trailer.

Eugene Gologursky / Bravo

"I mean, Danielle can hold her own," Jenn notes. "So, I don't know if that's become apparent yet, but she is not a shrinking violet. So, you know, Margaret is a tough cookie, and -- as it's been said over and over, ad nauseum -- better her friend than her enemy, right? But I think you'll see Danielle can handle herself."

Danielle also goes up against Rachel on the cast trip to Ireland, seemingly over the same thing. "I mean, it all gets bad," Jenn says of the moment. "It all gets nasty and ugly."

It's part of what Jenn describes as a "bloodbath" on the Garden State gals' outing overseas.

"That's where I got my name, 'Messy Fessy,'  in Ireland," she reveals. "We laughed our way through Ireland, and we screamed our way through Ireland. I mean ... it gets very ugly and dramatic, but it's also really really fun."

"We had a really good time, plus it was a total bloodbath," she reiterates. 

Overall for Jenn, the experience of Housewives has been more laughs than screams, thankfully. Though she does sometime scream at her own behavior onscreen.

"I'm so obnoxious!" she cracks. "I mean, I know that I'm obnoxious, because I've had to live with myself for 54 years, but I don't know... I mean, shoving that mozzarella in my mouth? It's just absolutely gross. So, I didn't know I was that gross!"


Jenn's calling back to a meme-making moment early on in the season, in which she became so fed up with the fighting unfolding before her eyes at a cheese-making party that she shoveled an entire ball of fresh mozzarella into her face.

"I remembered vaguely that I did it, but I didn't know that I shoved it into like my pie hole like that," she shares. "Nasty!"

She doesn't regret it, though; her only regret from the season hasn't even aired on TV yet.

"I left Teresa's wedding a little early, and I think people know now that Margaret had left a little early," she admits. Margaret's explained her exit from the event as honoring Melissa, who did not attend the wedding after her and husband Joe Gorga's still-to-be-seen finale fight with his sister.

"I'm very close with Melissa and Joe," Jenn adds, "and I'm friendly with, friends with Teresa, I think. I hope that she still considers me a friend, but I thought that I was being sort of fair to everyone, and I would make a showing, but ... making a kind of statement like that at a wedding was the wrong thing to do."

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.