On the first warm, optimistically horny Saturday afternoon of March, Cut writers, friends, and single women, Emilia Petrarca and Allison P. Davis arrived at Murray’s Cheese for a double date.
It was like most double dates, in that at least one person was really excited (Emilia) and one didn’t really want to go (Allison). Their outfits reflected this: Emilia wore her foolproof first date turtleneck, and Allison didn’t wear a bra. But still, they were nervous! How would it go? Who would like who? And what if it was the same person? This date was different in that their suitors weren’t guys they’d met on an app or at a party — they were DJ Pauly D and Vinny Guadagnino from the Jersey Shore.
Believe it or not, the reality-TV Casanovas known for their bad pickup lines, messy club hookups, and late nights in the “smush room,” are still single. But a decade later, they’re ready to settle down. This week, their new Bachelor-like dating show, Double Shot at Love, will premiere on MTV, and viewers will watch as 20 single women in bandage dresses compete for their attention, and vise-versa. As with all double-dates, the logistics are slightly confusing, but at the end of the day, the two best friends get to do what they love most, which is hang out with each other.
When the Murray’s Cheese pairing class began — and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” crescendoed from the Sonos speaker system — Allison and Emilia could tell the hardest part was going to be competing with Pauly D and Vinny’s dynamic. They were like an old married couple, recalling past vacations together, and finishing each other’s sentences. They even knew the details of each other’s diets. “I live for Vinny’s cheat days!” Pauly exclaimed. (Vinny is Keto.)
It turned out that four glasses of wine was all Emilia and Allison needed to take their own double shot at love, and ask the guys some questions about their respective dating styles, make prolonged eye contact with them, and fantasize about touching Pauly D’s hair — all while eating cheese and prosciutto.
Here’s what they learned:
They have different types:
Emilia: Do you have different taste in women?
Vinny: We have similar taste on the surface. Like, we’d probably both find the same woman attractive. But when we get into the weeds a little more, we’d surprise each other.
Pauly: I feed off vibes. If she has a positive vibe, I gravitate toward it. I can sense a positive vibe from a mile away.
Vinny: Physically, I like mixed races, or different ethnicities. Like, the opposite of me. I’ve only dated like, one Italian girl.
Pauly: Yeah, me too.
Vinny: There were all different types of women [on the show.] Like a cheese plate of different women.
Pauly: Lot of different textures!
They’ve used dating apps:
Emilia: Did you guys get off the apps for the show?
Pauly: I did. No one told me to, but I just wanted to.
Vinny: I’m on them, but I don’t use them.
Allison: Full disclosure, we’ve both seen you on Raya and Tinder.
Pauly: Those apps never worked for me because no one believed it was me. They thought I was catfishing them. I may have invited some people to my shows, but it never got any deeper than that.
Vinny: I never met anyone from those apps. You know what I would do? I would go to Tinder, and I would know that they were single, and I would start following them on Instagram. And then if you message them, you’ll always get a response.
Pauly: Instagram’s the best dating app. Forget everything else.
Vinny: Raya is terrible.
Pauly: I was so suped to get accepted, though.
Vinny: I wasn’t accepted for like, two years!
Pauly: He was mad at me. He was like: You can’t refer me?
Vinny: I was like, how am I ever going to get with J.Lo now?
Emilia: [To Vinny.] I got a strike because I tried to screenshot your profile.
Pauly: I did the same thing with Amber Rose!
Allison: What you have to do is hold it up in front of your MacBook and take a picture on PhotoBooth.
Vinny and Pauly in unison: Ooooohhhhhhhh!!!
Vinny: That’s good, I’m gonna use that.
Pauly: That is a good idea. I didn’t even mean to take a screenshot, my body just did it.
Emilia: Same, my body convulsed.
Pauly: I screenshot all of Vinny’s texts.
Vinny: And he sends them to TMZ.
They slide into DMs:
Allison: Which of you is better at pick-up lines?
Pauly: I don’t have any, but it’s really about the delivery. My delivery happens to be a little bit better than Vinny’s.
Vinny: It’s true. He talks with conviction.
Pauly: His jokes are great. So good, that I’ll steal them, say it, and then I’ll get the reaction.
Vinny: We have a bit where I’ll say something and it doesn’t get a laugh. And then I’ll go, “Pauly, say it.” And everyone dies laughing.
Emilia: What’s your opening line in a DM? That’s my question.
Vinny: You gotta go to the story, and then react to something in the story.
Pauly: One hundred percent.
Vinny: And you gotta pick something that not a lot of other guys are reacting to.
Allison: So, not the thirst trap?
Vinny: Like her dog or something. I’ll be like, “Is she a rescue?” Or, just the two eyes.
They go the extra mile:
Allison: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done to impress a woman on a date?
Vinny: I dated a girl who really loved prosciutto. But she was from California, and they didn’t really have a lot of good Italian prosciutto over there. So I sent her a giant slab of prosciutto to California. Like a leg. And a slicer. I bought her a slicer.
Pauly: Damn! You never bought me a slicer! I’m over here cutting mine myself.
Vinny: I do stupid gifts like that with meaning. And afterwards I’m always like, I should have just gotten her a bracelet.
Allison: No! Meat and a meat slicer! That’s like…
Emilia: I mean…
Pauly: She can’t wear that around her neck!
Vinny: You would.
Pauly: I’d dip mine in gold.
They’ve got manners:
Emilia: Do you ever judge a girl based on her drink order?
Vinny: I went on a date with a girl once and she sent her mojito back three times. Like, after the second, you just gotta let it rock. I was so embarrassed.
Pauly: I hate sending stuff back. He’ll do it for me.
Vinny: It’s the weirdest thing because he’s the loud one and I’m the quiet one. But when it comes to asking a question to the waiter or any kind of logistical thing, he won’t do it. He’d rather not eat.
Pauly: If I don’t want something, I’ll just pick it off myself. But he’ll give them a laundry list.
Allison: You’re like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.
Pauly: He’s like: I’ll take a bacon egg and cheese with no bacon, no egg, and no cheese. And I want the plate washed in Keto-friendly soap. And water, but no cup.
[Vinny takes a photo of the cheese]
Pauly: Bro, don’t be cheesy.
Vinny: I’m surprised you haven’t made that joke yet.
Pauly: This is another problem on dates: People taking out their phones. Just enjoy the food!
Vinny: When you’re with someone 24-hours a day, and you want to be on your phone, I think it’s important to find someone who is okay with that.
Pauly: I’m saying I want to have a conversation. If we’re on a date and you’re buried in your phone … It’s like … Hi, I’m here too!
Vinny: You’re so needy.
Pauly: I am needy, yeah.
Vinny: But if you’re with that person all the time—
Pauly: I don’t like it when you’re on the phone at dinner!
They know what they’re doing:
Allison: What’s your go-to first date?
Pauly: Ideal and go-to is different. Ideal is something we’d both enjoy. I like outdoors stuff, like a hike or a walk. But a go-to is dinner because it’s the easiest. And then after that, you do something where you can really get to know them.
Vinny: There are levels to mine.
Pauly: Let’s hear it.
Vinny: If it’s someone from an app or social media, or someone who you’re not too sure of, you gotta just do a coffee.
Vinny: Then, if someone gives off more of a party vibe, you go to a lounge.
Emilia: What! What is a lounge?
Pauly: It’s not quite a club, so you can actually have a conversation.
Vinny: There’s music. There’s a vibe.
Allison: Nice couches…
Vinny: You might even know people, so there’s a buffer. Like, “Hey! What’s up, Tony?” Yeah, his name is Tony.
Vinny: But then, if I really like someone, I’m taking them … and I’ve done this a couple times … to UCB because I’ve done classes there. I took classes there for like six years.
Pauly: Why, so you can act like you’re into it?
Vinny: Well, this is for people I actually like. I text my guy over there and he gives me the Goodfellas treatment and tapes off a couple seats for me. That gets ‘em every time.
Being famous kind of sucks:
Vinny: Being on TV for ten years made me completely socially awkward.
Pauly: I thought you were born that way.
Vinny: It’s hard to start a conversation with someone who already knows all this stuff about me. They’ve seen the best and the worst of me. It’s a little embarrassing, honestly.
Pauly: Are they coming in because they want to get to know me? Or do they want what they see on TV? It’s a blessing and a curse, and I think the good outweighs the bad. But in the dating world, not so much.
Allison: What would you say if someone had a picture of you on their phone background? Would that be the end of the date?
Emilia: Oh God…
Pauly: Flattering. Very flattering.
Vinny: I would think that’s hilarious.
Emilia: [Shows Pauly her phone background, which is a photo of him and Chloë Sevigny sitting next to each other at a Knicks game in 2011.] This is my favorite moment, ever.
Pauly: Wowwww! I remember that!
Emilia: There was a rumor that you guys were dating, because you look like you’re having the best time.
Pauly: We did! They randomly put us there and I was like, this is the coolest person I’ve ever met. This girl is awesome!
Vinny: Meanwhile, she’s like: How much time is left in the third quarter…
Pauly: It’s funny though that it was such a full-blown thing. That’s what we have to deal with. Can you imagine if I was dating someone and they saw that? They’d be like, what is going on here?
They really love each other:
Allison: Did you guys ever fight?
Vinny: I don’t think that would ever happen between us.
Allison: How can any girl compete with this relationship?
Pauly: If you end up with me, you’re stuck with him for life. Because he’s my brother, you know?
Allison: They’re either stuck with you, or you get two for one.
Vinny: Ayyy! That’s a different show. No, but it’s true.