America's Obsession with Snooki

Love her or hate her, its hard to take your eyes away from Snooki.

The 4-foot-9-inch "Jersey Shore" reality TV starlet from the small town of Marlboro, N.Y., has become one of the most recognizable faces on the beach and the red carpet.  

A self-proclaimed "Guidette," Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, 22, shocked MTV's audiences by her drunken antics, strange tanning addiction, iconic hair pouf, and her routine boardwalk cruising for "Juice Heads."   

To dig deeper into America's pop culture obsession with Snooki and the crew from "Jersey Shore," The New York Times profiled Snooki in their Sunday Style section.      

Andy Polizzi, Snooki's father, found it hard to understand why anyone would be drawn to his daughter. 

 “She’ll be up there hooting and hollering, and I’ll say to someone, ‘What is it that draws you to my daughter? Be honest.’ Because it’s very hard for me to see what it is. She don’t sing. She don’t dance. I don’t want to say she don’t have talent ...,” said Polizzi to The New York Times.  

Snooki's father may be right about his daughter's lack of conventional talent, but Robert Thompson, a "Jersey Shore" fan and professor of television and pop culture at Syracuse University called the allure of Snooki a "delicious artlessness."

Comparing Snooki to a "berserk windup toy," Thompson told The Times, "Give her a script and you’ve taken away the very thing she’s good at: being herself.”

Regardless of the inexplicable "it" quality that Snooki and the rest of the "Jersey Shore" cast possess, the reality TV stars of the moment are well compensated for their GTL (Gym, Tanning, Laundry) time. 

The cast members earn $10,000 an episode, reported The Times, and can expect $30,000 an episode for season three.      

Fans and those of us who just can't look away, can catch Snooki and the others on the second season of "Jersey Shore" which premieres Thursday on MTV. 

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