Snooki Polizzi has been drunkenly stumbling her way across TV screens for years as a member of the cast of "Jersey Shore," a reality show dedicated to chronicling the exploits of a gang of self-proclaimed "guidos and guidettes."
She's gained fame for flashing her lady bits while dancing like a rabid banshee, binge drinking, hot-tubbing, doing all manner of ungodly things to her hair and getting into the occasional bar fight. Her exploits have even found her in the custody of police both here in the states, as well as Italy.
And now she's going to be a mom.
This week, Snooki confessed to the world that she is both expecting and engaged to the father, fellow Jersey-an Jionni LaValle, leaving the rest of us wondering: Will she still be as entertaining as a mom? Will she be more entertaining as a mom? And what is that baby in for?
"I have different priorities now," Snooki, 24, told US Weekly. "I don't care what anybody else thinks. As long as I know I'm ready and he's ready."
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So where will Snooki rank in the pantheon of reality TV pregnancy?
"It's pretty high up there, just because of the party lifestyle that Snooki had in the past," says Sunny Chanel, who tracks all things celebrity baby related at Babble.com. " We've seen Snooki getting arrested on the beach of the Jersey Shore. She's going from hair bumps to baby bumps. And it's gonna be a big transition. So it's kind of a shock, the idea of her going through pregnancy and being a mother is far different from a Kourtney Kardashian or someone else like that.
Snooki is currently filming a "Jersey Shore" spin-off called "Snooki and JWOWW vs. The World," but that wraps sometime in April, meaning the expectant mother is going to need new digs. As it is, MTV has already started tweaking the focus of the current show in deference to the pregnancy. They now plan to show a whole new side to Snooki, a source told The New York Post.
No word from MTV about whether they will continue to track Snooki after she becomes a parent, but Chanel predicts they will.
"Another spin-off show, her and Jionni's life together, because they're now engaged. I don’t think she can go back to the 'Jersey Shore.' That set of people. This is gonna be a big move from that pack. Like Bethenny Frankel of 'The Real Housewives,' getting her spin-off, having her show about motherhood and marriage, rather than being about being a single girl in New York City. The same kind of life transformation will probably occur for (Snooki). There'll be a different kind of story that she's selling."
Frankel's show, "Bethenney Getting Married," was Bravo's most-watch series debut ever when it first aired in June of 2011. But the ratings are in a slow decline during season 3, as her marriage to Jason Hoppy has grown more strained and she's had a baby, too.
"Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," starring Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, on the other hand, keeps chugging along. The show just finished airing season 6, a run that has seen the birth of the couple's two kids.
Despite the spotty success of reality TV pregnancy, Chanel has no doubt that a show about motherhood is in Snooki's future. Between her own fame and the popularity of "Jersey Shore," which last week was the second-highest rated show on cable TV, it's a no-brainer.
"Oh yeah, it's her job. Being a reality TV star, that's what she does," insists Chanel. "And she's had a great career at it… It's big stuff. I think she's found her little space and I think everybody's curious to see how she'll handle pregnancy and how she’ll be as a mom. People will watch because she's not like anybody else. The originality of her will be alluring to watch."
Equally alluring will be watching Snooki adjust to dialing back her long love affair with drinking, fighting, and hot-tubbing, none of which make for an ideal environment for an unborn child. Regardless of how the quality of prenatal care the baby enjoys, LaValle is confident he knows what the kid will look like.