‘RHONJ’ Dolores Catania: ‘Danielle Staub took my place’ on the first season

Dolores CataniaPaul Brasil | InsideJersey.com

Dolores Catania

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania reveals exclusively to OMJ’s Kelly Dillon that she was originally cast for the first season of the series and Danielle Staub took her place after she left.

“It wasn’t my time. My children were little at the time and they were at an age when they needed me, and the first season of Housewives was taking a lot from everybody because it was huge,” she said of her life during the filming of Season 1 more than 7 years ago. “I was at a place in time that I was just like not sure about it because I was the single girl on the show and the way they were producing back then was not going to put me in a very good light. That was a parental decision for me. And they scrambled around to find someone.”

The Season 7 newbie said producers discovered Danielle at the RHONJ ladies favorite hair salon Chateau in Franklin Lakes, and the rest is history. Real Housewives of New Jersey debuted on May 12, 2009. Even though she left during the taping of that epic inaugural season, Dolores still made plenty of cameos throughout the years with her long-time friends Caroline Manzo, Dina Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, and Teresa Giudice.

“I was watching them up-and-coming in this fame and it could have been me, so I forget what season it was was, but I was like ‘I’m ready now,’ ” the fitness center owner said during a sit-down interview at her newly remodeled Haledon home. “And the Catskills episode, which is one of the most watched episodes, I could have been on then, but they casted differently.”

The mother-of-two said now that it is finally her time and she truly believes everything happens for a reason. “With everything that I’ve gone through over all these years and all that time, I can talk about a lot of things that are very relatable to people watching. It’s a time in my life where my kids are grown, its a pivotal time for me.”


This season on RHONJ we also saw Dolores’ bestie and co-star Siggy Flicker trying to set her up. Dolores, who has been divorced from the father of her children Frank Catania for 15 years, tells me she is not really ready for romance, but truly appreciates the prominent relationship expert‘s efforts.

“Siggy has a fairytale life. Her husband’s a prince. She has a beautiful, happy life. She loves me so much that she wants the same for me,” Dolores says. “That’s a real friend, that’s a good friend. Everybody has a different journey. Everybody goes through different things.”

The two newbies have formed a strong bond with one another mainly because, as Dolores describes it, they are are almost the same person.

“We’re down to earth, we’re a lot alike, we don’t put on airs. We’re honest, and we’re open, and we’re no chameleons. Neither one of us will conform to fit in with whoever were sitting across from,” she says. “They have to accept us for who we are and that’s it. Our mouth will go a million miles an hour, we swear like truck drivers, but we’ll literally give you the shirt off our back.”

Dolores talked about the moment she first laid eyes on Siggy, and she sure saw plenty! She reveals, “Siggy opens the door, ‘Who are you? Get out of my house. You are too pretty!’ Then she picks up her shirt and flashes, ‘Look I just got my boobs done.'”

Talk about an introduction! These two are total BFF goals. Andy Cohen we hope you are listening, because we need to see these ladies back for Season 8.

While at Dolores’ beautiful home we met her three adorable rescue dogs — Rez, Lolly, and Lola — who she saved off the streets of her hometown of Paterson. Watch below to hear their stories.