Just three episodes into Oxygen’s newest competition series Last Squad Standing, we’ve already cast our vote for our favorite group of friends: the Jersey Bosses, duh! I recently chatted with a few of the Bergen County cast members to discuss how they joined the show, favorite hot spots in the Garden State, social media hookups and so much more.
I was joined by three of the five squad members: Caroline De Peri of Saddle Brook, Jay Alkhodary of Elmwood Park and Steven Herrera of Maywood. (Kaitlyn Miele of Wood-Ridge and Gia Palmieri of Paramus continued their hustles outside of reality TV at their day jobs).
For those still unfamiliar with the premise of the show, the contestants are competing against two other squads from different parts of the United States for a chance to win $100,000. They’re tested physically, emotionally and mentally with various tasks and selective elimination choices. Friendships are tested and only the true squad will remain standing.
Continue reading below to discover why OMJ can’t get enough of the men and women representing for our home state week after week:
How did you come up with the name?
Caroline: When they finally met us they thought we looked like a group that called the shots, like we were our own bosses, so I was like alright I’ll take it.
Jay: Yeah, after a while it grew on me too.
How did you guys meet?
Steve: I met all the girls through Jay. I would always see Caroline and the girls out at the club or whenever I went out, so we became friends after running into each other so often.
Jay: I don’t know how I met you guys [laughs].
Caroline: Jay slid in my Twitter DMs. He had a house party and I went with one of my friends. As I was leaving, I introduced myself because he was a terrible host and didn’t say anything to me. We actually went to elementary school together, so it was less of an introduction and more of a, “do you remember me?” That was it.
Have there been any hookups within the squad?
Jay: I thought Caroline was cute when I first hit her up. We hooked up — yeah, I was feeling her. Nothing really came of it, so we just stayed friends.
Caroline: We fought a little bit, but we got past it. We’re just really good friends. Even though I want to ring his neck sometimes, we’re still good friends. He’s like the only guy that we know that actually wants to remain friends after a girl tells him the relationship isn’t working. Most guys would be sour, but not Jay.
Jay: I’m just that kind of person. I’m very emotional. If you’re honest with me from the beginning then I’m cool. The girl could tell me the relationship’s not working and then the next thing you know, I’d be asking her if she wants to get f***** up [laughs]. I hate being dragged a long through the bull****. I’m a Scorpio, we’re nuts.
What sets the Jersey Bosses a part from the other squads?
Caroline: I feel like we were the only ones who went in there with an open mind and a sense of reality. The other two teams know how to practice their scripts. It like they already had roles picked out for each other and would assign the challenges according to those roles. We, on the other hand, went in there looking to have a good time and ready for whatever came our way. You’ll see as the season goes on that we really just go with the flow and are really easy to relate to, because we’re not scripted. We’re really proud of that.
Steve: We don’t try to be tough and we don’t try to intimidate people. I wasn’t there for any bull****, shenanigans, fake handshakes, cheers or any of that. I was there for one thing and that was to win. We didn’t go there to interact and I think you could see that. We were very to ourselves.
Jay: I think going into it, the other teams didn’t think we were as close with each other as we really were, but that all changed by the end of the show.
Caroline: I think everyone else agreed. We weren’t bickering with each other and fighting over dumb stuff, instead we would sing to each other and tell ghost stories at night.
Jay: Yeah, there wasn’t too much arguing…well maybe after a few shots.
What are your self-proclaimed roles in your squad?
Caroline: I’m the mom.
Steve: Jay would be the ***hole, because he’s always talking so much s***. If Caroline’s the mom, then I’m the big brother.
Jay: That’s kind of weird bro.
Caroline: Jay shut up!
Jay: I don’t know what I’d be. I’m everything…I’m full of emotions.
Caroline: Jay would be the party.
Jay: Oh yeah you’re right, I get turnt!
Steve: He’s the emotional little sister.
Caroline: There you go, that’s the family: mom, brother and emotional little sister.
Jay: Gia would be the hot head.
Caroline: I was going to say that! Kate would be our secret weapon.
Besides the challenges on the show, have there been any tough situations that could’ve torn your friendship apart?
Jay: Oh yeah, Steven and I stopped being friends because we got into a fight with other people and he got her. We just went our separate ways.
Steve: Jay and I were already on a downward slope, so that situation just put the icing on the cake.I’m also the type of person that doesn’t hold grudges. If we go through something, I’ll try to patch it up. So we just cut the bull**** after that, left what happened in the past and kept it moving. We actually didn’t really start talking again until mom over here (referring to Caroline) sat us down.
Why are you proud to represent the Garden State?
Steve: I’m proud of my state. I feel like the majority of people like people from New Jersey. Even if they look at us as airheads, at least we’re friendly airheads. Everything’s in arm’s reach too, which is why I love it.
Caroline: We honestly have the best of the best here! Jersey has its own TV shows, amazing malls, so many delicious food…just everything. Although we live in such a small state, there’s so many people here from different backgrounds and I honestly couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Jay: It gave me the attitude and personality I have today. I moved to Kansas for three years and I just felt different. Jersey is just who I am. Also living right next to the city and being the home to so many beaches doesn’t hurt.
What are the must-visit spots in Jersey?
Caroline: My favorite place to eat is definitely Sushi Boy in Garfield and as far as anything else, I live at the Garden State Plaza just like every other girl.
Steve: Taste of Italia in Elmwood Park, because I would eat everything on that menu.
Jay: I work in the city, so I don’t always have time to come and party in Jersey but when I do, I go to Hoboken. You can also find me at Midland Brew in Saddle River or Miller’s Ale House in Paramus, for the food and a good time.
To catch the Jersey Bosses battling for a chance to win the big cash prize on Last Squad Standing and all the craziness that happens in-between, tune in every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Oxygen.