Since episode one, the major dynamic of the entire season was proclaimed loud and clear: this year it's all about the bitch called pay back that ultimately took the form of an implied major confrontation between Natalie Guercio and Natalie DiDonato.
But the big fistfight or shootout or whatever we all expected never happened. (Nor did we relish the thought of it. We don't like the idea of two women fighting.... we want women to act, well, womanly, not like dudes...And, yes, we did interview one of the cast members and we will get to her following some prefatory remarks.)
As OK Magazine put it, "the [final] episode fizzled into nothing more than another screaming match between the two ladies."
Furthermore, "Mob Wives vet Renee Graziano revealed that she purposely kept DiDonato from confronting Guercio in an attempt to keep the feuding pair from ruining the party she held to celebrate renewing her faith..."I kept telling her, ‘Don’t get up! This is my party. It’s a happy thing,'” Graziano recalled. “I tried to control it as much as I possibly could. I was trying to do the right thing in a situation that could have gone horribly wrong.”
Nice try, but we call bullshit.
Renee fanned the flames as aggressively as possible for the entire season, then used her phony baptism to distance herself from the monster she herself had created. We say this with no fear of contradiction.
Who staffs the show, sets the direction of the story lines and handles the editing? What is her last name? (Hint: Renee refers to this person as God.)
Why was the "baptism" juxtaposed à la The Godfather with the scene in which Natalie Guercio's fate was supposedly sealed?
We've been saying all along that the point of this season was to repair Renee's image by filling the show with as many Natalie Guercio-haters as possible. We're certain the "strategic" thinking went: destroy at all costs Natalie Guercio who somehow got so deeply under Renee's skin, Renee was forced to reveal her unflattering lunatic side during the infamous Las Vegas episode from season four.
Listen to the first reunion episode where Renee praises Karen Gravano for her loyalty, pegging it at 100 percent, when everyone else turned against her (meaning they were friendly with Natalie Guercio). Instead of trying to figure out why everyone turned against her, she got God to use an entire season of a reality show to get revenge.
So now, in true Renee fashion, Renee is actually trying to distance both herself and the show from ... the show, which makes sense to no one with a brain.
What happens when you base an entire season on petty vindictiveness, promise a payoff never delivered, and even leave a few tantalizing yet completely unnecessary loose ends? By loose ends we refer to whatever was going on between Drita D'Avanzo and Carla Facciolo, as an example. Something about talking to blogs? Of course it seemed Karen Gravano had her version of an answer -- the "elephant in the room" -- but the editor snipped it out.
"When did you make up with Renee?" Drita asks Carla, to which Renee answers, "We saw each other in the nail salon--I, honestly, I saw her and I was like--how are--"... Yes. Completely believable answer. But that is beside our larger point: Drita asked Carla, so why did Renee answer?
Drita's ice-cold, perfectly intoned retort, "Well then you made peace with everyone in your life Renee," is the one story line we'd truly like to hear more about.
We may be able to explain some of the unease between Drita and Carla (and Drita and Karen).
Longtime viewers of the show will recall that Ramona Rizzo, Carla and Karen left the show over money issues. Originally, Drita had joined with them. In other words, all four cast members had agreed to stand together and walk. No more money, no more cast.
But Drita changed her mind and broke the solidarity at the last moment, after the other three had walked... This is what we've heard.
Anyway, the bottom line of all this, the lack of an ending, etc., is that there is said to be some serious backstage concern about the fate of a sixth season for Mob Wives.
"Supposedly Jennifer Graziano knows she screwed up big time. They are worried if there will be a season six," one source told us.
So of course Renee is out there in full damage-control mode, blaming all the show's problems on the two girls from Philly. All that stuff between the two Natalies had gotten out of control! And it's not gonna happen again! Right, Renee... and the intertwining of the scenes of your baptism and Drita hearing a certain tape recording were just a chance of fate and not a deliberate nod to the Godfather....
Right about now we'd have said that in our opinion BOTH Natalies had been used by the producers of the VH1 reality show that is sort of about the mob, but not really at all about the mob. We would've said that -- but Natalie DiDonato wouldn't agree with us.
The editing process has long been the bane of reality stars and we've always wondered about storylines -- perhaps even entire people -- that we've heard were cut from the show.
We have now learned, following an exclusive interview with Natalie DiDonato, that viewers did indeed miss a key development that occurred during filming that would've helped to better define DiDonato's motive for the intense anger she displayed during season five's reunion against Natalie Guercio.
Guercio referenced a horrific episode from DiDonato's past: when she was a child her stepfather sexually assaulted her, she told us.
DiDonato's experience on "Mob Wives" was generally positive nevertheless and she said she is quite pleased with how things turned out.
"I accomplished everything I wanted to," she said.
DiDonato started talking with Jennifer Graziano about appearing on Mob Wives last May.
"They were looking for a new girl," she said. "New blood."
"None of the stuff with Natalie Guercio was brought up until we started filming."
Did they choose her specifically because they knew she'd put Guercio immediately on the defensive? Not really, she replied.
"They liked me for who I was. They knew I didn't like the girl and that I wouldn't get along with her but when we started filming in the beginning it was more about my life, what I did for a living, who I was.
"The other stuff gradually started working itself into the story line."
DiDonato expressed definite interest in appearing in season six if there is one.
The feud between the two Natalies doesn't appear to have ended yet, either.
"She keeps trying to humiliate me," DiDonato said of Natalie G. "She works with a bunch of trolls. They put my address on social media. I don't give them a reaction because it is beneath me."
Nat. D. says one of her reasons for getting on the show was to clear the name of a friend of 15 years. Well, two friends, actually, but only one was really the show's focus.
"Natalie ratted on two friends of mine. Her reaction to my comment - she blew her top. So then I proceeded to carry on the way I did."
But the fact of the matter is: we, the viewers, missed quite a lot of background that ended up on the cutting-room floor, as Nat D. informed us.
Natalie G. found out about something that happened to Natalie D. at a young age involving her stepfather -- and brought it up on the show, which made Natalie DiDonato furious -- and probably left viewers a bit befuddled regarding the intensity of her anger.
"When I was a little girl, I went through a sexual assault case and Natalie brought this up during filming," DiDonato says.
"Natalie harassed me about it on the show. They cut it out -- they thought it was too awful to air."
Nat D. offered a sketch of her history with her stepfather, now serving a 30-year prison sentence.
"My stepfather blew my car up. Literally. It exploded minutes after I got out. There was dynamite found under the car."
Her stepfather, while in prison for earlier crimes, even tried to put a contract out on her life, she said. There were no takers. In fact it appears some Philly mobsters who heard about this somehow got word to the police. Immediately.
In addition to his murder plot and the dynamite, the stepfather also tried to shoot her. He stuck a loaded gun in her face. "He pulled the trigger but the gun misfired," DiDonato said.
But the assault at age 12 -- it was not rape, but close to it, Natalie said -- was probably the most devastating experience of her life. In fact, she decided it would be easier to keep it all under wraps. Her stepfather encouraged that thinking. "He threatened to murder my mother," DiDonato recalled. "I just decided to forgive and forget."
Natalie said that she spent most of her life looking over her shoulder on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as a result. Then eventually, she was able to find the inner strength to pull herself together.
"You can be a victim or a survivor," Natalie said. "I am not bitter. I don't say: Why me? I roll with the punches."
This, she said, is the first time she has told her story, and it would seem she is doing so for cathartic reasons.
She talks about how she never let that episode destroy her. She established herself in the real estate business, started working at one of the big six firms in Philadelphia. When she reached the age 20, Natalie was earning a nearly six-figure income.
Then, she was promoted. "I made management when I was 21," she said.
But something else happened to her that same year that brought back that awful incident from her childhood.
One evening, returning home following after-work drinks with friends, Natalie fell asleep on the couch in her home. She was abruptly awakened by her stepfather, who was on top of her aggressively trying to pick up where he had left off some 10 years prior. He'd been living in a halfway house at the time, and would end up back in prison.
His efforts had been fueled by a prefatory injection of cocaine into his neck vein, Natalie recalled.
"I got him off of me. Now I was going to keep everything a secret since I was 14. I never thought it'd happen again."
Then, last year shortly before filming began for Mob Wives "I get a phone call from a lieutenant," Natalie said.
This is how she learned her stepfather been seeking to hire a contract killer to take care of her for $5,000.
"He's demented, he's sick."
So Natalie Guercio, whether she knows it or not, is ripping open an old painful wound, as DiDonato tells it.
"Now I have to deal with people telling me that I made this up because my mother and me wanted him out of the house and we couldn't think of a way to do it. I would not make up a horrific story like that."
"This girl is a monster. This girl is a sick person."
The subject came up during the reunion -- and was hacked off by editors, according to Natalie D.
"Karen said to me: You know what, Natalie, you're a better person than me. Then Karen went off on her."
"There are lines you should never cross. I just said, Fuck it."
"The stage was like ice - I was in heels for eight hours and my feet were so swollen. But if I took my shoes off the security guys would know I was gunning for her.
"She tried to get out any which way. She was adamant about keeping me off the reunion show."
Natalie G. also targeted that ex-boyfriend, the one she supposedly was talking to on the tape recording, Natalie D. told us.
"She called his PO -- again. She tried to get him locked up. She is mentally warped. He is a sensible guy who wants nothing to do with her. He never touched her, either.
"If that was a bruise on her face it was makeup. My friend didn't do that to her."
"He has a family, a child. He had to file a restraining order against her. He didn't even want me to play the tape recording when I got on Mob Wives, but I told him to knock it off," she laughed.
What's important to her now, she said, was getting her story out.
"I can finally talk about it and not have a nervous breakdown."
As for the whole escalating feud between the two of them, Natalie D. said: "I only asked her to tell the truth.
"She made it so much bigger than what it was. Who gives a shit if you ratted on the guy, just tell the truth. She has an excuse for anything she does."
DiDonato has a lot on her plate these days. She's been making appearances at parties/events at nightclubs as far away as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
At the same time, she has managed to build a thriving business managing deejays. She has several in her stable and is always seeking to sign on some more. Her website is still under construction but we will post it when it debuts.
Charity work is a major part of her life. She spent last Thanksgiving and Christmas with her friends manning soup kitchens. On Thanksgiving Day alone, she and her friends fed more than 300 of South Philadelphia's indigent.
One upcoming event she's announced is the NatDGivesBack & Mercedes-Benz of Cherry Hill: Lisa Monterosso Charity Gala, which will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM and Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM (EDT) in Cherry Hill, NJ.
According to the website: "Join NatDGivesBack & Mercedes-Benz of Cherry Hill as they help raise awareness, and funds for Lisa Monterosso. Lisa was originally diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2009. After under going the procedure of a hysterectomy, she was cancer free for 5 years. Unfortunately, upon a visit to the ER in March of 2014, she was presented with the devastating news, that the cancer came back. Now a year later, Lisa is still one up in the fight against Cancer, but now she needs more support, and help. As the costs are tallying up for treatments, medications, and day to day expenses, she is unable to work due to medical leave.
"So by the end of the night, we hope to raise enough money for the next 6 months of expenses (Treatments, Medications, & Living Expenses) for Lisa Fight Against Cancer.
"Award Winning Event Design and Production Company "EVENT FX" will be the reason you are taken back in astonishment, as soon as you come through the door. They will be transforming the dealership into a chic, upscale, and glamorous oasis lounge setting.
"Mercedes-Benz Smart Car & A Live Painting by @mspassionart will be AUCTIONED off."
As for members of Mob Wives, Natalie Said she's invited Renee and Karen, so far.
We wonder if Renee will make an appearance.