BY JOHN COPOLLA
New Jersey used to be considered soooo bridge and tunnel, but thanks to shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the state has emerged as a mecca of fabulosity. This year’s Fairgrounds VIIII, better known as Gay Six Flags, celebrates Jersey’s metamorphosis.
“We are going back to our roots and making this year’s event all about Jersey,” says event organizer Mark Nelson. Fairgrounds VIIII takes place Friday, September 14 at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
Taking the stage will be none other than the reigning pop princess of Jersey, The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Melissa Gorga. Her hubby Joe Gorga and gay sidekick Greg Bennett will also be on hand, along with The Amazing Race’s Reichen Lehmkuhl, Thintervention’s Craig Ramsay and NYC nightlife queen Dina Delicious. DJs Steve Sidewalk, Seth Gold and DJ Barney of Philly will provide the musical entertainment.
So break out your hair gel and spray tan. Tighten your fist pump. Six Flags Great Adventure celebrates being gay – Jersey style. Here’s what Gorga has to say.
Did you expect your first single, “On Display,” would be such a big hit with gay men?
I had a feeling it would. The song is a high-energy dance track, and the lyrics really hit home for people. It’s about empowerment, about being who you are and not caring what anyone thinks.
It’s quintessential Jersey.
That’s a compliment! A lot of great music has come from Jersey.
Very true! Bruce Springsteen is from Jersey.
Springsteen is New Jersey!
Also, Whitney Houston.
I loved her! She is the queen of all queens. She has the most amazing voice. I own every one of her albums.
Queen Latifah is from Jersey.
I met her once in New York City, and she was very down to earth and nice.
Bon Jovi’s most famous album was their New Jersey album.
I loved Jon Bon Jovi, but all the girls loved Richie Sambora.
…and Frank Sinatra.
Frank is Joe’s favorite. I think every Italian in the world loves Frank Sinatra.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
I was definitely a KTU girl. I had it on every night, especially the late-night mixes. I listened to everyone from Michael Jackson to Mariah Carey. I loved all of the divas.
Isn’t Greg Bennett (the Manzo brothers’ gay roommate on The Real Housewives of New Jersey) also a huge Mariah Carey fan?
He eats, sleeps and breathes her. That’s how I knew I would love him when we met.
Greg is so fun.
Greg is one of the most entertaining people on Twitter. Follow him!
Will this be your first time performing Six Flags Great Adventure?
Yes, but I’ve been going to Six Flags every year since I was 10 years old, and now I take my kids each year. Joe and I are really excited to come out for this year’s event.
Speaking of Joe, what’s something fans would be surprised to learn about him?
[laughs] That’s a hard one, because Joe doesn’t hide much of anything.
What’s next for you?
I’m releasing my new single called “I Just Wanna.” It features vocals by an incredible up-and-coming artist, Santino Noir. He is an old friend from Jersey, and he wrote and produced the song. Six Flags will actually be the first time I perform it live.