March 29, 2012 1:11pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
'Jersey Shore's' Pauly D Juggles TV and a Budding Music Career in MTV's New Spinoff
As one of the most likeable breakout stars of MTV’s reality series Jersey Shore, it only seemed like a natural progression to place DJ Pauly D (real name: Paul Delvecchio) in front of the spinoff cameras.
"I still just can’t believe I have my own show," a humble Pauly D told The Hollywood Reporter of The Pauly D Project, debuting Thursday night on MTV. "I’ve never been so excited in my whole life."
Project follows the 31-year-old DJ from his home in Rhode Island to The Palms in Las Vegas, where Pauly D begins his first major residency. With his childhood friends along for the ride, Pauly D evenutally expands his empire into an opening gig on Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale tour, a deal with 50 Cent’s G-Note record label and, most recently, a second Las Vegas residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
"His life is going in a direction and it’s just kind of like, we want to go along for the ride with him," Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano told THR. "With or without us, great things were starting to happen for him. Because of the show, yes, he got some notoriety and got some fame and he’s getting a lot of gigs. But the truth of the matter is, he was a DJ when we met him."
For Jersey Shore viewers, it’s difficult to imagine Pauly D’s life without his partner in crime -- Vinny Guadagnino -- but luckily for fans, they don’t have to.
"Yes, my buddy Vinny does make an appearance on there," Pauly said. "Because it’s like real life, and Vinny’s my best friend. So he definitely makes an appearance on there."
Viewers will also see Vinny and Pauly’s bromance continue on the recently renewed Jersey Shore, which is still on track for a summer shoot despite recent personal developments for two of its key cast members. In the last month, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi announced her pregnancy and engagement, while Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino entered rehab for a "prescription medication problem." According to MTV and Salsano, the sixth season of Jersey Shore is still a go with all eight roommates attached to return.
While each member of the Jersey Shore cast has worked on developing their personal brands into endorsement deals, cosmetics lines, book deals and acting gigs, Pauly D is arguably the show’s biggest success story. But with his dreams of a bona fide music career finally coming true, would Pauly D consider leaving the camera crew behind on his rise to stardom?
"Music is definitely where my heart’s at and that’s what my passion is, so I never want to let that go," Pauly said. "But TV is fun and I enjoy doing that, as well. So, I’m just basically going to juggle both I think… as long as I can."
"But I’ll always have the music," he added. "I did it before the show and I’ll continue to do it after."
Snooki and Jenni "JWoww" Farley have also landed spinoff deals with the young-skewing network, which is capitalizing unexpectedly on Snooki's pregnancy. Salsano told THR that filming wraps this week and that the show is going to be “absolutely awesome.”
The Pauly D Project premieres on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. on MTV, following a Justin Bieber-led revamp of Punk’d at 10 p.m.