July 14, 2010 at 10:14 PM EDT

Image Credit: Janet Mayer/PR PhotosGuidos, rappers, Housewives, drag queens, and a singularly unique creature named Snooki. These were just some of the guests at the Jersey Shore soundtrack release party at New York club Marquee yesterday. I had the opportunity to work the red carpet for EW at the event, and let me tell you, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. Here’s how the tackiest night of my life went down…

The Jersey Shore cast didn’t arrive at the red carpet right away, so the lesser-known celebrities kept the media busy. British singer Jay Sean was pleasant, well-spoken, and the first of many stars to express his love for Drake’s new album. RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Sahara Davenport came next (followed by a whole posse of drag queens who weren’t allowed to walk the red carpet), and I couldn’t help but notice a pained look of disappointment on her face when only a scant few photographers opted to take her picture. Real Housewife of New Jersey Danielle Staub didn’t have the same problem, and she basked in the extreme attention she was receiving. After telling me that her favorite summer song is her own single, “Real Close,” she continued with her typical shtick, using phrases like “I’m not at liberty to say…” and “It was very traumatic…” repeatedly. Ugh.

Suddenly, the photographers at the other end of the carpet started shouting. “JWoww! Snooki! Look here! Situation!” The Jersey Shore kids had arrived, and everyone wanted a glimpse. A small horde of fans waiting to get into the party left the queue and crowded the block, trying to snap pictures on their phones, but the cast was busy with the official media photographers. After posing for a few minutes, the self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes unleashed themselves on the reporters.

Because it was so muggy outside, the event planners/publicists actually spent much of their time dabbing their clients’ foreheads with napkins, making sure they wouldn’t appear too shiny on camera. At one point, napkins were handed out to the reporters as well. I didn’t quite understand this, but I dried my face off anyway.

My first impression was that the cast all look a lot better in person than they do on TV. Snooki is less of an Oompa Loompa and more petite, Sammy’s surprisingly striking, and The Situation doesn’t have dark circles under his eyes. The major stars of the show, The Situation, Pauly D, and Snooki, spent a lot of time with the on-camera interviews (you know, anything that might be on TV), while Angelina, Ronnie, Sammy Sweetheart, and Vinny were a little more flexible. JWoww only stayed outside for a few minutes, before heading into the club.

I spoke with the whole cast, except for JWoww and The Situation (though heard him utter, “I think this is a situation” about 50 times, so I could probably write up a convincing faux-interview with the guy), and since we were at a soundtrack release party, I wanted to get a handle on their music tastes. All of the cast said they loved house/techno (duh), but I wanted to get beyond the stereotype, so I asked each of them: What kind of music do you listen to when you just can’t take any more house/techno music? Here are some of the more expected answers:

Sammy: “Same [music]. I don’t slow down.”

Ronnie: “This is my stuff — filthy, dirty beats. I love it! I listen to everything — hip hop, house music, whatever’s going to get me going in the gym.”

Vinny: “I like hip hop more than house, but when you’re at the Jersey Shore, they play a lot of house, so that’s where the fist-pumping and the house music comes from.”

And then there were some surprising responses:

Angelina: “I like Coldplay.”

Snooki: “To be honest with you, I really like rock/alternative music. I love Green Day, I love Lifehouse, I love Coldplay. Stuff like that.” (Really?!)

Other interesting tidbits of note:

– Pauly D’s hair has so much gel that it looks almost like an opaque, brown wall. And yet he seems like the most down-to-earth of anyone on the cast, and he knows his stuff when it comes to DJ’ing. He actually DJ’ed the party for a while.

– Snooki asked me if my father was a guido. “Not at all,” I replied.

– Drake’s new album received acclaim from Kat Deluna, Snooki, and Jay Sean. Usher was a popular amongst the guests, too.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Would you have pegged Snooki as a Coldplay fan? Are you ready for the new season of Jersey Shore?

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