Vinny Guadagnino says he wasn't ready to leave The Masked Dancer: 'I was distraught'
The Jersey Shore star reveals those were not his real muscles after being unmasked as the Hammerhead.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday's episode of The Masked Dancer.
Another week, another masked dancer unmasked! On Wednesday's episode of The Masked Dancer, the Hammerhead swam home, and the blinged-out fish was revealed to be Jersey Shore cast member, talk show host, and cookbook author Vinny Guadagnino. Ahead of the unmasking, Guadagnino chatted with EW about the best and worst parts of his costume, which dance routine he found to be the most difficult, and why he was "distraught" to leave the show.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How much dancing experience did you have going into the show?
VINNY GUADAGNINO: Not very much, just kind of dancing in clubs. When I was younger, I used to breakdance at little parties and stuff for a couple of years, nothing crazy. But that was really it. Then I started hosting the show Chippendales in Vegas, and I didn't really do much dancing with that. So [the show was] kind of in my wheelhouse — I knew I was up to the challenge — but [I was] nowhere close to ever learning real choreography or anything.
Of all the routines you did on the show, which would you say was the hardest?
The last one. They were all kind of hard, but the last one was more ballroom type. I can mess around to the Backstreet Boys and to The Weeknd, but that was hard to get into ballroom. I'm always up for the challenge, but it was a little challenging for me.
You mentioned breakdancing, and I know some of that ended up in one of your performances. Did you tell the producers you wanted to do that?
Of course! It's a little bit of a collaboration, they lay out the dances for you, but then they'll [give you] little moments where you can showcase things that maybe you could do that might surprise people or whatever. And in those little moments we tried to do some b-boy stuff.
And had you made it to next week, were there other styles of dance you really wanted to try?
I wanted to try them all. I was getting addicted to the process, and learning something new every week. Eventually, you have to keep shopping and surprising people for you to get through and do things that are different, so I don't really know what would have been in store for me, but I would have definitely loved to do every other kind of dance style I could.
So it's safe to say you're disappointed you didn't make it to the next round?
Oh, I was distraught. When I first did this, I didn't think I was gonna make it past that first week. And then I fell in love with the whole process and the show, and I just wanted to keep going.
We have to talk about your costume. What was your favorite part about it?
My favorite part was just who the character was in general, the Hammerhead. I love the fact that it is kind of like that muscle-bound Jersey type of character, but I'm not that guy. That's actually how I got on Jersey Shore, because I was a guy that was opposite from those types of characters, but I know all about them. So I knew how to kind of act like a Hammerhead. My least favorite part though, was the actual costume. That thing, I never want to put it on again. It was so challenging to move and to dance in that, and it was a challenge in itself every week.
I bet it was very hard to see in that thing, too.
See, it was like 40 pounds of a muscle suit, because those aren't my real muscles. And it's hard to breathe, and you have these big gloves on and you can't even feel anything, so you're kind of blind. You lose a lot of your senses out there and trying to do the dance… That's why when people really do well and keep going, I give them crazy credit because it's not easy.
How did you feel about the judges guessing all of your Jersey Shore castmates?
I kind of liked it. I liked that they were close, but I like being the guy that surprises people. I like when people sleep on me and I shock them. It makes it pay off in the reveal even bigger. Like I said, this is kind of who the Hammerhead is. He's more of that showy type of flashy musclehead type of guy, which I'm not, so I think it's gonna make perfect sense when they realize it's me.
Have any of the other cast members reached out to you about the show?
Oh, yeah. Because even though they don't know it's me, every time that Mike [Sorrentino], The Situation, gets mentioned on the show, people will start tweeting him, and then he'll come back to us and be like, "What is this show? Why do they keep talking about me?" I just change the subject real quick, because I don't want to blow my cover.
What did you take away from your Masked Dancer experience?
Definitely a newfound love for dancing and appreciation for it, and respect for what people do. It's amazing. I think my TikTok game has elevated to a new level, because I can apply some of my dance moves. And look, I've been doing this for 10 years, and I've worked on a thousand different shows and different things, and this is definitely up there as one of my favorite things I've ever done. So I'm glad I did it. I hope I can somehow come back and still be a part of it or other shows like it in the future.
You know, the producers have said they're not totally opposed to some crossover within the Masked universe, so you could do The Masked Singer maybe...
And, you know, no one would know it's me until the reveal! Man, now that I know The Masked Dancer, I would definitely jump on The Masked Singer, even though I don't know how to sing. We'll make it work.
What's next for you?
Right now Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is airing 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and I continue to do that. We have a prank show called Revenge Prank that airs right after Jersey Shore and me and Pauly D host that, and then my cookbook [The Keto Guido Cookbook: Delicious Recipes to Get Healthy and Look Great] and my keto lifestyle is something that I always just pursue and is my passion that I just do on the side. I hope to put out more. I have another page called Keto Guido and people can follow me just for that kind of stuff. So I'm busy. I'm having a good time.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.
The Masked Dancer (TV Show)