Nicole Elizabeth "Snooki" LaValle (née Polizzi; born November 23, 1987)[5] is a Chilean-American reality television personality and dancer who is best known for being a cast member of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore and starring in Snooki & Jwoww. Since the show's debut in 2009, Polizzi has gained popularity by appearing on talk shows including The View, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Wendy Williams Show. She earned $150,000 per Jersey Shore episode, as of season five.[6] She also appeared as the guest hostess for WWE Raw in 2011 and competed at WrestleMania XXVII that same year.

Personal life

Polizzi was born in Santiago, Chile.[7] She was adopted when she was six months old and was raised by Italian American parents.[8] Polizzi's father is a volunteer firefighter and auto-salvage supervisor and her mother is an office manager. Polizzi lives in Florham Park, New Jersey.[2]

Polizzi received her nickname, Snooki, in middle school when her friends named her after "Snookie", a male character in Save the Last Dance, because she was the first of her friends to kiss a boy.[9] She grew up and attended school in Marlboro, New York, where she was a cheerleader.[7] During high school, she suffered from an eating disorder, at one point weighing 80 pounds (36 kg).[11] Polizzi attended community college after graduating from Marlboro High School, where she studied to become a veterinary technician.[7]

In March 2012, Polizzi announced her engagement to Jionni LaValle.[3][12] Polizzi gave birth to the couple's first child, Lorenzo Dominic LaValle, on August 26, 2012.[13]

Polizzi appeared on the front page of the March 2013 issue of Us Weekly, claiming to have lost 42 pounds post pregnancy.[14]

On April 4, Polizzi announced via her website and her Twitter, that she and fiancé, Jionni, are expecting their second child. Giovanna Marie LaValle was born September 26, 2014, weighing in at 6lbs 7oz.[15]

On November 29, 2014, Polizzi married Jionni LaValle.[16]

According to results from an autosomal DNA test to determine geographic ancestry which was aired on MTV's Snooki & Jwoww in January 2014,[17] it was revealed that although Polizzi was born in Chile and believed she was "some sort of Spanish", she is in fact a mixture of Romani from northwestern Croatia (i.e. Gypsies originally from Northern India), Romani from Macedonia, Andalusian (i.e., southern Spaniards), Slovak, and Russian. These ethnic groups have history of immigrating to Polizzi's native Chile, where they (along with many other groups) have been mixing for several centuries. The show did not disclose in what percentages Polizzi is descended from each of these groups. During the same episode, it was also stated by the DNA lab consultant disclosing the results that Polizzi matched as having common ancestry with people who identify as South Asian (i.e., from the Indian subcontinent, correlating to her Romani ancestry), Iberian American (i.e., correlating to her Hispanic/mestizo ancestry), East Asian (which likely comes from the Native American), as well as distant Jewish and Middle Eastern ancestry).


Reality television

MTV first introduced Polizzi in Is She Really Going Out with Him?,[18] a show that focused on women dating obnoxious or arrogant men.

Polizzi and her boyfriend, Justin, appeared in episode 14, "Jerz Pud".[19]

Polizzi became part of the reality TV series Jersey Shore after being scouted by the casting director, Josh Allouche, an employee of Doron Ofir Casting. The New York Times identified her as "the breakout member of the cast".[7] According to The New York Times, her actions on the show have caused her to be the target of public disdain while having a "strange appeal".[7] One reported measure of her appeal was that she was one of the most popular celebrity Halloween costumes of 2010.[20] Polizzi's popularity on the first season of Jersey Shore, which earned her $5,000 per episode, now earns her $30,000 per episode. While shooting in Seaside Heights, Polizzi was punched in the face by New York City school gym teacher Brad Ferro.[21][22] The punch, while shown in previews, was blacked out during showings of the episode. Videos of the punch went viral on YouTube and were featured in many news media. After the punch was made public, Polizzi's appearance fees increased from $2,000 per event to $10,000 per event.[23][24][25]

In 2011, Polizzi and her Jersey Shore costar, Jennifer Farley, signed a contract to star in a spin-off show, Snooki & Jwoww, which premiered on MTV in June 2012. The first season followed Polizzi and Farley moving in together,[26][27] and they describe their show like a modern-day Laverne & Shirley.[28] 495 Productions filmed the first season over the course of six weeks at a former two-story firehouse located near Grove and Mercer Streets in Jersey City, New Jersey.[29] The second season relocated to the stars' actual permanent residences and began airing on January 8, 2013. This season had an expanded one-hour episode format. The March 2012 confirmation of Polizzi's pregnancy raised speculation as to how the creative direction of her spin-off would be affected, as she would be unable to engage in the "hard-partying, booze-swilling" antics that had previously garnered high ratings for MTV.[30][4][4][4]

Other television appearances

Polizzi was a presenter at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.[4] On July 27, 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore appeared at the New York Stock Exchange and Polizzi rang the opening bell.[4] Polizzi and the cast of Jersey Shore appeared at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010.[4] Polizzi also appeared on TLC's Cake Boss episode "Snookie, Super Anthony & a Ship" on November 8, 2010, in which she orders a cake for her mom. On November 7, 2010, Polizzi appeared at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid, Spain. She was subsequently parodied in the South Park episode "It's a Jersey Thing", and is frequently parodied on Saturday Night Live by actor Bobby Moynihan. She also hosted the New Year's Eve special MTV's Club New Year's Eve 2013 with Jwoww and Jeff Dye on December 31, 2012 from Times Square to ring in 2013.

Polizzi made an appearance on the March 14, 2011 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, where she got into a brawl with LayCool, which led to the formation of a six-person Mixed Tag Team match at WrestleMania XXVII. Polizzi and her partners Trish Stratus and John Morrison won the match.[4] On December 12, 2011 on WWE RAW, she was awarded the WWE 2011 A-Lister of the Year Slammy Award which she accepted via satellite.

On September 4, 2013, it was announced on Good Morning America that Snooki would participate on the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with newcomer Sasha Farber.[4] They were eliminated on October 28, 2013, coming in 8th place despite receiving good scores and comments from the judges.

Dancing with the Stars performances (Average: 25.0):

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
1Cha-cha-cha / "Wild Ones"887No Elimination
2Rumba / "Just Give Me a Reason"677Safe
3Quickstep / "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"988Safe
4Jive / "Mickey"888Safe
5Jazz / "Work Bitch"999Safe
6Foxtrot / "Build Me Up Buttercup"
Switch-Up Challenge / Various
No Elimination
7Samba / "Hey Mama"
Team Freestyle / "Bom Bom"

Other ventures

In January 2011, Polizzi's book, A Shore Thing, was released: it described her search for love on the boardwalk.[4] Despite a promotional campaign that included appearances by Polizzi on The View, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the Late Show with David Letterman, the book was not a sales success, selling approximately 9,000 copies within its first month of release, during which it accumulated 16 one-star customer reviews on One publishing executive said that the book sold poorly because "rather than a tell-all, it was disguised as a novel."[4][41]

In April 2011, Polizzi was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers University. Topics she spoke about included what being a celebrity is like, and also what she thinks is important in school, including the advice "Study hard, but party harder". Some students complained the school's money would've been better used on speakers other than Polizzi. Rutgers spokesman Steve Manas responded that the extension of the invitation to Polizzi was the result of canvassing by students who indicated who they wanted to invite. Over 1,000 people attended Polizzi's engagement.[42]

On October 25, 2011, Polizzi's second novel, Confessions of a Guidette was released with Gallery Books. The novel was marketed as a part-memoir, part-guide of how to "rock it Jersey-style."

Polizzi's third novel, Gorilla Beach was released on May 15, 2012. The novel is a sequel to Polizzi's first novel, A Shore Thing.[43]

In January 2012, Polizzi's Team Snooki Boxing co-promoted a cooperative venture with Final Round Promotions, a boxing card at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, featuring Irish featherweight boxer Patrick Hyland fighting and winning in the main event before a capacity crowd. Patrick Hyland's two brothers Eddie and Paul, also boxers, appeared in preliminary bouts. The event attracted considerable publicity in the boxing press.[44]

In February 2013, Polizzi sold her customized 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT on eBay for $77,510, earning her $15,000 more than what a standard 2011 Escalade EXT with similar mileage would cost. The pickup truck was customized with hot-pink grilles, wheels and badges, wrapped in black vinyl lizard skin, and leopard-print floor mats.[45]

Legal troubles

On July 30, 2010, Polizzi was arrested in Seaside Heights, New Jersey for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and criminal annoyance of others. In a September 8 plea bargain in which the latter two charges were dropped, Judge Damian G. Murray sentenced her to a $500 fine and community service. In handing down the sentence, he characterized Polizzi as "a Lindsay Lohan wannabe".[46] Her arrest was taped during production of season three of Jersey Shore.

On May 31, 2011 in Florence, Italy, Polizzi was briefly taken into custody by local police after the car she was driving collided with a parked traffic police car. According to Italian police, Polizzi was cited and released. Two police officers sustained minor injuries.[47]

In late 2011, Polizzi sued SRG Ventures, a licensing company she had signed with a year earlier to bring out Snooki-branded merchandise such as watches, shoes, lingerie, and school supplies, for breach of contract. She alleged the company had failed to adequately seek such licensing opportunities. The company countersued, alleging she and her manager had undermined its efforts by negotiating directly with manufacturers and delaying their decisions.[48]


2009Is She Really Going Out with Him?HerselfEpisode 14 "Jerz Pud"
2009–12Jersey ShoreHerselfHousemate & "Breakout star"
2010When I Was 17HerselfSeason 2, Ep. 20
2010Cake BossHerselfEp. "Snookie, Super Anthony & a Ship"
2011WWE RawHerselfCelebrity Guest Host
2012–15Snooki & JwowwHerselfMain Cast
2012The Three StoogesHerselfCameo
2012MTV's Club New Year's Eve 2013HerselfHosted with JWoww & Jeff Dye
2013Movie 43HerselfCameo
2013MTV's ChallengeMania: Road to Rivals IIHerselfHosted with Kenny Santucci
2013Dancing with the StarsHerselfSeason 17; Participant
2014SupernaturalHerselfSeason 9; "Blade Runners"
2016Nicole & Jionni’s Shore FlipHerself[49]

Awards and nominations

Teen Choice Awards

2010Teen Choice Awards"Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star"Nominated
2011Teen Choice Awards"Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star"Nominated
2011WWE Slammy Awards"A-Lister of the Year"[50]Won
2013Razzie Awards"Worst Screen Couple" (shared with Any Combination of Two Cast Members from Jersey Shore)[6]Nominated