What is “Double Shot at Love”?
The reality TV series “Double Shot at Love”, starring Vinny Guadagnino and DJ Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” fame, is a dating game show and spin-off from “Shot at Love”, which starred Tila Tequila and the Ikki Twins. The show premiered on MTV in April 2019, and featured 20 women who were competing for Vinny and Pauly’s attention, and hoping for a possible relationship.
Season three of the show was entitled “Vegas Ex-scape”, and premiered in June 2020. This time round there were six contestants from season one, and three new male cast members who moved into Vinny and Pauly’s luxurious suite in Las Vegas’s well-known The Linq hotel, while working at Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub. The series went back to basics in season three, returning to its dating show format.
Season one saw 20 beautiful ladies battle it out to be picked by Vinny in the grand finale. Cate Lapera and Alli Adams were eliminated in the first episode, followed by Shira Tran and Deseree Flores. As the competition heated up, only one contestant per episode was eliminated between episodes four and nine. Maria Elizondo, who was born in West New York, New Jersey, made it to episode 12 before being sent home. In the grand finale, Nikki Hall, Elle Wilson, and Derynn Paige lost out to the then-24-year-old Brooklyn native Alysse Joyner, who was chosen by Vinny.
The season two cast members included Nikki, Maria and Derynn. Other familiar faces were Marissa Lucchese, Brittani Schwartz, and Suzi Baidya, who were joined by the male newcomers: Brandon Stakemann, Antonio Locke, and Nicky Curd. All cast members were newbies in season three, with Erika DeVito and Emily Piccinonno losing out to Akielia Rucker in the series finale.
With her flowing brunette locks and warm personality, Maria Elizondo made a big impression on Vinny from her first day in “Double Shot at Love”. The fresh-faced New Jersey resident was born in August 1996, and is said to have studied a bachelor’s degree in mass communication after matriculating from Secaucus High School with top grades.
Although Maria was relatively unknown to most people prior to joining the dating show, she already had an impressive social media following and garnered thousands of likes on Instagram and other platforms. She made her TV debut in 2014 as one of the contestants of “Are You The One?”, another MTV reality series.
Before shooting to fame, Maria worked as a waitress and bartender. The beautiful brunette is of Cuban descent, and although she has chosen not to reveal much information about her parents and other family members, we know that her mother is an immigrant who came to the US seeking a better life.
Despite having all the tools at her disposal to become a successful YouTuber, Maria has only uploaded a handful of videos on the platform in the last three years. The first video, “MY 34 YEAR OLD EX IS THE REASON I APPLIED TO REALITY TV”, has been watched over 100,000 times and is full of juicy details about her love life and small-screen aspirations. In another video entitled “I was sexually assaulted at work and fired for it”, Maria educated viewers about the dark side of the bartending industry. Since 2021, Maria has yet to provide her 26,000 subscribers with new material, and is focusing her efforts on Instagram.
With over 420,000 followers on the photo-sharing giant, Maria has used her social media hype to her advantage and scored a number of lucrative brand deals; in fact, Pretty Little Thing and Savage x Fenty are just two of the big fashion names she works with. From time to time, Maria also uploads professional snaps taken by Tom Hornberger and other talented photographers, but has expressed no desire to be a full-time model.
Although Maria and Vinny didn’t end things on a good note when the first season of “Double Shot at Love” finished, they soon linked up in the show’s second season, and even snuck off for a private date that ended in the bedroom. From the beginning of season two, Maria and Vinny’s chemistry was evident, which is why viewers were so shocked when he decided to stay single. With that said, Maria and Vinny had agreed to keep things casual on the show and pursue a relationship when filming ended.
When this week’s episode of ‘A Double Shot At Love’ is gonna be an embarrassing one because national television is gonna know one of my dirty little secrets…
Thursday 8pm EST! #DoubleShotAtLove pic.twitter.com/FWg3n9UNVS
— Maria Elizondo (@MariaLElizondo) April 22, 2019
It hasn’t been easy for the would-be couple, however – as Vinny explained in the “Double Shot at Love” reunion: “That’s why we can’t even hang out with each other. We text for, like, five seconds, and then it just dies because you don’t have that one person that’s, like, overly aggressive or, you know, going out of their way.”
Early in 2022, fans of Maria and Vinny were delighted to see the “Jersey Shore” star jokingly suggest on Instagram that they get married. It appears that when season one of “Double Shot at Love” ended, Vinny and Alysse’s relationship cooled down because he was secretly communicating with Maria. According to Vinny, his lack of communication with Alysse was due to MTV’s rules; however, neither Alysse nor the general public believed that.
As thousands of people were hoping to see Maria and Vinny’s love story come full circle in season three of the MTV dating show, they were bitterly disappointed when he chose Akielia. As it happens, their relationship barely lasted a month once the cameras stopped rolling – despite deciding to give their romance a shot, Vinny confirmed in January 2022 that he and Akielia were no longer an item.
“I did remain friends with Akielia after the show, but once you’re in the real world, outside of that ‘Double Shot at Love’ house, things are a little different. We just were better off as friends,” he said while promoting the upcoming season of “Jersey Shore”.
Having tried – and failed – to find love not one but three times, netizens questioned Vinny’s motives for participating in the show, if he wasn’t willing to pursue a serious relationship with any of the participants. Even Pauly D, who is a notorious playboy, met his current girlfriend Nikki during filming, so perhaps Vinny will have better luck next time.
Vincent J. “Vinny” Guadagnino was born and raised in the Staten Island borough of New York City. The TV personality hails from a traditional Italian-American family and has a Sicilian mother who immigrated to the US during her adolescent years. The Guadagnino family farm where Vinny spent his childhood became famous after he visited it during an episode of “Jersey Shore”.
After matriculating from Susan E. Wagner High School, Vinny studied at SUNY New Paltz and transferred to the College of Staten Island, graduating with a political science degree and top grades. Unbeknownst to many, Vinny had plans of attending law school before being cast for “Jersey Shore” – and although he’s earned millions as a TV star since 2009, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to his studies one day.
Vinny’s memorable antics made him one of the most loved cast members of MTV’s iconic “Jersey Shore”; from 2009 to 2012, he appeared in all six seasons and was very much a fan favorite. Whether he was pulling off elaborate pranks with Pauly D or impersonating his other housemates, Vinny knew how to steal the show effortlessly.
After “Jersey Shore”, Vinny was inundated with attractive job offers, and decided to establish himself in the entertainment industry. For that, he began taking acting classes and played small roles in “90210”, “The Hard Times of RJ Berger”, and other shows. He also appeared in “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”, a Syfy original movie.
In May 2013, MTV produced Vinny’s talk show – “The Show with Vinny”. Celebrities would go to Vinny’s home to have dinner and chat with his family. Lil Wayne, Iggy Azalea, Ciara, and more A-listers made the brief-lived series a star-studded affair. Despite its originality – unlike with other shows, “The Show with Vinny” had no live studio audience – and potential, MTV cancelled the series after just one season. However, Vinny and his mother later starred in The Cooking Channel’s “Vinny & Ma Eat America”.
Bigger fam, bigger milestones, and even bigger drama! 😯Jersey Shore Family Vacation returns with all-new episodes on Jerzday, June 23rd at 8/7c on MTV!
Posted by A Double Shot at Love on Friday, June 3, 2022
In 2018, Vinny and most of his original “Jersey Shore” castmates reunited for the much-awaited series reboot – “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation”. Seasons one and two aired in 2018 and were followed by a third season the following year. Despite the reboot’s uncertain fate in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and budgets being slashed, MTV decided to keep “Family Vacation”, which is currently on its fifth season.
As a multifaceted media personality, Vinny jumped at the chance to do a month-long residency in Sin City’s famous Rio Hotel & Casino. The celebrity’s residency began in April 2019 and saw Vinny perform as a guest host in Chippendales. Two years later, he would compete in “The Masked Dancer”, a spin-off from “The Masked Singer”, but was eliminated in sixth spot.
In 2022, he was announced as a contestant of “Dancing with the Stars”, and partnered with the professional dancer Koko Iwasaki. Vinny and Koko’s elimination in early November after a daring but lackluster tango performance outraged thousands of fans, who felt they should be given a second opportunity. Despite Vinny and Koko’s stellar chemistry and the dating rumors that surround them, Koko has been in a long-term relationship since 2018 and recently became engaged.
Vinny’s own dating history is full of ambiguity, as he doesn’t like to flaunt his girlfriends on social media. From 2017 to May 2018, he was linked to the Instagram model and travel nurse Elicea Shyann, but was seemingly caught cheating on the blonde beauty while filming “Family Vacation”. Despite being in a relationship, Elicea was the last thing on Vinny’s mind as he flirted with a posse of glamorous women at a nightclub, and collected some of their phone numbers.
Elicea went on a social media rant two days after the episode aired. “Here’s some free promotion!!!! for the trash everyone loves to watch. I’m a real f**king person who wakes up DAILY to more and more bulls**t and heartache,” Elicea wrote, uploading a clip of the episode which she has since deleted. “Enjoy the f**king show that is my f**king life. Ppl wonder how ppl end up in the darkest places. Here’s your answer.”
Vinny had confirmed his single status in April 2018 – shortly after the episode is believed to have been filmed – but Elicea was unwilling to leave quietly , put her ex-boyfriend and “Jersey Shore” on blast in an impressive Instagram tirade. If there’s anything Vinny hates its negative publicity, so he cut-off Elicea for good, as soon as she criticized him and the series.
From 2012 to 2014, Vinny was seeing the gorgeous Maxim model Melanie Iglesias. Their relationship was a high-profile one, as they attended plenty of red carpet and other glamorous events together, so fans were shocked and saddened to learn that they had broken up. It’s said that the split was caused by Vinny’s unfaithfulness, but Melanie has never publicly commented on the matter. The actress, who has graced the covers of “Esquire”, “Vibe”, and “World’s Most Beautiful”, was previously linked to the actor Ryan Guzman.
Way back in 2010, Vinny was smitten with the Romanian model Ramona Nitu, whom he met while filming season two of “Jersey Shore”. Although things were heating up between the TV personality and the svelte brunette, Vinny cut her off when she stood him up on one of their dates. At the time, Vinny was also having a fling with his housemate Snooki, which kept viewers entertained for many an episode.
It remains unclear if Vinny and Snooki ever intended to have a serious relationship. At the time, both were obsessed with partying and hooking up with as many people as possible, so it seems unlikely; however, it’s clear that they care for each other to this day. While clubbing with the rest of the “Jersey Shore” castmates during the first season, Snooki was punched in the face by an irate male partygoer; Vinny made sure she was okay, while Pauly D and Mike confronted the guy.
During season two, Snooki was seeing a guy named Emilio, but that didn’t stop her from having torrid one-night-stands with Vinny on two separate occasions. After a night of hard partying in season three, a drunk Snooki returned home and asked Vinny to cuddle; he rejected her advances, and later said that they should just remain friends.
The last time viewers saw Snooki and Vinny hook up was during season four of “Jersey Shore”, when the vivacious brunette was in the early stages of dating with her current husband, Jionni LaValle. Unsurprisingly, Vinny wasn’t invited to Snooki and Jionni’s 2014 nuptials, and Snooki even stopped talking to him for several years, because he kept referencing their shared history in his stand-up comedy act.
“To use me for comic relief? Like, knowing that it’s not cool to talk about that anymore, you know, when I’m married – that’s just not really something a friend would do, you know?” Snooki said in an interview. Thankfully, TV’s favorite duo has since rekindled their friendship, while setting suitable boundaries in place. Snooki remains married to Jionni, with whom she shares three children named Giovanna, Angelo, and Lorenzo – as for Vinny, only time will tell if has any real intentions of settling down.