Jersey Shore fans were first introduced to cast member Deena Cortese (now Deena Buckner) in 2011 when the third season aired. Deena took over as the new roommate after Angelina Pivarnick left the series for the second time, leaving an open spot for Deena.
According to CheatSheet, when producers were looking for Angelina’s replacement, they combed through audition tapes to see if there was anyone they liked before holding new auditions. One producer stated, “[We] came across Deena, knew she had a semi-connection with Nicole, and went with it because we knew she’d be less maintenance than Angelina.” The producer felt that because Deena had a carefree attitude, she would be perfect for the series. After joining the cast, it didn’t take long for Deena to start bonding with her roommates in Seaside, N.J., and before long, she and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi started giving off great BFF vibes.
These two were inseparable when it came to daytime drinking and partying, and over the years, they were pretty fun to watch on Jersey Shore.
They were so close that the house gave them the nickname “Team Meatballs”. It seemed like these two Meatballs were good friends before the show, but were they really?
Jersey Shore: Why Are Deena And Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi Called Meatballs?
In Jersey Shore season 4, viewers saw the actors go crazy and insane in Italy. While the housemates were filming in Europe, co-star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro started calling Deena and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi meatballs.
Ronnie’s nickname was because they were both short, very tanned and loved to party. These Meatballs were two peas in a pod while in Italy.
Viewers saw them falling a lot on the cobbled streets of Florence, exposing some body parts on the dance floor in clubs and even kissing. The nickname Meatballs didn’t just stay in Italy and to this day Deena and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi still call themselves Meatballs. Over the years, the Meatballs have talked about how close they are, even referring to each other as best friends.