Vinny Guadagnino toned up during the pandemic shutdown. While most gained weight and got soft, he dug out the weights in his basement in Staten Island and started lifting.
Guadagnino, who caught fame as an original cast member of “Jersey Shore,” also learned to skip rope. He got so good he devoted in Instagram page to clips of himself feverishly working the ropes. It’s called @vinnyjumps, and has amassed nearly 30,000 followers since his first post on Thanksgiving.
Guadagnino now has applied this workout regimen to his latest guest-hosting role in “Chippendales” at the Rio. He returned Friday and performs regularly through April 10.
Refusing to let his new workout routine go to waste, Guadagnino skips rope in his first dance number. It’s a fluorescent rope. A stage rope, if you will. Everything Vinny G. touches, it seems, lights up.
“Every time I get passionate about something, I create another Instagram page for it,” says the celeb who created an Instagram sensation by losing 50 pounds with his @KetoGuido dietary updates. “For me, I worked out extra hard during quarantine, because I had nothing else to do. I was just locked up in my house. I just picked up a lot of new activities to keep me busy. If I don’t stay busy. I get really stressed and anxious.”
Vinny G. always finds a way to maximize his activity. He would be rare among any celebrity in the opportunity to turn rope skipping into an act in a male revue in Vegas.
“ESPN has actually posted my clips,” Guadagnino says. “I never thought I’d end up on ESPN. I was like, OK, let’s get some momentum going.”
The rope-skip number joins Guadagnino’s shower scene. What can we say? It’s convincing. Merch should sell Vinny G.-branded towels, loofahs and the like.
Guadagnino has also co-starred in “Double Shot at Love” with “Jersey Shore” running mate and headlining DJ Pauly D. And “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” the spin-off of the original MTV series, is in its fifth season and is approaching the longevity of the first show, which ran for six seasons.
“We’ve filmed over 100 episodes of ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation,’ alone, not even including the first show,” Guadagnino says. “So, yeah, that was also booming during quarantine.”
Guadagnino twice performed in “Chippendales” in 2019, from April-May and returning July-September. He was due to perform in the spring of 2020 before the show was locked up. He is among the dizzying collection of guest stars in the show, along with “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Sharknado” stalwart Ian Ziering, high-fashion model Tyson Beckford, “Dancing With the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model” champ Nyle DiMarco, and veteran TV and stage actor Joey Lawrence.
Similar to Vinny G., the “Chippendales” and the Rio itself are focused on condition. The male revue has filled its showroom for every show Guadagnino has performed, including Friday’s red-carpet event and a rowdy show filled with bachelorettes on Sunday night.
Penn & Teller, the hotel’s leading draw since 2001, are back onstage full time in their own theater. P&T are the subjects of a new building wrap on the hotel tower, their eighth, a sign (really) they are not going anywhere soon.
And the Comedy Cellar, the outpost of the legendary New York City club, also has returned to full schedule at the Rio.
“Chippendales,” reliably gyrating onstage, has proven unshakable off it. The show had been rumored to be moving out of the property as Caesars Entertainment closed several of its smaller venues in May 2021. But “Chippendales” was spared, returning to its theater and now celebrating its 8,000th show and 20th anniversary at the hotel during Vinny G.’s run.
“Yeah, I feel like I’m part of the fam at this point. You know, it’s like, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We were sold out, like every night,” Vinny G. says. “And that audience perfectly suits me. You know, it’s, it’s my demographic, it’s the ladies — a lot of ladies — but some guys, too. It’s the crowd that just watches reality TV, they watch ‘Jersey Shore,’ and it’s a perfect thing for me to do to get to meet those fans in person.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.