Brittani Schwartz of Lake Grove and Marissa Lucchese of Massapequa Park had not met each other before becoming two of the 20 women vying to date either Paul (DJ Pauly D) DelVecchio or Vinny Guadagnino on MTV's "Double Shot at Love," premiering Thursday at 8 p.m. But they'd somehow known each other all their lives, sort of.
"Once we met we were comparing who we knew on Long Island, and there was this person and that person and how could we not have run into each other before?" says the bubbly Lucchese, 22, laughing. "We have so many mutual friends, and everybody knows each other and is somehow connected."
That's both good and bad, says the Smithtown-born Schwartz, 27, a Sachem High School North alum who for years has been known by the nickname "B-lashes," for her long eyelashes. She had auditioned for "Double Shot" since "at this point in my life I was looking for love and couldn't find any guys on Long Island. Not a single guy." Not one? "Not one worth keeping, I should say. So I figured, 'Let me broaden my horizons.' "
Lucchese concurs. "I definitely have dated a lot, and I figured, 'I haven't found anybody on Long Island so why not try somewhere else?' You know everyone and their mother around here. I need new faces. There's nothing wrong with Long Islands guys," she's quick to add, "but you kind of know everything about everybody and what they're about. You meet a person and, 'Oh, my friend went with him already.' I love Long Island and the people here, but sometimes you just want a fresh start."
So did 18 other women, ranging in age from 22 to 37, most from either the tristate area or southern California, where "Double Shot" is shot. They stay in a mansion and compete with each other for "Jersey Shore Family Vacation" castmates DelVecchio, 38, and Guadagnino, 31 — who, additionally, compete with each other in, say, a boxing ring, fighting with comically oversized gloves.
Are they really the kind of guys you want to take home to mom and dad? "Vinny and Pauly would fit right into my Italian household," assures Schwartz, whose Jewish paternal grandfather and Sicilian paternal grandmother raised her father in the Catholic faith in a culturally Italian household.
Brittani Schwartz, with a master's degree in school counseling from Long Island University in Brentwood, works as a college-admissions counselor and moonlights as a bartender at the Patchogue nightclub and event space Stereo Garden.
Lucchese also is of Italian stock, from Sicily and Naples. She obtained a cosmetology license through a Massapequa High BOCES program, then attended Long Island Nail Skin & Hair Institute in Levittown for specialty certifications, such as in hair extensions. She's launched the company Glamouriss Luxury Lashes to provide what its website calls "cruelty-free handmade lashes."
Lashes being what "B-lashes" Schwartz is known for, the serendipity continues, with the two women each saying they were less competitors than they are friends.
"I love her!" Schwartz enthuses about Lucchese. "You always gotta have heart for Suffolk and Nassau [folk]." Whatever did or didn't happen romantically with DelVecchio and Guadagnino, "Double Shot at Love" turned out to be a double shot at sisterhood.