Snooki at the Washington Auto Show! (Um, why?) Crowds line up for the "Jersey Shore" star (video)
Many attractive models on display at the Washington Auto Show, but the crowds lined up on Monday night for only one: A sleek little prototype, curvy as a Beetle and tiny as can be. American-made, with Italian styling. Color? Orange.
Snooki had come to the Auto Show.
The inexplicably famous star of MTV's "Jersey Shore" swept into the Washington Convention Center with a small clutch of handlers early in the evening to take questions from a jostling press throng. Snooki, what do you think of D.C. guys? "I haven't really seen any yet. Ask me later." Going out tonight? "No... I'm excited to catch up on my sleep." (Oh, and please, call her Nicole -- Snooki is just a character.)
Remind us again? Why is Snooki at the Auto Show?
[Video: Snooki draws crowd at Auto Show (Anna Uhls/The Washington Post)]
Because, a "carnival atmosphere" helps bring the crowds, said Gerard N. Murphy, president of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. Hence, appearances by sports celebs, soap stars, what have you. Snooki "plays to the adolescent set who don't drive but who will bring their parents down," Murphy told us, "and on their way hopefully find something wrong with their car."
Don't believe him? Downstairs, the line to get an autograph and photo with Snooki stretched a tenth of a mile at least along the convention hall's carpeted concrete. A lot of girls in snug pants and shiny hair, a lot of guys in bicep-hugging shirts and gelled 'dos, holding a glossy photo or copy of Snooki's memoirs to have signed, all laboring to explain why she's the star of this show.
Karlee Vitori and her friends broke it down for us this way. The Situation with his freak-show abs might draw a crowd this size; resident hotties Pauly D or J-WOWW might get a smaller one; no one would cross the street to see Sammi, "Jersey Shore"'s traditionally cute girl-next-door type. But this -- well, it's Snooki!
"Some people call her a troll," said Vitori, 13, of Reston, "but I think she's adorable."
Reader, it's true. Snooki is adorable. The 23-year-old Nicole Polizzi (that's her real name) wore a tight black dress, boots, dangling earrings; her black hair was looser and softer than her trademark pouf, but that lacquered orange tan was just the same shade we've come to know and love. As fan after fan shuffled across a stage for their moment with her, she would smile warmly, say a word, then cock her head to her left, tightening and brightening her face in just the right way for the camera. Over and over again. That's a skill, you know? (Though no one would say, it's known that she draws about $15,000 or $20,000 for these kinds of gigs.)
She gamely presided over a contest of Snooki look-alikes. (Snook-alikes?) The winner, by crowd acclamation, was Mallory Biazzo, of Ashburn -- but that's probably because Caitlin Cook was late. The 23-year-old from Annapolis lingered off to the side of the stage, waiting to meet her doppelganger. "It's, like, a daily thing," she sighed, being told she looks like Snooki -- strikingly so, though taller and (sorry, Snooki) prettier; and strangely, a little like Bristol Palin too. She wore a tight black dress, a pouf in her hair, and "like, three layers" of orangey fake-bake, slathered on for the occasion. "I was so embarrassed at work!" What prize did she miss out on by not getting there in time? Cook said she didn't even ask: "I didn't want to be more disappointed than I already am!"
The Reliable Source
| February 1, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
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