"Oh my God, it's surreal!" Cortese, originally an off-camera pal of Snooki's, told TV Guide Magazine about her newfound fame, which she's already experiencing months before she makes her official debut on the reality series. "I have fan pages already, and people Twittering me, and I'm just like 'I just got out of the house two days ago!'"
"When I went in the house I was expecting something completely different than it was," she admitted. "Everybody shocked me — in a good way — and I feel like I fit right in. They welcomed me with open arms, and I'll appreciate those kids until the day I die. Season 3 is going to blow everyone out of the water."
The onetime steakhouse waitress braced herself for the spotlight by re-embracing her normal life. "As soon as I got out of the Shore house, I got dinner with my parents, went to a dive bar by my house, and I went back to where I work, Longhorn," she revealed, "and I think I'm actually going to work there two days a week until my show airs."
"She's got positive attitude," said Cortese's housemate Ronnie Ortiz-Magro. And, after some second season catfights, "we needed that positive energy," added roomie Vinnie Guadagnino.
But the burning question remains: has Deena earned her own headline-friendly Jersey Shore nickname yet? Cortese is still playing coy, but roommate Sammi 'Sweetheart" Giancola hinted that there were no shortage of choices: "There are plenty!"