The Situation is back! Ahead of the season 3 return of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Us Weekly visited the New Jersey set to talk all about the return of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who served an eight-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York.
Before he sat down with his Jersey Shore family for a family dinner, Us caught up with the cast — and they couldn’t say enough good things about Mike, 37.
“Mike is a strong guy. He wows me every single day,” Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio revealed exclusively to Us Weekly on set. “I see him through his whole transformation — from the first Mike I met to when he had his dark path, through this path, and now overcoming something as huge as prison. You know he got married before he went away to prison? So I was like, imagine that, having to get married, get locked up and then come out. So I always pictured what it would feel like to actually come out of jail and now actually enjoy your wife, enjoy your wedding.”
When Mike finally was released, everyone could feel the joy.
“I can see it in his face, see it in Lauren [Sorrentino]‘s face: They are so happy. Like we were happy to see him, but Lauren — how happy she was to see her husband,” Pauly, 39, continued. “I know he was just happy to put this behind him, and we’re all happy for him.”
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro also revealed that while Mike was away and everyone was sending him emails, the Bronx native, 34, wrote him a handwritten letter. Ron went to a rehab center at the same time Mike was away, and thought a handwritten note would be the best bet in order to communicate.
“Over the last year, we’ve got really, really close. I would consider him like a brother,” he said, joking that he “hadn’t written in, like, 14 years” so wasn’t sure how much his costar could even read.
Ortiz-Magro also shed light on where he is now. “I feel really good. I feel like last year, I was just in a really dark place and I was very dependent and codependent on certain things,” he said. “I thought they were going to solve my problems and I didn’t want to face my issues. And then I finally woke up and realized I’m the only one that has control over the things that happened in my life, and I decided I wanted to take control of my life again.”
Jenni “JWoww” Farley gave an update about Mike, explaining that he “looks the best he’s ever looked” since he got out.
“Seriously, like, better than 10 years ago — hair, skin, body, phenomenal,” Jenni, 33, said. “The silver lining is I feel like he truly had to go through it to become the person who he is today. And we can all honestly say how obsessed we are with him. So, good, bad and different, his new life, new chapter, new me attitude is just like he’s living his best life. He deserves everything he gets and more from here on out.”
Watch the exclusive clip of the season 3 return above, which shows the cast bringing Mike’s wife, Lauren, bowling in order to keep her mind off Mike being gone.
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation returns on MTV Thursday, February 27, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Marc Lupo