By the time Season 13 of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” ends, Danielle Cabral says she should have a Febreze endorsement deal, given how often she's called a "breath of fresh air" by fans.
After four seasons that saw the same cast season after season — a group composed of Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, Jennifer Aydin, and Jackie Goldschneider — Cabral joined as one of three newbies alongside Rachel Fuda and Jennifer Fessler.
With half a season released so far, TODAY caught up with Danielle to hear how life’s been since she joined “RHONJ,” and her hot takes on all that’s going down on screen.
Danielle says her kids can watch the show, but don't want to
Danielle’s children have quickly become fan-favorites thanks to their quick-witted responses that often garner laughs, even from Danielle and her husband Nate Cabral.
Danielle tells TODAY.com that she shows her kids the scenes they’re in, but they aren't interested. "They don’t care to watch. They don’t even ask questions. Thank God. To them, it’s like ‘Whatever, Mommy,’ which is good," she says.
Prior to joining "RHONJ," Danielle started her own business focused on kids apparel, aptly named Boujie Kids.
Although Danielle calls Boujie Kids “the smallest of the smallest businesses ever,” she shares that she's in the process of "changing it all" and "making it bigger."
"I am not a multimillion dollar mogul right now, I’m still this chick with a small business out of her basement. It’s exciting to see a real life business kind of take off since the show has aired. It’s been amazing," she says.
Danielle says she ‘hates’ the divide between her ‘RHONJ’ cast mates
Social media seems to indicate that the cast is divided into two groups: one with Danielle, Teresa, Dolores and Jennifer Aydin and the other with Melissa, Margaret, Rachel, Jackie and Jennifer Fessler.
But what does Danielle think of the divide? She exclaims, “I hate it.”
Danielle continues, “I hate the team thing. I never wanted to be a part of it. I even told Teresa going into it, ‘You’re my girl and I’ll never let anybody disrespect you,’ but I can’t play that role. I never played that role.'”Danielle says ‘get a life’ to those questioning her fallout with her brother
This season, much of the conversation surrounding Danielle centers on her fight with her brother.
Danielle says the fallout happened after she blocked him on Instagram because he made fun of her posts.
When her fellow housewives have pressed her for more information, Danielle has repeatedly removed herself from the situation, causing her fellow wives to be frustrated over her lack of engagement, as confrontation is a main part of the “Housewives” formula.
Danielle tells TODAY.com, “I couldn’t wait for the first person to ask me this question, because I do not run away from situations at all, ever.”
“If I was gonna go up to (my cast mates), like a raving maniac, I would look terrible. What you’re seeing is I’m like, ‘I’m on a merry-go-round of craziness right now. No one’s listening to what I’m saying.’ So what am I going to do? Stay here, curse them out? I mean, I know you all want it. Your comments are gonna be like, ‘Yeah, hello, it’s 'Housewives,' not 'Little House on the Prairie,’” Danielle continues.
“I just removed myself from situations because it’s the right thing to do. When you’re not calm, you look like an idiot, and I don’t ever want to put myself in that situation,” Danielle concludes.
When TODAY caught up with Jennifer Fessler about “RHONJ,” she said she “still has questions” about Danielle’s story.
Danielle’s response to Jennifer, and other cast members', doubts? “My story’s a little bit different than what you guys are seeing on the show. I cry over it. I am hurt over it. So there’s obviously hurt there, not hatred. So for people to come and have questions, get a life," she says.
Danielle says she doesn’t know if her brother has watched the show. She hasn't heard from him since the show aired.
Danielle on the feud between Teresa Giudice and Joe and Melissa Gorga: 'They're just done'
Family drama is a cornerstone in the DNA of “RHONJ,” as the past 11 seasons have included a feud between Teresa and her brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Melissa Gorga.
A scene early on in Season 13 shows Danielle talking to Melissa about how a sister-in-law can drive a wedge between a brother and sister.
Danielle tells TODAY.com that their situations are very different.
Danielle says, “Melissa and my brother’s wife are two totally different people. My brother’s wife wants nothing to do with me. I think Melissa always had to look up to Teresa. Joe probably put Teresa on a pedestal. That was his big sister, his idol. I think there was a lot of comparison there, which kind of set that off from the beginning.”
The latest revelation of the family feud is centered around a failed business deal — specifically, a pizza oven company that never made it off the ground.
“I didn’t even know that pizza thing was a thing until I filmed the after show. That was like, crazy, right? (...) When I heard this story for the first time, they both make logical sense, they both got upset over it. So something was done to each of them that bothered them, right?”
“Louie's (Teresa’s husband) got a point (in saying), ‘Hey, if I’m going to put up the cash here, I should get a kickback.’ Joe got hurt over whatever he got hurt over. You’re stuck here because they both make sense, they both got hurt over it. Maybe we should have an adult conversation about it,” Danielle continues.
So, why the trio can’t seem to hash out their issues and have that "adult conversation"?
“They’re so used to playing that narrative of, ‘I’m going to one up you in the bad department’ instead of taking a step back and saying, ‘Of course, let’s do this together. Let’s come to an agreement.’ It’s, ‘Oh, he’s trying to screw me, she’s trying to screw me, screw him,’ and then it just implodes. There's no communication, and you get what you get.”
“I think there’s just so much stuff that’s gone on between the three of them that they’re all done. They’re all kind of at their wits' end,” Danielle concludes.
Danielle teases who she’ll have the most to say to at the ‘RHONJ’ reunion
With the latter half of Season Thirteen on its way, Danielle teases a “very hard” end of the season, one that put her in a “tough spot.”
"I went through a lot, and it all comes to a head at the finale. It was really complicated to try to navigate all these new friendships and the right thing to do as a friend? It’s like you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of thing," she says.
Danielle’s first reunion taping is quickly approaching, and she says she’ll have the most to say to Melissa and Margaret.
“I want them to see how everything plays out from my point of view. When the cameras are not around all of us, it’s just around me, I tell my side. I want to know what they think, I want to know if their attitude changes towards me," she says.
If asked back for future seasons of the show, Danielle has her intentions set on changing the dynamic of the show for the better.
“I know we like to watch 'Housewives' for the fun, the glitz, the glam, the money, all this stuff, but maybe a little bit of a truth to somebody, a relatable housewife, a woman in business, something fun, something where we can look at and not get such toxicity from," she says.
"Let’s have fun. We fell in love with 'Jersey' because the girls were fun in Season One. They were out with their bubbies and we love them for it, That’s what I hope to bring back to the show.”