Deena Nicole Cortese, a 23-year-old New Jersey native, has joined the cast of "Jersey Shore."
Her addition to the show's gang of hard-partying twentysomethings was announced at a Friday meeting of the Television Critics Association. She had widely been rumored to have joined the MTV reality TV series since production on new episodes began last month in Seaside Heights, N.J.
"I bring a lot of energy to the house," said Cortese. "All I want to do is play games and have a good time."
Cortese joins original cast members Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Jenni "J-Woww" Farley, Ronnie Magro, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola, Pauly Del Vecchio and Vinny Guadagnino. The show's second season, set in Miami's South Beach, is currently airing on MTV.
Cortese, who knew Snooki before joining the show, said she was "a little nervous" about moving in with the "Jersey Shore" cast members but now considers them family.