party chat

Lady Gaga and Snooki at the VMA Afterparties

At last night’s VMAs, Kanye’s performance of his blistering comeback song “Runaway” — which he dedicated to all the “douchebags, assholes, and scumbags” in his life — was at first met with boos inside the Nokia Theater. But the Jersey Shore cast stood behind him and his message. “I loved the song,” said Snooki at In Touch’s Chateau Marmont after-party. “It’s directed at all the jerk-offs in the world who broke my heart.”

But a Shore rave was inevitable; Kanye had the crew in his corner from the moment they all flew to L.A. on the same plane from New York, and he ventured back from first class to visit them in business. “He came up to me, Ronnie, and Nicole on the plane and said he was a big fan,” JWOWW recounted. “That he came up to us speaks for his character as a great person. Then we talked outside the airport for, like, ten minutes. He was the sweetest guy and said he felt really nervous about performing.” As for Kanye’s kiss-off song, it’s a sentiment JWOWW can get behind. “We have a lot of haters, there are a lot of people who want to put our show down,” she explained. “So that’s what we’d say to them.”

The Jersey crew were the mainstays of the VMA weekend, working as MTV’s high-profile and highly tanned ambassadors. They attended nearly every party (their names were double-underlined at the top of every guest list) from the Deadmau5 party on Saturday night high atop the Hollywood Hills, to the VMA’s white carpet — where legitimate stars elbowed their way to an introduction — to the Interscope post-party at label chief Jimmy Iovine’s private late-night Santa Monica hang space, the Tom Tom Club. (Correction: Interscope’s superexclusive private party at Jimmy Iovine’s Tom Tom Club was the rare party they weren’t invited to.) But not even the unholy alliance of Kanye and Snooki and Co. could outshine Lady Gaga, her eight moonmen, and her meat dress. A member of the fame monster’s styling team told Vulture that Gaga had prepared “an outfit for each win,” but only three (including the meat dress, saved for her “Bad Romance” Video of the Year award) were broadcast.

Penn Badgley saw the dress up close when he was backstage preparing to introduce Linkin Park’s remote Griffith Observatory performance: “The only thing I could think was salmonella,” the Gossip Girl star joked at the In Touch party. “I was worried about her health. Like she’s going to create a new strain or virus that we can’t get rid of. That’s a dangerous thing to be wearing.”

Gaga ditched the dress (and hopefully refrigerated it) for the Interscope bash. There, she arrived wearing a demure flowing forest green and black mesh gown — which she proceeded to affectionately wrap around Iovine — and a pair of twelve-inch Alexander McQueens. Surrounded by a decent-size posse that included celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and the four discharged gay soldiers who were her guests at the awards, Gaga celebrated with well-wishers like Mary J. Blige and Lil Jon as Will.I.Am D.J.’d and new Interscope artists Mohombi and Far East Movement entertained an industry-heavy crowd.

Gaga was so impressive that she even wowed the Jersey Shore crowd without a moment of airport chitchat. “Being able to stand twenty feet away from her was unreal,” said JWOWW, who added that she admires Gaga because “she speaks for all the oddballs.” And the alpha female admits even she didn’t have the balls to make her own approach to meet the singer: “I couldn’t even remember my name at that moment.”

Lady Gaga and Snooki at the VMA Afterparties