As Hurricane Irene bore down on the East Coast and the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards heated up on the West, "Jersey Shore" stars Snooki, Vinny, Deena and Sammi hopped a last-minute private jet from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Nothing was going to stop them from missing the VMAs.
"We had to get out here for the VMAs," Vinny told MTV News hours after touching down in Los Angeles. "MTV did whatever they could to get us out here. We wouldn't miss it for the world."
His pal Pauly D, meanwhile, had been safely kicking back in Oklahoma City after an earlier brush with the hurricane in North Carolina while touring with Britney Spears. "Irene got nothing on my blowout," he declared, while acknowledging the storm poses a serious risk to the public.
"I was nervous. This storm's no joke," he said. "Immediately I texted Vinny, because I didn't think we were going to make it. ... I thought I was going to have to fill in for everybody. I can't talk for everybody. I talk a lot. But it was no joke, and I was not missing the VMAs for nothing. Seriously, I was coming here. I didn't care how I was coming here, but I was going to make it."
It's no doubt going to be a big night for the "Shore" kids. The highly anticipated episode showcasing the resolution of Ronnie's dustup with the Situation is set to air at 7 p.m. ET immediately before the VMA Pre-Show. And as soon as "Jersey Shore" ends, the cast will be making their way down the VMA Pre-Show black carpet and settling into prime seats for the main event. But while they kick back and enjoy all the VMA craziness, they'll be thinking of their friends and family back home.
"Our prayers go out for everyone on the East Coast," Vinny said. "We're looking out for them, but I think they're going to be all right."
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year's highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.