The Jersey Shore star says "there's chemistry there ... it's physical, emotional, it's just there"

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Pauly “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio is juggling multiple women on Double Shot at Love — but there’s one in particular that’s caught his eye.

In PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at DelVecchio’s new dating show with Jersey Shore costar Vinny Guadagnino, the DJ gets a text from frontrunner Nikki threatening to leave over competition with the rest of the women. And while he’s not usually one for drama, he decides Nikki is worth fighting for.

“I like this girl,” he tells Guadagnino, 30. “I’m feeling her, so I’m just going to go talk to her.”

“This environment isn’t for everybody, but if Nikki left I’d be really upset,” he admits. “There’s chemistry there — I don’t know, I can’t explain it. It’s physical, emotional, it’s just there. I definitely want to continue something with her.”

DelVecchio, 38, finds Nikki, 26, crying in her room and immediately starts reassuring her.

“You can’t let the other girls get to you. Don’t let them blow this, you know what I’m saying?” he says. “You know I like you. You ain’t going nowhere, so get that out of your head. You’re not leaving.”

“I’m not making any promises,” she says — but she can’t help cracking a smile.

“That’s a smile, though!” DelVecchio says, enveloping her in a hug. “See? You fit too good to leave.”

Pauly D double shot at love
Credit: MTV

Later, Nikki admits it’s “not easy to date a guy that’s literally dating 13 other girls simultaneously.”

“So I need to focus more on me and why I’m here. I’m here to find love and I think that I can find it with Pauly,” she continues. “But it all boils down to if I’m going to ride it out until the end.”

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Vinny Guadagnino (left) and Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio
| Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty

Sitting down with PEOPLE earlier this month, DelVecchio said he and Guadagnino had to be “delicate” when it came to hooking up in the house.

“Kissing one of them was a nightmare,” he said. “They would run and throw it in the other girls’ faces. I could only imagine spending the night [with one of them]. It was too much drama to even attempt to do that. … My head was spinning the whole time.”

As for what he’s looking for?

“I am attracted to positivity, positive vibes,” he said. “I can spot a good person from far away. I am attracted to the vibe. Obviously looks are there too, attracts your eyes, but the vibe attracts my heart.”

He also wants to find someone that would fit into his life with 5-year-old daughter Amabella Sophia.

“I’m so selective now,” he admitted. “I am more picky, because she has to meet the two most important women in my life: my daughter and my mother. So it’s not just going to anybody. I think my mother has met like, two women in my life, ever. It’s a big deal for me.”

Guadagnino, meanwhile, has one ultimate dealbreaker: bad breath. On Betches Media’s U Up? podcast this week, he revealed to hosts Jordana Abraham and Jared Freid that he once spent an entire weekend with a girl he was sleeping with — but never kissed her.

He also said that while he’s been on Tinder, he would only use it as a gateway to find girls on Instagram.

“What I would usually do is not talk to them on Tinder — I would use Tinder to know that they’re available, and single, and then go to Instagram, follow them there and then like, maybe slide in the DMs,” he said. “And it always works. They always are so responsive.”

Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.