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Real Housewives

RHONY Ssn 9/Ep 7 Recap - Bidding on Love

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the women get into the holiday season with multiple charity events, a trip to Beautique and a bombshell revelation from the mouth of an inside source that validates their fears about Luann's relationship with Tom. Read on for the scandalous scoop that almost didn't make the air...

It's the day after the dust-up at Jue Lan Club and each of the 'Wives have retreated to their respective corners to rehash the evening's drama. While Bethenny Frankel vents to Dorinda Medley while they're out furniture shopping, Ramona Singer turns to her daughter Avery for advice inside Henri Bendel. For almost 10 years, Ramona's daughter has been the unlikely voice of reason on this show, so it comes as no surprise that the 21-year-old continues to dole out wisdom beyond her years. Just like the rest of us, Avery doesn't understand where this feud between Ramona and Bethenny stems from and urges her mom to take the high road and make amends with her longtime friend. Considering how well Ramona's last attempt to patch things up went, this course of action may be impossible. As far as Bethenny is concerned, she can be civil if she see's Ramona out socially with the 'Wives but the Singer Stinger may as well be dead to her. 

The blondes return to Beautique! Taking Tinsley Mortimer under their booze-soaked wings, Ramona and Sonja Morgan introduce the former socialite to the Midtown hotspot famed for being the perfect place to pick up eligible Manhattan bachelors. With Ramonja's guidance, Tinsley is the belle of Beautique within minutes and quickly sets her sights on a hot, young 23-year-old named Chad. His description by the Bravo editing team is literally "Cute Guy." Get it Tins! Of course, Sonja takes it upon herself to scold her roomie, reminding Tinsley that a 23-year-old finance kid doesn't fit any of the criteria on the list of what she's looking for in a husband. As if Sonja has any room to talk about hooking up with a younger man...Thankfully, Tinsley shoos her away to make out with Hot Chad and I've never been more proud of the newbie. Maybe try the Regency instead of Beautique if you're searching for marriage material, but for tonight Chad wins.

Over at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, Bethenny is launching her new charity initiative, B Strong, at the annual Dress For Success breakfast. Like several of the Skinnygirl's events in the past, Carole Radziwill is the only other Housewife in attendance, but we also finally get to meet Dennis Shields, her elusive boyfriend that caused so much drama at the Season 8 reunion. Bethenny's goal with B Strong is for the initiative to serve as crisis intervention for women on their various roads to personal and professional success. The B gets surprisingly emotional and choked us as she talks about this new project to a room full of women and it truly is a worthy cause and positive use of her platform. Bravo, Bethenny!

Meanwhile, on a night out with her girlfriends at American Cut, (a steak restaurant is one of her prime places to pick up men after all), Ramona pivots from flirting to getting more dirt about Luann de Lesseps and Tom D'Agostino's relationship. It turns out that one of the ladies she's out with - Missy - is also on the long list of Manhattan cougars who dated Tom prior to his engagement to the Countess. Just how prior you ask? Missy thought she was dating Tom exclusively and only learned otherwise when she walked in on Tom and Lu very clearly together at a bar. Ouch. As her new friend recounts this story, Ramona's eyes practically light up with glee. And yet, this isn't even the biggest Tom-related bombshell we'll learn this episode...

Dorinda is hosting a holiday cocktail party/fundraiser for Beauty for Freedom at Bagatelle and most of the 'Wives have put together a silent auction full of gifts for the occasion. Tinsley and Sonja arrive separately while still managing to bring their passive-aggressive roommate baggage with them. In fact, Lady Morgan straight up shames the newbie for going on a bowling date with Chad after their encounter at Beautique and making out with him. WTF?? The biggest news, however, is that the Skinnygirl and Tom will be in the same room for the first time ever at the charity event. How awkward could it be to come face to face with your frenemy's fiancé whom you uncovered cheating last season just a few days after they got engaged? Only a little. 

Thankfully, the room at Bagatelle is gigantic and packed to the brim, which gives Bethenny a perfectly reasonable excuse to avoid Ramona all night long, but she can't do the same with Tom and Luann. Instead she charges in head first, shaking Tom's hand as Lu makes the introduction and apologizing for "causing [him] any drama" last year. The interaction is quick and easy - if a bit uncomfortable - and is saved by Dorinda directing everyone's attention back to the charity auction, which no one seems to be bidding on. 

At this point, Bethenny and Carole decide to become "charity whores" and start working the room to flirt with men and get them to bid on auction items. And the strategy actually works! However, as Carole circles the room for her next used car salesman pitch, a damaging bombshell drops in her lap courtesy of Luann's friend Barbara. In the midst of the revelry, charity and bidding wars, this friend reveals she's going to the Countess' wedding in Palm Beach, but expresses some eyebrow-raising doubts about Tom and Luann's relationship. (So damaging, in fact, that she tried to sue Bravo to keep the footage from airing, claiming she didn't know she was being filmed. At a Real Housewives event. Talking to a Real Housewife. With a mic on.) 

Barbara tells Carole point blank that she's not excited to go to Luann's wedding and claims she thinks the Countess feels she has something to prove to the world by going down the aisle. In Barbara's estimation, Luann would rather go through with the wedding and get divorced later on than call the whole thing off and suffer a giant "I told you so" from the rest of the 'Wives. Additionally, this friend also admits she went to Luann with her concerns about Tom's philandering ways and rumors that he's still seeing other women on the side, but her worries fell on willfully deaf ears. As the episode ends, it would appear there's much more going on beneath the surface of Luann and Tom's fast-approaching wedding than the perfect, madly in love facade that's been forced on us for two seasons.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Is Luann having second thoughts about marrying Tom? Is Hot Chad a good choice for Tinsley? Is this any of our business? Let me know in the comments below!