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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: andy cohen

Breaking Down The Bravos

Glenn Rowley

the-bravos

This week was the first-ever Bravos, an awards show celebrating all things pop culture in the Bravo universe. Joined by a parade of Housewives and other Bravolebrities on both coasts, Andy Cohen hosted an evening where none of the categories were boring and that no true fan of the network should've missed. For this week's feature, I break down my analysis of all the winners, as well as who I think got snubbed or robbed of their rightful awards. Read on for my two cents on all things Bravos...

Don't Call It A Comeback Award

bravo-award-teresa-giudice

Nominees:

  • Teresa Giudice - RHONJ
  • Stassi Schroeder - Vanderpump Rules
  • Craig Conover - Southern Charm
  • Shereè Whitfield - RHOA

Was there ever a question that anyone other than Teresa would win the Don't Call It a Comeback Award? I mean, please. The queen of RHONJ spent most of 2015 locked away at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution and her release was heralded as the return of the century in the Bravo universe. Tre is so critical to the success of the New Jersey franchise that the show shut down production while she was away, and didn't pick up for Season 7 until she was a free woman again. Now, Teresa is back and better than ever, and the new season of RHONJ looks to be its most promising yet. That being said, Stassi's humbling yet necessary return to SUR this season comes in a close second place...

The Bravo Bro Award

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Nominees:

  • James Kennedy - Vanderpump Rules
  • Jax Taylor - Vanderpump Rules
  • Shep Rose - Southern Charm
  • Ben Robinson - Below Deck/Below Deck Mediterranean

Now, yes, I will concede that Jax is probably the biggest bro found in the Bravo universe and so, for that, he deserves the first-ever Bravo Bro Award. However, his brand of greasy, smarmy playboy has never sat particularly well with me. (There's a reason I haven't covered #PumpRules on THG yet.) For that reason, I voted pretty much daily for my beloved Sheppy to win big. Like he said on the recently concluded Southern Charm Season 3 reunion, there's a big difference between amorous and a misogynist. Shep respects women and never crosses that boundary (besides his rather unfortunate "DTF" confessional joke this season.) Jax, on the other hand, doesn't seem to respect much of anything. And how hilarious was Amy Philipps' pouty impression of James after losing to his number one nemesis in the SUR crew??

Most Socially Driven: Powered by Chevrolet Cruze

bravo-awards-kandi-burruss

Nominees:

  • Bethenny Frankel - RHONY
  • NeNe Leakes - RHOA
  • Kandi Burruss - RHOA
  • Scheana Shay - Vanderpump Rules

Inexplicably the sole award being sponsored by the all-new Chevy Cruze, Most Socially Driven is supposed to be awarded to the Bravolebrity with the most active presence on social media. I may not understand why exactly Kandi won (since I don't follow her as closely on social media), but I feel it needs to be pointed out that Bethenny was jipped out of this award solely on the strength of her hilarious Snapchat game alone. Everyone go follow her!

The Sorry Not Sorry Award

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Nominees:

  • Erika Girardi - RHOBH
  • Bethenny Frankel - RHONY
  • Tamra Judge - RHOC
  • Caroline Stanbury - Ladies of London

Sorry not sorry, I am overjoyed that Beverly Hills newbie Erika walked away with the award for giving the least amount of f--ks. (Sing it with me, "Not one! Zero! Zero! Zero! Done!") In just a single season on RHOBH, Erika has proven to be the Housewife the people needed, and I am here for it. With her glam squad and bevy of backup dancers in tow, she and her sexy, sassy alter ego were the runaway stars of Season 6 and had absolutely no tolerance for any kind of BS from her new friends and co-stars. I can't wait to see how many "sorry not sorry" moments Erika Jayne serves up during Season 7.

Wacha Award for Animal Excellence

bravo-awards-lisa-vanderpump-menagerie

Nominees:

  • Fredrik Eklund, - MDLNY
  • Carole Radziwill & Baby - RHONY
  • Lisa Vanderpump's Menagerie - RHOBH
  • Vida & Ziggy - Shahs of Sunset

LVP deserved this award, named after Andy Cohen's adorable pooch, solely for the size of her collection of animals alone. Her menagerie of dogs (including Giggy the Pomeranian and golden retriever Rumpy Pumpy) swans Hanky and Panky and mini-horses Diamonds and Rosé have turned Villa Rosa into a veritable zoo. To her credit as an animal activist, Lisa spent much of last season of RHOBH organizing a protest against the horrific Yulin Dog Meat Festival and has since launched Vanderpump Dogs, her very own nonprofit organization dedicated to championing the rights of our four-legged friends all around the world.

Biggest Bravoholic

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Nominees:

  • Wendi McLendon-Covey
  • Jerry O'Connell
  • Michael Rapaport
  • Chrissy Teigen

As much as I love Michael Rapaport - and trust me, I adore him - Chrissy Teigen was ROBBED in the race for Biggest Bravoholic. Serving as a famous voice for Bravo addicts since as far back as I can remember, Chrissy is truly one of us and her Twitter feed proves it. Take a casual scroll to see her dedication for yourself. I mean, the woman didn't get asked to be a guest on WWHL's 1000th episode for nothing. That being said, Michael Rapaport is an absolute delight every time he shows up in the Clubhouse, and I love that he reps for all the guys out there who love all things Bravo. Hey Michael, where can I get a "Real Men Watch Real Housewives" t-shirt? Andy and all of the folks at ShopByBravo.com, please get on that ASAP...

Cutest Couple

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Nominees:

  • Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker - RHOA
  • Lauren Manzo & Vito Scalia - Manzo'd With Children
  • Tom Sandoval & Ariana Madix - Vanderpump Rules
  • Ryan Serhant & Emilia Bechrakis - MDLNY

Out of all the nominees, I suppose it makes the most sense that Tom and Ariana walked away with the title of Cutest Couple in the Bravoverse. There's a certain charm about the way they've emerged as a down-to-earth couple out of the incestuous stew known as the SUR staff of Vanderpump Rules. And I do have this weirdly sexual thing about Tom Sandoval and his hair. However, plenty of snubs in this category - from fellow SURvers Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney to RHOBH's Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky - could've easily beaten out the winning couple had they been up for the vote. Plus, you just know Luann de Lesseps is seething from her new penthouse on the Upper East Side that she and fiancé Tom D'Agostino weren't nominated...

Jumpsuit Achievement

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Nominees:

  • Erika Girardi
  • Khloe Kardashian
  • NeNe Leakes
  • Kelly Ripa

It's a well-known fact that there's nothing Andy loves quite as much as a good jumpsuit, and Khloe surely rocked the one she wore while appearing on WWHL this year. However, this category contains what I consider the most glaring oversight in the entire awards show. How was Teresa Guidice not nominated for the iconic orange jumpsuit she wore in her very first appearance on WWHL following her release from prison? How?? Promoting her prison memoir, Turning the Tables, Teresa's jumpsuit was hilariously clever, outrageously chic and a big old middle finger to the powers that be that put her behind bars for a year. Never forget the orange jumpsuit, folks. 

The Queen of Shade

queen-of-shade-phaedra-parks

Nominees:

  • Gizelle Bryant - RHOP
  • Reza Farahan - Shahs of Sunset
  • Jeff Lewis - Flipping Out
  • Phaedra Parks - RHOA

With her endless trove of witty one-liners and cutting reunion jabs, Phaedra certainly has the long track record to justify being bestowed the Queen of Shade title. However, I would not have minded one bit if we'd seen Potomac standout Gizelle sneak in with a major upset. On the other hand, had either Reza or Jeff won, I would have been unreasonably upset. Keep trying, queens, but the Southern Belle known as "Shade-ra" wins.

Susan Lucci Award for Best Performance in a Reality Show

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Nominees:

  • Patricia Altschul - Southern Charm
  • Kristen Doute - Vanderpump Rules
  • Vicki Gunvalson - RHOC
  • Dorinda Medley - RHONY

How pumped was Andy to have his daytime soap icon Susan Lucci in the Clubhouse to present the award named in her honor? I wasn't surprised to see Southern Charm's queen of the kaftans take the award home. After all, she's basically the Bravo equivalent to Susan Lucci herself, and the show just came off its best season ever a few weeks ago. Plus, it was an excuse to finally get Patricia to leave her fancy Charleston estate and visit the Clubhouse for the very first time. However, I will argue to the death with anyone who differs that my beloved Dorinda Medley deserved this award more than any of the other nominees. After less than two seasons as a Housewife, it's hard to imagine a RHONY without Dorinda's love of dirty martinis, mafioso attitude and slurry subtitles when she's had one too many. How did we ever survive without her??

Biggest Hustle Moment

bravo-awards-jeff-lewis

Nominees:

  • Luis D. Ortiz - MDLNY
  • Jeff Lewis - Flipping Out
  • Asa Soltan Rahmati - Shahs of Sunset
  • Dr. Jackie Walters - Married to Medicine

Ok, so Jeff Lewis won. But that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. I've never been a fan of Jeff or Flipping Out as a whole, but in the wake of his bashing Heather Dubrow on WWHL last week, he's cemented his place on my list of Bravolebrities I actively dislike. And he wasn't wrong in his condescending acceptance speech: Asa should've been a shoo-in as the hardest-working Persian priestess out there. Girl, bye.

Giving Me Life Achievement Award

bravo-awards-mariah-carey

Special Awardee:

  • Mariah Carey

There's perhaps no one more fitting to be given the honor of the very first Giving Me Life Achievement Award than the Elusive Chanteuse, Miss Mariah Carey herself. Mimi's dual appearances on WWHL have been major pop culture moments, as well as the only instances in which Andy gladly gave up his Clubhouse throne. A diva in the truest sense of the word, Mariah represents all the glamour, drama and over-the-top fabulousness that The Bravos stand for, and her acceptance speech from a clearly green-screened shoe closet was just the cherry on top of the cake that was the first annual awards show for the network. My only question is this: when are this year's Real Housewives Awards??

What did you think of the first-ever Bravos? Do you agree with the winners or did you vote for other nominees? How right am I that Chrissy Teigen was robbed for Biggest Bravoholic? And does anyone out there dislike Jeff Lewis as much as I do? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 11 - Reunion

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-dallas-season-1-reunion

After just 10 short weeks of Southern twang, a disgusting amount of poop jokes and an endless cycle of charity events, it's time for the Season 1 Reunion of The Real Housewives of Dallas! In a surprisingly singular installment, the Southern 'Wives sit down with Andy Cohen to rehash the debut seasons many fights, feuds and personal moments. (Seriously though, I can't believe that Bravo only got enough footage out of the entire day for just one reunion part. It's disappointing.) Read on for my full breakdown of the drama, including an overanalyzing of the seat arrangement and my choice for best dressed on the couches...

On the Couches

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Ok, first thing's first. The all-important reunion seating arrangement. This one was pretty straightforward and easy to call, though I did swap two 'Wives in my prediction. (I'm always close but no cigar...) From the very first episode I pegged LeeAnne Locken and Brandi Redmond as the Housewives who would get the coveted center seats next to Andy Cohen. On the right couch, we have Brandi, Cary Deuber and Stephanie Hollman on the end. (For the record, I mixed up Cary and Stephanie in my guess, thinking that Bravo would keep the two besties together). On the left couch, LeeAnne is seated next to BFF Tiffany Hendra, which...duh. The battle lines between the two cliques were so clearly drawn during the season that any other formation would've been pretty much unthinkable. I'm also going to throw out there that I wouldn't have minded seeing Cary in the hot seat next to Andy one bit, especially considering how her feud with LeeAnne dominated the second half of the season, but I'd be hard-pressed to believe that Bravo would have ever moved Brandi from the hot seat. 

Ranking the Housewives' Looks

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The reunion dress code seems to be solid cocktail dresses with cutouts and all the 'Wives adhere to the theme with just one exception. My pick for best dressed goes to Tiffany, who stuns in a marigold Split Midi dress from Topshop. The yellow frock makes a memorable impression on me for the color alone - I mean, has any Housewife ever rocked MARIGOLD in the history of reunions? I didn't think so. It feels fitting that LeeAnne is in red, though I'm pleasantly surprised at just how refined the burgundy Chiara Boni dress is on her. The elegant three-quarter sleeves and artistic cutout push the look over the edge to me in terms of sophistication and I'm loving it. Cary also chose a Chiara Boni dress for the reunion, hers in a vibrant royal blue. It does look cohesive with LeeAnne's dress, but I have to confess that after a season full of gutsy looks, I'm a little disappointed that Cary didn't go for something just a little edgier. I'm obsessed with her jewel-encrusted Roberto Cavalli heels though! Stephanie looks like a Barbie doll come to life in her bright pink Rolland Mouret dress, but the pairing it with the chunky turquoise jewelry is a miss for me. And then there's Brandi, who clearly missed the solid colored memo by choosing a sparkly gold Herve Leger number. It's my least favorite look of the bunch, trying to be both sexy and frilly at the same time, and is it just me or does the dress look rather ill-fitting on Brandi? Maybe it's the bell-shaped bottom half but either way I am not at all a fan. 

Facing Criticism

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Andy starts things off with a round robin of questions about a number of issues the women were criticized for during the season. Among these complaints were the following:

  • LeeAnne's bright pink blush, which she chose to tone down for once.
  • Stephanie's to-do lists from her husband. Thankfully, she's not getting them since the show has been airing and Travis realized how offensive the habit was to every actual housewife in America.
  • The show's preoccupation with poop jokes, thanks to Brandi and Stephanie's juvenile senses of humor. Both chalk it up to a combination of immaturity and the Hollmans having small boys, but I speak for every fan of the show when I say it needs to stop next year. No one thought it was amusing. Just...disgusting. Not funny. Too much. Also, I just feel the need to point out that I came from a family of all boys too, and we never joked about poop - much less constantly. My mother would've killed us.
  • Apparently Brandi's girls were kicked out of their exclusive private Christian school for their mom's behavior on the show. (Or as she explains it, they "chose to no longer partner with [the Redmonds] for their children's education.] I guess incessantly calling wine "Jesus juice" didn't sit to well with the Christian school, which felt Brandi was making a mockery of the holy sacrament. Oops.
  • Reports in the media that Tiffany worked as a porn star before joining the show. According to Tiff, she had a multi-film contract with Cinemax for a number of racy projects, but none of it could be considered "porn." Just think lots of boobs (by Deubs?)

Carny Kid or Charity Maven?

rhod-reunion-leeanne-locken

In the first package of the day, Andy turns the spotlight on queen bee LeeAnne, whose childhood on the carnival circuit constantly bumped up against her image at the center of the Dallas charity world. When pressed by Andy, Stephanie admits that she was referring to LeeAnne when she said the charity scene had some "egomaniacs" in it when the 'Wives attended Mad Hatter's, and most of the women are quick to agree that LeeAnne's sole passion in life seems to be charity work. However, more than the egomaniac comment, LeeAnne takes issue with Cary's claim that you have to be born into society to be a true Dallas socialite. Not even considering the fact that the American Dream is kind of built on the idea that you can work your way up the ladder and build your own success without a family legacy, in LeeAnne's book anyone can become a power player in society through hard work and making connections, and she's living proof. What happens next is an inexplicable name-dropping contest of all the most elite families in Dallas society. Ok ladies, I know you haven't done this before, but newsflash: we don't know who any of these people are. No one cares which socialite's wedding you were in. Move it along.

The Affair Heard 'Round Dallas

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Next, Cary's husband Mark joins Andy and the ladies to discuss the rumors that plagued the Deubers throughout filming about how their marriage started. In a dandy orange tie with matching socks and pocket square, the good doctor comes in guns blazing, with his sites set particularly on LeeAnne. He accuses the queen bee of spreading false stories that Cary stole him from his second wife and perpetuating the rumor that their marriage began as an affair. However, LeeAnne claims she was simply repeating what she "knew to be true" about the couple and doesn't see it as spreading gossip. Mark shoots back that with over a million people watching the show, LeeAnne's chatter has made all of America think he and Cary had an affair and insists it's simply a slanderous lie.

rhod-reunion-cary-deuber-walkoff

At this point, LeeAnne lays the entire story that she heard out on the table: that Mark and Cary started having an affair when she worked for him but broke it off when he insisted on staying married. Then, seeing Cary marry another man (her second husband, for just a few months) eventually pushed Mark over the edge to leave his second wife for her. Cary is utterly floored, having never heard this complicated and rather messy version of the rumor, and gets so riled up that she walks off the set in tears. Andy has commented before that reunion walkoffs are SO 2009, and I agree, but I'm too distracted by the hilarity of Cary's crying faces to really take in the drama of the much-overused move. Methinks Cary might have had a little too much Botox injected before the reunion, because her face is forced to contort into impossible-looking shapes to make up for the fact that she can't move her forehead. 

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Once Mark has talked Cary off the ledge and she's sufficiently calmed down, she returns to the couch with Andy eager to wrap the topic up in a bow. LeeAnne finally apologizes upon seeing Cary so upset and the two actually make peace with a hug. However, the moment isn't all sunshine and roses when LeeAnne makes an off-hand remark warning Stephanie not to call her an egomaniac or narcissist because of the gesture, and Steph throws back that LeeAnne can't help but be insulting even in the nicest of moments.

The Rocky Marriage of Brandi and Bryan Redmond

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Next in the hot seat is Brandi, whom Andy questions about the marriage troubles she endured throughout filming with her husband Bryan. Brandi claims that she didn't even realize how disconnected they were as a couple until production started on the show and chalks Bryan walking out on their date night as she cried at the table to him not wanting to argue in front of the cameras. However, what angered her husband the most was Brandi's cringe-inducing wild night out at the strip club with Stephanie and Cary. (The Redmonds have an agreement that neither will go to such establishments, which Brandi clearly broke.) The couple's relationship hit an all-time low, however, when the episode actually aired and Bryan saw Brandi wasted and giving the male stripper a veritable lap dance. In the fight that followed, Brandi tearfully recounts that Bryan said he wanted a divorce and that the lapse in judgement took a long time for the couple to get over. Now, though, things are apparently better than ever. Brandi and Bryan are communicating well and establishing respective their needs in the relationship, and even renewed their vows on their wedding anniversary! Too bad Bravo's cameras weren't there to catch that moment...

The Many, Many Feuds of LeeAnne Locken

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At this point, Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes joins the ladies, wearing a lovely, one-shouldered Chanel dress in navy with an oversized ruffle on the single shoulder, and the tension on the couches is palpable. Immediately, Tiffany calls Marie a "f---ing a--hole" under her breath, requests to sit on the opposite couch and ends up sliding as close as she possibly can over to LeeAnne in order to keep away from her nemesis. However, Andy's main concern is to begin addressing the many conflicts LeeAnne found herself in over the course of the season - with literally every single one of her fellow Housewives. As the package rolls, we see clips from her confrontation with Brandi in the very first episode, the infamous "bow at me" lunch with Cary and Stephanie, her screaming/shoving match with Tiffany after throwing a drink at a cocktail party and her sit-down with Marie upon discovering her scathing betrayal of texts to Tiffany. 

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In discussing the "bow at me" lunch, LeeAnne asserts that she wasn't trying to get Cary and Stephanie to stop being friends with Brandi, just to consider how their reputations were being affected in the wake of the poop scandal at Mad Hatter's. Stephanie shoots back that it sure felt like she was trying to take down Brandi and opines that rather than shine the light on herself, LeeAnne spent the majority of filming trying to discredit each of the other 'Wives. Moving on to the shoving showdown between BFFs at the cocktail party, Tiffany claims she was like a stewing volcano that simply erupted in the moment after spending the better part of a year defending LeeAnne to everyone in Dallas. However, Stephanie stands by her comment that Tiffany and Marie both seem to merely act as LeeAnne puppets and lapdogs - the former being the mouth that says whatever LeeAnne wants and the latter being the a--hole for taking so much constant abuse. 

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Which brings us to Marie's first betrayal - her string of text messages criticizing and psychoanalyzing LeeAnne to the queen bee's other best friend, Tiffany. Tiff maintains that the texts went on for about a year before she finally told LeeAnne about them and accuses Marie of purposely leaving out the message where Tiffany asked her "with respect" to stop texting her and go to LeeAnne instead. Marie defends herself by saying that she was merely worried for LeeAnne as a friend, while still managing to throw in a dig that she apparently wasn't eating or bathing at the time. Yikes. Either way, LeeAnne feels Tiffany did the right thing by showing her the text messages and there's clearly no love lost between her and her former bestie. 

Keep Austin Crazy: Poop Stories & Death Threats

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Finally, it's time to discuss the darkest moment of the season - the ill-fated girls trip to Austin, Texas that resulted in oversharing of a poop story (of course) and LeeAnne threatening to "kill" Marie in a terrifying altercation in the middle of the night. Marie reveals that once the ladies got back from Austin, she actually filed a police report and restraining order against LeeAnne after being threatened again over text. LeeAnne completely owns that she lost all control to her raging temper that night, but continues to point out that she was acting out of absolute humiliation upon finding out Marie had once again betrayed her. (Mind you, Marie still insists that she never repeated the story about LeeAnne pooping her pants, but the kid who told Brandi and Stephanie couldn't have exactly made it up out of the blue...) There doesn't seem to be much hope for a future reconciliation between LeeAnne and Marie, and we may never get to the bottom of who really spilled the poop story that resulted in a girls trip death threat... 

Final Thoughts

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Wrapping up the reunion, Andy points out that quite a bit has changed in the lives of each of the 'Wives since filming wrapped last summer, and asks them to share how they've grown. Stephanie found her voice by standing up to Travis and her marriage is apparently better than ever. Tiffany is all about self-improvement and is just happy that she gets to lay her head next to Aaron Hendra's ripped abs and gorgeous head of hair every night. Cary realized through the show that some people may view her relationship with Mark as weird or different, but still doesn't care what the critics have to say. LeeAnne's in anger management and continues trying to work through her traumatic past. As for Brandi, the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader views the show as a gift, in ultimately helping her marriage, introducing her to her grandfather and documenting such a difficult year of her life. And with that, the very first - but hopefully not last - reunion in Dallas officially comes to a close.

What did you think of the RHOD reunion? Do you wish it was more than one part? Are you Team LeeAnne, Team Tiffany or Team Marie? How do you feel about where the 'Wives left off? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHOC Season 8 Uncensored

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-orange-county-season-8-uncensored

In 2013, Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered on Bravo and ended up becoming one of the most unforgettable seasons in Housewives history. Thanks to the perfect combination of Housewives, surprising alliances, and major moments in the lives of the ladies, the season earned its own look back with the RHOC Season 8 Uncensored special. Featuring never-before-seen footage and brand new interviews with Housewives and producers alike, we got to learn more than we ever knew about what really went down in the OC. Read on for my full recap of all the revelations and new details from the special...

A Whole New Vicki?

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The start of Season 8 revealed a shocking new face in the OC – except the new face was a Housewife we'd known since the beginning. Vicki Gunvalson. Between seasons, the OG of the OC had decided to get some fairly major plastic surgery on her face following the “Miss Piggy” comparisons levied at her by Slade Smiley in Season 7. Vicki specifically chose to undergo surgery while the cameras weren't rolling so that she could come into Season 8 healed and looking better than ever. However, this plan was foiled when her daughter Briana went into labor with Vicki's first grandchild and Bravo wanted to catch the moment on camera. So, production was pushed up to just a couple of weeks into the OG's post-surgery recovery. Camera crews arrived at the hospital on the night of baby Troy's birth and when Vicki came down to meet them in the parking lot, they were shocked to see her swollen face mostly frozen in place since the secret surgery. Much of the season essentially documented the healing process of Vicki's face - almost episode by episode fans could see differences in her appearance as the dust settled.

Shady Friendships & Shifting Alliances

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To say that the season began with the dynamic between all the 'Wives in a very strange place is an understatement. For multiple seasons the shows main alliances consisted of Vicki and her BFF Tamra Judge in one corner and their arch-rivals Gretchen Rossi and Alexis Bellino in the other. However, over the course of the previous season, Vicki and Tamra's rock-solid sisterhood had been blown to smithereens by the OG's relationship with Brooks Ayers while Gretchen and Alexis feuded over a job as a local lifestyle correspondent for FOX5. In the most baffling turn of events possible, mortal enemies Tamra and Gretchen started Season 8 as BFFs, leaving Vicki and Alexis to develop a new friendship with each other. As such, the show entered unchartered territory with the women in alliances that just one year prior would have been unthinkable. 

Alexis Returns & Lydia Joins the Show

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Additionally, Alexis's return to the show, complete with a freshly-shorn haircut, was another surprise. Her story is that she quit the show after spending most of Season 7 as the primary target of the other women's criticism (pretentious intervention in Costa Rica, anyone?) while most of her co-stars claim she was fired by Bravo. Either way, Alexis still had more story left to tell, and this time she was coming back with a friend in tow...For Season 8 producers chose to add a sixth Housewife to the cast, which is a rare move for the OC franchise. Lydia McLaughlin joined the show as a friend of Alexis and brought a whole new flavor to Orange County. A thirty-two-year-old born again Christian who originally hailed from Canada, Lydia was the editor for Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine with her husband Doug - whom viewers lovingly dubbed "Jesus Abs." However, while she was already friends with Alexis, Lydia's first time meeting the rest of the women was more explosive than she could have ever predicted...

CUT Fitness Chaos

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In the first major event of the season, Tamra threw a dinner party to celebrate the groundbreaking of her new fitness studio, CUT Fitness. According to executive producer Kevin Lee, the party started off on the wrong foot because the rest of the 'Wives resented that Alexis was returning to the show. Battle lines were drawn as soon as Vicki walked in with Alexis and Lydia - with those three on one side and Tamra, Gretchen and Heather Dubrow firmly on the other. Co-executive producer Bill Fritz revealed that part of the tension stemmed from the fact that in between Seasons 7 and 8, Gretchen had accused former bestie Alexis and her "camp" of trying to steal a number of her personal appearances. Don't mess with a Housewife's fame, y'all. Of course, drama erupted the second Tamra confronted Alexis over why she would want to come to the dinner in the first place when she'd been threatening legal action against the hostess for slander, which resulted in the epic "YOU GET THE F--- OUT!" moment where Tamra kicked Alexis out the party. In the ensuing chaos, producers claimed that Heather made a beeline to them and promised she had other friends who could join the show to replace Alexis while Gretchen breaking into applause at her former friend getting booted signified the permanent end to their once-close friendship. What a welcome for Lydia, am I right?

Housewives Rules 101

Next, in an amusing segment the show's producers revealed the list of unspoken rules that the Housewives have developed over the years for being on camera. These rules of extreme convenience include the following:

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  • New 'Wives are never to stand in front of veterans on camera, particularly Tamra.
  • Housewives are to never eat on camera because it's impossible to look glamorous and beautiful while doing so.
  • Housewives form cliques and promise to have each other's back, but the alliances are subject to change from season to season.
  • All friendships of convenience between other 'Wives are to be exposed and undermined.
  • Develop real friendships with your fellow cast mates or you will be called out.

A Bachelorette Party Turned Battlefield

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Next up for discussion is the unforgettable trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for Tamra's bachelorette party. Due to the flip-flopped friend dynamic of the season, Gretchen fell into the role of putting the bachelorette party together for Tamra rather than Vicki. Meanwhile, Alexis had been invited to Mexico but one of the hard and fast rules in the Bellinos' traditional marriage is "no bachelor or bachelorette parties," so she stayed behind in the OC. And while Heather ran behind the cameras and jokingly (but kind of seriously) threatened a sexual assault lawsuit if the Mexican strippers so much as touched her during the wild in the hotel, the bachelorette party turned into a turf war between Vicki and Gretchen over who was a better friend to the bride-to-be.

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Vicki essentially went into the trip with a secret plan to snatch Tamra from Gretchen's clutches and when Gretch and Heather went to the bathroom following a snoozy first dinner, the OG saw her chance. With newbie Lydia in tow, Vicki kidnapped Tamra and ditched the other women to go to Andale's, her favorite dive bar in Puerto Vallarta. Despite not having filming permits for the bar and not really knowing where it even was, the Bravo crew spent the majority of the evening following Vicki and the other 'Wives through the streets of Puerto Vallarta as they bought light-up bows, danced on taxis and whooped it up once they found Andale's. Naturally, getting ditched left Gretchen infuriated and the conflict that came out of the night became pivotal to the season's story. Gretchen and Vicki were officially at war with Tamra as the victor's prize, and ultimately the OG would come out on top.

The Dubrows and the "D" Word

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One of Heather's major storylines for Season 8 was the conflict in her marriage with husband Terry Dubrow. After being considered for Season 5 (the year Alexis Bellino joined the show) it's a well-known fact that Terry actually forged Heather's signature on her contract when she finally joined the cast two years later. Terry was the one who pushed Heather to do the show, and producers even described her as a "reluctant participant in her husband's misadventures." Nowadays it's hard to imagine RHOC without Fancy Pants (she remains my all-time favorite OC 'Wife), but in her first couple seasons, Heather admits she had trouble really opening up in front of the cameras. Behind the scenes, the Dubrows' worst fights were about her being on the show because she didn't actually to do reality TV. So when Terry failed to support Heather's renewed acting career, which was being documented throughout the season, Fancy Pants threatened to quit the show and Terry threw the word "divorce" out during a blow-out fight between the two. By the time the season wrapped, Heather and Terry's marriage was stronger than ever but getting to that point was certainly a rocky road.

The Revenge of Lauri Waring Peterson

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Season 8 also brought the return of a familiar face from the show's early days: OG Housewife Lauri Waring Peterson. After leaving the show midway through Season 4 to focus on her new blended family with her Prince Charming, George, Lauri blasted back onto the scene with an agenda to take down her old friend Vicki. Lauri had originally been Vicki's secretary and protege-of-sorts when the show premiered way back in 2006, but the moment she came back to film with Gretchen, Lauri threw the OG of the OC under the bus with a scandalous rumor that she'd caught her in a threesome back in the day. From Vicki's perspective, the attack was insulting but logical: in order for Lauri's return to be as relevant as possible, she had to go after the dog at the very top of the food chain. Mind you, Lauri insists in her interview that she didn't have any vendetta against Vicki, but that's a hard claim to swallow as fans watched the salacious drama unfold.

Go Yell It on the Mountain

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A tricky game of telephone was born out of the gossip Lauri spread, and when the rumor reached Vicki during the cast trip to Canada, she exploded. Decked out in full snow bunny gear on the slopes of Whistler, the OG hunted down the show's executive producer, shoved him up against a brick wall and threatened him that it would hurt a lot worse if this storyline made it to air. To make matters worse, the other woman in the rumor actually turned out to be Vicki's sister, whom the OG insisted be cut out of the conversation. (Only after talking to her sister later and getting her blessing did Vicki use the fact to defend herself in blogs and on WWHL.) Producers note that Lauri was very careful not to ever use the term "threesome," but Vicki's ensuing freakout is still one of the most iconic moments in Housewives history.

Gretchen Rossi: A Cautionary Tale

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Next, the special addresses the downfall of Gretchen over the course of the eighth season. Executive producer Douglas Ross explains that when Gretch joined the show in Season 4, she let viewers completely into her life - from her relationship with now-deceased, older fiancé Jeff Beitzel to getting "naked wasted" by a scheming Tamra and Vicki, nothing seemed to be off-limits. However, as her time on the series progressed, Gretchen started presenting a much more whitewashed, inauthentic picture of herself. Once she started dating Slade Smiley, the much-reviled, self-proclaimed "Housewife Hunter," the execs at Bravo noticed that the couple always seemed to be working some sort of angle for the show. (We all remember the time Slade "bought" her with a Rolls Royce, right?) And everyone knows that once self-production is an automatic death sentence in the Housewives universe.

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This forced inauthenticity was never more clear than in Gretchen's decision to stage an elaborate rooftop proposal to Slade at the end of Season 8. For three seasons, Slade had been floating out the idea of getting engaged to Gretchen but never quite seemed to be able to pull the trigger. Flipping the script in the name of quasi female empowerment, Gretchen put together an extravagant proposal for her boyfriend that involved a song on the radio, a helicopter ride and all of their family and friends - but none of the other Housewives. Heather opines in her confessional that Slade was probably in on the surprise and even Andy Cohen notes that the entire event rang hollow and felt purely put on for the cameras. (Obviously Gretchen denies this.) Not inviting any of her cast mates also proved to be one of the final nails in the coffin for Gretch, though during the special she points the finger at producers for why none of the other ladies were included. Also, it's important to note that it's now been three years and Gretchen and Slade still aren't married. Maybe they'll walk down the aisle if someone offers to turn their wedding into a TV special a la Tamra's OC's Wedding

Winter Wonderland Finale & the Reunion of Rainbow Dresses

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By the time Vicki's Winter Wonderland-themed finale party came around, every other Housewife had her own personal issues with Gretchen. So, throughout the party poor Gretchen was forced to go on a giant apology tour, moving from one sit-down to the next so all the women could air their grievances against her. To this day, Gretch maintains that the other Housewives banded together to get her off the show, but we all know that's not exactly how cast changes work. At the Season 8 reunion, which in my opinion stands as possibly the best Housewives reunion ever, resentment toward Gretchen was at an all-time high and she had simply burned too many bridges to have any shot of staying on the show for Season 9. 

The Legacy of Season 8 in the OC

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To this day, Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Orange County remains a high water mark for both the show and the franchise as a whole. Alexis was let go at the end of the season when it became clear that viewers had now seen the beginning, middle and end to her story arc, while newbie Lydia chose to walk away after just a single season to focus on her family and have a third baby. As Andy succinctly states in the special's closing moments, Season 8 remains iconic for being a changing of the guard in Orange County and will never be forgotten in the annals of Housewives history and the larger pop culture.

What did you think of the RHOC Season 8 Uncensored special? Do you love the season as much as I do? Should Gretchen, Alexis and/or Lydia ever return to the show? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHOBH Season 6 Wrap-Up

Glenn Rowley

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After two dozen episodes rife with machinations, manipulations and spinning of webs, it's time to wrap up Season 6 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For this week's feature, I'm breaking down my favorite parts of the season as well as what could and should change come Season 7...

WHY IT WORKED

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  • The perfection that is Erika Jayne: I'll say it right now. Erika Girardi was the single best new 'Wife the Beverly Hills franchise since the original six Housewives first blasted onto our screens in 2010. Everything from her perfectly manicured nails and glam squad to her jaw-dropping fashion sense and the glitz, glam, boobs and heels of her alter ego Erika Jayne made for fascinating addition to the cast and the Housewives universe. Erika was not only gorgeous and hilariously full of one-liners, she didn't up with any B.S. and refused to back down in any situation. Whether she was standing up for Yolanda Foster or going head-to-head with fellow newbie Kathryn Edwards over her perception that Lisa Vanderpump was spinning a web, I could not get enough of Erika. Even more, based on my first impression I wasn't actually sure I would like the newbie, but thankfully I saw the light and was converted into an Erika Jayne superfan.
  • Fresh-squeezed O.J. (Simpson): In perhaps the most serendipitous pop culture moment of all time, the Beverly Hills 'Wives were arguing over their many connections to the O.J. Simpson trial just as The People vs. O.J. Simpson, FX's gripping retelling of the story of the century, was captivating viewers across the country. For a few glorious weeks this winter, I could watch Kathryn Edwards battle it out with the morally corrupt Faye Resnick over being dragged into the scandal by her juicy tell-all (which was published just as the jury was being selected), and then immediately switch over to Connie Britton as Faye herself. I literally could have watched the Housewives battle it out over O.J. Simpson all season long and been completely happy.
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  • Beverly Hills takes the Hamptons: Personally, I loved every minute of the ladies' trip early in the season to the Hamptons to celebrate the opening of Kyle Richards's pop-up shop and the white party for Lisa Vanderpump's Bella Magazine cover. Not only will I own a house there one day, but from the start of Eileen Davidson and Lisa Vanderpump's feud to the dinner party clash between Erika and RHONY's Bethenny Frankel, it was pretty much everything I could dream of for a Housewives getaway. Plus, after so many years of knowing about their BFF status, it was amazing to see Kyle's decades-long friendship with Bethenny on screen. Two of my all-time favorite Housewives in one of my favorite places in the world? What more could I ask for?
  • The unwilling spiral of Lisa Rinna: Oh, Lisa Rinna. When both Brani Glanville and Kim Richards exited the show after the conclusion of Season 5, many wondered who would become the essential bad 'Wife of the cast, but in a way it makes sense that Lisa Rinna took up the mantle. When her opening tagline bragged about how much talking her well-known lips would do, I had an inkling we were in for trouble this season. However, the second she read the definition of the word "Munchausen" off her phone at Villa Rosa, I knew she was done for. All season long, Rinna preached about "owning" her stuff while incessantly gossiping about both Yolanda and Lisa Vanderpump, painting them as the show's master manipulators. All in all, her play worked, earning her the coveted hot seat next to Andy Cohen come reunion time. By season's end, Lisa Rinna had burned bridges with just about everyone in the cast except for Eileen, and the scariest part of the entire madness may be that the longtime actress still thinks she's in the right...She can cry "scapegoat" all she wants, but there's no denying that her own mouth was what got Rinna in a giant heap of trouble this year.

WHAT COULD CHANGE

  • A snoozy finale: After SO MUCH went down over the course of the season, it was beyond frustrating to see the finale amount to, well, pretty much a whole lot of nothing. Kyle's gorgeous house in Palm Desert set the stage for what could've been an electrifying event, but all we got was Lisa Rinna apologizing to Yolanda and throwing darts at Kim with the rest of the 'Wives basically refusing to engage. This may sound terrible, but I was almost grateful that Bravo decided to film more when Yolanda and David's divorce became public because otherwise the finale would've been entirely forgettable. 
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  • Please, no more Munchausen: Dear Bravo, for the love of all that is holy, please never force us to hear the word "Munchausen" ever again. I feel confident that I'm speaking for every single fan out there when I say this. I really just can't take it anymore. I have sympathy for what Yolanda is going through, but enough is enough. When the Wives were talking about anything other than Munchausen, I loved the season. When they were obsessing over it, I didn't. While we're on the topic, can this please be the official end of "fake diseases by Bravo?" I'm talking to you, Evolution Media. We've endured a full season of Brooks Ayers faking cancer on RHOC and now another 24 episodes dominated by whether or not Yolanda's Lyme disease was real. The Housewives are over it, the audience is over it, even Andy is probably over it. Please let this be the end. 
  • Cast shake-ups: The one constant in the Bravo universe is the rotating door of Housewives. Season after season, some women are let go and new 'Wives take their place. It's a pattern as reliable as the sun rising or someone calling Lisa Vanderpump manipulative. Last season I questioned whether Kim Richards was in a healthy-enough state to continue filming, but had no idea that my wish for Brandi Glanville to finally be fired from the show would actually come true. This year, I think the most obvious choice for getting the ax would be newbie Kathryn Edwards. Not that I want this to happen - I love her - but out of all of the women, she's the most easily replaceable. However, I also wonder if either Yolanda or Eileen may take their final bows and exit stage left before Season 7. Yolanda went into this season with a single-minded goal to raise awareness for her Lyme disease, but the idea went sideways on her when it grew into rumors about her personal integrity and started involving her children in the gossip. Her Lyme storyline being dominated by the big, bad M-word was certainly not what she had in mind. As for Eileen, I adore her on the show and hope she comes back, but we all know she's far too sane and cool for all this craziness. As much as she turned into the bad guy this season, we all know Lisa Rinna is never going to walk away from the show until Andy personally pries the contract from her cold, dead hands. Therefore, my ideal cast for next season would be Kyle, Lisa Vanderpump, Lisa Rinna, Eileen, Erika, Kathryn, one newbie and maybe one official Friend of the Housewives.
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SEASON RANKINGS

  • Season 2: The sophomore season in Beverly Hills represents quintessential Housewives at both its best and darkest. Taylor Armstrong's tense, crumbling marriage and the allegations of domestic abuse going on behind closed doors dominated the season, and took the darkest turn possible when her husband Russell committed suicide prior to the season premiere. Kim Richards on-camera spiral into addiction and ill-fated relationship with the shady, enabling Ken Blumenfeld also cast a wide shadow on the season and her already strained relationship with sister Kyle. However, this year also gave us the gift of Queen Camille Grammer's awe-inspiring comeback from Season 1 villain to the patron saint of Season 2 as well as the introduction of Brandi Glanville and Dana "$25,000 sunglasses" Wilkey. Iconic moments from the season included the game night showdown between Brandi and the Richards sisters, the Malibu Beach Party from Hell and the clash between Taylor, Camille and Lisa Vanderpump at the latter's ill-fated tea party. The three-part reunion was also particularly epic. Kyle busted out her unforgettable line comparing friendship with LVP to playing chess with Bobby Fischer, the repercussions of which have reverberated all the way to the current day. Kim also missed the reunion taping altogether due to a trip to rehab, and only admitted during the final installment that she was an alcoholic. 
  • Season 6: Even given my criticism, I really loved this season. It went deep and wide, but without the toxic negativity of Brandi's drama. The Hamptons, Dubai, O.J. Simpson, Erika Jayne, the return of Faye Resnick...shall I go on? Now if only we could do something about Lisa Rinna's penchant for reading things off her phone and using the word "enraged."
  • Season 1: While it may seem tame by today's standards, Season 1 was - as Andy Cohen so eloquently stated in the Uncensored special - truly "lightning in a bottle." With Camille Grammer declared as the "Most Hated Housewife in America" by Life & Style at the time, the debut season gave us the iconic Dinner Party from Hell, Kyle Richards' epic "you're such a f***ing liar Camille" line and Alison DuBois' e-cigarette and set the high water mark for what a first season could be in the Housewives universe. 
  • Season 3: I had some issues with it at the time, but Season 3 has very much grown on me in the intervening years since it aired. While it was frustrating to watch the primary storyline revolve around damning information revealed by Brandi Glanville about Adrienne Maloof that was edited out for legal reasons, (it was eventually revealed that Adrienne used a surrogate for the birth of her twin boys), the season also swirled with intrigue and constantly-shifting alliances. Plus, we'll always have the Housewives' incredible trip to Paris.
  • Season 5: This time last year, I felt that Season 5 was possibly the best season of the show yet. But as a counterpoint to Season 3, my enthusiasm has waned significantly and it now finds itself on the bottom half of the list. I loved the addition of Lisa Rinna (at the time) and Eileen Davidson (always), but I realized how hit-or-miss the season really was when a friend asked me for a recommendation on which episodes were absolutely must-see. As I thought about her question, it dawned on me that after Kyle's White Party, the season was sluggish to really get rolling and the drama didn't start until around Episode 8. I eventually told my friend there were quite a few episodes she could skip altogether, and advised her to particularly focused on the back half of the season when things finally got good. That being said, the disastrous poker party at Eileen's house and the drama at Kyle's gay mixer are not to be missed and I loved the cast trip to Yo's homeland of Holland. Plus, the reunion had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, while this season's ultimately came up short.
  • Season 4: It's my ardent belief that this is the season Andy Cohen and all the other major players at Bravo would like to pretend never happened. The addition of Carlton Gebbia and Joyce Giraud de Ohoven proved to be a disaster, with the majority of fans abhorring the former while finding the latter gratingly annoying. Plenty of die-hard LVP supporters are still bitter about Brandi Glanville's season-long smear campaign against her former BFF and the trip to Puerto Rico was kind of awful. By the start of Season 5, the show seemed to have hit the proverbial reset button and it's almost like the boring season only exists in our nightmares.

With that, my coverage of Season 6 is officially, truly over. What did you think of the season overall? Do you agree or disagree with my ranking of the seasons? Let me know in the comments!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 24 - Secrets Revealed

Glenn Rowley

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After a three-part reunion, this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wraps up with the Secrets Revealed episode. In never-before-seen footage from the Bravo vaults, we see the Housewives conquer parenting challenges, cope with health issues (including botox injections) and release their inner bad girls. Read on for a full recap of all the surprising and hilarious moments...

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The Secrets Revealed episode kicks off with a few more questions from the Season 6 reunion. Andy Cohen presses Kyle Richards on her newly-remodeled closet that takes up an entire room of her house, asks Erika Girardi whether she really uses the amazing chapel in her home (the answer is yes) and questions whether Lisa Vanderpump's swans fulfill the stereotype that the birds can be viciously mean. LVP claims that, despite the biting incident that happened on-camera, Hanky and Panky are both tame, but it's a different story when it comes to the other six swans that greet visitors at Villa Rosa. Plus, the veritable zoo of animals had to adjust to the additions of Diamonds and Rosé this year, the pair of miniature horses Lisa V. got Ken Todd for his 70th birthday. 

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Speaking of animals, Kyle's daughter Portia has added horseback riding to her list of childhood accomplishments. Kyle's enrolled her youngest in lessons where she not only learns to ride the horses, but is also responsible for everything from grooming and feeding the animals to cleaning their horseshoes. As a naturally curious seven-year-old, Portia has a wide variety of interests she wants to explore, and horseback riding is just the newest fascination behind acting and playing the piano. As Kyle points out in her confessional, the key to successful parenting is exposing Portia to as many positive opportunities as possible until she finds something that makes both her and Kyle happy.

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At the reunion, Erika revealed the music video for her latest Erika Jayne single, "How Many F***s?" and in never-before-seen footage, we get to see more of the rehearsal from her gig in San Diego. With the help of her creative director Mikey Minden, Erika and her bevy of attractive back-up dancers block the show, practicing everything from choreography to all the lighting and sound cues for the performance. Erika explains in her confessional that while she's good at performing, she's constantly working to improve. After all, no pop star is born a superstar and it has taken a lot of work to become Erika Jayne. However, I keep getting distracted during this inspirational monologue as her gorgeous dancers start taking off their shirts and gyrating to the music. Also, for the record, I'm dying to get my hands on one of those official Erika Jayne tank tops. I love her so much I would literally wear it every single day if I could.

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Next, we get a trio of scenes focused on healthcare. While Lisa Rinna plays nurse when her daughter Amelia Gray gets her tonsils removed, Yolanda Foster is busy going to her appointment with a holistic doctor to treat her Lyme disease. Dr. Kang seems to be the Beverly Hills version of Shannon Beador's trusty Dr. Moon on RHOC, and he does muscle testing with Yolanda to determine which medicines and treatments she should be taking. Then, Lisa Vanderpump tricks Ken into visiting a cosmetic dermatologist under the guise of getting her shoulders checked for skin cancer. However, the real reason for the appointment is so that Ken can get some botox in his face. As LVP points out in her confessional, if you don't need botox when you're 70 years old, when will you need it? Ken rather grudgingly lets the doctor stick a needle in his face because as long as Lisa's happy, nothing else matters, right?

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This leads into a pair of scenes featuring Housewives and their daughters. First, Gigi Hadid crashes a sit-down between Yolanda and David Foster and the Girardis. During the conversation, the supermodel quickly connects with Erika's husband Tom over his work as a high-profile plaintiff's attorney - the most successful in the country, in fact. Before she got distracted by her career as the biggest supermodel in the world, Gigi was studying criminal law and psychology at NYU, and Yolanda maintains that she could see her oldest daughter returning to university in a few years to complete her degree. Tom promises to take Gigi on a trip to the courthouse soon, that is, after she comes back from her upcoming modeling shoot in Australia. Meanwhile, Lisa Rinna is starting to play momager to her oldest daughter Delilah Belle. Following Yolanda's formula, Rinna finally let Delilah try modeling after she turned 17, and the mother and daughter peruse some of her latest test shots. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can't quite shake the feeling that Lisa Rinna desperately wants to use the show as a platform to help turn her daughters into the next Gigi and Bella. Do you agree?

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Meanwhile, Kyle is stuck in a bit of a parenting mess. Apparently, Portia managed to inadvertently rack up a five-digit credit card bill while playing a game on the iPad. Guess those coins she was buying for the game cost actual money...oops. Like any seven-year-old, Portia is terrified of what her dad will do when he finds out, despite Kyle, Farrah and Sophia's insistence that Mauricio won't even be mad. In her confessional, Kyle explains that she and Mauricio never really have to discipline their kids. Yes, they put them in time out as toddlers, but as the girls got older, it became more about having a discussion about the mistake they made and what they can learn from it to not do it again. According to Kyle, Mauricio has the patience of a saint, and has never once lost his temper with any of the girls. It's so sad to watch Portia bawling her eyes out in fear, though, and my biggest question is this: did Kyle get her money back?

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One of my favorite parts of the dynamic between the 'Wives this season was how much of a fan Eileen Davidson was of Erika and her pop star alter ego. In a pair of scenes from the Bravo vault, we get to see the two continue to bond as Erika visits the soap star on the set of The Young and the Restless and takes her shopping to release her inner "Eileen Jayne" with some sexy swimwear. (We also get a juxtaposed scene of Lisa Rinna and Kathryn Edwards shopping, but I have the feeling it was only included for the express reason that without it Kathryn would've been entirely absent from the episode. She's rocking that orange shift dress, though.) On the soap opera set, Eileen hatches a plan to get Erika a bit part on the show, maybe as a nun, and while buying her a swimsuit, Erika opines that many of the women underestimate just how cool Eileen actually is. I wholeheartedly second this opinion! Eileen Davidson is low-key the absolute coolest of all the 'Wives in Beverly Hills, and if you disagree you're wrong.

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The Secrets Revealed episode ends with some extra footage from the trip to the Hamptons, with the 'Wives returning to their vacation house after Kyle's pop-up shop event. Over glasses of wine in the backyard, the women try to get Lisa Vanderpump to admit what makes her cry at night, but the British OG would rather talk about what makes everyone laugh. Erika then turns the conversation to the Househusbands of Beverly Hills, admitting to Lisa Rinna the major crush she had on Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans. Rinna rightfully opines that the 90210 is filled with some serious eye candy in the husband department, and Erika tells the women the story of how she and Tom met and fell in love. It's a nice button on the episode, and the season, and on that lovely note, Season 6 of RHOBH has officially come to an end.

What did you think of this year's Secrets Revealed episode? Are you sad the season is over or are you glad to see it go? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 23 - Reunion Part 3

Glenn Rowley

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It's Part 3 of the reunion this week on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and everything from the Munchausen rumor and spinning webs to the drama in Dubai is on the table. Plus, the ladies get a sweet message from one wine-guzzling former Housewife and Andy Cohen tries to get to the bottom of whether Lisa Vanderpump is the master manipulator once and for all. Read on for my full recap of all the drama from the couches...

Vulnerable Vanderpump

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The final installment of the reunion picks up right where we left off, with Lisa Vanderpump's shocking admission that she had been in an abusive relationship at the age of 19. As the Brit tearfully opens up the teensiest bit about the experience, Andy questions why she didn't empathize more when Eileen shared her similar experience in the Hamptons. Lisa explains that her story didn't even come to mind at the time, and several of the women wonder if she has a problem with opening up and being truly vulnerable. Even Kyle Richards is quick to point out that her fellow OG likes to live in a fantasy land where life is all diamonds and rosé. As the topic reignites Eileen Davidson's beef with Lisa, newbie Kathryn Edwards opines that the issue between the two women is simply lost in translation. It's also amusing to point out that when LVP tells Eileen she's hurt her feelings, the soap actress sincerely apologizes within seconds...which is really all she wanted from her fellow 'Wife from the second she mentioned the "affair" in the Hamptons. See, Lisa? It's that easy!

War of the Rookies

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Moving on, Andy brings up the lengthy feud between Kathryn and her fellow newbie Erika Girardi that started with a singular conversation about whether or not Lisa Vanderpump is a sniper from the side who spends her time spinning a web. At the time, I was fairly outspoken that - while I honestly love them both - I was on Team Erika on this one. Regardless of what she said about LVP, it wasn't OK for Kathryn to tell her she wanted to be her first genuine, female friend and then run straight to Lisa V. to spill the tea. Obviously, Erika still feels this way about the situation as well, and even Kathryn admits to the fact that she was wrong in how she handled the situation. However, Erika remains burned by the experience, and calls Kathryn out for listening "with intent," going straight to LVP to tattle on her and then admitting at Erika's contentious dinner party that she did it to get a reaction out of both Erika and Lisa Vanderpump. Further, Kathryn clearly didn't give any kind of good first impression at the dinner party, arguing with Erika's husband Tom and borderline shouting at nearly every other guest to get her various points across. Erika then asks if she should spill about some of the things her fellow newbie has told her and dramatically reveals that Kathryn referred to Lisa Vanderpump as a "harmless old lady." Ouch.

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Kathryn denies ever saying this - and for the record, Lisa V. is neither old nor harmless - but Erika insists that she used the terminology over the phone during an off-camera conversation. When Erika calls her desperate (hunny), Kathryn deflects by bringing up all the trash-talking Erika did about the other ladies in Dubai. Erika pointedly remarks that there's a difference between talking smack and having an opinion, but the question once again boils down to this: who do you believe? Over the course of the season, it's been clear that Erika is always observing and remains intensely aware of what's going on around her, so my gut instinct is to believe what she says. That's not to say I think Kathryn is dishonest, but it would make sense that she would want to deny saying something even slightly derogatory about the powerful OG with whom she's worked to align herself all season long. If there's one thing every Housewife and fan knows, it's that you don't want to be on the wrong side of Lisa Vanderpump.

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Also up for debate is Erika's liberal use of her certain favorite c-word. While "see you next Tuesday" isn't my favorite word either, I think there's a definite difference in the way she uses it and the way some now-former Housewives of the past have thrown it around (ahem...looking at you, Brandi Glanville and Carlton Gebbia...) Even still, Kathryn took offense to Erika calling her the c-word in her confessional after they had made up, but Erika justifies her comment by saying that what her costar did was a "c*** move." As for Eileen getting the two to talk things out at the Habitat for Humanity project, Erika actually thanks Eileen for doing it because the two newbies came to a resolution that has since lasted, reunion notwithstanding. After that day painting a house, the two never argued again and even bonded while sharing a room in Dubai. Both Erika and Kathryn can agree that they are on their way to building a real, genuine friendship with each other, and I for one hope it sticks. 

Putting the "B" Back in Beverly Hills

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Next, Andy has a special surprise for the ladies: a video message from former Housewife Brandi Glanville! The show's most iconic villain has been watching the season very closely and has something to say to pretty much every one of the 'Wives. To Kyle, she says she has an "odd soft spot" for her former nemesis, but accuses her of being one person when she's around Lisa Vanderpump and a different person when she's not. I'll give you three guesses about which version of Kyle Brandi likes more. She applauds Kathryn for locking down a hot younger man in Donnie, and shockingly offers a backhanded apology to Eileen for how she treated her last season. Now that Eileen had the guts to stand up to LVP, Brandi respects her more. Oh and her hair looks great this season! (That's one thing I can agree with Brandi on, you're stunning Eileen!) B's also come to the conclusion that Lisa Rinna isn't actually bipolar - she's just "nuttier than squirrel sh**." Additionally, she lays down a new rule for Rinna that I think every single Housewives fan can agree on: no more saying "own it" or "deflect." Please. Brandi knew she liked Erika the moment she referred to LVP as a sniper from the side. Too bad it took B five years to figure out what Erika say in just a couple minutes. And to her former BFF, Brandi has only good backhandedly good things to say. She claims LVP is "genius" when it comes to changing the narrative to make herself look good. Brandi also throws fuel on the manipulation fire by claiming Lisa V. was her "puppeteer" when they were friends - one who manipulated the self-proclaimed "truth cannon" into doing her dirty work for her.

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The video doesn't get quite the reaction Andy and Bravo were likely hoping for. Immediately, Lisa Vanderpump questions why they are giving Brandi a platform to bash the rest of the cast when she was fired from the show last year. The OG also points out that it's awfully easy to sit there with a glass of wine and rattle off insults to the camera without having to say it to anyone's face. Kyle rightfully points out that all Brandi seems to do is watch the show, tweet about the 'Wives and continually bash them on her podcast. With the exception of Yolanda Foster - who feels it's appropriate for Brandi to be allowed to say her piece if Kim Richards was allowed to as well - the collective reaction on the couches is mostly "meh." Move it along, Andy, no one cares what derogatory and mean-spirited things Brandi has to say.

Taking Off the Rosé-Colored Glasses

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Just we thought we'd heard the last of the Munchausen drama, Andy forces us back to the subject. This time, the argument centers around whether or not Lisa Vanderpump tried to drag Kyle into Lisa Rinna's Munchausen allegation, with the OGs on one side and Rinna on the other. Lisa Rinna insists that LVP followed her out of Villa Rosa to ask why she didn't bring Kyle's name into the Munchausen conversation which, incidentally is the exact same thing Kyle said Lisa told her after she came back inside. The three go back and forth and around and around on the subject until Kyle finally puts her foot down and says she doesn't think it's really that big of a deal. Thank you, Kyle, because I honestly cannot stand to listen to this argument one more time.

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One thing that is kind of a big deal is how much Lisa Vanderpump's husband Ken bashed the other women all season long. In a classic Rinna move, Lisa R. reads off his catty comments about her in the finale. All in all, Ken called her a "stupid bitch," "silly cow," "wanker," "crazy" and insinuated that she didn't have the "full ticket." While acknowledging that she would be upset if say, Harry Hamlin said those things about her, Lisa Vanderpump refuses to apologize for either that or any of Ken's other comments throughout the season (about Kyle's fashion sense and how Yolanda looked at Rinna's birthday party). From her perspective, the Househusband is allowed to share his opinions and vent about the women when he's upset by their behavior towards his wife. Several of the other women disagree, with Yolanda in particular citing this pattern of Ken lashing out all the way back to Season 4, and I'm suddenly realizing Ken Todd may be the Peter Thomas of RHOBH.

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The conversation morphs into a discussion about the seemingly eternal question of whether Lisa Vanderpump is the show's master manipulator. To this day, Lisa Rinna maintains that LVP manipulated her into bringing up the M-word (I can't type it one more time) and tried to get her fired up about Yolanda's comment that she could be bipolar and unstable. She also argues that the other women can't seem to decide whether she's a people-pleaser or just bipolar-level crazy, but I think it's clear after two seasons that Lisa Rinna has a major people-pleasing side to her multi-faceted personality. However, it needs to be clarified that whether or not any conversations happened off-camera between her and LVP, Lisa Rinna was the one - the ONLY one - to bring the word Munchausen into the dialogue surrounding Yolanda's Lyme disease. There, I typed it again. 

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Andy points out that six seasons in, there's been a definite pattern of Lisa Vanderpump's fellow Housewives accusing her of being manipulative. When you break it down, Andy's telling the truth. Over the course of six seasons, Kyle, Yolanda, Brandi, Lisa Rinna, Eileen, Erika, Kim, Taylor Armstrong and Adrienne Maloof have all leveled similar accusations about the queen bee. Bobby Fischer, anyone? At some point, when so many people are saying the same thing, you have to wonder how much truth there is to it. And yet, when Andy asks her point blank, Lisa Vanderpump insists she doesn't feel the need to apologize to a single one of her costars. Guess we'll have to wait for Season 7 to see who LVP manipulates next...

Final Thoughts

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To close out the Season 6 reunion, Andy asks each of the ladies for their final thoughts. Kyle's biggest takeaways are how much she learned about Yolanda's Lyme disease and to simply not sweat the small stuff. Yolanda just wants to keep recovering and getting well, while Lisa Rinna claims she doesn't have any regrets from all the talking her lips did this season. After two seasons, Eileen points out that Housewives absolutely trumps daytime soap operas in the drama department, and both Kathryn and Erika claim their first season was everything they each hoped it would be. As for the final word, LVP is sad people think she's manipulative, but chalks it up to the old "live and learn" mantra. In the final moments, Andy has each of the 'Wives turn to the person on their right and say her best quality. As the women point out each other's sweetness, honesty, integrity and sense of humor, the season ends on a positive note and we're reminded of so many of the good qualities these women have when they're not arguing at each other's throats.

Next week, Secrets Revealed! Leave your thoughts about this week's final reunion installment in the comments below!