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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: ashley's marriage

RHOP S2/Ep 11 Recap - The Grande Dame Sham

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, the battle of the hostesses comes to a head in Bermuda and the women strip Karen of her grande dame title upon learning she's moved out of Potomac. Read on for a full recap of all the drama...

We're back in Bermuda and the tension is thick. Charrisse Jackson Jordan is livid with Karen Huger for secretly hosting an exclusive sailing excursion on the day she was supposed to plan for the 'Wives. Under the guise of fixing the bad blood between Gizelle Bryant and Monique Samuels, it was surely an underhanded move on the grande dame's part and Charrisse is ready to confront her rival on a sunset cruise. Unsurprisingly, Karen refuses to apologize for her sneaky power play and the conversation quickly devolves into a verbal sparring match between the two. Karen calls the sunset cruise her nemesis planned just "OK" compared to her "fantastic" event and Charrisse fires back that she spent more on the yacht than the Hugers' net worth before telling the grande dame to take a swim off the side of the boat. As Gizelle points out in her confessional, Charrisse lives for a good Karen fight and she's definitely winning this one. 

Later that night, a defensive Karen vents to Monique about her fight with Charrisse, declaring their friendship officially done regardless of how genuine it was in the past. At the same time, Charrisse off-handedly drops a bombshell that the Hugers bought their Potomac mansion when it was in foreclosure, adding fuel to the speculation that all isn't what it seems when it comes to the finances of Black Bill Gates and family. Maybe this is another reason why Karen is being so cagey and secretive about her move?

The next day, the women soak in Bermuda by attending a traditional game of cricket. It may be one of the island's most popular sporting events, but the game goes entirely over the ladies' heads. Charrisse and Karen spend the afternoon giving each other the cold shoulder, but it turns out that Robyn Dixon is one hot commodity on the island. The men of Bermuda seem to flock to her, entranced by her exotic features and bright green eyes. Yet, despite her therapist's assignment to go on a date with someone other than Juan, she's not feeling it with any of the guys and realizes that this trip is making her reevaluate what she wants back home with her ex-husband. Robyn loves Juan and that's that, homework assignment be damned. 

On the last night in Bermuda, Karen does a complete about-face and comes to Charrisse's hotel suite to offer an unexpected apology. Claiming the two "got off on the wrong foot" in co-hosting the trip, Karen now wants to make up and claims she and Charrisse need to provide a "unified front" in being the alpha females of the group. This is all well and good, but one has to wonder how Charrisse would be taking this mea culpa if she knew all the nasty things Karen said about her that were caught by a hot mic at the end of last week's episode...Either way, the trip ends with an impromptu pajama party in Charrisse's suite and the women even get competitive in a hilarious freestyling rap battle led by Monique. Cheers to Bermuda!

Finally back in Potomac, Ashley Darby is forced to confront the issues with Michael she was running away from by going on the girls trip. The couple's restaurant remains the giant emu-shaped wedge in their relationship. However, Michael reveals that he's already made changes to Ashley's role at Oz while she was away in Bermuda. Without consulting her. Once again, this move by her husband leaves Ashley feeling disrespected and undermined, but the good news is that she'll no longer be in charge of managing the day-to-day operations of the restaurant. Michael's made her just an owner with the hope that this decision will eliminate some of the tension in their relationship and honestly, Ashley doesn't seem too upset about the change.

Charrisse has finally completed the renovations on her brand new champagne room and all the women gather at the Jordan mansion for the room's grand unveiling - complete with a white-gloved butler answering the door and fancy ribbon cutting ceremony. However, a huge piece of gossip is on everyone's lips at the party: word on the street is that Karen came back from Bermuda to a new house in Great Falls, Va. That's right, under the cover of darkness, the Hugers have moved out of Potomac and left the prestigious 20854 zip code behind. This is certainly a far cry from what Karen told the ladies while they were in Bermuda and now the grande dame is going to have some serious explaining to do. 

After the grand unveiling, Karen finally reveals her move to the 'Wives, trying to couch it in "I live in Great Falls now, remember?" No, grande dame, they don't remember. Because you never told them where you were moving. Karen provides yet another cockamamie story about her "private sale option" that's really just code for the fact that she's renting the new house in Great Falls. Naturally suspicious, the women are quick to question the inconsistencies: if Monique could purchase a $5 million mansion in Potomac, why are the Black Bill Gates and the grande dame renting? Ashley gleefully points out that this means Karen will no longer hold the title of "the grande dame of Potomac" but everyone knows Karen won't be giving that title up until someone pries it from her cold, dead hands. Karen argues that the only way she can be stripped of the title is if she chooses to bestow it on someone else but as the conversation turns into a full-blown confrontation, Robyn takes charge and jokingly dethrones the grande dame, tossing her imaginary crown to the ground. Karen doesn't take well to this unceremonious dumping and fires back at Ashley by snapping that she refuses to listen to the opinion of "the idiot on the end of [the couch]." And with that, we get a "To Be Continued..." placard leading into the season finale...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Has Karen been dethroned as the grande dame of Potomac? Did Charrisse win the battle in Bermuda? Who's the real alpha female of the group? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOP S2/Ep 9 Recap - A Host of Issues

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, Karen and Charrisse butt heads over which 'Wife is hosting the cast trip to Bermuda while Gizelle and Monique's attempt to put their issues to bed only deeps their feud. Plus, Ashley and Robyn reevaluate the future of their respective relationships. Read on for a full recap of the drama, confrontations and shade...

It's the morning after the critics' choice dinner at Oz and Ashley Darby is mustering up the courage to go through the comment cards left by the food bloggers, press and celebrity chefs who attended the event. With hot Chef Brad looking on, Ashley starts reading the reviews and to her surprise and relief, they're mostly positive! Whew! Her husband Michael is noticeably absent for the positive moment, only showing up afterwards with his tail between his legs. Pulling Ashley away from their employees, Michael makes the understatement of the week by pointing out that the couple's verbal assault on each other prior to the event was a "pretty bad" fight and tries to make Ashley promise that they'll never get that heated again. On the one hand, Michael seems remorseful for how he treated his wife, but on the other hand there's a definite undercurrent that he's once again trying to exercise control over her by dictating how she is to feel. Ashley visibly shuts down during the conversation, but thankfully refuses to back down in her confessional. 

Meanwhile, Karen Huger has talked Gizelle Bryant and Monique Samuels into a sit down at hip North Bethesda eatery Summer House Santa Monica to hash out their festering issues with one another. However, the grande dame, who insists on making it clear to the waiter that she is the person hosting this lunch, is less than pleased when Charrisse Jackson Jordan arrives as Monique's uninvited plus one. (Pay attention because Karen's disproportionate displays of pretentiousness and contempt for Charrisse will be important later...)

Gizelle and Monique immediately get into it, sparring back and forth over who wronged who first. The newbie claims Gizelle has been judgmental and hostile from the moment they met while the OG points out that Monique was the one who called her a "stuck up trick" behind her back after throwing Gizelle out of her home. According to Monique, the definition of trick is "childish" (it's not), but Gizelle thinks the language barrier here is that the new girl speaks "trick trash" and can't hold a mature conversation. Yeah, this isn't going well...The issue of Monique asking - or telling, depending on who you're asking - Gizelle for her number following the PAVE event then gets brought up and fingers start flying over a battle of semantics as the women snap at each other. (Note to Mrs. Samuels: telling someone you were going to apologize isn't the same as actually apologizing.) Ultimately nothing is resolved between the two, despite Charrisse's tearful urging that they get along for her sake.

Good news! Karen and the black Bill Gates have sold their home in Potomac! And not only that, they received a cash offer from overseas. (Apparently the nation of China is buying the Hunger mansion. Does this sound shady to anyone else?) The bad news? The Hugers have just a few weeks to find a new house and move. Thus far in their hunt, nothing has met the grande dame's sky-high expectations, though her top two choices are homes in Great Falls, Virginia. Note, this means they are not in the prime Potomac zip code of 20854...As Charrisse so epically pointed out in the first episode of the season, don't let the zip code fool you, baby!

Following her heart to heart with Dr. Jeff, Robyn Dixon is finally willing to talk to a therapist about her complicated relationship with Juan. The question of whether the former high school sweethearts will move forward or move apart remains large and looming in Robyn's mind, though she avoids forcing the conversation with Juan. At first, Robyn seems to have a difficult time answering the therapist's questions personally, but eventually is coaxed to admit that yes, she does want love in her life. However, she doesn't know if she's ready to start dating other people, so the therapist gives her a homework assignment to go on one date with someone other than Juan as a way to find out what her heart is looking for.

Over at the Jordan mansion, Karen drops by for a poolside chat with Charrisse. (Emphasis on pool-side since the grande dame refuses to hop on a pink flamingo pool toy.) Karen suggests that all the ladies are ready for a vacation and enlists Potomac's resident social director to help plan the trip. She wants to go somewhere with sandy beaches and blue water - Charrisse throws out Bermuda as an option and we have a winner! In her confessional, Karen is very clear about the fact that Charrisse is helping plan the trip while she's the one hosting it, but when the two run to tell the other women, they both start taking credit for the vacation. Hmm...something's telling me this is going to be a problem...

Monique is throwing a birthday party for one-year-old Milani at her 26-acre, 5500 sq. ft. lake house in far-off Newburg, Md. Complete with a carnival and petting zoo, the pool party is also serving as a dedication ceremony for Monique's daughter and all the ladies are invited with the obvious exception of Gizelle. As the women gather by the pool, everyone's talking about how excited they are for the trip to Bermuda, and that's when Karen and Charrisse start clashing over who's actually hosting the trip. Karen claims Bermuda was her "brainchild" while Charrisse fires back that the only events the grande dame has ever organized were last season's "gala" in her living room and sad-looking couples yacht party. As shade and side-eye goes flying across the table, the tension between these two is thick and it looks like the Battle of the Bermuda Hostesses is officially on.

The next day, Robyn and Gizelle meet to get their lashes done in preparation for Bermuda. Robyn has the unlucky job of informing her bestie that she wasn't invited to Monique's lake house party. Gizelle, however, is entirely unbothered at this news, claiming she wouldn't have gone to the "Gizelle-hater's" party even if she had been on the guest list. At the same time, Karen and Charrisse are going another round over the Bermuda trip at the Huger residence. Calling Sha Sha her "assistant," Karen eventually compromises by allowing Charrisse to put together the itinerary for one day of the trip - as long as the welcome dinner upon arriving on the island is solely in the grande dame's hands. Never have I ever seen a Housewife be this possessive over the cast trip...

The episode ends with Ashley and Michael attempting to put the spark back in their relationship by going to a couple's pottery class a la Ghost. As with earlier in the episode, Michael is bending over backwards to get back in Ashley's good graces, even bringing up having kids as a way of sucking up to his wife. However, Ashley still has a wall up in the wake of their big blow-up at Oz, and squashes any baby talk by admitting she's not thinking about having kids these days. What she's more concerned about is the status of her relationship with her husband - yes, the Darbys love each other, but are they still in love with each other? As she jets off to the middle of the Atlantic, it seems that Little Miss Ashley may be running away from the problems in her relationship. Either way, the girls' trip to Bermuda can't come fast enough.

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Are you Team Karen or Team Charrisse in the Battle of Bermuda? Will Gizelle and Monique ever get past their petty issues? Should Ashley stay with Michael or run for the hills? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments below!

RHOP S2/Ep 8 Recap - War of the Darbys

Glenn Rowley

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It's a battle for Oz this week on The Real Housewives of Potomac as Ashley and her husband face off over the future of their restaurant...and their marriage. Read on for a full recap of all the high-stakes relationship drama ahead...

"You've been yelling at me all f*cking day, you f*cking insane a**hole!" With that loving declaration we open smack dab in the middle of an all-out war between Ashley Darby and her husband Michael. She's threatening divorce, he's stomping around outside of their restaurant Oz while swatting at Bravo's cameras and it looks like complete curbside chaos for the couple. But how in the world did we get here?

Rewind to eight days earlier. With profits continuing to flatline and Michael refusing to budge, Ashley's decided to revamp Oz herself. With the help of her chef Brad and his glorious mane, she's bringing the struggling restaurant out of the 1980s and into the 21st century with an updated menu, a new marketing plan and a fresh approach. In an effort to capitalize on the changes, she's hosting a critics' choice dinner for prominent food bloggers, press and the other Housewives, where she'll be unveiling the new menu and other fruits of her labors. Something tells me Michael won't be too happy with his wife going rogue with all these unauthorized changes...

While Robyn Dixon and her ex-husband Juan work together at the first day of their youth basketball camp, Karen Huger has organized a day at Top Golf, sparsely attended by only Ashley and Monique Samuels. While the newest 'Wife is envisioning the golf ball as Gizelle Bryant's head, Little Miss Ashley is still reeling from her back-to-back confrontations with both Charrisse Jackson Jordan and the double team of Robyn and Gizelle. As the self-appointed grande dame of the group, Karen is determined to play peacemaker and wastes no time offering her unsolicited two cents on how each of the younger 'Wives should settle their conflicts with the other women. Specifically, she advises Ashley to check herself, which frankly is something the youngest OG has needed to hear all season long.

Next, Gizelle and her quasi-boyfriend Kevin go on a double date with the grande dame and the black Bill Gates. After racing go karts (Ray came in last place), Karen pulls Kevin aside for a private interrogation, leaving Gizelle to suffer through advice from Ray Huger on how to attract men "while she still can." Kevin admits to Karen that he has long-term commitment on his mind when it comes to Gizelle - his intentions are to end up married just like the Hugers. Hmm...how do we think Gizelle will feel about this information? 

Meanwhile, Ashley's filling her husband in on the restaurant's new menu and her plans for the critics' choice dinner. Michael is taken aback at his wife's initiative in making changes to Oz without his approval, and is more than a little skeptical that she'll be able to successfully pull of such a major event involving bloggers, press and the other Housewives in just a few days. However, Ashley now has something to prove, not only to the rest of the ladies but to her husband as well, and is determined to succeed at saving the land of Oz with or without the Wizard's permission.

The only thing worth mentioning about Karen's boudoir photoshoot for Ray is the perfection that was Gizelle's leopard-print catsuit. Next!

The day of the critics' choice dinner at Oz has arrived and with just one hour before the press arrives, tensions between Ashley and Michael are boiling over. Following an angry phone call Michael peels into the restaurant in an Australian rage, swatting Bravo's cameras away and Ashley is ready for a fight. The war of words between the couple starts in the parking lot: Michael wants to shut down the critics' choice dinner because he disagrees with the new menu but Ashley isn't backing down. She will not be "minimized" or "diminished" and threatens point blank that if Michael shuts down her event, he can kiss their marriage goodbye. And when he pulls the "well, it's my restaurant" card, Ashley storms off fuming. 

Round two begins just a few minutes later as Michael follows his wife into the restaurant and demands that the argument is not over just yet. What comes next is a frank, no-holds-barred conversation in front of the cameras about how Michael leverages his power over Ashley to treat her like a child rather than a partner. For some reason, Michael thinks he's the one who is owed an apology from his wife while following that up with yet another threat to shut down the event because he's the one in charge. As Ashley fights back tears in a supply closet, it's clearer than ever before that her husband holds all the power - not only at the restaurant but in their relationship as well.

However, the show must go on and, as guests and critics arrive for the event, Ashley has no choice but to put on a brave face. The rest of the Housewives show up as well, and Robyn's the first to admit that ambushing her meddling frenemy last week got ugly and she's come to show her support. The event begins and as comment cards get passed around with the new menu items, the drama shifts gears to the bad blood between 'Wives. Ashley attempts to apologize to Charrisse for their dust-up while shopping for dresses, (you know, the one where Sha Sha threatened that she was "'bout five seconds from f*cking [Ashley] up?"), but Charrisse holds her ground that the younger Housewife had no business sticking her nose into everyone else's relationships. 

Ashley calls out what she sees as the rest of the ladies' hypocrisy - specifically that Gizelle can blurt out the fireman rumor about Charrisse on WWHL but she can't spill the tea she heard about Juan dating other people. Fairly, Robyn points out that this isn't the first time Ashley's dug up dirt on her personal life (last season's "$25 in their bank account" Google gossip drama, anyone?) and questions how genuine Ashley's entire 'being a concerned friend' act is. However, when Karen steps in and asks what is going on in Ashley's personal life to make her behavior so messy, the pot stirrer finally caves and admits to all the issues going on with her marriage, the restaurant and her blow-up with Michael. Finally, Little Miss Ashley has a moment of self-awareness, recognizing that she's taking her personal turmoil out on the other women and everyone finally understands what's been going on. Ultimately, the episode still ends on a questionable note, with Ashley admitting in her confessional that if Michael continues to disrespect and diminish her, the relationship will still be over...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Will Ashley and Michael's relationship survive owning a restaurant? Do Ashley's personal issues justify or excuse her meddling in the lives of her friends? Would you eat Australian food?? Let me know in the comments below!

RHOP Season 2 Premiere Recap - Don't Let the Zip Code Fool Ya

Glenn Rowley

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Return of the 'Mac! That's right, The Real Housewives of Potomac are back for a second season of shade, pedigree and living by the Potomac playbook. I must admit, I've loved the Potomac ladies from the very beginning so I am beyond thrilled they are finally back on my screen. The drama starts from the drop, with a new feud erupting between Gizelle and Charrisse with Robyn caught in the middle. Read on for a full recap of the drama, dancing and diva moments from the premiere...

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First thing's first: new taglines! I must say I'm more than a little bummed that the intro is the exact same as last year's, just with Katie Rost being swapped out for the new girl. C'mon Bravo, couldn't you have put a little more effort into it? That being said, my vote for best tagline this season goes to newbie Monique Samuels for "I may be rough around the edges, but baby so are diamonds." (Though we don't see it this week since the rookie gets introduced in Episode 2.) The rest of the ladies' taglines are mostly fine, though a bit disappointing overall. Gizelle Bryant's "word on the street" one-liner was utter perfection last year and recycling it nearly word for word this year lessens its impact. I would've appreciated a "grande dame" reference by Karen Huger from way up on that pedestal, and Robyn Dixon seems to be clapping back at the insinuations from last year that she's not black enough. Thankfully, Charrisse Jackson Jordan dropped the condescension from her tagline this year - but is she really comparing her failed marriage to spilled milk? And Ashley Darby's may be my runner-up for best tagline this season. After spending last year desperately trying to fit in with the Potomac divas, the millennial is ready throw the book of etiquette out the window. 

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The premiere opens smack dab in the middle of a cold war between Gizelle and Charrisse. As she reminds her hairdresser Kal, Gizelle didn't take kindly to her frenemy insinuating during last year's reunion that she was a "whore." So, she retaliated by spilling the tea on #WWHL that Charrisse was dating a muscled up fireman despite still technically being married to her estranged husband Eddie. While both women had insulted each other and claimed the other was lying, things took a messy turn when Charrisse slapped Gizelle with a cease-and-desist in an effort to shut her up. However, if there's one thing we know about Gizelle, it's that no one no way tells her what she can and cannot say. No not never.

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Meanwhile, Little Miss Ashley's been recruited as a contestant in a DWTS-esque charity dance competition called Manifest Your Destiny. Unfortunately, her focus on the charity event (which Gizelle happens to be judging) is taking her attention away from Oz, the new Australian restaurant she opened with her husband Michael. At the end of last season, the couple made a deal that they would start trying for a baby once the restaurant broke even but instead, the business has started putting a strain on their relationship. These days, there's less baby-making and much more bickering over changing staff, lack of customers and whether grilled emu should be on the menu. 

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Charrisse has turned over a new leaf for Season 2. At least that's what she keeps insisting in her confessionals. This year, she's leaving her broken marriage behind and moving forward. Her estranged husband Eddie may be the one asking for a divorce these days, but Charrisse is all about being Sha Sha, her fun-loving alter ego that just wants to have a good time. She's even recruited her daughter's former cheer coach to play the part of a poor man's Mikey Minden, sipping champagne and working overtime to spill catty gossip as she holds an impromptu fashion show in her closet. Charrisse isn't one bit apologetic about sending Gizelle the cease-and-desist letter and insists her supposed fireman side piece is a figment of her frenemy's imagination. 

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In other news, Karen and the black Bill Gates are househunting to cope with their empty nest syndrome - they're not downsizing, just "resizing" according to the grande dame - while Robyn and Juan were forced to relocate to faraway Hanover, Md. when their house went into foreclosure over the hiatus. But even being 45 miles away from Potomac can't keep Robyn from feeling caught in the middle of Gizelle and Charrisse's brewing feud. Yes, she may be ride-or-die with Gizelle but she's actually been friends with Charrisse for longer - all the way back to when Eddie was coaching Robyn's ex Juan on the Washington Wizards. So when Gizelle makes the long drive to Hanover to see the new townhouse, Robyn isn't afraid to tell her she thinks Gizelle crossed a line by spreading the fireman rumor on national TV. While Gizelle respects her bestie's opinion, she stands her ground and insists the fireman story is true. In fact, she goes a step further and lets slip that Charrisse told her herself that she cheats on Eddie. And as Gizelle reiterates, if Charrisse is going to call her a whore, she'd better be ready for Gizelle to strike back. 

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All five women finally come together to support Ashley at the Manifest Your Destiny charity event at the Howard Theatre in D.C. Ashley and her partner Teon manage to dance their way into first place, with Gizelle even giving her the highest score possible, but everyone's eyes are on the obvious tension between Gizelle and Charrisse. In an effort to squash their beef, the latter pulls her nemesis into the back alley for a charged confrontation. Charrisse goes in guns blazing, demanding to know where Gizelle gets off making up lies about her, while Gizelle wants an apology for Charrisse calling her a "whore" at the reunion. 

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Naturally, Charrisse refuses to apologize for something she claims she never said, and accuses Gizelle of using the perceived slight as an excuse to justify her spilling the fireman gossip on #WWHL. And besides, Gizelle should consider herself lucky that all Charrisse did was send a cease-and-desist. At some point, Sha Sha takes over and blurts out a "don't let the zip code fool you, baby" reference but just like Gizelle, I'm not quite sure what that even means. But once Charrisse starts calling her "crazy," Gizelle checks out and is officially done with this argument. The dramatic confrontation ends with both women storming away and it would appear this feud is far from a peaceful resolution...

What did you think of the RHOP premiere? Are you Team Charrisse or Team Gizelle? How should Robyn deal with being caught between the two? Whose tagline is your favorite this season? Let me know in the comments below!