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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: best dressed

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?

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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.

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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!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 21 - Reunion Part 1

Glenn Rowley

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After a grueling season full of confrontations, manipulations and scandalizing accusations, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finally sit down with Andy Cohen to rehash their dramatic and fascinating sixth season. In the first part of the three-party reunion, the ladies of the 90210 debate everything from O.J. Simpson and the fabulousness that is Erika Jayne to the end of Yolanda's marriage and the shocking allegations made against her Lyme disease. Read on for my full break-down of all the drama from Part 1...

On the Couches

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First, let's overanalyze the seating arrangement on the couches. This was going to be fairly controversial regardless of where anyone sat, and about halfway through the season I wondered if Bravo might actual break out three couches to make clear the real alliances in this season's almost maddeningly complex dynamic. Essentially, Bravo's job was to place three different loyal pairs in the most effective formation possible: Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna and Eileen Davidson and Yolanda Foster and Erika Girardi, with Kathryn Edwards as a kind of free agent. Ultimately, they settled on the left couch being Lisa V, Kyle Eileen and Erika and Lisa R., Eileen and Kathryn on the right. It's interesting to note that with LVP in the prime spot next to Andy, this marks the first reunion in six seasons that Kyle hasn't been seated in the coveted position. She also has the somewhat unenviable position of acting as a buffer between sworn enemies Vanderpump and Yolanda. Yo's placement is also somewhat surprising - some viewers speculated that she would get one of the center spots on the couches because of how her storyline dominated so much of the season. (The third spot on the left couch is also the seat she's occupied in three of her four reunions on the show...it would've been downright revolutionary to see her on the right couch for once!)

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However, looking at the bigger picture, Yolanda is in the place that actually makes the most amount of sense. In just one season, Lisa Rinna's lips have gotten her promoted from the very end of the right couch all the way to the center spot next to Andy. As her unwavering ally and BFF, it's expected that Eileen is next to her with newbie Kathryn rounding things out on the end. After how much gossip Lisa Rinna spread throughout the season about Yolanda, her Lyme disease and the dreaded m-word (which we'll get to in a minute), there is absolutely no way Yo would be sitting anywhere on that side of Andy.

Ranking the Housewives' Looks

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The ladies of Beverly Hills are giving us some serious springtime vibes for this reunion, and my vote for best dressed easily goes to Erika for her glittering gold Balmain minidress. The seductive songstress's style has been absolute perfection all season and she continues her hot streak at the reunion by looking like she just walked out of an Erika Jayne music video. The others are a mixed bag. Lisa Vanderpump looks fabulous in her metallic Tom Ford dress, but gets docked points for it being a near-exact copy of Erika's confessional look from the season as Andy so shadily pointed out. Lisa Rinna's dusty pink Victoria Beckham frock would've looked lovely on its own, but pales next to Eileen's bright pop of red. Green is certainly Kathryn's color, but the cut of her dress is more than a bit conservative for a Housewives reunion - a friend of mine thought she looked like she was going to traffic court. Kyle's look is a total miss for me - the horizontal stripes of green cut her in the most unflattering places and she's too short to pull off the style. Love her shoes though. As for Yolanda, I get that she was going for something slightly edgy and abstract, but I'm almost positive that dress was thrown together with ACE bandages and nylon material. Erika wins the award for best dressed far and away. 

The Business of Being Erika Jayne

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The newbie is also the first 'Wife in the hot seat as a package of clips from the season plays dedicated to the double life of Erika Jayne - devoted wife by day, pop vixen by night. She points out that being on the show has brought her alter ego a whole new level of notoriety - when Erika Jayne once existed only in the gay nightclub scene, she's now being broadcast into living rooms across America on a weekly basis. Even forty-something women are coming up to her on the street and asking her to "pat the puss." (For the record, Erika didn't invent the dance move, it comes from the music of Caribbean and Jamaican dancehall.) However, there's also a whole other side to Erika we didn't see this season. The woman who gave us "PAINKILLR" also happens to be a mother to a twenty-something-year-0ld police officer in the LAPD. Erika explains that she and her son are both completely supportive of each other in their respective careers.

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After showing Andy and the ladies how to "pat the puss," Erika also takes some time to defend herself from some of the incredibly misdirected haters. When one viewer calls her music videos pornographic, she claps back that while poor Mary from Provo, Utah may have given up in life, Erika Jayne has not. Yaaaas hunty! As for anyone who questions the dynamic of her marriage to famed attorney Tom Girardi, Erika insists that being respectful to her husband does not mean she's "subservient" to him. Besides, it's been working for over 17 years now so the relationship basically speaks for itself. Bye haters!

The End of Yolanda & David

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Switching gears, Andy turns his focus to Yolanda for what's sure to be the first of many times during this reunion. Addressing the biggest elephant in the room, Andy tries getting Yo to open up about the demise of her marriage to super-producer and musical legend David Foster. However, while citing her chronic illness as a major contributing factor in the end of their marriage, Yolanda remains fairly tight-lipped about the actual cause of the couple's divorce. She has only good things to say about her ex, insisting that people shouldn't criticize him for seemingly abandoning her in her time of need.

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Lisa Vanderpump takes a turn subbing in as the reunion's host by peppering Yolanda with a string of questions about her relationship with David. Was the marriage crumbling during filming? Did she know or was she blindsided? Was David the reason she was crying the night of her dinner party at Wally's? Yolanda insists that nothing happened until November 2, the night the couple got in a disagreement weeks after filming had ended. (Keep in mind they announced their divorce on December 1, 2015.) Andy does get Yolanda to admit to being blindsided by the end of the marriage, saying she would have preferred to get completely healthy and start working on their issues. Yo tries to put a pin in the discussion by saying she doesn't want to analyze her marriage, but does admit that if she had been healthy, she and David would probably still be together. The other women all express their dismay at the sudden end of Yo's marriage as well, with Erika refusing to comment on whether Yolanda confided in her out of respect for their friendship. As for what her future holds, Yo predicts that she won't ever get married again - the most important thing to her now is getting to the finish line of her recovery from Lyme disease and supporting Gigi, Bella and Anwar as they take over the worlds of modeling and fashion.

Kathryn vs. Faye Resnick & the O.J. Simpson Trial

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Up next in the hot seat is Erika's fellow newbie Kathryn, who arrived eight episodes into the season in a cloud of O.J. Simpson-related controversy. Though she's now married to Donnie Edwards, the undisputed hottest husband in the Bravoverse, the former model was once married to Simpson's best friend and teammate Marcus Allen. Because of this connection to the Trial of the Century, Kathryn had a scandalous history with Kyle's friend and recurring cast member Faye Resnick. To refresh your memory, here's the quick backstory. At the time of the grisly double murder, Faye was best friends with Nicole Brown Simpson, and had even been living in her guest house up until a few days before the killings took place. During the trial, Faye published a scandalous tell-all about Nicole's life titled Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, n which she alleged that Kathryn's husband Marcus had an illicit affair with Nicole, to which the rookie Housewife turned a knowingly blind eye. Because of these scandalous allegations, both Kathryn and her then-husband were unwillingly dragged into the trial and the glaring spotlight that came with it.

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This long-brewing history between the two women came to a head when Kathryn joined the show, putting her at odds with both Faye and OG Kyle. Despite how her friend came across on the show, Kyle sticks up for an absent Faye on the couch, insisting that viewers (and her fellow 'Wives) don't know the real Faye at all. Andy stirs the pot by saying that Kathryn seemed to chicken out over confronting Faye at Kyle's BBQ, but the newbie states that she merely decided to be the bigger person and rise above the more than two decades-worth of ill feelings between the two. Kathryn maintains that what Faye wrote about her took a toll on her life, her marriage and her friendships, but a protective Kyle shoots back that while she may think she had a hard time, the new 'Wife has no idea what Faye has gone through. However, Kathryn suggests that Faye brought it on herself by writing the book in the first place, and refuses to back down or "discount" what she experienced by being dragged into the ordeal. Then Kathryn drops a bombshell: she and Marcus were actually married at O.J.'s house after he and Nicole had divorced! The conversation moves on to Kathryn joking about Lisa Rinna having an eating disorder and opening up about her father's suicide, and it looks like we may never get any final resolution to this gripping and fascinating O.J. drama...

Munchausen Manipulations

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Finally, Andy brings up the season-long storyline of Yolanda's illness and the Munchausen accusations that were brought up by Lisa Rinna early in the season. After showing a package of clips, Andy opens the topic up for discussion and the 'Wives immediately jump into Yo's "sick selfies" on Instagram and debating who said what and when. However, one thing all the women want to clarify is that they never doubted whether she had Lyme disease, they just wondered if other things could be contributing to it. Yolanda concedes that when a friend gets sick it's normal to ask questions, while also calling her battle with Lyme disease her "full-time job."

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Lisa Rinna is forced to address her comments during the season that Yolanda using her illness to her advantage and immediately starts backtracking. However, despite Rinna suddenly trying to be copacetic about the situation, Yolanda says she is cautious about her friendships with the women and claims her frenemy had absolutely no basis for spreading the gossip and lies she did all season. To Yolanda, the women's constant questioning and throwing words like "Munchausen" out into the universe called into question her personal character and integrity on a global platform in front of millions of people. And as we know from her Season 5 tagline, to Yolanda "character isn't what you have, it's who you are." However, Lisa Rinna tries once again to shift the blame by pointing the finger at Lisa Vanderpump for manipulating her into bringing up the Munchausen issue. In fact, she's brought a folder of evidence to back up her claims against LVP, including a list of phone records to show 10 calls between them in the early part of the season.

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The most unintentionally hilarious moment comes when Yolanda incredulously asks Lisa Rinna how she possibly could have faked her medical records if she really had Munchausen. Yolanda, darling, just head down to Orange County and ask Brooks Ayers. It's not that difficult but millions of viewers will catch you on it and your reputation will be forever ruined. Lisa Rinna continues to get riled up against LVP, revealing that the entire plan was set in motion at her birthday party in the season premiere. According to her story, when Yolanda showed up without any makeup and Lisa Vanderpump's husband Ken commented on how bad she looked, Lisa Rinna's husband Harry Hamlin jumped to Yo's defense by stating that she was sick and admonishing the cast to stand by her. At that point, LVP apparently snapped her fingers and proclaimed "there goes our f---ing storyline." Never mind that this story directly conflicts with what Lisa Rinna said on Heather Dubrow's podcast early in the season, Lisa Vanderpump obviously denies the story, pointing out that cameras were there the entire night and would've caught the moment on film had it happened. The two Lisas continue to argue back and forth until Yolanda can't take it anymore, tearfully walking off set and barricading herself in a dressing room as Part 1 of the reunion ends...