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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: briana culberson

RHOC S12/Ep 2 Recap - It's Either My Way or the Feng Shui

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Lydia and Shannon face off in a completely unexpected feud with Tamra caught in the crosshairs. Plus, we meet Bravo's 100th Housewife Peggy Sulahian! Read on for a full recap of the drama, screaming and unicorns!

Shannon Beador is getting back to what's important to her, and that means it's feng shui time. With the help of her longtime feng shui consultant, Elaine Wright, Shannon's ready to get the good energy flowing in the Beadors' new rental home - she doesn't even have nine lemons in a bowl anymore! However, the feng shui-ing of the house may be easier said than done. According to Elaine, the 'relationship corner' of the house is occupied by a toilet, which may be contributing to some of the negative relationships in Shannon's life. With David being distant and her grudge match with Vicki Gunvalson at an all-time high (or low?), this reasoning of the Asian mystical arts seems to make sense - though Shannon is quickly to point out that maybe certain relationships (ahem, Vicki) are better off going down the drain.

Cut to Vicki, who's packing up Coto Insurance to move to a new office space. Vicki reminisces about the time Shannon's feng shui expert came to consult on her office, but snidely dismisses the entire experience now as a complete crock despite the boom in business that happened once she followed Elaine's recommendations. However, the point here is WHERE IN THE WORLD has Vicki been hiding Linda the office manager for the past 11 seasons. The woman is hilarious and seems to be the only person able to go toe-to-toe with a stressed out OG of the OC. More Linda in every episode, please! 

Motherhood continues to be a trip for Meghan King Edmonds. As she and Jimmy pack up to head back to Orange Country from their vacation home in La Quinta, Calif., she laments that she's constantly sleep deprived now that life is all about "baby, baby, baby, baby." Meghan claims she's excited to see the rest of the 'Wives, but feels constantly torn between her loyalties to the feuding teams of women. Now that she has a baby, Meghan's priorities have changed and drama isn't one of them.

Meanwhile, Lydia McLaughlin and her husband Doug have launched a new magazine called Nobleman Magazine, a mens publication for the modern gentleman. At a photoshoot profiling successful male entrepreneurs, Lydia meets new 'Wife Peggy Sulahian, whose husband Diko is being featured in the magazine. While the husbands work, Peggy opens up to Lydia about her recent breast cancer scare and her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. It's a deep subject for a first meeting, but Lydia responds with nothing but compassion and empathy and the two become fast friends. 

Peggy is a first-generation Armenian who emigrated to the U.S. from Kuwait with her parents when she was just a year old. She and her husband Diko, an immigrant from Beirut, appear to be the quintessential picture of the American Dream. After fleeing the Lebanese Civil War, Diko came to America with virtually nothing and managed to amass his fortune by starting Giovanna Wheels, luxury car accessory company. The Sulahians love their sports cars, and Peggy brags that they own - not rent - an entire fleet of Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Mercedes-Benzes. The couple lives a flashy lifestyle full of cars, diamonds and jewelry and I'm not sure what to think about all of Peggy's showiness and "it sure doesn't suck to be me" mentality...

Kelly Dodd is still committed to working on her tumultuous relationship with husband Michael. Lately, they've been working out together three days a week (that as much couple time as Kelly can handle), and Kelly claims she can relate to the work Shannon and David have put into their marriage. At the same time, Shannon's having a major "cool mom" moment as she sends her oldest daughter Sophie off to Winter Formal, which is much more endearing than watching Kelly and Michael fight over his terrible driving...

Tamra Judge is throwing a unicorn-themed birthday party for her two-year-old granddaughter Ava and while Vicki clearly isn't invited, her daughter Briana and grandsons are going without her. Vicki blames her former bestie for putting a wedge between her and her daughter during the years she was dating Brooks Ayers, but Tamra has since cut ties with Briana and all three women are nervous about the party. However, Briana successfully avoids her mom's one-time best friend, making an appearance and dropping off a gift before quietly ducking out. 

During the party, Tamra also introduces Shannon to Lydia and her pot-smoking, fairy dust-throwing character of a mom, Judy. Shannon hits it off right away with Lydia's mom, but the returning 'Wife puts her on edge when she innocently mentions Vicki's name in conversation. Shannon isn't all that happy to hear that her nemesis was talking about her at dinner with Lydia, and accuses the OG of the OC of being a little "obsessed" with her and Tamra. 

When Lydia tells Tamra she met with Vicki, tension starts swirling. Shannon warns Lydia about the "unconscionable" rumors Vicki has spread about both David and Eddie. Trying to find some common ground, Lydia explains that the other 'Wives are acting the same way Vicki did when they met and this starts sending Shannon into a full-blown emotional tailspin. She's offended at being compared to her mortal enemy and goes as far as to blame Vicki for the 40 pounds she's gained. Shannon's getting visibly fired up (scary angry, perhaps?) and charging deeper into an anti-Vicki tirade when Lydia's husband Doug literally saves the day by interrupting. 

However, the argument isn't over. As Lydia is leaving, Tamra tries to mediate the situation and kicks off round two between the friendship whisperer and Shannon. Lydia claims Shannon started screaming and yelling at her for no reason which, if you watched Season 9, you know is one of Shannon's triggers. She launches into yet another diatribe about how she's nothing like Vicki Gunvalson, but Lydia isn't backing down and once again tries to explain what she meant by the comment. By this point, Shannon is incensed and Lydia declares that, not only are she and the holistic Housewife clearly not going to be friends, but that she has no interest in hanging out with someone who is going to attack her and not let her get a word in edgewise. Shannon angrily huffs that maybe Lydia should talk to her mom, who said she had a "bright light" upon meeting her, before storming away in a rage. However, Lydia gets the last word by pointing out that her mom also said her new frenemy was a "lost soul." And with that, it looks like a new feud is born!

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Are you Team Shannon or Team Lydia? Should Tamra and Briana still be friends? Does feng shui even work? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 4 - Frozen Assets

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Kelly's beach party continues with an icy face-off between Shannon and Vicki over the future of their once-close friendship. Plus, Meghan takes the next step in her IVF journey and Vicki's daughter Briana deals with a major health scare. Read on for my full recap of all the drama...

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After last week left off with Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge's heart-to-heart on the beach, it's time for Kelly Dodd's party to move inside. (Inside meaning her gorgeous four-story beach house.) Vicki's apology tour is going full speed ahead now so, emboldened by Tamra's super-Christian forgiveness, she immediately pulls Shannon Beador aside to repeat the process. However, if the OG is expecting the same result from Shannon, she's rather sorely mistaken. Shannon explains that she's forgiven her former friend for last season's cancer scandal, but refuses to believe that Vicki had no idea Brooks Ayers was lying for a year and a half. Furthermore, Shannon vehemently defends herself against Vicki's assertion that she made the scam about her - the holistic Housewife did nothing of the sort. In fact, she was the last one standing in Vicki's corner while the evidence against Brooks continued to pile up. The OG even starts getting emotional in her apology, but the tears won't work on Shannon. She doesn't want the friendship back and she's not budging. 

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The women retire to Kelly's gigantic closet to help Meghan King Edmonds give herself her second IVF shot and while they're sure to move the Gucci scarves away from the blood, they can't escape the lingering drama with Vicki. The OG mopes her way into the closet close to tears and, backed up by Kelly's inane cheerleading, whimpers that all she wants is to be friends with the other 'Wives again. Of course, this plea is met with terse silence until Meghan pipes up that she and Vicki were never actually friends to begin with. So...awkward? Vicki maintains that she just doesn't have the energy to be at conflict with the entire group anymore, and leaves the party in tears. Will we ever be able to move on from Season 10?

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The next day, Meghan and her husband Jimmy go to the doctor's to pick up a cryogenic tank filled with the sperm samples he froze seven years ago before his vasectomy. It's both exciting and strange for Meghan - particularly considering that she and Jimmy didn't even know each other when he froze his swimmers. After driving the tank to the fertility clinic, the couple arrives back at home to the mountain of paperwork required for the IVF treatments. Since Jimmy will be away in Florida for work, Meghan's mom is coming into town for her bloodwork appointments and egg retrieval procedure. Ever the absent husband, Jimmy doesn't seem to care much that he's missing so many steps of the process, and his lack of involvement is starting to wear on Meghan's maternal patience.

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Meanwhile, Vicki's daughter Briana is in the midst of a full-blown medical crisis. After battling health issues for years - including a recent post-op infection in her leg, Briana suddenly started having trouble breathing. As Vicki rushes her to the hospital, the situation gets so dire that they end up calling an ambulance on the way. Briana is being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away in the ambulance, and lo and behold, none other than Tamra's son's ex-fiancé happens to be in the parking lot to see the whole crisis unfold. What are the chances of that? Tamra the Christian swears on the Book of Proverbs that Jesus put Sarah in Vicki's path to help during the emergency. Either way, it's a miracle she happened to be at that particular gas station because she's able to watch little Troy and Owen at Vicki's house while the OG rushes to the hospital. (Side note: how crazy is it to think of how many crucial moments Bravo's cameras have been there for in Vicki's life?)

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Later, Kelly heads to Meghan's house for a night of drama-free girl talk and champagne. Naturally, the topic at hand is the tension between Vicki and the other 'Wives from Kelly's beach party, and the newbie is quick to defend the OG. She was specifically bothered by Shannon talking to her about the entire convoluted situation at the beach, which seems inexplicable considering that she's already involved herself in last year's drama. As her friend, Meghan tries to advise Kelly to stay out of the mess and keep her mouth shut, but the rookie asserts that she has the right to voice her opinion if everyone else is going to continue talking about it. Once again, Kelly starts rattling off all the wonderful things she's seen in Vicki and deliberately chooses to ignore Meghan's advice, dismissing it as typical millenial self-absorption. Huh? Does 31-year-old Meghan even qualify as a millenial?

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While Heather Dubrow oversees the construction of the home movie theater in the Dubrow Chateau, Shannon meets Tamra for lunch at Tortilla Republic. Over butter- and sauce-free pieces of grilled chicken (yuck), Tamra fills Shannon in on Briana's health crisis. Shannon immediately questions why Briana came back to Orange County without her husband, and posits that it may be because Vicki bought her a house. (Keep in mind, Briana needed access to better medical care from her team of doctors in the OC...) Both openly wonder if there were strings attached to Vicki buying Briana a house. Hmm...

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It turns out the lymph nodes in Briana's chest were so enlarged that they were compressing her lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. However, Shannon and Tamra are already moving to the next subject: Shannon's upcoming 70's-themed party. Not wanting anyone to feel left out like she was last year (a la Meghan's charity event last season), Shannon's decided to extend a tentative olive branch to Vicki in the form of a backhanded invite via email. She reads the draft she's come up with aloud, and Tamra is quick to point out that starting the message with "Although I've made it clear I'm not interested in pursuing the friendship we once had..." is a tad bit passive-aggressive. Tamra helps Shannon reword pretty much the entire email and once it's reached an appropriate level of civility, the message is off to Vicki's inbox. Next week's 70's party is going to be nothing short of explosive...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Has Shannon truly forgiven Vicki? Is Kelly overstepping her bounds by getting involved? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 3 - Lies in the Air, Sand in My Hair

Glenn Rowley

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This week, The Real Housewives of Orange County gather for a beach party thrown by newbie Kelly, where Vicki and Tamra attempt to hash out last season's drama once and for all. Can the OG truly make amends with her one-time soulmate and sister? Plus, Meghan starts IVF and Heather finds the world's fanciest kind of ice. Read on for my full recap of the drama...

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We begin this week's episode in Oklahoma of all places, or as Vicki Gunvalson referred to it in Season 9, "the forgotten state." Her daughter Briana is finally moving back to the OC, so Vicki's flown out to help her road trip back with grandsons Troy and Owen. (Briana's husband Ryan is still employed by the Marine Corps, so he's staying behind temporarily to put the house on the market and move everything.) The reasons for Briana's return to Orange County are twofold: first for better medical care with her team of doctors in California and second because Vicki bought the young family a new house. Always the level-headed voice of wisdom on the show, Briana has struggled with her health for years - battling a cancer scare in Season 7, having lymph nodes and her thyroid removed and now healing from an infection in her leg as the result of a surgical complication. She's on strict doctor's orders not to fly, which means she and Vicki are in for a 23-hour road trip from Oklahoma to Orange County with two toddlers and a car full of luggage. Still recovering from surgery, the long drive is no walk in the park for poor Briana, who spends much of the excruciating trip in pain. Thank goodness the OG of the OC was there to help lighten the mood and play grandma to the boys.

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Back in the OC, Meghan King Edmonds is officially begin her IVF treatments. Since her husband Jimmy is off in Florida for MLB spring training, Meghan's creating a video diary to document her first round of shots for him. (Though I suspect it's really just a clever way to get the footage for viewers rather than for Jimmy.) Apparently, IVF involves a series of shots that have to be injected every day to help the ovaries grow, which doesn't exactly gel well with Meghan's deathly fear of needles. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a syringe in hand, it takes the mom-to-be roughly 11 minutes of psyching herself up before she's able to give herself the shot. It's a small, personal victory that brings Meghan to tears, but it's also the first of many to come, so she might as well get used to overcoming this particular phobia. 

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That night, Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador and Tamra Judge meet newbie Kelly Dodd for dinner at Casa Ranchero. The meal is a chance for the veteran 'Wives to get to know Kelly a bit better, especially considering that the initial impressions she made at Heather's yacht party and Meghan's kitchen demolition have been a mixed bag at best. However, Tamra almost immediately puts the newbie on the spot by forcing her to tell Heather she had lunch with Vicki. Oh boy. This is not the best way to get on the rest of the 'Wives' good side Kelly. Once again, the other ladies air their grievances about the OG, trying to give the rookie some context about why they feel the way they do, but to no avail. Really though, Kelly would be better off staying out of last season's fray, no matter how much she sees herself in Vicki. In other news, Heather also informs the women about the upcoming party to celebrate the launch of her and Terry's book, but Kelly interrupts to invite them all to a beach party at her house. So the beach party comes first, I guess...

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While Vicki is playing supergrandma for Briana - who's been admitted to the hospital - Tamra's training for her fitness competition at CUT Fitness with Mia, her personal trainer/unofficial priest/spiritual mentor. Tamra explains that with so much chaos going on in her life, the fitness competition gives her something she can actually be relatively in control of. She's still concerned about the relationship drama between her son Ryan and his fiancé Sarah, but Mia reminds her to pray and give it all up to God because remember Tammy Sue's still a Christian now. (Side note - am I the only one who just can't help but wonder what Alexis Bellino thinks of it every time Tamra brings up Jesus on the show?)

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Meanwhile, Heather's still busy singlehandedly overseeing the construction of the Dubrow Chateau. The house still isn't finished, but she's finally getting to shop for the fun things, like $7,300 pizza ovens for the backyard and a 54-inch grill that her chef can use - Terry doesn't flip burgers. Most importantly, Heather's making the final decisions on which shapes of ice each refrigerator and ice machine will produce throughout the house and settles on fancy hexagonal ice for the subzero freezer. Who knew there were so many options for ice? I mean, hexagonal ice is apparently jewelry for your glass!

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It's beach party time! All the ladies descend on the beach that basically serves as Kelly's backyard for an evening of food, fun and a little bit of volleyball. As the hostess, Kelly has thought of every single detail and I must say, the party looks gorgeous and relaxing. Heather's sporting a "Brunettes vs. Blondes" t-shirt while Shannon arrives in full beast mode, ready to crush the competition in any game the gang is going to play. But of course, all eyes are on Vicki as she waltzes into the party, the last to arrive. Heather's the first to make conversation with the OG, asking her for an update on Briana's health now that she's been released from the hospital, but Shannon avoids Vicki like the plague - adamant that she has nothing to say to her former buddy.

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As the golden hour approaches, Vicki and Tamra find themselves alone and sit down for a much-needed heart-to-heart. Vicki opens up to her longtime BFF that she's still trying to heal and move on from the "sh--storm" that was last year, but admits that she misses having the other 'Wives in her life. Tamra bluntly counters that she still doesn't believe there was any possible way Vicki couldn't have known Brooks was faking cancer. Yet, Vicki continues to maintain that she was innocent in the cancer scandal and Brooks pulled the wool over her eyes just like he lied to the rest of the world. Tamra points out that she thinks Vicki lied because she wanted everyone to like Brooks and feel bad for him - specifically citing the OG's admission at the Season 10 reunion that she fabricated the story about Terry Dubrow and the IV. However, Vicki still claims she was simply blinded by love and this conversation is turning into a never-ending hamster wheel. Please, can we just get off yet?

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Tamra presses Vicki to just be honest, and questions why - out of all the other 'Wives - she would ever choose Brooks over her best friend. There's way too much blame shifting going on, but eventually an overwhelmed Vicki starts breaking down in tears and admits that Tamra is right. She meekly, tearfully asks whether Tamra can forgive her, and making the decision as a good Christian, Tamra says she can. The episode ends with Tamra encouraging Vicki to continue trying to make amends with her friends no matter how hard it may be. And with that, we're slapped with a "To Be Continued" and will have to wait until next week to find out what happens next...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Should Tamra forgive Vicki? Is Kelly wrong for getting involved in last season's drama or is she just trying to integrate herself into the group? Do I need hexagonal ice in my fridge now? Let me know in the comments!

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 24 - Secrets Revealed

Glenn Rowley

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OK, I have to be honest. After the exhausting reunion, the Brooks Tells All special and all the drama in the press surrounding it, I needed a little bit of a break from Orange County. I was so tired of the same issues going around and around in circles and being beaten way past death. I can't be the only one who felt that way. Did any of you? So, I know it's late but I finally got around to watching the final episode of the season - Secrets Revealed. After a few weeks away, it felt like a treat full of funny, unseen moments and as little of Brooks and the c-word as possible. This recap's better late than never, right?

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We actually start out back at the reunion, but don't worry it's for a good reason. That reason being a package all about Shannon Beador working out at the gym. I'm not kidding you when I say I could watch Shannon in Tamra's booty class every single day for the next month and still laugh. Shannon Beador is all of us at the gym, people. Shannon explains that her preoccupation with losing weight came from all the stress eating she did once she found out about David's affair. However, after months of hitting the gym and questioning what was "mas gordo" at every restaurant in town, she's managed to lose most of the weight she wanted to. Woo hoo Shannon! 

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This leads somewhat naturally into a never-before-seen ladies lunch at Shannon's house, where she tricked all the 'Wives into eating a meal solely of plant-based foods disguised as meat. And hooray - we have a Lizzie Rovsek sighting! As the ladies munch on "beef" tacos, Heather informs the room that she recently had her vagina steamed because it's all the rage according to Gwyneth Paltrow. Apparently Terry went with her too and had his backside done, hemorrhoids and all. Wait what? Talk about polite conversation. Once Shannon spills the beans about what they're really eating for lunch, the topic of Brooks and his fake night sweats and fevers somehow gets dragged into the discussion and I'm officially over it. Next, please.

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We're tortured with more reunion footage regarding Brooks and Vicki's unhealthy relationship. Briana claims her mom has some type of Stockholm Syndrome and fell in love with her abuser, which might sadly be true if certain things we've heard in the media over the years are legitimate. She also explains that Brooks was obsessed with Vicki, to the point where he had studied everything about her down to her drink order. Creepy. Vicki cops to the fact that she never saw Brooks' prescriptions or all of his medical records despite the story about the giant binder with all the tabs that she made him. At this point I don't even know what to believe but am past the point of caring. However, can we all please take a minute to laugh at Brooks trying to exit up the fake staircase at the Season 8 reunion? 

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In an unaired scene from the Tahiti trip, we see the women take an adventurous ride all over Moorea in a trio of two-seater roadsters. The best part of this was watching a clearly hungover Vicki try not to upchuck into Shannon's hat while in the passenger seat. The 'Wives even drive the buggies on a major road and miraculously manage to survive - eventually pulling over to take a group selfie. The roadster activity culminates in the women reaching a stunning lookout point in the jungle, with the dense green mountains and blue ocean magnificently spread out below them. It's a gorgeous sight but Vicki's ready to go back to the hotel and informs the ladies that she's called for a car with air conditioning to come pick them up. She's over this whole roadster idea - bring on the A/C!

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In the next scene, Heather brings Tamra and Shannon along to shop for outrageously pricey doorknobs for all 70+ doors in her new house. Mind you this doesn't include all the sets of cabinets in her grandiose closet. I don't even want to do the math for that line item in the budget, but as Tamra says - that's a lot of facelifts. Meanwhile, Vicki goes to dinner with her boys - namely Brooks, her son Michael and her brother Billy. This scene was filmed right after the medium visit from episode 7 following the death of Vicki's mom, so that topic dominates the dinner conversation. In characteristic fashion, Michael calls B.S. on the whole idea of a medium, but Vicki wants to believe he somehow connected with her mom's spirit. Then, she naturally turns the whole discussion around to be about her impending death and what Michael's going to do with all of her stuff when she dies. Even though Vicki spent much of this season being villainized, the woman can make me laugh. Classic Vicki.

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In more reunion footage, we finally get an answer to a question I've been wondering about all season: didn't Shannon know about the affair at the time of the Season 9 reunion? The answer is yes, David had confessed the affair three weeks after they had finished filming the season, so the Beadors were right in the middle of it when the reunion filmed. And yet, at that reunion, Shannon had claimed that they were "better than ever," having just come back from a Hawaiian getaway. She explained at the present reunion that, even though she knew about the affair, by the time last year's reunion taped, she and David were committed to staying together and fixing their relationship. And in case you were wondering, their sex life is incredibly "connected" nowadays. TMI, Shannon. TMI.

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Next we're treated to a hilarious pair of scenes featuring Tamra/Shannon and Heather/Meghan shopping for toys at adult sex shops. Tamra and Shannon are picking out gift bag goodies for the sex party (pop rocks included), but based on what they're wearing Heather and Meghan are shopping either before or after the disastrous luncheon at Heather's construction site. I'm not sure how the sex toys fit into the narrative there, but it sure is funny to see Heather whip the Spanky's manager. As she explains in her confessional, people like to call her Fancy Pants, but Heather's seen a lot and even done a little. So there. However, I for one don't need to know what Tamra and Eddie are doing with that sex swing she bought...

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The episode ends with a rather amusing clip of Meghan getting preventative botox at Terry's office. At 30, you wouldn't think the newbie needed any, but she's THAT worried about getting wrinkles. However, there's the small problem of Meghan being terrified of needles, so she's enlisted Heather for some moral support. With her hand in a death grip on Heather's poor fingers, Terry administers the botox to Meghan and it's kind of hilarious to watch her freak out. It's definitely a funny, silly way to end the Secrets Revealed special, as well as the roller coaster that has been Season 10 in Orange County.

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 23 - Brooks Tells All

Glenn Rowley

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Following the three-part Season 10 reunion, Bravo's decided to Andy's one-on-one sit-down with Brooks Ayers in its entirety. Now, honestly, in the wake of everything that has come to light since the season started airing regarding Brooks' funny relationship with the truth, it's hard to take anything he said in this interview seriously. However, here's a breakdown of the things we learned in the half-hour special. According to Brooks: 

Briana contributed to his breakup with Vicki. Brooks blames Vicki's daughter, saying that she never gave him a fair chance when he started dating her mom. (Part of that may be because the relationship started before Vicki had ended things with Donn but OK...) As for the shocking revelation from the Season 8 reunion that Brooks was caught on a voice recording drunkenly telling Briana's husband he should start hitting her to "get her to fall in line"? Brooks claims he asked for forgiveness from anyone who would listen, but Briana and Ryan weren't on that list.

He still has cancer. When asked by Andy for an update on the status of his health, Brooks is insistent that he does still have cancer. Claiming he's been in treatment for close to 11 months, he says his numbers are now "normalizing" and the lesions in his lymphatic system are gone. Brooks attributes this to a combination of chemotherapy and a number of holistic treatments including vitamin C IV therapy, ozone therapy and yes, resveratrol three times a week.

The resveratrol idea came from Jim Bellino's private physician. That's right, just when you thought the web couldn't get any more convoluted, Brooks throws out the name of Jimmy The Chin Bellino, husband of former OC Housewife Alexis Bellino as a fellow patient of the doc who's got him on resveratrol to "boost his immune system." I bet the Bellinos must've loved getting dragged into this controversy. 

Vicki is to blame for the confusion surrounding his treatments. Throughout the season, quite a bit about this story didn't seem to line up. Brooks blames Vicki for all the inconsistencies, saying that she "misspoke" often regarding his doctor visits, chemotherapy, etc. He also claims Vicki tells people what they want to hear in an effort to elicit sympathy for both Brooks and the two of them as a couple.

He doesn't do damage control. In September 2014, a video surfaced on Radar Online of Brooks admitting to cheating on Vicki with some prostitutes. Then magically a month later, he was diagnosed with cancer and gave an exclusive statement to...wait for it...Radar Online. First Brooks claims that he wanted to deal with his diagnosis as privately as possible and blames Vicki for wanting to release it to the press before he gave the Radar Online statement. When Andy points out that the timing seems awfully convenient as a way to shut the gossip site up about his cheating admission, Brooks insists that the two instances weren't connected whatsoever.

The other 'Wives are to blame for his breakup with Vicki. Brooks says the drama surrounding his cancer was something that upset Vicki "continuously" without any semblance of resolution, but doesn't blame the show for their breakup. Instead, he pins that on the other women and Briana for creating "constant conflict" and accuses Briana of projecting her own issues of using her mom financially and otherwise onto him. That story is an awfully tough sell for anyone who's watched the last four seasons. 

He's relieved, not heartbroken. Brooks announces that he's relocating to Florida and that this time, his breakup with Vicki will stick. He claims that he wants Vicki to be happy but accuses her in the same breath of needing Briana's approval over who she dates. 

He has a lot to say to the other 'Wives. When Andy gives him the opportunity to address the cast, Brooks goes for the jugular: he doesn't trust Tamra because she speaks out of both sides of her mouth, Shannon needs to stop making this issue all about her and he specifically tells Meghan to "f*** off." As Andy says, that's nothing if not concise. The only cast member Brooks has kind words for is Heather, thanking her and Terry for their support over the last four years. 

He has no regrets. Saying that regrets just aren't in his genes, he doesn't have any about his relationship with Vicki. He claims Vicki allowed all this "outside noise" from other people to control her mindset, but he doesn't listen to it because he doesn't answer to anyone but God and his closest family. Ultimately, he admits he could've done things differently with Briana and spoken his mind more to Tamra, but at the end of the day things didn't work out and he wishes Vicki the best.

Since this interview was taped, Brooks has admitted to fabricating his medical records from City of Hope, saying that he never intended to use his real medical records for a storyline on a reality show. This admission came on the heels of the  hospital issuing a statement saying they never treated anyone by the name of David Brooks Ayers for cancer. Brooks, however, still insists he has the disease.

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 22 - Reunion Part 3

Glenn Rowley

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Here we are. We've managed to avoid the giant "c-word" in the room for the first two-thirds of the reunion, but in this final installment, it's all the ladies are going to talk about. We knew this was coming. We have to get through it. Let's see if we can get any kind of definitive answer once and for all about Brooks Ayers and his possibly fake cancer.

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A History of Deceit

The cancer issue kicks off with an examination of Brooks' long pattern of lies and untruths. Heather points out that at its heart this cancer situation is a credibility issue since Brooks has a history of not telling the truth. Case in point - he was caught in a lie during Season 8 about dating a porn star while on a break with Vicki, who quickly jumps in to say the girl was a poker party waitress, not a porn star. Uh huh. Ok. In fact, not only does Brooks have a reputation for not telling the truth, he's left a trail of playing the cancer card in the past. Tamra reveals that on the Season 9 trip to Hawaii, Vicki told her off-camera that Brooks had been diagnosed with cancer and was getting tests done at City of Hope. As soon as she and Tamra landed at LAX, Vicki was frantically calling to find out the test results, but Brooks wouldn't answer her calls. When he did, he told her to call back when she was in the car. The verdict? He was fine. Tamra follows that bombshell up by revealing that way back in Season 3 (her first year on the show), she and Vicki immediately bonded. At the time, the OG opened up to the new Housewife and told her that someone she had a connection with had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She regretted carrying on the attachment and now felt like she needed to leave Donn to go be with him. That person was Brooks. And again, the cancer turned out to be pancreatitis. Red flags, anyone?

Cancer Victim or Con Artist?

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Next, we get more of Andy's interview with Brooks from the WWHL Clubhouse. Brooks claims he's been in treatment for the past 11 months - meaning a combination of chemotherapy and holistic remedies. His "numbers" are normalizing and the lesions in his lymphatic system are gone. As Andy fires off questions from the 'Wives, smooth-talking Brooks has an answer for everything: Shannon's not the only one with world-renowned doctors, he actually went to Hoag Memorial for his PET scan but it was transcribed through Newport Imaging, his ex-girlfriends were out to get him, etc. Andy says it appears to be a pattern of using cancer to manipulate people and gain sympathy, but Brooks shoots back that people can believe what they want - the truth is the truth. I find it really interesting that all these things not adding up are the fault of everyone else but Brooks. In this one segment alone, he blames Vicki, Briana, the other Housewives and two of his ex-girlfriends, but never takes responsibility for a single thing. 

Back on the couches, Heather asks Vicki if Brooks ever saw a real cancer specialist, because all they showed during the season were meetings with "non-cologists." Vicki claims that the oncologist Brooks met with at City of Hope didn't want to film, but Heather knows that a lie because the doctor lives down the street from her. Brooks never met with him. Plus, City of Hope allows filming - Heather even shot scenes there! A flustered Vicki throws her hands up and declares that she doesn't have any proof he was faking cancer. But Shannon does.

Examining the Evidence

It turns out that Shannon did some Meghan-style investigating and like so many of us, took a screenshot of Brooks' shady PET/CT scan results. As evidence he was lying, Shannon presents a copy of what an actual CT report looks like from Newport Imaging. The verdict? It looks nothing like the one Brooks showed Tamra. Plus, Shannon insists that there's no way a radiologist would have ever signed off on a document with a "1" handwritten into the date and the words all jumbled together. Briana backs that claim up, explaining that she worked at Hoag for four years and their radiology department is several times bigger than the one at Newport Imaging - there's no way they would've needed the report to be dictated through another medical center. 

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Consistent Inconsistencies

In his interview, Andy next asks Brooks why there were so many inconsistencies throughout the season between things he and Vicki said. Again, Brooks blames Vicki for all the mix-ups, claiming that she had the tendency to tell people what they wanted to hear, or to try to gain sympathy for them as a couple. According to Brooks, Vicki "misspoke quite a bit" during the season and naturally, nothing is ever his fault. As for the rumor that went around in the finale about Terry sending someone to the house with an IV for Brooks? He claims Briana repeated the story and it never happened. Andy asks why Brooks wouldn't show Terry the medical records to prove his cancer was real, and Brooks claims that in hindsight he wishes he would have. Andy points out that there was still time to prior to the reunion being filmed and Brooks says he'll reach out. However, Heather categorically denies she or Terry ever hearing from Brooks at all. 

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Heather wants the truth about the IV story though, and Vicki offers to clarify. She explains that she wanted to call Terry but Brooks shut it down and she never did. However, that's clearly not what she told Shannon or Tamra at the time. Finally, the OG admits she fabricated the story in an attempt to get sympathy for Brooks because everyone was being so hard on him and she just wanted some compassion. As the other 'Wives start angrily piling on, Andy actually steps in to defend Vicki. All Tamra wants to know is why she made up the story and Vicki explains that as the season wore on, Brooks was getting quieter and quieter about his cancer situation. So even though she had seen him sick, she chose to let him deal with it and focus on other things, effectively turning a blind eye to the potential deception. 

Meghan in particular seemed to have it out for Brooks and Vicki all season. The newbie thinks Brooks wasn't expecting Miss 30-Year-Old to come onto the scene with a cancer situation in her own life, ask real questions and care about the issue. She tearfully explains that she came onto the show thinking she had an ally in cancer but instead got attacked time and again by an angry Vicki. 

"We Don't Believe You"

Vicki insists that she only knows what she saw and experienced. Apparently that doesn't include Brooks' chemotherapy sessions. The one time she went, she sat in the waiting room and didn't see the needle go into Brooks' arm. With all the conflicting and confusing details, Heather points out that none of them believe the OG and need more answers. Heather thinks that Brooks must have something on Vicki. Whether it's a business deal or something other big secret, she's simply too smart to be fooled. Tamra jumps on that comment, saying Vicki's done nothing but lie for Brooks and throw everyone else under the bus. As Shannon angrily demands she "fess up," Vicki explodes, yelling at the other women to stop. She's not going to say anything that's not true! The OG never knew anything different and still believed Brooks has cancer. 

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Tamra starts getting emotional as she tearfully explains that all she ever wanted was to protect Vicki from this man. Vicki claims she understands that now in hindsight, but Shannon says she doesn't see any remorse in her former friend. Andy asks if Vicki is scared of Brooks, to which she responds with a small nod. So yes, Vicki is scared of this man she just spent four years of her life with. Andy follows that up by asking if Brooks had ever gotten physical with Vicki, and both Briana and Tamra jump in to say that they'd both seen him abuse Vicki at different times. The OG claims that he was more verbally abusive than physically. However, Briana claims that no one else knows the things she's seen Brooks do to her mom, even up to the previous night when he was texting her rude things in the hotel room. Andy tries to get to the root of this issue with Vicki. Is she just lonely? Is it low self-esteem? But the OG says she hasn't quite put her finger on what kept her in a relationship with Brooks for so long. Fixing her relationship and putting up with all the bad things was easier for Vicki than the idea of being alone. 

Casseroles & Compassion

Vicki reveals that as the season wore on, she started growing more suspicious of Brooks' claims, but that every time she brought it up to him it turned into an argument. Andy asks if the women think it's possible that Vicki didn't want to know the truth. Shannon says no way but Meghan thinks that Vicki looks like an idiot with all the evidence lined up against her. For her part, Fancy Pants says she kept giving Vicki opportunities to tell the truth, but the OG never took them. Another possibility is that Brooks was sick, just never as sick as he claimed and embellished his illness in an attempt to fix his damaged reputation. That option has Tamra's vote. Vicki explains that she was expecting compassion and casseroles from her cast mates, but didn't get any. This comment sets Shannon off, who angrily reminds Vicki that she gave her everything she could in support. Keep digging your grave, Vick. 

Vicki's Rock-Bottom Relationships

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This leads into a package and yelling match about how the fake cancer issue affected Vicki's relationships with her friends. After a quick debate over whether the OG of the OC is going to heaven or hell (seriously), the topic turns to Shannon's anger at finding out Vicki had told her brother and his girlfriend about David's affair. As I said in the finale recap, this is the ultimate betrayal of trust, but this time Vicki takes accountability and apologizes rather than getting defensive. Vicki is visibly deflating by this point, sick of the fighting and being put in the hot seat. Shannon's not finished though, as she points out that both Tamra and Heather said more about their doubts and yet she's the bad guy?! Dig that grave a little deeper, Vicki. At this point, Briana intervenes to point out that Shannon was essentially the only person in her mom's corner, but that Vicki would flip out at any sign of doubt. Tamra asks Vicki what her gut tells her and finally, Vicki caves and admits that her gut is telling her Brooks doesn't have cancer. STOP THE PRESSES. VICKI GUNVALSON JUST SAID WHAT WE'VE ALL BEEN DYING TO HEAR FOR 23 WEEKS! 

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The OG explains that about three months ago she started really questioning Brooks because his story was making less and less sense. Every time she pressed him, he told her she had no right to his medical records because she would try to take them to the other women. That's not suspicious at all...Heather thinks that if Vicki had red flags herself about the situation, she should've opened up to at least one of the 'Wives rather than getting defensive, deflecting and turning it around on them. Andy points out that Vicki seems rather disconnected as she's talking, and it's true - she hasn't been herself for the entire reunion. Briana jumps in to say that she thinks her mom is just now starting to see the damage her relationship with Brooks has caused to her life, her family and her friendships and it's freaking her out. Vicki gets teary as she explains that no one ever wants to feel duped or taken advantage of. Why would he spend all this time and money if he didn't have cancer? She's sad as she realizes what's happened to her life, but relieved that this man is no longer a part of her life. She was manipulated into always going to bat for him, and now that it's over Vicki has a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together. 

We Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together

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Briana says that the last two weeks have been the best in her relationship with Vicki since her divorce with Donn. Vicki's devastated that she was taken advantage of and insists to everyone that she and Brooks will never get back together. Briana, however, thinks that Brooks will never be completely out of their lives and predicts that he'll try to weasel his way back in once the dust settles. Unfortunately, she doesn't think Vicki is strong enough not to be manipulated by him. However, Vicki is mostly hurt that she hurt her friends - she wants the other 'Wives to love and respect her, and promises that she'll work hard at getting that respect back. 

During a break, Shannon walks off set while Tamra and Vicki have a candid heart-to-heart. Tammy Sue begs her BFF to stop defending Brooks, telling her that it's time to take a stand and just say that he lied to her. In all the wreckage, Tamra says her heart is broken for her friend because she knew what kind of person Brooks was from the day Vicki started dating him. However, Vicki explains that she just wanted Tamra to like him so badly that she couldn't see things for what they were, and reiterates that she's never going back to Brooks. He doesn't deserve her. It's going to take a while to get the old Vicki back, but next time Tamra can conduct the interviews for any of Vicki's potential boyfriends.

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Final Thoughts

Wrapping things up, Andy asks the women for some final thoughts on the season. Meghan thinks the whole thing was overall a positive experience and hopes she can do it again next year. Andy points out that Vicki went further in admitting culpability than many in the room thought she would, but it's still not enough for Heather. Fancy Pants straight up tells Vicki that's she's not satisfied, but is happy with the friendship she's developed with Shannon and continues to have with Tamra. Looking back on the past year, Shannon explains that it's nothing she could've predicted. She's grateful for where she's at with her marriage and family as well as her unexpected friendships with Heather, Tamra and Meghan, but is still sorely disappointed in the implosion of her relationship with Vicki. Tamra had a big year as well, and says she can only hope her relationship with Vicki will get better, even if she doesn't believe the story her friend has been selling. Vicki admits that she's not in the best place, and wishes she would've been more aware to the reality of her situation this year rather than trying to blindly defend her boyfriend. However, this is an opportunity for a clean slate and a fresh start, so bring on the fireball shots!