Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: countess luann

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 14 - The Benefits of Friendship

Glenn Rowley

sonja-morgan

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, tension start to build between Luann and the other 'Wives over her relationship with Tom after Sonja shares a surprising revelation. Plus the vagina problems continue for both Jules and Bethenny in what feels a bit like a filler episode. Read on for a full recap...

bethenny-frankel-skinnygirl

We start this week off with Bethenny Frankel prepping for the latest expansion in her business empire with the launch of Skinnygirl candy. For the big launch event at Dylan's Candy Bar in downtown NYC, Bethenny's planned something totally different, complete with a shrink-wrapped clutch made to look like a giant Skinnygirl chocolate bar and her rocking a bright red wig. Dylan's Candy Bar is peppered with gorgeous guys and girls wearing, respectively, t-shirts in signature Skinnygirl red emblazoned with the phrases "eye candy" and "arm candy" and the room is buzzing with excited customers ready to sample B's latest concoction. Out of all the Housewives, Carole Radziwill is the only one invited, though Bethenny also points out that both Ramona Singer and Dorinda Medley have been incredibly supportive in the wake of her medical crisis. The women have really shown up for her and she's finally found a few ladies whom she wants at any and all of her events. 

jules-wainstein-rhony

Following the Skinnygirl event, it's time for part three of "The NYC Vagina Monologues." First, newbie Jules Wainstein visits her plastic surgeon for a checkup on her healing lady parts. With his face rigid due to perhaps a bit much Botox, the plastic surgeon assures Jules that her vagina will soon go back to the "perfect little pistachio" it was before her freak accident with just a bit more rest. Thank goodness for that. At the same time, Bethenny's visiting a prominent female internist about her own vaginal issue. With the surgery to remove her fibroids just days away, B is understandably freaked out. So, with Carole in tow for moral support, she treks to the internist's office for a second opinion. Just like Jules, Bethenny gets the good news she's been hoping for: the doctor recommends not jumping straight into the operating room, advising instead to let the Skinnygirl give her body time to heal itself. This is music to Bethenny's ears and just like that, the emergency myomectomy is cancelled.

rhony-season-8

To celebrate, Bethenny invites Carole, Ramona and Dorinda over to her apartment the next day for a good old-fashioned Housewives hangout. Cuddled up next to the fireplace, the women chatter about everything from surgery and vaginas to old-fashioned birth control methods and Ramona's insistence on using the word "brassiere." (I know I say this in virtually every recap, but dear Ramona please never change.) Eventually, the conversation circles back around to the group's collective and individual problems with Luann de Lesseps. Carole's still harboring major trust issues with the Countess. Despite the sincerest apology Luann could muster at Ramona's holiday party a few episodes back, she has yet to reach out to Carole in any way since. Instead, it's been radio silence. Ramona and Bethenny both agree that Luann seems to be back on her Countess high horse, and she's become nothing but self-absorbed and narcissistic while blaming it on being head-over-heels in love with her "soulmate" Tom D'Agostino. Though Dorinda remains a silent observer in the corner, the other 'Wives have had it with Luann shoving her perspective down their throats while she floats around in Lu-Lu Land. 

dorinda-medley-rhony-season-8

The next morning, Dorinda invites Luann out for breakfast. Over two dishes of quiche lorraine, Dorinda promptly fills the Countess in on what the other ladies had to say at Bethenny's house. Luann is taken aback to hear that she's the subject of gossip - and claims to be particularly disappointed in Ramona for jumping on the Countess-bashing bandwagon so quickly. Dorinda encourages Lu to get back in the other girls' good graces by making more of an effort to be involved, but Luann dismisses the idea - firing back that maybe she doesn't want to be a part of the group anymore. Besides, she's sure that all the other ladies are just jealous she's so happy and in love. (Note to Luann: if you want to be on the show, you kind of have to engage with the other 'Wives.) In fact, the perfect opportunity to start reintegrating herself is that very night, since Dorinda's hosting a dinner party for all the ladies, and the hostess promises to be the mediator between Luann and the other women in case of a confrontation.

ramona-singer-rhony-season-8

That night, the women all show up at Joanne Tratorria, a cozy Italian restaurant that happens to be owned by the parents of pop superstar Lady Gaga. Reluctant and suffering from a cold, even Luann decides to come by for a bit, and it dawns on me that this is only the second time all season that all seven Housewives have been in the same room. (The first and only other time was at Ramona's birthday luncheon in Episode 5.) At first, the meal is slightly awkward, with the Countess flanked on one side by nemesis Carole and the other by Ramona. She announces that she's moved into Tom's penthouse on the Upper East Side and an engagement is imminent, much to the ladies' collective murmurs of half-hearted congratulations. Surprisingly, Luann opines that only Carole seems to be genuinely happy for her, which is virtually unthinkable considering their two-seasons-long feud.

luann-de-lesseps-rhony-season-8

This meal is also the first time Bethenny and Sonja Morgan have seen each other since the massive fallout over their Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl controversy. As the two awkwardly acknowledge each other across the table, Luann takes Ramona to task in the corner for turning on her behind her back and accuses her frenemy of not being happy for her. Ramona feigns innocence, insisting that she is happy for Luann and Tom, but cautions that the relationship seems to be going awfully quickly - particularly considering the two only met after Thanksgiving. Bethenny points out that Luann, Ramona and Sonja seem to exist in a very small circle: after all, they've all dated some of the same men. In a moment of perfectly terrible timing, Sonja inexplicably decides to reveal that she and Luann's boyfriend had been friends with benefits for over a decade before the Countess snatched him up. Sonja's history with Tom is news to everyone at the table, and an upset Luann proceeds to storm out of the dinner after once again accusing her friends of not being supportive. If it happened "B.L." (a.k.a. Before Lu), the Countess doesn't care, and simply expects her friends to be happy for her newfound love. But should Sonja really have to be supportive when she was just sleeping with the same guy weeks before he started dating her houseguest? As Luann makes an abrupt exit, "To Be Continued..." flashes across the screen, and we'll have to wait until next week to see how the dinner concludes.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did it feel like filler to you? Is Dorinda stirring the pot between Luann and the other ladies? Does the Countess have a right to be upset at the other 'Wives? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Before They Were Housewives - Countess Luann

Glenn Rowley

countess-luann

In the first-ever Before They Were Housewives special, Luann de Lesseps takes us on a trip down memory lane through her enchanting life before The Real Housewives of New York City became a pop culture phenomenon in 2008. From her humble roots in suburban Connecticut and her days as a model in NYC to her time as an Italian TV star and her whirlwind romance with Count Alexander de Lesseps, Luann's pre-Housewives life is like something out of a classic novel. For this week's feature, I'm breaking down everything we learned about the Countess in her nostalgic special...

The Fairytale of the Countess

countess-luann

The special starts with a look at Luann falling for Count Alexander de Lesseps back in 1993. When they met, the future Countess was living in Milan, Italy and working as a model throughout Europe. She also happened to be dating another man named Roberto at the time, but the moment she locked eyes with Alex at a dinner party at a glamorous chalet in Gstaad, that relationship was doomed. For the next five days, Luann and the Count were inseparable as they went skiing in the Swiss Alps, and at the end of the fifth day, Alex proposed. What a whirlwind! Of course, Luann had to deal with the problem of Roberto - whom she had been living with for the past two and a half years. Since Roberto was on a business trip, she ended up packing all of her things at their apartment and leaving "like a thief in the night," only calling to tell him she was engaged to another man after she'd left. Madly enamored, Luann left everything behind on a whim - the man she was dating, a successful career in Italian television, an entire life in Milan - all in the name of love.

Honeychile's Betrayal

countess-luann-honeychile

While she lived in Milan, Luann was befriended by Honeychile Wilder - an American socialite who had married an Austrian-Hungarian prince. Significantly older than Lu, Honeychile had made a name for herself working as a showgirl and appearing on comedian Bob Hope's popular radio show before moving to Europe and becoming a princess. In her time in Milan, Luann had been taken under Honeychile's wing and looked to the older woman as her mentor. (Luann even relays the story of a time when Honey once took her to Hubert de Givenchy's atelier to get dresses to wear to the Paris opera.) Despite having been with Luann on the night she met the Count, Honeychile became incredibly possessive at the thought that Luann would leave her. In an act of betrayal, the socialite tried to convince Alex not to marry Luann - citing that she was just a nobody from nowhere - and left Lu heartbroken. When she left with Alex to elope in New York City, she said goodbye to her longtime friend in a note, explaining that she was leaving her behind...for good.

A Big Apple Elopement

luann-de-lesseps-wedding

Jetting off to NYC, Luann and the Count decided to elope after picking up a five-carat, pear-shaped diamond ring from a jewelry store in the Diamond District. Following through with their romantic plan, Luann and Alex took the subway to City Hall and got married right then and there, dressed in jeans and a blazer, with a truck driver named Lucille acting as the sole witness of the nuptials. Just like that, Luann became Countess de Lesseps after knowing Alex for only two weeks total. Now it was time to meet the family!

Connecticut Roots

berlin-connecticut

Next, Luann travels to her hometown of Berlin, Connecticut to give us a glimpse of the place she grew up. Born in 1965 as the sixth of seven children, Luann was raised in a large, middle-class, French-Canadian family in the Connecticut suburbs. With so many older brothers, Lu almost inevitably turned out to be a self-proclaimed "jock," which is a far cry from the Countess persona we've always seen on RHONY. Visiting her childhood home, Luann reveals that the house actually burned down when she was a child, which left the family basically homeless with nothing but a collection of photo albums her mother managed to save from the flames. Eventually Luann's father and brother rebuilt their home, but she still calls it one of the most difficult times in her life. 

luann-de-lesseps-connecticut

Bringing her new husband home to meet her family, Luann was nervous about how different her salt-of-the-earth background and upbringing had been to the Count's much more glamorous life. Never mind, of course, that she had decided to marry her now-husband after just a couple of weeks and her family still had no idea. Digging up some old VHS tapes that her son Noel came across, Luann sits down with her mother Nadine and her brother Michael to reminisce about the first time she came home with the Count. Apparently, everything went so well that no one in the family even had any idea Luann had married a titled aristocrat!

Lu's Lucky Little Red Dress

luann-de-lesseps-miss-connecticut

Rewind to 1987. At the urging of a nurse's aid she worked with,  a 23-year-old Luann decided to enter the Miss Connecticut beauty pageant, once again on a whim. On a bridal shop's clearance rack, she found what she describes as "the perfect red dress," which would set her on a path she could have never imagined. While she didn't place at that first beauty pageant, a man in the audience stopped her after the competition and told her she had potential to be a model in New York City. The man encouraged Luann to enter a modeling competition the next week in Hartford, Connecticut, and opined that if she brought the red dress she would win. As luck would have it, the mysterious man was right - Luann won the modeling competition and scored a private photoshoot with a professional photographer in NYC as her prize. 

luann-de-lesseps-model

Arriving in New York for the first time, Luann had no idea she was about to embark on a new chapter in her life. The prize package from the competition also included a contract with Mystique Models, and Lu quickly learned how to pose and get a good photo by watching the girls around her. Despite its reputation in the 80s as a dangerous place to live, Luann fell head over heels for the Big Apple and after six months of commuting back and forth for auditions, she moved there permanently. This risky move paid off, thrusting Luann into the glitzy and alluring world of New York nightlife - full of parties, dances and of course, plenty of handsome men. However, working as a model turned out to be much more difficult than the future Countess anticipated. Her life turned into a veritable rollercoaster with its high moments (landing the cover of Playgirl) and low moments (handing out flyers as a showroom model). Eventually, though, Luann met a man named Don who whisked her off to Europe, where she launched the next chapter of her career in Milan.

Making It Big in Italy

luann-de-lesseps-sharon-stone

While Lu immediately loved living in Milan, her modeling career hit a major slump. Turned down by nearly every agency in the city, Luann found herself quickly running out of money and desperate to make something happen. Her Italian lover at the time, named Genaldo, convinced her to represent the United States in the Lady Universe pageant - an Italian beauty pageant featuring women from countries all over the world. In another moment of pure luck and good timing, Luann was crowned Lady Universe. As part of her duties, she embarked on a tour across Italy, which led to her attending a cocktail party at the home of Prince Egon and Diane von Furstenberg. At the party, the prince suggested Lu work in television and made introductions for her to impersonate actress Sharon Stone and present an award at Italy's version of the Emmys.

luann-de-lesseps-pressing

Three months after successfully pulling of the Sharon Stone act (complete with blowing a kiss to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the audience), Luann was cast as the cohost of Pressing, the top-rated Sunday night show covering Italian soccer. Almost overnight, the TV gig turned Luann into a bonafide celebrity in Italy and the entire world was in the palm of her hand. Ultimately, this change in her life led her right into her title as Countess de Lesseps. 

Living the Jet Set Life

luann-de-lesseps-pregnant

After marrying the Count, Luann's life continued to be something out of a dream - watching him race cars in Barcelona, traveling to Hong Kong and Beijing, heli skiing in the Alps and jetting off to her homes in Portugal and Gstaad. She even became a close personal friend of Constantine II, king of Greece. Soon after marrying, Luann gave birth to her daughter Victoria, followed quickly by son Noel 22 months later. Spending their summers in the Hamptons and the rest of the year in Europe, life didn't seem like it could get much better for Luann and her young family. That is, until a terrible freak accident changed everything in the blink of an eye...

luann-de-lesseps-rhony

In 1997, Luann was spending the winter in Gstaad. One evening around dusk, she was driving home from a tea party with the kids when she hit a long stretch of black ice on the road. Before she knew what was happening, Luann found herself and the two young toddlers trapped in the car, tumbling down the side of a mountain. Miraculously, the car landed upside down in a local resident's backyard, though neither Luann nor the kids were seriously injured. Digging herself out through a broken window, Lu then proceeded to walk with the kids - Victoria barefoot in the snow - until they reached a farmer's house, who kindly offered to drive them home. The accident had a profound impact on Luann, who suffered through months of PTSD and nightmares. Feeling isolated in the secluded Swiss Alps, Luann eventually decided to come back to the U.S. for the sake of her mental well-being, not knowing the decision was the beginning of the end of her marriage to the Count.

Becoming a Real Housewife

luann-de-lesseps-season-8

Moving back from Europe in 2006, Luann concluded that getting back to work would be the best thing for her. Approaching a local television station, Luann talked her way into creating The Countess Report, a cable access show featuring just the Countess and a camera. From there, The Real Housewives of New York City fell into Lu's lap when she met a certain redhead by the name of Jill Zarin at a high society party in NYC. About a month later, Jill sent an email asking if she wanted to film a show she was working on for Bravo called Manhattan Moms, which eventually turned into RHONY. From there, the franchise we all know and love was born and Luann became a Bravolebrity. 

countess-luann-season-2-reunion

Early seasons of the show presented Luann's life as the Countess through an idyllic, rose-colored lens, featuring Alex, the kids, her nanny Rosie and the family puppy Aston. However, while she was getting bucked off of a camel in Morocco and singing with Natalie Cole on camera, her marriage was falling apart behind the scenes. By the Season 2 reunion in 2009, the Count had broken up with Luann over email, leaving the other Housewives shocked. Recognizing that she had a family and an image that needed protecting, Luann had tried to hide her marital struggles from Bravo's cameras. However, she ended up learning the difficult lesson that - no matter how hard you try to hide it - the cameras see everything. After 16 years as the Countess, Luann's life was about to enter yet another era...

Looking to the Future

luann-engagement

As viewers have seen on the current season of RHONY, Luann has fallen in love with her newest soulmate, Thomas D'Agostino, after being introduced by fellow 'Wife Dorinda Medley. The pair are currently engaged, with plans to be married on New Year's Eve of this year. After eight years as a New York Housewife, Luann ends the special by saying she doesn't live her life with regrets. The many chapters of her life have been something of a modern-day fairytale, and as this next chapter begins with Tom at her side, Luann can't wait for whatever happens next.

What did you think of Luann's Before They Were Housewives special? Did it show you a completely different side to the Countess? Do you want to see a Luann wedding spinoff? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments...

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 10 - Unhappy Holidays

Glenn Rowley

sonja-morgan

Have yourself a merry little Christmas? This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the festive drama continues as Dorinda's explosive sleepover in the Berkshires reaches its conclusion and Sonja rejoins the ladies at Ramona's holiday party. Who's on Santa's naughty list? Did any of the 'Wives make the nice list? Read on to find out....

rhony-bethenny-frankel

This insane sleepover in the Berkshires is now spanning the course of three episodes. Think about that for a second - three episodes is usually the amount of time we get for a major cast trip to somewhere like Turks and Caicos, Morocco or Montana. That's how full of can't-miss drama this night in Blue Stone Manor is. Picking up where last week left off, Bethenny Frankel and her gray onesie walk in on Luann once again dissing her just moments after the Countess sent her an apology via text for their earlier squabble over the creation of Skinnygirl. Now, round two of the argument pits Luann against the double-team of B and Carole Radziwill, who take turns painting a crystal clear picture of the reputation the Countess has developed for acting hypocritically and put on a facade about how proper and very Countess-like she is. According to her fellow 'Wives, in reality Luann has a "cunning, crafty, slithery" side to her and no man is off the table when she sets her sights on him - even if he's married or recently dated one of her friends.

rhony-countess-luann

Luann obviously disagrees with this assessment, insisting that she's the most loyal friend anyone can have and speculating that her fellow 'Wives are "making a list and checking it twice" (nice Christmas reference, Lu) to take her down. Plus, it's not her fault if the guy Ramona Singer was going on dates with ended up liking her better than the Singer Stinger. So there. Carole laments that that type of attitude is exactly what she and Bethenny are talking about, but the Countess refusing to see anything wrong with the way she chooses to live her life. Inevitably, Ramona gets dragged into the conversation as well, siding with Carole and Bethenny that Luann essentially swiped Tom D'Agostino right out from under her. Of course, the most hilarious part of this tense confrontation is that in the next room, Dorinda Medley and Jules Wainstein are blocking out all the drama with a classic game of Twister. Nothing like a good old-fashioned board game to drown out your friends screaming at each other just next door, right girls?

rhony-dorinda-medley

Thankfully, there's a break in the arguing just long enough for Santa Claus to make a surprise appearance! Santa gives gifts to each of the 'Wives around the dining room table, which turn out to be personalized wine glasses for the women - Bethenny's is inscribed with "Skinnygirl," Luann's is "The Countess" and Dorinda even had "Madame Martini" etched in the one for herself. The best part about the glasses is that they actually fit an entire bottle of wine in them. Does Dorinda know this group or what? (Side note: it's amusing to me that Dorinda's sister was the one playing Santa - for obvious reasons, she seems to have chosen to keep boyfriend John Mahdessian out of the equation for the evening.) 

rhony-jules-wainstein

Early the next morning, all the 'Wives are suffering from an argument hangover, except for Jules that is. Having stayed largely out of the line fire the night before, Jules declares to Dorinda that the getaway has been the best 24 hours of her life without any kids or a husband to take care of. In fact, the newbie literally forgot to call her kids the night before - that's how much she enjoyed being away. Bethenny and Carole feel much differently about the sleepover and hide in bed while they plot their escape from Dorinda's country estate. Putting their boots and coats on over their pajamas, the pair make a run for the car, but not before Luann notices their not-so-stealthy attempt at a getaway. Recognizing that the other 'Wives will start sensing a pattern following their abrupt exit from Jules's brunch in the Hamptons, Bethenny and Carole somewhat reluctantly go back in the house to say their goodbyes, making the excuse that they were just putting their things in the car. Still, after a quick round of hugs - including one incredibly awkward embrace between Carole and Luann - the two 'Wives hightail it out of there, wondering if they should avoid going to the Berkshires altogether in the future. 

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-season-8

After getting back to the city, all the 'Wives take a couple of days to recoup from the drama before one final holiday party Ramona's throwing at Black Barn. Dressing up in the most festive outfits they can muster, the women warily converge on the restaurant in an attempt at a happy holiday. Ramona's rocking a white (faux?) fur stole, but the OG isn't so sure how she feels about the red lace jumpsuit Luann is wearing from her Countess Collection and wastes no time in offering her unfiltered opinion on it. Dear Ramona, never change. As Bethenny and Carole arrive with gifts in hand, Luann saunters over to the pair for a (hopefully) calmer chat. Bethenny's already over their earlier fight and expressed remorse for how she spoke to Lu in the Berkshires, but the Countess actually wants to speak more to Carole. Luann apologizes again for all the drama that went on between her and Writer Girl last year when Radzi started dating her former chef Adam Kenworthy. Luann explains that she misses having Carole in her life as a friend and the apology sounds more sincere than her attempt over text, but Radzi just isn't sure. Regardless of how bad Luann says she feels for calling her a pedophile and attacking her character, Carole's choosing to keep her former friend at a comfortable distance. 

rhony-ramona-singer-dorinda-medley-carole-radziwill-luann-de-lesseps

Next, Sonja Morgan arrives fashionably late, which is a cue for Bethenny to make her exit. In the wake all the over the Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl fiasco, the Skinnygirl told Lady Morgan that she didn't want anything to do with her and she was serious. Apparently, while in the Berkshires both Ramona and Luann repeatedly texted Sonja regarding her issues with Bethenny, with each OG telling her bluntly to make up with the Skinnygirl. However, Sonja rather appropriately reads the room and when Bethenny bolts, she doesn't chase after - opting instead to take a seat at the couch and point out that she and Carole showed up in matching red pantsuits. Almost immediately, Ramona and the Countess question why Sonja didn't address Bethenny, and it puts Lady Morgan quickly on the defensive. Naturally, she's still hurt about being excluded from the Berkshires sleepover by Dorinda, but the latter stands by her decision as the best way to protect Sonja from being attacked. However, from Sonja's perspective she's simply being excluded and we all know that being shut out by the rest of the cast spells impending doom in the Housewives universe. An angry Sonja decides to stand up for herself and after accusing the other girls of constantly picking on her, she storms off to make a dramatic exit from the party. 

rhony-sonja-morgan-luann-de-lesseps

Seeing that Sonja is on the verge of tears, Luann runs after her, but her friend doesn't seem to want a shoulder to cry on. When the Countess opines that maybe the party wasn't the right time to talk to Bethenny, Sonja lashes out that the right place would've been at Dorinda's - had she been invited. Sonja then storms into the stairwell, where she continues to vent (loudly) to Luann about being excluded from the group. As she stomps down the stairs, Sonja reminds the Countess that Carole just barely told her inside the party that Bethenny didn't have any hard feelings toward her. Well, if these aren't hard feelings then what are they? Soft-boiled? With that, Sonja leaves the party in a huff and we'll have to wait until the new year for the drama to heat up again...

What did you think of RHONY this week? Would you trust Luann or do you think she's cunning and crafty? Is it right for Sonja to be excluded from the group? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 9 - December: Berkshires County

Glenn Rowley

rhony-dorinda-medley

The epic battle in the Berkshires continues this week on The Real Housewives of New York City! In one of the most iconic episodes in quite possibly the history of the franchise, the ladies duke it out over the secret life of the Countess, who's breaking the almighty girl code and who called who a pedophile. The episode comes across much like a one-act play (hence the title's play on August: Osage County by Tracy Letts), so I've structured this week's recap a little differently to follow along as the drama unfolds scene by scene. Read on and enjoy for my full breakdown and commentary of all the holiday insanity...

Scene 1 - From Slumber Party to Slaughter Party

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

The scene in the Berkshires picks up right where we left off last week, with Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps getting into it over the dining room table at Blue Stone Manor. Just as the squabble dies down over who gets credit for coming up with the idea for Skinnygirl (for the record, it was 100% B), Luann tries asking about Bethenny's dating life - but B's not about to go there either. According to the Skinnygirl mogul, the Countess's questions always come with ill intent, so there's no way Luann gets to know anything about her personal life. However, an off-hand remark made by the Countess accusing Bethenny of copying her hairstyle is the insignificant straw (or hair) that breaks the camel's back and sends B into a rage. Seeing red, Bethenny rips into Luann for the double life she's been rumored to be living ever since the show started way back in Season 1 - from sleeping with married men and partying until 5 a.m. to starring in some twisted reimagining of Grey Gardens by moving into Sonja Morgan's townhouse. From B's perspective, Luann spends all her time hiding behind the arrogant Countess persona she's created, all the while lying about the way she really lives her life. 

rhony-bethenny-frankel

Luann tries to brush off the barrage of accusations by joking that she's apparently the Samantha Jones of the group, but Bethenny fires back that at least the Sex and the City character owned her promiscuous behavior. According to B, it's time for Luann to get called out on her hypocrisy and she's the only one willing to do the talking. Perhaps the most damning revelation of all is that Luann broke the holy "girl code" she preached about all last season by essentially stealing her boyfriend Tom D'Agostino out from under Ramona Singer. The Singer Stinger confirms this herself, explaining that she went on more than half a dozen dates with Tom before Luann swooped in and said "me next..." literally! Bethenny proceeds to let loose every bad thing she's thought about the Countess for the last eight years, calling her "a slut, a liar, a hypocrite and a snake" all in a single breath. Naturally, Carole Radziwill arrives right in the middle of the madness and hilariously assumes that Bethenny is arguing with a man. Well...it would be funnier if she hadn't already used that joke during the trip to Slutty Island in Season 5. 

luann-de-lesseps-smoking

Following the confrontation, a furious Countess retreats to the house's patio for a smoke break with newbie Jules Wainstein. That's right, after eight years the producers have finally given us the gift of Luann de Lesseps smoking a cigarette on camera. I wonder if there's a chapter on the dangers of smoking in Class With the Countess... Poor Jules is in the midst of calling her father, who's in the hospital with pneumonia. Yet Luann doesn't seem to have a single ounce of empathy for the new girl, and turns the entire conversation into how horribly she's been slighted by Bethenny. As Jules says in her confessional, you're right Luann - being called a slut definitely trumps a sick dad, go right on ahead and talk about how hurt you are. Dorinda Medley comes out to check on the ladies and Luann promptly lays into the hostess for failing to step in and defend her against B. If she doesn't tell Bethenny to back off, the Countess threatens to leave. 

Scene 2 - Dorinda Made It Nice for You People!

dorinda-medley

Here's where things take an even stranger turn. After hearing her threaten to leave, Ramona pulls Luann into the kitchen to try to talk her down. However, Lu continues to question why she's even in the Berkshires if she's going to be verbally attacked. And weren't the 'Wives supposed to be celebrating Dorinda's birthday with this sleepover? Luann points out the homemade cake Dorinda's mother made for her on the table as evidence of this theory, just as the hostess walks into the kitchen herself. Overhearing Luann poking fun at her mom's birthday cake, Dorinda loses her last shred of patience for this madness and epically flies off the handle at all of her guests. Dorinda put a lot of work into cooking, cleaning and decorating to make this Christmas sleepover nice, so if the rest of the 'Wives can't "BETAVE" themselves then they can just go home! Poor Dorinda. Every time the ladies come to her house in the Berkshires they seem to go berserk.

Scene 3 - Feeling Zings Now?

rhony-sonja-morgan

Back in the Big Apple, Sonja Morgan is left to entertain herself after being uninvited from what she thinks is a fabulous time at Dorinda's house. So, while her friends are at each other's throats in the Berkshires, Lady Morgan is putting in time for some essential cosmetic maintenance. Since we're talking about Sonja, this is code for resurfacing her vagina. In the TMI moment of the episode, Sonja gets what's called a FemiLift, a new laser procedure that tightens the walls of her vajayjay. And it involves a gigantic probe being inserted into Lady Morgan's lady parts...Being a gold-star gay man, this is more than I ever really wanted to know about vaginal rejuvenation, but at least I'm learning it from the Housewives amiright? Thanks, Sonja!

Scene 4 - How Do You Spell "Pedophile?"

rhony-carole-radziwill-jules-wainstein

After a glorious flashback of the early conflicts between Luann and Bethenny, the conflict turns to the ongoing cold war between the Countess and Carole. Up to this point, Writer Girl has spent the whole season avoiding Luann but now that they're stuck under the same roof, she vents to Ramona that she can't believe Lu had the audacity to invite her to an upcoming holiday party. In what world would she go to the Countess's party after being called a pedophile by her last year for dating Adam? When Ramona brings this up to Luann, Carole grabs Jules and bolts for the nearest closet so she can eavesdrop. The newbie, however, turns out to be a rather terrible spy as she's more interested in inspecting the wallpaper inside the closet than actually letting Radzi hear what Luann is saying about her. Hilarious. (According to Carole, a wallpapered closet is the mark of a truly wealthy person. Good to know for my future penthouse.) Back in the dining room, Ramona encourages Luann to end the animosity once and for all by dictating a carefully worded apology text to send to Carole. The text reads as follows: "Sorry I called you a pedophile, hope you can come to my next holiday party." I'm using that sentence from now on for every invitation I send to all my future parties.

rhony-luann-carole-feud

After that text goes out to Carole, Luann decides to keep the apology tour going by composing one to Bethenny. Out of everything they just sparred about, the Countess apologizes if Bethenny thought she was trying to take credit for coming up with the idea for Skinnygirl and maintains that she didn't mean it like that at all. However, to be honest I'm much more interested in the earlier texts we can see that Luann sent both of the women - the one to Carole references her making an appearance on WWHL with Andy Cohen (presumably last season) and the one to Bethenny asks her out to lunch with the promise of no cameras. Fascinating stuff, really, to get a tiny peek into what goes on behind the Bravo curtain between the 'Wives. Obviously, neither of these apologies via text make any kind of impression on either Carole or Bethenny since they both end up giggling about it in one of the bedrooms together just a few feet away from Luann. Nice try, Countess but you're going to have to do much more than that if you really want to fix things.

countess-luann

Magically, Luann manages to change into her third top in as many hours as the women get ready for a festive dinner of Dorinda's famous lasagna. The hostess asks her what happened with Ramona, and Luann defensively explains her position in the argument over Tom. According to Luann, he just happens to like her better than Ramona, so sorry not sorry Singer. However, she still can't believe the blow-up with Bethenny and claims that the Skinnygirl seems to be on some sort of twisted mission to burn every bridge she can - first it was Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian, then it was Sonja, now it's Luann. Yet right in the middle of Lu's tirade to Dorinda, Bethenny walks into the conversation (in a onesie!) and demands to know whether this little monologue is supposed to be part of the apology text she received just moments before. As the two OGs ramp up for round 2 of their Berkshires battle, the moment is interrupted by another "To Be Continued..." and it looks like we'll have to wait until next week for the conclusion of the drama. 

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Luann? Should Dorinda ever invite these girls to the Berkshires again? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 6 - Tipsying Point

Glenn Rowley

rhony-sonja-morgan

Things are beginning to get tipsy on The Real Housewives of New York City! While drama once again boils over between some of the 'Wives at an ill-fated psychic reading, another celebrates her birthday with a surprising announcement that may put her in the crosshairs of a business empire. #businessbyBravo, right? Read on for my complete break down of this week's episode...

rhony-sonja-morgan-facialist

Over on the Upper East Side, Sonja Morgan starts her morning with a typical facial made out of human stem cell from the infamously gossipy Satoko Yamazaki. The facialist laments no longer being able to get human placenta from the black market, which might seem like something you don't want to admit on national TV, but Satoko has never been known for her subtlety. (Just ask the Countess.) Always the queen of multi-tasking, Sonja's busy planning her upcoming birthday party while she's laying on the massage table. Satoko doesn't make the guest list for the party, but for some reason Sonja assumes that even though some of her cast mates have yet to RSVP to the affair, they'll still be there. I may need to dust off my etiquette books from when RHOP ended, but I'm pretty sure that's the exact opposite of what an RSVP actually means...

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-jules-wainstein

Meanwhile, Carole Radziwill has invited most of the other 'Wives to her chic apartment in the West Village for a good, old-fashioned psychic reading. After last season's hauntingly successful trip to the Turkish coffee grounds reader, Dorinda Medley is particularly jazzed about this next encounter with the paranormal courtesy of famed psychic medium Kim Russo. Based on numerous past experiences, otherworldly figures seem to positively adore our Dorinda. Bethenny Frankel and Jules Wainstein, on the other hand, are more than a little skeptical about the activity - what with the former being the most natural cynic of the bunch and the newbie's devout Jewish faith putting psychic readings strictly on the no-no list. As the ladies gather in Carole's living room, Kim Russo starts with Jules, picking up energy that the newbie is connecting with her life's mission to be a role model for other women. Jules is touched by this, explaining in her confessional that she hopes opening up about her past eating disorder can help make a difference in other people's lives. 

rhony-kim-russo-psychic

However, Kim Russo quickly moves on to Dorinda with news that someone named John is trying to contact her. Turns out that Dorinda has more than a couple Johns in her life - including her boyfriend John Mahdessian, her father, her brother AND her grandfather just to name a few. In an instance of hilariously perfect timing, Ramona Singer arrives late, barging in and interrupting the reading before any John can get his message delivered. At this point, a pair of brothers reach out to Kim Russo, and they turn out to be Dorinda's late husband Richard and his brother Robert. After a touching moment where the psychic validates a promise Richard made to Dorinda before his death, she asks whether the gangster 'Wife wants to know what Richard thinks of John. Kim Russo then proceeds to tell Dorinda that Richard thinks her current boyfriend is "good for now" but can't provide her with the safety and security she needs long-term. She also predicts that Dorinda will one day get married again, but it won't be to John. This revelation prompts a classic, unfiltered response from the Ramonacoaster, who lets slip a relieved "thank God."

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-ramona-singer

Naturally, this side comment sets Dorinda off, and she lets Ramona have it. Sick of hearing all the negativity about John, Dorinda points out that if Ramona was a good friend she would be supportive of their relationship, and tells her to keep her mouth shut. Furthermore, Dorinda informs Ramona that John isn't exactly her biggest fan either - in fact, he thinks she's nothing more than a "bitch." When will the Housewives learn their lesson? Do not say a bad word about John Mahdessian around Dorinda. It's really as simple as that. To drive the point home, Dorinda rather snidely hits below the belt, tauntingly reminding Ramona that Mario left her for a younger woman. Ouch. Kim Russo awkwardly moves on to Ramona, predicting that she'll also get married again and sending her a message from her late father, but the damage has been done and tensions remain high for the rest of the reading. Dorinda is clearly heartbroken by all the negativity and feels it's ruining her 20+-year friendship with Ramona.

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-carole-radziwill

The next day, Carole visits Jules at her apartment in the Flatiron District to rehash all the surprising drama and revelations from the psychic reading. (Quick side note: apparently Jules doesn't know what an iPod is? Or how to make tea? Seriously?) Carole asks Jules if she understood what the medium was talking about when she said she'd be a role model to other women, and the newbie confides in Writer Girl about her past struggles with an eating disorder. In her confessional, Carole admits she isn't exactly surprised by this news - considering Jules's "unnaturally thin" frame and preoccupation with food. Even during this chat, she's set out an entire table's worth of food that the two of them couldn't possibly finish by themselves. Jules opens up to Carole that she hopes sharing her life experience can inspire the younger generation of girls who are struggling with their own eating disorders. Carole eloquently explains that everyone's mission in life essentially comes down to one thing: "to articulate your suffering in a way that emancipates you and empowers [others]." She then encourages Jules to think about how she wants to articulate her journey to others, whether that's through giving speeches, working with university students or even writing a book. And if she needs a good ghostwriter, Writer Girl might just be able to recommend one...

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-dorinda-medley

Next, Dorinda meets John at Il Mulino Prime for a fancy dinner date. After being burned by the drama with Ramona at the psychic reading, Dorinda comes to the restaurant still feeling upset, and just wants John to be an empathetic ear she can vent to. However, as she opens up about what happened with Ramona, it quickly becomes clear that John's much more interested in making the drama all about him. As he repeatedly interrupts her story, Dorinda loses her patience and declares that she's officially done with the drama, storming out of the restaurant. As an unabashed fan of Dorinda, it's hard to watch her feel like no one is really on her side. In my recap of her very first episode as a Housewife, I specifically pointed out that she was empathetic and compassionate as she supported Ramona through her issues with Mario. She deserves the same type of respect and support back from the important people in her life.

rhony-ramona-singer

While Bethenny braves the rain to launch her new Skinnygirl Bars and Protein Shakes, the night of Sonja's birthday party arrives and all of the 'Wives show up other than B and Carole. (Because that's what it means when you don't RSVP.) As the party begins, Ramona gathers Sonja, Jules and Dorinda to regale them with the story of the re-gifted necklace Luann de Lesseps gave her on her birthday. Of course, the Countess manages to make her grand entrance just as the story is wrapping up and pulls Ramona aside with an entire different bone to pick with the Singer Stinger. Luann wants to know why Ramona's so opposed to the idea of her staying with Sonja, and Ramotional rather abruptly blurts out that the Countess moving in will turn Sonja's townhouse into a veritable brothel. Harsh, but true? An insulted Luann counters that her fellow OG is being hypocritical about her own Turtle Time, but I think Ramona has a point here. With the reputation Luann has developed as a major partier with a penchant for bringing random men home with her at all hours of the night - a la last season's trip to the Turks and Caicos - it's probably not the best environment for Sonja to bring into her home. However, the most hilarious part of this argument is Jules managing to eavesdrop on the conversation with the help of her husband.

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

As the argument concludes, Dorinda asks Luann if it was about the necklace, at which point Ramona is forced to confront her over the gift in front of all the other girls. Luann can't believe what she's hearing, but Ramona thinks it was in awfully poor taste for her to present Bethenny with an engraved, monogrammed Carlos Falchi purse at the Ramonacoaster's own birthday party while she gave the actual birthday girl a necklace for the second time. In her confessional, the Countess amusingly points out that Ramona isn't even using the term "re-gift" correctly: it's actually when someone gives you a gift and you turn around and give it to someone else. But that's neither here nor there. Either way, Dorinda finds the conversation to be hilarious and so do I. Please never change, Ramona Singer. 

sonja-morgan-tipsy-girl

At this point, John quiets the room for Sonja to make a birthday toast. However, Lady Morgan has more than just a speech up her sleeve. Raising her glass, Sonja announces that she's launching a new line of Prosecco as her latest business venture. She she says, anyone who knows her, knows she drinks an awful lot of the Italian sparkling wine. Oh, but that's not all! The name of the new Prosecco line is Tipsy Girl. Hmm...as Ramona and Jules are both quick to point out, Sonja's branding sounds an awful lot like Bethenny's Skinnygirl empire. And we all know how protective Bethenny is when it comes to the brand she's built. While Dorinda thinks there's room for everyone when it comes to starting companies and opines that Bethenny won't care, Jules asks Sonja point blank if she talked to the Skinnygirl before starting such a similar brand. I mean, Bethenny even has her own Prosecco! Sonja claims she can't wait to get the business maven's opinion and wishes she had come to the party, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out how Bethenny reacts to the news. (Hint: it's not going to be pretty.)

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Do you believe in psychics or are you more skeptical? Do you side more with Luann or Ramona in the great re-gifting debate? How do you think Bethenny will feel about Sonja's new Tipsy Girl brand? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 5 - Birthday Bashing

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-jules-wainstein

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, it's one OG's annual birthday celebration while the rookie of the group opens up about a shocking personal secret from her past. Read on to find out what the newest Housewife on the block revealed while trying to bond with Bethenny Frankel...

rhony-carole-radziwill

While Bethenny packs for a trip with her five-year-old daughter Bryn, Carole Radziwill meets Dorinda Medley at Tasca Chino for tapas. As Carole sits down, she asks Dorinda if they can get catty for a moment. (Hello, of course you can, this is Housewives!) Radzi jokes that she didn't quite understand Jules Wainstein's house in the Hamptons - the newbie said it had been under renovation for years, but there was no equipment or construction tools to be seen. More importantly though, the brunch Jules held for everyone was full of nothing but tension and awkwardness. Jules arrives late to the meal and Carole immediately brings up the brunch and apologizes for her mean girlish behavior. However, Jules quickly brushes off Carole's behavior, choosing instead to pin the disastrous morning on Bethenny. After just a select few interactions with her, Jules hasn't come away with a positive impression of the Skinnygirl, and proceeds to air her multitude of grievances to Carole and Dorinda. Carole promises that Bethenny is better once you get to know her, but for now the newbie's not buying it. However, she's willing to give B a second chance to make a good first impression and decides to invite her to lunch one-on-one later in the week. 

rhony-ramona-singer-sonja-morgan

Meanwhile, Ramona Singer drops by Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side with big news: her divorce from Mario is final and she has the papers to prove it. Regardless of how much she and Sonja butcher the word "solemnize," her marriage to Mario is officially over. However, Ramona has more on her mind than just her newly-christened single status. When Sonja makes the excuse that she missed Bethenny's birthday BBQ in the Hamptons because she was away with her daughter, Ramona corrects her by informing her that she simply wasn't invited. Ouch. According to Ramona, Bethenny didn't want Sonja at the party because she's embarrassed by how drunk she gets and didn't want Lady Morgan causing a scene.

rhony-sonja-morgan

All of a sudden, Ramona is staging an impromptu intervention for her bestie, explaining that she's tried to distance herself from Sonja lately because her drinking has gotten so out of hand. Sonja, however, is having none of this talk, and hilariously thanks Ramona for "sharing" her feelings. Lady Morgan then deftly changes the subject by filling Ramotional in on Luann de Lesseps' housing situation - or lack thereof. Apparently Sonja has agreed to let the Countess move in with her on a sort of trial run to see how it goes. Ramona thinks this is a terrible idea and opines that Luann will be a terrible influence on the Frack to her Frick. Keeping up with the Countess's hard-partying ways is the last thing Sonja needs.

rhony-bethenny-frankel

A few days later, Jules and Bethenny finally meet one-on-one for lunch. Bethenny goes into the meal knowing she needs to apologize for the brunch in the Hamptons, and cops to feeling uncomfortable because of the lingering tension with Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian. Now, I'm not sure if Jules is just nervous about the meeting or intimidated by Bethenny but the newbie stumbles over her words and struggles to even form a sentence as she tries to tell Bethenny how offended she was by the Skinnygirl's comments about her home. In fact, it reaches a point where Bethenny is essentially helping the rookie construct her own argument against her - in the case of Frankel v. Wainstein, Bethenny turns into the lead prosecutor!

jules-wainstein-eating-disorder

As the two 'Wives finally begin to bond, Jules opens up about the fact that she never graduated from college despite going for seven years. Naturally, Bethenny asks why and the rookie reveals that throughout her teens and early twenties, she struggled with an eating disorder. Jules fight with the disease was so bad that she eventually reached a meager eighty pounds and questioned whether she would ever be able to have children because of it. It's true that you're never cured from an eating disorder, but 13 years later she's happy and at a healthy weight. The newbie confides in Bethenny that she's very open about the eating disorder because it helps keep her accountable and not fall back into old behaviors. Having watched her estranged mother battle an eating disorder for most of her life, this topic is right in Bethenny's wheelhouse and she tearfully empathizes with Jules while applauding her bravery for opening up about her struggle. These two got off to a rocky start, but it finally feels like they've bonded over something real, deep and genuine in their lives. 

rhony-dorinda-medley-jules-wainstein

The next day, Carole and Bethenny join Ramona for lunch at her apartment while Jules meets Dorinda for pedicures on the Upper East Side. Naturally, the topic of conversation in both groups is a rehash of the aforementioned lunch. Both Jules and Bethenny feel much better about developing a relationship with one another and came out of the meal with a newfound mutual respect. Jules alludes to the fact that she was very forthright and honest in their conversation, but Bethenny doesn't say a word about the eating disorder - explaining in her confessional that it's absolutely not her secret to tell. Ramona's also anxious to discuss her upcoming birthday lunch - the storied, annual event that shuts down a restaurant on the Upper East Side and brings together her 60 closest girlfriends. The OG wonders if Carole will be OK with seeing Luann there since it's such a large group, and Radzi insists she will be more than fine. Bethenny, on the other hand, isn't quite as sure where she stands with the Countess. It turns out that when she hosted Kyle Richards and the rest of the RHOBH ladies at her house in the Hamptons over the summer, Luann badgered her endlessly to get an invite to the dinner party and accused her of being "uncool" when she explained that it wasn't her party to invite people to. While the two OGs bonded upon Bethenny's return to the series last year, the Countess has slipped back into her old slithery ways and B wants to keep her at a safe distance. 

rhony-carole-radziwill-bethenny-frankel

At last, Ramona's yearly birthday luncheon is upon us and, much to her chagrin, many of the 'Wives show up in varying shades of her signature Ramona Red. As Ramotional's off-camera girlfriends fawn over her eight-month-old haircut, Bethenny makes the hilarious observation that it appears these Upper East Side ladies who lunch seem to have put themselves on ice for the last year. They literally look exactly the same as they did at Ramona's birthday lunch last season! Luann arrives bearing two separate gifts - one for the actual birthday girl and one for Bethenny, since her present apparently wasn't ready on the day of her party. This is less-than-ideal gifting etiquette to begin with (especially for a birthday diva like Ramona), but the situation gets worse when the two 'Wives open their gifts next to each other. The Countess decided to get Bethenny a monogrammed Carlos Falchi purse while regifting Ramona a necklace from her Countess Collection that she had to get fixed. I wonder what Class with the Countess has to say about this birthday faux pas...

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

Pulling her aside, Luann tells Bethenny in her most heartfelt voice that she wanted to give her the handbag as a way of telling her how much she loves her and considers her family. Bethenny, however, is somewhat perplexed by the gift and points out that Luann has given her incredibly mixed signals as of late. One minute she's chewing the Skinnygirl out over text for not including her in filming with the RHOBH women and the next she's buttering her up with an expensive purse at another 'Wife's birthday party. Bethenny then pointedly accuses the Countess of constantly failing to own her behavior - in her on-camera life or otherwise. Luann seems blindsided by Bethenny's issues with her and argues that her fellow OG has had over four months to bring them up with her. Further, when it came to Kyle and the other Beverly Hills 'Wives coming to the Hamptons, Luann explains that she merely wanted to be included. After all, with her younger son Noel off to college, she's officially become an empty and it gets lonely. Even now, she doesn't have an apartment in the city and is living out of a suitcase. Eventually the pair manage to hug it out, but it seems that Bethenny isn't quite ready to buy into a renewed friendship with the Countess, engraved Carlos Falchi bag included.

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-ramona-singer

As the gaggle of women sit down for lunch, Sonja and Luann corner Dorinda for the details on her life. Remember how they haven't been involved with any of the season's drama yet? Dorinda briefly gives them the rundown on the drama between the other 'Wives and John, and throws out that her costars must be putting her boyfriend through the ringer because they're just jealous that she's in a happy, committed relationship. Hmm...based on Ramona and Bethenny's reactions to this comment, I'm not sure that assertion holds much water. Dorinda stands to address the roomful of Ramona's closest girlfriends and gives a heartfelt toast to the birthday girl that's chock full of subliminal messaging. As Ramona happily looks on, Dorinda toasts to friendships with women who support and uplift each other, and are there no matter what. Dorinda has made it clear in her confessionals and other scenes that her 20+ year friendship with Ramona has permanently changed because of the drama with John at the lingerie party. Maybe now the OG will get the message? Either way, cheers to the ladies who lunch!

What did you think of this week's episode? How does Jules's eating disorder revelation change your perception of her? Does the Countess need to take a page from her own book when it comes to gifting etiquette? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!