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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: dorinda vs. sonja

RHONY S9/Ep 13 Recap - A Bronx Tale

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, Dorinda and Sonja face off over lunch in the Bronx to hilariously epic results. Plus, Bethenny takes all the 'Wives on a ski trip to Vermont, where Tinsley finds herself backed into a corner defending her life choices. Read on for a full recap of all the drama, confrontations and CLIP!-able moments...

And now for something completely different! In an effort to get the 'Wives out of their Upper East Side comfort zones, Bethenny Frankel organizes a lunch at Zero Otto Nove, the best Italian restaurant in the Bronx. (Fun fact from a New Yorker: the real Little Italy is the Bronx's Arthur Ave. Go check it out.) All of the women are invited other than Ramona Singer, for obvious reasons, and while a broad like Dorinda Medley fits right in to the restaurant's authentic wiseguy vibe, poor Tinsley Mortimer sticks out like a sore thumb in her black leggings, Mary Janes and prissy blonde curls. As the wine starts flowing, Bethenny proposes a ski trip to Vermont and all of the ladies jump at the chance, but everyone's thinking the same question: will Ramona be left out of the trip too?

Clearly the "salty broad" vibe of the Bronx starts rubbing off on the women because off-hand mention of Sonja Morgan's ill-fated Prosecco brand, Tipsy Girl, sets off the most hilarious fight of the season. First, Sonja claims that both Ramona and Dorinda wanted to get in on Tipsy Girl before she was approached by her BFF's former business partner, Peter Guimaraes. (You know, the guy Ramona went into business with on AOA Bar and Grill back in Season 7.) Dorinda shuts down this accusation, vehemently denying she ever wanted to be part of Tipsy Girl despite Peter reaching out to her multiple times. Sonja fires back that Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian told Peter that Dorinda wanted to be involved with the brand and has the texts to prove it. Naturally, this sends Dorinda on a delightfully slurry rampage, insisting she would rather "chew [her] left leg off than be part of Tipsy Girl" and that her boyfriend can say whatever he wants because John Mahdessian does not speak for Dorinda Medley. 

As the entire restaurant looks on in a combination of amusement and utter confusion, Sonja pushes the issue just a little too far and sends Dorinda over the edge. Next thing we know, Dorinda's arms are flailing in classic form as she warns her frenemy to "back that s**t up" and invents a brand new way of telling Sonja to "shut the f**k up" in the form of screaming "CLIP! CLIP! CLIP!" across the table before she storms out of the restaurant. I kid you not, this may be the most hilarious thing the gangster Housewife has ever done. As Carole Radziwill points out with glee, "when Dorinda's bad, she's just so good."  

Honestly, nothing in the rest of the episode can come ever remotely close to topping the CLIP! CLIP! moment and we're only 25 percent of the way in. But let's move on, shall we? It's the Italian way. 

  • On their way out of the restaurant, an old Italian man at another table tells Carole Radziwill she looks like Melania Trump, which is just about the worst thing you can say to the diehard Hillary supporter of the group who broke down in tears at her own election party.
  • Tinsley cries through a session with her therapist, admitting she can't sleep and drinks too much red wine to cope with the trauma of the abusive relationship that led to her arrest.
  • Sonja manages to offend Luann D'Agostino over lunch at Sant Andrea Cafe by crudely pointing out that they've both had sex with the Countess's now-husband, Tom D'Agostino. 
  • Ramona manages to score an invite to the ski trip, but not before condescendingly reminding Lu and Sonja that she "only skis Aspen." 

Later, the women head to Stratton, Vermont, where Bethenny has rented a massive log cabin-style ski chalet. Before arriving, Ramona attempts once again to make amends with Bethenny, this time over text, but the Skinnygirl isn't budging. She can be civil, but she's not letting the Singer Stinger back into her life. Meanwhile, Dorinda's the first to arrive after Bethenny and Carole, and hilariously realizes she forgot to stop and pick up her luggage before driving to Vermont (on account of being distracted by pre-trip sex with John). 

As always, the usual race for the best room kicks off once Ramona, Sonja and Tinsley arrive - but not before Ramona refuses to drink any Skinnygirl wine. Ramonja throw a tantrum that Dorinda got the biggest room and after nine seasons, the pair's act is getting tired. It's not cute; it's not funny; it's not a good look. Honestly. However, in a surprising turn, Luann hops on the bandwagon by complaining that no one thought to save her a nicer room since she just got married. Excuse me? Is the Countess serious? Sorry there isn't a honeymoon suite reserved for you, darling.

Over dinner on the first night, Bethenny announces that last season's cancelled Mexico trip is back on! Tequila, here we come! Conversation turns to Tinsley's dating life, which Sonja is quick to criticize by claiming it's not a good look to a boyfriend if you're living in your friend's townhouse. Suddenly, everyone seems to have an opinion about the choices Tinsley and her Lauren Conrad sidebraid are making for her life and the socialite starts feeling ganged up on by her new friends. Without warning, Tins starts to spiral and as her voice gets higher and higher, she demands that the other women "give [her] a goddamn second" to get over the trauma that's haunting her from Palm Beach. Ever observant, Carole points out via confessional that the newbie seems to live in a pattern of being put in situations where she's psychologically infantilized or controlled - first by her ex-boyfriend, now by living with Sonja - and as I watch Tinsley's tableside meltdown I'm starting think she's been through more than any of us possibly fathom.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Can Dorinda get any more amazing? Is the ski trip off to a good start? Is Tinsley being controlled by Sonja? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 9/Ep 4 Recap - The Etiquette of Friendship

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, Dorinda lets her rage loose on Sonja during a disastrous dinner party in the Hamptons. Plus, Carole and Ramona come to a political impasse and Tinsley starts to see that life under Sonja's roof isn't exactly living free and easy. Read on for a full recap of all the explosive drama...

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We pick up just as Sonja Morgan and Tinsley Mortimer arrive at Ramona Singer's dinner party in the Hamptons. The newest 'Wife on the block is nervous walking into this gathering - particularly to meet Dorinda Medley for the first time, given the Upper East Sider's longstanding issues with her roomie Lady Morgan. Dorinda may have just finished showing Carole Radziwill a literal dossier of evidence she's compiled of Sonja's slander against her but she's nothing short of gracious and kind when introduced to Tinsley. Dorinda asking why the socialite moved back to NYC from Palm Beach is all Tinsley needs to launch into an elevator pitch about her volatile relationship, arrest and infamous mugshot. It's always the first thing the former It Girl wants to bring to the table when meeting new people - it's likely they've heard the story anyway - but Dorinda takes the news in stride, reminding Tins that her present matters much more than her past mistakes. 

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Dinner is served and it turns out Ramona's eclectic group of dinner guests includes famed author of Sex and the City Candace Bushnell, seated right next to Sonja. Just as the first course begins, Sonja musters up the courage to say hello to Dorinda and what starts as passive-aggressive niceties devolves in the blink of an eye into utter chaos. The moment she sees an opening, Dorinda blasts Sonja for attempting to defame and talk about her in the press with a stern "shut your mouth." At first, Sonja denies it, which only aggravates Dorinda more as she unleashes a tidal wave of pent-up animosity at her nemesis. Demanding Sonja stop talking about her in the press, Dorinda strikes blow and blow with her whip-smart tongue as Carole cringe-laughs into her pasta. 

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I'm honestly not even certain I can do justice to Dorinda's diatribe against Sonja. Lady Morgan is caught completely off-guard as Dorinda lashes out that she should "put an EZ-Pass on that vagina with [her] Holland Tunnel." Turnstile and ticket, indeed! Dorinda then eviscerates Sonja further by pointing out her many failed business ventures and asking how Lady Morgan enjoyed going doggy-style with the stripper at Luann D'Agostino's bridal shower. Ouch. Ramona tries to squash the conversation and Tinsley attempts to defend her friend, but Sonja has now been properly humiliated in front of the whole table. The Countess then jumps into the fray, demanding answers for the blogger who quoted Sonja just that day saying she wouldn't be caught dead at Luann and Tom's "tacky" wedding. Sonja insists she wouldn't miss Lu's wedding if she wasn't going to be on her yearly trip to Phuket, but Dorinda nearly lunges over Ramona as she snaps that Sonja was never invited to the nuptials in the first place. Game, set, match, I'm dead. As Carole cheekily reminds us in her confessional, this is Dorinda on Diet Coke, people. And how is she? In her immortal words to Candace Bushnell, "not well bi**h!"

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The dinner party hits pandemonium level just in time for Bethenny Frankel to pick Carole up, presumably via armored car. However, amidst all the screaming and shouting, Radzi hasn't been able to accomplish the one thing she needs to do: disinvite Ramona from her election party. In her head, Carole's told herself rescinding the invitation won't be that big of a deal. After all, Ramona's made it clear more than once that she's not interested in talking about politics with the show's resident journalist. However, when Carole finally corners her to deliver the news, the Singer Stinger comes out in full force. Despite Carole's insistence that it's simply too important of a night for her personally to let Ramona's penchant for drama overshadow the actual election, Ramotional declares she and Radzi are apparently no longer friends. In my eyes, Sonja's right on the money in her assessment of this democratic mess between Ramona and Carole: the Singer Stinger is simply too unfiltered to be allowed in political environments. 

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The next morning, Luann hosts a breakfast at her Sag Harbor home and - while Bethenny and Carole are no-shows - all the drama from the night before seems to have miraculously blown over! How in the world is that possible?? Ramona's still miffed about being disinvited to Carole's election party, but give her 24 hours and she'll get over it. In the most stunning turn of events, however, Sonja and Dorinda greet each other at the breakfast table with a smile and a hug! It turns out, now that she's had a chance to unload and vent her frustrations, Dorinda's over her feud with Lady Morgan and ready to move forward. That's a classic Italian temper for you...Sonja's tentatively made up with Luann too, though she still maintains that she was, in fact, invited to the wedding so maybe we'll never know the truth. Either way, the tumultuous weekend in the Hamptons has come to a close.

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Back in Manhattan, Tinsley meets Lu and Dorinda for dinner at Upper East Side hotspot Tao. The newbie didn't mention the dinner to Sonja before leaving her townhouse and while she's nervous about hitting the town with her new friends solo, she's sure her roommate/benefactor/hostess won't be too upset at being left out. Tins bonds with the veteran 'Wives as they chat about everything from her mugshot and planning for Lu's wedding to gossip about Sonja's latest French paramour. Cut to Lady Morgan, busy washing her outdated lingerie in the bidet as she preps for a (long-distance?) date night with Frenchie. What was it Sonja's tagline says about there being nothing grey about her gardens, again?

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We saw very little of Bethenny this week. Only a quick glimpse of her, in fact, surveying the dinner party chaos from the safety of her car a la Joe Pesci in Home Alone. Still reeling from the explosion of her new feud with Ramona, the B stayed clear of the fray this week for the sake of her sanity. With so much off-camera drama happening with her ex, she simply doesn't have time or energy to take cheap shots from the Singer Stinger. In a conversation with Carole, Bethenny vows that she's done with Ramona once and for all this time - forgiving her fellow OG after a classic "I adore you" apology would only be opening the door to get burned again. 

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Meanwhile, Sonja's learned about Tinsley's night out with Dorinda and Luann, and Lady Morgan is most definitely upset. Oops, sorry Tins, turns out your hostess doesn't like being excluded. The pair end up in a tense argument in Sonja's kitchen over invitations to charity events, who Tinsley's spending her time with and why she would ever dare to leave her roommate out. In her confessional, the former It Girl admits that living with Sonja is starting to feel a bit like being 16 again, with rules and curfews and having to constantly check in with the madam of the house. The two 'Wives eventually manage to put a pin in their fight and hug it out, but I can't shake the creeping feeling that Tinsley doesn't know what strings came along with Sonja's generous offer to live with her...

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Are you Team Dorinda or Team Sonja? Should Carole have disinvited Ramona from her election party? Does Tinsley know what she was signing up for by moving into Lady Morgan's townhouse? Let me know in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 9/Ep 3 Recap - A New Low

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the women take their drama to the Hamptons, where Ramona burns an unexpected bridge with Bethenny and the feud between Sonja and Dorinda gets closer to exploding. Read on for a complete breakdown of all the scandals, spies and soft-core you can handle! 

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The 'Wives are heading to the Hamptons and the topic on everyone's lips seems to be the bad blood between Sonja Morgan and Dorinda Medley. The two haven't seen each other since their war of words at the Season 8 Reunion and none one's quite sure what to expect when they inevitably cross paths over the weekend. After excluding her nemesis from last week's Mad Hatter tea party, Sonja's suddenly singing a different tune - claiming that she feels bad for leaving Dorinda out and is ready to kiss and make up. Dorinda, on the other hand, is still seeing red after hearing about all the trash-talking Lady Morgan's been doing and claims she may have brought a hatchet to the tea party had she been on the guest list. Note to self: do not get on Dorinda Medley's bad side. In retaliation, Dorinda seems to revel in showing off some pictures she received of her nemesis in quite the compromising position at Countess Luann's off-camera bridal shower. (And by that, I mean Sonja's being straddled doggy-style, on the ground, by a very scantily-clad male stripper.) As Dorinda points out, a picture's worth a thousand words and this picture doesn't seem to line up with the narrative that Sonja's cooled her out-of-control, party girl antics. 

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Meanwhile, Carole Radziwill is crashing with Bethenny Frankel for the weekend at the latter's Bridgehampton home, obviously. With the 2016 presidential election, it seems the former journalist - and passionate Hillary supporter - has found herself in a "democracy depression." She's planned a big election night party, but isn't sure whether it'll turn out to be a celebration or a funeral. Either way, Ramona Singer seems to be the only 'Wife not on the guest list; it turns out the OG got uninvited after her spat with Carole mid-tea party last week over who was more politically informed. Again, given Carole's 15+ years spent as a journalist covering wars and foreign policy, I'd say the winner in that argument is rather obvious, but Bethenny's just ready for the election to be over so that her bestie will finally stop talking about it. 

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After a few scenes of acupuncture, cupping and cruising around Sag Harbor by boat, all of the women (sans Sonja and newbie Tinsley Mortimer) meet for dinner at Southampton hotspot Little Red. Ramona arrives on edge, immediately snapping at Bethenny for not complimenting a picture of her and the vibe between the two is just weird. Clearly the passive-aggressive tension from last week hasn't dissipated. Political discussion dominates the appetizer course - Dorinda's just as worried as Carole about a potential Trump win - until Ramona launches an offensive out of nowhere at Bethenny by asking whether her six-year-old daughter knows anything about the scandalous headlines floating around regarding the Skinnygirl's "soft-core" movie past. (For those who may not be quite as informed - get it? - a then twenty-something Bethenny starred in a low-budget film called Hollywood Hills, 90028 back in the early '90s and appeared topless in one rather raunchy sex scene.) A blindsided Bethenny tries to shut down the conversation with her trademark sarcasm, but her response only seems to fire Ramona up more.

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Next thing we know, Ramona's engaged in a full-on conversation with Luann de Lesseps about Bethenny...with Bethenny sitting right across the table. When Bethenny calls the rude behavior out, the dinner quickly devolves into a nasty argument, with the Countess accusing the Skinnygirl of not caring about anyone but herself and Ramona calling her "wicked" and a "witch." At that point, Bethenny is officially done with this unexpected barrage of insults from her frenemies and excuses herself from the table with Carole in tow. With Luann, this contention is nothing new but it's a surprise coming from Ramona, whom Bethenny reminds us in her confessional is someone who "pretends" to be her friend. Something tells me this may be the sad and sudden end of any positive relationship between the OGs.

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The next day, Ramona's hosting a dinner party at her house in Southampton for all the ladies and lots of other guests. Bethenny's, who's still not amused by the Singer Stinger's rather calculated attempt at some sort of malicious "gotcha" moment, won't be attending for obvious reasons. One person who will be there is Sonja and Dorinda is raring to confront her nemesis over the "slanderous rampage" she's been on since last season. (Fun fact: part of Sonja's diatribe about Lu's "tacky" wedding, Ramona being mean and what a liar Dorinda is comes from a secret Facebook group that sounds suspiciously like the now-defunct one dedicated to the podcast Bitch Sesh...#BOTG!)

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As the unofficial mafia don of the Upper East Side, it comes as no surprise when Dorinda reveals to Carole that she has a spy feeding her evidence of all the trash Lady Morgan has been talking on social media about her and the other 'Wives. She's come to this dinner party armed with a full arsenal against Sonja and she's not afraid to use it - she's even staying off the martini train to ensure she's at the top of her game. As Carole so eloquently states in her closing confessional: Don't. F***. With Dorinda Medley. Don't do it, people. Just as Sonja arrives with Tinsley, the episode ends with an ominous "To Be Continued..." and based on the preview, next week's showdown looks like it will be nothing short of total insanity.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Were Ramona intentions good or was she trying to attack Bethenny? Are you Team Dorinda or Team Sonja? Are you suffering from democracy depression like Carole? Leave your thoughts and opinions on all that and more in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 9/Ep 2 Recap - It Girl, Interrupted

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City there's a new It Girl in town as socialite Tinsley Mortimer joins the cast. But Sonja's tea party to welcome her to the group proves to be the setting for showdowns between Carole and Ramona (over politics) and the hostess and Luann (over, what else?, Tom). Read on for a full recap of this week's snipes, squabbles and political assassinations...

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Apparently it's Halloween in Manhattan because Bethenny Frankel is dressed up in a leopard onesie complete with ears, tail and a long black wig. In the midst of trying on her costume, the Skinnygirl has invited a couple of the 'Wives over for a good, old-fashioned round of gossip. First, Carole Radziwill shows up ready to talk politics as usual, but the topic of the election gets sidelined (for now) by Ramona Singer's rather strange arrival. First, the OG refuses to take off her shoes, then she makes a point not to acknowledge Bethenny's two new puppies - declaring that she's being passive-aggressive because B didn't tell her about Biggie and Smalls the second she adopted them. Huh? Carole and Bethenny both point out that something's clearly a little off with Ramona, but can't tell exactly what. Carole announces she's having a party the night of the election, and invites the other ladies with a very particular caveat: she only wants to hear opinions that are informed. Naturally, this sets off Ramona, who launches into a tangent about Hillary's emails and how she's just as knowledgeable as the veteran journalist, thankyouverymuch. Even Bethenny accuses Carole of acting like a know-it-all and suddenly I'm being forced to relive every political discussion I had with my roommates during the 2016 election. 

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Sonja Morgan has a new roommate! And it's not just any old houseguest, it's Tinsley Mortimer, iconic It Girl of the mid-2000s NYC social scene and the newest addition to the show. After a rough couple of years in Palm Beach (more on that later), the famed socialite is moving back to the Big Apple ready to climb back to the top of Manhattan society and Sonja's happy to have the company with her daughter off at boarding school. Honestly though, casting Tinsley is quite a big get for the franchise. At the height of her fame, the socialite was on the front row of every major fashion show, in the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair and making cameos on Gossip Girl (as herself!). The girl even had a Christian Dior lip gloss named after her, Tinsley Pink. Now divorced from her husband Topper Mortimer, heir to the Standard Oil fortune, Tinsley's primed to star in her very own Manhattan comeback story.

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Meanwhile, Dorinda Medley is the latest Housewife to indulge in cryotherapy, also known as freezing yourself to death in the name of health. Ramona's not about to be peer pressured into joining her, but the OG's content to sit on the couch and gossip while her friend freezes in the tank. Naturally, Dorinda's beef with Sonja is the topic at hand, and the mafia don of the Upper East Side balks at Ramona's claim that Lady Morgan has never once talked about her in front of the OG. According to Dorinda, Sonja's been talking quite a bit of smack about her to anyone who will listen, so she doesn't see why her nemesis would magically choose to be discreet around their mutual friend. Ramona also downloads Dorinda on her confrontation last week with Luann D'Agostino. Yes, Ramona knows something about the Countess's playboy fiancé Tom, but she chose not to share it since Luann clearly doesn't want to know. Dorinda's as glad to hear this news as I am. Maybe now we can stop speculating about Tom for at least a few episodes?

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To welcome Tinsley back to the Big Apple, Sonja's throwing a Mad Hatter-themed tea party at her Upper East Side townhouse. She's even borrowed her ex-husband's snarky butler Patrick Henry for the occasion. A very hangry Ramona is the first to arrive and the Singer Stinger is in full effect. Clad in all black, she doesn't react well to being cornered into a chat with Sonja's camera-hungry neighbor. Ramona has no recollection of ever meeting this person before, which makes the interaction all the more hilarious. (Ramotional can't remember every single person she's ever met, OKAY?) Clearly in a mood, Ramona barely manages to give Tinsley a terse hello before heading outside to the garden.

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Carole's the next to arrive - the third 'Wife to eschew the dress code in favor of New York's favorite all-black aesthetic - and joins Ramona for what starts as small talk but quickly spirals into a rematch over their respective political prowess. Carole maintains that she's more well-informed than the average voter given her 15-year journalism career, but Ramona doesn't want to discuss politics with the Emmy and Peabody winner. Carole insists she simply didn't want Ramona to think her opinion was valid, but also counters the Singer Stinger's attempts to police what she can and can't talk about. Other 'Wives may find Carole's political opinions frustrating or annoying, but I for one am awfully glad she's bringing real issues to the forefront of her storyline this season.

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Unfortunately, this political discussion is cut short by party kicking off as the other 'Wives make their entrances. For obvious reasons, Dorinda is persona non grata but we finally get a proper introduction to Tinsley as she makes the rounds to greet the other women. The poor guest of honor gets little more than a quick handshake from Bethenny but we learn more about her through her conversation with Carole and Ramona. Following her divorce from Topper, Tinsley moved down to Palm Beach and became embroiled in a volatile (and allegedly violent) relationship with her now-ex-boyfriend Nico Fanjul. Following their breakup in April 2016, Tinsley was arrested for trespassing on Fanjul's property while trying to retrieve a handbag she had left behind. And this is where the socialite's notorious mugshot comes from, fake lashes and all. Since then, Tinsley has been rebuilding her life and there's no better place for her to do it than on RHONY.

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Meanwhile, Luann pulls Sonja inside to question her friend about statement she's been making in the press regarding the Countess's relationship with Tom. Sonja insists her comments (specifically that she'd be there for Lu whether she and Tom made it down the aisle or not) were made with good intentions, but the Countess refuses to believe it. Luann accuses Sonja of not being supportive, even throwing in a jab that Lady Morgan may be jealous of her friendship with Dorinda, and demands that Sonja drop the subject all together. It's clear by this point that Luann and her Ralph Lauren prairie dress are taking no prisoners this season won't tolerate any negativity when it comes to her life or her fiancé. And with that, the party ends, but not without the bitchy, borrowed butler making one final, catty dig at the Countess and her prairie dress. Welcome Tinsley?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? What was your first impression of Tinsley? Is Carole more politically informed than Ramona? Was Luann right to call out Sonja for talking to the press? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHONY Season 9 Premiere Recap - Talk of the Town

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of New York City is back for Season 9 and the Big Apple broads remain at the top of their game. Between renovations, wedding plans and an eerily familiar presidential election, the show continues to progress faster than a New York minute. Read on for a full breakdown of all the exposition in the premiere as the women set the stage for what will be another fabulous chapter...

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A new season means new taglines... AND a brand new look for the intro! At first it's a bit jarring to see a giant "NYC" behind the ladies rather than the famous skyline, but I can confidently say that every single Housewife looks nothing short of spectacular holding her golden apple in a mix of red and black dresses. For the second year in a row, my vote for best tagline goes to Dorinda Medley for "I tell it like it is, but I always make it nice." It's sassy and iconic while making clever reference to her most famous one-liner from Season 8. 

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That being said, the rest of the ladies' taglines are equally fabulous; it's quite a strong bunch this season. Carole Radziwill comes in a close second for me with "In the politics of friendship, I win the popular vote." It's no secret that Radzi will be all about the election this season, so her tagline is a rather perfect tease to her storyline. Quick thoughts on the others: Ramona Singer's "acquired taste" and Sonja Morgan's "nothing grey about my gardens" zingers are both laugh-out-loud funny. Luann de Lesseps (now D'Agostino)'s tagline is my least favorite of the bunch, but she doing nothing short of slaying in that fab red jumpsuit. Newbie Tinsley Mortimer is trying to do damage control with a witty reference to her 2016 arrest, but I would've much preferred something about becoming an It Girl twice. (Have I come up with my own tagline for Tinsley? Yes I have.) Last but not least, Bethenny Frankel closes things out with a tagline inspired straight from The Wire, but who's trying to take down the queen of NY this season?

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It's fall in NYC and there's plenty to catch up on in the lives of the 'Wives: Bethenny's divorce has been finalized (hallelujah!), the Countess is waist deep planning her fairytale wedding to Tom and Ramona renovating away any last traces of Mario from her apartment on the Upper East Side. Coming off the contentious Season 8 reunion, Dorinda has a serious bone to pick with Sonja, who's avoiding any drama by starring in an off-Broadway production of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. Never mind that it's the last night of the show and Lady Morgan still hasn't memorized her lines; she's winging it with her bawdy sense of humor and international following is eating her performance up. In other news Carole and Dorinda have renewed their lovely friendship, a decision I fully support and am more than a little happy to see.

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One positive result of her divorce being finalized is that Bethenny finally got her old Tribeca apartment back. You know, the one she bought once Skinnygirl blew up and her ex refused to move out of after they split. Well, now that it's finally back in her hands, all B wants to do is get rid of it once and for all. She enlists the help of friend and fellow Bravoleb Fredrik Eklund to do so, and insists on selling the property for a whopping $6.995 million. The Million Dollar Listing NY star isn't so sure the apartment can go for such a record-breaking number, but Bethenny reminds him that a private parking spot in Manhattan should be worth at least half a million alone. In less than a day, Fredrik manages to sell the apartment for the Skinnygirl's full asking price in cash. Watch out Fredrik, the B clearly knows a thing or two about Big Apple real estate...

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Under the guise of picking up hand-me-downs for Dress for Success, Bethenny stops by Sonja's townhouse and the 'Wives conversation quickly turns to the status of Sonja's friendship with Luann. From Sonja's perspective, the Countess seems too wrapped up in her picture-perfect relationship with Tom for friends these days. In fact, none of the women are even invited to the wedding other than Dorinda, and she probably only made the guest list because she's the one who introduced Luann to her fiancé in the first place. Lu claims she's not inviting her cast mates because she wants the wedding to be completely drama-free. Bethenny, however, reminds us that when one Housewife's dated Tom, another's slept with him and a third uncovered him cheating last year, Tom's inability to keep it in his pants may be the real reason no one is going to the wedding.

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Carole, meanwhile, has only one thing on her mind these days and it definitely isn't the guest list at Luann's wedding. All the veteran journalist can talk about is the upcoming presidential election, much to her BFF Bethenny's obvious annoyance. The Skinnygirl claims Radzi is "deep in the Hillary hole," but can you blame her for feeling hopeful about the possibility of the first female president in the nation's history? I know I certainly was back when the ladies started filming last fall. With the benefit (can we call it a benefit?) of hindsight, we all know Carole's Hillary-loving heart is in for nothing but crushing disappointment. And while it may feel like it's too soon to be reliving the 2016 election, I for one am glad the most intellectual Housewife in the franchise is bringing something she cares so passionately about to the forefront of the season. #ImwithHer.

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The premiere ends with a confrontation between Ramona and Luann about the latter's relationship with Tom. Isn't it always about Tom? The Countess has caught wind that Ramona's been doing more digging into Tom's past, even going as far as to call up his old girlfriend in the middle of the night in California for dirt. Now Ramona claims to have even more damning information involving Tom's past (and current) indiscretions, but once again Luann isn't interested in hearing about any evidence the Singer Stinger has unearthed. Even if what Ramona's suggesting is true and they have some kind of open relationship, Luann is happy with Tom and tells her frenemy point blank that it's time to stop the Nancy Drew impersonation and get on board. So, to demonstrate just how supportive she is, Ramotional delivers the most aggressive toast in the history of Housewives, promising that she wishes Lu "nothing but happiness" while saying she hopes the Countess doesn't "fall flat on [her] face with this guy" in the very same breath. Cheers to that?

What did you think of the RHONY premiere? Should Ramona give up snooping about Tom? Are you glad Carole's talking about the election on camera? Whose tagline is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 11 - Invitation Interrupted

Glenn Rowley

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It's a new year on The Real Housewives of New York City and there are big changes afoot for the Big Apple broads. The Countess is in love and ready to shout it to the world, but none of her fellow 'Wives react exactly the way she was hoping. Plus, Bethenny plans a tequila tour of Mexico, but when a couple of the ladies get excluded from the guest list, the group dynamic becomes even more divided. Read on for my full recap of all the drama in the city that never sleeps...

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The episode picks up three weeks after Ramona Singer's ill-fated holiday party, which means our timeline is officially in 2016. Luann de Lesseps is still crashing at Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side. But the Countess has some major news: she's in love and she's moving out to get married! Sonja is baffled by this announcement, but she's even more floored when she discovers that the paramour Luann has been hiding all this time is Tom D'Agostino. In fact, her response is "my Tom?" Apparently Ramona isn't the only Housewife who has a past with Luann's new man - according to Sonja, she's been hooking up with Tom for quite a while. However, Lu refuses to let this revelation rain on her parade because the Countess is in love and doesn't care who knows it. Oh and also, Sonja's decided to quit drinking in the wake of the Tipsy Girl debacle, so there's that.

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Meanwhile, Bethenny Frankel has gathered all the other 'Wives at Añejo in Hell's Kitchen for a night of guacamole and vacation planning. Surprise! B wants to take the ladies on a tequila-tasting trip to Mexico to help her gain inspiration for the latest Skinnygirl flavor. Poor Jules Wainstein is still distressed over her father being in the hospital, but she still shows up for to hear Bethenny's plan. However, the big question is whether Luann and Sonja will be invited on the trip and B proposes that the ladies discuss and vote on it. Ramona doesn't want to leave anyone out and argues that the Countess is always fun on an all-girls trip (pirate Johnny Depp, anyone?) but Carole Radziwill draws a line that if her nemesis is invited, she's not coming. All of the women agree that Sonja and a tequila-tasting trip are not a good combo and it's safer for Lady Morgan to stay behind in NYC. As the hostess, Bethenny just wants the trip to be fun for everyone, so for now it looks like the 'Wives playing Grey Gardens on the Upper East Side are still on the outs. Still, viva la Mexico!

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The next day, Carole visits Bethenny at home in matching white turtlenecks to reminisce over the couples trip they took to the Bahamas over the holiday break. (B's keeping the identity of the guy she's dating a secret for the moment, though.) Carole's also had a major come to Jesus moment internally. During the holidays, she rather unexpectedly had to give up the kitten she had been fostering to its adoptive family. Losing the cat without getting to say goodbye forced Radzi to realize that she's set up her life story to constantly be a temporary one. Even when she married her husband Anthony, he had already been diagnosed with cancer... Now that she's been seeing Adam for well over a year, is Writer Girl ready for a more permanent happily ever after?

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Over at Exhale, Dorinda's reached out to Sonja to get manicures together. Sonja is still upset by Ramona's hot-and-cold treatment of her as of late, but Dorinda lays down the cold hard truth that it seems the Singer Stinger has taken sides in all the recent drama...and this time it's not Sonja's. Dorinda also informs Lady Morgan about Bethenny's upcoming Mexico trip, including the fact that she's once again not included on the guest list. But don't worry, the silver lining is that this time, neither is Luann! The Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl issue has become a major conflict of interest for Bethenny and Sonja's officially found herself left out in the cold. And in the Housewives universe, there's nothing worse than being excluded from filming with the other women...

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While Carole works with Adam and his gorgeous long hair on their cookbook proposal for The Reluctant Vegan, Ramona invites her daughter Avery as well as Luann to test out a line of hair extensions from Lux Beauty Club, a company she's getting into business with. Since the Countess has been rocking her signature shag for eight seasons straight, Ramona's anxious to get her into some shoulder-length extensions for once. As soon as Luann sits down, she's bursting to tell Ramona and Avery about the new turn her relationship has taken with Tom. When Lu reveals she's planning to marry the guy Ramona recently dated, the fake smile the Singer Stinger plasters on is nothing short of classic. Ramona then proceeds to inform Luann that her supposed soulmate calls his ex every single day, tells her he loves her and even bought the woman a gold bracelet for Christmas. Which was like yesterday. Yet Luann refuses to believe this piece of information and won't let Ramona burst her happy bubble. All the Ramonacoaster can do is warn the Countess to guard her feelings and warns her that only time will tell whether any of the gossip is true.

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Later that night, Dorinda and her boyfriend John Mahdessian meet Jules and her husband Michael for a double date. Dorinda is slaying in a royal shade of purple, but the Wainsteins arrive over an hour late and the tension between them is palpable. Apparently the couple was bickering over Michael looking for a hot nanny earlier in the day and in the wake of Jules's announcement that they're divorcing over his infidelity, the moment is pure foreshadowing for what lies ahead. Dorinda tries to help the situation by counseling her friend with a number of mixed metaphors, but she's already had one too many martinis for the evening and the marital advice comes out in rather amusing soundbytes. I love every version of Dorinda Medley, but Dirty Martini Dorinda might just be my favorite. 

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In the episode's final sit-down, Bethenny meets Luann for drinks at Bar Bordeaux. B shows up to the meeting late and a little disoriented, revealing to Luann that she's been bleeding rather profusely and has to visit an OB-GYN the following day to figure out what's going on. Because she's not at her best, poor Bethenny essentially gets railroaded by Luann during the entire conversation. First the Countess giddily repeats her revelation about Tom being her soulmate for the third time this episode and eventually brings up her non-invite to the upcoming Mexico trip. Bethenny has every reason under the sun not to extend an invitation, but within just a few minutes, Luann has singlehandedly managed to invite herself on the trip to Mexico and follow it up by accepting her own invitation! The Skinnygirl is left baffled as to what even just happened as the Countess sashays away in her winter white to meet her boyfriend at the Carlyle for a Tommy Tune performance and the episodes comes to an abrupt end. Umm...check please?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Do you see the writing on the wall for Jules and Michael? Is there any way Bethenny could've stopped Luann from inviting herself on the trip to Mexico? Can you really find your soulmate in just six weeks? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!