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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: dr. terry dubrow

RHOC Season 11 Premiere - When the Ship Hits the Fan

Glenn Rowley

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The first ladies of Bravo are back! That's right, The Real Housewives of Orange County has cleared the 10-year mark and is starting Season 11. Veteran 'Wives Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Heather Dubrow and Shannon Beador are back, along with Meghan King Edmonds and new girl Kelly Dodd. 

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As the familiar notes of the theme music, start I'm already jumping for joy because we have a new intro! Hooray! After using a recycled version of the Season 9 opening last year, I'm super happy to see that the ladies in new looks for the revamped intro. Immediately my vote for best tagline goes to Shannon for "Karma's a bitch, so I don't have to be one!" Not only does it cheekily reference the holistic Housewife's love of all things Eastern and mystical, but it made me laugh out loud too. Quick thoughts on the others: Tamra's is amusing and seamlessly blends her path to Christianity last season with her upcoming storyline as an aspiring bodybuilder. Heather revealed on her podcast that Bravo came up with her line, but I thought it cleverly poked fun at her Fancy Pants persona...and also happens to be kind of true. Meghan's sticking with another baseball analogy for her second season and the reference to "choosing her team wisely" must have to do with either her alliances with the other 'Wives or the in vitro journey we'll be seeing this year. Newbie Kelly promises to be a barrel of fun, so expectations are sufficiently high. And OG Vicki takes solid aim at her frenemies with "Before you judge me, you better be perfect." As a whole, I have to say that the new bunch of taglines are among the series' strongest and it's a promising way to start of the season. 

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Now onto the episode! We start by catching up with Tamra, who is apparently training for an amateur fitness competition. Following her baptism last season, she's still on the straight and narrow path back to Jesus, but she's determined to get to the pearly gates looking her very best - menopause be damned! As Tamra climbs a rope and I see that her arms are now bigger than mine, it hits me that Tamra as a bodybuilder kind of scares me a little. And also that I need to recommit to the gym regularly. In other news, Meghan and her husband Jimmy have moved into a new home, started a candle business (random?) and Meghan's prepping to start IVF treatments in order to get pregnant. Heather's still overseeing the construction of the palatial Dubrow Chateau while Terry's working more than ever thanks to filming Botched, plus its new spinoff Botched By Nature, on top of his surgical practice. And Shannon and David seem to be doing better than ever, having put his infidelity from Season 9 in the rearview mirror to focus on selling their house and downsizing. 

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And then there's Vicki, who was left friendless following last season's fake cancer debacle involving her shady boyfriend Brooks Ayers. Thankfully, the most controversial couple in the OC has (FINALLY) broken up and Brooks moved out, seemingly for good this time. Which hopefully means that this season won't be dominated by his drama the way that last year got hijacked. (Seriously, if I never hear the words "fake cancer" again, I'll be perfectly happy.) However, despite breaking things off with Brooks and living on her own, Vicki still remains estranged from the rest of the group. One by one, the other 'Wives explain in their confessionals that all they're looking for is some form of accountability from Vicki that she was in on the cancer scam and a sincere apology to start moving on, (minus Shannon who doesn't want anything to do with her), but the OG continues to maintain that she had nothing to do with Brooks's lies. And if she had to do it all over again, she claims that she would still stand by her man.

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Due to Jimmy's new job as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals, Meghan's left to go to her doctor's appointments for IVF without him. Thankfully her mom is able to come to the OC to go to the appointments in her husband's place. With this IVF storyline, Meghan's hoping to break the stigma that remains surrounding both IVF and infertility in general for the millions of women watching, and today she's undergoing a hysteroscopy. However, because of her uniquely c-shaped uterus, the procedure turns out to be incredibly painful for Meghan and she spends the majority of it screaming in tears of pain. This on top of her deathly phobia of needles and it appears this IVF appointment isn't exactly a walk in the park for the 31-year-old mother-to-be.

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In an effort to get all the 'Wives together, Heather's throwing the first party of the season and meets Tamra at a local nursery to run the idea past her while shopping for citrus trees. Having just gone through a secret wake-up call regarding Terry's health, Fancy Pants is putting together a little dinner cruise on a yacht in the spirit of love and friendship. However, when it comes to the guest list, Heather's conflicted about whether or not to invite Vicki. None of the other women have seen the OG for months, but Heather's feeling these days like everyone deserves a second chance - Vicki included. Tamra points out that Shannon will be upset if their former friend shows up at the party, but at the end of the day it's Fancy Pants's party and she can invite who she wants. 

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Next we finally meet newbie Kelly, who goes out to dinner with Meghan at OC eatery The Quiet Woman. Apparently, Meghan has known the newest 'Wife for about a year and can bond with her over IVF since Kelly used in vitro to conceive her daughter, Jolie. (For the record, I asked Kelly on Twitter, and she named her daughter after the french word for "beautiful," not Angelina.) From the get-go, Kelly's personality seems to scream "in your face FUN" with a capital F, as she boasts about being voted homecoming queen in high school and making varsity cheer as a junior. So when Meghan invites her to come along to Heather's yacht party the following weekend to meet the girls, Kelly's all in for a good time.

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While Heather calls Vicki to extend the olive branch invitation, Shannon and Tamra are at the doctor's office getting a new cosmetic treatment called Ultherapy. Rocking a gorgeous gold top in her confessional, Shannon admits that it would've been unthinkable two years ago for her to say that Tamra is one of her better friends but hey, when someone fakes cancer real miracles can happen. Shannon also reiterates that she has no interest in renewing a friendship with her once-close former friend Vicki. She's capable of forgiving for last year's medical records nightmare, but that doesn't mean they'll ever go back to being Aries buddies like they were during Shannon's first season on the show. And forgiving certainly doesn't mean Shannon will be excited to see Vicki at Heather's yacht party either.

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After seeing a glimpse into Kelly's unconventional home life (which involves living in a four-story beach house with her husband, daughter, mother and brother), it's time to hit the marina for Heather's party. Boarding a yacht called the Icon, the Dubrows' guests - including the other 'Wives and their significant others - are treated to a gorgeous spread of food and, of course, champs. When Meghan introduces Kelly to Tamra and Shannon, the rookie makes quite an impression with her "MC Hammered" sense of humor. Tamra's amused when Kelly tries to stuff her boob in the veteran 'Wife's mouth upon meeting. Shannon, not so much. 

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Tension creeps in when Vicki makes her grand entrance with former OG Housewife Jeana Keough in tow, but there's no time to dwell on the negativity because the yacht sets sail and it's time for dinner! Once everyone is seated, Heather stands to make a heartfelt toast, revealing that Terry recently underwent a health scare involving a stress EKG that could've resulted in his needing a heart bypass surgery. Thankfully, the test turned out to be a false positive, but it made the Dubrows really sit back and reevaluate what - and who - was really important in their lives. Everyone is surprised by this news and visibly moved, and I have to confess that seeing Heather tear up in her confessional as she talked about how much Terry means to her made me get a little emotional as well. With the toast having made its intended impact, Vicki gets up from the table and asks Heather to come to the lower deck of the yacht for a private chat. 

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Once the two 'Wives are alone, Vicki starts off by thanking Heather for even inviting her to the party in the first place. Then, she jumps headfirst into the real issue, admitting that she handled everything that went on last year the wrong way and was simply trying to maintain a toxic relationship that was slipping through her fingers. Still insisting she wasn't in on any cancer scam, the OG asks for Heather's forgiveness and hopes to move forward with a fresh start and clean slate. Now, this is exactly what Heather had been talking about earlier in the episode - that everyone deserves a second chance - but before she can reply, the screen cuts to black and the premiere is over! We'll have to wait until next week to see what Heather has to say about Vicki's mea culpa moment. 

What did you think of the RHOC premiere? Can you believe we're watching Season 11? Was your first impression of Kelly good or bad? Is there any way Vicki can get back into the other 'Wives good graces? Leave your thoughts and reactions below in the comments!

RHOC Season 8 Uncensored

Glenn Rowley

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In 2013, Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered on Bravo and ended up becoming one of the most unforgettable seasons in Housewives history. Thanks to the perfect combination of Housewives, surprising alliances, and major moments in the lives of the ladies, the season earned its own look back with the RHOC Season 8 Uncensored special. Featuring never-before-seen footage and brand new interviews with Housewives and producers alike, we got to learn more than we ever knew about what really went down in the OC. Read on for my full recap of all the revelations and new details from the special...

A Whole New Vicki?

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The start of Season 8 revealed a shocking new face in the OC – except the new face was a Housewife we'd known since the beginning. Vicki Gunvalson. Between seasons, the OG of the OC had decided to get some fairly major plastic surgery on her face following the “Miss Piggy” comparisons levied at her by Slade Smiley in Season 7. Vicki specifically chose to undergo surgery while the cameras weren't rolling so that she could come into Season 8 healed and looking better than ever. However, this plan was foiled when her daughter Briana went into labor with Vicki's first grandchild and Bravo wanted to catch the moment on camera. So, production was pushed up to just a couple of weeks into the OG's post-surgery recovery. Camera crews arrived at the hospital on the night of baby Troy's birth and when Vicki came down to meet them in the parking lot, they were shocked to see her swollen face mostly frozen in place since the secret surgery. Much of the season essentially documented the healing process of Vicki's face - almost episode by episode fans could see differences in her appearance as the dust settled.

Shady Friendships & Shifting Alliances

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To say that the season began with the dynamic between all the 'Wives in a very strange place is an understatement. For multiple seasons the shows main alliances consisted of Vicki and her BFF Tamra Judge in one corner and their arch-rivals Gretchen Rossi and Alexis Bellino in the other. However, over the course of the previous season, Vicki and Tamra's rock-solid sisterhood had been blown to smithereens by the OG's relationship with Brooks Ayers while Gretchen and Alexis feuded over a job as a local lifestyle correspondent for FOX5. In the most baffling turn of events possible, mortal enemies Tamra and Gretchen started Season 8 as BFFs, leaving Vicki and Alexis to develop a new friendship with each other. As such, the show entered unchartered territory with the women in alliances that just one year prior would have been unthinkable. 

Alexis Returns & Lydia Joins the Show

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Additionally, Alexis's return to the show, complete with a freshly-shorn haircut, was another surprise. Her story is that she quit the show after spending most of Season 7 as the primary target of the other women's criticism (pretentious intervention in Costa Rica, anyone?) while most of her co-stars claim she was fired by Bravo. Either way, Alexis still had more story left to tell, and this time she was coming back with a friend in tow...For Season 8 producers chose to add a sixth Housewife to the cast, which is a rare move for the OC franchise. Lydia McLaughlin joined the show as a friend of Alexis and brought a whole new flavor to Orange County. A thirty-two-year-old born again Christian who originally hailed from Canada, Lydia was the editor for Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine with her husband Doug - whom viewers lovingly dubbed "Jesus Abs." However, while she was already friends with Alexis, Lydia's first time meeting the rest of the women was more explosive than she could have ever predicted...

CUT Fitness Chaos

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In the first major event of the season, Tamra threw a dinner party to celebrate the groundbreaking of her new fitness studio, CUT Fitness. According to executive producer Kevin Lee, the party started off on the wrong foot because the rest of the 'Wives resented that Alexis was returning to the show. Battle lines were drawn as soon as Vicki walked in with Alexis and Lydia - with those three on one side and Tamra, Gretchen and Heather Dubrow firmly on the other. Co-executive producer Bill Fritz revealed that part of the tension stemmed from the fact that in between Seasons 7 and 8, Gretchen had accused former bestie Alexis and her "camp" of trying to steal a number of her personal appearances. Don't mess with a Housewife's fame, y'all. Of course, drama erupted the second Tamra confronted Alexis over why she would want to come to the dinner in the first place when she'd been threatening legal action against the hostess for slander, which resulted in the epic "YOU GET THE F--- OUT!" moment where Tamra kicked Alexis out the party. In the ensuing chaos, producers claimed that Heather made a beeline to them and promised she had other friends who could join the show to replace Alexis while Gretchen breaking into applause at her former friend getting booted signified the permanent end to their once-close friendship. What a welcome for Lydia, am I right?

Housewives Rules 101

Next, in an amusing segment the show's producers revealed the list of unspoken rules that the Housewives have developed over the years for being on camera. These rules of extreme convenience include the following:

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  • New 'Wives are never to stand in front of veterans on camera, particularly Tamra.
  • Housewives are to never eat on camera because it's impossible to look glamorous and beautiful while doing so.
  • Housewives form cliques and promise to have each other's back, but the alliances are subject to change from season to season.
  • All friendships of convenience between other 'Wives are to be exposed and undermined.
  • Develop real friendships with your fellow cast mates or you will be called out.

A Bachelorette Party Turned Battlefield

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Next up for discussion is the unforgettable trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for Tamra's bachelorette party. Due to the flip-flopped friend dynamic of the season, Gretchen fell into the role of putting the bachelorette party together for Tamra rather than Vicki. Meanwhile, Alexis had been invited to Mexico but one of the hard and fast rules in the Bellinos' traditional marriage is "no bachelor or bachelorette parties," so she stayed behind in the OC. And while Heather ran behind the cameras and jokingly (but kind of seriously) threatened a sexual assault lawsuit if the Mexican strippers so much as touched her during the wild in the hotel, the bachelorette party turned into a turf war between Vicki and Gretchen over who was a better friend to the bride-to-be.

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Vicki essentially went into the trip with a secret plan to snatch Tamra from Gretchen's clutches and when Gretch and Heather went to the bathroom following a snoozy first dinner, the OG saw her chance. With newbie Lydia in tow, Vicki kidnapped Tamra and ditched the other women to go to Andale's, her favorite dive bar in Puerto Vallarta. Despite not having filming permits for the bar and not really knowing where it even was, the Bravo crew spent the majority of the evening following Vicki and the other 'Wives through the streets of Puerto Vallarta as they bought light-up bows, danced on taxis and whooped it up once they found Andale's. Naturally, getting ditched left Gretchen infuriated and the conflict that came out of the night became pivotal to the season's story. Gretchen and Vicki were officially at war with Tamra as the victor's prize, and ultimately the OG would come out on top.

The Dubrows and the "D" Word

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One of Heather's major storylines for Season 8 was the conflict in her marriage with husband Terry Dubrow. After being considered for Season 5 (the year Alexis Bellino joined the show) it's a well-known fact that Terry actually forged Heather's signature on her contract when she finally joined the cast two years later. Terry was the one who pushed Heather to do the show, and producers even described her as a "reluctant participant in her husband's misadventures." Nowadays it's hard to imagine RHOC without Fancy Pants (she remains my all-time favorite OC 'Wife), but in her first couple seasons, Heather admits she had trouble really opening up in front of the cameras. Behind the scenes, the Dubrows' worst fights were about her being on the show because she didn't actually to do reality TV. So when Terry failed to support Heather's renewed acting career, which was being documented throughout the season, Fancy Pants threatened to quit the show and Terry threw the word "divorce" out during a blow-out fight between the two. By the time the season wrapped, Heather and Terry's marriage was stronger than ever but getting to that point was certainly a rocky road.

The Revenge of Lauri Waring Peterson

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Season 8 also brought the return of a familiar face from the show's early days: OG Housewife Lauri Waring Peterson. After leaving the show midway through Season 4 to focus on her new blended family with her Prince Charming, George, Lauri blasted back onto the scene with an agenda to take down her old friend Vicki. Lauri had originally been Vicki's secretary and protege-of-sorts when the show premiered way back in 2006, but the moment she came back to film with Gretchen, Lauri threw the OG of the OC under the bus with a scandalous rumor that she'd caught her in a threesome back in the day. From Vicki's perspective, the attack was insulting but logical: in order for Lauri's return to be as relevant as possible, she had to go after the dog at the very top of the food chain. Mind you, Lauri insists in her interview that she didn't have any vendetta against Vicki, but that's a hard claim to swallow as fans watched the salacious drama unfold.

Go Yell It on the Mountain

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A tricky game of telephone was born out of the gossip Lauri spread, and when the rumor reached Vicki during the cast trip to Canada, she exploded. Decked out in full snow bunny gear on the slopes of Whistler, the OG hunted down the show's executive producer, shoved him up against a brick wall and threatened him that it would hurt a lot worse if this storyline made it to air. To make matters worse, the other woman in the rumor actually turned out to be Vicki's sister, whom the OG insisted be cut out of the conversation. (Only after talking to her sister later and getting her blessing did Vicki use the fact to defend herself in blogs and on WWHL.) Producers note that Lauri was very careful not to ever use the term "threesome," but Vicki's ensuing freakout is still one of the most iconic moments in Housewives history.

Gretchen Rossi: A Cautionary Tale

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Next, the special addresses the downfall of Gretchen over the course of the eighth season. Executive producer Douglas Ross explains that when Gretch joined the show in Season 4, she let viewers completely into her life - from her relationship with now-deceased, older fiancé Jeff Beitzel to getting "naked wasted" by a scheming Tamra and Vicki, nothing seemed to be off-limits. However, as her time on the series progressed, Gretchen started presenting a much more whitewashed, inauthentic picture of herself. Once she started dating Slade Smiley, the much-reviled, self-proclaimed "Housewife Hunter," the execs at Bravo noticed that the couple always seemed to be working some sort of angle for the show. (We all remember the time Slade "bought" her with a Rolls Royce, right?) And everyone knows that once self-production is an automatic death sentence in the Housewives universe.

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This forced inauthenticity was never more clear than in Gretchen's decision to stage an elaborate rooftop proposal to Slade at the end of Season 8. For three seasons, Slade had been floating out the idea of getting engaged to Gretchen but never quite seemed to be able to pull the trigger. Flipping the script in the name of quasi female empowerment, Gretchen put together an extravagant proposal for her boyfriend that involved a song on the radio, a helicopter ride and all of their family and friends - but none of the other Housewives. Heather opines in her confessional that Slade was probably in on the surprise and even Andy Cohen notes that the entire event rang hollow and felt purely put on for the cameras. (Obviously Gretchen denies this.) Not inviting any of her cast mates also proved to be one of the final nails in the coffin for Gretch, though during the special she points the finger at producers for why none of the other ladies were included. Also, it's important to note that it's now been three years and Gretchen and Slade still aren't married. Maybe they'll walk down the aisle if someone offers to turn their wedding into a TV special a la Tamra's OC's Wedding

Winter Wonderland Finale & the Reunion of Rainbow Dresses

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By the time Vicki's Winter Wonderland-themed finale party came around, every other Housewife had her own personal issues with Gretchen. So, throughout the party poor Gretchen was forced to go on a giant apology tour, moving from one sit-down to the next so all the women could air their grievances against her. To this day, Gretch maintains that the other Housewives banded together to get her off the show, but we all know that's not exactly how cast changes work. At the Season 8 reunion, which in my opinion stands as possibly the best Housewives reunion ever, resentment toward Gretchen was at an all-time high and she had simply burned too many bridges to have any shot of staying on the show for Season 9. 

The Legacy of Season 8 in the OC

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To this day, Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Orange County remains a high water mark for both the show and the franchise as a whole. Alexis was let go at the end of the season when it became clear that viewers had now seen the beginning, middle and end to her story arc, while newbie Lydia chose to walk away after just a single season to focus on her family and have a third baby. As Andy succinctly states in the special's closing moments, Season 8 remains iconic for being a changing of the guard in Orange County and will never be forgotten in the annals of Housewives history and the larger pop culture.

What did you think of the RHOC Season 8 Uncensored special? Do you love the season as much as I do? Should Gretchen, Alexis and/or Lydia ever return to the show? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

No Place Like Housewives for the Holidays

Glenn Rowley

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Give a ho-ho-ho for the Housewives! Since we're right in the midst of the holiday season, I decided for this week's feature to take a special look back on all the times the 'Wives have celebrated good tidings of great joy (and even greater drama) throughout the history of the franchise. So bust out your sleigh bells and sugar plum fairies because it's time to send Old Saint Andy back on his way through the Christmases of Housewives past...

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 8 - Holidazed and Confused

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The holiday season took up the bulk of the middle part of New Jersey's third season, with Christmas alone taking up four episodes. The first episode kicked off at the conclusion of Teresa and Melissa's very first tentative truce. To launch the busy holiday social calendar, Jacqueline Laurita was hosting a cocktail party and invited Melissa and Joe as a ceremonial olive branch on behalf of Teresa. There were still no Wakiles allowed on the guest list, but it was a tiny step of progress. Meanwhile, the Giudices' legal problems were just beginning and when Teresa went off in court at bit player Monica Chacon (Joe's ex-partner's lawyer's wife), the aftermath was far from pretty. As a note, this was also the first time we heard "On Display." 

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At the Lauritas' low-key cocktail party, most of the 'Wives managed to be in the same room together without any table-flipping or literal brawling. As Jacqueline began to point out, the Gorgas didn't seem so bad...maybe they could all actually have fun together! The party consisted of lots of bubbly drinks, sparkly dresses, courtroom reenactments and Joe dressing up in Jacqueline's sequined, spaghetti-strap jumpsuit. By the end of the night, Melissa was inviting everyone to HER Christmas party - hoping that everyone could keep the good times rolling without any of Teresa's eye-rolling. 

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 9 - Twas the Fight Before Christmas

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The next episode focused on the Gorgas' charity Christmas party for children with cancer. At the party, Kathy tried to extend an olive branch to Teresa (remember, the two hadn't spoken since Kathy's infamous "unattended" comment at the Posche Fashion Show), which was handedly shut down by Tre with a "Oh so now it's good to see me?" Melissa took Kathy's side as she retreated to lick her wounds, but almost immediately Melissa's brother-in-law decided to confront Joe Giudice about a sum of money he supposedly owed him, which had the hostess rushing to put out a second fire. Then, for the party's grand reveal, Teresa's nemesis Kim G. waltzed in with none of than...Monica Chacon! Desperate for camera time, much? Clearly the unofficial Friend of the Housewives came to the party looking to cause trouble, but the Housewives effectively circled the wagons, with Melissa and Joe eventually kicking the uninvited plaintiff in the Giudices' lawsuit out of the party and Jacqueline standing up to her neighbor on behalf of her then-BFF.

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 10 - There Arose Such a Clatter

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The impending fight between the 'Wives and Kim G. bled over into the next episode, with matriarch Caroline eventually joining the fray in an attempt to stop the nonsense. Accusing Kim G. of coming to the party with the intent to cause hurt, she laid down the law and actually kicked the troublemaker out of the party - in a home that wasn't even hers! Chris Manzo emerged in the end as the fight's primary collateral damage, considering that Kim G. was the mother of his best friend Johnny. However, once Mama Manzo starts laying down the law, there's basically no stopping her. For Christmas Eve, Teresa and Kathy throw dueling parties - leaving Melissa and Joe feeling caught in the middle. Traditionally, they always spent Christmas Eve at Teresa's, but with the entire Giudice family there, they weren't so keen on breaking bread so soon after the christening disaster. As yet another peace offering, Melissa makes sure to bring pignoli cookies to Teresa's rather than the Italian sprinkle cookies that got thrown in the trash the year before. However, Joe Giudice wasn't even close to being on his best behavior, trashing Melissa behind her back all night and calling her a "raccoon face witch."

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 11 - A Very Jersey Christmas

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In the end, the Gorgas decided to stay at Teresa's house for about an hour before heading to the Wakiles' for the rest of the night, where they could let their hair down and relax. This decision obviously caused drama with Teresa, who had set places for them at the table and everything! To Tre, taking her brother away from her on Christmas Eve made Kathy a bad cousin, and she wasn't about to forget it any time soon. Christmas morning, however, was a success all around as the 'Wives were gifted with gold Rolexes, Louis Vuitton luggage, a recording studio, a diamond ring at the spot where Albert proposed, a brand new laptop, a sparkly robe and...nothing from Ashley. Poor Jac. A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

RHONY Season 5/Episode 10 - You Want to What Me in the Where?

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Christmas arrived roughly halfway through the fifth season in NYC when the 'Wives came together for Luann's Life & Style party/coat drive for the homeless. Decked out in red, the ladies navigated through a number of battles and tiffs while getting in the Christmas spirit. Just a couple of episodes earlier, Luann and her boyfriend Jacques had played a mean-spirited prank on Ramona by setting her up with a blind taste test of her own Ramona Pinot Grigio. Mario had already stood up for his wife over a group dinner at Le Cirque, but when Ramona was the first to arrive, the Countess decided to raise the issue again. Insisting that the trick had been a ploy to showcase Ramona's wine rather than put her in an awkward situation, Luann attempted to downplay the incident and minimize the devious set-up that it was in reality. However, for once Ramona refused to take the bait and shut the conversation down by "taking the fifth."

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Next, the ladies and their men all congregated around a banquette where a sloshed Sonja took the opportunity to give an unsuspecting Jacques an ultimatum about his relationship with Luann: put a ring on it or get out while you can. Sonja claimed that her drunken tirade stemmed from a conversation she'd had earlier in the episode with Luann about her wanting to have a baby, but it seemed very clear that Lady Morgan was simply deflecting some deep-seated anguish over her own failed marriage. Let's face it, a drunken Sonja is never a Sonja with a sexy J. The Christmas festivities capped off with all the ladies stepping into the spotlight to sing a rather off-key yet fun rendition of "Jingle Bells." That is, once Aviva stopped freaking out over not knowing the lyrics. For the event, Luann had hired a punk band called The Stumblebum Brass Band, who proceeded to turn the song into their own rendition called "I Wanna F*** You in the A**!" Great use of your fifteen seconds of camera time, boys. It certainly landed you on the naughty list for the next year. 

RHONJ Season 6/Episode 2 - O Christmas Tre

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New Jersey's sixth season rang in both a major cast shake-up AND the holiday season. In the second episode, the 'Wives celebrated Christmas with varying degrees of success. While Amber Marchese had her family practicing emergency fire drills, fellow newbie Nicole Napolitano got a major Christmas fail from her boyfriend Bobby in the form of a high heel-shaped wine bottle holder from the local Colts Neck pharmacy. Meanwhile the Giudice/Gorga/Wakile/Pierri clan got together for a family gag gift exchange that quickly turned sour. While Rosie could laugh at the vibrator Joey Gorga gave her, Teresa wasn't so impressed with the dictionary Kathy purposely sent her way. Kathy claimed she brought the gift because the whole family had a "hard time with the English language," but Teresa felt insulted and singled out. Eventually, the dictionary came back to haunt Kathy when she asked Teresa to write a blurb for her cookbook, which the OG refused to do after the so-called insult. Points for the family at least trying to get in the holiday spirit, right? 

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Later on, Christmas took a somber and emotional turn in the Giudice home as Teresa and Juicy Joe exchanged gifts by the fireside and contemplated the possibility of both going to prison over their legal issues and having to wait years to spend Christmas together again. As Joe opened up about how difficult it would be to leave his wife and daughters, Teresa resolutely promised that, despite what people say, it wouldn't be their last Christmas together. And as we know from this year's Christmas festivities, she was right! Now it'll just be another four years before they do it again...

RHOC Season 9/Episode 4 - Pretty Ugly

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In Season 9 in Orange County, brand new Friend of the Housewives Danielle Gregorio invited Tamra and Heather, somewhat randomly, to an ugly sweater charity party. In fact, it was so random that the first time we learned of the event was actually in a flashback of Danielle dropping an invitation off at CUT Fitness...which we hadn't seen before. (Season 9's use of flashbacks was weird, you guys.) At the party, a decked out Tamra, Eddie, Heather and Terry met new Housewife Lizzie Rovsek, a former Miss Kentucky who had brains to match her beauty and a sexy AF husband. Despite her past as a pageant queen, Lizzie and her poinsettia'd sweater made a grand entrance by promptly falling in the foyer and spilling a drink all over the floor. It was a shockingly endearing introduction to all the wonderful things about Lizzie and I knew right away that I would love her. Not much actual charity may have occurred at the party (besides giving poor Danielle the majority of her camera time all season), but Terry and Heather managed to win the ugly sweater contest with their matching snowflake-bedazzled ensembles. (For those who were wondering, my Christmas wish this year is for Lizzie to come back as a full-time 'Wife next season. Make it happen Santa!)

RHOC Season 9/Episode 8 - Not So Silent Night

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Just a few episodes later, the holidays were in full swing when newbie Shannon Beador brought all the 'Wives together for her annual Christmas party. Plenty had happened in the interim including Chairgate at Javier's, Heather's hoedown-themed groundbreaking party, Vicki's trip to the forgotten state of Oklahoma and more. Needless to say, through more than one of the events above, the animosity and bad blood had quickly begun building between Heather and Shannon, and the latter's party was the perfect time for it to boil over. The drama first started when Heather was offered a guest co-hosting gig on Good Day L.A. and offered Tamra a segment on the show to promote CUT Fitness. For some reason Tamra took offense to this because prior to filming, the show had a rival fitness studio on when Heather was a guest host and Tammy Sue assumed that Fancy Pants had something to do with it. Yeah, I didn't quite follow it at first either. I mean, talking about shooting a gift horse in the mouth...

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Naturally, Tamra had a passive-aggressive conversation with Heather when she was surprised by the news, and then proceeded to gather Shannon, Lizzie and Danielle together to badmouth Heather behind her back. (Meanwhile, Heather was in the other room trying to console an upset Vicki about Briana's impending move to Oklahoma.) When Heather and Vicki joined the other women, Fancy Pants was rightfully blindsided when Lizzie tried to put all the cards on the table and force the conversation between her and Tamra. In what felt like a gang-up, Shannon sided with Tamra and blew up at Heather for "talking so condescending." In a fortuitous moment, Heather's cell phone rang with a call from a sick Nicky at home asking her and Terry to come home. There was debate over whether or not Heather faked the phone call, but she gracefully and furiously exited the party by telling Tamra "I don't even like you right now." #TeamHeatherForever

Sadly, we've never seen Christmas in Beverly Hills, Atlanta or Miami. Maybe this year? To all you readers out there, I hope your holiday was all things merry and bright! 

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 21 - Reunion Part 2

Glenn Rowley

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The first ladies of Bravo are back for a second hour of discussing Season 10. The second part of the OC reunion starts with a montage of some of the most OMG-worthy moments of the season - circle jerks, leeches and colonic mishaps included. Does Vicki really know what a circle jerk is? (The answer is still no.) Andy has more than a few questions about how Shannon managed to get a colonic stuck up her behind, but I'd rather not dwell on that visual. Moving on...

Who Wears the Fancy Pants?

Next, we're treated to a package chronicling Heather's season trying to be all things for her family. When you take a step back and look at everything Fancy Pants managed to accomplish this year, it's pretty amazing. Over the course of 19 episodes, she launched both Collette, her sparkling wine and her skincare line with Terry, Consult Beaute, hosted a trip to Napa Valley and managed to stay largely out of the fray when it came to the other women's drama - all while building a house so large it can probably be seen from space. The question of whether all the money the Dubrows are making is worth Terry being an "absentee" dad gets asked, and Heather succinctly defends her family dynamic. Fancy Pants recognizes that Botched won't be on the air for 30 years, so while it's going, Terry is happy and fulfilled and she's willing to work a little harder to make sure they have time together as a family. She also tells Andy that she doesn't know what the current budget of the Dubrow Chateau is (or she just doesn't want to say), but she's willing to sell him the two frozen embryos she and Terry have. That child would be a match made in Bravo heaven. 

Foul Ball, Jim Edmonds

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Seating on the couches is rearranged as Meghan's husband Jimmy joins the ladies. In all of Andy's years as a diehard Cardinals fan, he never thought he would see the day when the all-star was at a reunion. Jimmy is promptly put in the hot seat over his marriage and how he treated Meghan throughout the season. As scenes play back of the athlete being condescending, short and downright rude to his wife, Meghan insists that she doesn't actually let Jimmy get away with treating her unkindly. Whether or not you believe that, Jimmy tries to defend his behavior by pointing out that during filming he was flying constantly between St. Louis and the OC. His excuse for bad behavior is that every time he was in California, cameras were in his face, he didn't want to be involved in any drama and he wasn't ready for a reality TV show to capture everything about his life. He got advice from some of the 'Wives following the rough season that needs to be remembered by everyone who embarks on the journey reality TV: they can't edit what you don't say. At the end of the day, he can't take back the rude things he said, though I find it strange that apparently people in St. Louis think his "banter" with Meghan is funny and charming. Ultimately the rookie Househusband recognizes that he should've been nicer to his wife throughout the season. Any bets on seeing a new and improved, camera-ready Jim Edmonds next season?

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Jimmy denies ever telling Brooks that two out of the four months he'd been married to Meghan were challenging, and before she can get attacked, the OG pipes up to claim she misspoke when she repeated that tidbit of gossip at the sex party. Apparently, what Brooks actually said was that the Edmonds had had "a couple" of instances that were difficult and Vicki latched onto the number "two" from what Brooks told her. So two arguments became two hard months. Tell-a-Vicki, telephone? The OG explains that she was speaking out of anger when she lobbied the accusation at Meghan and Jimmy and that she no longer believes they'll be divorced within five years.

An Off-Camera Betrayal

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With the spotlight now on Vicki, Heather brings up another comment she made at the sex party in light of Tamra's revelation regarding her custody battle. We didn't see the moment in the episode, but at one point during the party Tammy Sue jokingly put a strap-on over her lace outfit. Watching from the bar, Vicki commented to Heather something to the effect of "no wonder she's losing custody of her kids." Ouch. Heather was rightfully horrified by the comment, and couldn't believe Vicki would say something so rude about her best friend after all these years. In an uncharacteristically heated moment, Heather gets rather fired up in her defense of Tamra, saying Vicki's comment made her sick and that she couldn't believe what she was hearing. All Vicki can do at this point is apologize, but good for Heather for once again demonstrating the meaning of real girl code.

Saving the Beadors' Marriage

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Next, the affair that rocked Shannon and David's marriage gets brought up again. (On a side note, that transitional cutaway was weirdly jarring. I don't remember anything similar being done at another reunion before.) Much about this topic was beaten to death during the season and covered during the couple's WWHL one-on-one with Andy, so there isn't a ton of new information here. Heather reveals an interesting tidbit, though, about what was really going on behind-the-scenes last year after her infamous lunch with Tamra. At the lunch, the Beadors' marriage obviously got brought up and rumors had been swirling around Orange County. Because of mutual friends, Heather suspected she knew who the mistress was. After filming with Tamra, she met a group of girls at the restaurant where the cheating rumors were brought up. Unbeknownst to Heather, one of the girls texted the mistress under the table, not knowing she was the woman destroying Shannon's marriage. Once the other woman found out, she called David, who texted Shannon who was in the middle of filming with Tamra. At that moment, Heather knew she was right about the identity of the mistress. What a twisted web the OC is.

Some viewers questioned whether Shannon was brave or selfish for broadcasting her marital troubles on national TV but she stands by her decision, saying that it would've come out either way since all of the OC knew about it. Plus. she says, sending the message to her kids that fighting for family is important made the entire thing worth it no matter how humiliating or difficult it may have been. There are no more secrets in the Beador family and they're happier than they've ever been. Andy asks if she's seen the mistress since, and Shannon says that she has seen her in public, but hasn't reacted or confronted her. (This was before the epic smackdown between the two at last week's USC football game.) Andy jokingly announces to bring the mistress out, and the room erupts into nervous laughter while Shannon turns red. Sometimes, he just can't help himself.

Briana and Girth Brooks

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After another weird transition (seriously, they're bothering me. Why not just go to commercial?), Briana joins the reunion to discuss everyone's favorite person: Brooks Ayers. Brooks has officially moved out of Vicki's house following the break-up, which the OG blames on the couple having "too many issues" to last as life partners. According to Vicki, her priorities are back squarely on Briana - where they arguably should've been for the last four years anyway. Briana says that Brooks had a nasty habit of doing terrible things while Vicki was across the room, leaving her torn over whether to even tell her mom and cause a problem. Case in point - Brooks apparently hit on a very-pregnant Briana at Vicki's birthday party. Eww. When she told Vicki what happened, the OG called her a liar and said Brooks would never want her. Can you believe this?? He told Briana he wanted to show her his penis, which he's nicknamed Girth Brooks. This is absolutely vile and disgusting. 

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Brooks isn't at the reunion for the first time since Season 7, but Andy had a chance to interview him in a one-on-one in the WWHL Clubhouse. Long story short, he doesn't blame the show for his breakup with Vicki - just the other 'Wives and Briana. When asked whether he considers Briana the show's voice of reason (which at this point is basically an undeniable fact), Brooks claims Briana is lying about him. When Andy asks what her motivation could possibly be to lie, Brooks lobbies accusations at Briana of hearsay, manipulation and taking advantage of Vicki. According to Brooks, Briana is guilty of the very things she's accusing him of - using Vicki and relying on her financially. A shocked Briana boldly points out that she hasn't taken a dime from her mom in years. After all, she's an ER nurse making six figures a year. Briana also points to the last conversation she ever had with her grandma before her sudden passing. The day before she died, Briana spent two and a half hours on the phone with Vicki's mom and much of the conversation revolved around how much she didn't trust Brooks. Contrary to what Vicki claimed in Tahiti, her mom wasn't a fan of her boyfriend. In fact, she was worried he was going to take Vicki's money and she couldn't stand looking at him. What would Briana have to gain by lying about that? Nothing, says Vicki, as Part 2 ends with Briana's final word on the man who consumed her mom for the last four years: scumbag. 

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 17 - Broken Records

Glenn Rowley

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Same story, different week. The mystery of Brooks' possibly fake cancer inched one step closer to the finale with the reveal of his medical records. This week we saw Brooks visit a family practitioner to confirm the presence of masses in his abdomen. Later, Vicki and Brooks invite Tamra over to have a chat. Calling Tamra Vicki "most-tenured friend" among the women, Brooks has decided to show her a copy of his PET scan results to prove he has cancer. However, with the words all mashed together, Tamra isn't quite sure what she's being asked to read. Now that she's seen the medical records, Vicki asks Tamra to advocate for her with the other ladies, hoping to put this cancer mess to bed once and for all. Tamra explains that she can tell them she saw the record, but questions why they don't just show all the ladies rather than have her fight Vicki's battle for her.

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The other highlight of this episode is Heather and Terry's trip to Minneapolis to launch their new skincare line, CONSULT BEAUTE, on EVINE Live. Being on live TV is a skill set Heather has mastered in her years of hosting experience, but Terry's not so used to having live cameras around him. Under pressure, Terry botches the rehearsal, making Heather nervous for the actual launch where they'll be presenting in real time. What's Terry's deal? This skincare line is something the Dubrows have been working on together for more than 15 years, it's a product Terry developed himself and knows everything possible about. Plus, he's been filming Botched for the past three seasons, it's not like he's never been in front of a camera before...This could go very badly and Heather points out that the pressure is on for CONSULT BEAUTE to be a success. 

To celebrate Heather's new business launch, Meghan hosts a viewing party at her house for the other women (minus Vicki, obviously) to watch the EVINE show. As the Dubrows go live in Minneapolis, the 'Wives decide to call into the show and prank them. Tamra introduces herself as "Cinnamon" from Orange County, but the joke doesn't last too long - Heather and Terry would know Tammy Sue's voice anywhere. Debating on-air whether the women will get the friends and family discount on the CONSULT BEAUTE products, Heather and Terry jokingly pretend the line's breaking up and hang up. As Heather points out in her confessional, the more time she spends on the air talking to Tamra, the less time she has to sell her products to, you know, real customers. So bye, Cinnamon!

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The EVINE launch goes smashingly well, breaking the shopping network's record as the most successful beauty product launch in its history. After the launch is over and Lizzie goes home to rescue her kids from Christian's babysitting skills, Tamra fills Shannon and Meghan in on seeing Brooks' medical records. Immediately, Shannon questions why Vicki would choose to show Tamra the medical evidence. After all, Heather is married to a doctor, Meghan worked in medical sales for years before marrying Jimmy and she herself has had plenty of experience with CT & PET scans. Even if she's Vicki's oldest friend, showing Tamra makes the least amount of sense out of all the women. Detective Meghan has been doing more snooping and has some incriminating evidence of her own. Apparently, she called Newport Imaging, the facility where Brooks had is scan done, and asked if they even do PET scans. The secretary at the front desk told her they stopped doing scans back in 2008. If a patient needed a PET scan done, they would be referred directly to City of Hope and sent to the hospital. This new piece of information throws all of Brooks and Vicki's supposed "evidence" into chaos. What does that mean about the medical records, Tamra asks. Could Brooks be lying? Meghan certainly thinks so, and suspects Brooks forged the medical records continue the cancer charade. That would certainly explain the strange formatting and all the words on the result running together. At this point, no one knows the truth, but Meghan King Edmonds, Crusader of Justice, is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and bring Brooks and Vicki down once and for all. 

Other highlights this week:

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  • Shannon and David reconnected on a date night and I felt like I was seeing deja vu. Wasn't that the same restaurant Gretchen and Tamra bonded at in the Season 7 premiere? Am I the only one who noticed that?
  • Tamra met with her pastor to discuss her upcoming baptism. She's hidden it for so long and is finally ready to come out of the closet: Tammy Sue loves Jesus! Now she just needs a Blonde Bible because all those "thou shalt nots" are too confusing.
  • Apparently oxygenating your blood is the new, cool cancer treatment of the week. 
  • Lenka the health coach is still wearing those personalized, sparkly shirts.
  • Ryan and Sarah are officially moved into their new rental home, with Ryan looking for jobs at a local aerospace company and a gun manufacturer. Tamra's still determined to save his soul by turning him to Jesus.

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 5 - Game Changer

Glenn Rowley

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This episode was so difficult to watch. I felt so much for Vicki this week. In one of those all-too-crazy moments of lives coinciding, I'm writing this recap roughly 1o hours away from where I live, as I'm with family for my grandpa's funeral, who passed away last night. Watching Vicki's heartbreak was a poignant reminder that in the midst of the fighting, feuds and entertaining moments that we call reality TV, real life is still happening. Just like it is for all the fans and viewers. That fact has perhaps never been more apparent than in the passing of Vicki's mom. However, before we get to that life-changing phone call, let's start at the top.

Meghan and Jimmy are moving AGAIN. We're only five episodes into the season and this is officially a nightmare. They've been packing for pretty much every single episode. They're also kind of bickering, with Jimmy taking a couple of shots at the female gender for creating so much clutter in their house. Meghan tries to do a little damage control in her confessional by claiming that no one's giving out compliments during a move, it puts everyone on edge. That may be true but there's no getting around it: Jimmy Edmonds is getting a bad edit. Every time he's been on screen this season, he's appeared dismissive, condescending or downright rude to his new wife. This time, even his sweet mom is there to help and it's not doing his attitude any favors. Kind of reminds me of the Jim (Bellino) who came before him on this show. (Speaking of, maybe Jim Bellino is the reason everyone seems so insistent on calling the newest Househusband 'Jimmy'? Just a thought.) The bad marriage edit continues as Meghan explains in her interview that the stress of constantly moving is adding tension to their marriage.

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Apparently, the Edmonds also happen to be moving into a rental in the Beadors' neighborhood, which is the perfect cue for Shannon to give Meghan a call. What could this possibly be about? Judging by their previous interactions regarding phone calls, I'm bracing myself for another disaster. However, after starting with a slightly passive-aggressive "I heard you had a good party the other night..." Shannon's actually calling to invite her new frenemy to a bunco party at her house. Definitely not what I was expecting, and from the look on her face, it came out of left field for Meghan too. Rather than just accepting the invitation, Meghan can't help but point out her surprise at Shannon calling her, considering their recent history over the charity phone call from hell. Shannon explains point blank that this is her attempt at extending an olive branch and moving forward, but Meghan can't seem to let it go. She's officially beating a dead horse - the charity event is over and there's no way this feud has enough potential in it to last the entire season. Shannon starts getting defensive because Shannon Beador is a person of her word. After assuring Meghan that the newbie would be safe in her home - literally - Meghan pops back that she looks forward to Shannon proving it to her. The look of indignation on Shannon's face here is priceless. Proving herself to a 30 year old? Preposterous! After reiterating the invitation, she hangs up and stomps off, muttering under her breath about the unbelievable balls on this new girl. I think Defensive Shannon might be my new favorite Shannon. 

Across town, Vicki and Tamra are having a day of relaxation at Spa Gregorie's. Wearing fluffy robes and sipping complimentary alcohol, the two discuss Tamra's impending grandma-hood. While Tamra's assuaging the viewers' fears that she could ever possibly wear granny panties, Vicki predicts in her interview that becoming a grandmother will inevitably change Tamra's perspective on life. According to the OG, Tammy Sue is due for a little softening of the heart. Talk of grandmotherly changes done with, the two get naked for Hydraquench body treatments and sauna masks. Tamra points out that, although the two have had their share of ups and downs in the past few years, they can always have fun together, and it's nice to see them putting effort into rekindling the BFF-ship. We're also treated to a shot of Vicki's bare butt. This is really a bizarre situation.

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Meanwhile, Heather's taking her four kids to the Bellagio Spa and Salon to get their haircuts. She explains in her confessional that she used to take them to a bonafide kids haircut place, but eventually you need a real haircut. Does this mean she'll be sharing her in-house salon with the kids? This entire sequence serves to explain that the Dubrow kids are feeling the strain of their dad not being around as much because of his work schedule. On top of his regular surgery practice, Terry is in the midst of filming the second season of Botched with fellow Househusband Paul Nassif for E! As a result, he's gone from home even more than usual, and Heather's feeling frustrated at having to be everything to everyone while Terry's busy filming. 

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Riled up from the end of their previous phone call, Shannon decides to call Meghan back. Maybe they should just stick to email at this point? Pony Express? Shannon explains that she's having a hard time swallowing Meghan's "prove it" comment, and reiterates that she's extending an olive branch and she doesn't need to prove anything. Shannon makes a point in her confessional to clarify that she's "clearly the bigger person here," and that in the interest of moving forward, the bunco party invitation will remain open. Again, she stomps off in a huff because this girl is just such a "f***ing thorn in [her] side." By this point, I'm pretty much dying of laughter. I've never been the biggest Shannon Beador fan in the world, but I could watch her get riled up over little things every day and be completely set for entertainment. For the past two weeks, I've been firmly Team Meghan, but I have to say, I'm starting to see Shannon's side in the situation. Seeing Shannon Beador's perspective is something I never expected to do, but it's happening. 

In Coto de Caza, Vicki and Brooks are at home meeting with their health coach Lenka. I must say, it still feels weird not to clarify it as her home since he's now moved in and taken his place as man of the house. Apparently Lenka believes that you can rid your body of any chemicals and toxins in it, like cancer, through plant-based food. Vicki wisely explains in her confessional that she's not an oncologist or doctor so she doesn't know how to cure cancer. If she did, there'd already be a cure. For some reason, I believe this. Anyway, Lenka's philosophy is to starve the cancer cells in Brooks' body. She also recommends "forest showers" and organic coffee enemas. This is the second time coffee enemas have been brought up and I'm praying that Brooks Ayers and a coffee enema does not get shown on my screen. Please no. Vicki also points out that she learned so much about holistic medicine last year from Shannon, and if it works for her, why wouldn't it work for Brooks? I'm all for using holistic medicine to supplement oncology, but if Brooks has Stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, why aren't they trying more aggressive treatments? 

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The next day, Shannon's finally prepping for her bunco party. Since there will be fewer than 20 people in attendance - 12 to be exact - Shannon's cooking for her guests. After all, anyone can pick up a phone and call a caterer, but not everyone can slave in a kitchen for hours before a party. At this point, David walks in with a smile on his face and launches into a story about how he just ran into a girl Shannon saw at the beach the other day. How funny is that? Immediately, Shannon looks panic-stricken and utterly terrified. Is he trying to tell her something in code? Did he see his former mistress? As it turns out, he really did just run into an old friend of Shannon's, but her reaction is both warranted and painful to watch. She explains in her interview that David's promised that if and when he ever runs into his former mistress again, he'll just keep walking and never speak to her. As part of repairing their relationship, Shannon's choosing to trust him. Talking to her friend Kristina, Shannon claims she brings up the affair enough, so she wants to be careful not to bombard him with constant pleas for reassurance. It's a razor-thin line to walk when there are clearly so many valid trust issues that need to be worked through. The one thing Shannon does promise is that if David ever makes contact with the woman he cheated with again, Shannon will be out the door and never coming back. In order for the Beadors' relationship to succeed, there has to be absolutely no secrets between them. Well, it's certainly more difficult to keep secrets when you're putting your marital issues out there on national TV for the world to see. This storyline is uncomfortable to watch, but I hope it's helping some couple out there who are watching the show and working through their own infidelity issues. I also hope that couple has a qualified marriage counselor.

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Before the bunco party, Meghan and Jimmy are unpacking in their new four-month rental. At this point, I'm confident that watching other people move is as much fun as actually moving yourself. Meghan claims that neither wears the pants in their relationship and that, while he controls a bit more of the finances, she even put her name on their last house. Feminism! The Edmonds now have four months to find a house under $10 million with a three car garage and a view of the ocean. Tick tock. Also pre-bunco, Heather's going to Terry's practice to film a segment for Botched. Thanks to the E! hit, the good doctor has become a veritable star on his own, like the reverse of a pre-divorce Kelsey and Camille Grammer. Each week on the show, there's a small human interest story, and in this particular episode, the human interest story will be about removing some sort of growth from Heather's hand. The Dubrows' date nights have officially devolved into Heather receiving minor surgery. However, out of all the OC husbands, Terry is clearly the best, even if his new filming schedule is interfering with family time seven months of the year.

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Well, the time of the bunco party has finally arrived, and Shannon's putting the finishing touches on everything with the help of her non-Housewife friends. I always find it rather interesting when a 'Wife involves so many of her other pals in filming an event. Let's face it, there's no way this bunco party would make the final cut for the season if it was just Shannon and her friends. Naturally, Meghan is the first to arrive, sporting an ultra-trendy black and white (faux?) fur vest. The tension between the two is thick in the air with no one there to serve as a buffer, but Meghan says in her interview that she recognizes Shannon trying to reach out. Maybe they can move on after all? Shannon sets aside the wine she was supposed to donate at Meghan's charity event for the newbie to take when she leaves, which Meghan sees as a passive-aggressive reminder that Shannon's still being the bigger person. One-upping the wine donation, Meghan tells Shannon she brought her a gift and has Shannon read the accompanying note on camera, which is kind of a weird thing to do. Annoyed, Shannon claims in her interview that this thirty year old is simply trying to make herself look good, rather than genuinely bringing the gift as a peace offering. Thankfully, Heather and Tamra both arrive before it can get any more awkward, with Heather sporting a blinged out cast on her hand. Former Housewife Jeana Keough is there too, and Vicki's finally the last to arrive. Vicki hasn't played bunco since Tamra's disastrous 80's party in Season 7 and thinks it's a silly game. Instead of rolling a bunch of dice, why can't they just sit and talk? Before the competition starts, we learn that Tamra is back in the real estate game and Meghan spends almost 50% of her time alone while Jimmy's in St. Louis. Red flag? Vicki thinks so.

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Being a good hostess to "bunco virgin" Meghan, Shannon explains the rules of the game. In her confessional, Meghan exclaims that she has no idea how to play bunco, but it's what old people play for fun in Mississippi. The OC ladies really love their bunco, and after 10 seasons I still don't understand anything about it other than that you roll a bunch of dice. Feel free to educate me in the comments. Over the course of the competition, Meghan, Shannon and Vicki all talk about how competitive they are and how much they hate losing. Ladies, it's kind of hard to justify being competitive in a game that is 100% luck and requires no skill. But, as Vicki states, she doesn't lose in life, she wins. his is where it gets hard.

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Vicki retreats from the game to use Shannon's landline phone, having been alerted that something was wrong. She calls Briana to find out that her mom had unexpectedly passed away. In an instant, Vicki's entire world has crumbled around her. Immediately, she collapses to the floor and starts sobbing in confusion. Apparently, her brother Billy found their mom at home on her bed. The death seems surreal, as Vicki had just spoken with her mom that morning and she'd been in perfect health. Shannon comes to check on the situation and finds her friend crying hysterically. Soon, the rest of the group is alerted to the noise and rally around Vicki in tears. Heather calls Brooks to come pick Vicki up and then tearfully calls her husband to inform him of what's happened. As Heather puts it so perfectly in her interview, this group of women isn't perfect. They have differing opinions and fight sometimes, but when push comes to shove, they're all friends and need to be there to support each other in times like this.

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Eventually, Brooks arrives to bring an inconsolable Vicki home. Still reeling from the sudden loss, Vicki tearfully explains that she wasn't ready to stop learning from her mom and she doesn't know how she's going to function without her. I don't know how anyone could've gotten through watching this without breaking down in tears. I certainly didn't. In her interview, Vicki tearfully reflects on what she'll miss most about her mom - her spunk and love for life. Flashbacks play to some of her mom's funniest moments on the show, from calling Vicki's blonde hair yellow to justifying her road rage. The love between mother and daughter is evident in the clips and it's painfully clear how much Vicki adored her mom. As she says in her confessional, her mom was a whoop-it-up lady at the age of 83, and that's where Vicki gets it from. The episode ends with a touching title card "In memory of Joanne Steinmetz."

As I said, this episode was painfully emotional to watch. I can't imagine having to experience such a sudden, life-altering trauma on top of having that moment captured on camera. However, the flip side of that is that fans and viewers have the opportunity to reach out and support the OG we've loved watching so much for the past 10 years in the wake of her loss. So, in that spirit, share your thoughts and send Vicki some love in the comments below...