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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: jill zarin

RHONY S9/Ep 11 Recap - A Countess No More

Glenn Rowley

luann-de-lesseps-wedding

After two seasons of waiting, Countess Luann loses her title and finally walks down the aisle on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. Plus, Sonja's relationship takes a serious turn, several familiar faces pop up in Palm Beach and the 'Wives gather for a celebration of the wedding they were never invited to! Read on for a full (short) recap of Lu and Tom's wedded bliss...

It's Christmastime in the city and Sonja Morgan has gotten herself into a bit of a love triangle. Things are getting unexpectedly serious with Edgar, her paramour a la francaise otherwise known as "Frenchie" - so much so that he's staying the night and making breakfast in the morning. This is great for Tinsley Mortimer because who doesn't love a free meal, but now Sonja's balancing one serious relationship with Frenchie and another with Rocco. The former even knows about the latter, but Lady Morgan has to break the news of the competition to her poor restauranteur kinda-boyfriend. Oh, and she may also want to mention the tiny detail that, in addition to making breakfast in the morning, FRENCHIE HAS MOVED INTO THE TOWNHOUSE. Between Tinsley, Sonja's new fling-turned-something serious and Connor the assistant, it's getting quite crowded inside the Grey Gardens of the Upper East Side.

In the spirit of the season, Bethenny Frankel is hosting her annual holiday party and all of the women are invited except Ramona Singer. Instead, to show just how much she doesn't care about being left out, the Singer Stinger takes daughter Avery and her bevy of 21-year-old pals out for drinks and dinner. Of course, Ramona proceeds to spend the entire night complaining about Bethenny and taking advice on how to handle the situation from a bunch of girls who are barely old enough to drink. In her confessional, Ramotional tries to position herself as a Regina George-level "cool mom" but let's face it: we all know the only reason these girls are out with their friend's mom on a weekend night is because they want to be on camera and comment on Bethenny Frankel's life. You can practically see the desperate schemes in their eyes as they cozy up to Ramona with dreams of being next season's newest Housewife. 

Down in Palm Beach, it's finally time for Luann de Lesseps' New Year's Eve wedding to Tom D'Agostino. Dorinda Medley is a bridesmaid while former NYC Housewives Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon are in the audience. (Inexplicably, Cynthia Bailey of RHOA and Marysol Patton of RHOM are also in attendance but their faces are blurred.) Bravo cameras weren't allowed at the event so after two seasons worth of drama surrounding the big day, all we get are a few minutes of home video footage. However, at the end of the day the Countess seems, if not satisfied, happy with her choice. She's proved all the haters and doubters and trolls wrong and is now officially Luann D'Agostino. 

Somewhere in a dank, dark basement back in New York, the rest of the 'Wives gather for a post-wedding party thrown by the the new Mr. and Mrs. D'Agostino. Sonja brings Frenchie out of the bedroom for the occasion, Tinsley arrives with Hot Chad on her arm, the gang's all here to celebrate a wedding that, ya know, none of them were actually invited to. The ladies politely ooh and ahh over details of Luann's romantic day, but Tom does himself no favors by jokingly revealing that he asked his new bride if he actually had to wear a ring. The comment reeks of a red flag waving over Luann's now-legal marriage but at this point what's done is done. The episode rather hilariously ends with Dorinda giving a sweet toast to make up for her drunken attempt of a speech during last season's engagement party. As she sums the evening up, cheers to the friends who weren't invited!

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did Luann's fairytale wedding live up to expectations after building up to the moment for the last two seasons? Should Ramona be getting friendship advice from a bunch of 21-year-olds? And how disturbing was that chokehold kiss Tom gave Lu at the post-wedding party?? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHONY S9/Ep 10 Recap - Black Out and Get Out

Glenn Rowley

jill-zarin-rhony-season-9.png

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the brewing feud between Bethenny and Ramona explodes yet again in the Berkshires while a familiar face pops up to stir the pot for the first time in five seasons. Read on for a full recap of this week's drama...

The episode picks up smack dab in the middle of Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer's argument in the Berkshires. Calm and collected, the B points out that Ramona hasn't exactly been a great friend over the course of their nearly decade-long relationship. (Need proof? Cut to their infamous walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in Season 3 or the Season 7 incident where the Singer Stinger stole two dresses from the set of Bethenny's now-defunct talk show.) Still, this accusation causes Ramona to lose her mind and she promptly launches into a vicious tirade - accusing Bethenny of sleeping her way to the top and screaming that her brand Skinnygirl is "done." 

And finally, the truth comes out when Ramona reveals in her confessional that she "wants to hurt Bethenny. The Singer Stinger unleashes nine seasons worth of resentment she's been harboring about Bethenny's success and character, accusing her of being an opportunist and using people while Ramona claims to be entirely self-made. Calling her frenemy "Bethenny the bitchy witch" Ramona retreats, leaving Bethenny absolutely stunned at the onslaught of pure vitriol she just endured. The fun weekend in the Berkshires is clearly over as Bethenny leaves for NYC with Carole Radziwill in tow, only stopping to ask the question "if a friend attacks every inch of your character and insults the core of your very being and nobody saw...did it really happen?"

Early the next morning, Dorinda Medley is filling Tinsley Mortimer in on the previous night's drama over Luann de Lesseps' famous eggs a la français when, suddenly, Sonja Morgan appears wearing a pair of Dorinda's pajamas. And not just any old pajamas - a velvet pair given to Dorinda by her late husband Richard that happened to be sealed in a zippered garment bag. Honestly, the audacity... and the disrespect doesn't stop there. Once the ladies leave, Dorinda walks into Ramona's room to find it completely trashed. Not only did the Singer Stinger leave the room a mess for her hostess, she inexplicably chose to rip lighting fixtures OFF OF THE WALL, stripping the paint and creating a huge amount of damage to Dorinda's beloved Blue Stone Manor. Of course, Ramona left without so much as an acknowledgement or apology for literally destroying part of Dorinda's home. If I were her, I would honestly never invite the 'Wives for as much as a visit ever again.

Back in NYC, Carole shows Tinsley an open apartment in her building (she's finally ready to escape the confines of Lady Morgan's townhouse), Luann and her fianceé Tom D'Agostino host a small pre-wedding luncheon at Philippe before heading to Palm Beach for their big day. Dorinda is the only 'Wife in attendance, but there's another pair of very familiar face at the table: OG Housewife Jill Zarin! Every true RHONY fan knows this cameo by Jill is epic - it's the first time we've seen her on the show since her messy firing following Season 4. Of course Jill and her husband Bobby scored an invite to Lu's wedding, considering that the pair have remained thick as thieves since Jill's departure from the show.

As Luann and Dorinda rehash the drama from the Berkshires for the table, Jill admits she "sometimes miss[es] the gossip" and has more than a few opinions about Ramona's recent bad behavior. Waving her hands like a true Jewish yenta, Jill promptly calls her legendary frenemy "so obnoxious" and posits that she must be deeply unhappy in her life to be constantly lashing out at the other women and digging up dirt on Tom's past (and current?) indiscretions. As the old adage goes, misery loves company. Unsurprisingly, she also wishes aloud that Luann had invited her former-BFF-turned-mortal-enemy Bethenny to the wedding just so she would have a chance to see her and say hello. Jill's appearance is just the jolt this season has so desperately needed and all of a sudden I'm wondering...am I ready for Jill Zarin to come back to RHONY as a full-time Housewife?

Quite honestly, the rest of the episode feels like a whole bunch of filler - including Bethenny and Ramona avoiding each other at an art show hosted by Carole, nude paintings with Carole's boobs on full display at said art show and Luann and Tom saying goodbye to NYC as they head to Palm Beach for their wedding. And next week, the Countess loses her title as she says "I do" to become Mrs. D'Agostino.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Were you happy to see Jill back on the show, even if it was brief? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Ramona? Has the Singer Stinger finally lost it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Before They Were Housewives - Countess Luann

Glenn Rowley

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

The Fairytale of the Countess

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

Honeychile's Betrayal

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

A Big Apple Elopement

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

Connecticut Roots

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

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

Lu's Lucky Little Red Dress

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

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

Making It Big in Italy

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

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

Living the Jet Set Life

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

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

Becoming a Real Housewife

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

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

Looking to the Future

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

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

WWHL - RHONY 100th Episode Special

Glenn Rowley

Image Credit: Bravo

Image Credit: Bravo

After nearly eight years and seven seasons, the NY Housewives finally got their 100th episode special! This was something I actively stressed about when Bravo aired the special for RHOA reaching the same milestone but billed one of the Turks and Caicos episodes as RHONY's 100th. The RHONY special was formatted the same way as the Atlanta ladies' but was actually a half hour longer, which I was more than happy about. It turned out to be a fantastic and surprisingly emotional look back on the first 100 episodes in the Big Apple. 

In the Beginning

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The Real Housewives of New York City debuted on Bravo almost eight years ago on March 4, 2008. When it was in development, the show was originally titled Manhattan Moms, and Ramona actually found out about it through her doctor, Sharon Giese, whom we've seen multiple times on the show. Many of the other 'Wives were cast through OG Jill Zarin including Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan. (Interestingly, Sonja was offered a spot on the show during Season 1, but turned it down, eventually joining two years later.) One of the most fascinating parts of these specials is getting to see clips from the women's original casting tapes and NYC didn't disappoint. The Season 1 casting took place in 2007 and was filled with memorable soundbite - from Alex and Simon calling themselves "label junkies" to Luann referring to herself as "five different women." (Sonja's narcissism was evident from the beginning as she told the camera that glamour was a well-used word in her vocabulary and her lifestyle was incomparable to many plebeians in the U.S.)

Unfortunately, two original Housewives are missing from the special. Bravo reached out to Jill, who apparently declined the invitation to be interviewed, while Alex and Simon moved to Australia last year which provided obvious logistical challenges. Jill did offer a short written statement in which she said she was "proud to be a founding member of such an exclusive group of talented women" - which certainly did nothing to carry on the rumors of bad blood between her and Bravo ever since her last one-on-one with Andy (where she secretly recorded the interview to 'protect' herself from bad editing). 

First Impressions

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The ladies first impressions of each other were as different as their personalities. Ramona thought Bethenny was a "tough a**" while B understandably thought all the women were cuckoo. The most polarizing cast members for viewers and Housewives alike that first season were obviously Alex and Simon. Ramona admits she wasn't welcoming to them because she resented their codependent relationship and found them "very awkward and strange." Bethenny didn't understand them - cut to her iconic line about Simon being in the midst of a deep homosexual panic, while Sonja says that Alex took her a while to understand, but that she loved her "bohemian ways and Brooklyn style." The Countess is by far the most diplomatic, saying that certain parts of Alex were very sophisticated, the couple's relationship was a special kind that seemed to work for them and she hopes they're happy in Australia. Love them or hate them, and I'm an unapologetic Alex fan, I've always thought Alex and Simon made for great TV. 

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The other Housewife who got quite a bit of backlash in the show's early days was Luann, whose haughty Countess persona didn't go over too well with some of the women. Luann refuses to make excuses for it, because she was simply used to a different life. However, Bethenny is quick to point out that Luann was very non-Countess-y in her off-camera life, but came on the show to let all the women know how aristocratic she was. One of the most ingratiating moments during Season 1 was when Luann corrected Bethenny for introducing her to a driver using her first name. It's, like, Mrs. de Lesseps, darling. Luann claims she wasn't used to being addressed by her first name; that's not the way they roll in Europe, but Bethenny thought she was just being a "pretentious bi***." Ugh, I'm with you B.

New 'Wives

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The first new cast member to join the show was Kelly Killoren Bensimon in Season 2. Jelly Bean Kelly tells Andy that she actually didn't watch the show before joining because she wanted the world to see the real her. She also surprisingly says that the first cast member she clicked with was Ramona, who was the only one to ask her about herself or her kids. The Ramonacoaster, however, sees it much differently - if the only thing you can talk about are kids, makeup and clothes, it's not going to be a deep connection. 

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Then there's Kelly's Season 2 clash with Bethenny. The model claims she didn't even notice the Skinnygirl until Bethenny made the infamous "Madonna" dig at the meeting for the charity event the Housewives were throwing together. The tiff ultimately led to the "I'm up here, you're down here" sit-down at the Brass Monkey, which Bethenny describes as watching this person in front of her saying something she had no idea would be hurtful to every put-down nerd who wasn't cool in Kelly's high school cafeteria. However, Kelly claims she was merely trying to say she was an adult who wouldn't put up with any of Bethenny's "childish" behavior. I don't think that's how it came across, Kells.

Much like Vicki in the OC, Ramona admits that she has a hard time when new cast members join the show. Surprisingly, out of all the women over the years, she had the hardest time connecting with Season 4 addition Cindy Barshop, whom she was friendly with off-camera but became her arch-enemy once she joined the show. And that, ladies and gents, is the first and last time Cindy will be mentioned during this special. As for the Season 5 shakeup, Ramona found Heather to be less than genuine while describing Carole as "quiet and surreal" and Aviva as a "fun, sophisticated Uptown chick."

The Season 5 Reboot & Beyond

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Interestingly, Andy was the one who personally cast Carole on the show after discovering she was a real-life princess at a dinner party thrown by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. I love that in her 2012 casting tape, Carole describes NYC as being her lover because the Big Apple has everything she could want in a lover: glamour and elegance mixed with a naughty, seedy side. Kristen may have the style aspect on lock, but Radzi is the living, breathing embodiment of a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. Heather actually got a cold call from producers at her desk at work. In her casting tape from 2011, she looks very serious and intense while talking about how tough you have to be to get to the top.

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I for one was surprised to learn that Aviva had originally auditioned for the show back in 2010, which would've been for either Season 3 or 4, but didn't get cast the first time around. (Also, her insensitive Sonja/Anna Nicole Smith comparison originally came from that casting tape as well.) It was actually Bethenny who got Aviva on the show by convincing Andy that a woman with one leg and an ex-husband who'd slept with two other Housewives would be a good fit. Beverly Hills lightning rod Brandi Glanville was responsible for getting her friend Kristen cast for Season 6, while Ramona tirelessly recruited Dorinda for Season 7. 

Jill vs. Bethenny

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Next, Andy asks which argument was most shocking in the history of the show and the collective answer is Jill and Bethenny's friendship-destroying feud during Season 3. Bethenny explains that the fight went deeper and wider than anyone could've expected, and points out that even Andy and the network were worried about its implications. However, the show went with what really happened. If it was scripted, fans would've gotten the happily ever after where the two became BFFs again. Bethenny explains that the turning point in their friendship occurred when she was asked to guest host the Today show, which at the time was the biggest deal in the world for a reality star. When she arrived at the studio, she was told by producers that Jill had called and angrily demanded to know why she hadn't been offered the gig, saying she would've been much better than Bethenny. Then, the show started filming Season 3 and Jill immediately went for the jugular, attacking Bethenny for not visiting her husband Bobby when he was in the hospital. 

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At this point, a lightbulb went on in Bethenny's head: this was "one cunning bi***." Jill had waited until cameras had started rolling to deliberately go after her and try to take her down. Bethenny posits that it was Jill's plan to get America to hate her, and it completely backfired in her face - Jill became the villain everyone hated and Bethenny came out on top in the feud. The Skinnygirl points out that it must be hard for Jill to know that she was the one responsible for getting Bethenny cast on the show and now B's become unequivocally the most successful Housewife in the history of the franchise. Jill could've been along for the ride, but as Bethenny says, pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered and that's just the way it goes. Andy asks if there was a chance for reconciliation between the two at the emotional Season 3 reunion, but Bethenny says she knew all of Jill's tears were just theatrics. Today, Bethenny doesn't hold any animosity (could the same be said for Jill?) but Jill still isn't someone she would want in her life. That chapter is officially closed. 

Aviva's Leg Throw

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The next topic of discussion is Aviva's infamous leg throw in the Season 6 finale. Carole says she wasn't surprised and sees the dramatic moment as Aviva's attempt to get the spotlight back on her after being absent for so much of the season. Radzi thinks she had been wanting to throw that leg for two whole seasons. Andy once again asks Aviva if she walked into the party planning to throw her prosthesis and she finally cops to the moment being contrived. Apparently, she even told a producer beforehand that she was thinking of doing it, depending on how she was received by the other women after their trip to Montana. Her cast mates don't see the leg throw in quite the same light as Aviva. Heather calls it the most cringeworthy moment of the series for being so obviously set up, while Luann remembers thinking at the time that it would be Aviva's swan song as a Housewife. If you take it that far, you're on your way out the door. After leaving the party, Aviva remembers wondering if she overdid it. Andy asks her as such, to which Aviva responds, "I think I made great TV. You're welcome."

Pirate Booty in St. Barth's

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The conversation then turns to cast vacations, and while the women are split on which was their favorite trip (Morocco! Montana! Turks and Caicos!), what really needs to be discussed is the Season 5 trip to St. Barth's, a.k.a. Slutty Island. Specifically Luann and the pirate. This horse has already been beaten to death but the story goes that Luann knocked on Heather's door at 3:30 in the morning with a Pirate of the Caribbean in tow. The next morning, the Countess raced back to Heather's room before the cameras got there, asking her to perpetuate this story about Luann being with her "Italian friends." Heather promised she wouldn't say anything, but if Luann wanted to lie, that was on her. Lie she did, and like any untruth, the story snowballed and ended up being carried on for way too long.

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One of the other 'Wives found out how Luann really got home that night from the driver and then invited the pirate to dinner the next night in an effort to throw her under the bus. It was then that she truly dug her own grave - getting busted on camera asking another friend in French to lie for her. In hindsight, Luann admits that she panicked, forgot she had a mic on and says the call was what really made her look guilty. Heather sees this as a "DUH!" moment. After all, Luann had been on the show for half a decade at this point. How do you forget you have a mic on? Heather also points out that French isn't that hard of a language to translate; maybe Swahili would've been better! Once she found out she'd been busted, Luann had to call her then-boyfriend Jacques off-camera to explain the story - a call she says was the pinnacle of embarrassment. When asked, Luann denies that the pirate incident was what led to the end of her relationship with Jacques the following season, but it certainly didn't help matters.

Scary Island

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Next under the microscope is Scary Island, the Season 3 trip to St. John's that to this day goes down as possibly the most infamous trip in Housewives history. Originally, the trip was supposed to serve as a kind of bachelorette party for Ramona before she renewed her vows, but got hijacked by Kelly having a jellybean-fueled, Al Sharpton-misquoting, complete emotional breakdown. Even now, Kelly maintains that she was a victim of "systematic bullying" on the trip and Luann agrees, saying that the other girls bullied the model until she snapped. The incident was so serious that Ramona even called Jill, asking her to come meet Kelly at the airport because something was seriously wrong. Ever paranoid, Jill thought it was some type of set up for the show, which prompted Bethenny - who wasn't even speaking to Jill at the time - to grab the phone and get the gravity of the situation through Jill's head. The next day, Kelly boarded a plane with a producer and the girls were all sure she would be checking into a psych ward somewhere. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Naturally, Kelly sees the whole situation differently. While the other 'Wives say she had a breakdown, Kelly says she was just crying. She also purports that the entire situation basically ruined her reputation. It's hard to come back from crazy - it doesn't exactly brand well. Once the episode aired, Kelly found that she was suddenly toxic. No one wanted to be associated with the crazy girl from the Real Housewives of New York. Bethenny thinks that Kelly is an extremely fragile, sensitive person who wasn't cut out for the rigors of reality television. From her perspective, Kelly couldn't take the heat in the kitchen and tried to excuse her behavior by claiming that the other women ruined her reputation. I think it's safe to say that we'll never fully understand what happened on that island.

Reunions

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After Ramona and Luann spend a segment mourning their respective divorces (don't ask me why Luann turned her chair around to cry...), it's time to talk about our favorite thing: reunions. Carole accurately describes the reunions as a "sh**show," with Andy asking a question and everyone trying to answer at once. Sonja hits the nail on the head by saying that reunions are the time when each Housewife wants to show all the other women up and get justification that the way everything happened during the season was the way SHE thought. For Carole, the toughest reunion moment was Season 6's BookGate, with Aviva's relentless, nasty attacks on her writing career. Heather claims the Season 5 reunion was her most memorable, while Dorinda says her first reunion experience during the just-completed Season 7 went better than she expected it to. Bethenny proclaims Ramona as the queen of the reunion - she was the first to walk off a reunion in Season 1 and the first to fall asleep in the middle of one six seasons later. Bethenny points out that the issue that caused Ramona to walk off in Season 1  - discussion of Alex's nude photos surfacing on the internet - seems like small change now that Housewives have broken into the White House, gone to jail and f***ed their friends' husbands. Ah, the rosy days when the biggest issue to deal with was a naked picture on the internet...

All About the Benjamins

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Bethenny credits RHONY with starting the "I am woman, hear me roar" movement of the Housewives franchise. More than any other city, the New York ladies have always been the most ambitious, driven and business-minded. Andy points out that the NY Housewives promotion is often times out of control. Never before had the franchise seen fights over branding and logo placement on a step-and-repeat. More than anyone, the show has documented Bethenny's meteoric rise in the business world. A few years ago, she was driving around Montauk in a shrink-wrapped Skinnygirl car and trying to give out muffin samples in the supermarket. What a difference seven years makes. Talking about the gift Bravo has given her, the Skinnygirl breaks down in tears, grateful she's been able to inspire so many viewers around the country to believe they can accomplish anything. That's what fans talk about when she meets them: not the fight she got in with Ramona last week, but how she inspires them and is a good role model for their daughters. There's no question that Bethenny has used the Housewives platform wisely. She went for her dreams and got them, and now she's rich, bi***.

Regrets

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Many of the 'Wives say they don't have a single moment they regret on camera. However, Carole's biggest regret is the comment she made in her Season 5 interview about Sonja and the pirate. She won't repeat it, but Andy reminds us that she said they went up the butt in St. Barth's. Thank you Andy. Sonja is glad to hear it from Carole, and says that she even got a three-page handwritten apology note from Writer Girl after it aired. Aviva claims her biggest regret was calling Ramona and Sonja "white trash" on Slutty Island, but mostly because it gave her her first taste of the fans' wrath on social media. Poor Aviva, people were soooo mean to her. On a side note, that trip to St. Barth's was just full of regrets, wasn't it? Ramona's biggest regret was her conversation with Bethenny on the Brooklyn Bridge during Season 3. She now recognizes that Bethenny was reaching out to her for help, but she reacted in a way that didn't embrace or help her cast mate. Crazy eyes now knows that when someone is asking you for help, it's not the time to kick them when they're down. It's a good lesson to learn, Ramona.

RHONY's Impact

To wrap the special up, Andy asks each of the women how they feel about the show reaching 100 episodes. Bethenny's proud to be part of something that is part of popular culture, while Ramona claims she knew the show would be a success, she just didn't realize it would go on for such a long time. Heather points out her gratitude at being part of the modern-day soap opera and Luann explains that the show works so well because it shows a "good group of very different women with different philosophies about life. Kristen thinks the show will be remembered for the genuine friendships and for having so many OGs seven seasons in, while Sonja posits that what they'll really go down for in the history books are their fighting words, depth and ability to get ahead. At the show's heart, the women really are a sisterhood, and several of them point that fact out. The show will be timeless because of those bonds and that camaraderie and because they really are all friends at the end of the day. As Ramona points out in the show's closing moments, even though they may go at each other's throats sometimes, the common thread is that the women all genuinely care about each other. To RHONY girl power!