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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: mexico

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 12 - Always the Bitch, Never the Bride

Glenn Rowley

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It's a wedding gone to the dogs on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City! While Jules launches a new business and Sonja plots to get back in the group's good graces, Bethenny confronts a serious health scare that threatens the ladies' plans for their Mexican vacation. Read on for a full recap of all the drama...

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There's no place like New York City for a charity dog wedding. That's right, Carole Radziwill's puppy Baby has been enlisted as a bridesmaid in the canine wedding of the century between two of Manhattan's most elite pups - Toast, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel belonging to blogger Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky and Finn, who belongs to socialite Amanda Hearst. And of course, the point of the glamorous event is to raise money and awareness for puppy mill rescues. Like I said, only in the Big Apple. To prep for the wedding, Carole and Baby join the rest of the bridal party for a photoshoot involving a giant swan pool float. Carole's nervous for Baby's big debut, and gets embarrassed when she realizes that her poor pup looks like a drowned pauper next to all the other fancy dogs at the shoot. Baby is definitely the Melissa McCarthy of this Bridesmaids reboot.

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Uptown, Dorinda Medley meets Jules Wainstein at Malia Mills for some good old-fashioned gossip and retail therapy. Dorinda arrives sporting a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "spiritual gangster," which is as apt a description of her as probably any I've ever heard. Naturally, the topic at hand as the 'Wives shop is the upcoming trip to Mexico. Dorinda thinks the dynamic among the women has gotten too intense as of late, and Jules thinks it's unfair that Sonja Morgan isn't being invited on the trip because of the continuing Tipsy Girl vs. Skinnygirl drama with Bethenny Frankel. Dorinda's prepared to advocate for both Sonja and Luann de Lesseps to come on the trip with the rest of the ladies and Jules agrees that when it comes to Housewives vacations, the more the merrier. 

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Speaking of Sonja, she's at her townhouse on the Upper East Side with Ramona Singer. Now that Sonja's stopped drinking, Frick and Frack are back to being BFFs. Lady Morgan will be seeing Bethenny for the first time at the dog wedding and, even though her partners refuse to drop the word "Girl" from the name of her Prosecco, she's prepared to apologize. To help her out, Ramona's even role playing the scenario as Bethenny with her in an attempt to ensure that Sonja doesn't ramble or go beyond the simple message of "I'm sorry, please forgive me." Ramona's aggressive impression of B defending her business is pretty spot on, even though she admits in her confessional that the odds of Sonja sticking to the rehearsal are pretty much slim to none. 

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Meanwhile, Bethenny's meeting Carole for drinks at STK to dish the dirt on her disastrous sit-down with Luann in last week's episode. After recounting the one-sided conversation in which the Countess invited herself on the Mexico trip - including B's hilarious "did you take crystal meth before you got here?" line - the Skinnygirl reveals that she'll be going to the doctor the next day to figure out why she's been bleeding so excessively. She's never one to jump to rash conclusions, but something with Bethenny's body seems to be seriously wrong and she needs to get to the bottom of it before anything gets worse. Because of the doctor's appointment, B won't make it to the doggy wedding, which means that Sonja won't get the chance to apologize she's been so desperately looking forward to.

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Although she's only been on the show for a dozen episodes, Jules isn't wasting any time in using the Housewives platform to promote her new business. Based on a family recipe she learned from her mother, the newbie is launching Modern Alkeme, a line of cleansing tonics and detox drinks. In a meeting with her business partners, Jules surprises her husband Michael with this news, and the revelation that she's developed the idea all the way to a factory prototype without him knowing. In her confessional, Jules admits that she wants to take charge of her financial future and stop depending on a man. Considering the news that the Wainsteins are divorcing over Michael's alleged infidelity, it seems like Jules's intuition to put her future in her hands came at exactly the right time. Go Jules!

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The day of her doctor's appointment, Bethenny spends the morning shopping at Home Goods with Dorinda, which is basically like two kids in a candy store. However, in the middle of the shopping trip, the look on the Skinnygirl's face suddenly changes and it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong. Abruptly leaving the store, Bethenny heads right to the doctor with Dorinda in tow as moral support. Following the appointment, the two 'Wives head to Bethenny's apartment, where we learn in their debrief that Bethenny's instinct was right: she's lost almost 10 percent of her blood and it's being caused by massive fibroids in her uterus that need to be removed as soon as possible. The doctors gave Bethenny three different options that all involve different degrees of surgery: a myomectomy, a complete hysterectomy or a procedure called uterine artery embolization. Any of the scenarios will require Bethenny to stay in the hospital for three days following the operation, so she is understandably frightened and emotional.

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It's time for the dog wedding and the 'Wives descend upon the High Line Hotel with their respective pooches for what turns out to be a more glamorous affair than most human weddings. We're talking 300+ people, a step and repeat and an actual walk down the aisle. Legendary gossip columnist Cindy Adams of Page Six is officiating while the puppy bride is being given away (in custom Marchesa) by Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys. I mean, Vanity Fair is covering the event, and they didn't even write about Carole's own wedding...to a Kennedy!

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Once the "puptials" are over, the women start excitedly discussing their upcoming trip south of the border and Dorinda's forced to deliver the bad news: due to Bethenny's health issues, they won't be going to Mexico. In classic Ramonacoaster fashion, the Singer Stinger is particularly shocked at this terrible development. Never mind that Bethenny has to get major surgery, Ramona just bought new bathing suits! However, as petty as the cancelled trip is, the women ultimately rally and express that the most important thing is for Bethenny to get healthy. This is the Housewives sisterhood in action: when one of their own is down, the ladies of RHONY can always be depended on to circle the wagons and look out for each other. The episode ends with Ramona cutting into the wedding cake in yet another classically Ramotional moment and only then does it dawn on me...we just made it through an entire episode without any sign of Luann!

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Was that the dog wedding of the century or what? Should Carole's dog Baby have been the maid of honor? Will you try Modern Alkeme? Are you bummed we won't see the ladies go to Mexico? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 11 - Invitation Interrupted

Glenn Rowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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