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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: new york post

RHONY S9/Ep 12 Recap - Regency Reunion

Glenn Rowley

ramona-singer-ponytail.png

This week, it's all about the real estate on The Real Housewives of New York City. While some of the 'Wives are buying, selling and redecorating, Ramona hosts a party to unveil her newly renovated apartment that's full of traps for Luann and Tom. Plus, Carole and Dorinda go to the nation's capital to be part of history with the Women's March! Read on for a full recap of protest signs and high ponies galore...

Carole Radzwill and Tinsley Mortimer seem to be developing an unlikely friendship. In all honesty, Radzi is perhaps the last Housewife I would've predicted to strike up a bond with the former It Girl, yet here they are, at lunch, reading coverage in the NY Post about their recent appearance together at the New York Botanical Garden's annual Winter Wonderland Ball. The event apparently served as Tinsley's official re-entry into New York high society, but we only get to see it via flashback. Tinsley is still determined to reinvent herself despite the PTSD caused by the trauma of her abusive relationship and subsequent arrest in Palm Beach. Carole suggests going for an entirely new look, down to chopping inches off her hair and adding some lowlights, but the socialite flat out refuses to abandon her signature curls or her UES lifestyle.

So much of this week is about real estate that it might as well be a RHONY-themed episode of Million Dollar Listing NY. Tinsley's on the hunt for an apartment far from the clutches of Lady Morgan's townhouse, looking first in the West Village before retreating back to the UES with her southern socialite of a mother, Dale Mercer. Now that her boyfriend Adam Kenworthy has officially moved out, Carole's using an interior designer to redecorate the vintage couch from her mother-in-law Lee Radziwill that's been positively shredded by the menagerie of animals living in her apartment. And Bethenny Frankel is busy selling her fabulous SoHo apartment for $5.25 million with the help of MDLNY's Fredrik Eklund, which is really just a subliminal promotional spot for the pair's upcoming standalone series, Keeping It Real Estate. I mean, are we watching HGTV and someone forgot to tell me?

Meanwhile, Sonja Morgan's love triangle is getting more and more tangled. On a date with Rocco - inexplicably in Hoboken, NJ for some reason - Lady Morgan is tasked with telling her kinda-boyfriend that her other kinda-boyfriend Frenchie has moved in with her. Awkwardly stuttering about "a complete stranger from Paris," Sonja breaks the news to Rocco that he has some competition, yet somehow gets off scot-free with her explanation. Even if she's dating another guy on the side, Rocco is still all in on this relationship.

Later, Carole and Dorinda Medley are off to Washington D.C. to participate in the Women's March in protest of Donald Trump. As Radzi points out in her confessional, nothing is more patriotic than protest and it's a critical time in American history to stand up and make your voice heard. Along with Dorinda's daughter Hannah, the 'Wives march in solidarity with thousands of other protestors carrying a sign emblazoned with "You're so vain, I bet you think this march is about you." Even though the election didn't go the way Carole and Dorinda were hoping, both refuse to be politically silent in the aftermath and I for one think it's pretty great to see Housewives get passionately informed and involved in current events. 

Finally, Ramona Singer is throwing a cocktail party to unveil her newly renovated UES apartment and all of the women are invited. To properly reflect her edgy new vibe, the Singer Stinger is trying out the most severe high pony anyone has ever seen and even invites Bethenny despite being waist-deep in a bitter feud with the Skinnygirl. Naturally, Bethenny turns down the invitation without so much as a second thought, though maybe it's better for everyone that she isn't present to be subjected to her frenemy's I Dream of Jeannie-level up-do. 

The guest list at Ramona's party is scandalously eclectic and includes Harry Dubin, ex-husband of former Housewife Aviva Drescher who also happens to have dated/slept with both Sonja and Luann D'Agostino. It turns out he's also known Tinsley for years, having met her in Miami with fellow RHONY alum Kelly Bensimon. Clearly, more roads in the RHONY-verse lead back to Harry Dubin than anyone even knew! Also in attendance is Ramona's friend Missy. You know, the one who was dating Tom right before Luann moved in on him? Tom awkwardly makes the introduction between his new wife and his ex, reminding Lu that she met Missy once upon a time...at the Regency! Through clenched teeth, the Countess demands to know who this woman is and laughs off Tom's explanation that Missy is just an ex who is soooo happy for them.

As Luann shoots daggers at them from across the room, Harry corners Missy to get the dirt, prodding her about the time Tom allegedly pulled her into a bathroom and forced himself on her for a kiss. However, Missy shuts the conversation down, claiming she doesn't want to get involved and risk facing the wrath of Luann. As the party winds down, Sonja points out that while Harry may be doing the dirty work, Ramona's the one stirring the pot here. Only the Singer Stinger would get all these parties in the same room just to sit back and watch the uneasy drama unfold.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Should Sonja choose Rocco or Frenchie? How should Tinsley reinvent herself? Were Ramona and her high pony stirring the pot at her apartment unveiling? And just how badly did Luann want to cut someone after walking into that trap? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 8 - All the Countess's Men

Glenn Rowley

luann-engaged

It's Christmastime in the City! As The Real Housewives of New York City get into the holiday spirit, the fallout from last week's blow-out between Dorinda, John and Ramona lingers while Bethenny and Luann get into it in the Berkshires and Sonja finds herself on the outs. Read on for my complete breakdown of all the drama from the Big Apple...

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The morning after the major confrontation at her boyfriend John Mahdessian's Madame Paulette party, Dorinda Medley engages in some serious retail therapy at Jonathan Adler with Jules Wainstein. Dorinda has plenty to say about her fight with Ramona Singer, and since Jules ran away from the action, she gets to hear all about it. When it comes down to it, I'm still baffled that this blow-up was about some random ex-fling of Luann de Lesseps. (Hint: here's the first instance where the episode's title comes into play.) Why Ramona would insist on coming to the defense of her costar's creepy quasi-stalker is simply beyond me. The two 'Wives are also casually looking for presents to bring to Bethenny Frankel's upcoming Secret Santa holiday party. When Ramona spots a collection of jars with labels like "Uppers," "Quaaludes" and "Prozac," Dorinda suggests that Jules gets them for Ramona's gift. But don't worry Doris, Jules is already 90% done with her gag gift for the temperamental OG. 

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Speaking of Bethenny's holiday party, the Skinnygirl has her entire apartment decorated for the merry affair. She's even arranged  a giant spread of caviar to be served, although the Petrossian girl looks a bit more like Elsa from Frozen than a server at a holiday party. Before Dorinda shows up, Ramona rolls in with a bottle of pinot, ready to regale the room with the tale of her screaming match with Dorinda. However, as she lays out every salacious detail about Rey and reenacts John putting his hand in her face with the help of Carole Radziwill, Jules notes that Ramona conveniently leaves out any part of the fight that explains why Luann literally bolted from her deranged former paramour or makes her look bad. Just as Jules pipes up that there's another side to the story, Dorinda walks in and Ramotional promptly shuts down the entire conversation. 

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Thankfully, Bethenny manages to intercept Dorinda before she overhears and sits her down for an impromptu pep talk prior making her grand entrance. Still reeling from the night before, Dorinda is feeling particularly vulnerable and opens up to Bethenny about just how much all this drama between her boyfriend and her friends is affecting her. Tearfully, the usually tough Dorinda explains that she's feeling lost. This feud with Ramona triggered something inside her and has left her wondering if maybe she doesn't have her life as under control and put together as she thought. For the first time, she's acting out of fear and can't quite tell how to get a handle on it. Bethenny advises her to take some time alone to ensure that she's taking proper care of herself and putting Dorinda first. For once, it's not about John or Ramona or anyone else - Dorinda needs to take care of Dorinda. 

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The same night as the Secret Santa party, Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan are out on the town, rehashing the dramatic events of the showdown on Second Avenue. (Neither of the 'Wives seem to have scored an invite to B's party.) According to the Countess, this guy Rey was just a summertime fling she happened to go on a trip to Ibiza with one time. She insists to Sonja that he wasn't ever her lover, but he wasn't exactly just a one-night stand either. Somewhere in between, I suppose. Nowadays, Luann has a rotating door of male paramours, though one man in particular seems to be winning the race for Luann's heart. And let it be known that this mystery man sure is less of a hot mess than poor Rey. However, she's keeping her lover's identity a secret for now, considering that both Ramona and Sonja happen to know him and she's not sure where exactly their relationship is going. 

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Conversation at the holiday party turns to the ladies' upcoming trip to Dorinda's house in the Hamptons. To mitigate the Tipsy Girl vs. Skinnygirl issue, Sonja won't be invited on the overnighter - though she doesn't know that yet. Carole remarks that she would rather not sleep under the same roof as Luann, but Dorinda insists that Blue Stone Manor is a big house and it should be easy for Writer Girl to avoid her nemesis over the course of the one-night trip. Carole may think she's over last season's drama with the Countess, but it's clear that she might not be. Ramona also takes a minute to apologize profusely to Dorinda for their latest fight, and quickly dismisses Doris's notion that maybe their relationship has changed. Ramona's not going anywhere and neither is Dorinda so forgiveness should be what's on the menu. The night ends on a positive note, as the women's Secret Santa gifts range from sentimental (Carole gives Dorinda a cute ornament for her tree) to downright hilarious (Bethenny's now the proud owner of a vibrating Thighmaster courtesy of Dorinda and Jules made Ramona an amusing kit to pregame with her wine.) Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone?

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The next morning, Luann and Sonja go full Grey Gardens in Lady Morgan's townhouse, waltzing into the kitchen for breakfast literally draped in furs. Luann spent the evening at a sleepover with her mystery man, but before Sonja can get any details out of her the Countess shrieks that they're in the New York Post! Turns out that the paper's infamous gossip column has picked up the drama from the Madame Paulette party, though it quickly becomes clear that with John described as a "dry cleaning magnate" and painted as the hero for kicking Ramona out on the street that the mafioso boy toy most certainly leaked the story himself. 

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Later, Sonja meets Dorinda for a walk, and the latter breaks the news to Lady Morgan that she won't be joining the rest of the 'Wives on the trip to the Berkshires. Couching it in the excuse that the other women might gang up on Sonja, Dorinda explains that it's just not the right time for Sonja to go away with the rest of the Housewives. Instead, Dorinda proposes that the women are going to come up for one night and she'll invite Sonja up for some quality time one-on-one. Sonja is naturally confused and hurt by the dis-invitation. After all, wasn't Ramona the one Dorinda was screaming at the other night for making a giant scene at John's party? Plus, she argues that the other girls love having her around! She's the life of the party! The straw that stirs the drink! But her argument falls on entirely deaf ears - straw or no straw, Sonja is getting excluded from the weekend away.

rhony-jules-wainstein

Before the rest of the 'Wives head to the Berkshires, Luann is hosting an intimate dinner at Empire Steak House to introduce her new man to some of her friends. In her confessional, Luann explains that out of everyone in the group, she's only invited Dorinda and Jules with their significant others because she knows they're the two 'Wives who won't judge her. Plus, Dorinda happens to be the one who set her up with her new love! As the Countess arrives, it's revealed that the new man in her life is Tom D'Agostino Jr., a dashingly handsome bald guy who happens to share a romantic history with both Ramona and Sonja. (It turns out that "knowing" the two veteran Housewives meant much more than just being socially acquainted.) Tom seems lovely as he enthralls the table with the story of how Dorinda introduced him to Luann and Dorinda opines in her confessional that the two newly minted lovebirds are absolutely perfect for each other. Score one for Dorinda's matchmaking prowess!

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The overnighter to the Berkshires is finally upon us and Dorinda has decorated her house top to bottom to be as festive as possible for the Christmas season. Ramona is the first to arrive, and Dorinda promptly reminds her that she wants this weekend getaway to be as calm and relaxing as possible - after all, Blue Stone Manor is her sanctuary away from the world. However, once Luann and Jules arrive, the Countess immediately begins chiding Dorinda for excluding Sonja - who's back in the city licking her wounds - from the trip. Dorinda's reasoning holds water for me, and technically as the hostess she's allowed to invite or not invite anyone she wants. Ramona agrees, arguing that Sonja shouldn't be around any drinking and really needs to take some time to work on herself, "spiritualation" included. Besides, it's just one night. How much drama can realistically happen? 

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The answer to that question turns out to be "a lot." Bethenny is the next to arrive, and as she joins the other women at the table, Luann happens to mention that she's temporarily living with Sonja and trying to mentor her. Bethenny finds the assertion that the Countess can mentor anyone, let alone Sonja, to be hysterical, and Luann bristles at her suggestion that it would be like "the blind leading the deaf." Is that really what Bethenny thinks of her? Luann doesn't find this sentiment to be amusing at all, but when she shoots back that Bethenny has issues with Sonja over the Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl controversy, B shoots her down. In fact, the Skinnygirl mogul found Sonja's latest business idea to be nothing more than a joke - she was just offended that Lady Morgan used her to stir up gossip about Tipsy Girl and drag her through the press.

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Bethenny argues that Sonja can't play smart one minute by claiming she has a major "international lifestyle brand" and then stupid the next by playing dumb to the fact that Tipsy Girl sounds an awful lot like Skinnygirl. According to Bethenny, Sonja should've named the new Prosecco line "Stupid Girl" or "Drunk Girl" to be more on brand. No one pulls one over on Bethenny Frankel, sweetheart. As Bethenny points out that more than one person (and Housewife) has copied her business model for Skinnygirl, she jokes that Luann still thinks it was her idea way back in Season 2. The Countess maintains that she and Bethenny tossed the idea around late one night and B decided to run with it and make it happen. However, before the brewing tension can escalate into a full-on argument, we're left with a "To Be Continued..." cliffhanger and have to wait until next week to watch what happens. 

What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this season just keep getting better and better? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 7 - Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Glenn Rowley

rhony-bethenny-frankel

Wow. That may have just been the most entertaining episode we've seen in years on The Real Housewives of New York City. Possibly in the history of the entire Housewives franchise. As Bethenny clashes with Sonja over her "cheater" brand, Ramona, Dorinda and John get into an epic - and I mean EPIC - screaming match on the streets of the Big Apple. Read on for a complete recap of all the drama and chaos...

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The Countess is officially moving into Lady Morgan's townhouse! Luann de Lesseps arrives on the Upper East Side with her luggage in tow, anxious to rehash the events of Sonja Morgan's birthday party the night before. She was supportive yet surprised by the announcement of Tipsy Girl, Sonja's line of Prosecco and rosé, at the party and asks whether Lady Morgan has mentioned the new business venture to Bethenny Frankel yet. Sonja hasn't said a word yet to the Skinnygirl mogul. While Luann points out the obvious similarity between the names of the two brands, Sonja thinks it's just a happy coincidence that they both have "girl" in their names. Besides, she's convinced that as her unofficial business mentor, Bethenny is going to be excited about the fact that she's getting into the alcohol business and be nothing short of completely supportive. 

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However, word of the new business has already reached Bethenny courtesy of an article in Page Six about the similarities between Skinnygirl and Tipsy Girl. She meets Carole Radziwill and Ramona Singer for dinner at NoMo in the heart of Soho and Ramotional fills the other two 'Wives in on all the details from Sonja's birthday party. Bethenny finds being dragged into the press by the Page Six story to be an annoyance to say the least, and thinks Sonja's only using her to get publicity for her latest fake business. Ramona wonders aloud if Sonja really knows what she's doing, but both Bethenny and Carole believe Lady Morgan is precisely aware of the game she's playing. Bethenny calls the move "disgusting" and chalks it up to Sonja being narcissistic, then informs the other 'Wives that Sonja dropping by the Skinnygirl offices the next day. However, Bethenny's already hurt that Sonja would so blatantly attempt to rip off the brand she's spent years building, so Lady Morgan might not love the visit she's in for. Bethenny also declares that it's the last conversation Sonja's going to have with her - as Carole points out in her confessional, Sonja bumbling her way into this shady business deal may have just cost her a friendship.

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The next morning, Dorinda Medley invites Ramona to breakfast at iconic NYC eatery Sarabeth's Bakery. The restaurant holds lots of history for the longtime pals, and Dorinda's hoping that the setting will remind Ramona of the importance of their friendship, which is currently being strained by Ramotional's constant drama with her boyfriend John Mahdessian. Dorinda spends much of the meal advising Ramona over her floundering friendship with Sonja, but at the same time is trying to get the OG to see how her advice also applies to the two of them. Eventually, Dorinda comes right out and tells Ramona that, for the sake of their friendship, the constant John-bashing has to stop. She explains that she would always be supportive of the choices Ramona makes - especially when it comes to dating - and she's simply asking for the same thing in return. Even if Ramona has to fake it, she needs to be nicer to John. 

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Sonja arrives at the Skinnygirl office somehow under the impression that she's walking into some sort of business meeting with Bethenny. She's excited to tell her unofficial "mentor" all about Tipsy Girl, but Bethenny is ready to give her a cold, hard reality check. As soon as Sonja starts talking about her new Prosecco and all the distributors she and her partners are working with, Bethenny demands names. When the only thing Sonja can come up with is "all the distributors," B goes in on her hard, calling her a "fraud" who's managed to create smoke and mirrors around "six fake businesses." Bethenny calls B.S. on everything Sonja's done - from the toaster oven and the Caburlesque to the Gold and White Diamond Collection and the Nigerian football team that never was. The Skinnygirl educates Sonja on the fact that when someone deliberately rips off another person's successful business idea, it's called a "cheater brand" and accuses her of doing exactly that with Tipsy Girl. Sonja's defense is that she's merely trying to get back to where she was before filing for her chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sonja starts breaking down in tears as she tries to explain that she looks up to Bethenny and just thought that breaking into the alcohol industry would be a good way for her to get ahead too, but B isn't buying it. Once Sonja stops crying, Bethenny declares that she's done with the conversation and sends Sonja down the elevator in an entirely different type of walk of shame than she's used to taking. 

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We get a brief respite from the drama courtesy of Jules Wainstein, who's interviewing for a new nanny after her previous one up and left without so much as a goodbye to the kids. Within 10 seconds of the interview, I'm laughing out loud as Jules grills her prospective nanny on whether she's willing to stand in line for hours at the Bonpoint sample sale and if she can do blow-outs. The interview turns into an impromptu test when Jules asks the would-be nanny to hypothetically put together an outfit for two-year-old Rio and while the applicant passes with her outfit in shades of gray, she fails for not being able to speak Spanish fluently. Back to square one, Jules.

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Meanwhile, Carole's back in domestic bliss now that her hot boyfriend Adam Kenworthy has returned from Ethiopia. The couple has decided to combine their respective talents as a chef and a writer by penning a cookbook together, tentatively titled "The Reluctant Vegan." This is very interesting, but I'm too distracted by how amazing Adam's long mane of hair is to pay more attention to his actual vegan diet. As for the book of essays Writer Girl was supposed to be working on all last season? Yeah, she's decided writing a cookbook about her love of processed foods is more fun, so she and her editor mutually decided to part ways and revisit the other project at a later date. As it turns out, Carole didn't seem to be enjoying her process with that book last season anyway, and I'm fine with whatever allows for Writer Girl to pen her weekly blogs for Bravotv.com.

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That night, Luann meets Ramona and Sonja downtown for dinner at Sushi Roxx, which has been referred to by the New York Post as NYC's "most bizarre new theatrical dinner experience." It's the trio's first stop of the night, and Ramonja spend much of the meal breaking wine glasses and gossiping about Luann's revolving door of male paramours. (This is apparently happening off-camera.) In fact, the Singer Stinger can't resist but repeat a vulgar tidbit of information she learned from former Housewife Aviva Drescher's ex-husband Harry Dubin about the Countess's proclivities in bed. It's too forward to write in this recap, but feel free to go back and re-watch the episode if you're dying to find out. But as Ramotional would say, when it rains, it pours and when you're wet, you're wet. Changing the subject from this lively, salacious subject, Sonja fills Luann in on her terse exchange with Bethenny over Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl. The Countess claims she can't believe Bethenny would be so aggressive, but earlier in the episode she specifically commented on how nonchalant Sonja was being over the similarities between the two brands. 

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Leaving Sushi Roxx, the three 'Wives head to Madame Paulette's, where Dorinda and John are throwing a party to showcase the designs of fashion designer Malan Breton. Dorinda is shocked to see Ramona show up - considering the event is at John's place of business, Dorinda specifically chose not to send the OG an invite to the party. However, Luann is even more stunned to see someone else at the party: some creepy guy named Rey whom she had a summer fling with in Ibiza. After a tense exchange where Luann questions whether her ex is sober and an obviously inebriated Rey claims he's having a mental breakdown upon seeing her at the party, Luann hightails it out of the event and hails a cab back to Sonja's. Seeing the Countess in such obvious distress, Ramona naturally invites Rey over to see if he has any dirt. He's very drunk and very obnoxious, as he drunkenly gets in Sonja's face, calls her a bitch and begs the pair of 'Wives not to tell Luann about his "super-hot" girlfriend. How exactly did this guy get into the party? Seeing Rey starting to cause a scene, John walks over with Dorinda to ask him to leave, and this is where things take a disturbing, chaotic turn. For some reason, Ramona decides that now is the appropriate time to insert herself into the confrontation by sticking up for Rey. The argument quickly escalates as Ramona takes a stand against Dorinda's boyfriend, and John decides to kick Ramona out of the party along with the creepy ex-boyfriend and puts his hand in her face to make his point.

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This sends Ramona into a rage as she screams at both Dorinda and John that she never wants to be in the presence of the mafioso dry cleaner ever again. However, even as Ramona storms out of the party with Rey on her heels, the fight isn't over. Continuing the screaming match out on Second Avenue, Dorinda can't believe Ramona had the audacity to ruin yet another of her parties, especially after she promised to be kinder to John just the day before. Ramona shrieks that she doesn't even know how the altercation happened and it's not her fault, at which point Dorinda redirects her rage towards a sloppy Rey. The entire situation devolves into chaos as Dorinda threatens to call the cops on Luann's creepy ex if he doesn't walk away, all while Ramona's still screaming about how everything was John's fault. Once she angrily forces Ramona to leave the event, Dorinda decides she's done too and hails a cab. As John begs her to stay (while at the same time calling Ramona "not even a woman"), Dorinda lashes out at him as well, slurring that he should know better than to put his hand in a woman's face. The episode ends with emotions all around at an all-time high and viewers left wondering what exactly what kind of brawl they just witnessed on the sidewalks of Midtown...

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Are you Team Skinnygirl or Team Tipsy Girl? Who's to blame for the blow-up at Madame Paulette's: Ramona, John, Dorinda, Rey or all of them put together? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Kristen Taekman: Pretty Girl in the Big Apple

Glenn Rowley

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

After two seasons as one of the Real Housewives of New York City, resident Pretty Girl Kristen Taekman announced back in October 2015 that she's leaving the show ahead of Season 8. In her exclusive statement to Us Weekly, Kristen stated that she was choosing to focus on her family and her growing number of business ventures including her nail polish line, Pop of Color and her fashion blog, Last Night's Look. In the wake of the Season 8 trailer being released this week, I decided it was the perfect time to look back at Kristen's two seasons as a Housewife and break down why the Pretty Girl was good for the NYC franchise.

Season 6

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Kristen was introduced as the newest Housewife in Season 6, taking a demoted Countess Luann de Lesseps' spot in the cast. From her first moment on screen, the statuesque blonde generated a buzzy first impression on 'Wives and viewers alike - first with her controversial opening tagline ("I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm pretty"), then with her surprise appearance at Heather Thomson's birthday party in the season premiere. The former model, mother of two and self-professed Elvis super fan was brought into the cast by the Yummy founder, who worked with Kristen's husband Josh for years under P. Diddy's employ at Bad Boy. Feeling gun shy about letting a new woman into the group after the massive self-implosion of Aviva Drescher during the season prior and intimidated by the new girl's stunning looks, veterans Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan took it upon themselves to corner Kristen at the party to make sure she could be trusted - leaving the newcomer feeling like she was being interrogated by a pair of "crazy, drunk aunts." Things were clearly off to a good start.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

As the season began, battle lines were already drawn between Aviva and many of the other women, with Kristen left in the middle to navigate the proverbial minefield as she got to know her new cast mates. Right away, she hit it off with Heather's other BFF, Carole Radziwill, joining some of the other women to celebrate when Carole was named Queen of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Yet, when #BookGate erupted between Carole and Aviva, Kristen tried to stay neutral in an effort to give the latter a fair chance. However, when she tried to express her desire to stay out of the feud during a playdate between her and Aviva's kids, the one-legged villain bluntly told Kristen to "shut the f*** up" about it, leaving the newbie visibly stunned and rightfully prompting her to side with Carole over the baseless ghostwriter accusations Aviva had leveled against her. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Just as #BookGate was reaching its dramatic climax, Kristen found herself in her own battle with veteran Ramona. The tension between the two started when Ramona and Sonja decided to boycott Heather and Jonathan's 10th anniversary party after Aviva wasn't included on the guest list. Being a friend of Heather's, this didn't sit well with Kristen and she decided to confront Ramona about her childish behavior over the Fourth of July weekend in the Hamptons. Naturally, the Ramonacoaster didn't take kindly to being confronted and defensively lashed out at Kristen, saying she was nothing more than a pretty face until she decided to stand up for Heather. Going head to head with the OG of the NYC takes some major guts, and Kristin pointedly showed Ramona that she didn't have any problem sticking up for herself or her friends.

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Once a 'Wife lands on Ramona's bad side, things were only bound to get worse, and get worse they did. During a day of spa treatments, Sonja accused Ramona of sabotaging her relationship with her boyfriend of the moment, and when Kristen jokingly chimed in that maybe Ramona was jealous, the OG impetuously tossed her glassful of champagne at the newbie. Taken aback, Kristen reacted by splashing Ramona back, dousing her with water from the hot tub and ruining her blow-out - and we all know how seriously the Ramonacoaster takes her blow-outs. An annoyed Ramona proceeded to storm off to put her hair in curlers, calling Kristen a "real b***h" while failing to recognize that she was the one who threw champagne at the model in the first place.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

However, the water war was far from over. The very next episode, Heather invited all the women (minus Aviva) on a girls' weekend to her vacation home in the Berkshires. Ramona was none too thrilled about this trip, insinuating that the only poor people vacationed in the Berkshires but went along anyway. It was on this trip that the drama escalated to a whole new level. On a day of fishing and swimming at the local watering hole, Kristen snuck up to Ramona's canoe, eavesdropped on the OG badmouthing her and Josh to Sonja and decided to surprise Ramona by splashing her (again!). Furious, Ramona retaliated by chucking her glass of wine at Kristen - this time with the glass included. Just as Ramona reached for an oar to throw along with it, the glass connected with Kristen's face, splitting her lip and, for the first and only time in Housewives history, drawing blood. As Kristen swam to shore to ensure she wouldn't need stitches, Ramona refused to take any accountability for physically injuring her cast mate, attempting to blame the situation on Kristen for splashing her in the first place. Only hours later did Ramona give a half-hearted "sort of, I guess" apology, which - rather than resolving the issue - led to a screaming match between the two. While Kristen had every right to be angry about getting a face full of wine glass, in hindsight it was the perfect mix of hilarious and ludicrous to see Ramona shrieking "Who are you to get me wet?! Did I ask you to get me wet?!" at the top of her lungs. (Upon their return to NYC, Ramona eventually apologized for real - complete with a bouquet of flowers - though Kristen still managed to call her a "monster" while accepting the long overdue mea culpa.)

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Later in the season, Kristen took the reins of the yearly cast trip, persuading the women to spend a week at an upscale dude ranch outside of Missoula, Montana. A week in the middle of nowhere wasn't exactly the kind of vacation some of the ladies were used to (ahem, Ramonja), and Montana certainly pushed the 'Wives out of their comfort zones as they drove cattle, shot rifles, repelled down a mountain, threw hatchets and went to a real-life rodeo. The outdoor adventure wasn't without its fair share of drama however. In the most unexpected showdown of the season, Kristen squared off against her old friend Heather during an afternoon of geocaching, accusing her of being "bossy" and needing to be in control of every area of her life - including her husband and her friends. By trip's end, the pair were able to bury the proverbial hatchet and move on, but not before a tense shouting match on a night of "glamping" with Kristen draped in a giant fur coat.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

As viewers got to know Kristen better throughout the season, her family life became the backbone for much of her personal storyline - particularly her relationship with Josh. Prior to letting cameras into their lives, the Taekmans had relocated from California back to New York City so that Josh could focus on his entrepreneurial venture EBOOST, a line of natural energy drinks and pre-workout supplements. Launching a new business and moving across the country had put a bit of strain on the couple's relationship and they often bickered on camera over Josh's ineffective balancing of his work and home life. Josh often seemed to talk down to Kristen, even going so far as to scream at her for interrupting a conference call when she called to ask when he would be home for dinner. In one particularly memorable moment, Josh convinced Kristen to run the 2013 Spartan Race as a couple, along with Heather and Jonathan. Despite his promises to stay by her side throughout the race, Josh essentially left Kristen in the dust, leaving her to navigate through mud pits, 25-foot climbing ropes, barbed wire and other obstacles on her own. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Things eventually unraveled to the point that Kristen managed to persuade Josh to meet with a professional to work on the issues in their relationship. In their initial meeting with a therapist...er, "mediator" according to Josh...the Taekmans agreed that lack of healthy communication was the number one problem plaguing their marriage. Heartbreakingly, Kristen tearfully admitted that she constantly felt secondary to Josh's company, and that no matter how much she did to support him, she sometimes felt he didn't love her. However, they left the session on a positive note, promising to each work on communicating and being open with the other.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Kristen's rookie season ended both successfully and dramatically for her. On the successful hand, she leveraged her relationship with the boss to book a modeling campaign for EBOOST, which was the first step in reigniting a new chapter in her modeling career. On the dramatic hand, Kristen found herself united with the rest of the 'Wives against Aviva, who had bowed out of the Montana trip at the last second under the guise of having "moderate to severe asthma." Having been absent for a large chunk of the season, Aviva confronted Kristen and the other women at the season finale party at Le Cirque, slamming her prosthetic leg on the table and throwing it across the room in an over-the-top display that Kristen and her fellow 'Wives called out for being premeditated and inauthentic. Yet, in the moment, it was Kristen's aghast reaction that spoke for every viewer watching at home.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

In the three-part Season 6 reunion, Kristen got the coveted hot seat right next to Andy Cohen. Anchoring #TeamLeftCouch with Heather, Carole and Luann, she battled it out with Ramona over the wine glass toss in the Berkshires, called Sonja "delusional" and called BS on Aviva's villainous season-long antics. However, possibly the best thing about Kristen's first reunion was her stunning outfit, which featured a custom silver bustier top by designer Christiaan Choy paired with a gorgeous high-waisted, navy Lanvin skirt, Jimmy Choo heels and Deborah Pagani jewelry. In the sit-down's final moments, Kristen explained that her biggest takeaway from her first season as a Housewife was what she referred to as the importance of the "art of communication" in both her marriage and her friendships with the women. She also even managed to clink glasses with Ramona while accepting the OG's final apology for how she treated her over the course of the season.

Season 7

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As Season 7 began, Kristen was firmly aligned with the rest of #TeamLeftCouch while Aviva was out and Bethenny Frankel was back after a three-season absence. With the outspoken Skinnygirl mogul back in the mix, the dynamic of the group shifted dramatically within the first few episodes, and when OGs Bethenny and Ramona threw competing brunches in the Hamptons, Kristen, Carole, Heather and Luann were caught in the middle as they diplomatically went to both midmorning meals. Yet despite the invitation to brunch, Kristen was left out in the cold when Bethenny's birthday came around and she found herself as the only 'Wife who didn't get an invite to the party.

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Kristen also managed to butt heads with newbie Dorinda Medley early in the season. Following an incident at Dorinda's cocktail party at World Bar when her boyfriend John Mahdessian got a bit too touchy-feely with both Kristen and Sonja, the Pretty Girl found herself on the receiving end of Dorinda's rage. At a weekend getaway in the Berkshires to celebrate Dorinda's birthday, Kristen mentioned to Ramona that John's flirty behavior made her uncomfortable and the conversation set Dorinda off. Defending her controversial boyfriend, the newcomer accused Kristen of "playing coquettish" and not being entirely innocent in the whole situation. However, the argument eventually turned into a genuine moment between the ladies as Dorinda opened up about how much John had helped her following the passing of her husband Richard and Kristen agreed to chalk the incident at World Bar up to a simple misunderstanding.

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Kristen also used her second season on the show as a platform to launch new business ventures, including her fabulous fashion blog, Last Night's Look, and her nail polish line called Pop of Color. However, even Kristen's businesses weren't without a heaping dose of drama when she found out from Carole that Bethenny was criticizing her behind her back for allegedly failing to trademark Pop of Color. Up to this point, Kristen had continuously felt boxed out by the Skinnygirl, and when she tried to confront Bethenny over her trademark comments, the OG literally got up and walked away from the conversation - making it abundantly clear she wasn't interested in engaging with the Pretty Girl.

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Kristen's feud with Bethenny continued as the women began planning their cast trip to the Turks and Caicos. At the launch party for Luann's fashion line, the Countess Collection, Ramona decided to jump into the fray by sticking up for Bethenny and calling Kristen "dumb" for not seeing that the Skinnygirl was going through a difficult time in her life. Over the course of her two seasons as a Housewife, the d-word was continually a hot button for Kristen and this moment was no exception. Firing back that she can't know what's going on in Bethenny's life when Bethenny won't talk to her, Kristen stormed away from the conversation, but not before pointedly letting Ramona know that she could defend herself without throwing her wine glass.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Following the epic trip to the Turks and Caicos, Kristen hosted a Denim and Diamonds decorating party for the women to create custom jeans to be auctioned off at her Smile Train charity event. However, what was supposed to be a fun day of crafty decorating turned out to be a series of confrontations between the 'Wives, with Bethenny taking Kristen to task for talking about her in the press and then the Pretty Girl trying to mediate blow-ups between Heather, Luann and Dorinda. Even so, Kristen's actual Smile Train event turned out to be a massive success, raising money for cleft palate surgeries for kids in developing countries - as well as generating drama between Ramona and Heather over whose products received higher billing as an event sponsor.

kristen-taekman-rhony-season-7-finale

As the season drew to a close, Kristen once again experienced equal doses of personal success and interpersonal drama. In an exciting turn of events, Kristen collaborated with famed designer Elie Tahari during New York Fashion Week to officially debut Pop of Color during the presentation of his collection. Later, at Ramona's New Beginnings party, Sonja had a bone to pick with Kristen, confronting her over comments she made during Lady Morgan's fashion show to the New York Post about the toaster oven that never was. Without even reading the article, Sonja had decided she didn't want to be friends with Kristen anymore, but was forced to eat crow when the Pretty Girl actually pulled the article up on her phone and proved her comments were anything but malicious.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

At the Season 7 reunion, Kristen stunned in a bold Maestro by Sylvio gown, long blonde hair extensions and, naturally, Pop of Color nails. However, she also found herself at the end of the couch, far from her prime seating at the prior reunion. Over the course of the three-part sit-down in the Edison Ballroom, Kristen struggled a bit to get a word in edgewise, but rehashed her conflicts with Bethenny, Dorinda and Sonja, coined the phrase "underbelly of anger" in reference to Dorinda's dirty martini-fueled dark side and called out Ramona for letting a complete stranger sleep naked and unattended in the room attached to Carole and Heather's in the Turks and Caicos. The one issue that didn't get covered that I was dying to hear one last argument about was Bethenny and Kristen's clash about Pop of Color and talking to the press. Overall, though, the reunion ended on a positive note for all the women, and they even went out to dinner together after the day's filming wrapped.

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Following Season 7, scandal struck the Taekman household when Josh's name was linked to the Ashley Madison hack and it came to light that he had an account on the infidelity network. While he first denied having any knowledge of the website, Josh eventually caved to "foolishly" signing up for an account with some friends, but insisted he had never actually been unfaithful to Kristen. The scandal was made all the more poignant when the Season 7 Secrets Revealed episode aired, showing Kristen and Josh celebrating their 10th anniversary with an elegant black tie party at Tavern on the Green. Donning her gorgeous lace wedding dress, Kristen gave an emotional, loving toast at the event, and expressed in her confessional how important it felt to stop and recognize such a major milestone in her relationship with Josh. 

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All in all, I'm an unabashed Kristen Taekman fan. Over the course of her two seasons on the show, she added both a chic and modern fashion sense and a genuine kindness to the group dynamic, and her presence will be sorely missed. While I'm very much looking forward to Season 8, I'm really sad to see Kristen go and even though the adage "once a Housewife, always a Housewife" holds true, I think it's safe to say that The Real Housewives of New York City has sadly gotten a little less pretty.

 

RHONY Season 7 Finale - New Beginnings, My Ass

Glenn Rowley

bethenny-reap

The season finale has finally arrived and I honestly can't believe it's been 19 weeks since I started recapping the show. What a ride this season has been, and thankfully we have the sure-to-be-epic three-part reunion to look forward to, so it's not quite over yet. But in terms of the season's narrative storyline, the train is pulling into the station. Most of the finale centered around conflicts at Ramona Singer's New Beginnings party, but before we get to that let's finish laying the groundwork with a trio of other scenes for context.

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The episode started with Sonja Morgan in her penthouse still reveling over the success of her fashion show. As she's looking over the press created by Bethenny Frankel and Ramona's front row fight, the Ramotional devil herself pops by for a post-Ash Wednesday congratulatory visit. (Yes Ramona went to church and yes they let her in). Ramona fills Sonja in on the issue with Bethenny during her show. She says in her interview that she doesn't know why Bethenny chose the front row of the fashion show to confront her - maybe it was because there was a lull in the show before the 2nd looks? Ramona feels like everyone is constantly attacking her, but she's ready to move into this new chapter of her life courtesy of her New Beginnings party. Sonja points out in her confessional that this "New Beginnings" thing seems to be a recurring theme for Ramona: she's constantly renewing, beginning and moving on. Maybe she should try a simple masquerade party next?

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At Bethenny's, Carole Radziwill comes bearing sage to burn at her nearly-complete apartment to see all the renovations. It's a gorgeous living space and I love seeing the genuine and unexpected friendship that's developed between these two over the course of the season. After Bethenny jokes that Carole looks young and refreshed due to the company she's keeping these days, the conversation turns to the status of Carole's friendship with Luann de Lesseps. Radzi explains that she loves Luann, but there's a part of her that wants to be the high and mighty Countess, judging everyone for their behavior from her ivory tower. She's made a habit of criticizing Carole for dating Adam the hot chef while hooking up with younger guys off-camera; Bethenny agrees that, while she's seen a new anti-Countess side to her lately, Luann often protests too much to the other ladies' behavior. B also fills Radzi in on the fashion show kerfuffle, but explains that she can't manage to stay mad at Ramona no matter how horrendous her behavior is. Bethenny also pointedly remarks that if Ramotional confronts her at the upcoming finale, she won't hesitate to unleash the Skinnygirl fury. To new beginnings!

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Meanwhile, Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John are going to a gluten-free pizzeria for lunch. Dorinda does all the ordering and, unlike their last onscreen lunch date, John does fight her decisions. The couple are coming up on their three year anniversary and Dorinda explains in her interview that, with everything that's been going on in her life (a.k.a. filming the show and jetting off to the Turks and Caicos and London), John's gotten a bit more needy as of late. Taking her hands in the pizzeria, John starts spilling his heart out and sensing where this conversation was going, Dorinda beats him to the punch by saying there better not be a ring in his pocket. John admits that he does have a ring and asks if he can give it to her. No. The answer to that is no. Dorinda explains to viewers via confessional that she's in a different type of relationship with John. She's not looking for a husband or someone to have kids with, she's emotionally secure and dating him because it's what she wants, ring or no ring. And if there is a ring, it better not happen at a gluten-free pizza parlor.

ramonja-dancing

The night of the New Beginnings party is finally here and Ramona arrives first to the celebration, which is happening on the rooftop of the Strand Hotel, decked out in a sparkly dress and ready to drink some Ramona Pinot. She explains in her interview that if anyone had told her a year prior that this is where her life would lead, she wouldn't have believed it but now it's a major reason to celebrate. Dorinda's looking for an excuse to buy a dress and get a martini (extra dirty!) while Sonja shows up with a giant bow on her head and a bone to pick about Kristen Taekman. Now, I say about Kristen because she seems determined to discuss the supposed slight with everyone other than the resident Pretty Girl. Apparently, Kristen was interviewed by a reporter from the New York Post at Sonja's fashion show and made a comment that she wished Sonja would come out with her toaster oven already. Naturally, Sonja finds this to be a dig since Kristen didn't say anything about her new line and plans to spend the entire party consciously not speaking to the nail polish entrepreneur.

ramona-high-five

Bethenny shows up to the party next, admitting in her interview that she didn't really want to go but knows that it'll be turned into a huge dramatic event if she were to skip out. (It is the final night of filming, after all.) The Skinnygirl is planning on drinking some "douche-o grigio" and keeping it moving, but of course Ramona pounces on her the second she walks through the elevator doors. The Apologizer is desperate to know whether the two are good after the fashion show dust-up and tries to offer a vague apology without copping to actually, you know, calling Bethenny a cheater. B presses her for a specific reason behind the "I'm sorry" and compares the Ramonacoaster to a four-year-old toddler who goes around slapping people without knowing better. Somehow, Ramona takes this as a compliment and tries to give Bethenny a high five, who then questions what this whole "New Beginnings" party is about if Ramona is going to just keep exhibiting the same bad behavior. Ramona exclaims that it's nice to forgive people (people being her, of course) but Bethenny rightly pushes back that being forgiven doesn't excuse Ramona talking badly about her. Feeling backed into a corner by the circular conversation, Ramona tries to retreat. 

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Carole and Heather Thomson arrive with Jonathan and Adam and his perfect man bun in tow, and Radzi states via confessional that she brought Adam because she's not scared of having him at a party just because of what the Countess thinks about their relationship. Luann arrives right on the couples' tails and says in her interview that seeing Adam at the party makes her ill and like she's been hoodwinked. She also manages to throw in a dig that at least her date to the party isn't 29. The opposite of Luann, Dorinda is anxious to meet the famed chef she's heard about all season and immediately challenges him to a cookoff. Gosh I want to be friends with Dorinda Medley.

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In a different corner of the party, Bethenny and Ramona are going for round 2. Bethenny is still taking issue with Ramona's new beginnings schtick and wisely points out that everyone at the party is going through a lot, so Ramona doesn't have a monopoly on that excuse. Ramotional claims that she just wants to live a lighter life OK?, but according to Bethenny "you reap what you sow, sweetheart." Finally, the Apologizer admits she was wrong and should've never said what she did, which is about all Bethenny's going to get so she takes it and the argument ends in a spectacularly awkward hug.

With that conflict somewhat resolved, Sonja corners Dorinda, Luann and Bethenny to complain about Kristen's Post interview, saying desperate people will do desperate things and now she's fired up and angry. Dorinda slurringly concedes that maybe Kristen shouldn't have spoken to the press and in the funniest moment of the night, Bethenny tries to translate her comment from the Swahili dialect she must be speaking. To pass along Sonja's anger, Luann waltzes over to where Kristen, Carole and Heather are sitting. Having not heard from the Countess since getting back from London, Carole is frustrated by the fake smile she has plastered on as she introduces her (older-than-Adam) date to the ladies. She informs them of Sonja's tirade against Kristen, but in typical Luann fashion doesn't want to repeat what Lady Morgan actually said. I tell you, Luann is the queen of dropping a vague grenade on a conversation. 

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Taking matters into her own hands, Kristen crosses the room to where Sonja is and asks to talk, but Angry Sonja would rather just continue trash talking behind her back. Sonja petulantly proclaims that she doesn't want to be friends with Kristen anymore because of the Post article and can't believe that Kristen had to comment on the non-existent toaster oven from two seasons ago rather than the fashion show. Finally up to speed on why Sonja's upset, Kristen incredulously explains that the reporter specifically asked her about the toaster oven, and a flashback to the event proves it! He didn't even ask her about the fashion line. However, Sonja's not listening, insisting that Kristen doesn't support her and recycling the same martyr story we've been hearing all season. Surprisingly, Kristen loses her cool, saying that she's supported Sonja more than anyone else in the room and that for her to think otherwise is nothing short of "disgusting." We've never seen Kristen this enraged and I have to say, I kind of dig it. In her interview, she points out that if she had done something wrong she would've owned it, but she didn't even do anything. The next time anyone in the press asks about her friends, she's vowed to say "no comment" because they're all just a bunch of pains in the a**.

luann-carole-finale

On the other side of the room, Carole and Luann finally sit down to have their long-awaited talk. The two are still in disagreement over whether Carole secretly pulled Luann aside to apologize after storming into her room with Heather in the Turks and Caicos, and I'm going with Carole on this one. It didn't happen. If it had, the cameras would've caught it. No matter how many times Luann calls her a liar, Carole isn't one. Lu tries to play the "well what if there was a guy in my room?" but Radzi sums up the answer to that easily: then don't bang random guys on vacation. Hello! Not that complicated, Countess. In her confessional, Luann claims that Carole has broken the all-powerful girl code three times now: first by dating Adam, then by storming into her room and then by lying about the non-existent apology. Well that should definitely stand up in a court of law, or at the very least at the reunion. Luann tells Carole that seeing her with Adam is "funny" and makes a dig about him being 20, to which the princess coolly fires back that he's not 20, she resents the comment and it's disrespectful to the both of them. Luann manages to hit below the belt one more time by saying that Carole won't be introducing him to the kids because she doesn't have any, which is an incredibly rude thing to say - particularly when followed by the maniacal laughter that came out of her mouth. 

In a hilarious moment amid all the fighting, Bethenny comes up with a new idea for Heather: drive-by therapy, which I think everyone on this show could use from the Holla! Queen.

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In round 2 of the New York Post drama, Sonja admits that she didn't actually read the article, someone just told her about it (a producer perhaps?). Oh ok. Well then in that case, your anger is completely justified, Lady Morgan. So, Kristen pulls up the story and reads it aloud, but it makes no difference to Sonja, who apparently doesn't understand the basics of journalism and still wants an apology. She accuses Kristen of playing the victim and acting naive, and claims that she should've said that Sonja Morgan is so much bigger than a toaster oven" when asked the question. However, Kristen did nothing wrong so she's not getting an apology. Ramona interrupts the argument just in time for Sonja to accuse Kristen of being "f***ing braindead" but Kristen's not the one never came out with a toaster oven that doesn't exist. Don't call her dumb, because pretty is smarter than you think, Miss Morgan. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

The episode ends with Ramona attempting to give a toast with the rest of the ladies around her, but she can't manage to finish a sentence without someone (ahem, Bethenny) interrupting with wisecracks about the Ramonacoaster's impending album release and gender transition. Each of the ladies get their classic "where are they now?" snapshots. Ramona published a memoir, Luann released a song, Dorinda's not engaged and Carole and Heather's friendships with Luann have stalled. Kristen expanded Pop of Color and while Sonja's fashion line still isn't available in stores, you can buy it online. However, Bethenny gets the last word: this season, the Skinnygirl managed to find her smile again, and there's still more to come for her and the rest of the cast. After all, this really is only the beginning. Holla!