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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: robyn vs. ashley

RHOP S2/Ep 8 Recap - War of the Darbys

Glenn Rowley

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It's a battle for Oz this week on The Real Housewives of Potomac as Ashley and her husband face off over the future of their restaurant...and their marriage. Read on for a full recap of all the high-stakes relationship drama ahead...

"You've been yelling at me all f*cking day, you f*cking insane a**hole!" With that loving declaration we open smack dab in the middle of an all-out war between Ashley Darby and her husband Michael. She's threatening divorce, he's stomping around outside of their restaurant Oz while swatting at Bravo's cameras and it looks like complete curbside chaos for the couple. But how in the world did we get here?

Rewind to eight days earlier. With profits continuing to flatline and Michael refusing to budge, Ashley's decided to revamp Oz herself. With the help of her chef Brad and his glorious mane, she's bringing the struggling restaurant out of the 1980s and into the 21st century with an updated menu, a new marketing plan and a fresh approach. In an effort to capitalize on the changes, she's hosting a critics' choice dinner for prominent food bloggers, press and the other Housewives, where she'll be unveiling the new menu and other fruits of her labors. Something tells me Michael won't be too happy with his wife going rogue with all these unauthorized changes...

While Robyn Dixon and her ex-husband Juan work together at the first day of their youth basketball camp, Karen Huger has organized a day at Top Golf, sparsely attended by only Ashley and Monique Samuels. While the newest 'Wife is envisioning the golf ball as Gizelle Bryant's head, Little Miss Ashley is still reeling from her back-to-back confrontations with both Charrisse Jackson Jordan and the double team of Robyn and Gizelle. As the self-appointed grande dame of the group, Karen is determined to play peacemaker and wastes no time offering her unsolicited two cents on how each of the younger 'Wives should settle their conflicts with the other women. Specifically, she advises Ashley to check herself, which frankly is something the youngest OG has needed to hear all season long.

Next, Gizelle and her quasi-boyfriend Kevin go on a double date with the grande dame and the black Bill Gates. After racing go karts (Ray came in last place), Karen pulls Kevin aside for a private interrogation, leaving Gizelle to suffer through advice from Ray Huger on how to attract men "while she still can." Kevin admits to Karen that he has long-term commitment on his mind when it comes to Gizelle - his intentions are to end up married just like the Hugers. Hmm...how do we think Gizelle will feel about this information? 

Meanwhile, Ashley's filling her husband in on the restaurant's new menu and her plans for the critics' choice dinner. Michael is taken aback at his wife's initiative in making changes to Oz without his approval, and is more than a little skeptical that she'll be able to successfully pull of such a major event involving bloggers, press and the other Housewives in just a few days. However, Ashley now has something to prove, not only to the rest of the ladies but to her husband as well, and is determined to succeed at saving the land of Oz with or without the Wizard's permission.

The only thing worth mentioning about Karen's boudoir photoshoot for Ray is the perfection that was Gizelle's leopard-print catsuit. Next!

The day of the critics' choice dinner at Oz has arrived and with just one hour before the press arrives, tensions between Ashley and Michael are boiling over. Following an angry phone call Michael peels into the restaurant in an Australian rage, swatting Bravo's cameras away and Ashley is ready for a fight. The war of words between the couple starts in the parking lot: Michael wants to shut down the critics' choice dinner because he disagrees with the new menu but Ashley isn't backing down. She will not be "minimized" or "diminished" and threatens point blank that if Michael shuts down her event, he can kiss their marriage goodbye. And when he pulls the "well, it's my restaurant" card, Ashley storms off fuming. 

Round two begins just a few minutes later as Michael follows his wife into the restaurant and demands that the argument is not over just yet. What comes next is a frank, no-holds-barred conversation in front of the cameras about how Michael leverages his power over Ashley to treat her like a child rather than a partner. For some reason, Michael thinks he's the one who is owed an apology from his wife while following that up with yet another threat to shut down the event because he's the one in charge. As Ashley fights back tears in a supply closet, it's clearer than ever before that her husband holds all the power - not only at the restaurant but in their relationship as well.

However, the show must go on and, as guests and critics arrive for the event, Ashley has no choice but to put on a brave face. The rest of the Housewives show up as well, and Robyn's the first to admit that ambushing her meddling frenemy last week got ugly and she's come to show her support. The event begins and as comment cards get passed around with the new menu items, the drama shifts gears to the bad blood between 'Wives. Ashley attempts to apologize to Charrisse for their dust-up while shopping for dresses, (you know, the one where Sha Sha threatened that she was "'bout five seconds from f*cking [Ashley] up?"), but Charrisse holds her ground that the younger Housewife had no business sticking her nose into everyone else's relationships. 

Ashley calls out what she sees as the rest of the ladies' hypocrisy - specifically that Gizelle can blurt out the fireman rumor about Charrisse on WWHL but she can't spill the tea she heard about Juan dating other people. Fairly, Robyn points out that this isn't the first time Ashley's dug up dirt on her personal life (last season's "$25 in their bank account" Google gossip drama, anyone?) and questions how genuine Ashley's entire 'being a concerned friend' act is. However, when Karen steps in and asks what is going on in Ashley's personal life to make her behavior so messy, the pot stirrer finally caves and admits to all the issues going on with her marriage, the restaurant and her blow-up with Michael. Finally, Little Miss Ashley has a moment of self-awareness, recognizing that she's taking her personal turmoil out on the other women and everyone finally understands what's been going on. Ultimately, the episode still ends on a questionable note, with Ashley admitting in her confessional that if Michael continues to disrespect and diminish her, the relationship will still be over...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Will Ashley and Michael's relationship survive owning a restaurant? Do Ashley's personal issues justify or excuse her meddling in the lives of her friends? Would you eat Australian food?? Let me know in the comments below!

RHOP Ssn 2/Ep 7 Recap - Over the River and Thru the Woods

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, Karen shares a powerful secret with the world while Robyn confronts Ashley for spreading rumors. Plus, Juan drops a shocking bombshell off-camera and Monique's attempt to make amends with Gizelle hits an ice cold dead end. Read on for a full recap of all the inspiring and intense moments...

Was it in the new girl's contract that Bravo had to film at every one of her four houses? We start this week at Monique Samuels' original home in Ashburn, Virginia, where the rookie tells us all about how she needs two executive assistants to help in her role as "property manager" for all of the houses she and Chris own. But long before she starts lecturing her cousin/second assistant on work ethic and just how high her standards are, I've already tuned out. Child, please.

Meanwhile, Karen Huger is meeting with the founder of PAVE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering victims of sexual abuse, violence and rape. Recounting her visit to a self-defense class last season before sending her daughter Rayvin off to college, the grande dame is ready to take her advocacy a step further by revealing to the world that she was raped as a college student. Now she's ready to use her platform as a way to shine the spotlight on PAVE's mission and help empower other survivors of rape by speaking at one of the nonprofit's events.

Robyn Dixon is still fuming over Ashley Darby spreading the rumor that her ex-husband Juan is seeing other people. Now that she's had time to think about the situation, Robyn's ready to confront Ashley and what better way to do it than ambushing little miss pot-stirrer at Oz with Gizelle Bryant as backup? Storming into the restaurant, Robyn delivers her message to Ashley loud and clear: shut your mouth and stay out of her business. Feeling backed into a corner, Ashley defensively fires back that no one can keep her from saying whatever she wants and the conversation quickly escalates into a shouting match with Robyn getting the younger 'Wife's face, finger pointing included. As Ashley forces the towering blonde besties to leave her restaurant, Gizelle can't help but stick up for Charrisse Jackson Jordan, who's also been at the receiving end of Ashley running her mouth. Reminding Ashley point blank that Sha Sha will drag her "over the river and through the woods," Gizelle storms out after Robyn - but not before getting in one last (hilarious) dig by shouting "who's eatin' emu?!?" to the crowded bar full of stunned onlookers. As Gizelle pointed out, maybe Ashley will focus on her own failing restaurant and failing marriage before diving into the other 'Wives' relationships next time...

 While Charrisse has a heart-to-heart with her youngest daughter about her crumbling relationship with estranged husband Eddie, Gizelle and Karen are out doing some good old-fashioned community service. Of course, in between planting flowers the grande dame has massive amounts of tea to spill and she promptly informs Gizelle of Monique labeling her a "stuck up trick" after the game night fiasco. Naturally, this is news to Gizelle, who had already been kicked out of the party by the time Motormouth Monique started running her mouth and now that it's noted, she is officially done with the new girl.

Far from Potomac, Robyn is hard at work putting the finishing touches on organizing Juan's youth basketball camps. However, when she starts to run down the list of to-do items with her ex-husband, the retired NBA star snaps back at her, clearly in a foul mood. Then, out of nowhere, Juan drops a bomb off-camera, admitting to a producer that if it wasn't for the kids he and Robyn share together, he'd be "gone already." Sitting obliviously in the kitchen while Juan admits just one room away that he wants to "share [his] life with somebody" must be slightly devastating for Robyn to watch back, but it's becoming increasingly clear at this point that both she and Juan want something more than their current not-together-but-kind-of situation.

Enter Charrisse, who takes it upon herself to introduce Robyn to her therapist Dr. Jeff over lunch a few days later. Robyn has been vocally resistant to therapy in the past, insisting she doesn't need fixing. But as Dr. Jeff reminds her that she deserves to be happy just like everyone else in the world, Robyn breaks down in tears and later admits that maybe therapy could help break down the guard she so permanently put up after Juan cheated and move forward towards real happiness.

The evening of Karen's PAVE event finally arrives and all the women don their best gowns and sequined dresses for the occasion, unaware that the event will be much more significant than a typical Potomac charity gala. Karen is visibly nervous at the thought of sharing her story with the other 'Wives and, by association, the entire world and made all the ladies promise to be on their best behavior for a drama-free night. Therefore, Ashley tiptoes around Gizelle and Robyn and makes small talk involving the word "libations" before making a hasty retreat.

CNN anchor Don Lemon, another survivor of sexual abuse, gives a moving speech before Karen is introduced as the evening's final speaker. With the rest of the women looking on, an emotional Karen bravely shares her story of being raped as a college student and her dedication to helping empower other victims and survivors to speak out and break the stigma of sexual violence. It's a vulnerable, powerful moment that presents the grande dame of Potomac in a whole new light. Bravo, Karen for your courage and choice to use the Housewives platform so responsibly!

As the 'Wives leave the PAVE event, Monique and Ashley pull Charrisse and Gizelle aside and it's back to the drama. First, Ashley attempts to engage Charrisse in conversation, but quickly gets shut down when Sha Sha won't even look in her direction. Then, Monique sets her sights on Gizelle, putting her phone in the OG's face and requesting her number so they can have a chat some time soon. Of course, no one tells Gizelle Bryant to do anything, so this move on Monique's part does nothing but backfire as her nemesis icily stares her down and refuses to give out her number. Looks like a reconciliation between either pair of feuding 'Wives will be happening any time soon. Better luck next time...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? How powerful was Karen sharing her story? Were Robyn and Gizelle right to ambush Ashley at Oz? Did Juan's off-camera confession surprise you? And how should Monique have approached Gizelle to make up? Let me know in the comments!

RHOP Ssn 2/Ep 6 Recap - Messy Games

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, the rumor mill around Potomac causes huge question marks about Robyn and Juan's relationship. Plus, Charrisse gives Ashley and her meddling ways a piece of her mind. Read on for a full recap of all the drama - from the dress shop showdown to the unexpected "Juan-tervention"...

We pick up smack dab in the middle of Monique Samuels' game night. Gizelle Bryant has made her exit after being kicked out of her new nemesis' home, so the drama sets its sights on a new target. And with Ashley Darby spilling tea to all the other women that her ex-husband Juan may be dating other people, it seems that target is Robyn Dixon. Poor Robyn walks right into a conversation about her as Ashley fills Karen Huger and Charrisse Jackson Jordan in on the gossip and manages to maintain her composure on account of the fact that Juan is sitting at the card table just a few steps away. Charrisse steps up for her friend by pointedly advising Little Miss Ashley to focus on her own relationship instead of digging once again into Robyn's, but the youngest 'Wife fires back that Charrisse is the one who's stayed in a miserable long-distance marriage for years and might not be an expert on happy relationships. Ouch. Before the shouting can devolve into even more chaos, Monique breaks up the conversation by dragging everyone onto the dance floor to end the night. Everyone, that is, except for Juan, who opts to sit back and watch Robyn get down with the other women and their husbands from the sidelines.

Back in Potomac, Karen and her husband meet with their real estate agent to discuss the progress on selling their Potomac home. It turns out the grande dame's mansion has lingered on the market without a single bite, which has prompted the selling agent to lower the price below $2 million and contemplate holding a dreaded open house to stir up interest in the Hugers' outdated kitchen. No surprise, Karen is deeply offended by all of this and refuses to allow "bottom-feeders" to traipse through her home during an open house. Shudder at the thought! But does the grande dame not understand that she can't control who actually purchases her house when she's the one who's leaving it behind?

The next day, Gizelle rehashes the game night drama with her friend Kal while Charrisse meets Ashley to go gown shopping for ball-and-gala season. Sha Sha is still fired up about Ashley's insensitive meddling at game night and isn't afraid to put the former pageant queen on blast. Charrisse accuses the "little girl" of spreading lies about Robyn and Juan and once again questions her bizarre need to constantly put her nose in everyone's business. Ashley claps back that all Charrisse ever wants to talk about is her failing marriage and she's sick of seeing Sha Sha cry all the time. At this point, Charrisse makes it crystal clear that she's "about five seconds from f***ing [Ashley] up," prompting the younger 'Wife to storm out of the dress shop in anger with Charrisse lobbing insults at her back.

While Robyn and Juan do radio interviews to promote their upcoming youth basketball camps, Monique and her husband Chris meet with their pastor and his realtor wife to sign the papers on house #5, a $4.75 million Potomac mansion. More importantly, Monique is in serious need of some spiritual guidance regarding her feud with Gizelle. She gets teary-eyed (and a little bit pouty) as she explains how tired she is of being judged for having four houses and a rich athlete for a husband, but her pastor reminds her that she's the one who needs to apologize to Gizelle for calling her a "stuck-up trick." Your move, Monique!

Finally, the episode ends with Charrisse and Gizelle sitting Robyn down for a private intervention regarding her relationship with Juan. No one knows whether to believe the rumors Ashley is spreading about Juan and a side piece and Gizelle asks point blank how the gossip made Robyn feel. Robyn claims the kids come first to the ex-couple, but that doesn't answer the will-they/won't-they question of Robyn and Juan's relationship. Once again, the PR maven reiterates that her ex-husband would like them to be in a relationship, but puts the onus on herself for still having a wall up about taking that step. Charrisse reminds her friend of the years she and Eddie have wasted being unhappily tied to each other. The point is this: if Robyn is fine with where she and Juan are at, then her friends need to trust her judgement. She may not have a plan for the future, but eventually something has to give, right?

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Were Gizelle and Charrisse right to sit Robyn down for a "Juan-tervention?" Is Ashley's meddling causing too many problems? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHOP Ssn 2/Ep 5 Recap - Kick the Trick Out

Glenn Rowley

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This week's episode of The Real Housewives of Potomac starts in a flurry of chaos. A Housewife is in tears. A 'Wife is spreading rumors about another's ex-husband. And yet another is being kicked out of someone's party. Wait...how did we get here? Rewind the tape and read on for a full recap of what exactly made game night go wild!

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Cut to one week earlier. Determined to show the veteran 'Wives the "real her," Monique Samuels is throwing an old-fashioned game of spades at her house in Vienna, Virginia. While shopping for highly specific outdoor party decor, the newbie fills her assistant/cousin in on her opinions of the new friends she's inviting over. So far, Monique has had favorable impressions of each one of the ladies...that is, except Gizelle Bryant. Following her tension with the OG at both high tea and hookah night, Monique is trepidatious at the thought of welcoming her frenemy into her home. However, she claims she's willing to give Gizelle the benefit of the doubt one last time. Maybe they just got off on the wrong foot and are meant to be friends?

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Meanwhile, Robyn Dixon's got a burgeoning side hustle going and her latest project is doing PR for Ashley Darby's struggling restaurant, Oz. Robyn's master plan involves throwing an event in the restaurant for D.C. Pride complete with shirtless men and dog collars, but Ashley's much more interested in digging into Robyn's personal life. For some reason, the 28-year-old has come to the conclusion that, borrowing a line from the immortal Alison DuBois, Robyn will never be fulfilled by the complicated relationship with her live-in ex-husband Juan Dixon (know that!), and Ashley encourages her friend to find a new man to appreciate everything she has to offer. Once again, Robyn is perplexed as to why the younger 'Wife has so many opinions about her living situation and reminds us just how "gold digger-ish" Ashley's suggestion that she find someone with a yacht to sail the seas with sounds coming out of her mouth. Warning: stay in your lane little girl.

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In other news, Charrisse Jackson Jordan is busy fulfilling her responsibilities as interim president of the NBA Wives Association by throwing a fundraising mixer for Potomac's athletic elite. Naturally Robyn and former Washington Wizards star Juan are invited, as well as Monique and her husband Chris but the rest of the guest list seems to largely be made up of very rich strangers. As hostess, Charrisse commands the guests' attention to deliver a speech but after the usual platitudes, things take a bizarre left turn. To her fellow 'Wives' obvious horror, Sha Sha proceeds to announce her impending divorce to a room full of onlookers stunned into an uncomfortable silence. I suppose that's one way to let all the rich, retired athletes know you'll soon be a free agent...

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Don't worry, the awkwardness at the NBA Wives event doesn't end there. After dinner is served, Monique proceeds to grill Robyn and Juan about the status of their relationship, even going so far as to ask the cohabiting non-couple if they would ever consider getting married again. Now, it's no secret that I'm a hardcore Robyn + Juan shipper, but both are frozen with a deer-in-headlights expression as they try to graciously shut down conversation of a re-blossoming romance. Man, between Ashley and Monique, poor Robyn is getting interrogated from every angle this week.

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Neither Karen Huger nor Gizelle are present for any of this awkwardness because, while the grande dame is throwing a 70th birthday party for her adorable, sassy mother, the latter is all business. It turns out Gizelle's makeup line has come a long way from last season's focus group - she's come up with a name for the new brand (EveryHue Beauty) and has developed 12 unique shades with her business partners. Unlike her nemesis Monique, Gizelle isn't about to let a man's money define her status. No, she's all about setting a good example of how to be a strong, independent woman for her three little girls and, as she reminds us via confessional, her partners may know business but she knows beauty.

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Finally Monique's game night has arrived and even though I still have no idea how in the world to play spades, the rest of the 'Wives arrive with their best game faces on. The evening turns out to be a couples night, so most of the women bring their husbands (including Juan!) while Gizelle makes her entrance sporting a fabulous striped cape with her bestie/hairdresser Kal in tow. After her last two encounters with the newest 'Wife, Gizelle's a bit guarded coming into this game night and it doesn't go unnoticed by Monique, who points out in her confessional that the veteran 'Wife refused to greet her with a hug. Now, what happens next is hard to explain. First, Gizelle and Kal start playfully throwing some shade about how Monique never stops talking under their breath. Straining to hear, Monique's camera-hungry watchdog of a best friend Gigi calls the pair out for their whispering and promptly alerts the newbie that she's being gossiped about. However, Gizelle's able to shut the drama down before tensions flare - reassuring Monique they were simply complimenting her home. In the words of Gizelle's confessional: "Back up off me, bi**h!"

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When Little Miss Ashley shows up, she makes a beeline straight for Gizelle, ready to spill the tea on a piping hot piece of gossip that's fallen into her lap. Apparently, word on the street around Oz is that Robyn's ex Juan has been seen dating other people. Hold the phone. This is news to Gizelle. And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense - just in this episode alone we've seen Robyn and Juan out at events with each other twice in the same week. Ashley claims she needs Gizelle's advice about what to do with this information but the former Mr. and Mrs. Juan Dixon are literally in Monique's backyard together getting ready to play spades. 

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Given the sensitive nature of this gossip about her bestie's life, Gizelle waits for Monique to leave the room, telling Ashley point blank that she didn't want to continue the conversation in front of "Ms. I-can't-stop-talking." Of course, this prompts Monique's assistant to run after her and repeat what Gizelle just said, leading to the rookie 'Wife storming back into the kitchen once again demanding answers. Gizelle tries to reiterate that she's simply trying to have a private conversation with Ashley but now Monique is fired up, accusing her frenemy of being disrespectful in her home and claiming Gizelle is "one step away from getting [her] face punched in." The moment escalates with Gizelle calling Monique "aggressive" and Monique accusing Gizelle of constantly giving her the cold shoulder, and next thing we know Gizelle is getting kicked out of a party for the second time in two seasons. In Monique's book, this is strike three for the OG, whom she calls a "stuck up trick" to a stunned Karen and Ashley.

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The drama then moves to the driveway: Gizelle gets in her car just as Robyn comes out to check on her friend. Naturally, Gizelle passes Ashley's gossip about Juan along to her BFF, which leads to Robyn reminding the youngest 'Wife that she and her ex are not a couple. If Juan wants to date other people, that's his prerogative and none of Little Miss Ashley's business. Finally, Charrisse arrives late to the party and right into the middle of the drama in the driveway. Poor Charrisse is clearly out of sorts and before she can even say a word, she bursts into tears. As Robyn and Gizelle try to comfort their friend, she admits that the messy disintegration of her marriage is taking a very real toll on her. Despite the strong facade she puts up, Sha Sha can't pretend to be OK all the time. Just as Gizelle is catching Charrisse up on all the drama she's missed, Monique crashes the conversation demanding to know why all of her guests have congregated around her nemesis in the driveway. And with that, we're left with a classic Housewives "To Be Continued" cliffhanger...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Are you Team Gizelle or Team Monique? Should Ashley be spreading rumors about Robyn and Juan? Did you cringe when Charrisse announced her divorce to a room full of strangers? Tell me in the comments below!

RHOP Ssn 1/Ep 12 - Reunion Part 2

Glenn Rowley

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After last week's call for security, the Season 1 reunion continues as The Real Housewives of Potomac revisit the feuds, fights and personal dramas that made up the debut season's storylines. Plus, some of the husbands join the melee as the infamous girls trip to Bethany Beach is rehashed and beaten to a pulp.

Checking the Racial Box

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The reunion picks up right where we left off at the end of last week, with Katie Rost and Robyn Dixon battling it out over the subject of race. Katie feels she can't do anything without the other women criticizing her for not being "black enough," while Robyn doesn't understand why race is such a sensitive topic to discuss. As Gizelle Bryant asked, who made RHOP the poster show for racial relations in America? I, for one, am of the opinion that the complex discussion of race is one of the reasons the season has been so fascinating and sets Potomac apart from the other Housewives shows. Robyn claims she doesn't care how Katie chooses to identify, but the model finds that hard to believe considering she was questioned about it all season long. Charrisse Jackson Jordan chimes in that she found Robyn asking Katie which box her children would check to be offensive, but Robyn doesn't understand why asking a polite question in a social setting would be so insulting. However, Katie simply refuses to label her children into a box. After so much back and forth, the two 'Wives are eventually able to reach a resolution on the topic, with Katie apologizing for taking her frustrations towards Gizelle out on Robyn. All we needed was Rachel Dolezal crashing the reunion to put this heated discussion about race in America in 2016 fully over the top.

The Butt Grab Heard 'Round Potomac

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Andy Cohen redirects the conversation to Ashley Darby, asking her to weigh in on the racial argument and the butt grab between her husband and Katie's fiancee that sparked the entire controversy. Ashley says she's confused why it became everyone's prerogative to gossip about that moment on the dance floor at Charrisse's birthday party and why it got turned into an issue of white people vs. black people. Robyn, however, is quick to defend her comment, insisting that she was merely wondering whether it was some form of endearment she wasn't familiar with. If you ask me, this (biracial) horse has officially been beaten to death and it's time to move on to other topics.

The Mysterious Case of Charrisse & the Invisible Husband

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Next, Andy puts Charrisse in the hot seat by addressing her crumbling and confusing relationship with her husband of 18 years, Eddie Jordan. According to Charrisse, Eddie is still living in New Jersey despite being fired from his coaching job at Rutgers University, and the two don't discuss the show...or the status of their relationship...or the possibility of divorce. Charrisse does a fair amount of backtracking over the big, bad d-word, saying she was acting impulsively when she texted Eddie that she wanted out of the marriage. She also maintains that if the couple gets divorced, the decision to file won't be coming from her. Huh? Out of all the 'Wives, Charrisse claims that, to her surprise, she's become closest to Katie and gets into a somewhat confusing tiff with grande dame Karen Huger, who calls her a "snake in the grass." Honestly, I just wish I had more context for why Charrisse seems so angry and passive-aggressive towards some of the other women. What happened?

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When the topic of Eddie not showing up at her lavish 50th birthday party, Charrisse admits she was disappointed, but claims he didn't come because Bravo was filming. She goes on to explain that the reason she decided to do the show was to serve as a voice for other women who were going through similar struggles. Andy admits that, as a producer, he felt most connected to Charrisse's story when she was being vulnerable about her relationship with Eddie - which is why he finds it so frustrating that she's being so closed off and emotionless about the whole situation on the couches. (He even goes so far as to accuse her of being "blasé" about her seemingly crumbling marriage.)

Katie's Broken Engagement

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After teasing it in the opening moments of the reunion, Katie finally gets the opportunity to explain what led to her breakup when Andy shows a package of clips all about her and Andrew. As it turns out, Katie broke off the engagement and gave Andrew the ring back literally en route to NYC for the reunion taping. She reveals that the couple had actually called it quits once already months before and when she asked Andrew whether he really wanted to marry her, his answer was noncommittal enough to prompt her to end things. Katie readily admits she was running a kind of campaign for Andrew to finally put a ring on it in an effort to make up for her previously failed first marriage, and recognizes that perhaps Andrew wasn't ready to step up to the plate. The other 'Wives speak up in support of Katie, saying there wasn't anything she did to necessarily scare her fiancee off - that was on him. All Katie knows is that she'll be more hesitant before bringing another man around her kids in the future.

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On a different note, Andy reads some of Katie's recent tweets and the model confirms that she identifies not only as biracial but as bisexual too! Ever the diligent host, Andy asks whether any of the other women have ever taken a dip in the lady pond, and Little Miss Ashley reveals that she actually had a serious girlfriend back when she was 18. Katie jokingly claims that out of all the 'Wives, she would definitely go for Charrisse and Ashley, and have raging hate sex with Gizelle. We also learn that the budding philanthropist has yet to throw her casino royale charity event that she pushed back during filming. The women briefly rehash the drama surrounding Katie's host committee for the event, and it looks like the self-proclaimed ball and gala girl will have quite a bit to prove in this arena come Season 2.

The Grande Dame vs. the Spring Chicken

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Next up for discussion is the season-long feud between frenemies Karen and Ashley. While Potomac's grande dame started the season determined to take the younger 'Wife under her wing, but that changed indefinitely when Ashley let Michael crash the girls-only trip to Bethany Beach. To provide back-up for their wives and weigh in on the drama themselves, Ray "the Black Bill Gates" Huger and Michael "Crocodile Dundee" Darby join the reunion as well. To kick things off, Andy gives Michael one simple rule: pants must be kept on at all times. Add this to the short list of reunion rules like no props (post-RHOA Season 6) and no physically assaulting other cast mates (also post-RHOA Season 6). Right off the bat, Andy questions why Karen seems to look down her nose at the Darbys, and the grande dame cites Ashley's youth as the reason for their differences. 

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Of course, this leads directly into a rehashing of the drama from Bethany Beach - Karen tries to take Michael to task for showing up unannounced AT HIS OWN HOME and Ray alternates between looking generally befuddled and accusing Michael of trying to create a titillating "male fantasy situation" with seven women. Clearly, there's no love lost between the two couples but in my eyes, the Darbys come out on top in this argument as Ashley defends Michael by repeatedly exclaiming that she loves her man just the way he is - butt grabbing and all. (Note to all, according to Michael, butt grabbing is actually an Australian thing, so take that black, white and biracial!) Yet, Karen is far from finished, and Andy puts her on the spot about her "ejaculate" and "procreate" comments about Michael and Ashley. I, however, don't have much to say about that particularly situation beyond that it was vulgar and inappropriate. 

Define "Narcissism"

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When Gizelle finally gets a package dedicated to her hilarious dating life - Herman included - the conversation gets hijacked by Charrisse, who accuses Gizelle of getting in the middle of everyone's business out of sheer narcissism. Naturally, Charrisse denies having a narcissistic bone in her body, but defines the term as both being obsessed with yourself and taking pride in tearing down others in order to make yourself feel good. No one on either of the couches - Andy included - has ever heard this particular definition of narcissism, and Roybn eventually has to pull a Lisa Rinna by reading the actual meaning of the word off her phone to prove Charrisse wrong. The fact of the matter is, however, that every single one of the Housewives is borderline narcissistic. They have to be to succeed on reality television!

Gizelle vs. Katie, Revisited

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Next, Gizelle puts Katie on blast for her odd behavior throughout the season, particularly at Ashley's birthday party. Katie denies being on any type of substance, but Gizelle still calls her out for being too inebriated to engage in front of the cameras. Both women start slinging mud at each other, and the argument somehow devolves into accusations of inappropriate bodily functions on both sides, slut shaming and allegations of scandalous scenes being edited out of the show. Dear Bravo, WHAT WAS EDITED OUT? I need to know. Katie claims that Gizelle's narcissism is on a whole different level from the other ladies, and alleges that she constantly works to position herself to look as good as possible in front of the cameras while putting down everyone else. 

Final Thoughts & One Last Bombshell

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Andy wraps up the reunion by asking each of the ladies if their experiences as first-season Housewives was positive. All of the women assert that being on the show has been a good thing - I mean, obviously - and Andy invites Karen to give one final toast after passing out champagne. However, before the grande dame can get a word out, Charrisse interrupts to drop one final bombshell that she held back earlier in the day: since the show started airing, her husband won't even speak to her. Andy is visibly stunned and empathetic to this revelation, while none of the other 'Wives so much as flinch. Seems like everyone but Andy knew what's really been going on in Charrisse's marriage. Karen still gets the final word and toasts to the ladies' friendship while calling for them to move forward in friendship and peace...with a little bit of fighting. Potomac is officially on the map!

Unfortunately, that's the end of the first season of RHOP - for some reason we aren't getting a Secrets Revealed episode to finish off the season. However the good news is that just this week, the show was officially renewed for a second season by Bravo! Cheers to The Real Housewives of Potomac and look for my Season 1 Wrap-Up as the next Feature Friday!

RHOP Ssn 1/Ep 11 - Reunion Part 1

Glenn Rowley

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After a debut season that feels as if it went by in the blink of an eye, it's reunion time for The Real Housewives of Potomac! In the first hour of the two-part reunion, Andy Cohen pressed the ladies of Potomac on everything from humping and THOT-ish behavior to Googling gossip and being biracial. Oh, and I unexpectedly became part of the reunion myself! Read on to find out what I mean...

On the Couches

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Seating arrangements for any first-time reunion are always interesting to me, because it's our first glimpse at what Bravo and Andy Cohen himself think of the ladies' pecking order. I'm happy with this arrangement - Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon and Ashley Darby occupy the right couch, while Karen Huger, Katie Rost and Charrisse Jackson Jordan are on the left. In fact, when I tweeted my prediction for where the ladies would be sitting before the reunion was filmed last month, I was almost spot-on and only swapped Katie and Charrisse. Naturally, Karen the grande dame occupies the hot seat next to Andy. However, it's logical that Charrisse would be relegated to the end of the couch - she started the season memorably but had faded into the background by the finale, while Katie made a strong showing for herself in the season's final episodes. 

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On the opposite side, Gizelle - who was arguably Potomac's breakout star - graces the seat of honor, with her bestie Robyn next to her and Little Miss Ashley down at the end. Sticking Ashley on the same couch as the dynamic duo who accused her husband of grabbing another man's butt may seem like an odd choice. However, when you consider her season-long feud with Karen it was really the only viable option. Karen and Gizelle were locks for the center seats on the couches and there's no way Ashley would've been placed on the same side as the self-proclaimed grande dame of Potomac. 

Ranking the Housewives' Looks

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The dress code for this reunion was clearly "Shiny Sequin Realness" and some of the 'Wives shine brighter than others. My vote for best dressed, surprisingly, goes to Charrisse. I say surprisingly because I didn't get a good first impression of her this season, but I'm loving the liquid metal of her pewter gown and she is slaying the new dark hair. Katie comes in a close second though. While I'm not in love with the vertical sequins on her vintage Bob Mackie gown, her hair and makeup is simply flawless. Rock that high pony, girl! As for the others, I love Gizelle in gold, but the gaudy turquoise earrings ruin the look for me. The silhouette of Robyn's gown is lovely (and bonus points for the long hair), but as my friend said, the fabric looks like it came from a 90's prom dress. Out of the whole bunch, Ashley's look is the most basic and forgettable, while Karen's is a total fail. The golden zebra stripes make her boobs look like a giant, misshapen blob. Not cute. 

Taking Down the Grande Dame

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After a few thoughts about how the show has turned them into overnight TV stars, the importance of etiquette in Potomac, and the revelation that Katie called off her engagement on the way to film the reunion, the first package is all about Karen. This was the highlight of the reunion for me because. You guys. ANDY COHEN USED MY QUESTION AT THE REUNION! I repeat: ANDY USED MY QUESTION AT THE REUNION. I've officially made it. The question was, and I quote, "Glenn from Utah said 'Karen, who pronounced you the grande dame of Potomac? Shouldn't you remember that before you were sitting up on that pedestal you came from a farm in Virginia?'" Andy Cohen has said my name and now I can die a happy man. 

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While I'm reeling from this greatest accomplishment of my life, discussion turns to the shade Katie threw at Karen's O Gala "Podunk cocktail party."  Expecting a full-blown gala, Katie claims she could've thrown Karen's party together in about four days, while Gizelle reminds her that she didn't actually throw anything together this season. Weirdly, Karen claims that the real O Gala won't happen for two more years, which seems an absurdly long amount of time to put together a charity event. Maybe we'll see it in Season 3? The women each take turns throwing darts at Karen, taking her to task for her haughty arrogance as the self-proclaimed queen bee of Potomac, and Katie eventually calls out Karen and Gizelle's sense of entitlement over "absolutely nothing." According to Katie, there was no ticker tape parade when Gizelle triumphantly returned to Potomac and Karen certainly isn't the grande dame. All I have to say to that is amen, Katie, amen. 

The Humping THOT of Potomac

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Next in the hot seat is Little Miss Ashley, as we are treated to a package featuring the antics of our favorite humping poodle of Potomac. Ashely is quick to defend everything from her use of the infamous pull-out method to her relationship with her mom, but I was happy to see that other viewers were as uncomfortable as I have been with her bringing her mom's financial issues up on national TV all season long. Even at the reunion, the 27-year-old manages to mention that she paid off her mom's car and gives her money every month, which continues to rub me the wrong way.

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Ashley also stands by humping Robyn upon meeting her at the Sip with Socialites event, saying that no one should be allowed to dictate how she should behave. Robyn, however, maintains that it was a highly inappropriate introduction and suggests that Ashley learn proper social decorum. Naturally, the younger 'Wife dismisses Robyn's argument as a moot point (note to Charrisse, it's "moot" not "mute"), and conversation moves on to Gizelle calling Ashley a THOT during the event. Gizelle differentiates between THOT and THOT-ish, and points out that she specifically called Ashley's behavior the latter. However, Ashley doesn't take kindly to either option, and claims that using that terminology in any context is the "most divisive" thing you can do as a woman. Katie chimes in that the other woman are probably just threatened by Ashley being young and pretty. After all, Robyn did say in her interview that Gizelle gets jealous when there's a younger, prettier woman in the mix...

Three Crabby Divas and "the Help"

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Putting a pin in that argument, Andy moves on to the drama at Charrisse's crab boil in the show's very first episode. Charrisse insists that she never actually said Kal could do her hair, she was just deflecting and it got misinterpreted. However, she insists that Gizelle and her hairdresser barging up to her bedroom is a whole other matter. Gizelle is still confused where Charrisse's aggression came from, since everything was happy and copacetic when she left to get ready. However, to Gizelle, the real offense came when Karen referred to her hairstylist as "the help." I mean, is this the segregated South in the 1950s?

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Karen tries feebly to defend her use of the term, but the argument that she could've called him much worse than "the help" doesn't fly with me or any of the other ladies. Robyn jumps in to point out that the term would be offensive to anyone, regardless of their station in life. Karen maintains that she knows what "the help" means, but refuses to give Robyn a straight answer, saying she doesn't need a lesson from her fellow 'Wife. Besides, her first job was as a cashier at Taco Bell and Burger King, OK? Like Katie, I would pay money to see Karen Huger in a fast food chain uniform. (Quick aside: kudos to Andy for calling out Karen's classic Housewives "non-apology apology" to Charrisse for causing a scene at her party.)

Robyn & Juan 4Ever?

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Next up for discussion is the complicated relationship between Robyn and her ex-husband Juan. Andy presses for details about Robyn's feelings, and she surprisingly admits that she loves Juan but isn't in love with him...yet. However, there's still a chance that they could get remarried. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little bit obsessed with these two and would be over the moon if they officially got back together. The pair got divorced because of lots of infidelity on Juan's part and Robyn chalks it up, in part, to his being a professional athlete. However, she also admits that they're having sex weekly, so there's still hope for the former lovebirds.

Google, Gossip & That Russell Simmons Blog

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Robyn also addresses the Dixons' financial scandal, explaining that their former best friend stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them before committing suicide by jumping off a bridge. This was a man who was in the couple's wedding and whom their kids called "uncle." It's just heartbreaking. However, Robyn has a bone to pick with Ashley for Googling and spreading gossip about her financial situation, saying the younger 'Wife had some sort of sick satisfaction in relaying the scandal to Katie. Ashley shoots back that, up to that point, Robyn had been rude and standoffish to her and deflects by pointing out her past financial hardships including being evicted and relying on the food back for groceries. Katie and Gizelle jump in and the conversation devolves into an argument over gossip and finding things online (i.e. Katie's Russell Simmons blog), but none of this excuses Ashley digging for dirt in the first place. 

The Great Racial Divide

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Finally, Andy brings up the feud between Gizelle, Robyn and Katie over racial identity that dominated the tail end of the season. Gizelle admits that she may have generalized the stereotypes of black people, but refuses to apologize for it. Katie says she's continually surprised by how obsessed Robyn and Gizelle are about skin color and accuse them of constantly trying to make her feel like she's "not black enough" as a biracial woman. Gizelle explains that she cares about race because, with her father working in the civil rights movement, she had the KKK burning signs in her yard on a weekly basis growing up. She also throws out that Katie made demeaning references to her black heritage at her twins' Jewish naming ceremony, and accuses the model of not being proud of her ancestry. Katie shoots back that Gizelle doesn't know anything about her family heritage and slams her and Robyn for questioning what box her kids will check when they're older. Now officially worked up, Katie calls Gizelle and Robyn "dumb and dumber, " which sets the latter off, eventually calling for Bravo to get security if she gets any angrier.

And with that, the reunion ends until next week! What did you think of Part 1? Are you on Team Katie or Team Gizelle/Robyn in the great race debate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!