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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: zuri deuber

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 8 - Hollman Holiday

Glenn Rowley

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It's time for a birthday on The Real Housewives of Dallas, and while Stephanie plans an epic Gatsby-themed party for her husband's special day, Brandi comes face-to-face with LeeAnne to put their issues to rest while a new feud is brewing between the queen bee and Cary. Read on for my full breakdown of all the Roaring Twenties-style drama...

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Birthdays are major moments in the Housewives universe, and this week all of Dallas is celebrating the birth of Stephanie Hollman's husband. According to Steph, Travis takes his birthday more than a little seriously and every year she manages his sky-high expectations by throwing some sort of over-the-top event. However, Travis's penchant to micromanage every last detail of his birthday has Stephanie feeling more than a little pressure to top all her previous efforts with this year's (on-camera) fete. Even as she explains that she'll be checking out some venues for his party, Travis encourages her to bring his personal assistant along so he can keep an eye on the proceedings. 

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Deep in surgery, Cary Deuber has an entirely different birthday on her mind: her daughter Zuri is turning three. And she has her own husband Mark to manage through the milestone. If there's one thing the surgeon loves, it's buying gifts for the girls in his life, and it's Cary's job to make sure her overeager husband doesn't break the bank for their toddler. She's the one in charge of throwing a small party for Zuri and her precise planning is the only thing keeping the piles of gifts dancing around Mark's head at bay. I've said it in practically every recap so far - I love seeing the dynamic between Mark and Cary, and I especially get a kick out of the fact that the Househusband is so excited for Zuri to wear the Missoni dress he bought her in Italy. 

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Stephanie scopes out the venue for Travis's party with her BFF Brandi Redmond and his assistant Courtney in tow. After tossing a few ideas around with the other women, Stephanie settles on a Gatsby theme for the party. Every Housewife in every city in the franchise loves a good theme, and it's the perfect excuse for the ladies of Dallas to get dressed up in their best 1920s costumes for a swanky Roaring Twenties soiree. Brandi asks who's on the guest list for the party, and Stephanie says it'll just be close friends. And of course all the other women, but she hasn't made a decision about whether or not to invite LeeAnne Locken. Even though Stephanie's technically made up with the Dallas queen bee, she's still wary after all the drama that's gone on between LeeAnne and Brandi for the past seven episodes.

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Speaking of LeeAnne, she's been asked to serve as the keynote speaker for the Grace Conference - an organization dedicated to providing a safe space for women living with HIV. The stigma surrounding the disease is at an all-time high in Dallas, with two women having been murdered in the last few months after coming out as HIV positive. For her keynote speech, LeeAnne is focusing her message on shame and has invited her BFF Tiffany Hendra and Stephanie to come hear her speak. Taking the stage, LeeAnne opens up about the struggles she's battled in her life - from being molested by a friend's father as a preteen to finding herself in an abusive relationship with the only man she's ever been engaged to as a young woman. LeeAnne speaks powerfully and eloquently about her journey to overcome the labels that were placed upon her throughout her life, and invites all the women in attendance to let go of the labels people have given them surrounding their HIV diagnoses. By the end of the speech, she is joined by dozens of women on the stage in a positive, joyful moment as Tiffany and Stephanie tearfully look on. Seeing LeeAnne share her story to make a difference in the lives of so many other women and instill them with hope for the future is so heartwarming and makes me think the queen bee has a bright future ahead of her on the motivational speaking circuit. 

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Later that night, Stephanie fills Brandi in on the events of the Grace Conference. Admitting that she saw a completely different side to LeeAnne during her speech, Steph tells her BFF that she's decided to invite LeeAnne to Travis's birthday party. After hanging up with Brandi, Stephanie addresses Travis's micromanaging head on by having a conversation with him over a couple glasses of wine. In a moment that made me want to stand up and scream "Girl Power!," Stephanie points out to her husband that she's a big girl who's capable of making decisions without him constantly looming over her. Specifically, she wants to make some things about Travis's birthday a surprise and his constant need to be in control is putting a wrench in her efforts. Surprisingly, Travis seems to understand where his wife is actually coming from - is this a first in the Bravoverse or what? - and promises to back off a little. Oh, and bonus points to Steph for shutting down the "hitting like a girl" comments at the dinner table with her boys, too.

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Meanwhile, Cary and Mark throw Zuri's birthday party by dressing the toddler up in Missoni and inviting her friend over for cake and presents. Mark is quick to give Cary a hard time for ordering a vanilla cake when the toddler really wanted chocolate, but there's no way either of them was going to let a three-year-old get chocolate all over a designer dress. Zuri looks adorable in her Italian frock, and it quickly becomes clear that the little girl is equally as opinionated as her no-nonsense mom. In fact, Zuri isn't even enthused about all the presents Mark got her, intent instead on just the first gift she opens. 

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In a surprising turn of events, Brandi invites LeeAnne to meet for lunch in an effort to put their drama behind them. After hearing about the Grace Conference from Stephanie, Brandi decided to trust her bestie's judgement and try to make peace with her nemesis. The meal starts out a bit awkwardly, but Brandi came to apologize and musters up the courage to say she's sorry for the multiple confrontations she's started with LeeAnne. The queen bee graciously accepts the apology and points out that Brandi somehow managed to push her buttons in a way no one else has been able to in quite a long time. She also cops to not reacting well to any of Brandi's provocations, which the broken glass at the cocktail party would probably agree with if it was still in one piece. (Of course, Brandi is quick to point out that she didn't get an apology in return from LeeAnne, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.) Ultimately, the two 'Wives who have spent the whole season sparring manage to reach a fragile peace treaty, determined to move forward and focus on what's really important in life. Hmm...any bets how long this will last?

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Now that things are (mostly) resolved between the majority of the 'Wives, it's time for Travis's birthday party! The ladies don their fanciest Twenties-inspired costumes, with LeeAnne going full Marilyn Monroe and Cary dusting off the gorgeous dress she wore at her wedding reception. Tiffany notes that an icy chill seems to follow Cary into the room - she's the only one still at odds with LeeAnne after last week's disastrously awkward gothic party - but Tiff and LeeAnne happily bond with Brandi over drinks and...poop stories. Seriously, can we PLEASE go just one episode without any poop talk on this show? Dear Bravo, I, along with every other viewer in the world, am begging you. The lasting legacy of RHOD can not be its constant obsession with poop jokes. Ugh. However, Brandi's feeling extra friendly thanks to the liquid courage, and proceeds to invite both Tiffany and LeeAnne on a girls trip to her and Stephanie's lake house in Austin, Texas. It turns out that LeeAnne, Cary and Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes all have birthdays coming up, and what better way to celebrate than by taking the season's official cast trip?

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On the other side of the party, Stephanie fills Cary in on the plan for the trip to the lake house. Cary is overjoyed at Stephanie's suggestion that they'll be hiring private chefs for the trip, but is less than enthused to discover that LeeAnne's coming too. She'd love to go to Austin with Stephanie and Brandi, but a vacation with her nemesis LeeAnne feels less like a birthday gift than some twisted form of cruel and unusual punishment. As she says in her confessional, it's an issue of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer...Besides this set-up for the requisite cast trip, Travis's birthday party goes off without an ounce of drama, which is bad for moving the storyline along but good for the 'Wives mental health. Right? For anyone who's as confused as I was, Stephanie clarified to me on Twitter that yes, the Hollmans and Redmonds share a lake house together. That wasn't a typo.

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Travis is already happy, but Stephanie ends the night with one last surprise. Upon returning to their big, ol' mansion after the party, Stephanie fulfills her husband's longstanding, not-so-secret birthday wish by jumping out of a cardboard cake in lingerie and singing an a capella rendition of "Happy Birthday." I personally can't imagine doing something like that in some sexy lingerie on national television, but Travis is visibly thrilled at his wife's surprise. See what happens when you let her plan everything without any micromanaged lists from you, Travis? Seems like he probably, happily, learned his lesson this time.

What did you think of this week's RHOD? Do you think the cease fire between Brandi and LeeAnne will stick? Are you excited to see the 'Wives head to Austin together? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 2 - Mad as a Hatter

Glenn Rowley

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It's week two on The Real Housewives of Dallas, and while some of the ladies are representing the city in a cosmopolitan light on par with the rest of the franchise, others are taking potty humor to a whole new level. Don't know what I mean? Read on and find out!

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The episode kicks off with BFFs Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman going to Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes' house. During last week's no-tie dinner, Brandi found out that Marie's daughter is interested in dance and offered to give the eight-year-old a free lesson from a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. In between teaching her a few age-appropriate moves and how to dance on beat, Brandi also takes the time to apologize to Marie for causing a scene during the aforementioned dinner by engaging in an argument with queen bee LeeAnne Locken. A wide-eyed Marie diplomatically defends LeeAnne, claiming that who she is one-on-one is very different from her public persona on display at charity events throughout Dallas. The show's resident Friend of the Housewives also reassures Brandi that LeeAnne is actually really funny, and swears that eventually the pair will likely bond over their respective senses of humor. Hmm...I'm not so sure about that.

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We also get more of an introduction into the life of Cary Deuber this week, whom we see tattooing a nipple onto a breast reconstruction patient in the episode's opening moments. He may be a plastic surgeon-meets-Mr. Mom these days, but Cary claims that when she met her husband Mark, he was a "total fixer-upper" who was 80 pounds heavier with a bad haircut. We also meet the couple's two-year-old daughter Zuri, who apparently speaks English, Spanish, French and Swiss-German. First of all, I didn't even know Swiss-German was a language and secondly, this list of accomplishments still pales in comparison to the accolades garnered by Dana "$25,000 Sunglasses" Wilkey's son during Season 2 of RHOBH. Never forget, people. 

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The next event coming up in the charity season is the Mad Hatter's Tea and Luncheon to raise funds for the Dallas Arboretum, which is just a fancy word for a botanical garden. According to LeeAnne, it's the biggest and most important event of the social season, with women spending thousands of dollars on custom hats to stand out among the who's who of Dallas society. Last year, LeeAnne's giant five-foot-tall and four-foot-wide hat took home the prize for "Most Botanical" and she gunning for a follow-up victory by taking her BFF and fellow Housewife Tiffany Hendra to Binzario Couture where her hat for this year's event is being designed. The theme of this year's Mad Hatter's is "Springtime in Paris," and while other ladies who lunch are dropping small fortunes on their hats, LeeAnne gets hers for free simply because the designers know how much publicity their creation will get in the pages of every magazine. 

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Meanwhile, Brandi and Stephanie are opting for a much more DIY approach, with the former's three- and six-year olds even lending a hand to help create their hats. Brandi is going for a very specific theme with her hat: Dog Poop in the Park. Yes, the idea childish and more than a little vulgar, but Brandi wants to poke fun at how seriously some of the other women in Dallas take their charity events. Specifically, she can't wait to see the look of horror on LeeAnne's face when she sees the fecal-inspired creation. Speaking of the queen bee, Stephanie presses her bestie on how she's feeling about their feud and asks if she's planning on apologizing. Brandi doesn't see the need to offer any sort of apology because she doesn't think she did anything wrong by attacking LeeAnne at the no-tie dinner. Stephanie decides to come clean about something: she actually sent LeeAnne an apology already over email, claiming that she didn't want her to feel ganged up on. Shocked, Brandi insists she isn't mad Stephanie sent the email but pointedly tells her not to get in the middle of the fight anymore. From Brandi's perspective, LeeAnne is turning the entire confrontation around to make it seem like she's the one who attacked her. Which...she was. I just had to say it.

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Next, we get some insight into Tiffany and LeeAnne's long friendship. As they BBQ with LeeAnne's boyfriend Rich and Tiff's husband Aaron, the latter explains in her confessional that the BFFs first met on a modeling job 25 years ago. According to Tiffany, her first impression of LeeAnne was not good. In fact, she went as far as to say she hated her! However, on their next modeling job together, Tiffany saw a different side to the Mouth of the South, and they became the best of friends from there on out - going from partner-in-crime party girls all the way to becoming Housewives together. I love these two together and I am honestly living for these old modeling shots of them. More please! Also more of Aaron's perfect hair please, but less of his bovine artificial insemination stories...

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At the Redmond house, the poop jokes just keep coming as Brandi preps for a birthday tea party to celebrate her mom's birthday with her two girls. While they're baking and frosting a chocolate cake, Brandi continuously makes jokes about how much it looks like poop, and not even the girls think it's funny. It turns out that Brandi has a bit of a complicated family history. Not only does it seem her husband Bryan is rarely around - focusing instead on his goal of becoming a multi-millionaire by the time he's 40 - but Brandi's mom gave birth to her brother Scooter and her at only 15 and 16, respectively. During her birthday toast, Brandi tearfully thanks her mom for everything she did to provide her with a childhood growing up. It's heartwarming to see and finally gives us a peek at the vulnerable Brandi that's been hiding under all the potty humor for two episodes.

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Having recently relocated to Dallas, the Hendras are ready to settle down roots and buy a house. Scratch that - Tiffany is the one dead set on becoming a homeowner, Aaron's not so sure. They look at a house that feels very LA, and would have plenty of creative space for Aaron's studio as well as room for Tiffany to work on her lifestyle blog and YouTube channel, Sanctuary of Style. However, financially, a house this size would be a bit of a stretch on their savings thanks to all the trips to Fred Segal and partying Tiff did in California. Plus, Aaron is hesitant to put down permanent roots in Dallas - he's trying hard to like the city but ultimately he moved for Tiffany to be closer to family and friends. Whether or not the opportunities he needs for his music career present in Dallas remains to be seen...

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Finally, all the 'Wives get glammed up for Mad Hatter's and are ready to party for a purpose. LeeAnne is giving legit Paris vibes in pearls and all-white Chanel with her gorgeous hand-beaded fascinator, while Tiffany stuns in her wide-brimmed pink hat and off-the-shoulder striped ensemble and Marie looks like she walked straight out of the Moulin Rouge. Both Stephanie and Cary arrive in more toned-down outfits, but looking equally chic in 1920's inspired cloche hats. And then there's Brandi...whose gigantic hat is a combination of moss, grass, string, plastic toys and...dog poop. 

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Almost immediately, Brandi's hat becomes the talk of the event, for both good and ill. Plenty of people compliment her without realizing what the hat is actually made of, which makes the joke even funnier to Stephanie. However, gossip quickly circulates in hushed tones that Brandi's hat has dog poop on it, which inevitably reaches the ears of Tiffany and LeeAnne. Tiffany calls the move "so not appropriate" for Mad Hatter's while LeeAnne sees Brandi's fecal-inspired hat as a giant bitch slap to all the other ladies at the event. However, when Brandi and Stephanie approach LeeAnne to say hello, she refuses to give her real opinion, claiming in her interview that Brandi just wanted to get a reaction out of her.

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As the women sit down for the luncheon, Brandi finally gives her head a break by taking off the hat and the hidden piece of poop falls off. Thinking it would be a funny prank to light the mood, she conspires with Cary and Stephanie to put the fecal matter on an empty chair at another table, which incidentally happens to be LeeAnne's. Under the guise of coming to talk to Marie and Tiffany, Cary successfully plants the piece of poop on the chair. However, LeeAnne sees the offending object before she sits down, and promptly decides to go inform her friend who is a major power player in the charity scene about Brandi's attempted prank. In the episode's closing moments, LeeAnne leaves Brandi and the rest of us with an ominous warning via confessional: cross the wrong people in Dallas society and you will get crossed off the list. Don't mess with the Mouth of the South, y'all!

Whose side are you on in the growing feud between Brandi and LeeAnne? Did you find Brandi's "Dog Poop in the Park" hat inappropriate or funny? Are you as tired as I am of all the non-stop potty humor so far this season? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments and stay tuned for next week's recap!