Ever since Brittany first appeared on season 4 of Vanderpump Rules, she’s been a fan favorite. With her Southern roots and bubbly personality, she’s served as the perfect foil to her now-husband Jax, SUR’s resident sociopath and life-ruiner. Remarkably, up until her text exchange with Katie in this week’s episode, she’s managed to escape the wrath of every female cast member on the show, a near-impossible feat given that these women change alliances more frequently than they change faces. Kristen can barely go an episode without referring to Brittany as “my precious Brittany,” and the rest of the ladies regard her as if she’s the Southern reincarnation of Mother Teresa. It was easy to root for Brittany after Jax’s cheating scandal with Faith. But now, as we watch Brittany misdirect her anger at Katie and Sandoval despite Jax’s increasingly erratic behavior, it’s time we dispose of the narrative that she’s naive and needs our help.
She Moved Cross-Country To Live With Jax After Knowing Him Two Months
Fans of the show remember vividly Brittany’s move from Kentucky to L.A. after meeting Jax in a bar in Las Vegas. “The very first night he met me he told me wanted me to move to L.A. I, of course, didn’t believe it,” Brittany said on E!’s Daily Pop. “Two months later, I moved to L.A.” Brittany has maintained that she did not watch Vanderpump Rules before appearing on the show.
I’m going to have to call B.S. on this. On the one hand, it’s semi-believable, because I’d like to think that no sane woman who’d seen the show would ever agree to move in with a man who can’t get through an episode of said show without lying, cheating, eating pasta drinking excessively, and/or screaming at a friend or co-worker. On the other hand, what reasonably intelligent millennial woman wouldn’t do some healthy online stalking before packing up her belongings and driving across the country to move into a studio apartment with our generation’s Dirty John? She knew what she was getting herself into.
She Actively Tried To Get On The Show
In an interview with Vogue, Brittany said, “I never wanted to be on TV. I never wanted to be an actor or an actress.” Britt, please. Even if we believe that she never watched the show before moving to L.A., her behavior upon arrival is, at best, a bit sketchy. She had barely unpacked her bags before rolling up to SUR in a questionable romper for a job interview with LVP. A couple of things about this don’t add up. First, who would want to work with their boyfriend after already having to spend the rest of their day in a 500-square-foot apartment with him and his creepy foot fetish? This is either the most codependent relationship on TV or she isn’t being 100% transparent about her motivations.
Second, and most importantly, the restaurant in question is the setting for one of the most popular reality shows on television. If she really didn’t want to be on TV, she could’ve applied to one of the other thousands of restaurants in L.A. that doesn’t have a TV crew present for months out of the year. In my light Googling painstaking research for this article, I also came across Brittany’s page on Model Mayhem, which says she’s been a member since August 10, 2010, well before she found herself on our TV screens. In her bio, Brittany says she is looking to “expand my oppurtunities ” and is “willing & ready to travel.”
I can believe that Brittany never sought out to be a professional actress, but for her to imply she didn’t want fame after moving to L.A. to be with a guy she knew for five minutes who just so happens to star on a reality TV show is fake news. One need only look at her Instagram to see that she’s adjusting quite comfortably to a life of paid endorsements and sponsorships. There’s no shame in this at all, but I’d have more respect for her if she were honest about her ambitions. Instead, she acts as if her newfound opportunities just happened with no effort on her part, which is about as believable as her increasingly thick accent that, of late, is reaching Sofia Vergara levels of exaggeration.
She Stayed With Jax After He Humiliated Her On National Television Multiple Times
At the beginning of season 5, Jax announces that he walked in on Brittany and Kristen hooking up. Given Jax’s never-ending trail of lies track record, it’s unclear whether this did, in fact, happen. Both Brittany and Kristen, Jax’s strongest competitor for Most Honest Cast Member, denied it. Whether or not they hooked up is beside the point. What matters is that Jax, Brittany’s then-boyfriend, thought it was appropriate to talk about her sex life on national television without her permission. It’d be one thing if he was genuinely hurt or considered it cheating, but he seemed completely dead inside unbothered by the idea. Instead, he put it out there to the world without the least bit of consideration for Brittany, who comes from a conservative community. If such callous behavior by Jax wasn’t immediate grounds for a breakup, it was at the very least a huge red flag.
Me to Brittany the past four seasons:
Of course, we can’t bring up the topic of humiliation without mentioning the season 6 revelation that Jax cheated on Brittany with co-worker Faith mere feet away from a sleeping 95-year old woman. As if that weren’t horrific enough, we later learned that Faith had secretly recorded a conversation with Jax where he said some seriously f*cked up things about Brittany. This would be the death knell for just about any other relationship, but after about a month of being “broken up,” the two got back together. THEN, Jax pulls the ultimate douche move and breaks up Brittany mere weeks after putting her through hell. It’s no wonder she wanted him to RAWT there, but it’s mind-boggling that she would take him back after this.
Jax Hasn’t Changed And She Still Married Him
From pretty much the moment she arrived in Los Angeles, Brittany has been subjected to some downright awful treatment by Jax. Over the past several seasons he bought her breast implants and demanded she make them bigger than she wanted, criticized her weight multiple times (even going so far as to suggest her weight contributed to his cheating), expected that she make him sandwiches, and gaslit her at every turn. When we dig beneath the surface excitement of the engagement and wedding, their relationship is so dark that it’s often difficult to watch. Brittany is very likely the victim of some emotional abuse by Jax. But after all this time and with the benefit of having his mistakes documented on TV to learn from, his behavior largely remains the same, and is arguably worse.
He dismissed her concerns when they went to therapy, told her own family that he comes first, and this season lied to her face about his trip to the strip club during their joint bachelor/bachelorette trip, where he said on camera that he was going to leave Brittany for one of the strippers. But when anyone so much as hints that Jax is a less than honorable guy, she becomes defensive and/or hysterical and doesn’t want to hear it. This season, she distracted herself with wedding planning, as if a televised ceremony is going to solve all of their relationship issues. I can’t totally blame her; it’s easier to throw yourself into something superficial rather than deal with the darkest recesses of your psyche. And there are many reasons women in emotionally abusive relationships stay, whether it’s diminished self-worth, isolation, or believing that the abuser can change. We’ll probably never know exactly what’s driving Brittany, and she may not even know herself, but after several seasons of watching back her husband’s misdeeds and contending with the opinions of viewers, there’s no doubt that she knew who she was marrying.
I happen to enjoy Brittany on the show and genuinely believe that she’s a nice person in real life. But we’ve got to stop buying into this idea that she’s this babe in the woods who needs our help. It would not only be a mistake, but a severe underestimation to view her this way. She’s an adult woman making a conscious decision to not only continue in an unhealthy relationship, but broadcast it on national television and benefit from it financially. Whether or not it’s the true love remains to be seen. But just in case it’s not, I’ll be here waiting with my popcorn for their future appearance on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.
Images: Giphy (4)
Living in quarantine during coronavirus has us doing things we never thought we would: justifying our cleanest pair of joggers as formalwear, going without showering for days on end, and, god help us, confronting the horror that is our front-facing camera for the sake of human interaction. It’s hard not to feel like we’re living in the Upside Down. Watching this season of Vanderpump Rules is no exception. After years of happily laughing at Scheana’s scheananigans (sorry, had to), something shifted this season. Once hilarious, the constant jabs at her now just feel cruel. I never thought this would happen, but Scheana needs a champion, and I volunteer as tribute.
The Show Wouldn’t Exist Without Her
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our herstory. Had Scheana not had an ill-advised affair with Brandi Glanville’s ex-husband, we’d lack the crucial link that allowed Vanderpump Rules to spin off seamlessly from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Most people would be reluctant to openly own their role as mistress in an extramarital affair on national television. Scheana not only did this, but she took the heat (being called a “homewrecker” by Stassi seemingly every episode of season 1) and humiliation (never forget her gray tooth) with grace. She’s been carrying the show on her back ever since and has given us some of the most memorable storylines. Who can forget her quinceañera wedding featuring the iconic crop top wedding dress? Or her proclamation that Rob can hang a TV on the wall in under seven minutes? She’s also the only main cast member regularly interacting with the new sentient globs of hair gel cast members. She does all of this without complaint and laughs right along with us at her cringiest moments.
She’s Getting A Misogynistic Edit
Speaking of cringe, the editors have been portraying Scheana as f*ckboy man-hungry for several seasons since her divorce. And for a while it was pretty on point and funny, mostly because the editors were using Scheana’s own words to troll her. This season, new cast members like Max and Brett are piling on, and it’s no longer fun. It’s one thing to string together a masterful, symphonic compilation of the 97 times Scheana uttered the word “Rob” in season 6. But to allow two indistinguishable greaseballs who just arrived on the scene and have zero credibility to openly disrespect her on camera and call her “boy crazy” and “middle-aged” is a bridge too far. Off camera, Lisa has joined in and called her “desperate”, and an episode of Watch What Happens Live featured a “Desperate-O-Meter” to measure this alongside various clips of Scheana interacting with men. Meanwhile, Max goes from banging Scheana to Dayna to Vegas Baby Scheana in a matter of weeks and is now being inexplicably included in scenes with main cast members. It be ya own editors, which brings me to my next point.
She’s Being Portrayed As One-Dimensional
No one is denying that Scheana enjoys male attention and is clearly looking for a serious relationship, despite her claims otherwise. But that’s just one part of her and, unfortunately, it’s the only side of her the editors are allowing us to see. Throughout this season she’s brought up her egg freezing process and subsequent surgery, yet it’s constantly being minimized and reduced to a punchline. Her fellow castmates either barely acknowledge or ignore the subject when she brings it up. I can’t say I’m totally shocked, as self-involvement seems to be a prerequisite for getting cast on this show, but why aren’t the editors exploring this storyline a bit further? It’s incredibly relevant and relatable, as more and more women are delaying starting a family. And let’s not pretend we don’t have room for it in this trash heap of a season. If there’s airtime for LVP to hide her bra in Schwartz’s luggage, a funeral for a lizard who died by negligent homicide, and 12 episodes dedicated to Jax and Brittany’s Kentucky Fried Wedding, we could’ve delved into Scheana’s fertility journey a bit more. Then again, letting viewers see her as a complex woman balancing her dating life with her desire to one day have a family wouldn’t fit the narrative of Scheana as desperate psycho.
I love a good troll as much as the next Bravo fan, but Scheana’s treatment of late goes far beyond the fun shade we enjoy as viewers of Vanderpump Rules. It’s also tired at this point. She’s been the punching bag on this show for far too long, and it’s time we give her the respect she deserves. A couple of seasons ago I could have never imagined coming to Scheana’s defense, but hashtag it’s all happening.
Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Tenor (3)
When it debuted in 2014, Southern Charm captivated Bravo viewers with its breezy Charleston backdrop and dynamic cast. But in recent years, the show has started to lose its luster, particularly with its continued indulgence of seriously toxic men. It seems that the powers that be at Bravo are also ambivalent about the show, as rumors swirl that production on season 7 has been delayed in an attempt to breathe new life into the stagnant franchise. But should they even bother? Unless some serious changes are made, my inclination is no, for several reasons.
TRav Continues To Dominate The Conversation
I’ll admit that when the show premiered, I enjoyed watching Thomas Ravenel. Despite being old enough to be the grandfather father of several of his castmates, there was something endearing about him, especially in his tearful breakup with Kathryn at the end of season 1. At the time they seemed like two star-crossed lovers, and it was genuinely heartwarming to learn that not only did they get back together, they had a baby after filming on season 1 wrapped. Of course, as the seasons went on it became very clear that Thomas was a veritable monster. We started to see firsthand his emotional abuse of Kathryn and his manipulation of both the press and the rest of the cast in a devious crusade to destroy Kathryn’s reputation and force her to lose custody of their two children. As if that weren’t disgusting enough, he was also arrested for sexual assault and battery.
Despite being removed from the cast, Thomas was implicated in virtually every major storyline in season 6 with the focus on his custody battle with Kathryn, the return of his whackjob on-again, off-again escort girlfriend Ashley, and even the casting of his family friend Eliza Limehouse, with that connection being touted several times throughout the season. This obsession with Thomas-adjacent plot points makes it seem like Bravo is afraid they can’t put together a successful show without Thomas somehow being involved. The rumors confirm this, with sources alleging that production approached Thomas’ cousin to join the cast for the upcoming season. Even Kathryn is seemingly buying into this idea, with a recent Instagram she put up with her estranged ex that suggests they might be back together. While I hope for her sake that it’s nothing more than a publicity stunt, if the show depends on a problematic and toxic cast member for its survival, this seems like a sign that Southern Charm may not be long for this world.
The Men Still Suck
Even putting TRav aside, my many qualms with the men on Southern Charm are well-documented. I won’t wax poetic on the varying degrees of their suckage here, but instead I’m most concerned with the lack of evolution we’ve seen with any of the men on this show. The most successful and compelling reality stars are the ones who evolve season after season and show us new sides of themselves. Sometimes this involves real growth, other times they regress, but the point is that there’s a general forward momentum that keeps viewers interested. The men on Southern Charm, if you can even call them that, have shown little to no growth over the course of six seasons. Shep, once an affable goofball, has transformed into a misogynistic emblem for white male privilege. Whitney continues to be creepy, and Craig, though adorable, seems content to push pillows and sleep ‘til noon for as long as he can ride this reality TV wave the foreseeable future. Austen’s never really been more than Shep Jr. until Madison came on the scene last season. Their dynamic added some spice, but not enough that I want to have my eyes and ears assaulted with more cries of “MAAAHDISEHHHN!” and a side of Austen’s half-mast boner next season.
The Rest Of The Cast Is Boring
So who does that leave us with? Cameran was fun the first few seasons as our resident narrator and f*ckboy-wrangler, but she hasn’t brought much else to the table throughout her tenure on the show. She’s always removed from the drama and seems to think palling around with Shep & co. while eating various fried foods passes for a legitimate storyline season after season. Her attempts to document her struggles as a new parent also fell flat last season. We watch reality TV to escape the more mundane aspects of our lives and to see something aspirational, not to watch someone whose challenges look much like our own. It’s great to be nice and normal, but like I’ve said before, well-adjusted people have no place on reality television. Chelsea, though sweet, is cut from a similar cloth as Cameran and has done little to hold my interest as a viewer. Eliza initially seemed like a potential new villain, but turned out to be a total non-entity last season. Naomie seems almost passive in her new relationship and did little to engage viewers either. Kathryn’s fascinating, but inconsistent, and if she’s really back with Thomas, the last thing any of us need to see is a vulnerable woman falling back into the arms of a sociopathic ex. You does it much better anyway.
Unless Bravo can shake its TRav obsession and add some fresh blood to the mix, I’m not sure how much longer Southern Charm can last. They took a step in the right direction with casting Madison, who was dynamic and unafraid to stand up to Shep last season, but she can’t carry the show on her own. Adding other new faces might be just what this franchise needs to stay afloat. It’s a strategy that seems to be working well on this season on Vanderpump Rules, despite some questionable new choices. Whether Bravo and the cast can get the show back on track this season remains to be seen, but here’s hoping these Southerners can once again turn on the charm.
Images: Heidi Gutman/Bravo; Giphy (1); kathryndennis / Instagram; Tenor (2)
There are so many things I love about watching The Real Housewives franchise that it’s impossible to name them all. (Well, it is possible, but I have a job and a social life that I’d like to get back to at some point.) Besides the goldmine of drama that presents the perfect contrast to my boring life, and the insanely rich lifestyles and fabulous wardrobes that have me crying tears of jealousy, my favorite thing about watching the Real Housewives is seeing them go to embarrassing lengths to
make a buck chase their dreams. Whether it means pretending they can sing in front of an audience of millions (they can never sing), or slapping their name on the nearest bottle of alcohol, it’s always fun to see what these women will come up with to grab a little more cash on top of their Bravoc checks. I mean, you gotta have a fallback plan once Andy Cohen gets bored and fires you! And since we can’t all be SkinnyGirl, you’ve probably forgotten about most of these cash grabs businesses—which is why I’m here to remind you, in all their glory.
Pop Of Color By Kristen Taekman
Kristen Taekman was only on RHONY for two seasons, but she wasted no time diving into the beauty business, launching her own line of nail polish called Pop of Color (inventive name). And by launching her own line, I mean her husband Josh bought her a business. And by bought her a business, I don’t mean paid for her start-up fee for some MLM company, unlike every other girl from your high school who pushes her nail polish wraps on Facebook. In classic Housewives fashion, Kristen’s business venture caused drama, when Bethenny called her dumb for not trademarking the name of her company. I mean, was she wrong? If anyone knows about being housewife with a successful business, it’s Bethenny.
Gretchen Christine Collection
Gretchen Rossi was an all-star OC housewife for five seasons, and she made sure to kickstart her personal brand before getting booted from the show. What started out as a handbag line that was definitely just a manufactured plot line for the show has become a lifestyle brand featuring jewelry, cosmetics, and hair tools. Gretchen Christine Collection was recently acquired by a global portfolio of luxury brands, so hopefully she cashed a nice check to make up for Slade not having a job. She shared the news on her Facebook page, giving full credit to God for the line’s success: “So today and always I will say thank you Lord for blessing me and my business because I remained faithful even during the difficult times.” Yes, God definitely ignored the needs of the poor and sick to help your handbag line become successful. These days, Gretchen spends most of her time Facetuning her baby, and desperately wishing Bravo wanted her back.
Melissa Gorga’s Singing Career
Melissa Gorga was not the first Bravolebrity or housewife to attempt a singing career (@Scheana and @Countess) and she certainly wasn’t the last. Melissa’s impending music stardom was a plot line for like, two whole seasons of RHONJ, and it’s wild to remember that she literally performed for Ryan Seacrest. What a time to be alive. The most interesting part of this storyline was actually Joe’s insistence that Melissa not leave the house, prompting him to build her a recording studio in the basement. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, but with sh*tty dance singles instead of books. Low-key, I still listen to “On Display” more than I’d like to admit, so I’m always hopeful we’ll see Melissa return to the studio… which is theoretically still in her basement?
Adrienne Maloof’s Zing Vodka
There have quite literally been too many Bravolebrity alcohol brands to count, but not all of them are created equal. For every SkinnyGirl Margarita or Vanderpump Rosé, you’ve got half a dozen brands that once served as a plot line, never to be heard of again. Take, for example, Adrienne Maloof’s red velvet-flavored vodka, the thought of which makes me throw up in my mouth. Marked by an extravagant launch party, at which Adrienne’s soon-to-be-ex Paul dressed up as one of the naked tree statues (2012 was crazy), no one ever really expected this to be a hit. But the final nail in the coffin for Zing Vodka? Chris Brown was the creative director. Lol, I’m f*cking done.
SHE by Shereé
The RHOA alum’s athleisure/jogger/sweatpants collection has basically been in the works since Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries. From hosting a “fashion show with no fashions” to clarifying the launch date as “September/Spring/Summer,” we’ve been waiting on SHE by Shereé for a full decade, and there’s no end in sight. Currently, her website just features a homemade video of Shereé and some models wearing athleisure, and an about page that claims the line is coming “by 2022.” Basically, this sh*t doesn’t actually exist, and it probably never will. Her “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo” t-shirt (which is actually a Hanes shirt, lmao) is listed on the Nordstrom website, but it’s sold out. Classic.
Sonja Morgan’s Toaster Oven
Amelia Earhart, the lost island of Atlantis, the death of Jeffrey Epstein. These are just a few of the world’s greatest mysteries, and Sonja Morgan’s toaster oven might be the most curious one of them all. On the show, we saw Heather Thomson help her with the branding and logo, we saw a photo shoot that involved a prototype, and in 2016, she even told Forbes it was still in the works! Personally, I have my doubts, and I’m not the only one. The RHONY ladies were pretty relentless in asking her about the toaster oven progress, but never really got a straight answer. Let’s just agree that it’s never coming out, and move on with our lives. Sonja has always been a hustler, with other business including her clothing line, her event planning company, and the controversially-named Tipsy Girl Prosecco debuting to varied levels of success. Whatever, she’s delusional, and we love her for it.
Honestly, Alexis Bellino is an icon, and watching her launch a dress line with absolutely no fashion knowledge was a f*cking delight. Sure, she had no design background and couldn’t even give a solid definition of the word “couture” on the show, but she did the damn thing anyway. Actually, I’m not sure that the company ever really got off the ground, but she sure talked about it a lot. Alexis Couture was even less successful than her painful Fox 5 hosting segments, which is saying something. God, I love this woman.
Milania Hair Care
Teresa Giudice has always been a hustler, and she’s on stranger to slapping her name (or one of her daughter’s names) onto a product that makes no sense. Her hair care line was one of many products that screeched to a halt when she got indicted for fraud, but not before she got sued for copyright infringement by a company called Milani Hair Care, which just happened to be run by Alexis Bellino’s friend. It’s all one vicious cycle. Other *chef’s kiss* businesses from Teresa include her failed Italian restaurant with her brother, her many cookbooks, and of course…
Don’t ever let anyone tell you Teresa isn’t a mogul. Teresa tried her own hand at the alcohol business, with Fabellini, a line of peach- and raspberry-flavored Prosecco. I never had the privilege of trying it, but that honestly sounds like it would make me throw up. The business shut down in 2014 due to Teresa’s legal issues, but thankfully we can still enjoy the incredible Fabellini commercial. It’s full of flavor!
Housewives love the chance to slap their names on an alcohol bottle, and the OG of the OC is no exception. Vicki decided too launch a vodka brand with Brooks Ayers (yikes), and shockingly, it wasn’t a success. I guess the world just didn’t need another reality star’s sh*tty vodka. Ultimately, the vodka business failed, and Vicki and Brooks were sued by their partner for breach of contract. I have a feeling Brooks’ business dealings are just as shady as his fake cancer.
Wines By Wives
Around the same time that Vicki was launching her vodka, she was also partnering with Tamra on a wine subscription service, Wines by Wives. Because why make your own wine, when you can just pick bottles to send to people?! The wine service provided a weak excuse for a “trip” to Malibu in season 8 to taste wines, but Vicki and Tamra got in a fight because Tamra said Vicki was prioritizing her vodka over the wine club. You love to see competing businesses!
Lisa Vanderpump has had a ton of success with her restaurants, but I’m not sure her shoe line ever actually got off the ground. Originally announced in 2011, The Vanderpump shoe was “a suede and Swarovski crystals closed-toe combination that stands on a five-and-three-quarter-inches heel in pink or black.” Sounds very 2011. The shoe was supposed to retail for a disgusting $900, but it’s unclear if they ever actually made it to retail. Personally, I’d rather wear a Maloof Hoof.
Kathy’s Cannoli Kits
Kathy Wakile was never a business titan like her cousins Kathy and Melissa, but she still tried. On RHONJ, we saw her develop a line of DIY cannoli kits, because that’s apparently something people want? Idk. Kathy is actually still selling the cannoli kits on her website ($40 seems kind of expensive?), but they’re actually from another company, and QVC sells the same one. I have no idea if Kathy is making any money off of this, but I really hope so.
The L’Infinity Dress
We’ve seen tons of Bravolebrities do clothing lines, but none were quite as ridiculous as LeeAnne Locken’s L’Infinity Dress. The base dress was a cute LBD, but it came with snap-on attachments that allowed it to be worn 175 different ways. Most of them are ugly AF, but whatever. Of course, true fans will remember the Thailand trip, when D’Andra showed up to dinner in the dress, and caused some major drama because she made fun of it. As of today, the L’Infinity website doesn’t seem to be working, so maybe that business stalled along with LeeAnne’s career as a housewife…
I could literally go on for days about these failed business enterprises. I mean, just the alcohol brands could be an article by themselves—looking at you, Ramona, Brandi Glanville, and plenty of others. And that’s just Real Housewives! Who could forget Jax Taylor’s Just Add X drink line? Everyone, that’s who could forget. As long as these desperate women stay on TV, they’ll keep coming out with these low-effort, high-embarrassment business ventures, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next.
Images: lev radin / Shutterstock.com; Giphy (7); Bravo; realitytvgifs / Tumblr; Page Six / YouTube
Just weeks ago, a grown woman was caught on film having a meltdown while on the job. She yelled at her boss, suggested that she was the reason for his success, and publicly shamed a coworker with same-sex proclivities, saying, “We don’t do that” and “Turn it down!” In any other functional workplace, this behavior would get a person immediately fired, but in Real Housewives land it gets you ratings and a promotion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Vicki Gunvalson has gone off the rails, but it is the first time it has felt like a palpable line had been crossed. After her entitled and delusional outbursts at The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 reunion, it became clear that she had fallen prey to some classic Real Housewife pre-retirement symptoms, suffered by many fellow Housewives, past and present. Read on for the signs a Real Housewife should leave the party.
1. Not Fully Participating in Filming and Reunions
There are always going to be parts of our jobs that we don’t like, for example, having to interact with other human beings partnering with coworkers on group projects. However, we’re paid to fully execute our responsibilities, and a Housewife’s duties are no different. This means showing up to all filming obligations, regardless of whether you feel like it or are getting along with your fellow castmates. Unfortunately, Lisa Vanderpump didn’t seem to understand this concept throughout season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when she just decided to stop filming midway through and chicken out on the reunion because she wasn’t getting along with the other women. It’s no wonder she was fired won’t return for the upcoming season. NeNe Leakes is also currently suffering from a similar delusion on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s barely been a presence and is leaving the heavy lifting to “friends of” like Marlo Hampton. It’s like asking an intern to bear your entire workload. Aspirational, but not how it actually works. If the Bravo execs have any sense, they’ll give Ms. Leakes her walking papers.
2. Forgetting The Show Is An Ensemble Effort
It’s natural that in any season there are going to be fan favorites and breakout stars. But Housewives get into trouble when they start believing their own hype and convincing themselves that they are the stars of their shows and their fellow castmates are merely supporting players. Vicki demonstrated this over and over again on the season 14 reunion, constantly making references to “my show” and saying “Get her off my show!” in reference to Braunwyn. Teresa Giudice is also guilty of using similar language on multiple occasions. What both Vicki and Teresa fail to realize is that they are on a show that thrives—nay, depends—on the interactions between cast members. Unless you’re Bethenny Frankel, you’re not compelling enough to carry your own show. Suck it up and know your role before you find yourself out of a job.
3. Crossing Moral And/Or Legal Boundaries
As Housewife fans, we live for drama, but when that drama derives from behavior that is immoral or downright illegal, it becomes hard to stand by the Housewife in question. We can never forget Vicki’s entanglement with real-life Dirty John Brooks Ayers, who spent the bulk of season 10 perpetrating a cancer scam, and although she was fully aware of this claimed to know nothing about it, she lost a lot of her luster with fans and the storyline was widely considered a low point for the series. Behavior that goes even further and ventures into criminal territory will get you fired, as Phaedra Parks learned after the revelation during the season 9 Atlanta reunion that Phaedra spread defamatory rumors claiming Kandi and Todd wanted to drug Porsha in order to take advantage of her. Attorney Phaedra should have known better than anyone that no one wants to deal with lawyers.
4. Being Inauthentic
We’ve all deduced by now that “reality” television is hardly real in the way, say, documentary footage or live news reporting is real. Plots need to be fleshed out, and at times that leads to storylines that can come off a bit contrived. However, when a Housewife herself is inauthentic, it’s a deal-breaker, and a telltale sign that she has no business being on the show. Tamra Judge on Orange County is a perfect current example. A woman who was once a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off is now, over a decade later, a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off. Only now it’s no longer novel and comes off as a desperate attempt to stay relevant on a show that is evolving without her. Another party guilty of inauthenticity of a different type is Dorit Kemsley on Beverly Hills. Forgetting about her put-on accent, Dorit’s refusal to air any of her real-life controversies makes her one of the phoniest Housewives we’ve ever had. It’s unclear what she brings to the show, other than a piggish husband and a penchant for over-the-top, label-displaying fashion she can’t actually afford. Yawn.
5. Avoiding Drama
Just like part of the job is showing up to filming at the appointed times, another integral part of being a Housewife is getting into it with other Housewives. Yet, year after year, there are always several women who complain that they “don’t want any drama” and refuse to go toe-to-toe with the others. In fact, aside from Puppygate, the entire cast of Beverly Hills built a whole season around this ethos, leaving us with one of the most boring seasons of the show we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). Even Namaste Teresa is a shell of the table-flipping, prostitution-whore-calling woman she once was, staying out of the fray and letting other people like Danielle Staub do her bidding. One might say this is growth and one might be right, but we all know dignity and maturity have no place on reality television. If I wanted to watch respectful and thoughtful people politely interact with one another, I’d put on The Great British Bake Off. Pick a lane, people!
It will be interesting to see what Bravo does with its OGs, who are some of the worst offenders when it comes to this list. While there’s something comforting about keeping around those who have been there from the beginning, getting rid of the women who aren’t pulling their weight keeps the others on their toes, especially those who lack the self-awareness to course-correct like Lisa Rinna, who does her best despite her drama-eschewing castmates. What other signs are there that a Housewife needs to go and who do you think needs to get off our screens? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Giphy (4); Tenor (1)
Any Real Housewives Bravoholic knows that our ladies are at their best when they go on vacation. Something about the change of scenery and being out of their element makes these already unhinged women go completely off the rails, and there’s beauty in the breakdown. But which trips deserve a spot in the top tier of the Real Housewives canon? Fortunately for you, I’ve done the lord’s work and broken down the most iconic trips in Real Housewives history.
10. Hong Kong, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7
This trip is a standout for two primary reasons. The first is Ms. Erika Jayne’s completely over-the-top “You don’t know what I deal with every night!” freakout at Eileen, which may be the most emotion we’ve seen from Erika, well, ever. The second is Lisa Rinna’s accusation that Dorit was doing coke in her bathroom at a recent party. It came completely out of left field and is totally may not be true, but cut with the producer’s footage from that night, was one of the realest moments we’ve seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And that’s saying something.
9. Whistler, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8
Despite her demotion to “friend of” this season, there’s a reason that Vicki Gunvalson is the OG of the OC, and the cast’s trip to Whistler in season 8 is a perfect example. After Lauri accuses Vicki of having a threesome at an insurance conference, Vicki reacts in a way that can only be described as, “not well, bitch!” Vicki in full ski gear screaming “I HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!” will haunt me for the rest of my days.
8. Anguilla, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 5
This trip cemented Kenya Moore’s status as one of the greatest Housewives of all time. Upon arriving in Anguilla, she somehow manages to take control of the boat and tells everyone to “hold onto your weaves!” She then proceeds to throw a tantrum at the hotel when she finds out her room does not have a bathtub. As if she hasn’t contributed more in this episode than the entire cast of Beverly Hills has in several seasons, she gets into an epic brawl with Porsha that culminates in her proclaiming, “I’m Gone With the Wind fabulous!” and twirling away. For that, I am forever indebted to her.
7. Marrakech, Real Housewives of New York Season 4
There were so many unforgettable moments on this trip. A fortune teller predicting (what we now know is correctly) that Mario was cheating on Ramona. The camel being so sick of the Countess’ pretentious bullsh*t that it tried to buck her off two separate times. The most Ramotional fit of crying ever to be seen on national television. And finally, Alex trying to confront Luann in her “Herman Munster shoes” like a “buffalo,” only to be thwarted by Kelly’s constant demands that she “re-enter” because she’s “not authentic” and Luann saying, “Go back to the cabinet you came out of, witch.” So good.
6. Lake George, Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5
The Gorga-Giudice dynamic is arguably the most compelling part of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The tension between the two families reached a pinnacle on the cast trip to Lake George in season 5. Melissa literally gets on her knees and begs Teresa to “stop hurting us!” Then, after accusing her brother of being disloyal, Joe Gorga calls Teresa “scum,” triggering an epic Battle of the Joes that leaves these two grown men wrestling on the floor and the venue forever stained with Joe Gorga’s black spray-on hair dye.
5. Turks and Caicos, Real Housewives of New York Season 7
Despite how insufferable Luann has been in recent seasons, I can never completely forsake her. This trip is the reason. Hungover and clad in a white bathrobe and sunglasses, Luann is confronted by Heather about an unattended naked man in their house. Luann simply responds, “Be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.” She gives negative f*cks and it is not just a mood, it is the mood. This star turn allowed Luann, who’d been demoted to “friend of” that season, to ascend right back to a full-time cast member the following season, where she rightfully belongs. I stan.
4. Amsterdam, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 5
If the women of Beverly Hills could give up the dog drama and channel some of the energy from the season 5 trip to Amsterdam, we’d be back in business. Brandi, who I sorely miss, slaps LVP. In another scene, Kim goes in on Rinna, implying that she knows something untoward about Rinna’s husband. Eileen tries to intervene, but Kim snaps and calls her a beast. Eileen summons her years as a storied soap opera star and responds with the perfect “Beast? How dare you.” Kyle literally flees the entire restaurant, too overwhelmed to deal even a little bit. And if that wasn’t enough, Rinna smashes a glass on the table. It’s heaven.
3. The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 8
They don’t call it the Berzerkshires for nothing. Though the ladies have been there several times now, this is the one that will go down in history. Bethenny mercilessly takes down Luann for sleeping around and not owning it, screaming “You f*ck EVERYONE!” and calling her every synonym for “slut” in the thesaurus. Just when we think things may finally calm down, Luann makes the fatal mistake of insulting Dorinda’s mom’s cake, sending Dorinda into an epic tirade that will live on in Housewives history: “I decorated, I cooked, I made it NICE!”
2. Cartagena, Real Housewives of New York Season 10
Just when we think the New York ladies have peaked, they outdo themselves. This trip has it all: not one, but two fights happening simultaneously at a dinner table, a drunken Dorinda slurring her words with red lipstick smeared across her face, a boat ride so frightening that the women fear for their lives and nearly sh*t themselves, and, finally, a bout of food poisoning that causes almost all of them to actually sh*t themselves.
1. St. John aka Scary Island, Real Housewives of New York Season 3
No one travels better than the women of The Real Housewives of New York, and this trip is the jewel in the crown. There are so many quotable moments that it would be virtually impossible to list them all. Jill Zarin’s “HAAHHAIIIIIIII” as she crashes the trip is bone-chilling. Alex’s attempt to walk seductively during Kelly’s “photoshoot” while channeling her “Johan face” was blood-curdling. But nothing was more frightening than Kelly’s complete and utter mental breakdown “breakthrough” where she rambled on about Al Sharpton, satchels of gold, and jelly beans. I couldn’t GO TO SLEEP even if I tried. At least among all of the darkness we had Turtle Time.
St. Barth, Real Housewives of New York Season 5
“TAKE A XANAX, CALM DOWNNN!”
Beaver Creek, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2
Taylor in a suitcase.
The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 6
“Who are you to get me wet?”
Cape Town, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4
Shereé and Marlo’s fight, comprised entirely of unintelligible shrieks.
Bali, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 9
Lizzie provoking Tamra to run away and threaten that we would never see her face again (unfortunately she did not make good on that promise) should have earned Lizzie another season.
Of course, only crowning 10 trips with this distinguished honor means that some memorable trips had to be left out. Which were your favorite trips? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (9)