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)
As a self-confessed Bravoholic, I revel in the happenings on our favorite Bravo shows, whether it’s the idiocy of Puppygate in last season’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or the garbage men that run rampant on every season of Southern Charm. And while I know a mother isn’t supposed to reveal her favorite child, I must confess that Vanderpump Rules is my personal jewel in the crown. From the moment it premiered seven years ago, the show has given us more drama than any scripted series ever could and a cast of beautiful surgically-enhanced train wrecks you can’t tear your eyes away from. In honor of the premiere of Vanderpump Rules season 8, I’ve rounded up the most under-appreciated moments of the series.
8. Scheana’s Crop Top Wedding Dress
Ms. Scheana Marie Jancan Shay is known for her many misguided choices. These usually involve men who are unavailable, either because they’re married or vying for camera time simply not that into her. However, the most embarrassing thing she’s ever done on the show was wear a crop top wedding gown in season 3. I’d describe it for you, but I’ll leave it to Stassi, who summed it up better than I ever could:
7. Story Time With Lala
Lala Kent is nothing if not an enigma. One minute, she’s masquerading as the show’s feminist hero, and the next she is completely unaware of what cis privilege means. In a scene from season 4 that is not discussed nearly enough, she beautifully showcases this when talking about the book she’s currently reading: “I was given a book called Fountainhead, which is by Ayn Rand. It’s a philosophical book and it’s about architecture and architects.” Sounds like the book report of a 9-year-old who didn’t read the book and put the movie on in the background while texting, but sure. I’ll leave it at that, because I don’t want to “get popped.”
6. Ariana, Feminist Hero
Season 7 was a breakout season for Ariana, not only because she showed us she’s more intelligent than her fellow SURvers by leaps and bounds, but also because she’s been open and honest about her sexuality and stood up for her trans castmate, Billie Lee. I especially appreciated her candor on being reluctant to get married and have children despite constant questions and pressure from the other cast members, including her own boyfriend: “Before I would even be comfortable considering the idea of having kids, I would need to check off all the places I wanna go in the world, which is kind of all of them. And I would also just like, I don’t know, want to?” Sorry Lala, but this is actually what a feminist looks like.
5. The Number One Guy In This Group
There’s never been anyone on television quite like Jason Michael Cauchi Jax Taylor. In season 4 he proved that his words could be just as unpredictable as his behavior during a conversation with Schwartz and Sandoval about Schwartz and Katie’s dysfunctional relationship. Schwartz gets up to take a break from the drama, and Jax utters the following to Sandoval in a glorious coke-induced rage: “Dude, stop acting like you’re the number one f*cking guy in this group, man. I’m the number one guy in this group!” The seriousness with which he delivers this absurd proclamation, with not even an iota of irony, is nothing short of magical.
4. James Kennedy’s Impersonations
Love him or hate him, James has delivered some of the best lines on this show (“PUMP-TINI!” “It’s not about the pasta!”). But less acknowledged and equally hysterical are his impressions of his fellow castmates. His impersonation of Stassi on the ground, literally “crawling back from New York” on the season 5 reunion was so hilarious that even Stassi couldn’t help but laugh. My personal favorite, however, is his reenactments of both Brittany and Jax reacting to the revelation of the infamous Jax-Faith recording. His “WHHHYYY?!?” is enough to convince me that he should star in the next reboot of A Streetcar Named Desire. Don’t @ me.
3. Sandoval’s Dramatic Drag Show
Joint bachelor/bachelorette parties are rarely a good idea, especially when the couple in question transforms into the worst versions of themselves after a couple shots of tequila. That said, we’re forever indebted to Katie and Schwartz for giving us what is perhaps Sandoval’s most melodramatic moment on this show, which is saying something. The image of him dressed in drag like a bootleg Sia and referring to his best friend as a “battered wife!” will forever be etched in the darkest recesses of my brain. The juxtaposition of his insane getup and the earnestness of his message is more than any of us deserve. We really are living in the golden age of television.
2. Jax and Faith’s Captive Audience
When it came out that Jax cheated on Brittany with Faith, the rest of the cast was downright shocked. Maybe it was because they collectively bought into the storyline genuinely believed that Jax was a changed man (LOL). However, not one person brought up the most horrifying detail of the encounter: that this all went down while Faith was inexplicably charged with the live-in care for a 95-year-old woman. Umm, WTF?! I can’t even begin to fathom how Faith was approved for this gig in the first place. We can only hope the poor woman was hopped up on one of her prescriptions and slept through this heinous encounter.
Actual footage of me watching this episode:
1. The Montages
The Vanderpump Rules editors (and Bravo editors in general) are the true unsung heroes of the show. They’re our Greek chorus, always ready to point out the cast’s lack of self-awareness, whether it’s a montage of every moment Sandoval got emotional during the entire run of the series, Kristen’s seasonal psychotic breaks, or the 48 tequila shots Schwartz took in Mexico leading him to wander off to a completely different hotel. Editors, we thank you for your service.
Of course, there are far too many gems that could’ve been included, but I have a day job and some semblance of a life. What underrated Vanderpump Rules moments did I miss (other than “Suck a dick,” “I am the devil, and don’t you forget it” and “I don’t know what I’ve done to you, but I’ll take a Pinot Grigio”—none of those are underrated). Let me know in the comments!
Images: Tommy Garcia/Bravo; Giphy (4); Tenor (2); Adderall and Compliments (2); badgalriri / Instagram
If you’re as big of a Vanderpump Rules fan as I am, then you’re well aware that Jax and Brittany’s wedding is just two short weeks away. The VPR cast is in full filming mode for season 8, so we’ll have plenty of time later this year to roll our eyes at the antics of the entire cast, but for now there’s one issue that seems a little more pressing.
In December of last year, Jax and Brittany revealed that they had found a pastor for their wedding, which normally wouldn’t seem like a big deal. I haven’t been to church in approximately a decade, so I’m really not that concerned with who performs a literal stranger’s wedding. But after Jax and Brittany shared their wedding pastor, it was quickly discovered that he’s made no secret of his homophobic and transphobic views. Yikes.
Here’s a post from Pastor Ryan Dotson’s public Facebook page:
Oh, the gay “lifestyle” is contrary to the Word of God. Cool cool cool. Personally, I love forcing my gay agenda down people’s throats, but I guess it’s not for him. But hey, this post is from 2015, so maybe he’s changed his mind since then?
Oh wait, this one is from 2018:
Coooool cool cool cool. So he’s homophobic and transphobic, at least as recently as last July. Great! Once Jax and Brittany announced their decision for Ryan Dotson to officiate their wedding, it didn’t take long for the internet to dig up these and other problematic Facebook posts, and it really wasn’t a great look for Jax and Brittany, who always claim to be allies of the LGBTQ community.
In January, Brittany was asked about Pastor Dotson on Watch What Happens Live, and her response was less than perfect.
“Well I’m not going to say too much but I will say that I am a huge supporter and always will be of the LGBTQ community and no matter what I would never try to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I talked to him myself and he promised me that he was not that way and he was not saying anything about the community whatsoever and I have known this man for years and if it was anything that I felt otherwise, I would never choose somebody like that.”
Okay, so she like, loooooves gay people, and would never want to make them uncomfortable, which is awesome. (But what about the gay people at her wedding who will likely be uncomfortable that this homophobe is officiating?) Luckily, pastor man assured her that he doesn’t hate the gays, and apparently Brit doesn’t have a way to check Facebook posts! It’s pretty insulting for her to act so clueless about this, especially when dozens of people were tweeting her screenshots of the exact posts. Like, just say you don’t care about being a bigot and move on.
But now the controversy over Pastor Dotson has been refueled for a few reasons. First of all, VPR is filming leading up to the wedding, so it’s assumed that the pastor will be featured on the show. Ew. Also, it’s Pride month, and boy Jax and Brittany attended LA Pride last weekend. People are rightfully upset about their hypocritical attitudes toward the LGBTQ community.
Of course, Lisa Vanderpump has always made a huge show of being an ally to the gay community, and she gave a statement to BuzzFeed about the pastor this week:
“Of course everyone knows my feelings for the love and unwavering support for the LGBTQ community. I’ve contacted Jax and Brittany who are extremely disappointed as to the depth and seriousness of these comments by the minister and are very shocked and feel that obviously major alterations will have to be made in their ceremonial plans. They are dealing with this today. This attitude is totally not acceptable to them and changes are forthcoming.”
Soooo…do we believe that Lisa really didn’t know about this until this week? I don’t know if I buy this, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt on this one. Still, is she really going to like, force Brittany and Jax to ditch their pastor two weeks before the wedding? Considering she couldn’t even stick to her guns after firing Jax from SUR, I’m less than convinced.
Let’s get back to Jax and Brittany. Because they’re such huge allies (lol), they obviously must be horrified by all the things Ryan Dotson has said! Oh wait, no! They’ve both been busy blocking anyone on Twitter who calls them out, and Brittany tweeted last night obviously deflecting attention from the controversy:
Spread the love not the hate, I will say this again and again! We can only control our own words not the words of others so do your best to be kind and I will keep doing mine ❤️❤️
— Brittany Cartwright (@BNCartwright) June 13, 2019
Sure, you can’t control the words of others, but you can read those words and then decide not to pay them to be a part of your wedding. You can also choose to not associate yourself with the people who say those words. And if you’re preaching for us to “spread the love not the hate”, then why allow someone who is spreading hate a platform on national television?? I need to take deep, calming breaths before I end up in a rage blackout. This is a painfully weak argument, because there’s really nothing Brittany can say here. Any way you look at it, it’s a bad look for her and Jax to have this guy doing their wedding, but it really seems like they just don’t care. And if that’s the case, I would rather them say that they don’t care then try to gaslight all of us who are calling out their bad behavior into thinking we are simply “spreading hate” or “being negative”.
I have a wedding to plan! Sending love and happiness to you all! ✌?✌?✌?❤️
— Brittany Cartwright (@BNCartwright) June 13, 2019
Since last night, Jax has also been in fine form on Twitter, firing back at all the ~haters~ who have called him and Brittany out. He even said that there are “like 20 amazing gay men” coming to this wedding, so now everything is fine. He followed up that statement with this tweet, which really didn’t help his case:
I pretty much invited every gay person I knew, except billy, you can be mad at me all you want for that one I don’t care. ??♂️?
— Jax (@mrjaxtaylor) June 13, 2019
Besides the fact that he can’t be bothered to spell Billie Lee’s name correctly, assuming that he is referring to Billie, there is so much wrong with this tweet. Jax is basically lumping Billie Lee in the same category as the 20 gay men at the wedding, which shows how ignorant he actually is about all this. If Jax was concerned about being an actual ally, he wouldn’t even drag Billie Lee (who is a heterosexual woman, not a gay man) into this whole mess. Then, Jax also used the reasoning that he wore glitter and a Speedo once during Pride as evidence that he’s not homophobic. K.
I was just making a point, I wore a speedo/ and glitter once during pride, I have many guests that have different sexuality’s, would be really really fucked up for me to knowingly have a pastor like this. Last I will comment on this. https://t.co/khIzbW2cU0
— Jax (@mrjaxtaylor) June 13, 2019
I can’t. Jax has now confirmed on Twitter that Ryan Dotson won’t be the officiant at their wedding, but he’s still being an ass in basically everything he posts. Here’s one of the best ones:
I appreciate that, to be honest we are very grateful that people made us aware of this a while back or we would have never known, I haven’t checked Facebook in many many years so I am unaware what gets posted on that format. https://t.co/iO8yRq84c2
— Jax (@mrjaxtaylor) June 13, 2019
Great, so he’s grateful that people made them aware, but also claiming ignorance about the whole thing? In a few of his tweets, Jax is claiming that this was dealt with “a while back,” and maybe he’s telling the truth. But this whole thing kinda smells like “Lisa called us yesterday and she was really mad and so we had to do something.” Basically, I never trust these people to do the right thing, so I’m not inclined to believe that they handled this months ago.
If they really were taking this whole thing so seriously from the beginning, why would Brittany have rolled her eyes and said what she said on Watch What Happens Live? And why would Jax still be saying things like “Apparently people have never made a mistake before” TODAY? To be honest, I’m dreading watching Jax and Brittany wedding unfold next season, because I already know it’s gonna be disgusting. Thank god Sgt. Olivia Betchson writes the recaps so I don’t have to.
Images: Shutterstock; Ryan Dotson (2) / Facebook; Giphy (2); BNCartwright (2), mrjaxtaylor (3) / Twitter