It feels like just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting the premiere of the 10th season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. After the massive let-down of season nine, it seemed that we might be turning over a new leaf, with two exciting new cast members, a lavish trip to Rome, and a Brandi vs. Denise showdown that was already burning up the tabloids. At the height of quarantine, the new season was supposed to be a much-needed escape from reality, replacing fear and uncertainty with glamour and petty drama and allowing us to focus on the Housewives’ problems instead of our own.
Instead, we got another frustratingly uneven season, once again dominated by a season-long storyline that failed to live up to the hype. Did Brandi Glanville and Denise Richards hook up? Most people seem to think so, but the truth is, we’ll never actually know definitively. Denise announced last week she won’t be returning for season 11, and given the fact that Brandi wasn’t even invited to the reunion this season, it doesn’t seem like anyone at Bravo is clamoring to get her back on the full-time payroll. This week marks the end of season 10, and for at least the third year in a row, it feels like RHOBH is in need of a major shakeup.
In each of the last two seasons, the network has made interesting casting choices, first bringing on iconic actress (and tabloid fixture) Denise Richards in season nine. Richards was a hit with viewers in her first season, and Bravo followed up that success in season 10 with another beloved actress in Garcelle Beauvais, and an unlikely voice of reason in friend-of Sutton Stracke. Both of these women had standout moments in their first season, and despite Denise’s unfortunate departure, hopefully both Sutton and Garcelle will return for another round. But the issues in Beverly Hills lie not with the new casting choices, but rather, with the older ones that have long grown stale.
With Garcelle and Denise sticking close together this season, and Dorit Kemsley suddenly filling the role of a fan favorite voice of reason, we’re left with a foursome that has been allowed to control the narrative on RHOBH for too long: Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, and Teddi Mellencamp. It’s clear that these women have some kind of unwritten pact to keep their unsavory personal issues out of the spotlight, and they no longer deserve to coast from season to season with no real pressure applied. If Bravo has any interest in restoring this franchise to its former glory, it’s time for some bold moves, and I have some ideas on what those should be.
First and foremost, Teddi Mellencamp has got to go. At this point, this is the opposite of a hot take, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. In three seasons, Teddi has brought us few (if any) iconic moments, and Sutton was right when she identified Teddi as “a little boring.” While growing criticism of her accountability program could make for an interesting storyline next season, I have no faith that Teddi (and by extension, Kyle, Rinna, and Erika) would actually allow it to be brought up on camera. Far more dynamic Housewives have been let go after fewer than three seasons (Claudia Jordan, Jules Wainstein), so at this point, there’s really no excuse.
Speaking of Teddi, her permanent role as Kyle’s BFF/little minion does far more harm than good for the show. As the last OG left on the show, Kyle has put in the work and earned her status as a Real Housewives legend. But as we’ve seen with the likes of Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Dorinda Medley, being an OG or an iconic personality does not—and should not—grant you immunity from having to perform at a high level. Kyle doesn’t need to be fired, but we need a season where she no longer has a crutch (Teddi) to protect her from any negativity coming her way. During this season’s reunion, Kyle went head-to-head with Garcelle, and it brought out a defensive, scrappy side of Kyle that we haven’t seen in years. This is the energy we need for season 11, and I’m hopeful we’ll get it. In a recent interview with Jenny McCarthy, Garcelle was asked if she’s spoken to Kyle recently, and she indicated that she and Kyle are waiting to “do it on camera.”
This is good news, considering that in an interview last month on SiriusXM, Garcelle suggested that if Denise left she show, she would not return either. With Denise’s announcement last week, we were just waiting for the other shoe to drop from Garcelle, but it seems that she may have changed her tune. Hopefully she’s not just bluffing, because this season we got hints of Garcelle’s greatness, and a second season (where she’s not traveling as much) could solidify her position on the show.
So we’re keeping Kyle and Garcelle, giving Sutton the diamond she deserves, and assuming that Dorit will be staying, given she was universally well-received in season 10. That leaves Lisa Rinna and Erika Girardi, and this is where things get complicated. I’ll start with Erika, who is a star, no question about it. But her larger-than-life stage persona hasn’t translated to larger-than-life moments as a Real Housewife, and her glam no longer makes up for it. Each season, Erika has gotten heat for not being open about her personal life, and after five seasons, it’s time we end the grace period. For season 11, Erika can appear as a friend-of or a guest—by all means, please bring the glam!—but there’s no reason to waste a full-time contract on someone who ultimately doesn’t bring much to the table.
That brings me to Lisa Rinna. In six seasons on RHOBH, Rinna has certainly given us iconic moments, and for that, we thank her. But his season, her sh*t-stirring tactics fell flat, and by the end of the reunion, her treatment of her old friend Denise just felt sad and mean. When spearheading drama with Kim Richards or Yolanda Hadid in the past, Rinna mostly made it out unscathed, but this season left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve liked Lisa in the past, and I want to like her again, so I don’t think she needs to be fired just yet… but the queen of “owning it” needs to be brought back down to earth, and fast. My hope is that with Teddi out of the picture and Erika on the periphery, Rinna and Kyle will finally be held accountable for their behavior, and won’t be able to systematically target whichever cast member they decide is the villain of the season.
When it comes to new cast members, RHOBH is always the most fun to speculate about, because they have a history of casting famous actresses who we already know. For season 11, I’d love to see them pull from Garcelle’s IRL group of friends, because she’s going to need a strong ally to fend off attacks from Kyle and Rinna. This season, we saw Garcelle hanging out with Ali Landry, and that’s the type of person Bravo should be seriously looking at. But going in a completely opposite direction, the season 11 cast needs another normal rich person to balance it out. Sutton seemed like a random addition a year ago, but it’s important to have women in the cast who aren’t already famous.
I won’t lie, as a huge Real Housewives fan, it’s been a rough few years for Beverly Hills. Through panty-gate, puppy-gate, and whatever the f*ck we just watched with Brandi and Denise, it feels like we’ve taken three steps back for every step forward. For a show with as many iconic moments as RHOBH, there’s no reason it needs to be this way, and I hope Bravo recognizes that it’s finally time to make some real changes.
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Images: John Tsiavis/Bravo
Last week, the long-awaited tenth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered, and while I won’t make any Chris Harrison-style declarations, it’s safe to say that this season will be pretty dramatic. The premiere was a whirlwind of new introductions, Kyle Richards pretending to be a fashion designer, and Denise Richards barking at a waiter about getting her tequila order wrong. But most importantly, we got a chilling teaser of the drama that’s to come, which revolves around Denise, and a mysterious secret that she doesn’t want on camera.
If you’ve paid any attention to Twitter, Reddit, this site, or basically any tabloid in the past six months, you probably know that the drama has something to do with Denise allegedly hooking up with former Housewife Brandi Glanville. Brandi will be appearing on our new Mention It All podcast this week, so more on that later. But back to the specifics of the teaser, which is some of the best editing I’ve ever seen on reality TV.
A message flashed on the screen that Denise stopped filming with the group in December, which is around the time that the Brandi rumors came out. We see Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna reacting to her departure, and everyone seems confused. But the most shocking moment is at a dinner party, when Denise—looking furious—shouts “Bravo Bravo f*cking Bravo.” And in that moment, I officially forgot about everything happening in the world, and all I felt was joy.
So what does that even mean? Various housewives (namely, Kyle Richards) have talked about how, in early seasons, if they didn’t want something shown on camera, they would just start saying “Bravo” and saying Andy Cohen’s name. Whether they were too emotional or just wanted to touch up their makeup, I guess it worked. At that time, these shows almost never broke the fourth wall, so it was a safe bet that the footage of these moments wouldn’t make it to air. But times have changed, and Bravo has learned how selectively breaking that fourth wall can lead to some of the most compelling dramatic moments.
Still, seeing the “Bravo Bravo” moment was pretty shocking, and everyone had an opinion. The day after the episode aired, fellow Beverly Hills Housewife Teddi Mellencamp took to Twitter to throw some shade at Denise’s attempt to “control things”:
Bravo Bravo Bravo always keeps it rolling even when you try to control things #RHOBH
— Teddi Mellencamp (@TeddiMellencamp) April 16, 2020
When I first saw this tweet, it felt like a combination of shading Denise and publicly sucking up to Bravo. Teddi hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite recently, so she should feel lucky that she’s back for another season. But the whole dynamic got a lot more interesting when Denise responded to Teddi the next day.
You were that someone that told me .@KyleRichards about it.
— Denise Richards (@DENISE_RICHARDS) April 17, 2020
This tweet is an absolute nightmare from an English language perspective, but allow me to translate. I’m pretty sure that she meant to tag Kyle at the beginning of the tweet, so if you move that, it’s just: “[email protected] You were that someone that told me about it.” Still kind of a weird choice of syntax, but at least I don’t feel like I’m trying to understand a robot.
So basically, Denise is calling Teddi on her shade, saying that Kyle Richards (Teddi’s BFF) is the one who told her about the “Bravo Bravo” trick. Teddi probably knew this all along, but thought she could be cute on Twitter and throw some shade at Denise’s expense. Safe to say Denise is not about it, and it seems like she’s not in the mood to be messed with this season. I don’t know if she’ll be a true villain, but I’m ready to see her call these ladies on their sh*t.
After months of only getting information through Brandi Glanville’s tweets and random tabloid sources (who might also be Brandi Glanville), I’m extremely excited to see how all of this plays out on camera. As long as it’s more interesting than last season’s never-ending PuppyGate drama, I’ll take it. And that’s a pretty low bar. It’s going to be a long season, so settle in for some drama.
Images: Eugene Powers / Shutterstock.com; TeddiMellencamp, denise_richards / Twitter
Okay, I’ve been cautiously optimistic for a while, but today I’m finally ready to say it: I think this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is going to be good. While the last couple seasons have been disappointing, it sounds like the show has turned a corner this season. Of course, I’m referring to the multitude of rumors surrounding Denise Richards, and mainly her drama with Brandi Glanville. A couple weeks ago, we discussed some of the rumors, and Brandi’s frustratingly cryptic tweets about the feud, but we have new information, and it’s f*cking huge.
Last week, the gossip surrounding season 10 kicked into a new gear, with a Page Six report that finally revealed the alleged source of the drama between Denise and Brandi. Rumor has it, Brandi and Denise had an affair sometime in the last several months, and the aftermath sounds dramatic AF. According to Page Six, on the cast trip to Rome in November, the other women confronted Denise about the affair, and the fact that “she was also sh*t talking the girls to Brandi.” This is right in line with the rumors that the group was collectively turning on Denise, and it sets us up for what could be a very exciting cast trip. Finally.
If the reports are to be believed, Denise denied all of her castmates’ allegations, and she hasn’t filmed for the show since returning from the Italy trip. We already know she skipped Dorit’s holiday party (thanks to Lisa Rinna’s concerned IG comments), and she was also reportedly absent from Teddi Mellencamp’s recent baby shower. Essentially, whatever happened on that Rome trip, it was enough for Denise to decide she was done with Real Housewives, and it seems unlikely that she’ll even show up to tape the season 10 reunion. Basically, she’s pulling an LVP, except Lisa’s drama was about a puppy, and Denise’s is about cheating rumors. Buckle up.
While Denise’s rep told The Daily Mail that “the story isn’t true,” it looks like Brandi is doubling down on her version of events. Today, she tweeted this message about the difference between hooking up a couple of times and being in a relationship. Honestly, I need to send this tweet to a few of my friends, because I’m sick of hearing about how they’re in love with dudes who barely acknowledge that they exist.
Their is a huge difference between hooking up with someone a couple of times and having a romantic relationship with someone
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) January 14, 2020
Now, I’m sure that Brandi isn’t allowed to share specifics of the drama before it plays out on camera, but this is about as close as we can get to a confirmation. The specifics of this tweet would make sense with what we’ve been hearing—one of the main elements of the drama is that Denise may have lied to Brandi about her marriage being open. If Brandi thought her friend was in an open marriage, then she didn’t really do anything wrong by hooking up with her a couple times. But if Denise’s marriage wasn’t actually open, and the rumor is that she and Brandi were like, dating, then things look a lot worse.
Here’s the thing. As messy as Brandi Glanville has shown herself to be, she really hasn’t ever been a liar. Really, what alienated her from so many fellow housewives in the past was her willingness to be a little too truthful. If you’re going on these shows with any kind of secrets, Brandi isn’t the kind of person you want around. Obviously, we’ll have to wait to see what happens on the show, but at this point, I’m more inclined to believe Brandi than Denise.
When you want to respond but are not “allowed” to… pic.twitter.com/PKl5cgMWYx
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) January 9, 2020
So yeah, I guess I’m excited for season 10? I’m sure there will still be plenty of boring lunches and unnecessary subplots, but it does seem like there’s some genuine sh*t at the core of the season. Not everyone is a fan of Brandi coming back, but her messiness might be exactly what the show needs. And hey, now that Denise is likely gone, maybe Brandi will be the one to finally bring up Dorit’s money troubles? We can only hope.
Images: brandiglanville (2) / Twitter
We need to talk about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Specifically, the upcoming tenth season, and how there might actually be drama (for the first time in a while). While we don’t yet have a premiere date for the new season, it should be back in the first few months of 2020, and some recent social media posts provide some important clues about what we can expect. Specifically, Brandi Glanville freaked out on Denise Richards on Twitter over the weekend, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what caused it.
Back in October, we discussed the sources saying that Denise Richards was absent for a lot of filming due to prioritizing other projects. While there was talk at the time that Denise could be demoted to a recurring cast member, that seems not to be the case. We have photographic evidence that Denise already filmed her intro for the upcoming season, so she’s not going anywhere. But with former housewife Brandi Glanville back in the picture this season, it looks like Denise isn’t going to have a smooth ride.
Though Brandi made an appearance on RHOBH last season as Denise’s friend, it appears that their relationship has severely deteriorated in the last few months. Late on Saturday night, Brandi tweeted that she “just got ‘Denised.'” After my initial delight at the messiness of this, I started racking my brain about what this could actually mean. Denise has only been on the show for one season, and she didn’t do anything particularly messy, so what is “Denising” someone?
I just got “Denised”
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) December 29, 2019
One person replied asking if it’s what Denise did to Heather Locklear (had an affair with her husband), but honestly, that seems unlikely. First, Brandi Glanville doesn’t have a husband, and second, the Heather Locklear situation happened more than a decade ago, and it feels like Brandi is referring to something more recent. Brandi followed up that tweet with another one, which we can assume is also targeted at Denise.
Seriously bitch???? You wanna play-
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) December 29, 2019
Okay, so there’s obviously something big going on between Brandi and Denise, and there are some rumors that get at what might have caused it. As Brandi filmed more scenes for the show in the last month of filming, reports surfaced that she told an “extremely damaging” secret about Denise’s husband Aaron, and that “the information was so damaging and scandalous that Bravo is having to run everything through their legal department before they can air it.”
This tweet from the beginning of December certainly suggests that Brandi was up to something:
If you sign up for a reality show any & all skeletons you have in the closet WILL come out eventually you can’t have secrets & expect to keep them EVER !!! so it’s just best to be honest #own it
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) December 1, 2019
While these rumors about filming don’t always turn out to be 100% true, it’s clear from the tweets that for whatever reason, there’s bad blood between Brandi and Denise. On Sunday evening, Brandi tweeted her most cryptic and accusatory message yet, suggesting that someone *cough* Denise is trying to blackmail her with some kind of slut-shamey information about her. Brandi is pretty much an open book, so I tend to believe her when she says all her skeletons are out in the open, but you never really know.
1-blackmail is illegal
2-I have no skeletons in my closet (they’re all on the internet)
3-slut shaming is soooooo last year
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) December 30, 2019
Honestly, while blackmail and slut-shaming are obviously never okay, I’m nonetheless kind of excited to see what could possibly push Denise Richards to this point. Last season, she wasn’t afraid to make shady comments or get into arguments, but we never saw her truly go head-t0-head with anyone. Whether you want Brandi Glanville back on the show or not, you know that she likes to fight dirty, and it should be interesting to see her get into it with Denise.
But while we’re discussing RHOBH rumors, it sounds like Brandi isn’t the only one who has issues with Denise. Allegedly, the other housewives have been less than pleased about Denise’s spotty attendance during filming this season, and it could become a main issue on the show. A report from Reality Tea claimed that Kyle Richards planned to make Denise the main target of the season, much like what happened last year with Lisa Vanderpump. According to the report, Kyle told Brandi about the plans, and Brandi then tried to warn Denise. Sounds like she didn’t take it too well, hence all the shady tweets from Brandi.
And even though filming for season 10 has concluded, it seems like the drama is continuing between Denise and the other ladies. A couple weeks ago, Lisa Rinna called Denise out on Instagram for skipping a party at Dorit’s house. In true messy Rinna fashion, she masked her shade as concern for Denise’s wellbeing. Subsequently, Camille Grammer called Lisa out on Twitter, saying she should’ve reached out to Denise privately, rather than “throw your friend under a bus.”
You guys, I hate to get my hopes up too soon, but RHOBH might actually be good this year. With Brandi back in the mix, and Rinna seemingly back to the messiness of her earlier seasons, it looks like we might finally get another taste of what made this show so great in the first place. At the very least, it seems like we won’t have to sit through 14 episodes of arguments about why Erika didn’t wear underwear that one time. And for that, I am thankful.
Last August, Bravo thought they had struck gold when they cast Denise Richards on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For years, RHOBH had been a flagship show for the network, bringing in big ratings and consistently compelling drama. But in the past couple of seasons, the drama had become stagnant, with no one in the cast seemingly willing to hit below the belt or bring up personal issues. We even wrote at the end of the most recent season that the show had become almost unwatchable. So last year, when Denise Richards was reported to have signed a three-year, $3 million contract, it seemed like Bravo was aware of the issue, and they were bringing in a heavy hitter to stir the pot.
It didn’t really work. season 9 was better than seasons 7 or 8, but we still saw RHOBH falling into the tired pattern of spending most of the season arguing over something that wasn’t that interesting in the first place (if you don’t already know about Puppygate, don’t bother). Denise Richards brought a fresh, carefree energy to her scenes, and she was pretty funny throughout the season, but she didn’t bring the real, compelling drama that the show so desperately needed. And now, there are rumors that her three-season deal won’t quite make it that far. The Beverly Hills ladies are deep into filming for the upcoming tenth season, but word is spreading that Denise Richards might not be back full-time. A source told Hollywood Life, “Denise Richards has actually been MIA from filming a lot just because she’s so busy filming her other projects. She really loves doing Housewives but being an actress is her first priority when it comes to her career and has opened even more doors for her.”
Hmm, okay, I feel like there’s a lot going on in these comments. Of course, Denise Richards is known first and foremost as an actress, so it’s no big scandal that she’s still acting in other projects. But Housewives typically have contracts regarding how much they’re required to appear, and certain obligations that are fairly difficult to get out of (think trips, reunions, major events and parties). According to the anonymous source, Denise has “barely filmed RHOBH so far this season and missed a few events just due to her own acting career which has picked up even more since she signed on for Housewives.” While it’s plausible that a Housewife with an outside career might not be at every single lunch or girls’ night, it seems hard to believe that Denise will get to keep her RHOBH diamond if she’s really “barely filmed” like the source suggests.
Denise has already confirmed that she’ll be returning for the new season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be back as a full-time Housewife. With the new reports, it seems plausible that she could be back in a part-time role as a friend of the Housewives. While many see this as a demotion (and in some cases, like Vicki Gunvalson’s, it definitely is), I think it might be a smart move for Denise. While many come on these shows with business to promote or aspirations to do ads for CBD oil, Denise is one of the only legit famous women to join Real Housewives, and her acting career isn’t dead, either. Just this year, she joined the main cast of long-running soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, and she has numerous other TV and film projects currently in the works.
While I’m sure that Denise was happy to collect an easy million-dollar paycheck for Housewives, with all these other jobs lined up, it isn’t like she’s hard-pressed for cash. And though I enjoyed her presence on her first season of RHOBH, the anonymous source makes it sound like the reality show isn’t a natural fit for Denise. They said, “She kind of treats RHOBH like a set and the ladies constantly have to remind her it’s real.” I’m dying at the thought of Lisa Rinna telling Denise Richards to snap out of it. Of course, it makes sense that there would be some kind of learning curve for doing a show like this, and not everyone is cut out for reality TV. Even though it’s not a traditional skill like acting, there’s a reason why some women thrive on these shows, and others are quickly forgotten.
But whether or not reality TV is a good fit for Denise, I don’t blame her if she would rather spend her time acting on movie sets than sitting through petty lunches in Beverly Hills. Even though she’s already signed on for the next season, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s slowly backing away, and keeping her hands out of any messy drama. I like Denise Richards a lot, but she doesn’t need Real Housewives the way most of the cast does. Whatever happens with Denise, I’m just hoping that someone, literally anyone, brings the drama for season 10, because the show desperately needs it.