I’ll admit it. I was on the verge of an ugly Kim K cry when the final episodes of RHOBH and RHONY aired and the seasons came to an end. There’s just something about watching middle-aged women fight, scream, make up, lie, drink too much, spread rumors, and flaunt their wealth that makes me so unbelievably happy. And if you feel anything like I do, you’ve probably been counting down the days until Bravo’s newest Housewives franchise, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, premieres. I assure you, if I wasn’t so lazy or had even a shred of artistic skill, I would have made an advent calendar to track the days.
So why am I so excited? Well, RHOSLC is sure to bring the same level of craziness we’ve grown accustomed to on the other franchises—and then it tops that by promising the most religiously and culturally diverse cast we’ve seen to date. Before you tune into the premiere on November 11 and start following the #RHOSLC hashtag on Twitter, let me break down the six ladies on the cast so you know what you’re in for.
Meredith Marks, a Jewish woman, is a celeb jewelry designer whose pieces have been seen on A-list stars like Rihanna, Bravolebrities like Tinsley Mortimer, and Bachelor royalty like Hannah Brown. Call me a dreamer, but I’ll be praying to the Bravo Gods for a “friend of” scene with Riri.
Beyond doing online sales and over-promoting her jewelry on her personal IG, Meredith has a boutique storefront in Utah. Unfortunately, let’s just say that for someone like me who’s still living at home (thanks Mom and Dad!), the pieces are way, way, WAY, out of my price range.
But even though her products have an expensive price tag, her castmates Jen Shah and Lisa Barlow are apparently frequent buyers—which tells me that Jen and Lisa have real money (and not Dorit Kemsley/PK money).
Anyway, given the storefront is in a city neighboring Salt Lake City, we can bet to have a scene or two take place there.
Meredith has both a law degree and MBA, so she’s got brains too. TG, every cast needs at least one actually intelligent person.
From her Bravo bio, it looks like Meredith’s storyline will involve marital issues with her husband of 25 years, Seth Marks. The couple is originally from Chicago, and according to Seth’s LinkedIn, until January of 2020 he was actually living in Chicago and not Utah, which may have contributed to the relationship issues. I guess Meredith has more of a connection to Tinsley than just selling jewelry to her, huh?
Whitney Rose is a mother of two and the co-founder of a natural anti-aging skin care company called Iris + Beau. Besides founding and running a business, Whitney is now married to her former boss, Justin Rose, after the two had an affair a decade ago. In what sounds like a plotline out of a Lifetime movie, both she and Justin left their respective partners to be with one another when Whitney became pregnant as a result of the affair. The two are still married a decade later, and some of the cast were rumored to have filmed together at their 10 year vow renewal ceremony.
After visiting Whitney’s company’s website, I realized she’s one of three of the cast who runs a company in the beauty space. What makes hers unique is that it has a partner program—basically, earning commission off affiliate linking. From what I could find, her business doesn’t seem to be an MLM (it seems closer to your influencers who promote sweaters on IG stories to get a kickback on sales). But if your MLM senses were tingling, you weren’t that far off: Her husband is an exec at an MLM called LifeVantage, which happened to be sued in 2018 on claims that it was operating as a pyramid scheme. I mean, this is Utah after all, the pyramid scheme capital of the U.S. I know the allegations and businesses aren’t the same, but Whitney and her hubby are giving me MAJOR Teresa and Joe Guidice vibes. What I’m dying to know: Are they going to discuss the allegations this season, or will they keep this topic under wraps like they do on RHOBH?
Heather Gay is a mother of three, was married into Mormon royalty (WTF is Mormon royalty??), and has since divorced her husband of 11 years. She loosely practices Mormonism and as her Bravo bio states, considers herself a “good Mormon gone bad”. I’m sure they love that.
Speaking of good things gone bad, Heather’s already taken a step towards cringey by creating a Heather Gay fan page and updates page on Instagram. Ok, I have no evidence that she created either, but who TF would create an account for a cast member on a show that hasn’t even premiered yet?
For work, Heather co-owns a cosmetic medical practice in Utah called Beauty Lab + Laser and co-hosts a beauty podcast called Live Love Lab. Either her, her co-owner, or their social media manager think they’re funny, because the company’s Instagram is FILLED with memes. Personally, I’m hoping it’s Heather that’s the funny one—we need some Sonja Morgan-esque comic relief on every Real Housewives franchise.
An interesting disconnect is that in her Bravo Bio, it says “she owns a burgeoning Med-Spa business…” and on the company’s About page it says “WE ARE NOT A MED SPA. We are a Beauty Lab.” (yes, it really is in all caps on the site). WTF is the difference between a med spa and a beauty lab, and did we just catch her in a white lie?
Jen Shah is Tongan and Hawaiian, the CEO of three marketing companies, a mother of two, and converted from Mormonism to Islam. In her Bravo bio she mentions she’s “always decked out in designer brands”. If Jen’s bringing the type of outfits and glam Dorit Kemsley’s been serving us the past few seasons of RHOBH, I’m majorly here for it.
It’s unclear whether the three businesses mentioned in Jen’s Bravo Bio are the same three she lists in her Instagram bio. The first handle in her bio links to JXA Fashion, which sells custom couture pieces. @Jovani—move TF aside because we have a new designer in town…
The second and third handles link to Shah Beauty and The Real Shah Lashes, which are both “coming soon”. I’m no detective, but it kinda seems like she may have started these two businesses after hearing she was cast for the show, and is planning to build, launch, and profit off them after the season begins airing. I hope someone tells her this is Bravo and not The Bachelor, and she probably won’t leave this season with an automatic 100,000+ new followers willing to buy any Fit Tea she shills on IG.
And Jen’s business acumen doesn’t stop at the companies she runs. She’s also trying to build a brand around her family like she’s Kris Jenner, by adding hashtags like #ShahsOfSLC and #ShahsSlay on almost every photo she posts on IG. Alright then.
Speaking of Jen’s family, although they aren’t “Mormon royalty” like some of the other cast are claiming to be (again, WTF is Mormon royalty?), they do seem to be local football celebs. Her husband, Sharrieff Shah Sr., is a coach at the University of Utah, where their son also played and attended.
Lisa Barlow is a mother of two, owns a marketing company and a distillery called VIDA Tequila, and sort of looks like a cross between Kyle Richards and Scheana Shay. Although she’s an active Mormon, she only loosely follows the religion’s traditional rules, according to her Bravo bio (I mean, she owns an alcohol company, so how traditional can she be?).
Of all the cast, Lisa seems to have the most celeb friends. Both Brie Bella and Ashlee White have commented on her Instagram photos, and she’s posted pics of John Legend and Charles Barkley at VIDA Tequila events. If we can get a Chrissy Teigen cameo, I’m all for it.
Besides promoting her brands on her personal Instagram and adding a white frame to all of her pics (2016 aesthetic, much?), she seemingly runs her family’s IG account (@barlow_crew). And your mom just made photo albums.
Although the assumed purpose of a family account is to post photos of the family (shocking!), the @barlow_crew feed includes an overwhelming number of solo shots of Lisa. And on top of that, the account’s profile photo is literally a mirror pic of Lisa herself. Sure, every good Bravo Housewife is a little egotistical, and I guess Lisa’s already got that skill down pat.
Beyond running her businesses, Lisa plays the piano and flute and loves horseback riding (like any good Lisa on Bravo).
Mary Cosby is Pentecostal, has an online resale shop called Mari Marta Couture, and married her late grandmother’s husband, with whom she now has a teenage son. Yes, you read that correctly: she married her step-grandpa. WHAT?! If that doesn’t make for TV gold and interesting on-screen conversation, I don’t know what does.
In her Bravo bio, Mary notes that she inherited a portfolio of family businesses, which includes restaurants and churches. Going back to the step-grandpa thing… I guess they were trying to keep the money in the family??
Although it’s unclear of her day-to-day involvement in the family businesses, her online resale shop seems to be an endeavor she started on her own. From the shop’s site it’s clear that she pays almost zero attention to it, because there’s literally nothing listed for sale as of October 2020.
Of all the ladies on the cast, Mary posts the least on IG. When she does, it’s often a confusing AF video of her doing nothing/walking/sitting OR a photo montage put to music. Seriously, her social media is a 911 situation that requires a MASSIVE overhaul.
Honestly, I’m just shocked that none of these women are at the top of the LuLaRoe pyramid. Either way, I’ll be tuning it on November 11th on Bravo.
Images: Chad Kirkland / Bravo
It would be an understatement to say that Galentine’s Day is a big deal in my friend group. It’s a day to celebrate friendships, new and old, without the overbearing presence of cis-heteroxual male energy. It’s a day to turn an absolute look, because you cannot spell “lifelong friendships’”without “photo shoot.” And it’s a day to drink prosecco. So much prosecco. Scholars and theorists alike might even say too much prosecco. Galentine’s Day is always one of my favorite days of the year, but when I think of Galentine’s Day 2020, it can be characterized by one defining moment: the day my friend Danny and I reached peaked anti-social status, and left mid-party to start watching The Real Housewives of Potomac. (Also, it’s the day I discovered what a ring light is, and that I firmly believe that access to free health care and an affordable ring light are basic human rights).
If you’re like me, The Real Housewives are your lifeblood: you breathe Herman Munster Louis Vuitton; you bleed SHE by Shereé Joggers (release date: tbd). You would never accept a stuffed bunny for your grandson unless it had the right energy. You meet the knowledge of someone being engaged 19 times with the flip of a table. You know every franchise inside and out, which means you also know there is currently an opening for the best Real Housewives franchise.
It’s an unfortunate, yet known fact that previous Real Housewives front runners are, frankly, losing their elite status. New York is currently in a transition period, still trying to find its footing without Bethenny, while our usual favorites (Dorinda, Ramona, Sonja) are growing less and less lovable. Beverly Hills is begging for plotlines—making an entire season not even about an actual threesome, but the mere discussion of hypothetical threesomes, and bringing back Brandi Glanville in what can only be described as an act of desperation. Atlanta is a close front runner, but current speculations of a future without NeNe Leakes create an air of uncertainty surrounding the strength of the franchise. This all leaves the perfect opening for The Real Housewives of Potomac to take its rightful spot as the supreme Real Housewives franchise.
As we watched in our too-much-prosecco hazed state in the aftermath of Galentine’s Day, my friend and I immediately realized that The Real Housewives of Potomac wasn’t like any other franchise—and that’s what made it so hard to look away. While all of the ladies of Potomac are Black women, their lives are diverse in ways that make for excellent TV. Of course you have the women who are uber rich, with mansions galore and glam-squads at the ready (Karen, Monique, Katie), but you also have women who are just, dare I say, middle class—they’re doing well, but also have to go to work to pay the mortgage, and in some cases, the rent (Robyn, Gizelle). You have women in happy marriages to lifelong sweethearts, and you have women who are divorced, dating, and thriving—and you have one woman who is divorced from, but still living and sharing a bed with, said lifelong sweetheart. The women of Potomac also widely vary in age, with Karen Huger, the self-proclaimed Grand Dame, who began her Housewives tenure at the age of 52, and Ashley Darby, who made Housewives history as the youngest Housewife at the age of 27.
Potomac is also different from any other franchise because it takes place in, well, Potomac. Andy Cohen is known for giving us inside looks into the lifestyles of the rich and famous with women reigning from notable, big-named cities like Beverly Hills, New York, and even Dallas. But, he took a sharp left turn in choosing to establish a franchise in a place like Potomac, a small town in Maryland that, while boasted as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country, very few people could place on map. In short, I will boldly claim that The Real Housewives of Potomac reinvents the wheel and challenges what it means to be a Real Housewives franchise in new, exciting, and unique ways.
That’s not at all to say, however, that Potomac doesn’t know how to deliver classic, Housewives-defining elements that every franchise is required, by Bravo law, to possess. You have your overbearing mother (à la Atlanta’s Mama Joyce and New York’s Dale) in Candiace’s mom, Ms. Dorothy, who never provides a dull moment in being both a therapist but also someone who hits her daughter with her purse at social events. You have sightings from random celebrities you have not thought about in years (à la Fetty Wap in New Jersey) in Macy Gray, when she appears in season 4 to teach Karen’s daughter, Rayvin, how to sing. And of course, you cannot have real Real Housewives drama without the husbands getting involved. Much like PK and Ken in Beverly Hills, and the New Jersey Joes, the husbands of Potomac also reluctantly become roped into plotlines, most notably with “Did Michael Touch That Man’s Butt-gate”—a fascinatingly complicated plotline that transcends season lines.
One of my favorite Housewives tropes is the classic power struggle between the queens of the franchises: Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga, Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel. Potomac follows suit with the constant back-and-forth between Karen Huger and Gizelle Bryant. These women have a unique friendship, in that Gizelle’s achilles heel is not being able to recognize when she’s wrong, and Karen’s achilles heel is only being able to recognize when Gizelle is wrong. The women begin their tussle early on in season 1, and the cycle of “fight, no apology, fight, bad apology, fight, real apology” has, without fail, occurred every season since. However, what sets Karen and Gizelle’s friendship apart from other franchises is that it’s clear that there is genuine respect and love between them. We learn that the two have been friends for years, far preceding the Real Housewives cameras—and that is apparent. Yes, Gizelle hits below the belt when she wears a T-shirt that says “#FreeKarenHuger #TaxReform,” after Karen and her husband’s tax debts come to light, but she is also the first one to wipe away Karen’s tears when she breaks down at the season 3 reunion after the deaths of her parents. The ladies fight hard and love hard, a prime example of how Potomac gives you classic Housewives, while also pushing and redefining the Housewives narrative.
Past seasons have been nail-bitingly thrilling, but season 5 is where I expect The Real Housewives of Potomac to really come into their own, and secure the currently empty slot of best Real Housewives franchise. The season 5 trailer gives us broken wine glasses, the introduction of a new Housewife, and wigs both good and bad. But, I’m most excited to see how the fifth season of Potomac will handle and discuss our current social climate as it pertains to race. It is true—we are living in unprecedented times, and the culture we consume, especially culture that is centered upon the lives of seven black women, should reflect that. Simply going based off Instagram posts, the women of most other franchises (except, you guessed it, Atlanta) have missed the mark incredibly when it comes to the anti-racism discussion. But the ladies of Potomac have never been strangers to the discussion of race on the show, from season 1 when Robyn and Gizelle cling tightly and proudly to their blackness, despite the lighter hues of their skin, to season 4 when Gizelle hosts a trip to New Orleans and the women emotionally tour a slave plantation. I’m excited and optimistic to see how the ladies of Potomac approach the current racial movement and show the women of other franchises that posting a black square to the grid, or simply ignoring the movement entirely, simply ain’t it.
I was asked the other day who my favorite housewife was on Potomac, and I didn’t have a clear answer. Not because there are not personalities with a capital P within the franchise, but because these women are all connected, a cohort of women who pristinely works off each other to serve the plotline. You can’t have Ashley without Monique and Karen; you can’t have Robyn without Gizelle; you can’t have Candiace without her mom paying half the mortgage. The Real Housewives of Potomac is storyline-driven, which I think is where their lasting power lies. I simply cannot wait to see these women sweep the #1 Real Housewives spot with the premiere of their fifth season.
If you love RHOP, check out our video with Ashley Darby:
Photo by: Sophy Holland/Bravo
It’s no secret from my many articles on the subject that I’m a Bravoholic with an affinity for all things Real Housewives. And while I didn’t think my appreciation for these women could get any deeper, I’ve been especially thankful for them while battling bouts of boredom and anxiety in self-quarantine. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it’s only right that we pay tribute to the amazing women that not only gave life to our Housewives, but who have made a lasting impression in their own right while appearing onscreen.
10. Ms. Diane, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Ms. Diane is an angel. She ranks this high on the list because she’s one of the most normal and seemingly sane mothers this franchise has ever seen. Her calm demeanor and unwavering support of Porsha through everything from the divorce from Kordell to the infidelities of The Hot Dog King is truly heartwarming. Porsha is one of the few lucky ones.
9. Judy Stirling, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Lydia’s mom, Judy, made an immediate impression when she breezed her way into the OC from what seemed like another planet entirely. She sprinkled fairy dust on her grown daughter, smoked a ton of pot, and even managed to get into it with Vicki’s aggro son-in-law over having her feet on Vicki’s couch. In short, she was a lot more interesting memorable than Lydia.
8. Dr. Deb, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Dr. Deb is what you would get if you swapped out Judy’s weed for acid and proceeded to have a really bad trip at Burning Man. When she first appeared on the show, Dr. Deb intrigued viewers with her multicolored dreadlocks and general IDGAF attitude. She really got into the mix last season at “OC Fashion Week” (I refuse to believe that’s a thing) by fighting with another attendant and allegedly using a racial slur. Clearly used to chaos, it’s no wonder Braunwyn decided to have seven kids.
7. Ms. Dorothy, ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’
Ms. Dorothy made an impression from the moment we met her in season 3. Between her monthly stays at the house she bought for with Candiace and Chris and her attempts to control every aspect of their wedding, this therapist seems to have a blind spot when it comes to respecting boundaries with her daughter. Last season she took this to another level by slapping Candiace upside the head with a purse. It be ya own mother.
6. Lois Rinna, ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
When we first met Lois, she charmed us with her happy-go-lucky attitude and positive energy. Little did we know that this ray of sunshine nearly died after surviving an attack by a literal serial killer. And not only did she survive that, she also managed to sit through dinner while Camille defended Brett Kavanaugh and served us some epic facial expressions like this in the process:
5. Marge Sr., ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’
As if Marge Jr. weren’t enough of a gift to the show when she was cast in season 8, we got the added bonus of Marge Sr. Dating well into her seventies and even admitting that she’s had sex in a cemetery, Marge Sr. is the Hungarian Samantha Jones. We have no choice but to stan.
4. Mama Elsa, ‘Real Housewives of Miami’
Almost exactly one year ago, the world lost a legend. Mama Elsa was the indisputable star of the otherwise lackluster Real Housewives of Miami. With her strong Cuban accent, flair for drama, and witchy sensibilities, she stole every scene and gave us so many hilarious moments. The world was a wonder while she was here.
3. Dale Mercer, ‘Real Housewives of New York’
Regardless of whether Tinsley decides to return to RHONY, her mother Dale would be a welcome addition to the show. She never misses an opportunity to shade her own daughter, whether it’s pointing out to Tinsley that she’s wearing shoes designed by Tinsley’s ex-husband’s new wife, or implying that her relationship with Scott is doomed. And, of course, we can never forget her indulging Tinsley’s crazy and crying with her over Tinsley’s frozen eggs “babies” while Tinsley tries on wedding dresses despite not actually being engaged.
2. Mama Dee, ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’
Speaking of women that take pleasure in shading the hell out of their spawn, no one does it like Mama Dee. Watching D’Andra squirm while asking her mom for more money to let her take over the business and Dee revel in the power dynamic is truly captivating television. Is this a healthy mother-daughter dynamic? No, but I really don’t give a dog’s rip.
1. Mama Joyce, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Love her or hate her, Mama Joyce is the G.O.A.T. of outrageous Real Housewives moms. She never misses an opportunity to harass her son-in-law, whether it’s butchering the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to make a threat, or recounting a childhood trauma about a lunchbox to allude to her distrust of him. The thirst doesn’t stop there. She tried using a shoe as a weapon against Carmon during Kandi’s wedding dress shopping trip, and put on an actual trench coat to dig up dirt on Phaedra, giving us this iconic moment:
She may be a monster hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to her daughter’s money, but she’s given us some incredible moments in the process.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the moms on this list make for great TV. Which Real Housewives mom is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Bravo (2); Tenor (5); Trash Talk TV; 1drdeb / Instagram; Giphy (2)
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)
The ladies of The Real Housewives are the gifts that keep on giving. I love the franchise because it’s a space where women are not only allowed, but encouraged, to be unabashedly themselves. Many are quick to dismiss the show as frivolous and superficial, but for me and my fellow Bravoholics it’s a fascinating sociological study on what it means to be a woman in today’s world. This inevitably gives us a glimpse into the men our gals choose, and more often than not, the results are pure, unadulterated trash not pretty. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I ventured into the deepest, darkest depths of House Husband Hell and compiled a list of the most garbage men to grace our screens over the years.
9. Bill Aydin
Bill is a relatively new addition to The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but he immediately made an impression with his condescending attitude towards his wife, Jennifer, and insistence that she stay at home with their children at all times. Jennifer memorably had to ask Bill for permission to go on a “girls’ trip” (in other words, do her job), a request that displeased her controlling traditional husband. This should end well.
8. Brooks Ayers
While not technically a husband (despite Vicki’s numerous attempts to make him fill her love tank), Brooks may as well have been one with the amount of screen time he took up during his tenure on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He immediately pinged fans’ creep radars when Vicki’s daughter Briana recounted that he sexually harassed her while she was pregnant. Brooks really cemented his status as the Dirty John of Bravo when it came out in season 10 that he perpetrated a cancer scam that Vicki was definitely *not* in on. Just thinking about him makes me want to take several showers.
7. Michael Darby
Ashley’s marriage to Michael was shaky even in the earlier seasons of The Real Housewives of Potomac, with the two arguing over their fledgling restaurant and having children together, culminating in a separation just two years ago. Unfortunately, Michael is looking even worse this season with allegations that he sexually assaulted a cameraman on the show. Despite the charges being dropped, more allegations persist. And now he and Ashley have a baby together, which won’t complicate things at all.
6. Jim Edmonds
This marriage always seemed suspect to me, not only because it was lucky number three for Jimbo, but also because he appeared completely and utterly checked out in every interaction with his wife. His abandonment of Meghan during her painful IVF treatments was particularly damning. Just when it seemed he couldn’t be more awful, news broke earlier this year about Jim’s involvement in a nude text message scandal in which, among other things, he was sexting a woman while Meghan was about to give birth to their twins. Inexplicably, they are still together.
My advice to Meghan:
5. Shane Simpson
There’s no way around it: Shane sucks. This human embodiment of the word “twerp,” as he was brilliantly called by castmate and certified genius Kelly Dodd, has been a walking wet blanket since his debut last season on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He threw Gina out of his home last season for being too loud during a party and proceeded to handle the aftermath with the same grace as a whiny toddler who’s been denied his binky. Shane has done nothing to redeem himself this season and can’t be bothered to hide his disdain snark in every scene with Emily, even going so far as to leave his family at home to escape to a hotel under the guise of “studying for the bar” (which he failed, btw). Instead of being grateful to his wife for singlehandedly taking care of their children and throwing a party for his parents in his absence, he snaps at her for disturbing him. Emily can do so much better.
4. Jason Hoppy
This is where the list really starts getting dark. Like many serial killers eligible men, Jason initially seemed like the dream guy Bethenny had been searching for her entire life. He supported her dreams and together they started the family she always wanted. For a while, it looked like Bethenny really did have it all. But cracks started to show in her spin-off Bethenny Ever After and it quickly became clear that Jason had a dark side he’d been hiding from the viewers. Once Bethenny filed for divorce, Jason fully unleashed his crazy by refusing to leave their apartment, threatening her, and bad-mouthing her to their daughter. Yikes.
3. David Beador
Seeing old footage of David Beador and his White Walker eyes still sends a chill down my spine. Shannon was completely humiliated when she revealed during season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County that David had a long-term affair. Though the pair did try to work through their problems, David’s attempts to reconcile always seemed forced and inauthentic. During season 11, Vicki alleged that David was physically abusive towards Shannon during their marriage. Though both David and Shannon denied any physical abuse, David was arrested for domestic battery years earlier. The stress of the allegations led Shannon to gain 40 pounds, and instead of supporting his wife during this difficult time, David began aggressively working out as if to mock her and would eat in front of her in a way that can only be described as hostile. Thankfully, Shannon divorced him.
2. Jim Marchese
Until I began preparing this list, I had somehow forgotten that this O.T. (Original Twerp) ever existed. Jim was hated by just about every cast member during his mercifully short run on The Real Housewives of New Jersey for getting in the women’s faces repeatedly like a rabid dog on crack and saying unspeakable things about his castmates. Jim has continued to reach new lows after his stint on the show. He revealed during his appearance with Amber on Marriage Bootcamp that he blamed her for getting cancer, was arrested shortly thereafter for felony domestic violence against Amber and, most recently, has been accused by his own son of refusing to continue paying his college tuition because he is gay. What a mensch.
1. Joe Giudice
It admittedly doesn’t get much worse than Jim Marchese, but Juicy Joe still reigns supreme as the worst of the worst husbands. The repeated rumors of infidelity were bad enough. Who could forget that uncomfortable scene where he was caught on camera talking to his mistress one of his workers and referring to Teresa as “my bitch wife” and a “c*nt”? But Joe cemented his status on this list by committing fraud and implicating Teresa, causing her to serve time in prison and miss out on valuable time with her mother, who died less than two years after her release. It’s unforgivable, but it does look like karma is coming for Joe and he’s probably getting deported.
Of course, this isn’t a complete list because choosing among the toxic men on these shows is an embarrassment of riches. There were many more I wanted to include (looking at you, Jim Bellino, Kelsey Grammer, Slade Smiley, Paul “Peekay” Kemsley and Simon Barney), but I can’t afford to quit my day job. Sound off in the comments with your worst House Husbands!
Images: Getty Images (7); Shutterstock (2); NBCU; Bravo; Giphy (2)
Earlier this week, The Real Housewives of Orange County’s 14th season premiered. It was pretty much what everyone expected, relatively entertaining and slow. But what happened offscreen was anything but slow. Housewives Tamra Judge and Kelly Dodd got into an explosive Twitter war on Tuesday night, and it did not disappoint.
If you know anything about Tamra Judge and Kelly Dodd, you know they are both ruthless and cutting. These two have only really ever gotten along when they were both attacking the same person. They find common ground in hatred. But normally, they are at odds and both incredibly alpha. Also, it is rumored that Tamra feels that if Kelly had her way, she would be demoted just like fellow costar and the OG of the OC, Vicki Gunvalson (RIP Vicki).
Tamra and Kelly have been feuding off-camera since they finished filming the new season, and that means they’re always taking it to Twitter or Instagram to sound off on what the other might be saying in their testimonials.
This specific feud began when, during the premiere, Tamra was showing off her new house and in my opinion, was just really happy about her new home. Kelly fired off a tweet that started it all, saying “Living in Coto you’re rich!! Lmfao who says that?? Coto is in the sticks!”
And if you have been watching RHOC, you know that Tamra is not a doormat by any means, and will not just take things lying down. So naturally, she attacked.
These two are legends when it comes to fighting and taking low blows. Truly, no one does it like Tamra Judge and Kelly Dodd, which is why this feud is instantly iconic, and honestly I never want it to end. What can I say? I am a messy bitch who lives for drama.
After Tamra said, “Let’s compare income? If it bothers you that much,” she shot another brutal dig at Kelly: “I pay for my houses. I don’t date old men for money,” and Kelly’s response sent me screaming.
Really, “take ur own cbd & relax” is one of the best insults I’ve ever heard.
This fight went on for several hours, and they weren’t just replying to each other, but to fans who were chiming in as well. Ultimately, this all resulted in Tamra deleting her tweets, per the advice of Bravo executives. The producers tend to not like when the housewives get too messy while the season is airing.
Season 14 of RHOC is just starting, so there should be plenty more drama between Tamra Judge and Kelly Dodd. It should be pretty interesting to see what this season has to offer us, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the women interact without Vicki holding an orange.
Images: Bravo; RHOC_KellyDodd, tamrabarney / Twitter