This season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was basically sponsored by the tragic chronicles of Erika Jayne. From the embezzlement allegations against her (estranged) husband Tom Girardi to the scrutiny of her suspiciously well-timed divorce filing and everything in between (rolling cars, snowstorms, cheating, emergency surgeries, burglaries) there was no shortage of content to cover. In the words of Scheana Shay, it most literally was all happening to the untouchable ice queen Erika Jayne.
But a scandal can’t stand on its own. As Meghan King so graciously set the precedent with CancerGate, and the Potomac ladies exercised with Michael Darby, you truly need someone to both recognize the potential of a Bravo God-gifted scenario, and to take a firm stance and ask the hard questions. And in this season of RHOBH, both Lisa Rinna and Sutton Stracke understood the assignment.
Erika may have brought the tangential legal woes, surprise details about her and Tom’s pretty mess-y marriage, and more, but Rinna and Sutton were the vehicles who made that content a conversation about the cast’s stance on the matter(s), rather than a full-blown Erika pity party.
Hear me out.
If it were up to Kyle or Dorit (sans PK), the season most definitely would have steadily chugged along. Shocking news about Erika would drop and they would run to comfort her. They’d patiently listen to her confusing explanations, partially because they didn’t want to cause waves and partially because they couldn’t be bothered to read a 4,000 word article in the LA Times.
Which sure, would still be semi-interesting, because we’d see Erika’s response to the news in real time, and may have even gotten a shady comment or two from Dorit during a confessional. But overall, it’s safe to assume that even though the cast may have *gently* alluded to their suspicions behind closed doors, they likely would have never confronted Erika IRL.
But what we got this season was so much more entertaining than the above. Sutton gave us ruthless investigative journalism, while Rinna presented us an unwavering, court-worthy defense of Erika. Despite their differing positions on the matter—actually, because of their differing positions on the matter—Sutton and Rinna’s strong opinions shifted the storyline beats away from just a regurgitation of the headlines, and made it about the cast’s dynamic in relation to how they felt about snow in Pasadena and rolling cars.
And that’s what makes a strong Housewife and memorable season. The glamorous houses and cute family moments are nice additions, but the real tea is hearing the ladies voice their stance on matters that the viewers and Bravo fandom sure as hell are tweeting about and taking sides on.
Because Rinna and Sutton took the risk of sharing their perspectives, it paved the way for the others, including an initially timid Kyle and fence-sitting Dorit, to throw shade at Erika’s ever-changing stories, discuss what Erika knew/didn’t know, and even speculate about whether Tom was of sound mind.
And because Sutton was on one end of the spectrum, Rinna’s 180-degree POV complimented the stance by showing another side. Even though Rinna is generally getting heat for her actions this season (and last…), we can’t forget that her over-the-top opinions and pot stirring nature are why she’s a good housewife—she’s an exaggerated character with strong opinions, and that gives the viewers something to talk about and the cast something to fight about. Without someone like Rinna (or Sutton) initiating conflict, we’d be watching a season where everyone’s hunky dory… yawn.
And bless Rinna for giving us a B-storyline between Garcelle and herself (ICYMI: Garcelle questioned why Rinna didn’t take that same gumption to defend Denise Richards the season before as she did with Erika). Rinna’s stance—which yes, is not the side most Bravo fans agree with taking—gave Erika a
partner in crime blindly loyal friend, reminiscent of vintage Kyle & LVP.
Rinna and Sutton aside, the closest we got to confrontation was Garcelle saying “that’s not what you said the other night” to Dorit, after Dorit said to Erika that she didn’t want to pry into the legal situation. I hardly can imagine Garcelle stepping up to initiate that dialogue without Sutton, just given Garcelle’s later commentary on how she felt she didn’t fit in. And need I remind you, SUTTON was the one who called the everyone-but-Erika is-my-reputation-affected meeting at Dorit’s house, that so nicely gave Garcelle a Dorit soundbite to reference.
So TYSM, Sutton and Rinna. Even though Erika brought the headlines, you arguably made this the best season of RHOBH since PantyGate.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is having its best season in years. The scandal revolving around Erika Jayne and her soon-to-be ex-husband Tom Girardi is salacious, shocking, and downright nasty. I know that thanks to Erika’s scandal, this season is a lot more interesting than most. However, after seeing a few of her social media posts, I felt the need to speak up. Erika, you might have brought the heat, but you refused to play the game that we know as Housewives. Let’s get into why her uncontrollable behavior, her constant lies and deflections, and lack of a moral compass to the victims of her husband’s alleged crimes could’ve been the downfall of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this season.
Let’s start with the fact that Erika is paid a very cute coin to participate in this show willingly. She knows what her job entails and her behavior is hypocritical considering that she, along with the Fox Force Five, held Denise Richards to the fire last year for running away and lying all the time. While Erika might not run away from a conversation, she has made some of her castmates want to jump out of their skin and run into traffic after having a conversation with her. See, Erika doesn’t know how to be a grown adult and have actual conversations about what’s happening in her life. Instead, she cries and whines and flies off the handle when confronted about an issue. When Sutton confronted Erika at Kathy Hilton’s dinner party about her inaccuracies when recounting Tom’s “accident,” Erika went ballistic. First of all, who screams at someone at a dinner party? Let alone at Kathy Hilton’s house. Second of all, Erika knew she was going to be confronted with this, because this wasn’t her first time having this type of discussion with Sutton. How can you pretend to be surprised when none of your stories add up? Especially when you’re adding allegedly at the end of every story. You mean to tell me that Tom (allegedly) got into an accident (allegedly) and broke his hip (allegedly) and injured his brain (allegedly). Your son (allegedly) found him in a ditch (allegedly) in the middle of the forest? “Allegedly?” Girl, this is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, not mad libs.
Let’s also address the fact that none of Erika’s stories make sense. Every time she talks about her situation, she adds new details—a telltale sign someone might be lying. First, she said Tom was found in a ditch in the middle of the forest. She goes on to say that she refused doctors’ orders for him to go into surgery for an “ankle-related injury” because his brain injury could be “affected” by the anesthesia, which was later disproved by fellow Housewife and anesthesiologist Dr. Tiffany Moon. Then, she tells us that Tom’s house was broken into (which was true) but then she says that the robbers attacked him and that her son went over to help and then ended up in a car accident on his way back home, due to snow. Not just any car accident, oh no, it couldn’t just be ANY car accident; she tells us that her son flipped over five times in the snow. Strangely enough, there actually was snow in the LA area at the time, but it seems doubtful that it was really enough to cause a big car accident. See, Erika can’t seem to keep up with her endless stories. She adds the word “allegedly” at the end of every story that she was “there” for. She constantly twists the narrative to make it seem like anyone who raises any eyebrows to her situation is a villain and that she is the victim here.
Speaking of victims, let’s talk about the actual victims in this case. Tom Girardi is being accused of some downright disgusting shit. Allegedly (I got you, Erika), he took money from burn victims, orphans, and widows (it makes you feel sick) and from just about a good chunk of his clients. Supposedly (we love a synonym), Tom used this money to fund his extravagant lifestyle, which included the lifestyle of Erika Jayne. Now, here is where Erika loses people. Erika refuses to show any sympathy; instead, we get many scenes of her crying about how f*cked up her life is. As Garcelle said in a confessional, “What about these poor victims that have nothing and now have less?” Girl, I promise you if you can afford to live in LA, pay for glam, and pay for extravagant and rather expensive outfits amid these lawsuits, then you’re good. You might not be where you once were, but you’re not the actual victim here. On another note, you’re not the reason why the show is spectacular this season. If it wasn’t for Sutton and Garcelle constantly questioning your lies, we would’ve been stuck watching you push out a narrative that we know isn’t true. If it wasn’t for Kathy Hilton and her quick one-liners, the whole season would’ve revolved around you giving us the same old rehearsed confessional reads that you give us every season. You didn’t bring your A game this season; the success of the season isn’t because of you.
I wish Erika had shown more sympathy toward the actual victims. I wish she didn’t go out of her way to attack anyone who contested her unbelievable stories inundated with inaccuracies and faulty timelines. You can’t proclaim to be “the people’s champ”, when you can’t even tell “the people” the whole truth. If you couldn’t speak your truth due to legalities, then you shouldn’t have signed up for another season of the show. But then again, it is “XXPEN$IVE” to be you, especially with all the money you’re going to have to pay back to these poor victims. Allegedly.
Image: Nicole Weingart/Bravo
There’s nothing that brings the internet together like a good old fashioned scandal. Whether that’s Hilaria “how you say cucumber in English” Baldwin, the O.J. trials, or Tom and Erika Girardi vs. everyone they’ve (allegedly) f*cked over.
As of late 2020, Erika Jayne/Girardi officially transcended the reality TV world into mainstream news and pop culture after she filed for divorce from Tom and the couple was sued for allegedly leveraging their breakup to embezzle money. And even though the Housewives franchises are no stranger to legal scandals (Teresa Guidice, Lynne Curtin, Jen Shah, etc.), Tom’s reputation and the sheer gravitas of the situation has catapulted the story into major news outlets like the LA Times and CNN — but most importantly, it’s being featured on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Up until this season, Erika Jayne was the Kourtney Kardashian of RHOBH: boring AF (Kim said it, not me). And sure, unlike Kourtney, Erika has been interesting to look at, but beyond that she’s been cold, reserved, and truly an enigma wrapped in a riddle and (allegedly stolen) cash.
IMO, getting to feature the divorce/lawsuit this season is the best thing to happen to RHOBH in a looooong time. Over the past few years the franchise has been littered with trivial storylines like PuppyGate that drag out for 10 episodes longer than they should, so bringing in an actual scandal to basically be the eighth cast member this season is bringing much-needed dimension and depth to the show. Otherwise, you just know the entire season was going to be ViolateGate (Sutton vs. Crystal). Yawn.
And I commend Erika on what she’s given us so far in season 11. She’s basically the Faye Resnick we never got — divulging her perspective on the lawsuit, commenting on Tom’s declining health, and sharing her real feelings about her and Tom’s relationship now that she doesn’t have to protect him. Her storyline this season has seriously resurrected the franchise from the brink of irrelevance, lacing it with a hint of true crime-ish elements combined with a more open and off-the-cuff Erika who’s actually pulling her weight within the cast.
And that leads me to my hot take: let’s keep The Pretty Mess on RHOBH as long as she’s still being… well, pretty messy.
If I’m getting too far ahead, there are CliffsNotes below to get you up to speed. But if you already have your PhD in the Erika/Tom scandal like me, feel free to skip the summary and get straight into my open letter to Bravo on why they should keep Erika around for season 12.
Erika’s Involvement in the Lawsuit(s)
About a month after Erika filed for divorce, Edelson PC filed a class action lawsuit against Erika and Tom, alleging that the couple embezzled settlement funds meant for victims who lost family in the 2018 Boeing plane crash. The lawsuit also claimed that the “‘divorce’ is simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money…”.
On the heels of that, Tom’s former business partners filed a separate suit against him, claiming that Tom kept funds over $315,000 that he owed them for his own gain.
And although all this shadiness was allegedly orchestrated by Tom, the scandal is being framed in a way that implies Erika is guilty by association — and not just because of the allegedly opportunistic divorce, but also because her company EJ Global received over $20 million in loans from Tom’s law firm.
That $20 million was probably spent on her glam squad’s room and board during cast trips alone (kidding) (not really), which makes it all the more sad to know it could have been used to pay victim settlements — and all the more infuriating considering it did not belong to Erika in the first place. And that’s a sentiment the judge agrees with, after ruling that specific victims can go after Erika for up to $11 million to replace the amount Tom never paid them.
Why This Sh*t Is Interesting
What punches up the entire storyline is the juxtaposition between the way the media/lawsuits are framing Erika, and how she’s portraying herself on RHOBH.
While the lawsuits suggest that Erika had some part in/knowledge of Tom’s shady dealings, the RHOBH version of Erika is acting as if nothing illegal happened. In fact, she’s enraged that people dare speculate that the divorce timing was suspect, saying during the latest episode, “What’s being said is just, I mean, it’s insane. That my divorce is a sham, but nobody cares about the facts.” She also explicitly said the divorce wasn’t a ploy to hide assets while FaceTiming Kyle and Lisa. THE TEAAAA.
I’m the first to admit that she’s in a sh*tty position, mostly thanks to Tom. But we can’t forget that Erika is a performer by trade with an alter ego that even Danielle Staub couldn’t pull off. We’ve seen her transform from the world’s best poker player to a puss-patting, bodysuit-wearing, loud and bright singer/dancer. All this to say, her time on the stage and those two episodes in The Young and the Restless prove that she has the chops to act the part that her PR recommends.
And as much as I love to analyze what’s strategy and what’s not, at the end of the day I just want good TV. So Erica sharing those tidbits about the lawsuit hit hard, as did the comments about her and Tom’s pre-divorce relationship. For the past five seasons, we’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews of Tom “styrofoam cup” Girardi. Not a peep of indiscretion or disagreement, and not even Kim Richards piped in threatening that she had dirt. But Erika has finally, finally expressed several iotas of emotion and raw stories about their relationship this season, and whether those are her true feelings or a narrative suggested by her PR team (or Mikey), it makes you wonder, what other dirt is she going to spill, now that she’s not protecting Tom?
And we’re going in the right direction. So far this season, Erika has detailed his heartless goodbye, admitted she was pissed he didn’t come see her on Broadway, and even expressed her fear about her public perception post-divorce in the last episode when she said, “I don’t want his actions to absolutely kill what I have created.”
And there are logical reasons why Erika is being more real. For one, she needs that Bravo paycheck more than ever, especially after detailing her fears about the attorney fees in the latest episode. Now that she literally needs this job, it’s in her best interest to involve herself in the storyline and bring some actual juiciness — whether that’s Tom related, post-divorce dating stories, etc.
Another reason to keep her on the show is that despite the accusations, Erika’s still proving it’s expensive to be heeeer-er-er-er by boarding a PJ and sporting a $189k ring. That’s some major BDE when you’re in the middle of an embezzlement lawsuit, and some very Jen Shah-esque energy that makes for ridiculously entertaining TV.
And while Erika’s attorneys briefly dropped her and then took her back (for reasons we can only speculate), her castmates have continued to show their support and allegiance to Erika, both on the show and on social media. From Kyle and Lisa dancing to “XXPEN$IVE” and most of the ladies wishing her a happy birthday publicly, they clearly don’t feel a need to distance themselves at all. Truly women supporting women, in the words of Ramona Singer.
Thanks to Tom, Erika’s part of a truly impactful scandal that I’m 100% sure will be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster. With that being said, capturing Erika’s perspective on the RHOBH is a fresh, deep, real storyline that’s captivating AF. And because court cases take forever and Erika can only say so much right now, Bravo can easily milk this content well into next season as well. Not to mention, Erika will definitely be opening up with some new storylines about post-Tom life in an effort to stay relevant (and liquid… with those big lawyer bills).
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.
Don’t miss out on any pop culture or entertainment news. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Images: John Tsiavis/Bravo
When Lisa Vanderpump essentially ghosted The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills halfway through season nine, it felt like a pivotal moment in the show’s history. With an OG gone, and most of the drama out the door behind her, would the group crumble, or come back even stronger? Well, I’m happy to report that thus far, season 10 has been a major return to form, after a few seasons that struggled to hold viewers’ attention. This week, we sat down with RHOBH star Dorit Kemsley on the Mention It All Podcast, and she shared her thoughts on Lisa’s exit, and why things have really clicked this season.
Going into the current season, Dorit says that “none of us really knew what to expect, because Lisa has always been there—she’s one of the originals.” But once filming got going, things progressed naturally. “There was so much going on that it didn’t feel like there was a missing part,” Dorit says, adding, “none of us probably thought it would’ve been that easy of a transition, but it really was.” Dorit credits this smooth transition with the fact that “the core group has definitely gotten stronger and tighter.” She’s now in her fourth season on the show, and she feels “comfortable and confident” around her fellow cast members, despite acknowledging that “you wouldn’t guess that in some of the episodes.” She also credits this season’s two new cast members, Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke, for “really making it fresh.”
While the show hasn’t suffered from Lisa Vanderpump’s departure, Dorit is still working through the loss of her long-standing friendship with her former costar. “As far as our relationship, sadly, we haven’t spoken. And that’s not because I haven’t wanted to, or haven’t made attempts, but we haven’t spoken since last season. So there really isn’t a relationship.” While Dorit still says she’s hopeful for a future with Lisa, she’s “not stopping life and waiting for it to happen.”
Though Dorit is positive about her relationships with the other women on the show, there are obviously some rough waters ahead on this season. When asked what we can still look forward to seeing, Dorit kept it vague, just saying, “There’s obviously drama. And then the drama gets bigger. And bigger. And then bigger. And then there’s a few bombs, so there’s a lot to look forward to.” Buckle up your seatbelts, because things are about to get messy.
To hear our full interview with Dorit Kemsley, check out the latest episode of the Mention It All Podcast:
Images: Eugene Powers / Shutterstock.com
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)
Last week, the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills kicked off, and it’s an exciting one for many reasons. It’s season 10, we’ve got some exciting new cast members, the return of some familiar faces, and—what I’m most hyped about—we’re finally going to get to the bottom of WTF happened between Denise Richards and Brandi Glanville. We’ve been hearing rumors about their alleged affair, and the resulting fallout among the group, for months, but now we finally get to see how it all plays out.
This week, Brandi Glanville sat down with Bari Rosenfeld and me for our brand new Mention It All Podcast, and she wasn’t afraid to spill some long-awaited tea about what’s going on. On RHOBH she was always known for telling it like it is with absolutely no filter, and it’s safe to say nothing has changed.
When asked about what it was like living through the rumors with Denise, Brandi stuttered before finding the right words to describe the situation. She says that when she was first brought on to the new season of RHOBH, no one knew anything had happened between her and Denise, and she didn’t plan on talking about it. “And then, a certain person changed,” she says. “It was brought to my attention some things were not what they appeared to be… and I just spoke my truth.” What could go wrong?
While Brandi admits that her commitment to speaking the truth has gotten her in trouble “a lot” over the years, she doesn’t have much sympathy for people who want to keep secrets from the cameras. Brandi confirms that Denise Richards sent her a cease and desist letter after their affair became public, but she’s adamant that she won’t be “bullied” into silence. She explains, “When you sign up for a reality show, you have to talk about everything. And if you think that you’re gonna have a secret and then piss on that person, your secret’s coming out.” Brb, grabbing the popcorn.
Clearly, there’s no love lost between Brandi Glanville and Denise Richards, and Brandi admits that this season “won’t be the easiest ride for her.” There’s some major drama brewing in Beverly Hills, and Brandi is ready to get some things off her chest. In the full interview, she shares even more about the situation with Denise, and also opens up about why she feels some of the newer housewives are less compelling. Hint: glam squads. You can listen to the full episode of Mention It All below, and click here to subscribe to get all the newest episodes.
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
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