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)
There are few people that abuse Facetune more than the Real Housewives of literally anywhere. Of course, the Kardashian/Jenners are the world’s worst offenders by far. But Housewives come in a close second. With all the fame and money, many of them are no strangers to surgically altering their appearance. But apparently, that isn’t good enough for them, so they take to using apps like Facetune to blur out every last little line and give themselves entirely new features and a scary cinched waist. I really could do this post with every single Housewife—I can’t even think of one that doesn’t use Facetune. But because I don’t have that kind of time, here is a selection of some of the worst offenders. This is your friendly reminder that what you see online is not reality.
Oh, Teresa. Teresa has been through some sh*t these past few years, and I applaud her strength and the way she’s kept it together for her four kids. Teresa has aged so well, you would never even guess she’s been to prison and endured such an unbelievable amount of stress. That said, even though I hardly see a single line on her face, Teresa takes it upon herself edit her photos by airbrushing her skin completely, painting her face a single shade of beige, making her eyes larger, moving up her hairline, and basically cutting off her entire nose. I’ve said it many times, but your facial features are what make your face your face. You can’t just get rid of your whole nose and think this is what you look like! Stop it, all of you! Also, there seems to be some v strange skin warping from the poor editing. No idea what’s happened there.
Ramona Singer really is basically ageless, she looks absolutely incredible. But this one really made me laugh. I mean, WHO IS THAT in her Instagram version? It doesn’t even look like her! I would have no idea who that is a picture of! It’s like a time warp of what Ramona probably looked like in the 80s! But no, she posted that as a recent photo. If you can’t tell what was done, Ramona erased every single line on her face, shrunk/completely changed her nose, enlarged her eyes and brows, and airbrushed herself beige. Why is it always beige?
I recently watched all of The Real Housewives Of Dallas, and can I just say, I CANNOT listen to LeeAnne talk about her inner child for one more second. I mean, enough, woman! Thankfully that chapter of Dallas is over, because LeeAnne decided to be a piece of sh*t and be racist. Let’s hope she’s learned something. That said, I’m surprised she doesn’t edit her photos more, but it seems like all she really uses Facetune for is to take the MS Paint bucket and color fill BEIGE all over her face. Seriously, have you ever seen a face so matte? It’s like a cartoon. This color must be the foundation default for Facetune because I don’t get it.
NeNe Leakes stars in this article series very, very often, and with good reason. I MEAN, look at her. Who IS this person she edits herself into? And for the love of God, why is she also beige?! NeNe regularly removes her nose, enlarges her eyes, makes her head larger, erases all skin tone and every line and pore, and narrows her face. At this point, should we just call this The Housewife Special?
When I found the real photo of Kyle, I was like, “Hang on, how old is she?” Kyle looks absolutely amazing. She has literally zero reason to use Facetune. Her skin is totally perfect and she has minimal lines. But then I went to her Instagram and found a Facetuned job. I actually had trouble lining up these photos, because as you can see, Kyle has almost zero nose in her own edit. I’m not sure why she thinks filtering herself orange, making her eyes like an anime doll’s, erasing half her nose, and airbrushing every single line is attractive, but I can tell you Kyle, you don’t need it! But hey, at least she’s more orange than beige? That’s new and different.
Because the beige thing is so ridiculous, I actually decided to swatch each of their skintones for you. Behold, the colors of our Real Housewives:
Guys, seriously, stop MSPaint Bucket-ing yourselves beige and accept that you have a nose. I mean, honestly. People are going to look back on this photos and be like, “What the F*CK were these people thinking?!”
Images: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images; Johnny Nunez/WireImage via Getty Images; Michael Ostuni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Bravo (2); @teresagiudice; @ramonasinger, @leeannelocken, @neneleakes, @kylerichards18 / Instagram
There are a number of traits that all good Real Housewives have in common. An aspirational lifestyle, a highly suspect business venture, and a toxic husband are par for the course, but what really sets a Housewife apart from her castmates is the ability to deftly lob an insult, especially at another Housewife. This requires quick thinking and a way with the English language that few of us mere mortals possess, and when it’s done right, the results are simply magical. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best Real Housewives zingers in history and provided real life scenarios where you can use them, so you too can feel like a friend of seasoned Housewife. You’re welcome.
“Well, Even Louis Vuitton Makes Mistakes”
Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Luann has had some of the most iconic lines in the history of The Real Housewives of New York. One of her absolute best came in season 4 when insulting castmate Alex McCord’s “Herman Munster shoes.” Alex immediately clapped back saying they were Louis Vuitton, and without missing a beat, Luann gave us this gem of a comeback, both winning the argument and proving she belongs in the Housewives Hall of Fame.
When To Use It: We’ve all known someone who never misses an opportunity to brag about the various labels they’re wearing. Next time Dorit that person pipes up, you can hit them with a variation of this epic line. For example:
Dorit: OMG could you die over this new purse?! It’s Gucci!
You: Well, even Gucci makes mistakes.
“, You Bald-Headed Scallywag”
OK, so Marlo may not technically be a Housewife, but she is putting in more work this season than many a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (looking at you, NeNe). She’s long overdue for her peach, and no moment proved this more than in a recent episode on the cast trip to Toronto. As SnakeGate continued to unfold, the entire cast seemed to get into it with each other, with Marlo and Cynthia going head to head about the accusation that someone recorded Cynthia talking smack about NeNe. Cynthia loses it and goes off on Marlo, and out of the clear blue, Marlo refers to Cynthia as a “bald-headed scallywag.” The creativity in busting out a term not used in the mainstream lexicon since the wake of the Civil War leaves me no choice but to stan.
When To Use It: Although Marlo was referring to Cynthia, another woman, I think this jab would work perfectly for that f*ckboy in your life who you’re not quite ready to cut, but who continues to annoy you with his games. If he’s bald or balding, great. If not, then you can take a page out of his textbook with a neg that will surely have him considering a Rogaine purchase. The exchange could go something like this:
F*ckboy: Sry, forgot to press send. U comin over later?
You: Chad, you bald-headed scallywag
“Not Well, Bitch!”
Although Dorinda joined The Real Housewives of New York in season 7, it feels like she’s been there from the beginning. In just a few seasons she has become a fan favorite, and her incredible one-liners have everything to do with it. In season 9 she gave us this wonderfully versatile response when asked by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, of all people, how she was doing after a particularly heated argument with castmate Sonja Morgan. In turn, we were gifted this simple, yet incredibly effective phrase. Dorinda, we thank you for your service.
When To Use It: The beauty of this one is that it can be used in so many different scenarios to capture your mood. The “I’ll tell ya how I’m doing” preamble is optional, but when you use it, it hits so much harder. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to shut up that annoying co-worker Karen who cheerfully asks you how you’re doing at 9:03am on Monday before you’ve even had a sip of your iced coffee. Or it’s a perfect response to the group chat attempting to piece together a blackout girls’ night. Like so:
Jackie (to the group): Really hurting this morning. How are you guys doing?
You: I’ll tell ya how I’m doing: not well, bitch!
“I Don’t Know If She Wants To Be Me, Or Skin Me And Wear Me Like Last Year’s Versace.”
Dina Manzo only appeared on the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (and randomly season 6), but she will always be remembered for her biting zingers, chief among them being her description of the one and only Beverly Ann Merrill Danielle Staub in season 1. After a bizarre encounter where Danielle hugged Dina over and over and awkwardly complimented her boobs, Dina delivered this perfect description of Danielle’s strange obsession with her. We miss you, Dina.
When To Use It: This line is best used when you want to highlight the Single White Female in your life who is seemingly always around and annoying the ever-loving shit out of you. Whether she keeps going after the guys you like, insincerely compliments you in a backhanded way, or is always showing up to frat parties in a sad variation of your outfit from last week, you can describe her as such:
Your Bestie: What’s up with Hannah? She’s basically wearing the same dress you wore last weekend.
You: I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.
“Is Your Ass Jealous Of The Sh*t That Comes Out Of Your Mouth?”
I can’t say I’m going to miss Tamra now that she’s gone, but she did leave us with some truly memorable jabs. Tamra does her best work when she’s angry (never forget Jesus Jugs) and she exploded during the season 6 reunion when she sensed that Gretchen was being less than truthful, giving us this truly excellent insult. RIP, Tammy Sue.
When To Use It: This one comes in handy whenever you want to call bullsh*t on someone who is obviously lying. Of course, you can use it for more serious lies like Tamra did, but it also works when you want to joke around with someone close to you about a more harmless lie. Case in point:
You: Hey, just got here. What’s your ETA?
Friend (just got out of the shower): On my way!
You: Does your ass get jealous of the sh*t that comes out of your mouth?
Of course, there are far too many incredible Housewives insults and many of the very best had to be left off this list. What are some of your favorites and how would you use them in the real world? Sound off in the comments. Until then:
Images: Bravo; Tenor (2); Giphy (4)
There are so many things I love about watching The Real Housewives franchise that it’s impossible to name them all. (Well, it is possible, but I have a job and a social life that I’d like to get back to at some point.) Besides the goldmine of drama that presents the perfect contrast to my boring life, and the insanely rich lifestyles and fabulous wardrobes that have me crying tears of jealousy, my favorite thing about watching the Real Housewives is seeing them go to embarrassing lengths to
make a buck chase their dreams. Whether it means pretending they can sing in front of an audience of millions (they can never sing), or slapping their name on the nearest bottle of alcohol, it’s always fun to see what these women will come up with to grab a little more cash on top of their Bravoc checks. I mean, you gotta have a fallback plan once Andy Cohen gets bored and fires you! And since we can’t all be SkinnyGirl, you’ve probably forgotten about most of these cash grabs businesses—which is why I’m here to remind you, in all their glory.
Pop Of Color By Kristen Taekman
Kristen Taekman was only on RHONY for two seasons, but she wasted no time diving into the beauty business, launching her own line of nail polish called Pop of Color (inventive name). And by launching her own line, I mean her husband Josh bought her a business. And by bought her a business, I don’t mean paid for her start-up fee for some MLM company, unlike every other girl from your high school who pushes her nail polish wraps on Facebook. In classic Housewives fashion, Kristen’s business venture caused drama, when Bethenny called her dumb for not trademarking the name of her company. I mean, was she wrong? If anyone knows about being housewife with a successful business, it’s Bethenny.
Gretchen Christine Collection
Gretchen Rossi was an all-star OC housewife for five seasons, and she made sure to kickstart her personal brand before getting booted from the show. What started out as a handbag line that was definitely just a manufactured plot line for the show has become a lifestyle brand featuring jewelry, cosmetics, and hair tools. Gretchen Christine Collection was recently acquired by a global portfolio of luxury brands, so hopefully she cashed a nice check to make up for Slade not having a job. She shared the news on her Facebook page, giving full credit to God for the line’s success: “So today and always I will say thank you Lord for blessing me and my business because I remained faithful even during the difficult times.” Yes, God definitely ignored the needs of the poor and sick to help your handbag line become successful. These days, Gretchen spends most of her time Facetuning her baby, and desperately wishing Bravo wanted her back.
Melissa Gorga’s Singing Career
Melissa Gorga was not the first Bravolebrity or housewife to attempt a singing career (@Scheana and @Countess) and she certainly wasn’t the last. Melissa’s impending music stardom was a plot line for like, two whole seasons of RHONJ, and it’s wild to remember that she literally performed for Ryan Seacrest. What a time to be alive. The most interesting part of this storyline was actually Joe’s insistence that Melissa not leave the house, prompting him to build her a recording studio in the basement. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, but with sh*tty dance singles instead of books. Low-key, I still listen to “On Display” more than I’d like to admit, so I’m always hopeful we’ll see Melissa return to the studio… which is theoretically still in her basement?
Adrienne Maloof’s Zing Vodka
There have quite literally been too many Bravolebrity alcohol brands to count, but not all of them are created equal. For every SkinnyGirl Margarita or Vanderpump Rosé, you’ve got half a dozen brands that once served as a plot line, never to be heard of again. Take, for example, Adrienne Maloof’s red velvet-flavored vodka, the thought of which makes me throw up in my mouth. Marked by an extravagant launch party, at which Adrienne’s soon-to-be-ex Paul dressed up as one of the naked tree statues (2012 was crazy), no one ever really expected this to be a hit. But the final nail in the coffin for Zing Vodka? Chris Brown was the creative director. Lol, I’m f*cking done.
SHE by Shereé
The RHOA alum’s athleisure/jogger/sweatpants collection has basically been in the works since Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries. From hosting a “fashion show with no fashions” to clarifying the launch date as “September/Spring/Summer,” we’ve been waiting on SHE by Shereé for a full decade, and there’s no end in sight. Currently, her website just features a homemade video of Shereé and some models wearing athleisure, and an about page that claims the line is coming “by 2022.” Basically, this sh*t doesn’t actually exist, and it probably never will. Her “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo” t-shirt (which is actually a Hanes shirt, lmao) is listed on the Nordstrom website, but it’s sold out. Classic.
Sonja Morgan’s Toaster Oven
Amelia Earhart, the lost island of Atlantis, the death of Jeffrey Epstein. These are just a few of the world’s greatest mysteries, and Sonja Morgan’s toaster oven might be the most curious one of them all. On the show, we saw Heather Thomson help her with the branding and logo, we saw a photo shoot that involved a prototype, and in 2016, she even told Forbes it was still in the works! Personally, I have my doubts, and I’m not the only one. The RHONY ladies were pretty relentless in asking her about the toaster oven progress, but never really got a straight answer. Let’s just agree that it’s never coming out, and move on with our lives. Sonja has always been a hustler, with other business including her clothing line, her event planning company, and the controversially-named Tipsy Girl Prosecco debuting to varied levels of success. Whatever, she’s delusional, and we love her for it.
Honestly, Alexis Bellino is an icon, and watching her launch a dress line with absolutely no fashion knowledge was a f*cking delight. Sure, she had no design background and couldn’t even give a solid definition of the word “couture” on the show, but she did the damn thing anyway. Actually, I’m not sure that the company ever really got off the ground, but she sure talked about it a lot. Alexis Couture was even less successful than her painful Fox 5 hosting segments, which is saying something. God, I love this woman.
Milania Hair Care
Teresa Giudice has always been a hustler, and she’s on stranger to slapping her name (or one of her daughter’s names) onto a product that makes no sense. Her hair care line was one of many products that screeched to a halt when she got indicted for fraud, but not before she got sued for copyright infringement by a company called Milani Hair Care, which just happened to be run by Alexis Bellino’s friend. It’s all one vicious cycle. Other *chef’s kiss* businesses from Teresa include her failed Italian restaurant with her brother, her many cookbooks, and of course…
Don’t ever let anyone tell you Teresa isn’t a mogul. Teresa tried her own hand at the alcohol business, with Fabellini, a line of peach- and raspberry-flavored Prosecco. I never had the privilege of trying it, but that honestly sounds like it would make me throw up. The business shut down in 2014 due to Teresa’s legal issues, but thankfully we can still enjoy the incredible Fabellini commercial. It’s full of flavor!
Housewives love the chance to slap their names on an alcohol bottle, and the OG of the OC is no exception. Vicki decided too launch a vodka brand with Brooks Ayers (yikes), and shockingly, it wasn’t a success. I guess the world just didn’t need another reality star’s sh*tty vodka. Ultimately, the vodka business failed, and Vicki and Brooks were sued by their partner for breach of contract. I have a feeling Brooks’ business dealings are just as shady as his fake cancer.
Wines By Wives
Around the same time that Vicki was launching her vodka, she was also partnering with Tamra on a wine subscription service, Wines by Wives. Because why make your own wine, when you can just pick bottles to send to people?! The wine service provided a weak excuse for a “trip” to Malibu in season 8 to taste wines, but Vicki and Tamra got in a fight because Tamra said Vicki was prioritizing her vodka over the wine club. You love to see competing businesses!
Lisa Vanderpump has had a ton of success with her restaurants, but I’m not sure her shoe line ever actually got off the ground. Originally announced in 2011, The Vanderpump shoe was “a suede and Swarovski crystals closed-toe combination that stands on a five-and-three-quarter-inches heel in pink or black.” Sounds very 2011. The shoe was supposed to retail for a disgusting $900, but it’s unclear if they ever actually made it to retail. Personally, I’d rather wear a Maloof Hoof.
Kathy’s Cannoli Kits
Kathy Wakile was never a business titan like her cousins Kathy and Melissa, but she still tried. On RHONJ, we saw her develop a line of DIY cannoli kits, because that’s apparently something people want? Idk. Kathy is actually still selling the cannoli kits on her website ($40 seems kind of expensive?), but they’re actually from another company, and QVC sells the same one. I have no idea if Kathy is making any money off of this, but I really hope so.
The L’Infinity Dress
We’ve seen tons of Bravolebrities do clothing lines, but none were quite as ridiculous as LeeAnne Locken’s L’Infinity Dress. The base dress was a cute LBD, but it came with snap-on attachments that allowed it to be worn 175 different ways. Most of them are ugly AF, but whatever. Of course, true fans will remember the Thailand trip, when D’Andra showed up to dinner in the dress, and caused some major drama because she made fun of it. As of today, the L’Infinity website doesn’t seem to be working, so maybe that business stalled along with LeeAnne’s career as a housewife…
I could literally go on for days about these failed business enterprises. I mean, just the alcohol brands could be an article by themselves—looking at you, Ramona, Brandi Glanville, and plenty of others. And that’s just Real Housewives! Who could forget Jax Taylor’s Just Add X drink line? Everyone, that’s who could forget. As long as these desperate women stay on TV, they’ll keep coming out with these low-effort, high-embarrassment business ventures, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next.
Images: lev radin / Shutterstock.com; Giphy (7); Bravo; realitytvgifs / Tumblr; Page Six / YouTube
Just weeks ago, a grown woman was caught on film having a meltdown while on the job. She yelled at her boss, suggested that she was the reason for his success, and publicly shamed a coworker with same-sex proclivities, saying, “We don’t do that” and “Turn it down!” In any other functional workplace, this behavior would get a person immediately fired, but in Real Housewives land it gets you ratings and a promotion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Vicki Gunvalson has gone off the rails, but it is the first time it has felt like a palpable line had been crossed. After her entitled and delusional outbursts at The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 reunion, it became clear that she had fallen prey to some classic Real Housewife pre-retirement symptoms, suffered by many fellow Housewives, past and present. Read on for the signs a Real Housewife should leave the party.
1. Not Fully Participating in Filming and Reunions
There are always going to be parts of our jobs that we don’t like, for example, having to interact with other human beings partnering with coworkers on group projects. However, we’re paid to fully execute our responsibilities, and a Housewife’s duties are no different. This means showing up to all filming obligations, regardless of whether you feel like it or are getting along with your fellow castmates. Unfortunately, Lisa Vanderpump didn’t seem to understand this concept throughout season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when she just decided to stop filming midway through and chicken out on the reunion because she wasn’t getting along with the other women. It’s no wonder she was fired won’t return for the upcoming season. NeNe Leakes is also currently suffering from a similar delusion on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s barely been a presence and is leaving the heavy lifting to “friends of” like Marlo Hampton. It’s like asking an intern to bear your entire workload. Aspirational, but not how it actually works. If the Bravo execs have any sense, they’ll give Ms. Leakes her walking papers.
2. Forgetting The Show Is An Ensemble Effort
It’s natural that in any season there are going to be fan favorites and breakout stars. But Housewives get into trouble when they start believing their own hype and convincing themselves that they are the stars of their shows and their fellow castmates are merely supporting players. Vicki demonstrated this over and over again on the season 14 reunion, constantly making references to “my show” and saying “Get her off my show!” in reference to Braunwyn. Teresa Giudice is also guilty of using similar language on multiple occasions. What both Vicki and Teresa fail to realize is that they are on a show that thrives—nay, depends—on the interactions between cast members. Unless you’re Bethenny Frankel, you’re not compelling enough to carry your own show. Suck it up and know your role before you find yourself out of a job.
3. Crossing Moral And/Or Legal Boundaries
As Housewife fans, we live for drama, but when that drama derives from behavior that is immoral or downright illegal, it becomes hard to stand by the Housewife in question. We can never forget Vicki’s entanglement with real-life Dirty John Brooks Ayers, who spent the bulk of season 10 perpetrating a cancer scam, and although she was fully aware of this claimed to know nothing about it, she lost a lot of her luster with fans and the storyline was widely considered a low point for the series. Behavior that goes even further and ventures into criminal territory will get you fired, as Phaedra Parks learned after the revelation during the season 9 Atlanta reunion that Phaedra spread defamatory rumors claiming Kandi and Todd wanted to drug Porsha in order to take advantage of her. Attorney Phaedra should have known better than anyone that no one wants to deal with lawyers.
4. Being Inauthentic
We’ve all deduced by now that “reality” television is hardly real in the way, say, documentary footage or live news reporting is real. Plots need to be fleshed out, and at times that leads to storylines that can come off a bit contrived. However, when a Housewife herself is inauthentic, it’s a deal-breaker, and a telltale sign that she has no business being on the show. Tamra Judge on Orange County is a perfect current example. A woman who was once a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off is now, over a decade later, a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off. Only now it’s no longer novel and comes off as a desperate attempt to stay relevant on a show that is evolving without her. Another party guilty of inauthenticity of a different type is Dorit Kemsley on Beverly Hills. Forgetting about her put-on accent, Dorit’s refusal to air any of her real-life controversies makes her one of the phoniest Housewives we’ve ever had. It’s unclear what she brings to the show, other than a piggish husband and a penchant for over-the-top, label-displaying fashion she can’t actually afford. Yawn.
5. Avoiding Drama
Just like part of the job is showing up to filming at the appointed times, another integral part of being a Housewife is getting into it with other Housewives. Yet, year after year, there are always several women who complain that they “don’t want any drama” and refuse to go toe-to-toe with the others. In fact, aside from Puppygate, the entire cast of Beverly Hills built a whole season around this ethos, leaving us with one of the most boring seasons of the show we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). Even Namaste Teresa is a shell of the table-flipping, prostitution-whore-calling woman she once was, staying out of the fray and letting other people like Danielle Staub do her bidding. One might say this is growth and one might be right, but we all know dignity and maturity have no place on reality television. If I wanted to watch respectful and thoughtful people politely interact with one another, I’d put on The Great British Bake Off. Pick a lane, people!
It will be interesting to see what Bravo does with its OGs, who are some of the worst offenders when it comes to this list. While there’s something comforting about keeping around those who have been there from the beginning, getting rid of the women who aren’t pulling their weight keeps the others on their toes, especially those who lack the self-awareness to course-correct like Lisa Rinna, who does her best despite her drama-eschewing castmates. What other signs are there that a Housewife needs to go and who do you think needs to get off our screens? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Giphy (4); Tenor (1)
Any Real Housewives Bravoholic knows that our ladies are at their best when they go on vacation. Something about the change of scenery and being out of their element makes these already unhinged women go completely off the rails, and there’s beauty in the breakdown. But which trips deserve a spot in the top tier of the Real Housewives canon? Fortunately for you, I’ve done the lord’s work and broken down the most iconic trips in Real Housewives history.
10. Hong Kong, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7
This trip is a standout for two primary reasons. The first is Ms. Erika Jayne’s completely over-the-top “You don’t know what I deal with every night!” freakout at Eileen, which may be the most emotion we’ve seen from Erika, well, ever. The second is Lisa Rinna’s accusation that Dorit was doing coke in her bathroom at a recent party. It came completely out of left field and is totally may not be true, but cut with the producer’s footage from that night, was one of the realest moments we’ve seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And that’s saying something.
9. Whistler, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8
Despite her demotion to “friend of” this season, there’s a reason that Vicki Gunvalson is the OG of the OC, and the cast’s trip to Whistler in season 8 is a perfect example. After Lauri accuses Vicki of having a threesome at an insurance conference, Vicki reacts in a way that can only be described as, “not well, bitch!” Vicki in full ski gear screaming “I HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!” will haunt me for the rest of my days.
8. Anguilla, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 5
This trip cemented Kenya Moore’s status as one of the greatest Housewives of all time. Upon arriving in Anguilla, she somehow manages to take control of the boat and tells everyone to “hold onto your weaves!” She then proceeds to throw a tantrum at the hotel when she finds out her room does not have a bathtub. As if she hasn’t contributed more in this episode than the entire cast of Beverly Hills has in several seasons, she gets into an epic brawl with Porsha that culminates in her proclaiming, “I’m Gone With the Wind fabulous!” and twirling away. For that, I am forever indebted to her.
7. Marrakech, Real Housewives of New York Season 4
There were so many unforgettable moments on this trip. A fortune teller predicting (what we now know is correctly) that Mario was cheating on Ramona. The camel being so sick of the Countess’ pretentious bullsh*t that it tried to buck her off two separate times. The most Ramotional fit of crying ever to be seen on national television. And finally, Alex trying to confront Luann in her “Herman Munster shoes” like a “buffalo,” only to be thwarted by Kelly’s constant demands that she “re-enter” because she’s “not authentic” and Luann saying, “Go back to the cabinet you came out of, witch.” So good.
6. Lake George, Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5
The Gorga-Giudice dynamic is arguably the most compelling part of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The tension between the two families reached a pinnacle on the cast trip to Lake George in season 5. Melissa literally gets on her knees and begs Teresa to “stop hurting us!” Then, after accusing her brother of being disloyal, Joe Gorga calls Teresa “scum,” triggering an epic Battle of the Joes that leaves these two grown men wrestling on the floor and the venue forever stained with Joe Gorga’s black spray-on hair dye.
5. Turks and Caicos, Real Housewives of New York Season 7
Despite how insufferable Luann has been in recent seasons, I can never completely forsake her. This trip is the reason. Hungover and clad in a white bathrobe and sunglasses, Luann is confronted by Heather about an unattended naked man in their house. Luann simply responds, “Be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.” She gives negative f*cks and it is not just a mood, it is the mood. This star turn allowed Luann, who’d been demoted to “friend of” that season, to ascend right back to a full-time cast member the following season, where she rightfully belongs. I stan.
4. Amsterdam, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 5
If the women of Beverly Hills could give up the dog drama and channel some of the energy from the season 5 trip to Amsterdam, we’d be back in business. Brandi, who I sorely miss, slaps LVP. In another scene, Kim goes in on Rinna, implying that she knows something untoward about Rinna’s husband. Eileen tries to intervene, but Kim snaps and calls her a beast. Eileen summons her years as a storied soap opera star and responds with the perfect “Beast? How dare you.” Kyle literally flees the entire restaurant, too overwhelmed to deal even a little bit. And if that wasn’t enough, Rinna smashes a glass on the table. It’s heaven.
3. The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 8
They don’t call it the Berzerkshires for nothing. Though the ladies have been there several times now, this is the one that will go down in history. Bethenny mercilessly takes down Luann for sleeping around and not owning it, screaming “You f*ck EVERYONE!” and calling her every synonym for “slut” in the thesaurus. Just when we think things may finally calm down, Luann makes the fatal mistake of insulting Dorinda’s mom’s cake, sending Dorinda into an epic tirade that will live on in Housewives history: “I decorated, I cooked, I made it NICE!”
2. Cartagena, Real Housewives of New York Season 10
Just when we think the New York ladies have peaked, they outdo themselves. This trip has it all: not one, but two fights happening simultaneously at a dinner table, a drunken Dorinda slurring her words with red lipstick smeared across her face, a boat ride so frightening that the women fear for their lives and nearly sh*t themselves, and, finally, a bout of food poisoning that causes almost all of them to actually sh*t themselves.
1. St. John aka Scary Island, Real Housewives of New York Season 3
No one travels better than the women of The Real Housewives of New York, and this trip is the jewel in the crown. There are so many quotable moments that it would be virtually impossible to list them all. Jill Zarin’s “HAAHHAIIIIIIII” as she crashes the trip is bone-chilling. Alex’s attempt to walk seductively during Kelly’s “photoshoot” while channeling her “Johan face” was blood-curdling. But nothing was more frightening than Kelly’s complete and utter mental breakdown “breakthrough” where she rambled on about Al Sharpton, satchels of gold, and jelly beans. I couldn’t GO TO SLEEP even if I tried. At least among all of the darkness we had Turtle Time.
St. Barth, Real Housewives of New York Season 5
“TAKE A XANAX, CALM DOWNNN!”
Beaver Creek, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2
Taylor in a suitcase.
The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 6
“Who are you to get me wet?”
Cape Town, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4
Shereé and Marlo’s fight, comprised entirely of unintelligible shrieks.
Bali, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 9
Lizzie provoking Tamra to run away and threaten that we would never see her face again (unfortunately she did not make good on that promise) should have earned Lizzie another season.
Of course, only crowning 10 trips with this distinguished honor means that some memorable trips had to be left out. Which were your favorite trips? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (9)
It was a big weekend in the Bravo universe, as Joe Giudice was finally released from ICE custody and returned to Italy. Before he even got off the plane, his eldest daughter Gia posted a FaceTime selfie, which was the first photo we’ve seen of Joe since 2016, and no one could stop talking about his dramatic weight loss transformation. Joe is now in Italy with his brother and other family members, and Gia has been posting excitedly about going to visit in a few weeks.
But with Joe in Italy, likely permanently, fans are wondering what this means for his marriage to Teresa. Are they going to split, or stick it out? Will Teresa move to Italy and start an international Real Housewives franchise?
Over the weekend, Radar Online reported that Teresa will travel to Italy with her daughters in the first week of November, and they’ll be bringing the RHONJ production crew along. Teresa is reportedly getting a large bonus for filming these extra scenes, and as a fan of the show, I’m definitely glad that we’ll get to see the family reunion. But after Teresa does the big reunion and collects her Bravo check, I think it’s time for her and Joe to seriously reevaluate things. I’m glad that he’s free from ICE custody and will get to see his daughters, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for Joe and Teresa to pull through as a couple.
We’ve watched Joe and Teresa’s story unfold for over a decade on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and a lot has happened in that time. We’ve seen it all, from the birth of their youngest daughter, to financial ups and downs, and of course, the legal troubles that led to both of them spending time behind bars. But even in their better times, their marriage has been far from perfect. During the show’s fourth season, the cast was on a trip to Napa Valley when Joe left the table to take a phone call. We still don’t know who the call was from, but it really seems like it was another woman. On the phone, he called Teresa bitch and a c*nt, which is obviously not okay.
After the infamous phone call, Teresa threatened to leave him if the behavior continued, but she also made excuses for him, telling In Touch magazine that Joe was “stressed after a crazy week.” Yeah, that’s not a good enough reason to call your wife the C-word, buddy. Over the next few years, we watched as Teresa was dragged into Joe’s legal issues, which ultimately caused her to serve 11 months in prison. On RHONJ, Teresa acknowledged that her husband’s mistakes had put the family in a bad place, but she always stood by him. That is, until last season.
While Joe was away serving his prison sentence, a couple of things happened. First, rumors started swirling that Teresa was living a new life, dating a younger man and focused on moving on from Joe. But more importantly, it started to look more and more likely that Joe wouldn’t be coming home once he had done his time. On last season’s reunion, though she denied the rumors of a new boyfriend, Teresa told Andy Cohen for the first time that she “is not doing a long-distance relationship,” and that the only way she would move to Italy is if her daughters told her they wanted to go.
This was a major development at the time, because it represented a shift in the way Teresa talked about her marriage. Before, she had always brushed off the issues, and maintained that she and Joe were going to make things work no matter what. But as the threat of deportation became more real, she started to sound more realistic about the way things were actually going to happen. After watching Teresa for nine seasons, it’s not a stretch to say that Teresa can be a little delusional about things in her life, but she finally was saying things that made perfect sense given the situation.
But now that Joe is actually free, I have to wonder how things will actually shake out. Conveniently, the new season of RHONJ premieres in just a few weeks, so we won’t have to wait long to see how Teresa has handled the last year of waiting to find out Joe’s fate. Has she been living like a single woman, or holding on to the possibility that Joe might be coming home? Leaving a marriage is a major decision, but for Teresa’s sake, I hope that she has the strength to move forward with her best life, and I don’t think that includes a husband who is 4,000 miles away (and also might not be that great of a guy). Teresa and Joe have been through a lot on this crazy journey, but there’s no shame in calling it quits, especially given the circumstances.
Images: Shutterstock; _giagiudice / Instagram; Giphy
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)