It feels like just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting the premiere of the 10th season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. After the massive let-down of season nine, it seemed that we might be turning over a new leaf, with two exciting new cast members, a lavish trip to Rome, and a Brandi vs. Denise showdown that was already burning up the tabloids. At the height of quarantine, the new season was supposed to be a much-needed escape from reality, replacing fear and uncertainty with glamour and petty drama and allowing us to focus on the Housewives’ problems instead of our own.
Instead, we got another frustratingly uneven season, once again dominated by a season-long storyline that failed to live up to the hype. Did Brandi Glanville and Denise Richards hook up? Most people seem to think so, but the truth is, we’ll never actually know definitively. Denise announced last week she won’t be returning for season 11, and given the fact that Brandi wasn’t even invited to the reunion this season, it doesn’t seem like anyone at Bravo is clamoring to get her back on the full-time payroll. This week marks the end of season 10, and for at least the third year in a row, it feels like RHOBH is in need of a major shakeup.
In each of the last two seasons, the network has made interesting casting choices, first bringing on iconic actress (and tabloid fixture) Denise Richards in season nine. Richards was a hit with viewers in her first season, and Bravo followed up that success in season 10 with another beloved actress in Garcelle Beauvais, and an unlikely voice of reason in friend-of Sutton Stracke. Both of these women had standout moments in their first season, and despite Denise’s unfortunate departure, hopefully both Sutton and Garcelle will return for another round. But the issues in Beverly Hills lie not with the new casting choices, but rather, with the older ones that have long grown stale.
With Garcelle and Denise sticking close together this season, and Dorit Kemsley suddenly filling the role of a fan favorite voice of reason, we’re left with a foursome that has been allowed to control the narrative on RHOBH for too long: Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, and Teddi Mellencamp. It’s clear that these women have some kind of unwritten pact to keep their unsavory personal issues out of the spotlight, and they no longer deserve to coast from season to season with no real pressure applied. If Bravo has any interest in restoring this franchise to its former glory, it’s time for some bold moves, and I have some ideas on what those should be.
First and foremost, Teddi Mellencamp has got to go. At this point, this is the opposite of a hot take, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. In three seasons, Teddi has brought us few (if any) iconic moments, and Sutton was right when she identified Teddi as “a little boring.” While growing criticism of her accountability program could make for an interesting storyline next season, I have no faith that Teddi (and by extension, Kyle, Rinna, and Erika) would actually allow it to be brought up on camera. Far more dynamic Housewives have been let go after fewer than three seasons (Claudia Jordan, Jules Wainstein), so at this point, there’s really no excuse.
Speaking of Teddi, her permanent role as Kyle’s BFF/little minion does far more harm than good for the show. As the last OG left on the show, Kyle has put in the work and earned her status as a Real Housewives legend. But as we’ve seen with the likes of Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Dorinda Medley, being an OG or an iconic personality does not—and should not—grant you immunity from having to perform at a high level. Kyle doesn’t need to be fired, but we need a season where she no longer has a crutch (Teddi) to protect her from any negativity coming her way. During this season’s reunion, Kyle went head-to-head with Garcelle, and it brought out a defensive, scrappy side of Kyle that we haven’t seen in years. This is the energy we need for season 11, and I’m hopeful we’ll get it. In a recent interview with Jenny McCarthy, Garcelle was asked if she’s spoken to Kyle recently, and she indicated that she and Kyle are waiting to “do it on camera.”
This is good news, considering that in an interview last month on SiriusXM, Garcelle suggested that if Denise left she show, she would not return either. With Denise’s announcement last week, we were just waiting for the other shoe to drop from Garcelle, but it seems that she may have changed her tune. Hopefully she’s not just bluffing, because this season we got hints of Garcelle’s greatness, and a second season (where she’s not traveling as much) could solidify her position on the show.
So we’re keeping Kyle and Garcelle, giving Sutton the diamond she deserves, and assuming that Dorit will be staying, given she was universally well-received in season 10. That leaves Lisa Rinna and Erika Girardi, and this is where things get complicated. I’ll start with Erika, who is a star, no question about it. But her larger-than-life stage persona hasn’t translated to larger-than-life moments as a Real Housewife, and her glam no longer makes up for it. Each season, Erika has gotten heat for not being open about her personal life, and after five seasons, it’s time we end the grace period. For season 11, Erika can appear as a friend-of or a guest—by all means, please bring the glam!—but there’s no reason to waste a full-time contract on someone who ultimately doesn’t bring much to the table.
That brings me to Lisa Rinna. In six seasons on RHOBH, Rinna has certainly given us iconic moments, and for that, we thank her. But his season, her sh*t-stirring tactics fell flat, and by the end of the reunion, her treatment of her old friend Denise just felt sad and mean. When spearheading drama with Kim Richards or Yolanda Hadid in the past, Rinna mostly made it out unscathed, but this season left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve liked Lisa in the past, and I want to like her again, so I don’t think she needs to be fired just yet… but the queen of “owning it” needs to be brought back down to earth, and fast. My hope is that with Teddi out of the picture and Erika on the periphery, Rinna and Kyle will finally be held accountable for their behavior, and won’t be able to systematically target whichever cast member they decide is the villain of the season.
When it comes to new cast members, RHOBH is always the most fun to speculate about, because they have a history of casting famous actresses who we already know. For season 11, I’d love to see them pull from Garcelle’s IRL group of friends, because she’s going to need a strong ally to fend off attacks from Kyle and Rinna. This season, we saw Garcelle hanging out with Ali Landry, and that’s the type of person Bravo should be seriously looking at. But going in a completely opposite direction, the season 11 cast needs another normal rich person to balance it out. Sutton seemed like a random addition a year ago, but it’s important to have women in the cast who aren’t already famous.
I won’t lie, as a huge Real Housewives fan, it’s been a rough few years for Beverly Hills. Through panty-gate, puppy-gate, and whatever the f*ck we just watched with Brandi and Denise, it feels like we’ve taken three steps back for every step forward. For a show with as many iconic moments as RHOBH, there’s no reason it needs to be this way, and I hope Bravo recognizes that it’s finally time to make some real changes.
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Images: John Tsiavis/Bravo
Last week, the 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
Okay, I’ve been cautiously optimistic for a while, but today I’m finally ready to say it: I think this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is going to be good. While the last couple seasons have been disappointing, it sounds like the show has turned a corner this season. Of course, I’m referring to the multitude of rumors surrounding Denise Richards, and mainly her drama with Brandi Glanville. A couple weeks ago, we discussed some of the rumors, and Brandi’s frustratingly cryptic tweets about the feud, but we have new information, and it’s f*cking huge.
Last week, the gossip surrounding season 10 kicked into a new gear, with a Page Six report that finally revealed the alleged source of the drama between Denise and Brandi. Rumor has it, Brandi and Denise had an affair sometime in the last several months, and the aftermath sounds dramatic AF. According to Page Six, on the cast trip to Rome in November, the other women confronted Denise about the affair, and the fact that “she was also sh*t talking the girls to Brandi.” This is right in line with the rumors that the group was collectively turning on Denise, and it sets us up for what could be a very exciting cast trip. Finally.
If the reports are to be believed, Denise denied all of her castmates’ allegations, and she hasn’t filmed for the show since returning from the Italy trip. We already know she skipped Dorit’s holiday party (thanks to Lisa Rinna’s concerned IG comments), and she was also reportedly absent from Teddi Mellencamp’s recent baby shower. Essentially, whatever happened on that Rome trip, it was enough for Denise to decide she was done with Real Housewives, and it seems unlikely that she’ll even show up to tape the season 10 reunion. Basically, she’s pulling an LVP, except Lisa’s drama was about a puppy, and Denise’s is about cheating rumors. Buckle up.
While Denise’s rep told The Daily Mail that “the story isn’t true,” it looks like Brandi is doubling down on her version of events. Today, she tweeted this message about the difference between hooking up a couple of times and being in a relationship. Honestly, I need to send this tweet to a few of my friends, because I’m sick of hearing about how they’re in love with dudes who barely acknowledge that they exist.
Their is a huge difference between hooking up with someone a couple of times and having a romantic relationship with someone
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) January 14, 2020
Now, I’m sure that Brandi isn’t allowed to share specifics of the drama before it plays out on camera, but this is about as close as we can get to a confirmation. The specifics of this tweet would make sense with what we’ve been hearing—one of the main elements of the drama is that Denise may have lied to Brandi about her marriage being open. If Brandi thought her friend was in an open marriage, then she didn’t really do anything wrong by hooking up with her a couple times. But if Denise’s marriage wasn’t actually open, and the rumor is that she and Brandi were like, dating, then things look a lot worse.
Here’s the thing. As messy as Brandi Glanville has shown herself to be, she really hasn’t ever been a liar. Really, what alienated her from so many fellow housewives in the past was her willingness to be a little too truthful. If you’re going on these shows with any kind of secrets, Brandi isn’t the kind of person you want around. Obviously, we’ll have to wait to see what happens on the show, but at this point, I’m more inclined to believe Brandi than Denise.
When you want to respond but are not “allowed” to… pic.twitter.com/PKl5cgMWYx
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) January 9, 2020
So yeah, I guess I’m excited for season 10? I’m sure there will still be plenty of boring lunches and unnecessary subplots, but it does seem like there’s some genuine sh*t at the core of the season. Not everyone is a fan of Brandi coming back, but her messiness might be exactly what the show needs. And hey, now that Denise is likely gone, maybe Brandi will be the one to finally bring up Dorit’s money troubles? We can only hope.
Images: brandiglanville (2) / Twitter