Amidst the canceling of Karens everywhere, Vanderpump Rules’ Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were all fired from Bravo’s hit show after racist words and actions from their past came back under public scrutiny. Lisa Vanderpump put out a statement, loosely condemning their actions, but not calling out any employees by name. Andy Cohen said he supported the decision to fire them. And it’s good that as we as a nation are finally reckoning with racism, Bravo is also taking some action. But let’s be honest: Vanderpump Rules has been trash for years, and it’s not just Stassi, Kristen, Max, and Brett who are problematic. Let’s not put a Band-aid over this gaping wound of insensitivity. Instead, they need to just cancel the show. Burn it to the ground, because it cannot be redeemed.
Stassi Schroeder was arguably the biggest star to come out of Vanderpump Rules. Before she lost it all, she had a well-known podcast and subsequent live tour, a NYT bestselling book, and a reported net worth of $2 million. Still, her 2020 cancellation was a long time coming. In 2018, she came under fire for posting a picture in which she described her outfit as “Nazi chic”. After Twitter came for her, she posted a meme that called everyone too sensitive, before eventually backing off. Before that, in November 2017, she lost podcast sponsors for posing the question that the #MeToo movement is a “Male Witch Hunt”. Though, for all the times she’d get herself into hot water off-screen, for the most part, she was able to keep her problematic beliefs from showing up on camera. Maybe that’s a reason she stayed so long after so many repeated offenses.
But there was one episode in season 6 where the mask slipped. Billie Lee, VPR’s first (and only) transgender woman, was filmed appearing as a guest on Stassi’s podcast. In an emotional post on her website, Billie wrote, “My first big scene with Stassi was her podcast interview. I thought that the focus would be about my trans experience. However, it quickly turned into a dramatic meltdown about Stassi being accused of being racist.” In the scene, Billie brought up to Stassi that Ariana had warned her about Stassi’s previous comments about race and #OscarsSoWhite on her podcast. Stassi’s immediate reaction was to call Ariana’s comments “a whole other level of vindictiveness”. Predictably, the scene ended with Stassi crying and Billie having to console her and reassure her, “that’s not my perception of you”.
And then, of course, there was Stassi and Kristen’s attempt to call the police on Faith for a crime she didn’t commit, although they weren’t the only cast members to treat her horribly. Lala Kent, who believes the spirit of Tupac lives inside her, would plant things in her apartment to see if Faith would steal them, according to Stassi in the now-deleted Bitch Bible episode. Faith has also alleged Brittany Cartwright made racists comments towards her, which Brittany vehemently denied. There’s also just the general observation that despite Faith and Lala emerging on the show at the same time, and Lala being pretty outwardly not liked by the rest of the group (Katie hated her for going topless in front of Tom, Brittany didn’t like that she flirted with Jax), it was Faith who ultimately got pushed out. Why?
But the problems continued. As season 8 premiered, Vanderpump Rules ended up in the news once again for all the wrong reasons when newbies Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were exposed for racist tweets from their past. They both apologized at the time, and Lisa Vanderpump said to Us Weekly, “I do not condone any of the heinous comments made in the past by Max and Brett and I am glad they understand the severity of their offenses and have shown utmost remorse and contrition. I embrace a community of diversity and do not tolerate bigotry of any form within my workplace.” Still, neither Max nor Brett were edited out of Vanderpump Rules that season—or even in the episodes that were released right after the tweets surfaced. Bravo knew that Max and Brett had skeletons of racist tweets in their closets—if not during casting, then shortly after the show started airing—but only chose to act months later. At this season’s reunion, the tweets were brought up, but briefly. Max and Brett apologized again, and everyone moved on.
It’s good, I guess, that Bravo decided to finally take a stance of some sort, after clearly trying to skirt the issue for as long as they possibly could. But only firing four of the cast members feels like that meme of trying to plug a hole by slapping some duct tape over it. Because, actually, the Vanderpump Rules cast have long been problematic and insensitive towards marginalized communities. It’s not limited to these four cast members, and while racism is a big issue among the show’s stars, it is not the only one. Did we all forget that Billie Lee, a trans woman, was bullied so badly that she abruptly stopped filming midway through the season?
Following Stassi and Kristen’s dismissal, Billie Lee spoke out about Jax Taylor, the
Number One Guy In The Group show’s own version of Donald Trump, for transphobic behavior, and now, finally, people are starting to clamor for Jax to be fired as well. Billie Lee wrote on Twitter and in a post on her site that Jax refused to film with her because she is trans. She wrote, “His exact words were, ‘I’m not gonna lose all I have worked hard for something stupid I may say or do to offend her. Are we all supposed to tip toe around her because she’s trans?’”
— Billie Lee (@ItsMeBillieLee) June 10, 2020
And even though he hides behind his friendship with Lance Bass (which looks like it’s on the outs now anyway), Jax has shown he’s really only an ally to the LGBTQ community when faced with immense pressure, from the public and those close to him. I don’t need to rehash the pastor drama with you all, because we watched it, and we saw how Jax was more angry at the fact that he had to actually do something about his pastor than he was at his pastor for posting homophobic remarks.
He’s not the only one, though—Lala also mocked the concept of cis privilege on camera in an episode and literally silenced Billie when she tried to explain how Lala’s actions made her feel as a trans woman, saying, “you’re dismissed”. The whole Girl’s Night debacle in general was a complete mess, and what could have served as a teaching moment about cis privilege devolved into the people who have cis privilege denying it exists.
Throughout all this, the only semblance of a moral compass the show had came in moments that were few and far between that had little to no effect on the people called out. Things like Ariana side-eyeing her cast members when they’d say something problematic, or calling it out in her confessionals, or (in the case with Stassi’s podcasts) bringing up issues that are only shown through brief flashbacks, not direct confrontations. Things like Sandoval challenging Jax’s decision to only fire the pastor days before the wedding on camera and then getting dog piled by the rest of the cast at the roller rink, or Katie objecting to an insensitive prank involving the police and then getting publicly berated by her own husband.
From the small issues like being friends with Scheana and choosing not to ostracize Lala for supposedly dating a married man in season 5, to the big issues like understanding cis privilege and not being cool with an openly homophobic pastor officiating a televised wedding at which multiple LGBTQ people would be present, the show operated on a toxic hive mind that pushed out people who disagreed. Faith was cast out and dragged for being “the other woman” while Jax, the actual cheater, came out unscathed; Billie Lee was bullied off the show; Ariana and Tom got trashed by Jax in season 8 for being “on their high horse”. And everyone involved with the show let this happen.
There’s something to the show being called Vanderpump Rules, too. Its namesake, Lisa Vanderpump, is more vocal about dogs being abused in other countries than she is about Black humans being murdered in the U.S. We all have our causes that we’re passionate about, sure, but in both words and in actions, Lisa makes her priorities clear. For instance, in her most recent statement, the strongest she gets to condemning Stassi, Kristen, Brett and Max’s actions is to say, “I love and adore our employees and I am deeply saddened by some of the lack of judgment that has been displayed” (this is her “freely speak from the heart”).
Lisa has said she “does not tolerate bigotry of any form” within her workplace, but the show is, to an extent, her workplace. She, along with Bravo, allowed Max and Brett to keep their jobs. And even if Lisa truly was “previously unaware” of Stassi and Kristen’s vendetta against Faith, we can presume she knew about Stassi’s racially insensitive comments from season 6, since it was used in a scene, but she did nothing then. She definitely knew about Jax and Brittany’s history with homophobia, since she had to personally intervene days before their wedding, on camera, to get them to finally do something other than hem and haw. But most importantly, her employees from marginalized communities—Faith and Billie Lee—are saying that they were treated poorly by other staff members, and it went unchecked, which is all the evidence we need. Billie Lee even claimed Lisa threatened her when Billie spoke publicly about problems she was facing on the show.
I’ve said it before, but Vanderpump Rules was fun in its beginning seasons when we were watching young people behave badly and really only fucking up their own relationships. But then we gave them a platform, and a ton of money, and now we’re realizing they’re not just terrible to each other—they’re terrible in a deep-seated and decidedly not fun way.
In that scene with Billie Lee, Stassi says of being called a racist, “It’s a really serious thing to say about someone, it’s not just like ‘oh she’s a bitch’, it’s like a really fucked up thing to say about someone.” What’s also serious? Endangering someone’s life, or at the very least their livelihood, because you had a bone to pick with the girl who slept with your friend’s boyfriend and wanted to play armchair detective—but that doesn’t cross Stassi’s mind when she’s worried about being called racist. Similarly, Jax’s alleged comments about not filming with Billie Lee boil down to him not wanting to do so so he doesn’t have to worry about getting caught saying something transphobic on camera. And in those heated discussions about Girl’s Night, the ladies seemed more angry that Billie would publicly insinuate that they were transphobic, rather than being upset with themselves that they did something that a trans person deemed transphobic (which means it’s transphobic). It’s fascinating, because they possess just enough awareness to know that what they are doing can be perceived as wrong by the audience, but not enough to want to actually get to the root of why it is wrong so they can stop doing it.
It’s not just the cast members as individuals—it’s producers who gave Stassi, Kristen, and Jax more screen time; continued to make Max and Brett’s dumb love triangle a cornerstone of season 8 even after their racist tweets came to light; didn’t make moves to diversify the show aside from throwing in one Black and trans person and throwing up their hands when they didn’t last. It’s the editors who were instructed to give Stassi a special hero edit this season. Despite what they claim, Bravo is willing to continue to give problematic people a platform until we, the viewers, raise such hell that they can’t in good faith do it anymore. And by “in good faith” I mean “for their pockets and image”. So for that reason, it’s ultimately on us as viewers, me as a recapper, because we continued to tune in week after week, season after season, even as the show got harder and harder to watch and the cast got harder to support without a whole lot of cognitive dissonance. And maybe before we could try to divorce the cast members on-screen personas from their public opinions, but now, as social movements urge us to think critically about where we spend our money and devote our time, it doesn’t feel right to continue doing these mental gymnastic justifications anymore. Perhaps we all drank a little too much of the Pumptini. Well, I don’t know about you all, but
I’ll take a pinot grigio I’m starting to feel sick.
For obvious reasons, the idiom “a bad apple spoils the bunch” has been making its way around the internet right now (we all like to forget the second half of that phrase, which exists for a reason), but even if apologists want to dismiss these individual bad apples, the fact remains that at least half the apples on this show are bad. That’s a lot! I’m sorry, but Tom and Ariana being well-adjusted people does not a TV show make. Give the decent people a spin-off, maybe, but the whole tree is poisonous, so let’s root it out. Plus, we don’t need the ghosts of these problematic people casting a weird shadow on subsequent seasons (Beau is threatening not to film without Stassi, which like, good luck with that campaign). And, be honest: What are we losing if we get rid of the show anyway? Peter’s pirate mustache? Raquel struggling to blink? Dayna telling a stand-up joke or two? The Maloney-Schwartzes saying “bubba” every other word? We all complained that Vanderpump Rules is a shadow of its former glory, so let’s just let it go. Cancel that shit entirely. It’s not worth saving.
Images: Tommy Garcia/Bravo; ItsMeBillieLee / Twitter
On this week’s season finale of Vanderpump Rules, we were left with an emotional look at the journey we’ve all taken over the past eight years. We’ve been through a lot with this chaotic group, and this has been an intense season to say the least. This week on the Mention It All Podcast, we chatted with Vanderpump Rules OG Kristen Doute about her relationships, her thoughts on the where the show is at now, and her brand new book, which comes out next month.
Over the course of season 8, we’ve watched Kristen’s bonds with Katie and Stassi disintegrate, all while she struggles to figure out wtf to do about Carter. To put it simply, Doute said, “this season really sucked.” She continued, saying that in her friendships with Katie and Stassi, as well as her relationship with Carter, “we just couldn’t get it back.” Things with the Witches of Weho are still rough, but Kristen told us that she and Carter were “immediately done for good” after filming ended last year, and that she’s much happier now. (Check out her new boyfriend on Instagram if you want proof.)
Adding to an already difficult summer for Kristen was the arrival of a whole new set of cast members. From a viewer’s perspective, it seemed like the cast wasn’t very well integrated, and Kristen has no problem making her thoughts known. On top everything going on, she said, “we had 55 new cast members who I didn’t care about. I just didn’t care enough to get to know a lot of people that were thrown into my life when I had all these momentous moments going on.”
Speaking of momentous moments, Kristen can still appreciate her time on Vanderpump Rules, despite going through some particularly rough stuff in the past year. Asked what she enjoys looking back on most, she said, “it’s all the fun moments. Just being in friend-love with each other. That’s why the last few minutes were so gut-wrenching. Watching those montages and those flashbacks, it was really sad but also so wonderful.” Damn, why am I crying in the club right now?
But even though we all cried (no? just me?) at the season finale, we’ve still got a Zoom reunion to look forward to, and Kristen promises that it will be top-notch: “there were some tears, there was definitely a lot of yelling… it was interesting.” Specifically, she teases that there’s “a little nugget of truth” that becomes public, and it sounds like whatever it is will cause some major fallout in the group. Count me in.
To hear the full interview with Kristen Doute, check out the latest episode of the Mention It All Podcast:
Images: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
This season of Vanderpump Rules has been a frustratingly mixed bag. For every hilarious one-liner or moment of genuine drama, we’ve spent an hour watching Jax be an asshole or Dayna pretend to care about Max and/or Brett. It’s safe to say this has been one of the weaker seasons of the show, but there have still been a few bright spots. Of course, we got to see pure coke rage Jax make his return, but I’ve mostly been enjoying the energy of the new women on the show—especially Danica Dow.
Danica isn’t a full-time cast member, which means we haven’t gotten a lot of details about her life, but we know that she’s an assistant manager at SUR, she’s gotten suspended for fighting at work, and she has at least two ex-boyfriends with restraining orders against her. I’m intrigued. Last month, Danica clapped back at Stassi for a tone-deaf tweet about working at SUR during the pandemic, and this week, she went on the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, hosted by Amanda Hirsch, where she shared her thoughts on some of the other VPR OGs.
First up, who’s number one on Danica’s sh*t list? Ding ding ding! It’s Jax! Danica said, “I was blocked right when he found out that I was gonna be on the show. He’s disgusting. He is gross. He and I had never even talked before them.”
What a clown. I totally get if some of the OGs aren’t excited to pretend to be friends with half a dozen new people, but Jax and his block button need to calm the f*ck down. Bravo still made half the season about his dumb wedding, so he really has no reason to be so angry about the new people on the show.
And in case you’ve been skeptical of everyone on the show acting like Jax still works as a bartender, Danica said that Jax works at SUR “a total of like, five times a month.” Yeah, okay. I’m sure that’s just during filming, and he’s drunk the whole time. Sounds like a hard job.
Danica also talked about her friendship with Scheana, but she threw a little shade in the process. She said that she’s “close” with Scheana, but that they’ve “struggled a little bit lately” as Danica has gotten closer with Dayna. Danica added that Scheana and Dayna are fine with each other now, but that Scheana is “a little possessive over her friends,” so she doesn’t want Danica to be too close with Dayna. Ah yes, classic Scheana. Honestly, when people call her boy crazy, they’re conveniently forgetting that she’s the exact same way with her female friends. I love Scheana, but she’s always been like this.
And of course, Danica also talked about calling Stassi out on Twitter. She said that Stassi’s tweet about SUR “triggered” her, and that many of the other SURvers who aren’t on the show were also upset by the tweet. And of course, she got plenty of backlash from Stassi stans, including some death threats. Ah, Vanderpump Rules fans, the most sane people in the world. Danica teased that they talked about the tweet on the VPR reunion, so I’m definitely intrigued to see if we’ll get some kind of apology out of Stassi.
Danica hasn’t been given too many chances to get in on the drama this season, but if coronavirus ever f*cks off and lets them film a season 9, I have a feeling that might change. They have to cut some people from this bloated cast, and I feel like Danica actually has potential to bring some exciting new storylines. Sorry, but I don’t want to watch Jax and Brittany bicker forever!
Images: Casey Durkin/Bravo
Ever since Brittany first appeared on season 4 of Vanderpump Rules, she’s been a fan favorite. With her Southern roots and bubbly personality, she’s served as the perfect foil to her now-husband Jax, SUR’s resident sociopath and life-ruiner. Remarkably, up until her text exchange with Katie in this week’s episode, she’s managed to escape the wrath of every female cast member on the show, a near-impossible feat given that these women change alliances more frequently than they change faces. Kristen can barely go an episode without referring to Brittany as “my precious Brittany,” and the rest of the ladies regard her as if she’s the Southern reincarnation of Mother Teresa. It was easy to root for Brittany after Jax’s cheating scandal with Faith. But now, as we watch Brittany misdirect her anger at Katie and Sandoval despite Jax’s increasingly erratic behavior, it’s time we dispose of the narrative that she’s naive and needs our help.
She Moved Cross-Country To Live With Jax After Knowing Him Two Months
Fans of the show remember vividly Brittany’s move from Kentucky to L.A. after meeting Jax in a bar in Las Vegas. “The very first night he met me he told me wanted me to move to L.A. I, of course, didn’t believe it,” Brittany said on E!’s Daily Pop. “Two months later, I moved to L.A.” Brittany has maintained that she did not watch Vanderpump Rules before appearing on the show.
I’m going to have to call B.S. on this. On the one hand, it’s semi-believable, because I’d like to think that no sane woman who’d seen the show would ever agree to move in with a man who can’t get through an episode of said show without lying, cheating, eating pasta drinking excessively, and/or screaming at a friend or co-worker. On the other hand, what reasonably intelligent millennial woman wouldn’t do some healthy online stalking before packing up her belongings and driving across the country to move into a studio apartment with our generation’s Dirty John? She knew what she was getting herself into.
She Actively Tried To Get On The Show
In an interview with Vogue, Brittany said, “I never wanted to be on TV. I never wanted to be an actor or an actress.” Britt, please. Even if we believe that she never watched the show before moving to L.A., her behavior upon arrival is, at best, a bit sketchy. She had barely unpacked her bags before rolling up to SUR in a questionable romper for a job interview with LVP. A couple of things about this don’t add up. First, who would want to work with their boyfriend after already having to spend the rest of their day in a 500-square-foot apartment with him and his creepy foot fetish? This is either the most codependent relationship on TV or she isn’t being 100% transparent about her motivations.
Second, and most importantly, the restaurant in question is the setting for one of the most popular reality shows on television. If she really didn’t want to be on TV, she could’ve applied to one of the other thousands of restaurants in L.A. that doesn’t have a TV crew present for months out of the year. In my light Googling painstaking research for this article, I also came across Brittany’s page on Model Mayhem, which says she’s been a member since August 10, 2010, well before she found herself on our TV screens. In her bio, Brittany says she is looking to “expand my oppurtunities ” and is “willing & ready to travel.”
I can believe that Brittany never sought out to be a professional actress, but for her to imply she didn’t want fame after moving to L.A. to be with a guy she knew for five minutes who just so happens to star on a reality TV show is fake news. One need only look at her Instagram to see that she’s adjusting quite comfortably to a life of paid endorsements and sponsorships. There’s no shame in this at all, but I’d have more respect for her if she were honest about her ambitions. Instead, she acts as if her newfound opportunities just happened with no effort on her part, which is about as believable as her increasingly thick accent that, of late, is reaching Sofia Vergara levels of exaggeration.
She Stayed With Jax After He Humiliated Her On National Television Multiple Times
At the beginning of season 5, Jax announces that he walked in on Brittany and Kristen hooking up. Given Jax’s never-ending trail of lies track record, it’s unclear whether this did, in fact, happen. Both Brittany and Kristen, Jax’s strongest competitor for Most Honest Cast Member, denied it. Whether or not they hooked up is beside the point. What matters is that Jax, Brittany’s then-boyfriend, thought it was appropriate to talk about her sex life on national television without her permission. It’d be one thing if he was genuinely hurt or considered it cheating, but he seemed completely dead inside unbothered by the idea. Instead, he put it out there to the world without the least bit of consideration for Brittany, who comes from a conservative community. If such callous behavior by Jax wasn’t immediate grounds for a breakup, it was at the very least a huge red flag.
Me to Brittany the past four seasons:
Of course, we can’t bring up the topic of humiliation without mentioning the season 6 revelation that Jax cheated on Brittany with co-worker Faith mere feet away from a sleeping 95-year old woman. As if that weren’t horrific enough, we later learned that Faith had secretly recorded a conversation with Jax where he said some seriously f*cked up things about Brittany. This would be the death knell for just about any other relationship, but after about a month of being “broken up,” the two got back together. THEN, Jax pulls the ultimate douche move and breaks up Brittany mere weeks after putting her through hell. It’s no wonder she wanted him to RAWT there, but it’s mind-boggling that she would take him back after this.
Jax Hasn’t Changed And She Still Married Him
From pretty much the moment she arrived in Los Angeles, Brittany has been subjected to some downright awful treatment by Jax. Over the past several seasons he bought her breast implants and demanded she make them bigger than she wanted, criticized her weight multiple times (even going so far as to suggest her weight contributed to his cheating), expected that she make him sandwiches, and gaslit her at every turn. When we dig beneath the surface excitement of the engagement and wedding, their relationship is so dark that it’s often difficult to watch. Brittany is very likely the victim of some emotional abuse by Jax. But after all this time and with the benefit of having his mistakes documented on TV to learn from, his behavior largely remains the same, and is arguably worse.
He dismissed her concerns when they went to therapy, told her own family that he comes first, and this season lied to her face about his trip to the strip club during their joint bachelor/bachelorette trip, where he said on camera that he was going to leave Brittany for one of the strippers. But when anyone so much as hints that Jax is a less than honorable guy, she becomes defensive and/or hysterical and doesn’t want to hear it. This season, she distracted herself with wedding planning, as if a televised ceremony is going to solve all of their relationship issues. I can’t totally blame her; it’s easier to throw yourself into something superficial rather than deal with the darkest recesses of your psyche. And there are many reasons women in emotionally abusive relationships stay, whether it’s diminished self-worth, isolation, or believing that the abuser can change. We’ll probably never know exactly what’s driving Brittany, and she may not even know herself, but after several seasons of watching back her husband’s misdeeds and contending with the opinions of viewers, there’s no doubt that she knew who she was marrying.
I happen to enjoy Brittany on the show and genuinely believe that she’s a nice person in real life. But we’ve got to stop buying into this idea that she’s this babe in the woods who needs our help. It would not only be a mistake, but a severe underestimation to view her this way. She’s an adult woman making a conscious decision to not only continue in an unhealthy relationship, but broadcast it on national television and benefit from it financially. Whether or not it’s the true love remains to be seen. But just in case it’s not, I’ll be here waiting with my popcorn for their future appearance on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.
Images: Giphy (4)
This season on Vanderpump Rules, there’s been a lot going on. With a whopping 16 full-time cast members, there are a lot of storylines to follow, and we’ve seen main players like Jax and Kristen cut out of entire episodes. But even with so many balls to juggle, many of us have noticed that the editors always find time to make Scheana look like a clown. From driving home her boy crazy tendencies, to making a punchline out of her egg freezing process, even to implying that she likes teenage boys, it’s all felt a little unfair.
But no matter how much it seemed like the editors had some kind of problem with Scheana, I never thought that my suspicions would actually be confirmed. But recently, Vanderpump Rules editor Bri Dellinger appeared on the Twisted Plot Podcast, and she offered a shocking look behind the curtain of the show we all love to hate. Long story short, our suspicions about Scheana’s edit couldn’t have been more correct.
When asked about Scheana’s edit on the podcast, Dellinger said “If Scheana knows what’s good for her, she’d befriend me because my favorite game is finding all the embarrassing things that Scheana does and putting them all in.” Yeah, we’ve noticed. While I’ve never been an editor on a TV show before, this feels deeply unprofessional. Editing these shows is a complex job—the editors work behind the scenes to structure storylines and cut down hours and hours of footage into neat, 42-minute episodes—but basing your editing decisions on which cast members have kissed your ass more? Nah, that’s not right.
Based on Dellinger’s comments, this seems like more of a personal game than a basic editing decision. She joked on the podcast that the title of Scheana’s memoir should be Death By A Million Embarrassments, because of all her cringeworthy moments that have been shown on the show. It’s one thing to make her look a certain way on the show, but that’s just rude. Let’s be honest, Scheana can make herself look silly and desperate all on her own (she’s admitted that some of her behavior is cringey), and the relentless montages of her worst moments just feel like overkill at this point.
But aside from Dellinger’s whole vibe toward Scheana seeming petty, she spoke about one situation that I actually find quite disturbing. At Stassi and Beau’s engagement party a few episodes ago, we saw Scheana chatting with Stassi’s teenage brother Nikolai. Scheana was teasing him about his love life, and then we saw an interview clip of Scheana talking about how young she would date. The clear intention was to make it look like Scheana was flirting with Nikolai, who is a literal child. I immediately felt uncomfortable, and like this was somehow manipulated.
Noooooo. Last summer there was a 21 year old (and looked way older) who i met at a bar and we went hung a few times. That’s why I said that. Had ZERO to do w Nikolai. That kid is like a little bro to me. https://t.co/jQdOMaNdQe
— 🏳️🌈Scheana (@scheana) May 4, 2020
Scheana felt the same way, and voiced her frustration on Twitter. Whether you like Scheana or not, it’s pretty sh*tty for your employer to joke that you’re a pedophile, don’t you think? Scheana clarified that the interview was taken completely out of context, and she was never even talking about Nikolai. She said that he’s “like a little bro” to her, and Stassi also clarified that she never thought anything inappropriate was going on.
Girl, you were harmless. And watching that scene had me rolling. Whoever’s saying it’s inappropriate is a weirdo. @scheana https://t.co/EFzbU4bmC3
— Stassi Schroeder (@stassi) May 4, 2020
So who was responsible for this uncomfortable joke at Scheana’s expense? Yeah, you guessed it. Dellinger called the moment “so funny,” saying that “We were watching the scene and were like, ‘Okay, this is over the top, I realize that, but how can we resist?’ … Yes, I set it to funny music and I added a funny bite, but she did that.” I’m sorry, she did what? Made playful small talk with a kid she’s known for half his life? Without the (out of context) sound bite, that moment probably wouldn’t have even made the final cut, so it’s weird for Dellinger to act like she didn’t do anything here.
It probably seems like I’m a ride or die for Scheana, but honestly, I don’t really care one way or the other. All of these people are flawed, and seeing their negative traits is a big part of what makes the show so watchable. But it’s less fun when you know that the whole show has been manufactured to make one person look bad—it’s unnecessary, and the show would probably feel more authentic if the entire cast was given an equal opportunity to look bad.
Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that any of these shows are being shown without any kind of guiding hand from the producers and editors. In her interview, Dellinger also shared that this season, Bravo decided that Stassi and Beau are the “special heroes” of the show, which explains why their relationship has been heavily featured, and mostly shown in a positive light this season. This kind of storyline decision is to be expected, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else who’s equally earned respect on this show.
Clearly, the powers that be at Bravo aren’t thrilled with us having this information. The second I heard about the details of this interview, I assumed there was some breach of confidentiality on Dellinger’s part, and it didn’t take long for the hammer to come down. The podcast episode containing the interview was deleted, along with Scheana’s tweet at Andy Cohen claiming that she had tea. As for Bri Dellinger, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s no longer an editor next season, because this is definitely not the kind of tea that’s ever supposed to become public.
And while I have a deep love for reality TV (listen to my Bravo podcast LOL), even I would honestly prefer not to see how the sausage is made. It’s fun hearing about what production pays for, or who’s a pain in the ass to work with—I don’t need to know about the minutiae of the editing process. But when we can all tell the editing is biased against one person, that’s a problem. #JusticeForScheana!
Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Scheana, stassi / Twitter
It’s hard to believe that this season of Vanderpump Rules is already coming to a close, but we can’t watch Dayna go back and forth between Brett and Max forever. While the coronavirus pandemic has brought service at SUR and TomTom to a halt, things with our favorite crew of (mostly former) SURvers and bartenders are still heating up. Last week, the Pump Rules crew sat down to film their first ever virtual reunion, because no virus can stop Bravo from bringing us the drama we need.
This week, Vanderpump Rules OG Tom Sandoval stopped by the Mention It All Podcast, and he updated us on his furniture situation, how TomTom is handling the quarantine, and of course, all things VPR. There’s been a lot going on on season 8 of Vanderpump Rules, but one constant theme has been Tom and Ariana’s lack of furniture in their new house. Tom’s explanation? He and Ariana are “two extra motherf*ckers,” and they wanted to take their time to get their home exactly right. In what may or may not have been a dig at some of his costars, he said that “the last thing we would ever do is buy staging furniture with the house.” Catch that shade?
Nearing the end of a “really intense” season, one of the biggest storylines has been Jax Taylor’s inexplicable issues with Tom, and particularly his relationship with Ariana. Speaking on this, Tom says that he doesn’t understand “what his obsession is,” but that he “would never consider Jax a safe place.” I have a feeling these two won’t be patching things up at the reunion, as Tom noted that we’ll see some of his cast mates “continuing to not evolve as human beings.” Tom wasn’t about to spoil anything, but that has Jax Taylor written all over it.
Speaking of the reunion, doing things virtually turned out to be quite a production. Your glitchy company Zoom meeting, this was not. Tom says that production went to “crazy lengths to film this reunion,” delivering complicated tech setups to each cast member’s home, and spending hours remotely helping them set it all up. Tom promises that, despite the circumstances, “the quality is going to be good,” and I can’t wait to see how this season ends. You can listen to the full episode of Mention It All with Tom Sandoval below, and click here to subscribe to get all the newest episodes.
Images: Eugene Powers / Shutterstock.com
As a self-confessed Bravoholic, I revel in the happenings on our favorite Bravo shows, whether it’s the idiocy of Puppygate in last season’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or the garbage men that run rampant on every season of Southern Charm. And while I know a mother isn’t supposed to reveal her favorite child, I must confess that Vanderpump Rules is my personal jewel in the crown. From the moment it premiered seven years ago, the show has given us more drama than any scripted series ever could and a cast of beautiful surgically-enhanced train wrecks you can’t tear your eyes away from. In honor of the premiere of Vanderpump Rules season 8, I’ve rounded up the most under-appreciated moments of the series.
8. Scheana’s Crop Top Wedding Dress
Ms. Scheana Marie Jancan Shay is known for her many misguided choices. These usually involve men who are unavailable, either because they’re married or vying for camera time simply not that into her. However, the most embarrassing thing she’s ever done on the show was wear a crop top wedding gown in season 3. I’d describe it for you, but I’ll leave it to Stassi, who summed it up better than I ever could:
7. Story Time With Lala
Lala Kent is nothing if not an enigma. One minute, she’s masquerading as the show’s feminist hero, and the next she is completely unaware of what cis privilege means. In a scene from season 4 that is not discussed nearly enough, she beautifully showcases this when talking about the book she’s currently reading: “I was given a book called Fountainhead, which is by Ayn Rand. It’s a philosophical book and it’s about architecture and architects.” Sounds like the book report of a 9-year-old who didn’t read the book and put the movie on in the background while texting, but sure. I’ll leave it at that, because I don’t want to “get popped.”
6. Ariana, Feminist Hero
Season 7 was a breakout season for Ariana, not only because she showed us she’s more intelligent than her fellow SURvers by leaps and bounds, but also because she’s been open and honest about her sexuality and stood up for her trans castmate, Billie Lee. I especially appreciated her candor on being reluctant to get married and have children despite constant questions and pressure from the other cast members, including her own boyfriend: “Before I would even be comfortable considering the idea of having kids, I would need to check off all the places I wanna go in the world, which is kind of all of them. And I would also just like, I don’t know, want to?” Sorry Lala, but this is actually what a feminist looks like.
5. The Number One Guy In This Group
There’s never been anyone on television quite like Jason Michael Cauchi Jax Taylor. In season 4 he proved that his words could be just as unpredictable as his behavior during a conversation with Schwartz and Sandoval about Schwartz and Katie’s dysfunctional relationship. Schwartz gets up to take a break from the drama, and Jax utters the following to Sandoval in a glorious coke-induced rage: “Dude, stop acting like you’re the number one f*cking guy in this group, man. I’m the number one guy in this group!” The seriousness with which he delivers this absurd proclamation, with not even an iota of irony, is nothing short of magical.
4. James Kennedy’s Impersonations
Love him or hate him, James has delivered some of the best lines on this show (“PUMP-TINI!” “It’s not about the pasta!”). But less acknowledged and equally hysterical are his impressions of his fellow castmates. His impersonation of Stassi on the ground, literally “crawling back from New York” on the season 5 reunion was so hilarious that even Stassi couldn’t help but laugh. My personal favorite, however, is his reenactments of both Brittany and Jax reacting to the revelation of the infamous Jax-Faith recording. His “WHHHYYY?!?” is enough to convince me that he should star in the next reboot of A Streetcar Named Desire. Don’t @ me.
3. Sandoval’s Dramatic Drag Show
Joint bachelor/bachelorette parties are rarely a good idea, especially when the couple in question transforms into the worst versions of themselves after a couple shots of tequila. That said, we’re forever indebted to Katie and Schwartz for giving us what is perhaps Sandoval’s most melodramatic moment on this show, which is saying something. The image of him dressed in drag like a bootleg Sia and referring to his best friend as a “battered wife!” will forever be etched in the darkest recesses of my brain. The juxtaposition of his insane getup and the earnestness of his message is more than any of us deserve. We really are living in the golden age of television.
2. Jax and Faith’s Captive Audience
When it came out that Jax cheated on Brittany with Faith, the rest of the cast was downright shocked. Maybe it was because they collectively bought into the storyline genuinely believed that Jax was a changed man (LOL). However, not one person brought up the most horrifying detail of the encounter: that this all went down while Faith was inexplicably charged with the live-in care for a 95-year-old woman. Umm, WTF?! I can’t even begin to fathom how Faith was approved for this gig in the first place. We can only hope the poor woman was hopped up on one of her prescriptions and slept through this heinous encounter.
Actual footage of me watching this episode:
1. The Montages
The Vanderpump Rules editors (and Bravo editors in general) are the true unsung heroes of the show. They’re our Greek chorus, always ready to point out the cast’s lack of self-awareness, whether it’s a montage of every moment Sandoval got emotional during the entire run of the series, Kristen’s seasonal psychotic breaks, or the 48 tequila shots Schwartz took in Mexico leading him to wander off to a completely different hotel. Editors, we thank you for your service.
Of course, there are far too many gems that could’ve been included, but I have a day job and some semblance of a life. What underrated Vanderpump Rules moments did I miss (other than “Suck a dick,” “I am the devil, and don’t you forget it” and “I don’t know what I’ve done to you, but I’ll take a Pinot Grigio”—none of those are underrated). Let me know in the comments!
Images: Tommy Garcia/Bravo; Giphy (4); Tenor (2); Adderall and Compliments (2); badgalriri / Instagram
Do you love Bravo? Of course you do, you’re reading this article. We just launched @bravobybetches, your new favorite account for Bravo memes, gossip, and behind-the-scenes sh*t. Follow @bravobybetches now!
Somebody tell Santa that he can cancel Christmas, because I’ve already gotten the perfect gift. Bravo just announced that Vanderpump Rules season 8 is scheduled to premiere on January 7, 2020 and I can’t imagine a better way to ring in a new decade than with an extra 10 pounds on my waistline and a middle-aged wait staff struggling to remember if they cheated on each other on my TV screen. And Bravo dropped the trailer on Friday! Andy Cohen, you’re too good to me. Based on what we know, it looks like this is going to be (to borrow a phrase from real life angel, Chris Harrison) the most dramatic season EVER. And I’m not basing this solely on the trailer—oh no, there has been sh*t going down during this off-season. We’re talking social media unfollows, vaguely negative comments, and people not showing up at parties. This is LEGIT. So, I’m going to gather up all this evidence, call myself Veronica Mars, and piece this season together for you.
The Witches Of WeHo Break Up
Rumors have been brewing (get it, because they’re witches? Sorry, I hate myself too) that Katie, Kristen, and Stassi have been having problems lately. Back in October, Stassi confirmed those rumors on her podcast by saying, “If taking a break from someone is a b*tch move and makes me nasty, then I don’t give a f*ck.” Wow. Way to sound like a passive-aggressive ex-girlfriend airing her grievances on Facebook, Stassi. Kristen also confirmed that they had a falling out, saying she doesn’t really know why it happened (classic Kristen, she was probably blacked out during the fight). Whatever happened, Kristen, I bet a hundred bucks you were chain smoking and calling someone the c-word when it went down!
In the trailer, we see a very brief snippet of a fight between the women. In it, Katie says that Kristen is being obnoxious. Fair. Kristen says Katie is being a b*tch. Also fair. To be honest, with personalities like that, it’s a miracle any of these people ever have friends.
It looks like some of the cast could be patching things up, though, because Brittany just posted an Insta story of a bunch of them on their way to the People’s Choice Awards, and Kristen was there.
It seems like Stassi may be the last holdout, because she wasn’t with them last night (she was in New York), and she hasn’t posted a picture with Kristen since July.
View this post on Instagram
And is it just me or does that picture appear coerced for the sake of their wine business? Which leads me to my most important question, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE WINE? I need answers, Andy. Mediocre Pinot Grigio is at stake!
Jax And Sandoval Are Also Feuding
Back in August, E! News reported that Jax unfollowed a number of his co-stars, including Sandoval, Ariana, Kristen, and Scheana. This must have happened after his wedding to Brittany, because the Toms were co-best men at the event. So what is up between the old (very old, Jax is 40! Don’t think I’d forget to bring that up) friends?
In the trailer, we see a fight between the two men, with Sandoval screaming, asking if Jax even knows him at all. He’s near tears, with nary a dog in sight to dry them. It’s rough.
According to, once again, E! News, the fight was over Lance Bass (!!!!) officiating Jax and Brittany’s wedding. Apparently Tom and Ariana claimed Jax only picked Lance because he is a celebrity, and for some reason are taking issue with that. Well, first of all, who wouldn’t want a celebrity officiating their wedding? Second of all, it’s 2019, not 2001, so I think that the word “celebrity” is a little generous for Lance Bass. And third of all, let’s not act like you all aren’t after fame, mmkay. I say they rip off their chunky cardigans, fight it out in a parking lot, and move on.
The New People Bring The Cheating Drama
Since a lot of our OGs are pretty solidly coupled up (except Kristen *insert evil laugh*), it’s up to the new cast members to bring the cheating drama. Based on the preview, it looks like Dayna has drama with Max. He says he’s interested in her, but she seems to think he is exclusively dating someone else. Later in the preview, Max accuses Brett of having feelings for Dayna. Am I getting these people right? If I’m mixing them up, my apologies, but also can Bravo apologize for casting two dudes that look identical? It makes me thankful for the days of Sandoval’s Flock of Seagulls hairdo, because at least he couldn’t be confused with anyone except a time traveler from 1982.
I attempted to do some Instagram digging for you all and get some answers, but Brett exclusively posts pictures of himself in varying states of undress, and Dayna and Max appear to have kept their love lives off the platform. Gotta stay tight-lipped about those storylines to get a contract renewal, I guess!
^^Max and Brett together, so I guess they’re not actually the same person
Scheana Continues To Try To Be The Bachelorette
People write in asking Reality Steve if Scheana is going to be the Bachelorette as often as I tell myself “the diet starts tomorrow.” His answer is always a variation on “Hell no, I just snorted Sprite out of my nostrils in response,” but that’s not for lack of trying. Last season we saw Scheana attempt to recreate her Bachelorette fantasy with human Ken doll Robbie Hayes, which had about as much chemistry as a dog on a date with a lamp. And back in September, Bustle reported that she was getting cozy with DeMario Jackson, although they are both claiming they’re just friends.
Stop trying to make The Bachelorette happen, Scheana, it’s never going to happen! What I don’t understand is that she’s on a reality show now that she gets to be on EVERY season. Why does she desperately want to be on a show with an expiration date? Although, she was basically non-existent in this trailer, so perhaps it is time for her to look for another job…
There Are Way Too Many People On This Show
Okay, so this is less of a prediction and more of a fact, but I feel like Vanderpump Rules season 8 is truly a challenge to the show’s video editors, to see how many people they can squeeze into one credit sequence. So many cast members and yet still no Peter. When will he get his due? Justice for Peter!!
And that’s what’s going to happen on Season 8 based on the trailer, social media, and gossip! You’re welcome for my hard work, and I think we can all agree that if there’s one thing we know for SURE about this upcoming season, it’s that Brittany is my spirit animal.
Can’t wait for January!
Images: Giphy (2); issamaximillian, scheana/Instagram; Bravo