Last night was the next to the last episode of Love & Hip Hop. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if this season has flown by in a relatively boring string of similar-minded cat fights. Erica Mena and Kimbella Vanderhee are at each others’ throats yet again, Yandy Smith is desperate to find someone who finds her to be a totally innocent party in her smack down with Chrissy Lampkin and unprofessional e-mail to Jim Jones, and Olivia Longett keeps singing away. Emily Bustamante is still pining for Fab and Somaya Reece makes a rare appearance.
Olivia and Emily are discussing the fight between Yandy and Chrissy. Emily has Chrissy’s back while Olivia feels she stuck between two friends. Yandy joins the pair and Emily smugly sizes up Yandy. Yandy hopes that Emily will help show Chrissy her side of things, but no dice. Emily will leave that job for Olivia.
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In a recent interview with NecoleBitchie.com, the controversial former manager of rapper Jim Jones discusses her edit on the show, her real friends and how she got to the top of her profession… that, and a little rumor about her boyfriend’s fight with Jim Jones. Because it’s not reality television if there isn’t fighting — even off-camera — right? An excerpt from that interview is below.
Yandy, you came out the Violator Management camp. Exactly how long have you been in the industry?
I got an internship with Violator in 2004, right out of college at Howard. Then I turned that into a position there.
When and where did you meet Jim Jones?
I met Jim in 2005 on a private jet chartered by Russell Simmons. They were flying us to Detroit for the Hip Hop summit to register young voters and Jim and I sat next to one another. He kept telling me that he managed this group The Diplomats and I told him to hit me up if he needed any help. He started calling me every day and eventually I was like ‘You’re going to have to pay me for this.” So I became his official manager and left Violator in 2005.
On the show you’re definitely portrayed as a woman about her business. Were you always that way? Or was there a situation that brought that out of you?
You know what, when I went to Howard, I got a scholarship the first two years. But my mother made me pay for the last two years. So that really taught me to be about my business. Yeah, being social was great and I did that too but I definitely learned quickly that I had to handle mine. And when school was over, I brought that same mindset to Violator Management. I knew I had to hurry up and find a job so I could pay back my student loans. So I came in on my business.
So on the show you made the statement that at the end of the day, for you it’s about making money…
See that was only part of the statement. What they didn’t show you was that I also said how much I love Jim. See a lot of that is changed in editing or manipulated by producers.
Let’s talk about that. Are you happy with the way you’ve been represented? (Groans) See, here’s the thing: most people don’t realize how this really works. If the producers contact me and say there’s a woman named Erica Mena interested in meeting with me about management, I don’t know what an Erica Mena is. But I took the meeting and all the sudden its made to look like I’m starting something. Or if Emily [Bustamante] invites me along with the rest of the girls to her party, I don’t know what type of party it is until I get there. And really I didn’t come with Kimbella. The camera just shows us walking up to the house together, so now it looks like I’ve brought Kimbella [Vanderhee] and I didn’t.
So have you been portrayed wrong?
Listen, you can’t edit something that you do. I am who I am on the show with one exception: I really don’t have any drama in my life. I’m not around grown women fighting and all of that. That doesn’t happen in my normal life. A lot of that is manipulated because it makes sense in the storyline.
Would you consider your cast mates friends in real life?
No. I’m friends with Kimbella. She is genuinely my friend. I like Somaya [Reece]. I like Olivia. I knew Olivia from my Violator days. I wasn’t on her day to day team but we got to know each other better after that.
What about Chrissy?
I never had a reason to be close with Chrissy [Lampkin]. Before the show I really only had a relationship with Chrissy through Jim. If we were going somewhere and Jim was like ‘I’m bringing Chrissy’ then I was like cool. But we never hung out or had dinner at each others houses. I have that relationship with Juelz and Kim. I’m the God mother of their child.
So you’ve finished filming and I know you’ve got a big episode coming up and you can’t tell us too much. So let me ask you this, are you at peace with how the situation ended with you and Jim?
I’m at peace. Absolutely. You know what? The show brought a lot of things to light. I’m quick to brother out somebody. I’m super quick to call a dude my brother – and part of that comes from being a woman in this industry. Calling someone my brother lets other people know there’s nothing going on and it sends a message to that dude that there’s a line he shouldn’t cross with me. But Jim? Jim was deeper than my brother. In a lot of ways I think of Jim as my first born. He really was my very first project. We were broke together and then got rich together.
So where is that relationship now?
I will always love Mama Jones. Mama Jones and I used to talk for hours about all sorts of things – not just Jim – so I will always have a relationship with her.
What about Jim?
I’ll just say this: Jim will always be a very important factor in my career history. Like I said, he was there in the beginning, so my appreciation for that will always be there.
[If] they asked you back for Season 3, would you do it?
I don’t know at this point. Honestly. The people that can really affect my bottom line, know what it is. But the other people that see the show and call me the Don King of the show, they think ‘oh Yandy’s messy.’ I don’t know if there’s anywhere else for me to go on the show. And I don’t need my own show. America likes to watch a train wreck. Chrissy could have her own show. But I’m not a train wreck. So I don’t know.
Do you have a boyfriend? (Laughs) Yes, I have a boo.
Did he beat up Jim Jones?
I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I heard Jim say it was a botched robbery in Harlem.
Did your boyfriend attempt to rob Jim Jones, in Harlem?
No. My boyfriend definitely doesn’t need to rob anyone.
Whoa! According to the rumor mill, Yandy’s boyfriend allegedly beat up Jim Jones a few weeks ago in NYC. Sources close to Jim have, however, insisted it was a botched robbery. That is some pretty hefty stuff if you ask me. Personally, I enjoy some Yandy on the show, but all the ladies bring that certain something (read: DRAMZ!) to each episode.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YANDY’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU THINK SHE’S A LEGITIMATE PROFESSIONAL OR THE “DON KING” OF THE SERIES? ANY TRUTH TO THE RUMOR THAT HER BOYFRIEND BEAT UP JIM JONES?
Back to the boardwalk! Last night’s Jersey Shore took a step back from the norm. Instead of being a PSA of how not to act/dress/drink yourself into a combination of regret, remorse and oblivion, it was more a study in sociology. This show has long been touted as a gluttonous look at very tan, very blinged out people with too much money, time and booze… but not quite enough sense. As it should be.
However, before I ever got this dream job of blogging for RT, I watched religiously — and not for the antics and the ridic catch phrases and abbreviations (although those are Ah. Maze. Ing!) — because, unlike with any other heavily scripted reality show, these folks really seem to care about one another. They brawl, they bitch, they hook-up, things get awkward, but no matter what, at the end of the day, they really are a family. #SundayDinners
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We all saw it, but we all have different takes on what happened. To what am I referring? If you must ask, the most recent episode of Mob Wives! We can all agree we saw a smack down of epic reality proportions, but all viewers have their own take on what led up to the brawl at Renee Graziano’s birthday party and who was at fault. Some think that Drita D’avanzo was sincerely trying to make amends with nemesis Karen Gravano. I’ll be honest… that’s how I viewed it.
Some saw it as Drita’s guilt for marrying her former friend Karen’s long time love Lee D’avanzo. And after the initial conversation between Drita and Karen? That’s where it really gets dicey in the eyes of the beholder. No one can argue that Drita threw the first punch, but did she do it after so much verbal turmoil and the addition of Karen’s ride-or-die-friend/self-pro-claimed cousin Ramona Rizzo?
In an interview with Hollywoodlife.com, Drita explains her side of the cage match — and by cage, I clearly mean balcony. She recalls, “I definitely think they had the intention 1000 percent to do the tag team on me. I’ve gotten jumped. I know body action, motion, feeling — and I saw it. I saw the whole f*cking sh*t going on. I really did feel set up.”
Despite intuition, Drita did believe that her initial chat with Karen was not going to end badly. Quite the contrary, she was hopeful the combative pair could bury their differences. Drita reveals, “I was told she wanted to talk to me. I was so happy [she wanted to make up].”
Citing footage from that fateful episode, Drita continues, “If you see me, you see my body language. My gesture is genuine. I’m not trying to be a f*cking asshole. It’s crazy to me that she reacted the way that she did and changed and just turned the whole thing into a bad f*cking situation.”
Drita, however, is adamant about how the fight escalated. “Who started it? Karen. Who instigated and made it worse and then put me on defense mode? Ramona. She was told not to be there and she got involved. She knows I got nobody there,” Drita remembers. She recounts, “I was the one getting bullied. I felt cornered. I felt they had bad intentions. I’m going defend myself.”
Drita in no way is trying to pawn off her culpability in the situation. She is quick to admit, “I hit Ramona first. I punched her across the mouth. She shouldn’t have been there running her mouth. She knows I don’t trust her. And, Karen could have turned around and said, ‘Listen Ramona, this has nothing to do with you.’ Instead she got louder and nastier.”
Clearly these ladies are not people I want on my bad side. Drita tells the site, “I didn’t want to go to the party [in the first place]. I promised myself to never fight again on television. This is what I went in thinking. I never had intentions to ever touch her again. And, I specifically told everybody to keep Ramona far away from me.” You have to admire the fact that Drita promised herself never to fight again “on television.” Off camera everything is fair game, I presume?
Drita is not shocked by how things went down at the party, citing, “Karen and Ramona did this same thing to one of Carla [Facciolo]’s close friends. They jumped her. They don’t have a great rep when it comes to this.” I am hard pressed to find a “great rep” when it comes to any of these women! Joking aside, Drita wants to rid herself of the drama and violence, stating, “Fighting, I’m f*cking done with it man. I’m trying to put that behind me.” Good luck with that, dear lady. Good luck.
Turning to the woman on the receiving end of Drita’s right hook, Ramona Rizzo is the newest cast member who has a strong pseudo-family alliance with Karen. She speaks to the same site about why she is deserving of a spot on Mob Wives.
Going back to the family tree she discussed on last week’s episode, Ramona boasts, “I had somebody by the name of ‘Lefty Guns’ Ruggiero, who was my grandfather. The movie Donnie Brasco was based on his life. The only person I’m willing to speak about is my grandfather. We’re the real deal.”
While the family secret was that her grandfather was the member of a notorious crime family, it was kept just that — a secret — Ramona says,“I was extremely close with my grandfather. His going away affected me really bad. When I was making my communion, that’s when things started going on…My grandfather went to jail for 13 years, but they still didn’t tell me.”
She wants viewers to know, “My family hid it from me. I grew up differently. The word ‘mob’ was never used in my home. … I saw all the news with my grandfather, and that’s how [I] found [my] family’s secret out.”
Ramona’s revelation led to different choices. She explains, “Everything I went through, I didn’t want to marry Italian. If [I had] a boy, he could possibly be in the lifestyle.” Or his mother could be right in the thick of it, fighting on a balcony!
While Ramona’s former married life sounds like something out of a movie, it’s hardly a mob flick. After spending a decade married to a man from the Middle East, she struggled to get a divorce and fought to get her kids — Giovanni 13, Anissa, 12, Melina, 11, Gianna, 7 — out of the country of Jordan. Now raising her children in the U.S., she remembers, “The last time I was in Jordan was to get divorced. I went there for two-and-a-half years.”
That said, it’s clear Ramona is loyal to family… and that includes faux cousin Karen. I mean nothing negative by referencing her as faux, it merely means they aren’t blood related — I am fortunate enough to have more faux family than blood relatives.
Of her infamous Mob Wives family member, Ramona says, “I met Karen at 4 years old. I called her mom and dad ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle.’ We did frequent holidays together.” And that, my friends, is why sometimes water is thicker than blood.
[Photos Credit: SPLASH]
THOUGHTS ON DRITA’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS JUMPED? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NEWCOMER RAMONA?
Because everyone likes a little something extra after the holidays, last night MTV gifted us with not one, but two new episodes of Teen Mom 2! I know you’re just as pumped about it as I am, and if you think I’m being sarcastic… well, you’re right. Two hours of mayhem, stupid choices, and those poor toddlers.
EPISODE ONE: MY SHAMELESS PLUG FOR NORTH CAROLINA COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEYS
Leah and Corey are gearing up for more doctor’s visits for Ali. In an effort to cheer up the twins, Leah brings home a kitten. Just one more thing for the couple to take care of in the midst of all their issues. Corey isn’t thrilled about the cat (can you blame him?) but he is happy he’ll be able to accompany Leah to Ali’s geneticist appointment.
Chelsea is recovering from her surgery and she’s bummed to learn that the owners of the house her dad’s she’s renting are trying to sell it. She reveals to her dad that she’s going to have to find new digs. She promises her dad that when she finds a new place, Adam won’t be living with her… he’ll just stay there the majority of the time. Chelsea is ready for a change. There are too many bad memories in her old house — fighting with Adam and growing distant from her former roommate Megan (foreshadowing? And thanks to all the readers who made me realize it will be Megan who shows up preggers in this episode, when I mistakenly thought it was Chelsea’s sister). Chelsea also wants to go back to blonde. Whoa, the changes!
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Some positive, non-violent reality news to report on today which is always nice! After undergoing a double mastectomy over three weeks ago, Giuliana Rancic is reporting that she’s “doing better than I anticipated in recovery.” In fact, the star of Giuliana and Bill is claiming that her battle with breast cancer has actually improved her quality of life. That’s some attitude — we should all take note!
Not surprisingly, she’s already back to work and back to her life… just a better life, she says. Speaking to PEOPLE.com while at a Television Critics Association press tour luncheon this past weekend, Giuilana revealed, “I never thought my marriage could be stronger, or I could be closer to [my husband Apprentice winner] Bill [Rancic].” The E! host reveals that the frightening ordeal has been a positive life changer “in so many ways.”
Discussing Bill and her religious views, Giuliana shares, “We go to church every Sunday. And we did before, but it never meant as much as it does now.” She continues, “We prayed on our own, but now we prayed together and you’ll never know how much that means until you do it. Bill and I have changed our lives in that one way.”
Giuliana reveals that she hasn’t had a moment’s pause about her recent surgery which removed both of her breasts — nor should she. It greatly improved her future health. She states, “The surgery brought my risks down 95 to 100 percent. If I had a lumpectomy, I would have early estrogen menopause for at least two years, and I want to have children.”
Using the humor she’s known for both on her show and on the red carpet, Giuliana dishes, “I didn’t give two sh––s about my breasts. I didn’t care that at the Golden Globes, I wouldn’t be able to show cleavage.” Her chest size doesn’t define her career.
She recalls, “A lot of people were shocked. They said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Think about the life you lead and the fabulous dresses and that’s part of your job. It could put your job in jeopardy.’ And I thought, if I ever have a job that is defined by my breasts and some gorgeous gown then I’m in the wrong business.”
And honestly, who needs cleavage when they have a loving, supportive husband by their side every step of the way through the good, the bad and the ugly. “It breaks my heart that a lot of women don’t have a supportive husband,” Giuliana tells the magazine. She gushes, “Bill’s a saint, and the hottest male nurse ever. He’s very protective and it’s almost as hard for him as it was for me.”
I am so happy to see that Giuliana made the health decision that she felt was best for her, regardless of stigmas, criticism or potential insecurities. I think Bill and her are a wonderful public example for the millions of women and men who face the devastation of breast cancer on a daily basis. Do I think she’s a hero? Yes. But I also think all the other women who have been in her shoes without the recognition are as well. I applaud her for using the platform she’s been blessed with to spread awareness about an all too common epidemic.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
CAN YOU BELIEVE GIULIANA’S ALREADY BACK AT WORK AFTER HER SURGERY? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HER INTERVIEW?
After last week’s romantic (?) proposal, Love & Hip Hop resumed with some slight back story behind Jim Jones’ decision to head to Miami. There is a video montage of the pair from season one intermixed with Jim preparing to pop the question.
As he waxes poetic in the background about what it means to have Chrissy as a lady and confidante, why she is perfect for him, and what all they’ve been through, we watch him shower (he totes has a body under those baggy clothes!), profess his love for Chrissy in the steamy mirror and contemplate choosing the perfect ring. Oh VH1, how cheesy lovely.
After Chrissy says yes, it turns out the entire Miami trip was a set-up by Jim. He has all her friends and family at the restaurant, and apparently Emily, Teairra, and Olivia were in on the plan as well. I clearly didn’t give Jim enough credit. That was a pretty sweet proposal. In her interview, Chrissy cries about how wonderful it feels to be a Jones, compliments crizazy Mama Jones (love!) for raising such a wonderful son and ends with a tearful, “Even if we never get married… I will always have love for Jim in my f*&^ing heart.” And here I was thinking that Jim was the more romantic out of the two. Chrissy is like a female Shakespeare!
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Last night’s Mob Wives was an all out war — the weapons of choice? Acrylic nails, silicone and weave. It was quite a battle!
At Big Ang’s request, Drita D’Avanzo agrees to try to mend fences with Karen Gravano. Drita attempts to apologize, but Karen isn’t having one second of it. They are back to the conversation on the rooftop last season. Big Ang mistakenly thinks things are copasetic as she watches from a distance. Um. Karen accuses Drita of claiming she put Karen in the hospital. Drita never said that… but she did hear it, and it seemed plausible as Drita typically puts people in the hospital.
Ramona approaches, reminding the ladies that Renee’s birthday isn’t the time of place. Drita swings at her and it is an all out hair pulling brawl. Ramona won’t let go of Drita’s hair, no matter how much Derek Tobacco (what a great name!) tries to stop her. Ramona’s mouth is bleeding (or is that smeared lipstick? Nah, totes blood) and Karen is threatening Drita with “her bloodline.”
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