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Real Housewives of New York

In the wake of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, several of the castmembers of Real Housewives of New York City spoke to PEOPLE offering their sympathy and support to Taylor Armstrong and defending Bravo against any allegations that reality TV may have been involved in Russell’s decision to take his own life. Since the casting, apparently, hasn’t been “officially” finalized yet – I guess these ladies are doing some sucking up!

Taking a break from Pinot-ing, Ramona Singer, offered her perspective: “I think it is very tragic. But I don’t think that the reality show is to blame for his unfortunate death. I think he had problems. And it’s sad when someone has so many problems, they feel the only way they can eliminate their pain is by taking their life.”

Krazy Kelly Bensimon, also offered her support to the network paying her bills, declaring: “I would never blame it on the show.” Just like she didn’t “blame” the show for forcing her to go on Scary Island and be subjected to “systematic bullying”? Anyways, in a shocking turn, Ms. Bensimon went on to give an insightful statement about what Russell’s reasons: “You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. And no one can judge. It’s no one’s job to do that. A lot of people speculate.”

Also extending statements of support and empathy, Sonja Morgan relayed: “My heart goes out to her [Taylor] and I’m here for her. But I never intrude,” Sonja explained. “She knows I’m here, but sometimes being helpful is just staying out of someone’s business.”

Alex McCord, on the other hand, took the classy (am I allowed to use the dread “C” word to describe her?) approach – declining to comment at all, stating: “I don’t even feel comfortable talking about that publicly.”

And noticeably absent from the roster of RHoNYC castmembers speaking about the events is the Jill Zarin! Could it be… that Jill, who is rumored to be hiding out vacationing in Italy with husband, Bawby has been … dropped from the lineup?! Likely not, given that Andy Cohen is still vacationing happily instead of entering the Witness Protection Program!

Which brings me to my next bit of news, unfortunately for all us former fans, The NY Post is now reporting that Bravo is feeling skittish about involving any new housewives in the franchise – despite some attempts to recast in the hopes of including more “downtown types.” As you recall, with the exception of last season’s newbie Cindy Bore-shop, there have been no offical rumors speculating about who Bravo was considering replacing, however a source reveals: “They looked at over 30 women, and narrowed it to three [new cast members].”

But after the unexpected tragedy with Russell Armstrong, the network became nervous about shaking things up; and especially concerned about informing castmembers they were out. “The last thing they need right now are more surprises,” the source explains. “The first one to get axed is going to write a book, and these girls know the secrets of production. The show’s still working on some level, even if Bravo is tired of the story lines.”

A rep from Bravo confirms the last statement, explaining: “Production was pushed, as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.”

Soon to be fired castmember Cindy also echoed that sentiment, telling the HollywoodLife blog that Bravo will be making the casting decision this week. “Obviously nobody’s got it going down right now, but soon — probably another week everybody will know,” said Cindy late last week.

A Bravo insider reveals the network has to send a letter notifying the cast members that their options have been picked up. The women then have the choice to accept the offer. “After the girls accept, that’s when Bravo would announce season five,” the insider says. “The girls will be notified right before filming begins.”

And there you have it. I guess, Bravo already knows what to expect from the current crazy … Too bad they can’t trust that the fans are all really tired of the storylines and the ladies, as well. Perhaps if the ratings take a nosedive that will get Cohen, et al to finally wake up! Or we could always start a Twitition…

Do you think Bravo will recast any of the ladies except Cindy? Are you surprised by the network’s reaction? Will you be watching if the cast (and the subsequent storylines) remain the same?

It looks like Real Housewives of New York didn’t start filming this weekend as earlier speculated. In fact, none of the ladies know yet whether they’ll even be returning for the new season. Has anyone checked on Jill Zarin? She has to be freaking out just a tad.

Sonja Morgan took time out of her star-studded schedule to speak to the New York Post before flitting off to a party for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. And wow…throwing Sonja in with the Kardumphries–there’s a show I’d watch! But, I digress. Sonja told the Post, “None of us should be unhappy where we are. It’s really up to Bravo and what they want to do.” She continues, “If it happens, it happens. But none of us should be unhappy because of the success we’ve already earned. If I’m not back next season, it’s not bad. We’re still all stars.” Um, okay.

Bravo hasn’t given an official reason for the delay, but a rep for the network provided a statement, saying, “Production for Real Housewives of New York was pushed as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.” One can assume that the network is still dealing with the aftermath of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, hopefully trying to realign the franchise with its original premise, which was free from most of the drama and ugliness we are currently glued to multiple times a week.

Also in the wake of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills tragedy, new precautions are being taken with the reality stars’ contracts. Discussing reality show contracts in general, one source tells the Huffington Post, “I’m ashamed to admit I work on a show that once had in writing that contestants agreed we could humiliate them.” The source continues, “I have even seen contracts for dating shows that say if you contract a sexual disease on the show the producers were not responsible. What’s the amazing part is that the people that go on these shows are so desperate to be famous, and have no real talent, that they actually sign these deals.” Wow.

So what do these changes mean for Bravo specifically? It potentially means that Bravo will be more stringent in enforcing a psychological testing clause already present in its contracts with those involved in the Housewives franchise. One of Bravo’s New York Housewives reveals, “We all have in our contracts that Bravo can force us to take a [psychological] test. To my knowledge nobody did, but moving forward any new cast members will for sure. This isn’t to protect the talent but rather to protect Bravo for the next time something horrid happens.” I have to say it doesn’t sound like a horrible plan. In fact, I can think of a few current Housewives they may want to consider testing…

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE RETURNING TO THE NEW YORK CAST? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING? WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE TESTED FIRST?

 

If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to a Kelly Kra-kra Bensimon interview, it is that she is guaranteed to leave you with an epic quote or two!

In a new interview with OK Magazine, the muscular and curve-less Real Housewives of New York City star encourages women to show off their curves, you know, like she does.

“I don’t want people to be skinny. I want them to be happy and healthy and smoking hot. If you have curves show them off, and if you don’t have curves work out so you can get them,” said Kelly.

Kelly, who graces the latest cover of Shape magazine, also feels she is an inspiration to all women out there. “I think it’s really exciting for a lot of people to see someone 43 on the cover of Shape, because it’s something that they can do,” Kelly told OK!. “It’s not like I’m über thin. It’s not like I’m not eating. I eat well. I exercise a lot and I promote healthy living.”

When asked who shot her very airbrushed/almost unrecognizable cover, Kelly credits her ex-husband Gilles Bensimon. “Everytime that I do a photoshoot I always choose him, because he loves me so much and wants me to be a better version of me, which is very, very cool,” she shared. “Also he loves beautiful women and I want to be as beautiful as I can for everyone else.” The jokes just write themselves.

In a separate interview with Good Day New York, Kelly makes it clear she would like to return for another season of the RHONY citing she had a great season this year. And why wouldn’t she? She had the whole Brunette gang treating her with kids gloves while pretending she wasn’t cra cra!

“I actually had a really good time with it this year,” she said. “I mean, this was my opportunity to really, really show who I am and not be in a combative situation. It was two seasons of just constantly being berated all the time.”

We should be finding out any day now if Kelly will indeed be returning to RHONY for a new season. I personally can’t imagine Bravo would invite her back.

Photo credit: INF

TELL US – DO YOU WANT KELLY’S “CURVY” BODY? SURPRISED SHE WANTS TO RETURN FOR ANOTHER SEASON?


Housewives Hostile Takeover!

“Do mean girls grow up to be mean women?” That’s the question Real Housewives of New York City uber mean woman, Jill Zarin was asked on Joy Behar‘s show recently, where the topic was bullying among adult women. After being shown a clip of Teresa Giudice‘s infamous prostitution whore table flip, Jill commented on how “embarrassing” Teresa’s behavior was, but does admit it is “not a proud moment,” for the NJ housewife who’s flipping outburst is largely what led to her fame!

Well, I have a couple points to make here: One: Yes, Jill is an expert on mean desperate for celebrity, bullying, immature women – I mean she pretty much wrote the book on that, and Two: while Teresa is totes embarrassing, that’s a bit rich coming from the woman who’s embarrassing breakdowns and screeching fits have made her one of the least popular housewives ever. Far less popular than Mrs. Giudice!

Jill goes onto explain that the drama on Real Housewives is authentic, and often the “emotions get to you when you’re in one of these scenes,” adding “They’re not staged, but I wouldn’t be friends with some of the girls on my show had I not been cast on a reality show. We have to, sort of, travel together or be together and what really happens between us is real.”

“ … but mean girls, I wouldn’t really be friends with them, so there wouldn’t be any meanness, but sort of when you are thrown into together, these things happen.”[sic] Wait – isn’t Jill biffles with Kelly “Krazy-legs” Bensimon and [Countess] LuAnn de Lesseps? And wasn’t Jill previously friends with Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer before she possibly, maybe, perhaps out-mean woman’d them? Ok, that’s what I thought!

Moving on, the RHoNYC ex? stars, Jill and former? fellow castmate Alex McCord are preparing for their post-housewives careers by heavily hawking their wares. Jill’s Skweeze Couture, which is a distant second place finisher to Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Shapewear line, recently debuted a bridal collection which: “has little blue hearts sewn into it, so you get something new and something blue, and it takes off about two inches, so everyone looks amazing.”

According to Jill, Skweeze is “projected to reach $50 million in sales by 2012,” and she has plans to add shoes, sunglasses, handbags, skin-care products, perfumes, watches, and jewelry in the near future! Beat that, Frankel! Will these two ever stop competing against each other?!

“She is really building an empire, brick by brick,” alleges a source. “She will be joining other reality stars like Jessica Simpson and Lauren Conrad.” Ok, seriously who is buying this stuff? Her mom? Bawby? Who?

Alex McCord is also branching out into product pimping now that her modeling attempts have failed and announced she will serve as President to Aluxe Home, a bedding company featuring 18 lines of bathroom towels and 24 different bedding selections – all made of 100 percent Egyptian Cotton and manufactured in Egypt.

“This new venture was cemented when we visited and inspected the factory last month to ensure that we were happy with its quality, professionalism and working standards for its employees,” Alex stated via press release.

Add this one to the list of housewives products we can all avoid and roll our eyes over! Here’s hoping it goes more successfully than Simon Van Kempen’s mean tweeting social networking or singing careers!

Can you believe Jill Zarin was asked to serve on a panel about “mean women?” Can you believe Jill thinks she is going to be selling $50M in products by next year? Delusional Much? Do you think Alex’s new “career” indicates she may be leaving RHoNYC?

It’s deja vu all over again for the Real Housewives of New York City as the Bravo network has decided to bump the show yet again.

After being bumped earlier this year in favor of the lackluster Real Housewives of Miami, Bravo has decided to delay filming on the new season of RHONY and some are now wondering if this could be related to the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong.

“We were originally meant to start filming on Labor Day,” a member of the RHONY cast tells the Huffington Post. “Then we all received an email saying we would start filming September 8th, when Fashion Week started in the city. Now we have all been notified that it has been pushed back another three weeks at least.”

The cast member adds that with the recent tragedy involving Russell, Bravo is now more hesitant to shake-up the cast fearing they might end up casting someone who’s too dark or mentally unable to handle being on a show like the Housewives.

“We expected a huge shake-up in the New York cast,” another star of the show reveals “But now, after what has happened, it might be more beneficial to proceed with the devil you know. The New York cast is certainly whacky but [for] the most part, we are all mentally stable which has to be a bigger priority at the moment than making crazy TV.”

Another source connected to production however assures E! the delay has nothing to do with Russell. “The shoot schedule for RHNYC was pushed due to production details that needed to be finalized and there is absolutely no correlation between RHNYC and RHBH production concerns,” reveals the source.

Meanwhile, whether or not Bravo decides to shake up the cast, it appears new cast member Cindy Barshop is likely done with the series.

A source confirms to the RumorFix blog that Cindy has not been invited back for another season of the Real Housewives of New York. If true, this doesn’t come as a surprise as Cindy didn’t add much to the show, was dull, and just seemed like a deer in headlights in most of her scenes. Let’s face it, she was out of her league with these women, who might or might not hold a PhD in drama!

Now if only Bravo can axe Kelly Bensimon as well. In light of the above comments, hopefully Bravo now realizes that having someone who might be mentally unstable on the show is not worth the risk.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK THE DELAY IS RELATED TO RUSSELL? SURPRISED CINDY MIGHT BE DUNZO?

Guess what – Kelly Bensimon isn’t nuts – she says so herself! In a new interview for Shape magazine, the 43-year-old Real Housewives of New York castmember talks about all the boring stuff, like her diet and exercise routines, and the important stuff: like how she just plays a wackjob on TV!

Kelly informs Shape that her infamous St. John’s breakdown, oh excuse me – break through, was simply her responding to other people: “people called me crazy,” she acknowledges. “But what they saw was me reacting—in an honest way— to a situation that wasn’t honest. Then everyone ganged up on me. So of course I looked crazy!” Oh, yeah… that’s what happened – Al Sharpton ganged up on her and forced her to eat jellybeans and undercooked meat!

After the tumultuous third season of Housewives in which everyone on Earth decided she was a few jellybeans short of an Easter basket, Kelly felt she had to return to the show – for her daughters, of course: “Teddy said, ‘You have to show them the real you.’ So this season I’m sort of the voice of reason. I’m listening to the others and giving advice and focusing on being a good mother and friend.” Wow – if this past season was Kelly demonstrating listening skills, then yeah… she’s crazier than we all thought!

Despite the fact that Bethenny Frankel was apparently the administrator of the “Systematic Bullying” that plagued her during Season 3, Kelly alleges she reached out to Bethenny following filming to clear the air. The mag reports: “After Bethenny left the series, Kelly says she offered to meet for coffee and a talk.” Kelly claims: “She wrote back saying she’d moved on from it all. That really upset me. She created all of this chaos, and then she moved on?” Interesting…

Kelly address the idea that she’s not the brightest bulb. I mean she went to Columbia University, after all! “I find it hilarious when someone says I’m not smart. I’ve written three books, including American Style, a review of U.S. fashion, which is a textbook in some schools.” In fact, Kelly is so smart she has a fourth book – a fitness and lifestyle guide – in the works.“The premise is that you can be healthy, happy, and hot,” explains Kelly. If you haven’t had enough of Kelly’s advice, you can pick up the book next year.

Finally, Kelly debunks the rumors that she abuses drugs: “My body is like a Ferrari,” says Kelly. “I know what it needs to run well—and that doesn’t include drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.” If you want to know what Ms. Krazybeans eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you can check out the article yourself, because I’m all crazied out!

The September issue of Shape is on newsstands now. Run – don’t walk – and get one!

So, what do you think of Kelly’s declaration of sanity? Are you interested in buying Kelly’s new book? Thoughts on the cover photograph?

In today’s reality news, Bravo Housewives continue their attempt at world domination!

The Bravo network announced earlier this week that for the first time in history of the series, Housewives from various cities will gather together on one stage for what is being called “The Real Housewives Live Tour.

According to the press release, “Fans will have the chance to get up-close and personal with their favorite cast members as the ladies discuss the most talked about moments, reveal cast secrets and answer questions straight from the audience.”

The three-city tour begins in Atlantic City, NJ on October 1 with Caroline Manzo (RHONJ), LuAnn de Lesseps (RHONY), Kyle Richards (RHOBH) and Vicki Gunvalson (RHOC).

On October 8, Sonja Morgan (RHONY), Gretchen Rossi (RHOC), Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH) and Phaedra Parks (RHOA) will meet fans in Hammond, Indiana.

The tour will then conclude October 15 with NeNe Leakes (RHOA), Jill Zarin (RHONY), Melissa Gorga (RHONJ) and Marysol Patton (RHOM) in Atlanta.

For the fans looking to get up close and personal with the cra cra housewives, it’s gonna cost you! The ticket prices will range from $49.50 to $170.00. They go on sale Friday, August 19.

In other housewives news, a new report is once again dispelling those silly Jill Zarin is considering leaving the Real Housewives of New York City rumors. According to the NY Post, that is far from the truth as the Jillousy has practically been begging Bravo to keep her on the show.

“Jill would re-sign tomorrow if she could. She has been pitching herself very aggressively to keep her on next season, because she’s terrified she’ll be phased out,” reveals a source. “She would love to have her own show like [former "Housewives" star] Bethenny Frankel, but she’s not getting it.” Ouch!

This makes you wonder if Jill was indeed one of the reported two NYC Housewives who told Bravo they would be willing to take a pay cut to remain on the show. In the meantime, some are speculating that Jill alongside Countess LuAnn and Sonja Morgan will indeed be returning next season due to the fact that Bravo is including them in the tour.

Perhaps Jill has now received word from Bravo that she will be returning because she has changed her tune since last week. Jill recently told UsWeekly that she is NOT leaving the show.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE BRAVO HOUSEWIVES TOUR? WILL BE BE ATTENDING? PLUS ARE YOU SURPRISED JILL IS DESPERATE TO REMAIN ON RHONY?

Just as suspected by most, it appears those convenient reports of Jill Zarin contemplating leaving the Real Housewives of New York was indeed just an attempt to save face.

The reason? Well according to a new report by the Rumorfix, the decision to leave or continue the show is NOT up to Jill! It is completely up to Bravo as Jill remains under contract with the network.

In fact, a source close to the show confirms that if Jill does leave the show, it won’t be because she chose to move on.

“Bravo decides who comes back, they are the ones who draw up the contracts. It seems like Jill is just trying to give herself an out in case she isn’t asked back, or just phased out,” reveals the source.

So there you have folks, this appears to be nothing but a poor attempt by the Jillousy to save face in case Bravo decides to fire her.

Personally, believe it or not, I would like to see Jill remain on the cast as she is a key part of the show as is Ramona Singer. I think starting with an all new cast will prove to be a risky move for Bravo. A good option might be to fire Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop, and then bring in 3 new housewives aka some new blood to join Jill, Ramona, LuAnn, Alex and Sonja.

The bad news for Jill however is that fans of RHONY feel very differently. Our poll asking whether or not you want Jill to return had over 82% of fans voting NO! A similar poll done by the Rumorfix had over 83% of fans voting no. The question now is will Bravo listen?

TELL US – SURPRISED BY THIS REPORT? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE BRAVO DO? BRING IN A NEW CAST OR FIRE SOME OF THE CURRENT CAST MEMBERS?

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