I have such a love/hate relationship with Bravo. I love to hate it. I hate how much I love it. Given the network’s newest brainchild, Shahs of Sunset, I am hatefully smitten. I CANNOT WAIT to watch. In a recent press release, Bravo fills in viewers on what is sure to be our next very guilty pleasure.
The premise of what is being touted as a “docu-series” follows the stories of six Persian-American friends in Los Angeles. The kicker? While we are used to watching beautiful young people navigate friendships, social scenes, and budding careers, this program also focuses on a different aspect of the soon-to-be introduced group. The series will watch its cast members as they work towards successful positions in California while balancing the family and traditions of their old-world community.
The show will film the young men and women as they create individual identities and new opportunities while facing the pressures put upon them by family to settle down within their culture. We will join the cast mates as they socialize with the creme de la creme, shop at Pretty Women style Rodeo Drive boutiques, and bypass the red velvet rope at the hottest clubs. However, the most intriguing part of the show (for me) deals with Bravo newbies juggling these opulent scenarios with the traditional customs of their family’s values.
Even better? The king of reality television–Ryan Seacrest himself–is jumping E!’s ship expanding his network-ial (new word) horizons to produce the Bravo show along side Adam Sher and Pete Tartaglia. Even though I am strongly opposed to all things Kardashian, I am quite on board with all things Seacrest. It’s quite the conundrum, but I’m working my way through it…with counseling…from Andy Cohen. Don’t I wish? Read on to see the bios of the stars of Shahs of Sunset!
Set your DVRs and TIVOs dear readers! Shahs of Sunset premieres on Bravo Sunday, March 11 at 10 PM ET.
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Despite very strong warnings from his bachelorettes about 28-year-old model Courtney Robertson, Ben refused to let her go, keeping her for next week’s hometown dates.
In his weekly blog for PEOPLE, Ben, age 28, opens up about his “strong” feelings for Courtney, while also explaining why he decided to ignore the strong warnings from the other contestants about her.
First Ben defends, yes defends, Court-court: “I know it’s been hard for Courtney, and to be honest, I’m not sure this was the best environment for her. But, just as I tell the women to take our relationships individually, I try to do the same. My feelings for Courtney are strong and I don’t want to let external forces get in the way.”
Ben goes on to explain why he decided to pull Courtney away during the rose ceremony. Ben writes, “As the rose ceremony approached, I had a lot going through my head. All the women told me about their reservations regarding Courtney, and I really had to think about what I was missing, or if this was all just part of the nature of the women living together. It’s amazing to see how deeply the women felt about their dislike for Courtney, and it’s equally amazing not to see any of that coming through in her actions with me.”
Ben also pretends he actually considered sending Courtney packing! “It was a lot to consider, but my conversation with Courtney at the rose ceremony reaffirmed that I have to take these relationships individually and focus on the way she is when she’s with me,” writes Ben. “I see what some of the women were talking about, but I still feel great about Courtney because when I’m with her, I feel really connected to her.”
But fret not, as Ben assures us the other contestants are still in the running as well! He writes, “In the end, my feelings for Kacie, Nicki, Lindziand Courtney were the strongest. More than anything, I was completely thrilled that they wanted to take me home to meet their families. Family is everything to me, and it’s a very important part of this journey.”
TELL US – SHOULD BEN HAVE SENT COURTNEY PACKING? DO YOU THINK HE PICKS HER IN THE END?
We all know the Kardashians love them some Dancing With The Stars! Several of the famegrubbing family members have shimmied into their sequins to shake their bootys. Well, the latest Kardashian associate to get considered for the show is none other than poor whipped Bruce Jenner!
Oh, Bruce – imagine doing something besides playing with helicopters without Kris Jenner breathing down your neck whilst she prostitutes your daughters for a measly 10%! I swear she even forced Bruce to get that “facelift”!
Yes, unfortunately Bruce is the latest name to be thrown out as a possible contender for the show. I personally think he would be fun on the show – at least as far as Kardashians go!
Apparently, despite the looming deadline to announce the new cast, the producers haven’t filled the fourteen celebrity spots yet! According to HollywoodLife, DWTS producers think Bruce would be a great option. Or they realize Bruce has nothing else going on and would be available last minute!
Bruce hasn’t decided if he’ll sign on yet. He’s likely waiting for Kris to give the ok!
In other casting news, The Huffington Post is reporting that NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was bragging of turning down a DWTS offer while backstage at the Grammy’s!
And singer Ryan Tedder was overheard telling people that Chariot singer Gavin McGraw will be joining the cast this season! Gavin or his rep hasn’t confirmed or denied an interest in the show, but I guess we’ll find out on February 28th when the official lineup is announced.
Last night on theReal Housewives of Atlanta, it was a totally Kim-free episode as the other ladies toured the bush of South Africa. They laughed, they danced, they sang, they did charity work – I know, shockingly that all actually happened! They also made snide comments and embarrassed themselves, but hey it’s better than a screaming match!
Things began at the tale end of the epic showdown between two ladies desperate to prove each one is the lesser gold digging, wannabe living off a sugar daddy’s dime. It is much to everyone’s surprise, including Kandi‘s that NeNe intervenes and basically pries these two crazy ladies apart. As NeNe herds Marlo up the stairs, still clutching her omnipresent mimosa, she scolds Sheree on remaining calm and letting it go.
Afterwards everyone shakes it off and proceeds on to their respective dinner engagements. Well, almost everyone NeNe and Cynthia looked like they both wanted to catch the first bus out of there! Sheree arrives at her friend Kevin’s dinner party where he is excited to see the ladies and has planned a lot of exceptional entertainment for the evening. I can see why it would be impractical for Sheree to invite three more people last minute but she should have approached it a different way. Seriously, couldn’t a Bravo producer make copies of Marlo‘s etiquette book and pass it around to the entire traveling group? At Kevin’s the ladies are treated to some amazing fire dancing, flirting with danger indeed. That is pretty much the theme of this entire trip!
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Tonight is the FINAL (and I hope I mean final) episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ never-ending second season! Don’t worry about missing them, though! Even though we will no longer see the ladies bickering on our TV screens every week, I am most positive we will still be hearing about them in the news. The most exciting part about RHOBH ending is that it now frees my Monday nights up for The Bachelor. Don’t pick Courtney, Ben!
But I digress. Before we let these ladies fade gracefully into sunsets setting behind their palatial mansions, there’s more to discuss concerning Taylor Armstrong and that little book she wrote about her marriage. Now I know there has been much hullabaloo about whether or not Ms. Hughes-Ford-Armstrong-[insert next name here] is telling the truth concerning the domestic abuse that allegedly took place at the hands of former husband Russell Armstrong. Perhaps we are right to question her claims; perhaps not.
Taking heed from Camille Grammerand the internet, the mainstream media is starting to do a little look-see into what they perceive as some inaccuracies in Taylor’s stories. The Daily Beast, which featured a scathing exposé into Russell and Taylor’s grifter behavior this summer, decided to do a little more research on the topic of Taylor and her penchant for dishonesty.
Drawing the most attention to suspicions about Taylor’s alleged claims are Russell’s family and friends; namely his sister Laurie Kelsoe and his childhood friend Randy Edwards. Russell’s family has claimed Taylor never contacted them following Russell’s passing and that they have not seen Kennedy.
Taylor disputes that. “No one has reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, Taylor is there anything we can do for you and Kennedy? No one from his family has called,” Taylor reveals. “Besides, I am in contact with Russell’s dad. I talk with him every couple of weeks and we’ve sent letters back and forth.” Additionally, Taylor claims her attorney has contacted the mothers of Russell’s two older children because she is putting together photo scrapbooks for each of his sons, “And I kept a suit of their dad’s for each of them to have.”
This past weekend Taylor released a medical document confirming she suffered an eye injury in early June. Taylor asserts the injury to her orbital floor was sustained at the hands of Russell at the Four Seasons hotel after celebrating her birthday. According to Taylor the two were partying and when they came back to the hotel a fight ensued about her cheating on him – which culminated when Russell punched her in the the eye. She says almost immediately afterwards her eye turned turned black. “Booze always exacerbated things,” Taylor admits.
Taylor told Dr. Phil in a televised interview filmed shortly after she filed for divorce and released photos of her injuries to the media, that the injury happened at home, yet she explained to The Daily Beast that it happened at a hotel. When asked to explain the shifting story, Taylor clarified, “I just meant when we got home to the hotel.”
Interestingly, the day after the injury supposedly occurred, on June 12th (where her eye was apparently black, according to what she told Dr. Phil on national television), Taylor was tweeting poolside about the amazing weekend she was having! “@TaylorArmstrong Now we’re pool side at the 4 seasons and i am thinking of never leaving … i had the BEST birthday party ever! thank you Russell and all my crazy pals who joined in on the mayhem.” So how does Taylor explain this? Russell forced her to make that tweet! According to Taylor, he “sat next to me and told me what to tweet.”
When asked about the black eye she reportedly told Dr. Phil about, Taylor suddenly denies ever having a black eye from that injury. “No, no. I had orbital floor blowout—never a black eye from the punch.” So what of the photos she released to the media featuring a very prominent black eye? “That,” she says, “was a picture taken after her July 5, 2011, reconstructive surgery, which included inserting titanium mesh inside her orbital floor to, literally, keep her eyeball in the socket.” Umm… so those weren’t photos of alleged abuse? Taylor reportedly sold those photos for six figures under the pretense that they stemmed from injuries sustained by Russell.
So, let’s break this down. According to Taylor’s timeline, she had Lasik surgery in early June. She alleges Russell hit her on June 11, 2011 while vacationing with Russell – after a night of partying. On June 12, she was poolside tweeting. June 16th she was in Dallas visiting friends. On June 18th she was filming again, where all her castmates spent time with her. On June 22, she was at the hospital getting images related to her “Trauma and Right Orbital Fracture,” according to the medical records released this past Friday. Afterwards, the RHOBH cast went to Hawaii and Taylor was filmed talking with Dana Wilkey about wanting to leave Russell. On July 5th she had reconstructive surgery.
In the middle of all of this she was consistently filming for RHOBH and appeared at Lisa’s SUR launch where she claimed (alongside Dr. Sophy) she was “hurt” at the hands of Russell. It was previously reported that filming had to be put on hold for “a month” to let her heal from her wounds; yet during that time period Taylor made numerous appearances in Vegas and Beverly Hills – all of which were photographed. Additionally, several people saw Taylor the weekend after her eye injury and none noticed any injuries or disconcerting behavior!
Asked about the absence of any eye injury in the countless photographs and during the filming of RHOBH, Taylor claims Russell’s “half-open handed jab had caught his knuckle in her eye socket in such a way as to cause only internal injuries, not external injuries.” She said her injuries were worsened because of the Lasik surgery she had shortly before getting hit.
On June 16, Taylor and Russell visited friends in Dallas. Russell’s friend Jim Philips, his girlfriend Katrina and Randy saw Russell and Taylor that weekend. Granted these are close friends of Russell’s and vested in defending their friend, but both Jim and Randy claim to have an amicable relationship with Taylor. “My girlfriend was with me, and a bunch of people saw her [Taylor], tons of people, there were no bruises,” Randy said. “I’m not saying Russ (was) a saint. I know he wasn’t perfect … but he was not the person Taylor says. She is a liar.”
All three mention Taylor had no complaint about her eye and nothing looked amiss. On June 18, Taylor and Russell were filmed in a limo headed to Kyle Richard‘s White Party, allegedly returning from Vegas (not Dallas), and no injuries were apparent.
In the her memoir, Taylor describes having her jaw dislocated after Russell hit her following a 2011 Superbowl party in Dallas. On last week’s reunion, Taylor described popping it back into place over a toilet in the guest bathroom of a friend’s home, where the couple was staying during the visit. In her book, Taylor recounts “massaging it into place” in bed. No mention of a toilet.
Many are shocked by the allegation that Taylor would suffer from a dislocated jaw and have no visible injuries in the days and weeks following. She also states she did not seek medical attention. Taylor declined to give the names of the friends she was staying with when the dislocation occurred so The Daily Beast could verify her account.
A few days after the dislocation supposedly happened, Taylor and Russell were photographed on the Red Carpet for the Women’s Network of Music Celebration. No bruising or apparent side-effects (swelling, drooling, difficulty talking and smiling) were present, and she was smiling in photos. Photos of Taylor at that event are below.
Taylor is now recanting that her jaw was ever dislocated, saying it was “out of place.” She claims producers at Bravo asked her change her story! “I mean the ‘dislocated ‘ word—I mean, I think I described it as ‘out of place’ and in the editing they thought it was confusing so they used ‘dislocation.’ There was no medical diagnosis for that. But it really hurt! It was more painful than my eye.” Taylor also denied “exaggerating” the extent of her injuries.
Speaking out in defense of Russell is long-time friend Jim Phillips, who met Russell in college. “I’m the only person who knows all the bodies, all the personalities surrounding Russell … I knew Russ 30 years,” Jim explains. “As he got older he did a much better job of not getting mad. He was volatile in the past and he was always attracted to women of a similar nature.”
Indeed Russell’s past indiscretions with the law and with domestic incivility has been well documented. His ex-wife called the police over Russell’s abusive behavior (although she interestingly also believes Taylor has fabricated many of her allegations) and Russell’s ex-girlfriend filed a restraining order against him. Russell enrolled in treatment and therapy to control his anger, and both women had a good relationship with the man who fathered their children and have spoken out defending him in the press.
Moving on to another person who questions Taylor’s claims, Brandi Glanville took to her Bravo blog to discuss last week’s reunion and give her perspective. As always, we can count on Brandi to tell it like it is!
“I had absolutely no intention of fighting with Taylor,” Brandi insists. “I have tried to stay out of her business this whole season because I thought nothing good could possibly come from her situation. However when she brought up my personal business, which had nothing to do with her, I fought back.”
“I try and do the right and moral thing as often as possible, but I do have a temper and no one is perfect. I have my own opinion on the Russell/Taylor situation, but I have nothing against her personally. I honestly hope that she can find some peace in her life.”
“I think the Richard sisters have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions. Excuses and placing blame seem to be their answers to most of life’s problems,” Brandi added. “Looking forward to next week where Kim blames all of her problems on me,” she concludes.
And speaking of the Richards sisters, tonight Kim Richards will speak out about her battle with substance abuse and her decision to enter treatment in the third segment of the RHOBH reunion. Kyle will join Kim for a portion of her interview where the two talk being sisters and dealing with difficult situations. Tonight’s segment will also feature the househusbands and some manufactured drama about Brandi’s supposed sexual interest in Ken Todd. A video clip is below!
The final segment of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion airs on Bravo at 9/10c. A preview clip is below!
[Photos Credit: WENN]
IS THERE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS ABOUT TAYLOR’S STORY? DOES THE TIMELINE MAKE YOU QUESTION SOME OF HER CLAIMS? IS IT WRONG FOR US TO QUESTION TAYLOR’S ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR PHOTOS OF TAYLOR AT THE WOMEN OF MUSIC CELEBRATION & A PREVIEW!
In a statement to the Washington Post, Stacie confirms the split. “We remain friends,” said Stacie, adding she and Jason are “committed to our family and focused on our children.”
Stacie, 44, and Jason, 42 had been married for over 14 years. Stacie, a real estate agent, was a fan favorite on the now canceled Real Housewives of DC, as she always managed to remain level headed amidst all the drama.
Stacie’s storyline on the show also included her quest to track down her biological father. Her husband Jason was in fact responsible for helping her find her biological dad in Nigeria. The two visited the country last year showing no signs of marital troubles.
Larsa and Cristy’s exit from the show was not much of a surprise as Adriana confirmed their departures last November. Alexia’s absence from the press release was however a shocker.
But today, Alexia is revealing she will in fact be returning to the series… but with a smaller role aka she’ll no longer be an official housewife. And just as we speculated, Alexia confirms the reason is indeed to due to the serious injuries her teen son Frankie Rosello suffered in an automobile accident last summer.
“It was a parent’s worst nightmare to get that phone call,’’ says Alexia to the Miami Herald, about the accident that occurred last August, when her 14-year-old son Frankie was riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by a friend from school. On that rainy day, the car spun out of control, into oncoming traffic. Frankie ended up in ICU with a serious head injury and various broken bones, including a crushed pelvis. He was the only one who got hurt.
Alexia shares that Frankie’s recovery won’t be a part of the show because it’s such a “personal matter.’’ But when filming on the new season begins in a couple of weeks (production is set to begin this month), Alexis will likely be filmed talking to her castmates about the accident.
The good news is that Frankie, who continues to undergo therapy five days a week. continues to make a ‘miraculous progress.’ Alexia shares, “He’s eating, he’s walking, he’s happy, he’s not on medication. The doctors are amazed. Speech is the most pressing issue at the moment.” In fact, just moments ago, Alexia tweeted a photo, posted below, of Frankie in therapy. Best wishes to Frankie!
As for Larsa and Cristy, they have yet to comment on being off the new season.
I must say, while I get Alexia doesn’t want to exploit Frankie for the show, I don’t see what’s so awful about putting your son’s recovery on a reality show as this seems more like a positive story to me. Thankfully, things seem to be going well for Frankie, who according to her is making good progress. But then again, perhaps this is Frankie’s decision to not want to put his struggles on the show, in which case, is very understandable. Alexis was my favorite housewife from the Miami franchise so it’s nice to know she’ll be returning even if it’s for a smaller role.
No word yet on when Bravo plans to air the new season. A report also came out last week that Bravo has cast model Joanna Krupa and Lisa Hochsteinto join the cast!
[Photo Credit: Johnny Louis/WENN.com]
TELL US – IS ALEXIA MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION IN NOT PUTTING HER SON’S RECOVERY ON THE SHOW? WILL YOU MISS HER BEING AN OFFICIAL HOUSEWIFE?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE FRANKIE’S PHOTO -
After that pesky little football game sidelined the Mob Wives last week, the ladies were back last night with extra drama to make up for their absence.
The episode opens with Renee Graziano speaking with ex-husband Junior Pagan about how she feels an impending sense of doom. However, she believes it is because of her loony friends having such heated arguments with each other. She wasn’t too keen on hearing that Ramona has been talking smack about her all over town. Renee is also stressed about Junior’s upcoming indictment. The lady has a lot on her plate.
Drita D’avanzo discusses the state of her relationship with Lee with her daughter. She brings up the “D” word, and while I am glad she’s talking about this to her daughter, it is irking me that she’s doing it on camera. Her daughter tells her that Lee has promised to take all of the family on a vacation and she’d like to go to Hawaii. Drita gets choked up by this revelation.
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