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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Hi RT readers! Introducing our newest writer Maria Diaz to you all today! Some of you might be familiar with Maria as she has been blogging about Bravo shows for a while now. You will be able to read more about Maria tomorrow when we publish her bio! Please give her a great RT welcome! Thanks – RT
Our long national nightmare may be coming to an end; Us Weekly reports this weekend that Bethenny Ever After, former housewife and current Skinnygirl mogul Bethenny Frankel‘s hit reality show, will be coming to an end after its third season premieres on February 20.
Before you put your monogrammed tinfoil hats on and blame this on Jill Zarin, do not fear: the source tells Us Weekly that this was a decision Bethenny came to on her own, wanting to end the show on a “high note” and instead she “is going to concentrate on her many business ventures.”
“The door is open for other projects with Bravo,” the source adds. “But as far as Bethenny Ever After goes, she feels that ending the show on a high note and ending it after this season would be best for her family. She doesn’t want her [20-month-old] daughter [Bryn] to grow up on TV.”
This was a year of almost endless bad press for Bethenny, who for a while seemed virtually untouchable, as viewers watched her go from the sad singleton begging her detached boyfriend to move in with her on Real Housewives of New York City’sfirst season, to happily married, with a baby and a fat bank account after she successfully sold her line of Skinnygirl cocktails to Jim Beam for a highly disputed amount of money. However, then came some lawsuits, an accusation that she faked being lost at sea for her reality show and lastly her talk show got dropped.
In any case, if there’s one thing Bethenny is good at it’s spinning just about anything in her favor (it’s why they pay her the big bucks!) and she did just that at this weekend’s Television Critics Association press junket (this is when the networks roll out previews of all the new shows, along with forcing the actors and other stars to talk to an army of members of the media).
She says all the stories are just making her stronger and it’s a testament to just how popular she is, telling E! Online: “I’m also a little bit flattered because it means I must’ve really made something out of myself, because there are that many that that want to tear me down. A lot of people want to tear me down, and if I were them, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.”
Bethenny also spoke out about her former BFF Jill Zarin. When asked if she had any advice for the now fired Jill, she stated, “Jill Zarin is definitely a survivor. She is definitely well-to-do and I don’t think she’s worried about finding a job.”
Bethenny doesn’t end there going on to give Jill a not so subtle diss. “She was on the show for years, and in many of the cities people are only on for one or two seasons,” Bethenny explains. “It just happens that they make it a little fresher. I’m sure she’ll find exactly what she’s looking for. It probably just stings a little bit. It’s a little bit difficult. She has her own way of dealing with it. I’m sure it’s difficult for her a little bit to watch what’s going on with me. Maybe if I were in her position, that’d be difficult for me, too. She handles it the way she knows how.”
As for what we can expect on the third and reportedly final season of her reality show, Bethenny states we will get to see some marital issues between her and hubby Jason Hoppy. Though she says her marriage has “amazing ups,” it also has struggles: “I just turned 41, and I unintentionally crammed everything in,” said Bethenny. “I got pregnant, I got married, I sold part of my business, and now we’re settling into what married life really is.”
Bethenny notes that she’s still “in therapy,” and despite problems between Jason and herself, she did not request that the cameras be turned off. “We’re going there,” she added.
Regarding her future on Bravo, they are naturally tight-lipped about whether or not the third season of BEA will be her last (I’d like to suggest a follow-up entitled Everybody Hates Bethenny, where she will just deal with all her haters) and the network tells Us Weekly that: “They haven’t even finished shooting this season so no decision has been made about another one yet.”
Whatever the decision is, love her or hate her, no doubt folks will be watching Bethenny, whether to laugh, cry or just speculate on how much plastic surgery she’s truly had done.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY CHOOSING TO END HER SHOW? SMART? ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT SEASON 3? THOUGHTS ON HER COMMENTS ABOUT JILL & HER MARRIAGE?
It’s no wonder Chrissy, reported to be age 42, ended up with rapper Jim Jones as she has apparently spent her entire life chasing after bad boys.
The report by the DiaryofaHollywoodStreetKing blog alleges that Chrissy has been hustling since age 15 and has even dated very infamous drug dealers such as drug kingpin Alpo Martinez and his partner Rich Porter. Chrissy is also said to have slept with rapper Jay Z at the age of 23 as well as some NBA players. Wowzers. Below is the report:
“Chrissy has been hustling since she was 15 years old. She’s now 42, and she’s been using her p*ssy to get Gucci and gold.
Chrissy and her crew were involved in different crimes like credit card schemes, shoplifters, mules from NYC to D.C. They were setting up dudes to get robbed. Chrissy has dated dope boys like the infamous drug kingpin Alpo Martinez and his partner Rich Porter also three New York Knick players. She even slept with Jay Z when he was 23 years old.
Chrissy’s last trick/sponsor/boyfriend cheated on her with a popular video hoe. Chrissy decided to rob him for $32,000 then she ran to Miami to shop and have fun on his dime. Then dude and his crew tracked Chrissy down. The Nicca knocked out her front teeth and in return Chrissy had her peeps send him a message that if he does not pay for her dental bill and buy her breast implants he’s going to get hit with the Rico Act. Dude paid all Chrissy’s bills and that was the end of her and street dudes.
Chrissy took her skills to reality television hoping her broke rapper boyfriend will help her to continue to live a easy lifestyle.”
Very interesting as Chrissy has criticized costar Kimbella Vanderhee for admitting she slept with rapper Fabolouswhile dating another rapper Juelz Santana. I guess it’s okay for Chrissy to do the same as long as it’s kept under wraps.
Do I believe this report? Absolutely — I had pretty much heard the same from other reliable sources last year. Plus, Jim has mentioned in a previous interview that he always had a crush on Chrissy before he started dating her a.k.a. Chrissy was “well known” on the scene.
Moving on to Erica Mena, who’s sketchy past also continues to make headlines. Following her fight with Kimbella weeks ago, which she totally instigated, Erica claimed VH1 depicted her in a way that was not classy and detrimental to her “modeling” career.
However, it turns out Erica’s reputation was already tainted way before VH1 came along as TheYBF blog posted an excerpt from a book written by rapper Prodigy – one of the members of rap duo Mobb Deep.
The book alleges that back in the day Erica used to “date” Havoc of Mobb Deep, but after a few drinks in the VIP room one night, she allowed Prodigy to err, how do I put this, get “some finger action.” The excerpt from Prodigy’s 2011 book My Infamous is posted below! As well as some old photos from Erica’s clASSY modeling past!
Poor Erica is definitely not winning lately as Kimbella also revealed last week that Erica was found stripping in the Valley and giving blow jobs for $200. Erica’s rep (she has a rep???) is, however, denying the whorish reports about her client stating Erica was never tagged team by Mobb Deep.
A new episode of Love & Hip Hop airs at 8/7c tonight on VH1. Yandy Smith and Chrissy will get into a major blowout! Must say I’m rooting for Yandy tonight as I feel Chrissy has simply become a bully this season, and seems to have a problem with everyone.
TELL – THOUGHTS ON THE REPORT ABOUT CHRISSY’S SHADY PAST? DO YOU BELIEVE IT? PLUS THOUGHTS ON THE EXCERPT ABOUT ERICA?
Now that she is no longer the trophy wife type — swapping that moniker for “free bitch” — Tamra decided to lighten her load, apparently. Taking to her Facebook page the saucy Housewife explained why she is implanted no more!
“Lots of people have been asking me WHY I had my breast implants removed and here is my answer: I had them removed for several reasons, 1. I live a more active lifestyle now (working out and running) and they really got in the way. 2. I feel at 44 I am finally comfortable in my own skin and I don’t need big ta-ta’s to make me look better. 3. one of the biggest reasons, I had a scare with breast cancer and I thought it would be better to just have them removed,” Tamra explained.
I must say looking at a photo of Tamra from last year, all her hard work is paying off — she is looking great! She’s definitely lost weight, toned up and looks much healthier. Additionally, removing the implants has given her a much classier look. Now if only she could do something about that hair…
“I am so happy I did it and will share more about my journey on season 7 that airs Feb 7,” she added. No word on when she had them removed. Tamra also took to her Facebook to defend new BFFL Gretchen Rossi!” I know this comment is going to shock the shit out of you….. However, there was some Gretchen bashing on my page and I won’t have it. The video of her naked is NOT to sell purses its for breast cancer awareness,” Tamra seethed referring to some topless shots of Gretchie Poo that can be seen in the new OC trailer.
“I think she was very brave and looks amazing in the video. I think a lot of people will be surprised to see how things have changed between us… HELL WE EVEN ARE!” Ok, then…
In other RHOC news, Bravo released a new trailer for the upcoming season and Vicki Gunvalson is coming unhinged! Get it together girl! You can view the video below.
Real Housewives of Orange County premieres on Bravo February 7th (9/10c).
[Photos Credit: SPLASH, Facebook]
THOUGHTS ON TAMRA’S NEW BUSTLINE? CLASSIER OR STILL THE SAME OLD TAMMIE SUE? ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF RHOC?
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Oh, Teen Mama Drama — why must you happen so frequently? Leah Messer recently announced she is both prego and getting married round two, but what is the Teen Mom 2‘s real reason for getting married?
Star Magazine reports that Leah has an ulterior motive for tying the knot so quickly to new baby daddy Jeremy Calvert. Money!
“Leah wants to get married so she can earn money by selling wedding photos and interviews,” a friend tells the gossip mag. “It’s the only way she can make money from the media under her contract. She didn’t get a bonus or anything from MTV for marrying on the show, but she can get a lot of money from the other things.”
Despite her rather large MTV paycheck, Leah apparently needs the money badly. So she’s pregnant again, why? “Leah needs the money,” the friend discloses. “Since she already lives with Jeremy, she doesn’t think a whole lot would change between them if they tie the knot.” I guess she’s forgotten that adding a newborn to the mix, along with her two-year-old twins will likely change things something drastic. But you know — rational thinking, smatsional schminking!
“I think they’re really good for each other,” the friend reveals of Leah’s warp speed relationship. “I just don’t think they should rush into marriage.”
In other news, Jeremy is apparently upset that fans are accusing Leah of paying for her own engagement ring! Taking to Twitter, Jeremy called out doubters claiming he paid for the 1.5 carat princess cut diamond ring himself! “umm FYI I don’t make a penny from MTV my own money bought it!,” he tweeted.
Explaining that he works as a “pipeline engineer for miller pipeline” “6 to 7 days a week outside in the cold” to earn a living. I have to say — good for Jeremy for working hard!
After defending himself to detractors, Leah tweeted: “I love you more then anything in the world baby, your my one and only!! :)),” so the world knows she stands by her man. Well, hopefully these two are happy and they aren’t getting married for the wrong reasons!
[Photo Credit: INF]
DO YOU THINK LEAH NEEDS THE MONEY? DO YOU THINK LEAH AND JEREMY WILL LAST?
The latest diss comes from Ben Flajnik, as the newBachelortakes a not so subtle shot at the woman who turned down his proposal in a new interview with UsWeekly.
When asked what his biggest lesson was as a contestant on Ashley’s Bachelorette season, Ben replies: “To be open to surprises. When I first got to The Bachelorette, I wasn’t too enthralled with Ashley being the girl, but as time went on, it worked pretty well. It’s important to look past some of those initial reactions.” Wow.
The isn’t the first instance of Ben being a jerk as he also reportedly dissed Jennifer Love Hewittafter his infamous date with her last year. Sources revealed back then that Ben told friends he found her to be a bit crazy during their date and was not interested in a second date with her.
When it comes to his ideal type, Ben reveals he loves “a passionate, confident woman. Someone I can take to a party and look at across the room and smile, and know she’s got this. I’m more attracted to brunettes, but then I never find myself dating them, which is weird. And I’m a total leg and butt guy.” Good to know Ben!
Moving on to Monica Spannbauer, who has quickly become the most controversial contestant on Ben’s season, well next to the super cray/emotional Jenna, all thanks to her antics on the show.
On Monday’s premiere episode, Monica paid very little attention to Ben and instead spent most of her night flirting with fellow contestant Blakeley Shea. This led to a ton of speculation that Monica is perhaps more interested in the ladies than the boring Ben!
While the contestants are not allowed to do interviews until they are eliminated from the show, Monica’s stepmother Sherry Ekberg, is now defending her via an interview with Star Magazine.
According to stepmom Sherry, Monica is not gay or bisexual, and blames alcohol for her steamy advance towards Blakeley. Monica could be seen telling Blakeley: “You’re beautiful; you’re amazing.”
Sherry tells Star that the show’s producers “really like to keep [the contestants] intoxicated, so anything can happen at that point… they keep them a little looped up.” Sherry adds that Monica isn’t “too pleased” with the way she was portrayed on Monday’s season premiere.
“They… portrayed her as something she’s not,” Sherry said. “Sometimes they’ll do anything they can for the publicity — that’s probably the only reason it’s on the show.” All righty then Monica’s stepmom!
A new episode of The Bachelor airs tonight on ABC at 8/7c.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BEN’S DISS TO ASHLEY? IS HE A JERK OR JUST BEING HONEST? PLUS IS MONICA’S STEPMOM IN DENIAL?
We’re back in Atlanta tonight after a long hiatus! In the meantime the drama didn’t slow down for the holidays for our southern belles of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Keeping herself busy and gainfully employed, singer/songwriter Kandi Burruss has officially added purveyor of self-pleasure to her resume and launched her sex toy line. Also, gleefully branching out from her day job as main drama starter du jour on RHOA is NeNe Leakes whose recent guest spots on Glee have launched her career and her ego.
Speaking to Naughty But Nice Rob of The Huffington Post, Kandi gave him the deets of her newest venture: Bedroom Kandi. Oh, how clever #not. Her most proud accomplishment is the melding of two of her favorite things: music and masturbation with the launch of a music activated vibrator. Off topic — but did I really just use the word “masturbation” at work? Wow.
“They are happiness and joy,” Kandi said of her new line. “We have one button if you choose you can connect it to your stereo or mp3 [player], iPod or whatever and that vibrates to whatever song is playing on the stereo system.”
And just in case you want to make a purchase to spice up your alone time, Kandi advises on how to pick the perfect vibrator. “This is how you tell if it’s a good vibrator or not,” Kandi describes. “You tell how strong it is by the tip of your nose. Most people like them as gifts because it’s different. It’s great and it’s wireless and rechargeable — no batteries needed.” Well good to know, good to know… See the video of Kandi’s appearance on Rob’s show below!
As for Kandi’s spinoff show with Bravo, titled ‘The Kandi Factory‘ Bravo announced over the weekend that it will premiere on March 4! The show follows Kandi as she attempts to turn two music hopefuls into pop stars! Hey, if she can do it with Kim Zolciak, she can do it with anyone!
Moving right along, NeNe is taking her ego to a whole new level! In a new article by the National Enquirer they are claiming the notorious NeNe is giddy about how her career is taking off since guest starring on Glee giving her ultimate bragging rights.
“This is NeNe’s dream come true,” a show insider revealed to the gossip mag. “She can’t wait to become a big star and watch the rest of the housewives in her rear view mirror as she drives off from Atlanta to Hollywood!” Well, check yourself before you wreck yourself, NeNe and don’t let your ego get the best of you.
According to insiders, NeNe feels “vindicated” after landing the guest role particularly in the wake of her castmates’ dislike of her now that she has the opportunity to break out from Housewives. “She told a pal, ‘Whoever said success is the best revenge got it right. I can’t wait to issue a big fat goodbye to all those bitches!’ ”
NeNe is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to rub her latest success in her co-star’s and former friend’s faces — particularly Sheree Whitfield and Kim Zolciak! According to the article Kim was hoping her new marriage and baby storyline would result in a permanent spin off, ala Bethenny Frankel, but Andy Cohen has been vocal in stating the spin off is a one-time event and he wants Kim to remain on RHOA.
“NeNe thinks this Glee role will eclipse the accomplishments of the other Atlanta Housewives combined, and she couldn’t be happier,” the insider continues. “She feels having the last laugh on everyone who ever dissed her.”
Finally, tonight there is an all-new episode of RHOA! On tonight’s episode Phaedra makes moves towards opening her family mortuary business, Kandi branches into the country music scene and NeNe confronts gossip about her alleged affair with Charles Grant! A preview of the new episode is below. Tonight also kicks off the new five-nights a week schedule for Watch What Happens Live where Kandi will be the guest!
Real Housewives of Atlanta airs tonight on Bravo at 9/10c.
THOUGHTS ON KANDI’S NEW SEX TOY LINE – DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL? DO YOU THINK NENE’S GUEST ROLE ON GLEE WILL PROPEL HER INTO BIGGER VENTURES?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE A PREVIEW FOR TONIGHT’S EPISODE!
I think it’s fair to say that the Real Housewives franchise has changed television. The intensely popular shows that prove to us that anyone can be a trashy trainwreck — regardless of marriage partner, pedigree or income bracket — have become one of the most discussed and hotly debated things on television. Indeed, the shows have become a must watch for millions of people worldwide captivating real housewives and celebrities alike. Even Oprah admits to watching!
The real question is — Why? Why are we so drawn to the dysfunction, the orchestrated drama and the opportunity to observe women embarrass themselves and ruin their lives on national television? The even bigger question is: How much of this is reality at all?
The Hollywood Reporter set out to answer just those questions in an in-depth investigation into “the guiltiest pleasure on television” which is worth an estimated half-billion dollars to the NBC-Universal network. Putting together a group of ladies they refer to as the Housewives All-Stars (their version – not mine), the legendary entertainment magazine interviewed producers, insiders, Andy Cohen and the ladies themselves to figure out just why we watch and why the women participate.
“People want to watch rich girls behaving badly,” explains Linda Ong, president of brand strategy adviser Truth Consulting. “The franchise started as a real-life Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous but became this cultural analysis after the economic breakdown. Every town became a sociological experiment, a very real-time reflection of what was happening to the 1 percent.”
“We wanted something very authentic and they started to film something Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque,” Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Style Media, explains of how Real Housewives of Orange Countywas developed. “It required a whole revision, so we came to a point where we had to decide whether to sink more money into it or just pull the plug.” Obviously money was sunk.
Housewives was originally supposed to be a film — a real documentary — of the gated community where RHOC is filmed. Entrepreneur Scott Dunlap set out to capture the lives of rich women in the affluent suburb of LA after observing his friends while attending a dinner party in the exclusive Coto community. “Everyone was sitting around the table, the ladies blinged-out, talking about family vacations to Tuscany and all bloviating the same thing: ‘Our life is perfect,’ ” he remembers.
The film never got made, but a decade later Scott eventually turned the idea into a reality show and it became a surprise hit in its very first season. Berwick, who had just green lit the surprisingly successful Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, was in good graces with the network and they decided to take a gamble on the Housewives show with her encouragement.
After reshooting the first few episodes and an “incredibly, incredibly long edit,” the show finally went on the air. “It was an experiment,” a network insider concedes. “They weren’t envisioning this huge franchise; the network was just trying to depict a lifestyle. They didn’t put a lot of advertising or money into it at first.” Shockingly, the show took off with the difficult to reach 30-something viewers the network coveted. Viewers who were still young, hip, and influential, but who had money, education, and technical know-how.
The network immediately signed on for a second season, but decided to hire drama based veteran reality producer Doug Ross who has helmed shows such as Fear Factor and Big Brother.“Scott did a great job at identifying killer cast members,” Ross explains “but the network thought with the help of some ‘grown-ups’ this thing could really blossom.”
Bravo had been working on a show called Manhattan Moms, which was the inception for Real Housewives of New York. The series was originally supposed to be about wealthy NYC moms trying to get their children into ultra elite private schools. With RHOC bringing in ratings Manhattan Moms quickly transformed into RHONY. It was at that point that Zalanick decided to turn Housewives into a franchise. Since most of the season had already been filmed the network and it’s production company, Shed Media, decided to simply go with the footage they had.
The network didn’t even tell the cast members (then Jill Zarin, LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, and Ramona Singer) about concept change. “We went to check out the artwork on the computer and it said Real Housewives of New York City,” Jill describes. “At first we were a little disappointed, to be honest.” How Bethenny Frankel was added I don’t know, but it was her vision to use the show to promote her business that changed the format completely. Thanks B — because of you we have the Bravo Home Shopping Network!
After the first season success of RHONY, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of New Jersey cropped up shortly thereafter. “Bravo unwittingly had stumbled upon television’s next guilty pleasure: a vehicle that showcased the lives of a handful of spoiled, consistently imperfect women whose only real distinction was the city in which they reside — and their unerring ability to behave badly.” With the premiere of RHONJ (now arguably the most hotly contested of the franchise) Bravo was able to capture more than just the 30-something audience and gained fans across all age ranges — including men and older viewers.
And casting is at the nexus of the franchise’s success. Bravo has shown a ruthless ability to let go of stars that no longer agree with their vision — hence the firing of four members of RHONY including original cast members Jill and Alex. They also seem to have an innate ability to locate women whose propensity for drama will result in big ratings. Teresa Giudice, anyone? And to keep the perspectives fresh, Bravo regularly adds new Housewives into the mix.
The real shocker (or perhaps not so real shocker to regular viewers) is the requirement for the women to craft their own storylines. “We started meeting with producers to discuss storylines,” former Housewife Peggy Tanous reveals. “I started getting anxiety thinking about all the forced drama that does happen on occasion.”
Peggy starred in one season of RHOC which featured a season finale argument with her former close friend (and the woman who got her scouted for the show) Alexis Bellino. Peggy has cited the end of this friendship and the contrived storylines as her reason for deciding not to sign on for a season two. While that may be the case, shortly after Peggy resigned (or was let go), news surfaced of her family’s financial distress.
Doug Ross contends that the producers in no way stage scenes or fabricate drama, “The audience could sniff that a mile away, so why even bother?” Although he does admit that the women are expected to plan events expressly for filming purposes.
Shed Media’s Maureen O’Connell agrees, “Honestly, sometimes I wish they would do what I tell them. I wish I had that kind of puppeteering power. But it’s the women who ultimately drive the train.” The responsibility of keeping the drama alive is an important one because drama = popularity with fans (sometimes) = ratings = maintaining their position in the cast roster and well, their paycheck.
But are they taking it too far? Since the franchise’s inception it’s bared witness to countless financial crisis (foreclosures, bankruptcy, tax evasion, etc), the destruction of friendships, arrest, divorce, murder (Kandi Burruss‘ fiance was in a fight, resulting in his death, outside an Atlanta strip club in 2009), alcoholism, family strife and now domestic abuse and suicide. Yet — the women and the viewers keep coming back.
On the converse, the cameras have also captured the good: friendships, marriage, love, pregnancy, incredible financial gains and business opportunity. Andy thinks the network is more than conscientious of the colorful cast of characters that pay his bills and garnered him his own TV fame in the form of Watch What Happens Live. “I have a deep responsibility to the women,” Andy insists. “And I take that very seriously.”
Some disagree. It was the suicide of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast mate Taylor Armstrong‘s estranged husband Russell Armstrong this past summer that caused fans, viewers and the media to question just what the reality of filming the show entailed. Particularly after reports surfaced that Bravo and NBC may have encouraged Taylor to file for divorce from Russell to remain on the show.
Bravo and Andy had questioned whether or not to air the footage from this past season featuring Russell and there was news of re-editing to present a softer storyline. Obviously that did not happen. “We talked endlessly,” Andy acknowledges. “In the end, we decided to capture what happened as sensitively as we could.” It seems that ultimately the network has decided not to feature Russell’s death in the storyline. The season ends Jan 23rd and no mention of it has been made.
Defending his position — and the network’s — Andy reminds viewers that the women agree to participate and the producers are not responsible for the issues that arise during filming. “Look, this franchise is a documentation of a period in these people’s lives. All of these women have stories to tell and some are dealing with some really serious issues.”
Despite the bad taste such episodes have left in viewers mouths the ratings continue to grow (the season premiere episode of RHOBH was up 42% from the series first season premiere) and show no signs of slowing down. It is Bravo’s ability to bring the constant and unexpected drama — a White House crashing, a huge family blow out at a Christening — that keeps viewers unable to look away, not knowing what there is to expect next.
Additionally, it is the women themselves that keep the drama happening and their decisions to return season after season, year after year. The reason is likely money. Jill even recently admitted that she was sad to be off the show because of the paycheck it generated.
And just how much money do the women make to expose their lives to the non-stop drama? A Lot. A lot, a lot. Particularly given the opportunity to develop their own brands — which is encouraged — and have the ability and support to promote these brands on the show which reaches huge audiences. All earnings from which the network takes a percentage of.
“Combined, the Housewives have published more than a dozen books; received product deals from makeup and jewelry to sex toys and alcohol; average well over 100,000 Twitter followers (Atlanta‘s Leakes has nearly 600,000); and receive an approximate six-figure salary each season (the New York cast is drawing a $250,000 payday for season five) — not movie-star money, but steady income for people arguably of limited talent.”
The desire for that success and the monetary wealth that comes with it is sometimes all-consuming. At this particular behind the scenes shoot, Housewives All Star Pinot Singer spent the whole afternoon hawking her pinot grigio line, advertising it to anyone who would listen and scaring off her fellow Housewives. I think it’s fair to say Ramona has a one-track mind.
Ramona was brought to the attention of producers by her then friend Jill, but she wasn’t interested. “By age 39, I already had $1 million cash in the bank,” Ramona dishes, grabbing a bottle of what else? – Pinot! “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but no thank you. I don’t have time. I don’t need to be famous.’ ” She gave it a second thought after the producers convinced her it would be a good platform for her business, True Faith Jewelry. And after five years on the successful series and the development of her own Pinot, Ramona is hoping to follow in Bethenny’s footsteps and nab her own spin off. Seriously? No.
“I’m already thinking ahead,” Ramona reveals. “Initially I thought I wanted to do something like [advertising executive and TV host] Donnie Deutsch and actually visit companies looking for help. I can’t just sit on a couch.” I’m guessing that means she wants to try a Tabatha Coffeyapproach…
Not all the drama is caught on camera – backstage at THR’s exclusive photoshoot with the RHOBH’s Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards were overheard talking. “One of the girls asked me what I think of Brandi [Glanville],” Lisa whispers loudly to Kyle, while Brandi sits alone pretending to ignore them. “And I said, ‘Who?’ ” Then the two friends burst into laughter. Yeah, Brandi doesn’t fit in – that’s obvious, but why so mean ladies? I expect more from Lisa.
Andy insists the show has no malicious intent, and after all the characters drive the storyline. And the viewers are obviously liking what they see since they return season after season. “It’s good, clean fun,” he asserts. “Its like eating a bowl of no-cal popcorn; guilt-free gossip. You can watch it, you can talk about it with your friends and, at the end of the day, you can feel better about yourself and your life.” Right… I’m not sure I agree.