Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was fun except for the KimKyle-nanigans – that’s shenanigans by Kim and Kyle, if you can’t decipher the lingo. Kim, in addition to looking a hot mess and appearing hung over the entire trip also had Kyle taking every opportunity to argue with her; those two again managed to be completely inconsiderate to everyone, but luckily it ruined only Kyle’s good time.
Things start out on a high note with Adrienne and Paul hiking and holding hands. Double take! I love Paul in middle-aged tourist gear. All he needs is a fannypack to go with Adrienne’s “Visit The Palms, I need the money!” visor.
Kim finally arrives in Lanai! As for being late, “Oops” is all she has to say for herself. Kim is so excited to finally be there and unluckily gets placed in a room right next to Kyle. A frantic Kyle hears Kim’s voice and ignores Mauricio and margaritas(!) to eavesdrop on Kim. In the talking head, Kim states: “I chose to not *coke sniff* to talk to Kyle.” Nice.
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On last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, new friendships were formed and relationships tested their boundaries as Peter and Cynthia struggled in their marriage and Phaedra and Apollo came together for the purpose of a new family business. Kim spends the whole episode annoyed that she has to parent her teenaged daughter – cause you know she has more important things to worry about like her 65 thousand gaudy-a$$ sofas. Does she feel bad every time she makes her husband move Big Poppa’s crap around?
Things start out in Phaedra’s kitchen where she is talking to her mom about opening her funeral home, Funerals Worth Dying For or Fabulous Funerals by Phaedra. Phaedra wants to leave a legacy for her son and thinks a funeral home is a way to do so. Isn’t she a lawyer – Ayden can’t take over the firm? Anyways, Phaedra is envisioning events, not funerals and her plan is to “throw ‘em in the ground with a bang!” There’s only one problem – Apollo has no interest in the mortuary business. No interest at all. Phaedra decides since he likes driving and is strong he can pick up the bodies and transport them to the mortuary. In fact, he can swap out going to the gym for lifting bodies since it’s such good exercise.
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UsWeekly broke the news moments ago with a source telling the mag “Kim is doing well.” If you recall, Kim tried to leave rehab about two weeks ago, before the end of her 30 day stay, but the 47-year-old was ultimately convinced to stay. UsWeekly also reported back then that Kim was being “defiant” in rehab.
RadarOnline is also confirming the news. “Kim is out of rehab and staying in a hotel in Beverly Hills,” a source reveals. Kim’s sister Kyle Richards came out last week denying reports which stated Kim would be moving in with her after rehab.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise as Kim was supposed to stay at the Betty Ford Center until February. Kim’s early exit means she spent about 40 days or less in rehab. Perhaps it’s just me but Kim’s problems looked pretty severe on the show and I can’t help but wonder if 40 days was really enough to help kick her addiction issues. Here’s to hoping it was.
Moving on to the RHOBH reunion which was filmed last Thursday. It is being confirmed by the Wetpaint blog that Kim was indeed absent from the reunion. “Her presence was missed,” a show insider tells Wetpaint. “But that’s okay. Her recovery takes priority over the show and everyone is happy she’s getting the help she needs.”
Other reunion secrets revealed includes the fact that taping took all day. “They didn’t get out until just before 9 p.m.,” says the insider. “It was their longest reunion taping yet.” And yes Brandi Glanville and Dana Wilkey were both in attendance. However, the insider states that Bravo was very upset with Brandi over her publicity stunt/Las Vegas wedding last weekend and took out a little revenge on her.
“Brandi was told to come really, really early,” the insider tells Wetpaint. “She arrived way before anyone else in the cast. Then, the producers just made her sit there and wait. She waited for hours. I think it was their way of messing with her.”
Also, Bravo did not shy away fromRussell Armstrong’s suicide according to the report. “Each of the women was asked if they wanted to say anything about it,” reveals the insider. “Most of them shared their own thoughts.”
So can we expect some fireworks from the reunion? According to RadarOnline, that answer is NO. Bummer! “All of the main issues were addressed during the taping,” the source said. “But other than Brandi yelling there weren’t any huge fights.” The source adds, “Brandi was out of control… She was swearing at the other women and being obnoxious.”
Andy Cohen spoke out on the reunion and Taylor Armstrongin a new interview with ET Online. According to Andy, Taylor “didn’t shed a tear” at the reunion taping. “She is coming from a place of strength and recovery now,” he adds.
Andy also denies Bravo is to blame for Russell’s suicide stating he believes “personal and financial crisis” and a change in his medications contributed to his demise. Andy brings up a valid point when he cites that Russell’s business partner also took his own life.
“This was a man who signed up to be on a second season of a show,” Andy said in defense of the RHOBH. “This was a man that had expressed to producers that the first season of the show was very good for his business.”
The RHOBH season 2 finale will air on January 23, and the reunion will air January 30. There’s no word yet on whether this will be a one or two part reunion.
Moving on to tonight’s all the new episode of the RHOBH. On the 18th episode this season titled ‘A Day Late, An Apology Short,’ “Kim and her new beau finally arrive in Hawaii. Yet there’s trouble in paradise: They miss most of the activities and Kyle at long last confronts her sister about her bizarre behavior.”
The episode airs at 9/8c and a preview clip is below!
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON KIM LEAVING REHAB EARLY? PLUS THOUGHTS ON THE REUNION DETAILS AND ANDY COHEN’S COMMENTS?
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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.
The latest by Cedric is an article from Star Magazine in which he spills all sorts of secrets about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast. In the article, Cedric states Kim Richards’saddiction issues are much worse than viewers can imagine, reveals Lisa’s true feelings about hubby Ken and costar Adrienne Maloof and also claims Adrienne might be in the worst financial condition out of all the cast.
Below are a few of Cedric’s “highlights” from the article:
Kim Richards’ Struggles With Alcohol Addiction – According to Cedric, an addition to alcohol is the least of Kim’s problems. “The truth is much darker,” he says. “I’m thankful Kim is now in rehab, hopefully getting some professional help.”
Lisa’s Feelings On Hubby Ken and Adrienne Maloof - Cedric says that despite their united font on the show, Lisa is “mortified and embarrassed,” by her husband Ken over some of his ‘ignorant jabs.’ As for Adrienne, Cedric states Lisa hates her neighbor and costar. “She feels Adrienne is not worthy of being on the show,” he says.
Cedric’s Relationship With Brandi Glanville- Cedric also reveals what has been reported previously, which is that he and newbie Brandi actually just met last year at a lunch organized by the show producers, and not during their modeling days in Europe a decade ago as they previously claimed. “It was a manufactured friendship to keep me on the show,” Cedric tells Star.
Why Was He Living With Lisa? And What Happened To Lisa’s Complaint? - “I moved out months before she landed the role,” says Cedric adding that producers convinced him to move back in for season 1 filming. As for the complaint Lisa filed against him with the cops last year over claims of a possible extortion, Cedric says Lisa’s case was weak. “I was never even contacted by police.”
The BH Housewives Lying About Their Wealth? – “Not everything is as it seems,” says Cedric, who claims seemingly uberrich Adrienne may actually be in the worst financial shape of them all. “They were forced to unload 98 percent of their beloved Palms Casino Resort,” claims Cedric. A report came out last year stating Adrienne was having financial difficulty and was forced to downgrade her lavish lifestyle. And last October, Adrienne admitted she had been “cutting back” on her lavish lifestyle.
Cedric, who will be appearing on the season 2 finale of the RHOBH, also claims producers of the show were the ones that invited him to Lisa’s party. “Lisa confronted me with some of the worst acting you’ll ever see on television. She claimed I wasn’t invited and told me to leave. It’s sums up all the phoniness and manufactured drama on the show,” he says.
Meanwhile, the RHOBH season 2 reunion filmed on Thursday and we’re hearing Kim Richards, who is still in rehab, did not attend. Below are some tweets from Kyle Richards, Taylor Armstrong and Andy Cohen after the taping:
Kyle tweeted – “Emotionally draining day. So hard to re live all the difficult moments this season on #RHOBH. Thank u to our “therapist” @BravoAndy. Xo”
Taylor tweeted – “Thanks for the great support! For the haters, when all the truth comes out I’ll try to post some delish “crow” recipes.” Really Taylor?
Andy tweeted – “Long day taping #RHOBH Reunion. Emotional, intense, dramatic. The wives deserve a cocktail right about now…. !”
No word yet on how many parts the reunion will be but it is scheduled to air on January 30.
[Photos Credit: WENN]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON CEDRIC’S COMMENTS ABOUT THE BH HOUSEWIVES? DO YOU BELIEVE HIM?
Oh dear or should a say, Oh mon dieu! It appears that the Real Housewives franchise will soon be on French soil.
E! News is officially reporting that Bravo and NBC-Universal are in the process of casting a French version of the drama filled reality show.
Housewives has been popular with overseas audiences for a while, so I suppose wanting to strike while the iron is hot Bravo decided to take the franchise abroad to terrorize another country with bickering be-plastic surgeried perpetually adolescent middled-aged women. Oh lucky you France – first McDonald’s now Housewives!
Apparently, France is just the beginning of Andy Cohen‘s world domination as the network is hoping to invade several countries across the globe, bringing us Housewives of Australia, the U.K., Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. And for those confused about how it’s all going to work Real Housewives of Athens has been on the air for a season already and is currently filming for it’s second season! How have we not heard about this? Photos of the first ladies of Greece are below!
Even more surprising Real Housewives of Israel and Real Housewives of Vancouver are currently in production with the Vancouver installment premiering later this year!
So, I guess it’s safe to assume that women all over the world are willing to act a little cray-cray for some C-List celeb and a few bucks. I wonder if the international versions will be as vitriolic as their American counterparts? I also wonder if WWHLis planning to go global as well; or if these ladies are producing singles, cocktails and products left and right? So many questions…
I also wonder if US viewers will be able to experience subtitled versions of the shows on domestic soil? I mean, just in case you haven’t gotten your fill with the six franchises already running all year round!
[Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com]
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO LEARN REAL HOUSEWIVES HAS GONE GLOBAL? WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN WATCHING INTERNATIONAL VERSIONS OF THE SHOW?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATHENS!
I think it’s fair to say that Jill Zarin, former Real Housewives of New York cast member, is having a hard time letting go. Since she was abruptly fired last year Jill has given countless interviews about leaving the show and how much she loves being away from the cameras. And we’re not believing it for a second!
In the latest, Jill did a sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter and gave an explosive testimonial about what it’s really like to be a part of Reality TV and offered up some pretty shocking behind the scenes details about Bravo and the show. Now that she’s not under contract she has nothing to lose and good — because I love a juicy story!
When asked why she was let go from the cast Jill explains she still has no idea and swears that Bravo was stringing her and fellow fired Housewives along before finally issuing the pink slip.
“First off, I like to say I was fired because I’m not embarrassed about it. I didn’t do anything wrong, so I really don’t know why they fired us and kept the other girls.”
“We were told that they wanted to begin season five filming over Labor Day, so the other ladies and I were preparing story lines, basically putting our lives on hold until shooting. In June, it wasn’t even a question if they were inviting me back. By August, conversations started to change. They were hesitant to commit and delayed the announcement. Then I got a call the Wednesday after Labor Day that Bravo decided to bring back LuAnn [de Lesseps], Sonja [Morgan]and Ramona [Singer], but the rest would not be decided until the end of the week.”
“I’m smart enough to know that they were putting out contracts to new girls, and whether they signed would determine our fate. So, at 5 p.m. on a Saturday night I get a phone call from my producer, and she told me that Bravo had made the decision to let the four of us go.”
“I was upset because I was told to put my life on hold,” Jill explains. “But I didn’t argue, I wasn’t going to try to sell anyone. I said, ” ‘OK. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.’ ”
“Andy Cohencalled shortly after, which I’m sure was a difficult thing to do. He gave me the respect I deserved considering I committed four years of my life to the show. He said they wanted the series to go in a different direction and that last season ended very dark — which I find ironic because they could have controlled that. I filmed many happy scenes that the network canned.”
Very interesting as fans of RHONY and others in the Housewives franchise have been begging for the shows to return to their original intent of happy and fun-loving docu-dramas about wealthy women and their lives. Is Bravo really deciding not to air that kind of footage in lieu of footage with high drama content?
Jill continues by explaining that Bravo’s decision to let her go had absolutely nothing to do with reports that she requested a higher salary to continue filming. “First of all, we were finally making a decent amount of money last season. That was never a concern,” Jill states, saying it is “absolutely untrue” that salary disputes occurred.
“They’re getting a lot of money now, so that’s another thing I’m disappointed about. I didn’t get to make the money I feel I deserved. I didn’t just help make the show popular; I cast it,” Jill shockingly reveals.
Jill goes onto claim that she was responsible for bringing in Bethenny Frankel (her then close friend), which is common knowledge and possibly alleges that Bravo should have paid her a finders fee of sorts. “I brought in Bethenny, and I don’t get a percentage of anything she spins off. The first, second and third season salary pretty much added up to the fourth season. I worked really hard.”
This leads me to wonder if other Housewives receive percentages of earnings as rewards for adding to the casts. I doubt this very much, but it is a possibility. Bravo has readily admitted that Kyle Richards was the first woman cast to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and she introduced the other women to producers and assembled the majority of women that were eventually hired — even her season one nemesis Camille Grammer.
When asked if the show is scripted Jill describes that, of course, editing plays a huge part in what viewers see. “It’s a TV show, not a documentary. It’s not scripted, but it is edited. It doesn’t mean we didn’t live it, it just means they focus on a particular storyline.”
Also, Jill point blank accuses Bravo of manipulating scenes and circumstances to build plot lines! “With New Jersey, they were brilliant to film season four before season three aired. They had to. Bravo had no delusions that they set up Teresa [Giudice]by hiring her sister-in-law and cousin without letting her know. It’s understandable Teresa would be upset. The show couldn’t film now: Teresa and Caroline [Manzo]won’t even be in the same room, and Jacqueline [Laurita] quit. As a cast, they’re kaput.”
As for what she is up to now that she is done with Housewives, Jill is not leaving television in the dust as she is working to secure other deals in the medium. “My husband and I were recently in L.A. for meetings about a potential television opportunity. And now I finally have the freedom to do that.”
Jill insists that the NBC-owned Bravo kept their Housewives under close watch and did not allow them to branch out into other networks — even to promote products which the network takes a percentage of. “That’s the one thing Bravo would never give us: the ability to appear elsewhere. Before, I could never appear on another network. We couldn’t even do Good Morning America, we had to do Today, even if it was to promote our brands. They were very controlling,” Jill reveals.
“In hindsight, it would have been smarter for them to do a development deal with me. I would have been stupid enough to let them build my ego and give me a deal for no money that would lock me to the network.”
Even though Jill has scathing things to say about the network that paid her bills for four years she is still happy she did the show. “The show made women in their 40s and 50s relevant again. Hollywood is all about young girls, and this was an opportunity that didn’t require us to be young and beautiful. It’s real women.” Well, somewhat…
“But I won’t miss the lying and the fighting,” Jill discloses. “And I won’t miss the stress over clothes. I had to have 80 outfits for the season, and I would totally stress over that.”
Wow pretty good stuff! I have to say being part of the Housewives franchise sounds incredibly stressful and complicated and I’d rather be a viewer than a participant!
Moving on, current RHONY cast member Pinot Singer spent her holidays on the island of St. Martin with her husband Mario and daughter Avery. Photos of the family vacation are below! They look happy and relaxed and I’m jealous! I wonder if she toted along any Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio?
[Photo Credit: PNP/ WENN.com]
THOUGHTS ON JILL’S EXPLOSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT BRAVO AND RHONY? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT BRAVO IS SO CONTROLLING OF IT’S HOUSEWIVES?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE PHOTOS OF RAMONA ON VACATION!