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Phaedra Parks

Last night on the Real 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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Oh Atlanta… I am thankful to you for many reasons. You’ve got peaches. You’ve got the Falcons (Rise up! I know nothing about NFL teams except for their tag lines), you’ve got the best shopping for those of us in the South who live off I-85 (thank you Phipps Plaza!) who think fine apparel comes from Target (a lot of it does. IT DOES). And you’ve got the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Bless you fair Georgian city. Let’s get right to the newest RHOA gossip, shall we?

Just because she’s starring on Bravo’s sure to be latest hit Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding with her new husband Kroy Biermann doesn’t mean that Kim Zolciak has forgotten her RHOA roots. After being the palest wig wearer for four seasons, many speculated she would be taking the Bethenny Frankel route and not returning to the show that made her a star household name.

Fear not, dear readers. Kim’s twitterverse (of course, where else?) has been abuzz with rumors that the fair Kim (no pun intended…okay, pun totally intended which is why I italicized) would not be returning to Bravo’s Atlanta franchise for season 5. On Friday, Kim pacified many a worried viewer, tweeting, “I’ll be back don’t believe rumors!!”

In fact, when many Kim followers started to voice their concern that the voluminous wig wearer was placating her masses, her twitters tweeters tweet peeps fans were relieved when Kim reiterated, “I’ll be back!!! Xxx”

Even though there is no official word from Bravo as to the season five cast, I, for one, can rest assured that if Kim’s wig doesn’t grace my screen next season, I can hopefully watch a twitter inspired video network of her future life. #trademarkedandregisteredsaidtwittervideofeedsobackoffpeoplewhowanttobeonsharktank :)

In other, and equally important RHOA news, Phaedra Parks is speaking out on eurweb.com about her place on the show and her new career as a funeral director.

As we all know, Phaedra isn’t just a reality star, she’s a savvy business woman and attorney. And due to that, she’s hoping that the show serves as an advertisement for her new other worldly business ventures. It appears that she was picked up for the show just in time to realize her true dream.

Phaedra tells the site, “It wasn’t that I had so much of a desire to be on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. It came at a great time. I was on bed rest. I was pregnant and it was a good opportunity for me to really expand my brand because I had produced TV shows.”

She continues, “I am an entertainment attorney, but I had never been in front of the screen so I understood all the workings of reality except for being a true cast mate. So it gave me an opportunity to say ‘Hey, I have diversified and I can do every part of TV now.’ I know the legal side. I know the technical side and I know the artist side of it.’”

While it’s easy for viewers to see that being a part of the show was a big jump start for Phaedra, she is quick to admit that viewers are the the ones who make the call as to who is popular, who is hated, who needs to stay, and who needs to go. Regardless, Phaedra is very happy with the part she’s played in the franchise and shares what she believes to be the most important aspect of her time with Bravo.

Phaedra asserts, “I think as black people, we have to stop saying this show represents our whole race. We have to vote with our viewership and say ‘On the show we want to see professionals. We want to see mothers. We want to see whatever it is that you actually want to see…[u]nfortunately, as viewers we have sort of bought into the stereotypes that the mass media has shown us for years and we glorify it. One of our biggest characters on there is probably very stereotypical of what we want to admonish as a people, but people love to say ‘Oh we love to see her cut up because that’s what we’re tuning in to see.’”

Amen, Phaedra. I have always thought she brought the comic relief (pickle photo shoots and baby poop, anyone?), but I love to hear her intelligent side give the general opinion of the show. She is, of course, totally correct… people want drama. Sadly, we wouldn’t be tuning in in droves to see the women succeeding in their professional lives. We just like to see Nene Leakes and Kim go at it. #SadForUs

“It’s unfortunate, but I think we have been programmed to want to see drama,” Phaedra continues. “We want to see discord. And when you see people getting along, instead of us actually praising ‘Oh wow, they’re getting along. There’s teamwork. There’s camaraderie. There’s things that’s positive about us as black women,’ people will say ‘Oh, that’s boring. That’s so boring. We don’t want to see that.’ I think we sort of went in a direction where we subscribe to drama and we appreciate that more than sensible behavior.”

In the interview, Phaedra veers away from the show and discusses her dream to own and operate a funeral home. I have to say that for once I don’t think this is a story line Bravo was smart enough to think up on its own, let alone encourage. No offense Andy Cohen, but I do think this has been the long time brainchild of Phaedra herself.

The star speaks candidly about her passion for owning her own mortuary. Phaedra states, “I developed a big desire to be in the funeral home business about five or six years ago. I had a lot of friends that passed away and I was the person that would plan their homegoing services, so that’s how the interest started.” She reveals, “The funeral home I’m going open will be fabulous and the services will be a celebration of life. It will be a family business. My husband, my mother, and my brother will be involved. It’s going to be a great legacy we can leave for our son.”

Bless you, Phaedra. I wish you had been around when I had to plan the funerals of family members. No, I am not Phaedra’s biggest fan, but I do have to applaud what seems like a sincere effort to follow her passion. Bottom line, I do think that if this was the last season we saw of RHOA, ten years from now Phaedra would be embalming our loved ones. And that’s solid on her part.

Finally, turning away from the macabre, I have new cast members to report on…or not report on, as the case may be. Thankfully the Atlanta Journal Constitution is relaying that CNN magnate Ted Turner (the same man who is not, I repeat happily is NOT, Marlo Hampton’s rich older sugar daddy)’s daughter Laura Turner Seydel has been approached by Bravo to join the fifth season.

While she made an appearance on a recent episode to tout her charity, Laura is however way too busy not being uber-dramatic actually doing volunteer work to have her world filmed for the Bravo series.

The site reports that while she did enjoy her minutes in the limelight, she will be turning down Bravo’s offer. Her spokesperson Denise Elsbree claims, “[Laura] really enjoyed that. It was fun. She was able to promote Captain Planet. She works hard to get the message out about the group’s different initiatives.”

After graciously declining Bravo’s invitation, her spokesperson (how many times do I get to quote the actual spokesperson – not a ‘source’ or an ‘insider’ when referring to Bravo-lebrities? Answer: never) states, “[Laura] has a really complicated schedule. She’s on all sorts of boards of foundations and travels all the time. She’s flattered to be considered but there’s no way she could do it.” More respect for you, Mrs. Seydel, more respect.

If you have digested all of this wonderful RHOA info, then clearly you are ready for a preview of tonight’s episode which airs on Bravo at 9PM ET. It’s the third installment of the “ladies’” trip to South Africa and the drama is still high between Marlo and Sheree. When Nene is the voice of reason in screaming match, you know it’s bad! The smalls head to Sheree’s friend’s for dinner while the talls head to Nobu. There is a good deal of fire juggling and Sassafras. The smalls try to set up Kandi with a struggling actor and model, but she didn’t come all the way to Africa to find someone who is fakes it till they make it. With the talls, Cynthia is disappointed that she is with the group that doesn’t want to soak up any culture. Nene eats her sushi with a fork. Can’t wait! A preview clip is below.

ARE YOU EXCITED THAT KIM WILL BE BACK FOR SEASON 5? THOUGHTS ON PHAEDRA’S INTERVIEW? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT LAURA TURNER SEYDEL WAS APPROACHED FOR THE SHOW?

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Those “ladies” of the Real Housewives of Atlanta… they know how to hurl insults, they know how to one-up one another, and — most importantly — as seen on Sunday night’s episode, they certainly know how to pack!

Oh Marlo. Marlo, Marlo, Marlo. Seriously? I am still cringing about the very mature and level discussion b!tchfest cat fight between Sheree Whitfield and Marlo Hampton, where Marlo uttered those truly sickening words. Don’t make me repeat them. I know, I know… it’s my job. Marlo, who seems to fancy herself the Emily Post of salt and pepper protocol and homophobic slurs, contends she was caught up in the heat of the moment when she yelled at Sheree, “Well anyway, that’s why you don’t have a man. Go and hang with them f*****s with your ugly a$$.” Yup, still cringing! Being hateful is never okay.

Marlo, as it seems, wasn’t intending to be ugly and offensive. It just sort of happened, as these things often do. #notokay Of course, as if on cue, Marlo took to her official website to issue a heartfelt (?? eh?) damage control apology. Her post is extremely articulate and it seems genuine, but I have a hard time condoning her P.R. statement, regardless of sincerity. Expressing her remorse as well as her desire to maintain a strong and positive relationship with the gay community, Marlo published the following open letter on her site:

It is with great disappointment in myself and sincere regret that I would like to issue to my friends, my most ardent supporters, and my followers, this statement:

I would like to offer from the bottom of my heart the fullest and most heartfelt apology for my recent use of an anti-gay slur. When I used this word, I was not mindful of the demeaning connotation that this has in the gay community. My speech was irresponsible, thoughtless and said with the intention of conveying anger rather than as a statement on my feelings towards the gay community as a whole.

My first action, after the incident was to contact my closest friend and assistant of 8 years and to confess what I had done, to express my sadness and regret, and to ask him for his forgiveness. I was devastated at the thought of having hurt or embarrassed him as well as any member of the gay community and relish this opportunity to publicly apologize. My friends have embraced me, supported me, withheld judgment of me and have meant a lot to me over the years. I would never abuse their kindness and friendship and would never want to hurt them or demean them in any way.

I applaud and admire this community for their triumph over a sometimes harsh, mean spirited society that discriminates and even violently attacks those who are different. These are obstacles that I relate to and that I have been inspired by them to overcome. I celebrate this community and am saddened by any indication otherwise, that my actions may have caused.

I look forward to continuing to build my strong relationship with you, my followers and supporters, and those of you who do not yet know me and my heart. I look forward to work to regain your trust, respect and your love which has so empowered me over the years. I also thank you for allowing me to address you personally and to let you know how deeply sorry I am.

With Love,

Marlo

Obviously, just as viewers were appalled by Marlo’s statement, her Atlanta co-stars are also speaking out about how offended they were by her use of that nasty word. Sheree and Marlo’s screaming match (honestly, it kind of sucks for Marlo, as besides that horrendous statement I barely understood a word the women were screeching) garnered some serious and deserved backlash. Both Sheree and Kim Zolciak took to Twitter, the cyber-place where adults maturely resolve issues, to voice their disdain. Wait, did I just confuse Twitter with a reunion episode?

After the episode aired, Sheree tweeted, “Using the “f” word is never acceptable……period!” Amen! And not one to be out-tweeted at her own game (of Twittering, duh), Kim also added her opinion on the situation that she was likely thankful for avoiding. Kim retweeted Sheree’s sentiment, adding, “Its disgusting!!”

Moving away from the episode’s screaming match, but not straying far enough that it doesn’t involve Twitter and Marlo, Nene Leakes also took to the mean webtastic streets to express her contempt for some cast mates who may have recently changed their tune about Ms. Hampton. In fact, Nene wasn’t able to voice her opinion in 180 characters or less, so she went on what can only be described as a Twitter tirade to get her point across. Well played.

The Neenster not only rudely mentioned Sheree’s nose job, she also enlightened her followers as to her co-stars original thoughts on Marlo. On Sunday, Nene began, “The Smalls loved Marlo when they thought they could turn her against me! Now that were friends, they don’t like her 4 no real reason.”

Phaedra [Parks] & Sheree wanted Marlo on the show! They pushed production 4 her. Once we met & started talkin, they turned on her. They wanted Marlo on the show because they thought we would get n2 it about Charles but I never dated him,” Nene maintained. Oh the drama!

Continuing on Monday morning, Nene revealed, “Maja was suppose 2 b the new housewife but Sheree & Phaedra didn’t want her on the show. They wanted Marlo 4 obvious reasons! Back fired.” And who is this Maja character? Well, according to the Tamara Tattles site, she is Maja Torrence who leases high-end condos and sometimes models. Sounds boring compared to the dramz Ms. Marlo is bringing to the season!

Keeping with the common theme of the Twitterverse, Andy Cohen recently tweeted a picture of some blinding bling. Kim and footballer hubby Kroy Biermann were Sunday night’s guests in the WWHL clubhouse and fans wanted to see the major wedding rings sported by the two. Holy diamonds! Those Atlanta Falcons must really be making the money! Rise up! A picture of their rings is below. Oh twitter, always a wealth of useful information!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MARLO’S APOLOGY? ANY TRUTH TO NENE’S RANT THAT PHAEDRA AND SHEREE ORIGINALLY WANTED MARLO ON THE SHOW? COMMENTS ON KIM’S BLING?

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Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta left NeNe Leakes and myself completely speechless. I dare say that was the oddest, craziest and most bizarre fight in Housewives history! Poor South Africa didn’t deserve this. Also, for self-proclaimed etiquette expert Marlo it’s a long way to the top if you want to be a socialite!

Arriving in South Africa the ladies brought the wild to the safari. Chalk it up to jet lag if you will. Lord the one liners in this episode are PRICELESS! After some super annoying Blair Witch Project footage of the women flying coach with no make up, they land in the airport, where much drama with the luggage ensues.

Apparently no one with the title “Housewives of Atlanta” can go on a ten-day trip with less than ten bags, so everyone is pushing these ENORMOUS luggage carts around the airport. Louis Vuitton is probably issuing a cease and desist letter right about now – either that or filing a defamation of character suit after this episode.

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Marlo Hampton
While the epsiode has yet to air on Bravo, Real Housewives of Atlanta newbie Marlo Hampton is already in hot water over using a gay slur.

Marlo is receiving some backlash for dropping the F-word during an explosive argument with costar Sheree Whitfield during their trip to South Africa.

In a preview clip released by Bravo, the drama ensues after Sheree invites her fellow smalls Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss to an event. Sheree then extends an invitation to Cynthia Bailey, leaving Nene and Marlo without an invite. Upon discovering she wasn’t invited, Marlo throws away her kill them with kindness shtick, going front 0 to 10 as she decides to confront Sheree.

During their argument, Marlo states: “That’s why you don’t have a man… Go and hang with them f****ts with your ugly ass.” Wow.

At one point during the drama, even Nene is seen trying to calm Marlo down. Marlo continued, bragging to Sheree that her “Aston [Martin] was paid for in cash.” Sheree awesome response? “Yeah, by an 80 year old man!” Ouch! But Sheree might want to watch it because Marlo will cut ya doesn’t play nice!

The video clip of the drama is below. Marlo will definitely have some explaining to do once the episode airs.

In other RHOA news, Nene Leakes is defending herself after some fans wondered why she took it upon herself to invite Marlo to Bravo’s Phaedra’s African trip. If you recall, Phaedra was the one who planned the trip and extended an invite to The Nene. Nene declined the invite only to have a change of heart after Marlo agreed to accompany her.

Well, according to The Nene, Phaedra wasn’t the one who invited her on the trip! Err is she watching the same show we are? Nene tweeted: “4 the record: Phaedra didn’t invite me 2 Africa! Cynthia did so she was the only 1 I needed 2 inform & I did”

Nene, who is rumored to be in talks for her own Bravo spinoff, also made it clear there is no love lost between her and the costars. “Hunni they luv 2 hate! They don’t talk 2 me & I don’t talk 2 them & I luv it! Marlo & Cynthia r my girls,” tweeted Nene, adding, “I can’t wait 2 say good-bye! I don’t like these chicks @ all.”

Oh that Nene. Always the victim.

[Photos Credit: WENN]

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON MARLO DROPPING THE F-BOMB AND GOING OFF ON SHEREE? SHOULD SHEREE BE SCARED? THOUGHTS ON NENE’S TWEETS?

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On last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim got ready for Kroy to leave for training camp and the rest of the ladies planned their trip to South Africa! NeNe decided to really stir up the drama by sneak inviting Marlo, and telling nary a soul, but Cynthia. And, oh my, were the ladies surprised, but not thrilled when Marlo joined them at the departure gate!

Things begin at Marlo‘s house, and ok, call me crazy, but I love the decor and the color scheme. NeNe is impressed that Marlo read Kim and Kandi the riot act at Cynthia‘s agency opening and definitely didn’t back down. On the tour, NeNe discovers Marlo has a full security system installed in her house, which she can monitor from her bedroom! Who is she, Drita D’avanzio? Is she mistressed to the mob in secret?

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On last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta it was all about roots. Phaedra decided to plan a cast trip to Africa so the ladies could learn about their ancestry and Kim and NeNe met face to face for the first time in months and decided it should probably be the last.

Things start out with Kim hauling her infant to the gun range. Safety first! Kroy has decided Kim should learn how to shoot and get a gun. I guess she sometimes has to deal with a rampant moose. At first Kim is nervous, but then she gets into being a pistol packin’ mama! Kim gets a pink 9mm and while she doesn’t love having a gun, she’s into getting something pink. Next I am sure she will wrangle a LV gun case.

Cynthia and Peter are meeting Apollo and Phaedra for a double date to work things out following the husband’s altercation at Kim’s babyshower. Phaedra declares it is a “powder in your panties” kinda day, basically a typical hot summer day in the south. God I love southern summers. And friction, what friction? Because everyone is getting along great.

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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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