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Real Housewives of New York Season 5

Former Real Housewives of New York resident cuckoo, Kelly “Kra-Kra” Bensimon is “not sad” to be moving on from her time as the slightly insane, blonde nemesis of Bravo’s reality show.

In her first interview since the announcement that she would no longer be part of RHONY, Kelly talked her feelings about leaving, rambling incoherently telling E!, “You know, nothing lasts forever…I really want to stress that the show isn’t about Kelly Bensimon. It’s about my intersection with different women of New York City.“ And emphasizing that she may have umm… had some difficulties connecting on the show, she states: “It was a really heavy learning curve.”

When asked if she was “sad” about being cut from the cast, she offered a Kelly-nalogy to describe her feelings: “Sad is a big word. When My dog died, I was sad.” Well, I guess that works – after all it’s only a paycheck!

And Kelly, being Kelly, she is focusing on the positive! ‘Cause she’s really, really, ridiculously nice, you guys. “Change is good. In adverse situations—and I’ve dealt with so many adverse situations [on the show]—I’ve always opened the door and came out smiling. Tomorrow is a new day.”

And indeed, tomorrow is a new day for the former model, who claims she has many more television opportunities on the horizon. “I get approached all the time about doing different shows and everyone always has a different angle.” As for what kind of show she is looking for, Kelly reveals: “Whoever gives me the greatest deal that is synonymous with my brand, that’s something I want to do.” However, “this is the time for a bigger and better deal, I’m not going to lie,” she clarifies. Hey, she’s up here; and all the other housewives are down there!

As for Kelly’s former co-star, Ramona Singer; she also has more opportunities on the horizon as the wannabe mogul is scheduled to debut her newest jewelry line on HSN. Ramona explains her inspiration for the line came from her travels across the US. “I was afforded the opportunity to travel all over the country for Ramona Pinot Grigio,” Ramona enthuses, while simultaneously plugging one of her other products.

“Going from New York to Texas to California, I saw so many different jewelry styles and pieces. I tried to incorporate a little of everything into this collection.”

The collection, which is described as affordable, includes rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants starting at $219, and according to Ramona: “These pieces are glamorous, gorgeous and just fun.”

Ramona’s newest HSN venture will debut on Sept 29th from 1-3 pm. Photos of Ramona’s jewelry collection below!

Thoughts on Kelly’s statements about leaving RHONY? Would you watch Kelly on another reality show? Thoughts on Ramona’s newest jewelry line?

It’s official. The Bravo network has finally confirmed that Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Cindy Barshop have indeed been fired from the Real Housewives of New York City.

Huffington Post’s Rob Shuter was the first to break the news of the firings last Thursday. Back then, both the network and the ladies denied the news. A report on Friday explained Bravo did not want the news to be made public in the case they decided to bring back one of the fired ladies, if things fell through with any of the new housewives they have cast.

Below is Bravo’s official statement on the issue -

Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City. We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have ongoing discussions with them.”

Nice to see the network soften the blow by calling it a “friendly departure.” The fired housewives are also responding to the news. Below are statements released by the ladies to the Hollywood Reporter -

Jill Zarin“Jill is out of town with her husband Bobby and they are visiting her daughter Ally at college for family weekend so she is not speaking with the press. I can tell you that she is very happy and extremely busy with the national launch of her shapewear line Skweez Couture by Jill Zarin which will debut at Lord and Taylor stores across the country this month and then roll out at other national retailers in the coming months. Jill is humbled by the extraordinary amount of media interest in her response and looks forward to personally opening up about all of this very soon and announcing some exciting new projects,” Jill’s rep stated.

Alex McCord“Alex and I are sad that it’s come to this. We had a great four years. We don’t intend for this to be the final time you’ll see us on television. Everything happens for a reason. We are not happy, we’re not sad. It is what it is. We thank our fans. We have tremendous, tremendous outpouring of support. I think even Bravo is surprised by how much support Alex has had. It didn’t change their opinion or didn’t change their decision. And it might not be the end of seeing us on Housewives. It might not be the end of seeing us on Bravo. We don’t know that yet either. There’s a lot to be discussed in the upcoming weeks. We wish the next season well. We’re not going away. We remain happy and long may that continue,” said codependent couple Simon van Kempen and wife Alex.

Cindy Barshop – “Bravo and I parted amicably and I will not be returning for the show. And I’m absolutely thrilled with the opportunity, really am thrilled. And for me, it’s a great decision personally and for my business. It’s going to be an amazing year next year. I’m a hundred percent good with this decision. Everyone knows the Completely Bare spas nationally now…

Nice to see Simon admit that Bravo let Alex go and not the other way around. Kelly has yet to release a statement or comment on the firing. Perhaps she’s too busy sorting out her jelly beans.

When a fan asked Simon on twitter if the reason for their departure had to do with money or the other housewives, Simon responded: “Neither it was 100% @BravoTV’s decision on where they want #RHoNY to go in S5.” Alex on the other hand tweeted that the firing departure was “amicable.” Allrighty Alex! She also stated she is in talks with Bravo for other possible projects.

It appears Alex and Simon are still hoping to change Bravo’s mind as they both re-tweeted campaigns started by their fans to keep them on the show.

A report by E! News on Friday stated Alex and Simon were very shocked by the firing and were also worried about the financial impact of being let go from the show. Bravo paid the RHONY housewives a reported $275,000 per season. E! also reported Jill would try to turn this around to convince the public it was her decision to leave.

In fact, Jill’s BFF Patti Stanger stated on Friday that Jill was the one who decided to quit the show to pursue other opportunities. Uh Uh. “Jill left the show on her own,” said Patti to the Rumor Fix adding that the two are now working together on a yet to be named project. Jill’s rep also confirmed the two are indeed working together.

Bravo has reportedly cast 3 – 4 new housewives to replace the fired ladies.

Photo credit: WENN.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?


A day after Rob Shuter of HuffingtonPost broke the news about Bravo firing Jill Zarin, 47, Alex McCord, 37, and Kelly Bensimon, 43, it turns out he was not technically the first one to break the news.

A look at the latest issue of UsWeekly magazine, which went to press on Tuesday, reveals the mag was the first to report that the three Real Housewives of New York City listed above alongside Cindy Barshop, 47, were on the chopping block. The mag only gives a reason for Jill’s axing, stating, “They were sick of her being a diva.”

And below E! News is also confirming the firings adding that Jill and Alex are taking it the hardest. So now we have the Huffington Post, E! News, and UsWeekly reporting the firings while the fired housewives are all denying the reports. Below are the statements given by the housewives -

Jill Zarin - “Jill has not been fired from The Real Housewives of New York City. The truth is that Jill is still in discussions with Bravo for season 5 and hasn’t made a final decision about returning to the show,” says Jill’s rep.

Alex McCord - She posted the following statement yesterday: “I can confirm that I have not been ‘fired’ by BRAVO for next season’s Real Housewives of New York City. There are many rumors swirling around. Here’s the truth – Simon & I are still under consideration for season 5 & we’ll know one way or another very soon. I have to laugh at all the purported ‘insiders’ giving ‘off the record’ quotes.”

NMFF Cindy Barshop – “Everything out there right now is just rumors. Nothing is 100 [percent] decided yet, it could go either way.”

Kelly Kra-Kra’s rep also denied she had been fired. However, all signs continue to point to the reports being true! In fact E! News is reporting that Bravo informed the women Thursday morning while explaining why the network is not confirming the news in the press.

“Basically by not publicly firing them and keeping them dangling, Bravo’s bought their silence while three new women start taping the new season in two weeks,” one RHONY insider explains. “Bravo found new women. Ramona [Singer] knows these women, she introduced them to Bravo. The Countess knows two as well. They wanted real New York society women.”

The source adds that taping begins in two weeks and that if the newbies have on-screen chemistry it’s a done deal with the previous Housewives. “On the very slim chance it doesn’t work, they have these ladies on the bench waiting to come back,” the source states.

Another insider reveals that Jill and Alex are taking the news the hardest. Jill is reportedly angry and is now in defense mode on how she can spin this to tell the public she left the show and wasn’t fired. “She’ll say she wasn’t coming back. She’s saying she’s ready to move on, she wants people to think it’s her decision, saying she wants to be a business woman and not a reality star. She’s very angry at both Bravo and [network executive] Andy [Cohen.]”

As for Alex, she and husband Simon van Kempen are reportedly in shock as they didn’t see this coming. Alex’s concern is however more of a financial one as her $275,000 income from Bravo is gone.

“Alex and Simon are both shell-shocked. They didn’t see it coming, they were blindsided. They’ve heard the rumors, but they thought they wouldn’t mess with the formula that works… They’ve just lost the $275,000 income they were making for the season. When Alex and Simon were not invited to do the live shows, they knew something was up. Alex is emailing and trying to stay in Bravo’s good graces as she need the money,” says the insider.

And just moments ago, UsWeekly reported Sonja Morgan confirmed the firings to them during an event last night while also confirming her return. “I really haven’t had time to digest it properly,” Sonja, 47, said Thursday night. “My voicemail was filled up today…At first, I just thought it was the usual rumors.” Sonja adds that Bravo informed her yesterday that she was returning for the new season.

Oddly enough, none of the housewives reported to be fired can say the same. And we all know they would be tweeting/releasing public statements about had they been asked back.

In fact Rob Shuter, who hung out with Ramona Singer last night, is standing by his report as he tweeted today that both Bravo and the fired housewives are “pissed” with him for breaking the news. He also confirms what LuAnn, who has been asked back, stated this week which is that 3 to 4 new “wealthy” housewives have been cast by Bravo.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU THINK JILL IS BEGGING BRAVO TO TAKE HER BACK? GOOD DECISION BY BRAVO TO AXE THESE LADIES?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bravo executive and talk show host Andy Cohen is planning to write a memoir!

Andy, 43, himself made the announcement Monday on his blog. “It’ll be a memoir, of sorts, about my intersections with pop culture over the years, from growing up in front of the TV as a kid in St. Louis to my years at CBS News, all the way up to today,” he wrote.

The book will chronicle Andy’s journey from a closeted gay teen growing up in 1970s suburban St. Louis to a multi-hyphenate cable television powerhouse. The yet-untitled book, which is being published by Henry Holt and Company, will be released next summer.

In other news, Huffington Post columnist Rob Shuter tweeted days ago that the Real Housewives of New York City will find out this week who will be returning or getting the axe.

Filming on the new season will reportedly begin by labor day. And judging from recent comments by Andy Cohen, it’s safe to assume there will be a major shake-up with the cast.

Rob also tweeted last week that two of the RHONY housewives are so desperate to remain on the show that they told Bravo they are willing to take a huge pay “cut in $270,000 per season they make.” Wowzers. Of course, we will report on the latest the minute the cast announcement is made.

TELL US – WILL YOU READ ANDY’S MEMOIR? THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST WITH THE RHONY CASTING?

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter states Andy received a “low seven-figure” amount for his forthcoming memoir.

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