Say what?! Andy uses graphs and charts to cast the crazy?! According to a new interview with AdAge, Andy credited research for the reasoning behind the firings. “We snort up research like fine Colombian cocaine,” he admitted of the Bravomeisters approach to determining what viewers want.
“I love Twitter because it’s a live focus group,” said Andy, explaining that one reason certain cast members of RHONY were let go was because of negative feedback about them on social media.
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!
Jill Zarin is doing what she does best – running her mouth! In a new interview the out-spoken former Real Housewives of New York star talks being fired, doing more reality TV (oh no!), and the unfortunate side to C (or is it D?)-List fame.
Contrary to what we all know in our hearts to be true, Jill claims she was “prepared” for being let-go from RHONY. Telling Parade, “I had sort of an inkling over the summer that the show might take a turn,” she admits. “As a family, we weren’t sure if coming back for a fifth season was going to be the best road for me right now, but we were waiting until Bravo made their decision.”
“I believe that what’s meant to be is meant to be, so I sort of let it happen,” she explains of her feelings about being publicly fired. “If they asked me back and that was my path, so be it. And if they said that they wanted to make a change for the cast and that was going to be my final season, I was certainly ok with that.”
“In television, it’s about what you can do to be more dramatic and keep the viewers,” she states, echoing exactly what many fans believe is behind a lot of the cray-cray.
Agreeing with another ex-housewife, Kelly Bensimon, Jill feels the show was a good experience, “I had a four-year run on a very successful show,” she comments. “I’m very proud of what I did. It was just a platform for me,” she explains of how Housewives impacted her life. “I’m grateful to Bravo for opening the door for me in this business that I never though I’d be in — the entertainment business.”
As for how fame has negatively affected her life, Jill claims a lot of the backlash has disappeared since the fans got what they wanted she left the show. “I really don’t take any kind of negativity personally,” she expects us to believe. And now that’s she’s away from the camera, Jill insists: “I am having the best time of my life,” revealing, “I got my happy back.”
“It’s really about this sort of character on TV. It’s interesting, when the show is airing, there’s a lot of chatter on the Internet, but then when the show is off the air they move on to Beverly Hills or New Jersey. I don’t feel any negativity right now.”
Jill also confirms she and fellow mean girl, Bitchtress Countess Luann de Lesseps are still friends. “I’m very close with LuAnn still and Sonja [Morgan] and I have a good relationship. Just because I’m not on the show doesn’t mean that I’m not happy for them.”
And of course – the news we’ve all be dreading – Jill threatens promises a return to television! “It won’t be the last time (I hope) that I’ll be on television. I have a couple things that I’m in the middle of that I can’t share yet.” There have been reports stating Jill is trying to pitch a reality show that will involve both her and Patti Stanger! And Patti might just be available for that show as ratings for the Millionaire Matchmaker continue to dip this season, averaging less than a million viewers per episode, in addition to her recent faux pas.
It’s time for your daily dose of Kray-Kray! Kelly Bensimon is moving onto other ventures following her departure from Real Housewives of New York and she fancies herself a fashion designer, who is looking for a man!
In a new interview, Kelly tells Celebuzz, that while she enjoyed television, her new goal is looking for love! “I would love to get married to someone that is a partner and is in it with me and not for the publicity,” she says of her plans to settle down and stop running in traffic.
“Housewives was a great opportunity because now I know what I don’t want,” she describes of her life following the Baywatch of Housewives, explaining that while she “loves reality TV” and thinks it’s a great “platform” it didn’t always (or ever?) work to her advantage where romance is concerned. “Being on Housewives was a blessing and a curse – especially for my dating life. A lot of people wouldn’t take me seriously, and I don’t blame them.” Hey at least she’s able to recognize that the whole world thinks she’s wack-a-doo!
“Seriously, what awesome guy wants to be reprimanded by women they don’t even know? That was the not-so-hot part of reality TV,” she explains. Anyone else not getting it?
Since being fired, her love life has improved and she is hoping to find Mr. Right! “My dating life is fun. I’m having a good time and hopefully I’ll meet the man of my dreams and have a little baby boy! That is on my bucket list. I want to have another baby.”
While she is not terrorizing the eligible bachelors of NYC (who are suddenly all very married), Kelly has been hard at work on her new career: shoe designer! Kelly is launching a new line of ballet flats created for Kelly by Kelly Bensimon. How long do you think it took her to come up with that name? Her line of flats will be affordably priced starting at $39.99 and $3 from each pair sold will go towards the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Ok – that’s pretty great!
“The reason I am doing this is because I’m the mother of two girls,” she tells E! “If I can put my name out there on something creative and help generate money to find a cure for this disease then I’m going to do it. I’ve seen the courage and I’ve seen the hope and I’ve seen amazing women persevere through such horrible situations. It’s really exciting to be able to help in any way.”
“I want to make it super chic but incredibly affordable because I feel like why can’t fashion be democratic?” And Kelly has big plans to expand into other fashion avenues. “This is the start of a bigger Kelly collection,” she reveals. “This is my first huge milestone and I’m hoping to bring all this great product and be able to be as charitable as possible on the largest scale possible. That’s my goal. That’s what I want.”
But if you are hoping to see Kelly in any of the ad campaigns for Kelly by Kelly Bensimon, and I know you were, don’t hold your breath. “I don’t need to be modeling in the ads,” Kelly scoffed. “The shoes are so hot, they speak for themselves. They don’t need anybody to be wearing them.”
The Kelly by Kelly Bensimon Ballet Flat collection will be available for sale this spring.
Photo credit: PR Photos
THOUGHTS ON KELLY’S HOPES TO FIND A MAN? IS THERE SOMEONE OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE? WOULD YOU BUY ANY OF KELLY’S PRODUCTS? EVEN FOR A CHARITABLE CAUSE?
Bethenny has had a tough shakes of things lately, and there has been much speculation about her versions of the truth being you know, truthful, but is she really still so angry at Jill she would sabotage her career? Somebody thinks so!
Bethenny is the subject of a scathing new report by the New York Post which not only claims she plotted to get Jill fired from the show that made them both famous, but that she’s also a master manipulator, and that the real-life of Bethenny is totally different than what the world sees.
I’m not sure how reliable this unnamed source is and I’m also not sure I believe most of this article, but you can decide for yourself what you think.
“Every single person in her life is someone who is on her payroll, including her husband,Jason Hoppy,” the insider insists. “Bethenny’s whole agenda has been to keep it real, and none of it is real. It’s all planted stories and her trying to bury her enemies.”
“Everything she’s done, from what she did to Jill Zarin on the show with behind-the-scenes torture to what she’s doing now, is pure Bethenny.” The insider, who purports to be close to Bethenny, is not giving a reason for why Bethenny would still harbor such resentment towards Jill and claims that during her final season as a housewife, Bethenny refused to speak to Jill unless cameras were rolling and exacerbated a petty argument into a “full-blown war” in order to boost her popularity. That same insider also claims Bethenny manipulates Andy Cohen.
An unnamed media observer declares that Bethenny went into Housewives with a plan. “She had done a reality show, with Martha Stewart’s ‘The Apprentice,’ before any of the other housewives, so she was always 10 beats ahead.”
“She is the best publicist-marketer-hustler I’ve ever seen. She is PT Barnum. But the sad thing is the amount of people she’s thrown under the bus to get to where she is,” observer continues.
The article claims Bethenny “carefully manipulates reporters to meet her goals,” alleging that early on in her career, Bethenny would call gossip columnists to plant items that were either exaggerations or blatantly false, aka the rumor that she dated A-Rod. Several gossip editors reportedly instituted a “Bethenny ban” because her calls were so frequent.
“She dated WireImage’s photographer Kevin Mazur and made sure to get pictures on the red carpet before anyone knew who she was. She is the best publicist-marketer-hustler I’ve ever seen. She is PT Barnum. But the sad thing is the amount of people she’s thrown under the bus to get to where she is,” says a media observer.
The unidentified insider feels Bethenny’s days on top may be numbered as even those in her employ are tired of her “More, more, more, mine, mine, mine” attitude. “Being around her is like having chest pains,” the source explains. “She is a horrible, horrible screamer. Every person around her is feeling the anxiety. She goes from 0 to 60 in a second. You open the door, and you have no idea. It could be a storm, it could be a dozen roses.”
“I hate to say it, but as one of the producers from the show told me: ‘We’re just hoping it’s going to be, “Bethenny’s Getting a Divorce?” snipes the insider. “Because how long can this go on for?” the source comments on the fate of Bethenny’s show Bethenny Ever After. “The minute she stops being viable for Andy and making money, he’ll walk away from her just like he walked away from everyone else,” says the same insider who accuses her of manipulating Andy.
The source also alleges that Bethenny’s got Jill axed from RHONY. Does she really have that much pull??? Bethenny’s “whole game plan was to pull Jill down, and she did it and Jill got fired.”
Jill who has recently spoken out defending her former friend’s on-going troubles in the media (hey, she knows from experience), stated: “I hope she sees [the bad press] as a mere bump in the road and chalks it up to a lesson learned. Everyone makes mistakes but it is how you handle it that defines you.”
But when a fan Tweeted Jill a link to this article, writing: “This article confirms everything I always suspected about Bethenny & Andy Cohen! Vindication for @JillZarin at last!!” Jill responded, Tweeting back: “Sad day for me to find out.”
Jill later followed up with another Tweet pertaining to the article, remarking: “Haters will never believe truth. It would mean admitting they were wrong.” Bethenny has yet to comment on the accusations. It appears Jill is insinuating the article is accurate and Bethenny did get her fired… which all seems slightly absurd! Did Bethenny get Alex McCordand Kelly Bensimon fired as well? At the end of the day, I don’t believe Bethenny has enough pull at Bravo to get anyone fired!
THOUGHTS ON THE ARTICLE? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? IS THIS THE WORK OF A BITTER UNNAMED SOURCE TRYING TO TEAR DOWN BETHENNY’S SUCCESS OR TRUTHFUL INFORMATION?
Kelly Bensimon just has so much cray-cray to spew forth into the world I can’t keep up! In her newest round of inane interviews, Kelly dispenses some unique and special advice to Real Housewives of New York’s newest housewives and reflects on her own experiences on the show! Oh and she talks about getting FIRED!
“I’m not angry,” Kelly explained to PEOPLE in regards to being terminated. “I had a great opportunity. I mean, three years! Three years I’m on television. … The show is on all over the world and we’re still going to be on for a long time. It’s like the Baywatch of Housewives. For me, it’s just the gift that keeps on giving.” Baywatch of Housewives? I just can’t…
“I have a really kooky life and I’m not going to make apologies for it. I have a lot of fun and I make a lot of mistakes,” she describes of her experiences on the show. You can say that again!
The good news is Kelly seems understanding about being let-go; which is a great attitude (ahem, Silex!). “The show started off in one way and it needs to take a different direction because that’s the nature of the TV beast,” Kelly mused. “I’m excited to watch it. It’s going to be great.”
As for the new ladies, who Bravo has yet to announce, Kelly explains: “I don’t know them, but I’m sure they’re going to be very interesting, lovely women.” She also has some advice for the newest housewives: Anything she would do, do the opposite! Kidding, kidding!
“Make as many mistakes as possible,” she advised. “Do anything that you can do that you can learn from your mistakes. Because if you don’t learn from your mistakes then you’re what? Boring!” Yeah, but is boring better or worse than insane?
Kelly also assures us her career in reality TV is far from over! “I love doing reality because for me, I just have a really good time,” Kelly revealed, seemingly forgetting about Scary Island and that whole “systematic bullying” thing. “I just want to keep growing and showing my kids that out of anything bad comes something great.”
In other fired housewives news, the unstoppableJill Zarin is writing a book! After a fan Tweeted Jill enquiring if she was writing a tell-all, Jill replied: “Starting to write down the truth!” Actually if Jill wrote a tell-all, I would definitely read it!
Jill, who has been quite the busy little Tweeter lately, has also pledged her support to Teresa Giudice after Sunday night’s explosive reunion, giving credence to the three against one drama and seconding the rumor that Teresa had no idea Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile were on the show until after her contract was signed!
When a fan voiced their opinion that Bravo put Teresa’s family on the show for drama, Jill agreed, stating “100 percent true. @Teresa_Giudice had no idea till contract signed” Jill is fighting mad!
Jill also revealed that her salary was the reason Bravo decided to fire her! When a fan Tweeted:“@BravoTV couldn’t afford Jill Zarin anymore. Money can’t buy you class,” Jill responded: “Exactly! You are the first to figure out!”
THOUGHTS ON KELLY BENSIMON’S ADVICE TO THE NEWEST LADIES OF RHONY? WOULD YOU WATCH KELLY ON ANOTHER REALITY SHOW? ARE YOU SURPRISED JILL ZARIN IS PLANNING TO WRITE A TELL-ALL? ARE YOU EXCITED (OR IS THAT JUST ME)?
After mostly keeping her comments to herself, LuAnn de Lesseps is finally throwing all that etiquette stuff out the window and as one of the only remaining originals of Real Housewives of New York, she is speaking out on the firings and the future of the show!
Get ready – it’s juicy!
In an exclusive interview with OK!, LuAnn publicly admits she is disappointed by who Bravo decided to fire, specifically Jill Zarin, but she is excited to still be included in the show! “I was happy because I wanted to do the next season, and sad at the same time, because Jill’s the one who initially started the show with me, and is the one who brought me onto the show,” she reveals.
“I really felt bad that she wasn’t coming back. And Kelly [Bensimon]– I’m going to miss the girls, I really am, but I’m excited about the new season and missing the girls. I have great memories with all the women. We made that show what it was from the beginning,” LuAnn muses, waxing nostalgic. Hey, at least one person will be mourning for Jill!
And since she is on a roll, LuAnn continues by reiterating that she’ll really miss Jill! Like a lot. LuAnn, you guys can still do things outside the show. “We’re like a weird, sick family,” she says of relationships to her former co-stars. “Jill and I started the show together with Ramona and Alex. Kelly came on later, but It’s really sad to see them go because it’s something we created and made successful together.”
If you noticed LuAnn has not mentioned Alex McCord being part of the “family,” it’s because LuAnn still hates her! “There was no reason [for her to attack me],” LuAnn quips referring to the argument after Morocco and other comments Alex has made about her in the press. Also noting that she also does not feel bad that Alex was fired.
As for the new cast, LuAnn is “looking forward to the new season,” except for one thing: Ramona Singer! “Ramona is Ra-mean-a,” LuAnn explains. “I see Ramona, and I run the other direction!”
LuAnn hasn’t seen Pinot Singer since the reunion and that’s fine with her! “She invited me to her party and I’m like ‘hello? Come on. Really?! You say that to me, and you expect me to show up and say ‘hi’?’ No. Not after you go after my kids.”
And a furious LuAnn then makes some jabs about Ramona’s drinking habits, after expressing that she is still (yes, STILL!) disappointed that Ramona declined to be in her music video for Chic C’est La Vie! “Turtle Time, Pinot Grigio – but that grossed me out.”
“There’s part of her I love and part of her I hate,” LuAnn continues. “She says the damndest things – it rolls out of her mouth, and she thinks she can get away with it. She’s not going to get away with it, because it’s ‘on’ for the next season,” LuAnn challenges.
As for a very re-vamped Season Five, according to LuAnn filming begins soon! “I’m really excited about the upcoming season, and I will look forward to the girls.” The expected new cast members are Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson, andAviva Drescher.
Well, the next season better be an improvement over last year, especially considering the pay raise Ramona and LuAnn allegedly received! the Huffington Post is reporting that Bravo inked a contract with LuAnn and Ramona (who let’s be frank, really know how to bring the dramz and the snippy comments) paying them a whopping $500,000 each to film Season Five!
“In the fourth season, LuAnn, Ramona, Jill and Alex all earned $275,000 for 16 regular episodes plus a one-day reunion taping that was shown as two episodes. “So in total it was $275,000 for a total of 18 episodes,” an insider states. “But now that Jill and Alex have been fired, LuAnn and Ramona are getting $500,000 to tape 18 episodes. That’s almost $28,000 an episode.” Come again?!
The reason for Bravo upping the ante? “Nothing causes drama more than asking all the ladies to do the same amount of work and paying some more for it than others,” one of the real housewives themselves reveals!
“Sonja [Morgan] and the new ladies are not earning anything like the money LuAnn and Ramona are and that is already causing tension — plus, a very unlikely friendship between past enemies LuAnn and Ramona,” the housewife insider details. Perhaps LuAnn and Ramona got together in the contract negotiation process! “It’s way too early to know how all this is going to play out, but early meetings have gone great!”
Bravo declined to comment on the upcoming season and the alleged pay raises, but I wouldn’t put it past them to resort to unscrupulous measures to cause drama (See: New Jersey, Housewives, “Real”)!
Thoughts on LuAnn’s interview and comments about Ramona? Obsessed with Jill, much? Are you as surprised as I am that Ramona and LuAnn will be earning half a Mil to be part of RHONY?
And while LuAnn will “really miss Jill,” she is optimistic about the new ladies. “I’m excited about the new cast,” although she hasn’t actually met any of her new co-stars. If they are all friends with Ramona Singer, I predict a rocky fifth season for our favorite ex-countess!
And speaking of exes, ex-housewife Alex McCord and ex-hanger-on Simon van Kempen are finally moving forward after getting terminated! In a shocking interview with the NY Post, Simon admits the duo was out of place among their castmates (yes, I read it twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things). “Alex and I were always miscast in the show,” he confesses. “And if [Bravo] is taking it to the ‘Beverly Hills’ level of money, of course we wouldn’t be on.” Wow… refreshing honesty, Simon!
As for the rumors that the McCord-Van Kempens begged Bravo for their jobs back, even willing to take a 50% pay cut out of their $275,000 salary, Simon calls the gossip “100 percent not true,” which was also confirmed by a Bravo rep (a very reliable source, if I’ve ever heard one!).
“Once we had a no, it was no,” Simon explains. “That would’ve just perpetuated the perception we are the wannabes they made us out to be.” Wait – Bravo made them look like wannabes? #Idontbelieveyou.
“We’re sad it’s not continuing. But four years wasn’t bad,” Simon concludes. Good attitude Silex! The two reveal they are now focusing on a line of Egyptian-cotton towels and bedding, called Aluxe, which they plan to launch this week.
It also appears the firing of Silex isn’t preventing Ramona from contuining to hang out with Alex. Ramona posted the following photo below of herself hanging out with Alex over the weekend. Ramona wrote on her facebook today: “Morning! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was great. Ended it last night celebrating Alex’s birthday!”
Gossip columnist Rob Shuter tweeted that filming on the new season of RHONY officially begins today. You can CLICK HERE to read all about the new housewives!
Are you surprised LuAnn will miss Jill? Did any of you attend the Housewives Live Tour – thoughts? Are you impressed with Silex’s new attitude?