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RHONY Season 5


Jill Zarin loves her some media attention! Nary a day goes by without Jill getting some press or giving an interview. And sure she is spreading the word about Skweeze Couture, but for someone who claims to be over her appearance on Real Housewives of New York she has a difficult time not talking about it! I guess it is her claim to fame…

In the latest, Jill spoke to Rob Shuter via his HDNet show Naught But Nice With Rob and talked about how she’s changed since leaving the show. “Whatever I say no one will believe me, but I never lie. I am so happy to be off that show,” Jill starts off by saying, adding that she’s sad to lose her paycheck!

As to what’s different now that she is no longer beholden to Bravo, Jill insists she’s back to being “me”. “I got my happy back,” she explains. “I didn’t realize it when I was in it, but I think I became like a monster to the people around me because I was under so much stress.”

Jill goes on to describe the filming process as leaving the ladies “strung out,” due to stress. “It just takes so much energy; this manipulation, of trying to figure out whose team you’re on and who’s your friend and who’s your enemy. It just sucks up all the air in the room,” Jill elaborates.

To illustrate how happy she is, Jill explains that at a recent dinner party for her birthday (which was attended by maybe “life-long” friend Kelly Bensimon) her guests kept telling Jill how much she’s “changed,” with her friends mentioning that she was calm and relaxed. Former cast mate LuAnn de Lesseps was also due to attend Jill’s birthday, but arrived too late because of a scheduled filming.

Jill also mentioned her plans to film her own reality show, claiming it will be filled with less drama! But the question is will there be any takers?

“There won’t be any puppeteers pulling strings to make fights, and there won’t be jealousy,” explained Jill. “There wont be those kinds of things that change who people are. I just really want to do my own thing. I just really want to be with my family. I had a lot of anxiety. I had no control and I’m a little bit of a control freak.”

While the world awaits the verdict on whether any network will pick up Jill’s proposed show, she will be returning to TV on Dec. 25, as a judge on “Iron Chef” alongside Art Smith.

In other RHONY news, Jill may not miss being part of the cast but it seems her former cast mates certainly miss her, surprisingly. “It’s different. The girls are different so it’s a totally different experience,” LuAnn said, speaking to HollywoodLife. ”I always miss the girls. We worked a long time together. You miss people you’re comfortable with.”

Ramona Singer agreed, commenting: “It’s sad not to have all the girls that I grew up on the show with. We all did this together. But change can be good.” Admitting that she misses fellow blonde Alex McCord the most, Ramona promised the upcoming season will still be good! While she isn’t revealing who’s in and who’s out as far as casting, saying: “We’re not allowed to talk about the new girls,” Ramona promises, “It’s going to be a great show [though].”

[Photo Credit: WENN.com]

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT JILL IS HAPPY TO BE AWAY FROM RHONY? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT SHE ADMITTED THE SHOW TURNED HER INTO A MONSTER? DO YOU THINK RAMONA AND LUANN REALLY MISS THEIR FORMER CO-STARS?


Casting drama is nothing new for Real Housewives of New York. In the latest upset to plague the show, a potential new Housewife was given the axe after her husband was charged with investment fraud. But why? It makes for such interesting television!

The NY Post is reporting that Annie Churchill was on a short list of contenders to be added to the newly revamped Season 5 cast when producers discovered a dirty little secret; her husband Andrew Albert was arrested and charged with grand larceny and fraud after several investors accused him of using over $600,000 collected for a proposed online-shopping website for personal expenses. Wow! Here comes the NY version of Taylor Armstrong!

According to sources the network made the decision to avoid mingling with anyone else facing criminal charges given Russell Armstrong‘s recent suicide, thus Annie was given the boot. Michael Farkas a lawyer for Andrew confirmed that Bravo decided not cast Annie in the wake of what happened adding that his client is completely innocent and currently working to fight the charges, which he claims are “baseless.” Although Annie is not included in the cast full-time, her rep is claiming she may still make a small appearance in the upcoming season.

Bravo is not commenting on the latest gossip. “We haven’t finished shooting this season yet, so we haven’t made any kind of casting decisions for season five yet,” a rep for the network stated.

In other RHONY news one of the new Housewives has a famous relative! Fran Dresher is known for her role as the nanny turned housewife on The Nanny, but now she’s also gaining some attention for being the cousin of new RHONY Housewife Aviva Drescher. Speaking to the Huffington Post‘s Rob Shuter, Fran talks about how reality TV isn’t really her cup of tea, but she isn’t going to pull a Real Housewives of New Jersey and start some televised family drama over the ordeal.

“I would never [do a reality show],” Fran told Rob, adding that she’s been approached several times to become the subject of one! “During the times that reality was so big, sitcoms were so not en vogue. ‘We should do a reality show with you,’ [I was told] and I said no,” Fran relays. “First of all, I don’t like them. It appeals to the lowest common denominator. It’s not really reality, because they have to have conflict in them to have people sitting there.” Wow! She really, really doesn’t like them.

“I’ve never flipped a table in my life,” Fran added with a laugh. “I’m scared to admit, but one of my cousins is one of the new ‘Housewives’ of New York and yesterday we had my book party at Dylan’s Candy Bar. … Well, I said hello and we talked a little bit.”

Finally some former NY Housewives news, Kelly Bensimon is contradicting herself again. In a new interview with Zap2it, Kelly claims she was never really friends with ex-cast mates LuAnn de Lesseps and Jill Zarin!

When asked if she keeps in touch with any of her former co-stars, the ditzy model replied: “Luann I speak to and Jill I talk to. We were cast mates, not really friends.”

Interesting, considering that in a recent interview with AVENUE Magazine, Kelly revealed that one of the positives of participating in the show was making a “life-long” friend in Jill. Jill agreed, telling the mag, “Our friendship is real. She’s the most loyal, good friend you could ever count on. She’s such a hard worker.” The two have also been photographed together post-Housewives. So which is it, Kelly? Friends or not?

THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST CASTING DRAMA? WAS BRAVO RIGHT TO AXE ANNIE CHURCHILL? DO YOU WANT TO SEE FRAN DRESCHER MAKE AN APPEARANCE ON HOUSEWIVES? DO YOU BELIEVE KELLY AND JILL ARE FRIENDS OR NOT?

For those of you that believed the firing of certain Housewives meant the next season of Real Housewives of New York would feature less arguing, cattiness and back-stabbing, you may be out of luck! I mean they kept Ramona Singer on their payroll after all, and allegedly doubled her salary!

The NY Daily News is claiming feuding has already begun amongst the ladies, despite the addition of three new cast members who were supposed to bring a different atmosphere to one of the most popular series in the Housewives franchise. While insiders promise the show will be “totally different than last season,” that doesn’t appear to be the case! Suspected new Housewives Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher apparently wasted no time in choosing sides and waging battles!

With the foisting of veteran Housewives Jill Zarin, Alex McCord and Kelly Bensimon an insider is claiming that the remaining originals Ramona, LuAnn de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan have almost immediately started forming rivalries as well as new alliances with the newbies. Is this Survivor or Housewives — I’m confused?

“It’s Sonja, LuAnn and Heather vs. Aviva and Ramona,” the source reveals. “LuAnn and Sonja are now the queen bees of the show.” Does this mean an end to the dreaded (re: inappropriate and immature) Ramonja!?

Ramona and Aviva were friends prior to filming with some reports saying Ramona brought her into the show. Avivia’s previous relationship with Pinot have led her to take a “more neutral” stance in forming relationships with her other cast mates. Better watch out Aviva or your first season may be your last (see: Barshop, Cindy)!

A source reveals that one of the new ladies planned a cast-wide trip to London and everyone was included except Pinot! “Everyone was invited but Ramona,” says the source, adding that Ramona may have been excluded because she is getting “the diva-bitch edit this season.”

“Ramona is still a troublemaker,” says the source. “She delivers drama big time” in the upcoming season.

So, while the other Housewives were abroad celebrating freedom from Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio, Ramona soothed her hurt by throwing herself a “raucous” birthday lunch at Manhattan’s Bar Italia. “She had 24 of her closest friends there and did not seem to miss the other housewives one bit,” a guest reported. “So excited! Headed to my birthday luncheon at Bar Italia with 20 of my best girlfriends!!” Ramona Tweeted.

Oddly not included in the guest list was former blonde bestie Sonja – even though the two have birthdays close together! Sources tell the NY Daily News that there is now “tension” between the former besties.

I also noticed neither lady issued a Happy Birthday Tweet! Photos of the party from Ramona’s Twitter are below – noticeably absent are members of the Housewives cast! Noticeably present – some very scary plastic surgery!

Ramona’s party was not without her product promotions as her real friends surprised her with a pinot grigio themed cake. “We had it done by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes. It had an edible bottle of Ramona’s label of pinot and edible pieces from her True Faith jewelry line, all made of out hard sugar. The cake looked and tasted great.” It is pretty amazing!

After guests were forced to imbibe Pinot’s wine for the afternoon Turtle Time came out in full-force as everyone hit the dance floor to relive the glory days of Studio 54. “Ramona had a blast,” says the insider to Wetpaint. “We all did. We spent the afternoon eating, drinking and getting down on the dance floor!”

Did the party also feature a pinot grigio fountain? Because I’m pretty sure that’s all Ramona really wanted for her birthday! A photo of Ramona with her namesake cake and her wine is below. It’s Pinot-licious! If you’re into that sort of thing…

[Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo/Wenn.com]

THOUGHTS ON THE NEWEST HOUSEWIVES FEUD? ARE YOU SURPRISED THE LADIES ARE FIGHTING ALREADY? ARE YOU AS SHOCKED AS I AM BY THE ALLEGED END OF RAMONJA?

THE PHOTOS ARE BELOW!


Before Ramona Singer was blunt to the point of rudeness, pinot-swilling, combatant on Real Housewives of New York she was first and foremost a business woman.

Speaking to WomenOnTheFence.com, Ramona discussed starting her first business, balancing career and family and, of course, Housewives. Surprisingly this interview is positive, professional and inspiring! Was Pinot the victim of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers?!

Ramona reveals that she started her first business at age 29 after borrowing $70,000 in startup capital from her father. She was so successful she was able to pay him back – with interest – after one month! Say what? Ramona “Foot In Mouth” Singer?

“I was witness of domestic violence growing up. I would constantly ask my mother, ‘Why are you married? Why don’t you leave Dad?’ Her answer to me was always the same, ‘I had no money, I got pregnant, and I have 4 kids, where am I going? Promise me Ramona, you will always make your own money. Become successful in your own right, so God forbid your marriage goes south, you can walk out the door,’” Ramona shares of her tumultuous upbringing.

“That was my message growing up. I have been on my own since 19 years old, and put myself through college.” Despite her father’s abusive behavior he was a successful executive. “I actually think I got my brains from him,” Ramona says. When she approached him with her idea for her first business he was immediately on board. “I had an idea and was looking for a partner with startup capital. My dad said to me, ‘You don’t need any partners in life. How much money do you need?’”

Now as we all know, Ramona owns several businesses hawking everything from skin care to Pinot! “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, because I wanted flexibility in my life. I wanted to have it all- motherhood, marriage, career, and owning my own business gave me that flexibility.”

And that’s exactly how she approaches RHONY — as a business opportunity. Oh, really? You don’t say… “As far as the show goes, everything I do on the show is real,” Ramona claims (making me question her behavior even more!). “You can blame editing – yah maybe some highlights are edited, but it’s real, and I’m really me. And that is why I have a strong fan base.”

“I’m not mean spirited. Sometimes I’m unedited, and I do need to filter things, but I am trying to learn to keep my mouth shut a little,” she says laughing. “For me, this season is all about showcasing how you can have it all. I feel very blessed with a great family, and great friends.”

Ramona’s initial motivation for joining Housewives was to promote her business True Faith Jewelry, but the platform allowed her to expand into so many other avenues. And Ramona admits to her, “money is power!” “Money is freedom. I got married at 37 – I didn’t need a man to buy me things or take me on vacations. I married for love and family,” she adds, perhaps taking digs at some of her co-stars past and present for marrying for other reasons.

“You have to constantly reinvent yourself to stay on top,” she advises. And that’s perhaps exactly why she’s so successful on reality TV; she’s able to shift with the tide and follow the drama (which means $$!).

Ramona believes all her hard work and dedication has paid off as she is living her dream.“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Just good health, great family and friends, and happiness. That’s the dream,” she gushes. “Six years ago, had you asked me if I thought I would have all this, and a reality show, I never would have believed it. But life is an experience, and you go where it takes you.” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but great advice, Pinot!

[Photo Credit: IZZY/WENN.com]

TELL US WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RAMONA’S INTERVIEW? WERE YOU HAPPY SHE KEPT IT POSITIVE AND INSPIRING OR DO YOU PREFER THE CRAY-CRAY DRAMA PINOT WE’VE ALL COME TO LOVE?

Real Housewives of New York may have done a complete cast over-haul, but that doesn’t mean things are going smoothly while filming season five!

The New York Post is reporting that Bravo is having trouble filming in certain New York hot spots and that some Housewives (ahem… Ramona Singer) are being demanding! Sources report that the producers are “having difficulty” filming in restaurants and other establishments because many locations have “soured” on the series and “are not opening their doors freely for filming.”

“They’re trying to book locations at the last minute…  giving the impression that others are falling through,” said a source associated with the nightlife industry. Of course, a Bravo rep is dispelling the rumors, claiming there have been “no issues” procuring locations.

Meanwhile, it seems wine purveyor Pinot Singer has let her Pinot go to her head – literally! Ramona has allegedly been causing trouble at famed NY restaurants Phillippe and Ciano over her “demands” to serve Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio during filming. “She asked that her wine be there when she ordered dinner. It wasn’t on the list, but she offered to send over a case. But the restaurants refused to accommodate,” an insider revealed. “You know how Ramona is about her pinot.” Um… yes, we certainly do! Reps for the restaurants had no comment, but outspoken housewife Ramona certainly did!

Speaking to Wetpaint Entertainment, Ramona insists the story is completely untrue; denying that she filmed at Phillippe and while dining at Ciano she made no such fuss! “I graciously drank the pinot grigio they offered,” Ramona reports. “Although, I have to say, my Ramona Pinot Grigio is the best!”

“Am I passionate about my pinot grigio? Absolutely! And now that I have my own wine, why wouldn’t I bring a bottle with me? But I always call ahead and ask permission and they usually charge me a bottle fee.” Adding a big ‘take that!’ to the upscale eateries, Ramona claims her wine is carried in other big name restaurants around Manhattan.

In other RHONY news former, fired, relieved of her duties Housewives’ krazy lady Kelly Bensimon is not sitting home crying because the author of the upcoming I Can Make You Hot! has just signed with a big-name Hollywood manager!

Kelly has recently enlisted the services of Larry Rudolph of ReignDeer Entertainment. Larry also manages such high-profile celebrities as Britney Spears and is credited with raising her to superstar levels. I bet Melissa Gorga is jealous! We will definitely be seeing Kelly’s koo-koo on TV again soon, as her rep is revealing she has a new TV show in the works — although that’s all the details for now!

[Photos credit: WENN]

THOUGHTS ON THE RHONY FILMING DRAMA? DO YOU BELIEVE RAMONA IS BEING DIFFICULT OR ARE THE RESTAURANTS SEEKING PUBLICITY? THOUGHTS ON KELLY’S NEW MANAGER AND FUTURE TV PROJECTS?


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 seems that Jill’s return to television is inevitable especially since she just signed with a new talent management group, Octogan – which also represents fellow-reality stars Piers Morgan, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and Nancy O’Dell, There Jill will be represented in part by The Hills alum, Lo Bosworth!

Photo credit: Andres Otero/ WENN.com

THOUGHTS ON JILL’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE JILL KNEW SHE WAS GETTING FIRED AND IS HAPPY AWAY FROM THE SHOW? WHAT DO YOU THINK JILL’S NEXT TELEVISION PROJECT WILL BE?

Oh McCord-van Kempens, give it up already!

The recently fired, former Real Housewives of New York couple makes it clear to Wetpaint, that they’re not going anywhere as they threaten promise a return to reality television! And true to form Simon van Kempen does most of the talking in the interview! “I wouldn’t write us off TV just yet, but it’s a bit too early to confirm anything,” Simon promises.

Although Simon claims a return to reality TV would probably not include Bravo, he insists the couple “left on good terms” and the door is still open for a return to HW. I mean after all, Alex McCord got a spot on the Real Housewives Live Tour and “she’s the only “fired” Housewife to do the tour,” Simon boasts of his wife. Victory in small things! A photo of Alex attending the HW tour is below.

“If the rumors are true and they open the door to come back, then, maybe not,” Simon assures. Making sure to reiterate Bravo still likes them – they really do and reality TV is their destiny, “the doors are certainly open because we’ve now left and whether it’s with Housewives or with Bravo or another network, that remains to be seen, but we’ll come back on your TV screens sometime in 2012.” Oh, yay! Or Oh, No! I can’t decide which.

While the couple is most definitely promising a return to our TV screens, they haven’t quit their day jobs just yet (they’re not making that mistake again!) and are hard at work on Aluxe Home, raising their two boys, and supporting many charitable causes – including working together with LuAnn de Lesseps!

“I had wanted to do a home line for years, and Simon jumped on board with that completely — we do everything as a team,” Alex reminds us. “After several potential deals that didn’t go through, we decided that going into partnership with a factory was a really good bet,” which is how they ended up with Aluxe Home. Alex shares that a big inspiration for the line was color, and a desire to create a more sophisticated style of children’s bedding.

Alex also talks family and apparently the couple are not planning for anymore children. But why – it would make for such good TV! “Our family is complete with 2 kids — Simon and I both agreed that we did not want to be outnumbered,” Alex laughs! “Simon and I went from being adamant that we would never have kids, to changing our minds and embracing parenthood (and luckily that happened before our first child arrived!).”

As for working together with LuAnn, Alex explains: “we are putting aside our Housewives differences to support Breast Cancer survivors in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Wow…I’m shocked, but in a good way.

Photo credit: WENN

THOUGHTS ON SILEX’S POTENTIAL RETURN TO TELEVISION? SHOULD THEY GIVE IT UP ALREADY OR DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF THEM? WOULD YOU BUY PRODUCTS FROM THEIR NEW BEDDING LINE?

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 unstoppable Jill 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!”

That seems unlikely given the recent rumor that Countess LuAnn and Ramona Singer are making $500k for the next season! Maybe they couldn’t afford the perpetual headache Jill caused them…

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)?

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