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The polls have spoken! Bethenny Frankel received 51 percent of the votes for the housewife viewers want to return the most. But were Bethenny Frankel and Andy Cohen listening? Or did they already have a plan for the former star of the Real Housewives of NYC to return to her reality TV roots?

A few nights ago, on Andy Cohen's raucous late night show Watch What Happens Live, the Skinnygirl mogul was asked about the cancellation of her daytime TV show and what was in store for her future. After accusing Andy Cohen of planning the question from a caller about returning the NYC Housewives, Bethenny gave a very bland answer about needing to take a break….

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Cast members of The Real Housewives of New York got together to hit a garage sale over the weekend!  OK, we know it wasn’t your typical yard sale where they had to touch the no-longer-wanted items of peasants, but instead a charity event.

Aviva Drescher, LuAnn de Lesseps, Carole Radziwill, and Heather Thomson hit up the good deals to be to had at the Super Saturday 15 event, which benefited the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Kelly Ripa hosted the fundraising event, which included one-of-a-kind designer garage sale with over 200 designers, a kids carnival with rides, a raffle, fortune tellers, manicures and more.

Also in attendance – former RHONY cast member Jill Zarin, as well as Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.

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We’re bringing you an all new photo post this week.

Above: Real Housewives of New York City star Aviva Drescher goes shopping with her family in Southampton Town.

Below you’ll find Snooki and her penguin, Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, Paris Hilton, The Biggest Loser’s Alison Sweeney, Deena Cortese, Joe and Melissa Gorga, Carson Daly, Kendra Wilkinson, Kim Kardashian and more!

 

Photo Credit: IZZY/WENN

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We’re bringing you an all new mini photo post today!

Above: Kandi Burruss celebrates her new show “The Kandi Factory” at Gallery night club in Las Vegas.

Below: The Real Housewives of New York City stars Aviva Drescher, Sonja Morgan and Carole Radziwill attend the TV Land Awards; Dancing with the Stars contestant William Levy is on dad duty; Top Chef Padma Lakshmi and her daughter Krishna; Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba, Kendra Wilkinson and more!

[Photo credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com]

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Bringing you an all-new photo post this week!

Above is Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Lisa Vanderpump and her famous dog Giggy, as they arrive at JFK airport on April 2nd.

Photos below include: Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy out for a stroll; Real Housewives of Miami star Joanna Krupa protesting at DASH; Simon Van Kempen and Alex McCord attend an event; Phaedra Parks in NYC; Debbie Gibson and Aubrey O’Day at the Crystal Light launch; Peggy Tanous attends an event and many more!

Also featured: Pauly D, Giuliana Rancic and Bill Rancic, Dayana Mendoza, Coco Austin and Ice-T, Dee Snider, Tyra Banks, Lisa Lampanelli, Gene Simmons, Anita Gohari (Shahs of Sunset), Rachel Zoe, and so many more!

 

[Photo credit: Pacific Coast News]

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It’s as if one franchise slowly rose up after hearing that other (more blonde and tan) franchises were getting more press. So here we are, back with the Real Housewives of New York, fresh with some new gossip…Zarin style.

After the firing heard ’round the Bravo world, Radaronline.com is reporting that the Queen of Mean Princess of Park Avenue Jill Zarin has been asked to rejoin the cast. The season seems to be taking an exceedingly long time to wrap, leading some to believe that there’s just no excitement with the new ladies. It would make sense that Bravo wanted to bring back the franchise’s resident pot stirrer.

Jill, who claims she was contacted by a show insider, explains that the offer was too little too late. She maintains she was happy to get the boot along with cast mates Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon.

Jill insists, “I thought about quitting the show during season 4, because my husband wanted his wife back. I had such anxiety and pressure to act a certain way and I was paranoid for a reason, because people were planning and plotting against me.” Planning and plotting? Sounds like a James Patterson novel, not a trip to Morocco to break up the monotony of Upper East Side luncheons and weekends in Quogue the Hamptons!

“I’m too old and have grown up too much to do Real Housewives anymore, I want to set an example to my kids and my grandkids,” she continues. Not to mention that she doesn’t need RHONY to be in the spotlight…she has a new show for that.

Jill will be returning to the small screen on the Cooking Channel, starring in Iron Chef America’s Top 5 Moments in Kitchen Stadium History. I remember her being quite the Paula Deen of the Housewives…um…And, if you miss her on Iron Chef, you can still catch her on the Home Shopping Networking, hawking her Skweez Couture shapewear line on February 10th.

However, Gossipcop.com is saying that the offer never happened! The site claims to have been told by a true Bravo insider that Mrs. Zarin was never contacted to return to the show. Other media outlets are also reporting Bravo is adamantly denying Jill’s claims. Hmmm…something sounds fishy. Is the source insinuating that Jill Zarin would actually make up a story to get press and remain relevant? I don’t buy it…much like I won’t be buying anything called Skweez. If only there was someone who could shed some light on this confusion. But wait…

THERE IS!

After all the hullabaloo, Jill felt the need to take to her personal blog to respond to such preposterous claims. Personal blogs are way classier than twitter, you know. Get the memo, Atlanta! After seeing Radaronline.com’s story, Jill was quick to address the gossip (or is it?) on–where else?–jillzarin.com. Part of that statement, typos and all, is below.

“I have to admit that most of it is….TRUE! Shocking..I know. but…most of the questions I answered a long time ago from and older interview. I was asked but someone I can’t mention..if I would be interested in coming back for a cameo. That is all I will say right now . I won’t say when or by whom..actually , ironically it was more than one person. It is true that Bobby asked me not to come back. Actually that was reported in the NY POST on Page 6 in July 2011. We were overheard at a restaurant talking and he begged me not to go back on the show but to please quit. I NEVER told any one this but…I actually emailed some of the ladies and producers a goodbye letter, wishing them all well and why I wanted to leave while we were still on top. Maybe I will publish the email one day. But then I didn’t quit. I will save that story for another day…”

Somewhere Simon van Kempen is wearing a dashiki and calling Andy Cohen on speed dial wondering why he and his Brooklyn bride were not asked to make cameos. Y’all know I’m right!

Not one to be left out when the “brunettes” are making news, Kelly Bensimon is also making headlines for committing the ultimate in celebrity cardinal sins…dating one of Madonna’s exes. And not just any ex, she’s reportedly seeing the father of Madonna’s tween daughter Lourdes, Carlos Leon. #dontcrossmadgesheisfrightening! The huffingtonpost.com has the deets.

The potential new couple was spotted walking together–gasp!–in the East Village this past weekend. Kelly’s “friends” predict that we will be seeing even more of the twosome in the future.

One such pal reveals, “They started out working on a project together but have since gotten very close. Kelly always says that if you are not married or engaged, you are single. So, technically she is still single, but we all know that they are together.”

While Kelly herself declined to comment on the nature of the relationship, she did admit, “We met seven months ago. I’m casting him for the show I Can Make You Hot. Have you met him? He’s an amazing dancer and athlete and jelly bean connoisseur.”

I’m sure Madonna isn’t batting an eyelash at this news. She’s probably used to it seeing as another of her former flames was linked to former RHONY’s Bethenny Frankel. When the Material Girl split from baseballer Alex Rodriguez in 2009, he reportedly found comfort in the arms of a Skinny Girl. No word yet as to whether Madonna ever dated Ross/Jacques.

Photos of Carlos are below!

[Photos Credit: WENN]

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JILL ZARIN’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS CONTACTED BY BRAVO OR IS SHE JUST TRYING TO GET MORE ATTENTION? IS KELLY DATING CARLOS LEON?

Hot on the heels of the exciting shocking restructuring of Real Housewives of New York, the relieved of their duties housewives: Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon are scrambling to get their opinions heard and convince us that they actually, just quit with amicable parting. Yeah, right! How dumb do they think we are?

“No matter what anyone tells you of course we all wanted to be asked back,”one of the relieved ladies, who wishes to remain anonymous, remarked. “It’s never nice to get fired no matter what job you do. But to be strung along by your boss week after week, pretending the decision had not yet been finalized is just wrong,” she said in response to reports that Bravo execs were placing phone calls to Jill and Alex up until the final moments. Andy Cohen also called the ladies over the weekend, trying to distance himself from the final decision.

And days following the news, Andy finally responded to the controversy via his Bravo blog, stating: “By now you’ve heard the news about cast changes in the RHONY. This was a very tough decision, made with much care and discussion,” he wrote. Then giving props to the people that pay the bills – US – he explained: “In the end we listened to the fans, who expressed a desire for new stories and a major change in a direction.”

While that was as far as Cohen would go in describing the decision to fire certain ladies, it’s rumored that a certain red-headed diva’s demands for a pay raise and filming stipulations were the reason she got the axe! Oh, and that her hubby was completely ovah being apart of the show! And speaking of Jill, she seems to be taking the news in stride – at least publicly!

Writing in her newsletter, which was sent out to fans yesterday (yes, she has some and yes, I get it – for work purposes, of course) she remained aloof, commenting: “There is a lot I want to say and share but I just can’t today.” And after advertising an upcoming appearance, she continues: “I hope those of you in NYC will come and at that time I will be prepared to share what happened and what my future holds. I can’t thank you enough for all of the emails, tweets, facebook comments, letters and even gifts that you have sent to me. I read everything and although I may not be able to respond to everyone, I want you to know I have been brought to tears by all of the love you have sent to me. I don’t want you to worry though…when one door closes….many doors open.”

And according to reports, Jill is somewhat relieved the show has come to an end: “Jill is done with them and ready to move on,” according to a “source.” “If she’s not good enough to return to ‘Housewives’ she has no interest in making returning guest spots or making a surprise secret appearance in the middle of the Housewife season.” Well only time will tell if the seemingly spot-light obsessed, Zarin, makes good on that promise! Jill also revealed that she will no longer be participating in Bravo’s Housewives Tour.

While Jill seems to have many, um… exciting up-coming ventures and is ready to move forward; poor little Alex is absolutely devastated to lose her day job! Friends of the McCords commented that Silex is ”destroyed by the decision and will do whatever she can to make it right,” and “would be happy to continuing working with Bravo in a new capacity.” A source defending the duo lamented: “Alex and Simon have given their lives to making this show a hit and this is how they are thanked. Not fair.” Well perhaps the reason they were fired is that they have no life outside of the show and their storyline became boring, stale, and pathetic!

After tweeting a Twitter campaign to keep them on the show, citing fan support, Alex and Simon formally released their own statement in an US Weekly exclusive confirming that they are disappointed by the news: “After four seasons on Real Housewives of New York City, Simon and I are moving on. It’s a completely friendly departure and while it was their decision and not ours, we are in close communication with both Bravo and the production company about our next move, in addition to fielding outside offers.”

The fame-grasping duo continues: “It was bittersweet to finally get the call last Saturday but we knew it was on the cards. It’s been a bumpy ride; sometimes great and sometimes not, but it’s been an experience that I don’t regret having done.” If you are an Alex fan, don’t fret they will still be working with Aluxe Home hawking bedding!

As for Kelly, the resident crazy, she has let to comment at all or release any statements, she has been tweeting about health and hotness though, so at least we know she’s still kra-kra!

Finally, The new queen bee of RHONY (and the woman many fans are anticipating as being Bravo’s next target for the psychotic b!*ch edit), Ramona Singer, who likely knew who was getting the axe at the time the interview was conducted, recently spoke with fellow anti-Zarinette Lynn Hudson, and the ladies (and I use that term veeerrryyy loosely) teamed up to talk about, well, what else but the recently relieved of her duties, Jill Zarin!

In the interview, Pinot Singer reveals that she is “true friends” with Alex and Sonja Morgan “off-camera”, so she must have fought really, really hard to convince Andy to keep Alex in the line-up, right? And while her relationships with Alex and Sonja may be legit, her relationship with Jill is pretty much quits.

I tried very hard with Jill, but Jill is her own worst enemy, something I have told her many times,” she comments of her former co-star and frienemmy. “This past season the raw emotion between us was very real and the damage that was done was irreversible. Jill is an unhappy person, and clearly having a loving husband, fame and fortune doesn’t necessarily make you happy.”

Speaking about the almost completely forgotten Cindy, Ramona describes her as bad TV: “I enjoyed her one-on-one having dinner and things but she just wasn’t right for the show, some people just don’t do well in front of the cameras.”

Well, we will be looking forward to the upcoming season of fresh, new, Zarin-less drama; and at least we still have LuAnn’s one-liners to infuriate us!

Photo by: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

Thoughts on the statements released by the ladies and by Senor Cohen? Do you believe Jill is actually glad to be done with the show? Do you believe this is the last time we will see her on Bravo? Are you excited about Season 5 of RHONY?

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

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