On this installment of the Real Housewives of New York, “The Mask has Two Faces,” Ramona and Jill butt heads, Sonja shows her butt, and Alex, LuAnn and Cindy are all but(t) forgettable.

This episode begins with a (yet another, yawn) photo shoot, this one to promote Ramona’s skin care line. Ramona admits that she’s often stiff in these situations, and her crazy eyes agree. This woman is hocking moisturizers and vino, but I think she should look into her own brand of shifty contact lenses. Her assistant Melissa tells Ramona she looks like a younger Pamela Anderson in the pictures. Huh? Of course, this comment comes on the heels of Ramona saying that she constantly goes through assistants. Ramona is pleased by the comparison, but this is the same woman who fancies herself an older Cameron Diaz, so clearly she has a skewed view of herself. Sonja arrives to help put Ramona at ease, but mainly she spends a ridiculous amount of time talking about how great her bum looks in her Ralph Lauren jeans.

Downtown, Jill stops by Cindy’s apartment, and I am amazed at how many people are on Ms. Barshop’s payroll. Assistants and nannies are coming out of rooms, closets, balconies, you name it—she has a full house. Cindy admits that she was up all night…hearing the kids crying with the nannies. My former “down to earth, relatively speaking” impression of Cindy no longer exists. The ladies dish about Ramona, and a much calmer than normal Jill is thrilled that Cindy seems willing to stand up to Ramona. Both Jill and Cindy acknowledge that most of Ramona’s friends are scared of her.


Chris March, formerly of Project Runway, comes to dress Sonja for her masquerade ball. I’m a tad shocked that Bravo is endorsing a designer who got famous on a show now on a different network. Chris, known for his over-the-top costume pieces, seems slightly distraught at what Sonja wants him to do with her teeny-tiny costume. He is absolutely appalled at Sonja’s “Martha Washington” wig, which was a gift from a former boyfriend. I want to know nada about that relationship. Meanwhile, Jill and LuAnn are searching for their ensembles at a costume shop, with Jill mentioning more than once about her breast reduction. The Countess does a cringe-worthy impression of Scarlett O’Hara while modeling an antebellum dress. Shudder.

At Cindy’s apartment, her brother Howie and sperm donor the twin’s father Kevin are visiting. Cindy reveals that Howie and Kevin don’t get along, and Howie makes a quick exit. We learn that Kevin and Cindy have had an on-and-off relationship, with the most recent split being after the twins were born. Cindy is clearly irritated while Kevin throws one daughter around like a rag doll plays with the girls.

Getting ready for her party, Sonja admits that her other friends (non-Bravo housewives) know she is going through a hard time with her divorce. She says she allows the children of “these friends” to stay with her indefinitely while working (for her) and enjoying the city. Enter a poor young chap who doesn’t speak much English but must fix Sonja’s tea with almond (rice?) milk. Sonja calls this arrangement a “favor” to her friends, but I have a feeling that Law and Order: SVU’s Benson and Stabler refer to it as “human trafficking.”

Designer Chris arrives with the revamped costume. Trying on the wig, Sonja exclaims, “Now I’m like, all into me!” Yeah, this is definitely the first time this season you’ve felt this way. We’ll go with that. LuAnn calls Sonja last minute, claiming she’s sick (you called it, Avery Singer!), and Sonja is understanding but expresses that she would have loved to see LuAnn channeling her inner Josephine Baker or Grace Jones. Is it just me, or are the housewives this season being a bit blatant with these (seemingly, as I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt) race-driven comments? I’m so confused.

Sonja’s party takes place at the vine vault of Cipriani. Simon is dressed as a gladiator, and Alex is working her best Cleopatra. Ramona comments that Alex’s sleek black wig is much better than her bird’s nest hair at the Women’s Venture luncheon. I hate (HATE!) to admit it, but it’s one of the more rational things Ramona has said this season.

Jill states in her interview that she was expecting a black-tie extravaganza event , but upon her arrival she is less than impressed. Apparently all that “I’m done talking badly about others” flew out the window and is halfway around the world by now. Jill thinks this gathering is a sad excuse for a party (at one point referring to it as “half-assed”). She makes a dig at Sonja, saying she’s honored to be invited given that the only thirty people seemed to make the guest list. Sonja rambles on about having so many people in from London and Paris who are the reason she arranged this soiree. Um, okay. So far it just look likes the housewives, their husbands, and some poor extras Bravo handed a mask and told to “look alive!”… Cindy and Ramona (who at least has a mask) seem to have missed the costume memo. I am unsure as to what Kelly is dressed as, but I will (begrudgingly) admit that she looks damn good.

Oh. My. Eyes. Sonja bends over, and the gold hot pants situation she told Chris she’d be wearing is, in actuality, a gold thong. Well, not really, but it would be tasteless for me to describe this wardrobe (WAY) malfunction as her butt cheeks eating the hot pants. Oops. Too late. Someone please clarify, is that a giant bruise covering a significant portion of Sonja’s backside? What possessed a grown woman to wear this (no matter how in shape she is)? Is she heading to amateur night at a strip club after her party?? A slurring Sonja (she has certainly done a 180 from last season) realizes she has forgotten to take her meds put on the petticoat portion of her costume. Kelly (yes, Scary Island breakdown, sand angels Kelly) makes the most sane comment of the episode with “I’m 42-years-old and it’s time to, like, hide things. She’s 40-whatever and she just wants to show it.” Preach it, sister.

In infamous Bravo fashion, the “you think the show’s started back but it’s really just a snippet during the commercial break” scene shows Kelly shoe shopping with her assistant. I know I am in for (more) backlash for saying this, but girlfriend seems normal. If I didn’t know her history, I’d daresay I’d want to be shoe shopping with her.

Cindy’s finally getting her teeth fixed from the pistachio incident, and she brings Jill for moral support. I’m betting Cindy is second guessing her decision to bring a friend, as Jill and Cindy’s dentist stare into her mouth saying things like “make this less chicklet-y” and “I don’t want her teeth to appear horse-ier.” Dizam! He went there with “horse-ier” implying that she already looked “horsey.” Yikes. Jill is throwing out terms like “canines” and “laterals” and I have to wonder if she was perhaps a hygienist before becoming Bobby’s fabric queen.

It’s a tasting/launch party at Seraphina for Ramona’s new pinot grigio. Jennifer, the girl gunning to be a housewife next season bride from a previous episode, arrives to fill in the drama-riddled blanks from her big day. Jennifer tells Ramona that Jill ambushed her at her reception demanding to know why Alex and Simon were invited to the wedding and inquiring about why Jennifer would be friends with Ramona. Jill, I’d started to give you the benefit of the doubt, but shame on me. I should have known better!

Ramona gets upset and calls Jill’s prior behavior “abusive”…perhaps Ramona has taken a class in Kelly 101, what with Ramona’s text message “threat” to Kelly. These woman are throwing around such dramatic terms! Alex, LuAnn, and Jill arrive and LuAnn begins a game of twenty questions as to how Ramona’s wine is made. We get it, dahling, you clearly know about all things vineyards, casks, and grape regions since you’re now dating wine guru Ross Gellar.

Ramona feels that her party is the perfect place to confront Jill (man, her judgment of what is appropriate is just spot-on this season!). Her timing is about as impeccable as the guy trying to serve them pizza during their showdown. Jill is terribly upset (angry? defensive?) and leaves with Ramona insisting she’s “just trying to have a normal conversation.” Alex goes to console Ramona while LuAnn follows Jill outside.

Jill confronts the bride who can’t get a word in edgewise, although not for lack of trying. Jill glosses over her accusations, saying that next time if there’s a problem, she hopes bride Jennifer will come to her first. Bully much, Jill? Jill heads back inside the party and informs Ramona that all is well and she and Jennifer have resolved their issues. Ramona goes on a rampage which involves a great deal of twitching while Jill (too) calmly sets herself up to play the victim. While discussing the fight, Ramona gets overly dramatic with Jennifer and Jill cries to the very sympathetic LuAnn. Sonja, Cindy, Kelly, and Alex–looks like it’s time to choose sides, ladies!

Next week, Kelly reveals a devastating secret, LuAnn goes head-to-head with Ramona on Jill’s behalf, and the ladies (sans Kelly…she’s still not over Scary Island) plan a trip to Morocco.

Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop join Andy in the Bravo clubhouse on WWHL. Now this is the Kelly we’ve missed (?) so far this season (minus that whole sand angel thing). She’s sure to get drunk, as the drinking game word is “like” and not even a few minutes in we’ve had a couple references to “Kelly Land.” She seems confused by (or maybe she’s just not paying attention to) Andy’s questions, and when a caller questions if she’s on meds, she goes on about how much she loved being on last season. Um, Scary Island anyone? Riding a faux horse in your den?? Andy is clearly befuddled. However, Kelly does remind us that Sonja’s giant bruise is from her fall during the ladies’ horseback riding date.

Kelly and Cindy are biffles and Kelly refuses to speak badly of anyone, but passive aggressively claims Bethenny’s Skinny Girl fortune is a great testament to Bravo. Based on Completely Bare’s vajazzling, hair removal, and vattoos, the game is MillionHair Snatchmaker. No words. Andy is pretty snarky this evening with his responses to the the ladies. Kelly wins the therapy poll (no shocker there) with Ramona in second place. And SIMON VAN KEMPEN IS PERFORMING his new single, I Am Real!!! He’s wearing blue pleather(ish) pants and has the voice of a male Kim Zolciak and the stage presence of the Countess. This is all kinds of awesomely bad. Mazel!


Click here to read our Comment Policy