Bethenny Frankel turned the tables on Andy Cohen for a special segment of Watch What Happens Live. He dished on casting mistakes he’s made, which franchise has the most behind-the-scenes drama, whose fans he worries about burning down his house, and more.
Bethenny asked Andy, thinking back to the first season of Real Housewives of Orange County, did he think it would be as big as it is today. He said the possibility hit him in season two when Matt and Jeana Keough‘s marriage fell apart. “I was like, this is like a soap opera. Like, I care about Jeana, and things are not going well for her.”
On reality TV being blamed for the demise of so many marriages, Andy shared, “I think it has accelerated marriages that weren’t working. I’ve talked to Tamra [Judge] about this. I’ve talked to Vicki [Gunvalson] about this. They were in a relationship that wasn’t working. They saw it replayed on TV, and were like, ‘Wow, this is really bad.’ They had a chorus of people saying ‘dump him, dump him’ and they actually had the balls to do it.”
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Behtenny asked Andy which housewives he was wrong/right about during the casting process.
“I was initially wrong about you,” Andy admitted to Bethenny. “When I saw the first casting for New York, I was reticent about you because you had been on The Apprentice. I thought that was weird at the time.”
“Lisa Rinna was on the first casting tape for Beverly Hills,” recalled Andy. “The first season of Beverly Hills, I thought, I don’t see it. It’s weird. It’s not what this show is. Then last year I wanted her on. You were like, ‘Have her on your show. You will love her. She’s great. She’s perfect.’ And you were right about that.”
Andy continued, “I didn’t get Kim Zolciak on the initial casting of Atlanta. I was like, I don’t get her. She looked like a country star. She’s wearing this synthetic wig. I was like, we have this white woman? I just didn’t get it.”
On what it takes to be a good real housewife, Andy said, “I think a natural, real connection as a point of entry is super important, which is part of the reason Dorinda [Medley] is a great housewife… she has a history with Ramona [Singer].” He went on to admit that he made that mistake when he cast Joyce Giraud and Carlton Gebbia on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “They would have been great housewives, but they did not have a natural connection with any of the women.”
Bethenny asked Andy to explain the difference between “loving to hate” and “hating to hate.”
“There are people who we have ended our relationships with or put a pause on our relationship with who the viewers love to hate,” said Andy. “They’re a thorn in their side, but they say, ‘Would I watch the show without them? Maybe not!’ But there are people who they hate to hate, which means it’s not fun. When this person comes on, it’s not fun for the viewers.”
To Bethenny, Andy said, “You’re polarizing. You’re a fascinating case. You’re this weird anomaly of, you can be a real bitch but then one second later you’re really funny and then you’re really vulnerable. It’s all colors of the rainbow. It’s fascinating.”
On which show has the most behind-the-scenes conflict, Andy shared, “It’s Jersey. There are so many layers of, ‘If she’s on, I won’t.’ The story’s been told and retold so many times wrong about the real back story of Teresa/Melissa when Melissa [Gorga] was cast and when Teresa [Giudice] knew. It’s not real what’s been put out there, but there are fragments. Certainly I don’t think Teresa really cared for them to be on the show but they both have such wildly different stories and somewhere in the middle is the truth.”
Bethenny asked Andy if it bothers him when viewers accuse him of playing favorites. “No,” he said. “As you know, when you see all this crap about is she too skinny or the pajamas or whatever, it’s all such bullshit.”
Andy continued, “I try not to slam on the air. I try to at least be equal opportunity. I poke at everybody. I give it up to any housewives because they take a lot crap from me and they take a lot of crap from the viewers. And we at Watch What Happens Live have a lot of fun with them.” Bethenny added, “You have to cast a character who can handle it.”
About the fans/haters on social media, Bethenny said, “It’s crazy how people will defend you. I swear I have a mafia. I have people who hate me, way more than I used to, but the ones who got my back will cut a bitch.”
“The New Jersey fans are really hard core with me,” shared Andy. “They are hard core about the show. When Jersey’s on, I kinda always want the season to be over because I feel like they’re going to come burn my house down. Teresa has Tre Huggers and they always think that I don’t like her, that I’m against her.”
Bethenny snarked, “I love the fact that she’s in the clink and she’s got an army waiting.”
“Thankfully I think they’ve seen that I actually like Teresa,” said Andy. “I think I’ve proven that to them over the last year and a half, but there were some dark days. Sometimes people are so against housewives they get mad at me for not doing more. I got a lot of heat at [the last] Beverly Hills reunion for either being too hard on Brandi [Glanville] or not being hard on Brandi enough.”
TELL US – WHO DO YOU LOVE TO HATE AND HATE TO HATE? ARE YOU SURPRISED ANDY SAID TERESA’S FANS ARE THE MOST INTENSE?
Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo