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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but last night Bethenny Frankel won me over on the Real Housewives Of New York reunion. 

I’ve always observed a love/hate relationship with Bethenny – I’ve adored her, I’ve found her annoying, and in the last couple years I’ve really soured on her in the wake of her divorce and her constant discussing of Jason in the press. Although there is still a smarmy me-me-me element to Bethenny that always bubbles beneath, she’s really grown on me this season and I do feel that her divorce coupled with the loss of her talk show has humbled her. She handled the reunion with a dignity we’ve never seen form Bethenny, and a side of her I hope to see more of.

Bethenny didn’t allow herself to be talked down to, she ignored petty slights like Heather Thomson trying to goad her into a fight with Luann de Lesseps by revealing a toast to ‘take Bethenny down’ at the start of the season, and she didn’t go overboard trying to defend herself. 

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Bethenny was honest about her irrational behavior early on in the show; confessing she came back too soon to be truly open about her life, and wasn’t ready to build friendships with the women, but then she softened. I was glad to hear Bethenny admit her misbehavior, while not shying away from some of her more insensitive comments ( like the richest little homeless girl in NY – still losing me with that one B!). Heather acknowledged she was embarrassed by smothering Bethenny like a little meatball doused in sauce and cheese. 

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Bethenny also was honest-ish about her divorce, which has been going on for 3 years, which so much beneath the surface. I assume she’s saving the details for a later tell-all. You know it’s coming… 

With Carole Radziwill as her mouthpiece (seriously could Heather and Carole have been anymore up Bethenny’s butt at this reunion?! The Sycophantic Cheering Squad needs to quit it) we learned Bethenny’s custody situation is a mess and Jason is a terrible communicator who stages passive aggressive warfare. Bethenny made a few cheap digs basically insinuating he was a starf–ker who resented that his time in the limelight has come to an end. I don’t believe that and I have never thought that bout him, but I think he resents that she essentially used him for a spinoff – something she has admitted publicly.

Bethenny and Heather continued to battle over who has the biggest balls in the room, and honestly, screw Sonja Morgan admitting she’s bi and occasionally pines for Carole sexiness, it’s Bethenny and Heather who are the true love connection of RHONY. Girls just go holla at each other (gay marriage is legal now!) because it was one long lovers quarrel about who was most right all reunion long. 

Sonja continues to irk all the ladies with her delusional life-spin and her partying for the drinking. Sonja doesn’t have an intern to carry her home from a night out, put her to bed, and make sure the one-night stand clothes are hidden away in the morning so the shame never sees the light of day? Girl is slipping. 

Rehashing Atlantic City, Sonja forcing the ladies to wait in the marginally heated foyer (there was a space heater from 1977 plugged in!) while she talked on the phone and organized her interns by size and hair clip color, irritated Heather to no end. Heather announces that was the day her friendship to Lady Morgan died. If RHONY were a game of Clue: Lady Morgan did it, in the frozen foyer, with the bad manners. Heather calls Sonja a bitch and washes her hands of that mess. 

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Carole is pissy that Sonja got so drunk she started spilling the secrets of the dead – who can’t defend themselves unless one of Bravo’s numerous psychic friends are present – when she reminisced about partying with “John-John.” Instead of chalking it up to a great line perfectly illustrating the glorious delusion of Sonja, Carole got her Depends in a wad. Carole who has personal ownership over all things Kennedy calls Sonja insensitive for talking about her family and insists no one who knew JFK Jr. called him John-John. Also he never partied. Ever.

Sonja insists she was just drunkenly referencing happier times; times when her smokey eye and her updo languished on John-John’s penthouse balcony sipping cocktails at sunset. “Sonja has lived a colorful life more so than any of us. That’s hard to let go of,” protests Ramona Singer. “Do you actually believe your BS?” Bethenny wants to know. The answer: Yes, Sonja does, very much so, because the interns told her so. Last reunion Sonja had a yacht with P. Diddy, and this season she and John-John were BFF – did he sign her Town & Country with K.I.T.? Still, Carole is a territorial ridiculous about the Kennedy connect.

The real issue with Sonja isn’t her phony namedropping, but the fact that she drops her panties indiscriminately when she parties too much – which is often! The ladies continue to beseech Sonja to get help with her drinking and delusion, but Sonja insists she doesn’t have a problem she just occasionally parties. “There’s a few people in this room who abuse alcohol,” counters Sonja. Like every person to come in contact with Ramona or Bethenny? Sonja denies mixing meds with booze and basically refuses to accept any accountability. But do you like her updo, she wears it often in Gstaad when she parties with Bill, as in Gates at his private estate in the Colosseum. 

Bravo needs to start having Real Housewives/Intervention cross-overs. Or at least providing better sober coaches than Brandi Glanville’s friends. Isn’t Iyanla available to fix Sonja’s life. (BTW: Does anyone remember that early ’00’s reality show Starting Over in which women at the precipice of change would move into a house with other women and work with life coaches, etc? I was so obsessed! Sonja needs that – Bravo revive Starting Over stat!) 

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Let’s tackle round 3 million of Luann vs. Carole. The war of Adam wages on, and personally much to do about Adam is not needed. There are 15 sides to any Housewife story and absolutely none of them contain the truth. Luann is angry that Carole started dating Adam first because of her niece; then because of his age; and finally, when all else fails because he is her employee. 

A word to the wise: If you can’t take the heat don’t pick up men in Luann’s kitchen! Carole this means you. 

Carole denies that she started dating Adam while he was either recently broken-up with or with the niece, Luann insists they were still hooking up “as the kids say” and planning a trip together (they did go to Nicaragua). Carole also has a dubious timeline. She claims she fessed-up to Luann about the romance only 8 days after she met Adam – when she was gushing to Kristen Taekman that they were “practically living together.” We do not believe you, Radzi. 

The Countess ate Luann for breakfast eggs ala François-style at the reunion. Luann, putting on airs as if she were Lady Mary presiding over Downton, complains that Carol had no business fraternizing with her help! The kitchen boy – oh how gauche! A chef in my employ – honestly! Maybe for a quick romp, but a real relationship oh not a chance. And I do detest a woman who slums it, resorting to the employees in her later years. Daaaahling, take it from me there are suitable men who will take you – for a fee. 

If Luann is so protective about who hooks-up under her roof, she oughtta just put up a list of rules because it seems she’s not limiting her snatch guarding to Sonja! Although, of course, I understand the awkwardness it placed on Luann -her niece was upset, Carole was being evasive, and Luann felt made a fool. Carole claims Luann never discussed it with her and was using her for a storyline, but Luann claims Carole made it clear she didn’t care which demonstrated she didn’t value their friendship. It was sad to see two women lose friends over a twenty-something boy who won’t care for either of them when he gets what he wants out of the arrangement. 

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Luann clarifies her rude comment about Carole not having children. She claims it was meant that to convey how awkward it would be for someone with twenty-something children to have to introduce them to their twenty-something boyfriend.  But it came across so unseemly. 

Carole gets nasty trying to prove Luann is a hypocrite by accusing her of hooking up with a bevy of younger men, including some guy at that Beautique who Carole insists Luann f–ked in the bathroom. Firstly Luann will have you know he was 35, and secondly, she did not do it on a urinal. Luann, to her uncountessy credit, didn’t deny partaking in one-night stands, but maintains she never stoops below the mid-thirties in procuring objects of ardor. 

Heather and Carole accuse Luann of having sex with Alistair, the house manager from their Turks and Caicos house. It emerges it was actually Sonja who boned Alistair (and I don’t think it was a case of sloppy seconds this time!). Luann only skinny dipped with him. Him, and everyone else on that island, and in that house! OK, so Luann skinny dips with twenty-somethings and Carole rides on the handlebars of their bikes! Why don’t both of these ladies grow up and act their age! Also, what on earth is wrong with Adam that he doesn’t mind being the drama of middle-aged women on a  reality show? Also in the middle of the Adam saga, Luann started fanning herself with Andy’s cue cards. Hot flashes? 

Furthermore, Carole and Heather need to knock off the slut shaming; Carole hooked up with Adam on their first date (after taking drugs at a club and puking in his lap). What is so so special about this Adam that Carole is stooping to desperate levels? Someone needs to listen to Heart’s “Magic Man” and get a reality check! 

The bottom line is this: OF COURSE Luann is a hypocrite; of course some sleazery initially went on between Carole and Adam. But it’s all in the past, Luann’s niece has clearly moved on, Carole and Adam are together, Luann and Carole have mutually assaulted each other on twitter. Can we all move on? 

Also Heather wins the ultimate meddling biddy award and will literally make a big to-do over anything. Case in point when Heather complained to Bethenny that Kristen’s feeling had been hurt when she wasn’t invited to Bethenny’s birthday party. Heather insists she told Bethenny because “knowledge is power” and she wanted Bethenny to be prepared that Kristen was practically hanging herself with a knockoff Birkin strap in the closet where Josh stores his porn eBoost.

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Kristen legitimately didn’t seem to care because she had other things to worry about like her boobs! Kristen doesn’t need double-stick tape for her plunging-neck disco gown because silicone doesn’t move! Kristen is a brave woman – she takes on Bethenny and she forgoes all manner of mirrors, bras, and body adhesives. But her hair looked terrible. And Luann looked cheap. Hated that dress! 

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 [Photo Credits: Bravo]

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