Word on the street is…this is going to be one feisty reunion! The Real Housewives of Potomac gathered for part one of their first ever post season sit-down with Andy Cohen last night to rehash a season of etiquette lessons, racial tension, and butt-grabbing. If the “teamed” seating arrangement tells us anything, it looks like it may be a popularity contest of sorts. Charrisse Jackson-Jordan, Katie Rost, and Karen Huger on one side face off with Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon, and Ashley Darby on the other. It’s notable that Gizelle and Karen are closest to Andy, as they seemed to be battling it out for HBIC status all season long. Lots of screaming and finger pointing coming our way, I presume!
Out of the gate, I have to address the elephant in the room: wardrobe, makeup, and hair. In a word…HUH!? These couches look like they’re playing host to my 1993 prom fashion show. I realize that as I type this I am sitting here in mismatched sweats, but I’m sorry ladies of Potomac – an immediate and ruthless intervention is in order! Or each housewives’ personal stylist must stand behind their creation and do some ‘splainin. Katie’s face alone makes Sonja Morgan’s smoky eye and updo seem, I don’t know, hip? And the sequins being served up here must have been a cast decision. But you know what they say about theory and reality. Theoretically, six super-sparkly gowns seems fancy and fun. In reality, it looks like a TJ Maxx clearance rack exploded on stage. Okay, no more shade. On to the show!
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After hellos from Andy, the ladies share what it’s like having been thrust into the spotlight this year. Karen and Charrisse admit they’ve taken some bullets from viewers about their looks. Despite hateful comments about her “beauty mark,” Karen proudly says the “mole ain’t going nowhere!” Andy reminds them that the internet is for haters, and porn.
Katie defends herself against accusations that she was desperate to get married. Andy notes that she’s not wearing an engagement ring, to which Katie answers that she returned her ring yesterday. Whoa. Karen snipes, “I’m not surprised.” Charrisse tries to explain Katie’s predicament, noting she was perhaps moving too fast feeling that she and her kids needed to be settled. Katie freezes up for a moment, but Andy gives her a break for now, promising to return to this line of questioning later.
So, did the ladies feel they discussed etiquette too much? Yes. Karen agrees it was annoying, but launches right back into her finger pointing and proclamations as soon as Ashley calls her on it. A package rolls on Karen’s season of preaching, and the ladies eye-roll at the ridiculousness that is Karen. Ugh. Karen says she’s enjoying her empty nest with the Black Gill Gates (who doesn’t like to be called the BBG, apparently!), including their handcuffs in the bedroom. <dry heave>
So, where does Karen get all this hubris, considering she came from a farm? She says she was never milking the cows or slaughtering the pigs! So, what does that have to do with being obnoxious now? #EvasionTactics As for Katie’s dis about Karen’s gala launch party, Karen claps back, “I know this ho ain’t talkin’ bout ME!” Katie laughs off Karen’s party, snarking that she could’ve thrown it together in three days.
Karen astutely points out that Katie can’t throw anything together in 3 days, weeks, or years. Katie has a long history of posing and taking pictures at galas, but doesn’t raise a dime for charity. Charrisse pipes up that she, being an actual person on the charity circuit, never sees Katie at charity events. Burn! Then Robyn and Karen face off about Karen’s launch party, which Robyn wasn’t impressed with either.
Asked if Karen ushered Gizelle in to Potomac society, Gizelle scoffs. She’d be The Great And Powerful Gizelle with or without Karen’s supposed “connections.” Talk turns (as do our stomachs) to Karen and Raymond’s sex life, which Ashley questions, given the lukewarm reactions Ray has given Karen all season to her
grossly inappropriate sexual innuendos on camera. Karen shades Ashley on keeping Michael’s interest piqued for the next 20 years “if he lives that long.”
YESS! We move on to the question on everyone’s minds this season: WTF is up with Karen’s low rent kitchen!?!?!?!? She fires back that unless we can afford a $10k per month mortgage, just STFU! Gizelle defends her
rental home as a simply a “home,” not a showroom. Okay, but isn’t the Housewives franchise all about serving up fabulous “aspirational” lifestyles, fashion and scenery? If these ladies are going to act like their sh*t doesn’t stink, they need to renovate the Formica and laminate, like yesterday.
As for Andrew’s shade about Karen behind her back, Karen and Gizelle think his remarks really reflected Katie’s opinions. Katie gives no f-ks about what Gizelle thinks, nor what street her word is from. Karen totally swings below the belt, asking who cares what Andrew thinks – with his missing digit! (He’s missing part of one finger due to a car accident.) Katie cannot believe the etiquette breach of mocking people for their disfigurements. But Karen is all, “Next!” She is taking no prisoners.
Andy turns his attention to Ashley, who he says “tried to hump her way into Potomac society” upon first meeting the ladies. We see a reel of Ashley’s highlights, including her discussion of Michael’s penis size and her apparent issues with cootie sweat. Ashley updates us on her life after opening their restaurant. It’s stressful. She also discusses helping her mom, who declared bankruptcy on the show. Does she see Karen and Charrisse as mother figures? wonders Andy. “Let’s not push it too far!” Ashley retorts.
Gizelle is called out for disparaging remarks made about Ashley wearing her natural hair, calling it a “big bush.” Ashley wonders why Gizelle touts her pride in being a black woman, yet over-processes her hair and derides those who don’t. Gizelle defends that she doesn’t wear green contacts, as some viewers claim, and she stands by her comments about Ashley’s hair. “It was HUGE!” she raves. “HUGE!!!”
Ashley just thinks these ladies are jelly. Which, yeah. She has a point. Robyn attacks Ashley for humping up on her during their first dance floor interaction. She was not impressed. But Gizelle called her a THOT, which Ashley finds unacceptable. Although Gizelle clarifies she actually said Ashley was “acting THOT-ish.” Okay, you say tomato! Katie chimes in that Gizelle is just jealous of Ashley, plain and simple, because she’s younger and pretty. Robyn agrees, having said as much during filming.
Regarding the trip to Bethany Beach, Ashley defends her beach house – and her lack of AC. She calls out Gizelle for being a total diva on the trip, but even Andy argues for the ladies’ basic right to air conditioning. Not okay, Ashley! #CootieSweatProblems
Speaking of things that weren’t okay, let’s move on to Charrisse’s crab boil, where Gizelle and her hair stylist got called out for acting “ghetto.” And where Karen decided to gift Gizelle a framed list of etiquette rules, which resulted in a heated lunch later – and Karen’s “phony as a ten dollar bill” comment. Robyn laughs at Karen’s botched attempt at shading Gizelle. Karen jokes that it was just “a fraudulent slip,” which Katie immediately corrects as “Freudian.” OMG. We need Google Translator with this chick.
So, what is Charrisse’s explanation for her diva behavior at the crab boil? She felt disrespected by Gizelle’s hair stylist, but Gizelle didn’t understand where all of her #Hate was coming from. Charrisse defends her use of the word “ghetto” as something everyone says. Mmmmmkay. Karen also defends calling Gizelle’s stylist “the help,” claiming it was the nicest term for him she could summon. Robyn fires back that Karen knew she was insulting him, but Karen says she knows what “the help” means having been “the help” at Burger King and Taco Bell during her younger days! So there! #ThinkOutsideTheBun
Moving on to seat assignments at Karen’s birthday dinner, Karen claims sitting at the center is proper etiquette in anyone’s book. So she didn’t understand Gizelle’s misstep. Gizelle still gives zero f-ks about this issue, which reflects my sentiments exactly. Karen does apologize “if it offended” Charrisse that she made a scene with Gizelle at her crab boil afterward though. Andy calls Karen out on this empty apology tactic, which is a Housewives favorite! But Karen is not concerned about her words, or their meaninglessness. She’s over it.
Next on the hot seat: Robyn. Andy wonders if she and Juan will get re-married, given the unconventional status of their divorced life (i.e., still living as a married couple)? They’re not in a “committed relationship,” but Robyn admits she’d be jealous if Juan dated anyone else. Robyn says she still loves Juan, and there is a chance they’d get married again. She’s not “in love with him” yet, but he seems to be with her. So, why did they get divorced? Infidelity, says Robyn. She says professional athletes are known to “get it in.”
Gizelle also dealt with infidelity, but her reaction was to divorce her ex-hubby FOR REAL. Robyn says she and Juan are still having sex, but it’s not super passionate. They’ve been through so much together, including the betrayal of a close friend who stole their money (hundreds of thousands), then committed suicide. This ended up bringing them closer together, yet causing major financial stress in their lives.
Speaking of financial stress, Andy wonders if Ashley feels badly for broadcasting Robyn’s bankruptcy when her own mother was going through the same hardship? Ashley does feel bad for sharing the information, but doesn’t apologize for Googling her. Robyn is still salty about “the joy” Ashley took in spreading that gossip to Katie. Gizelle backs her friend up, claiming Robyn was nice enough to Ashley – despite Ashley’s drunk/slurry/humping behavior – upon meeting her. Bottom line: Ashley feels bad about sharing the gossip. She can’t take it back now, though.
Not one to let an opportunity to attack her nemesis slide by, Katie jumps on board to call Gizelle out about her own obsession with gossip. Namely, gossip about Katie – that she
stupidly wrote on a PUBLIC BLOG about her breakup with ex-flame, Russell Simmons. Gizelle points this simple fact out: it’s public knowledge. Katie still doesn’t like the way Gizelle digs at people constantly. She says Gizelle is “like a Chihuahua on crack!” But it’s Katie resembling a yippee dog with a bone right now. Andy shuts her down to move on – because this argument is going nowhere.
The argument that also went nowhere all season long was about race. Andy asks the group what they think all the race talk was really about? A viewer asks Gizelle to stop including all African Americans in her snarky talking head stereotypes. She admits she may have generalized too much, but has no regrets about it.
Katie still thinks Gizelle and Robyn are obsessed with race. She’s sick of them judging how black she is or isn’t. Andy asks why it was so important for Gizelle and Robyn that Katie “check a box?” Gizelle says her family has experienced first hand racism, and racial issues are important to her. She felt Katie was disparaging of her black heritage at the Jewish name-ceremony lunch. “You are such a liar, Gizelle!” Katie shouts. Why would anyone ask a mother what “box” their children are going to check, anyway? Gizelle snarks that Katie should be proud of being black, like she was recently “sporting that Jackson 5 afro” on Instagram. Ouch!
Katie is done with “dumb and dumber,” as she calls Robyn and Gizelle. She is here to call them both out on their bullsh*t this season, and she is shutting them down like a boss on this reunion, I must admit. But Robyn is just getting started! She’s fired up now and slams Katie for acting like they were “digging” into her life. “You know what, you better shut the hell up!” shouts Robyn, claiming she was just asking Katie a simple question about her kids.
Katie continues needling Robyn, who practically pops up out of her chair, claiming she’s going to need security FOR REAL if this ignorant chick keeps this up! Channeling her inner Kenya Moore, Robyn looks like she’s about to twirl on Ashley next in the Reunion, Part 2 previews too. Dang. And here I thought Robyn was the chill one. But with this group, I’m sure everyone has their breaking point!
TELL US: WHAT DID YOU THINK OF PART ONE OF THE RHOP REUNION? WHAT’S UP WITH KATIE’S ENGAGEMENT? ARE GIZELLE AND ROBYN GANGING UP ON KATIE AND ASHLEY? IS KAREN HUGER DELUSIONAL?
Photo Credit: Bravo