So here’s a run-down of the behind-the-scenes reveals:
1. The producers lie to everyone. Case in point: Alexis Bellino. Alexis insists she quit; Heather Dubrow and Tamra Judge insist she was fired. At the CUT Fitness party, the opening party for season 8, after Alexis flees following the onslaught from the ladies, she is overheard telling the producers, “This is why I didn’t want to come back!” The producers admitted they worked behind the scenes to convince Alexis to return – including that Vicki Gunvalson would befriend her, and by hiring Lydia McLaughlin.
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2. TamRetchen was never real. Just in case there were two or three people left who actually believed Tamra and Gretchen were sincerely friends – last night confirmed it was all an onscreen partnership of convenience. Producers admitted these faux-friendships are a normal occurrence every season, and the other women are always desperate to expose the fakers. In season 8, Tamra and Gretchen used each other, but then Tamra was all too willing to throw Gretchen overboard once their ‘friendship’ served
her its purpose. Gretchen didn’t catch on fast enough.
Basically Tamra decided Vicki was a more valuable ally. Oh, and Vicki became friends with Alexis to piss Gretchen off. CUT-A-Bitch Fitness, anyone?
3. “The Alexis Conspiracy” was legit! For years it’s been rumored that Tamra, Gretchen, and Heather were conspiring to get Alexis fired. Heather wanted one her friends on the show, and was furious that Lydia was cast instead. Lydia admitted she knew in advance no one liked Alexis and was nervous about being introduced as her ‘friend’.
Gretchen was mad at Alexis for allegedly stealing personal appearance gigs from her in between seasons.
At the CUTthroat Fitness party, Alexis brought Tamra flowers believing they were “wiping the slate clean.” Meanwhile Tamra and Gretchen hd been plotting to confront Alexis and expose her ‘fakeness’ and lies. Unfortunately during the party, Gretchen backed-off and let Tamra’s mouth do all the dirty work. According to production that was the beginning of the end of Tamwretchen because Tamra realized Gretchen had used her and was never planning to participate in ‘ganging up on Alexis’ and get her hands dirty (other than clapping!) As Alexis was fleeing, Gretchen was clapping thinking “they” had succeeded in ridding the show of Alexis, and Heather even chased down one of the producers and begged them to replace Alexis with one of her friends. Nice, ladies – nice.
4. Tamra is a bad friend. Remember when Vicki peed on Tamra’s bed – after ditching Heather and Gretchen – and hijacking Tamra to ‘whoop it up’ at Andales during the Bachelorette trip to Puerto Vallarta. Yeah, well, as suspected that was all pre-planned by Vicki. But Vicki peeing on the bed – camera and crew never would have noticed if Tamra didn’t point it out and demand they film the pee spot. Even the camera operator wondered, “Who would want Tamra as a friend?”
5. All crazy leads to Vicki. Holy HELL was Vicki’s plastic surgery scary was in the beginning – it looked like her face had melted off! Almost as scary: Vicki’s temper – and the way she dominates production with an iron handbag and makes her own rules! (“Kevin Lee is a monkey f–ker!”) Despite her demanding, raging outbursts I still got the feeling production liked Vicki – more than they like Tamra, at least!
6. The Dubrow’s glossy surface is a million-dollar facade. Heather almost quit RHOC over Terry. She never wanted to be on Real Housewives, but Terry FORGED HER SIGNATURE on the contract. Obviously Heather was more obsessed with her acting career, and wouldn’t let her guard down – which bothered Terry who wanted her to participate desperately and was pushing her to get into the mix more. “The Big D” (Divorce) fight from season 8 happened when Heather threatened to quit the show because it was detrimental to their marriage, and Terry threatened to quit Heather in retaliation!
One producer gossiped that Heather controls every aspect of Terry’s life so he was seeking revenge and a little control by forcing her to be uncomfortable on TV. So essentially two things 1) Production has no love lost for Heather; 2) Terry and Heather are a hot-ass mess and need a built in therapist installed in their mega-mansion (and it seems like Terry dupes Fancy Pants McGenius into tons of stuff).
7. Lauri Peterson is conniving! In Season 8 Lauri exposed Vicki and her low-down dirty sex life. (Vicki was still lying about dating Brooks at this point.) Lauri clearly conspired with Gretchen in a last-ditch effort for Gretchen to gain some relevance and cast support, and for Lauri to return to the show – even Tamra was in on bringing Lauri back initially! Sadly it all back-fired!
Gretchen pretended to be innocent after Lauri’s salacious allegations against Vicki, but no one believed her. That became the final nail in the Gretchen Christine Bootay coffin and all the women turned on her for being fake and manipulative! Even Andy admitted Vicki’s ‘Multiple partners threesome’ was innocent and she actually was in bed with her sister and her husband – fully clothed. But what about that Greek guy with no teeth? Is Lauri really a scheming, mastermind, manipulative genius like producers intimated (all signs seem to point to yes!)?
8. Everyone was tried of the Gretchen and Slade Show. Gretchen is a FAKE! FAKE! FAKE Liar Face and Slade dragged her down.
Once Slade took over ‘managing’ Gretchen’s career, she turned into the plastic blow-up doll everyone wanted to pop and deflate. (I.E. Gretchen’s Bentley).
While the other women had raw and emotional ‘put it all out there’ storylines, Gretchen was living in a Barbie World where everything was plastic, but nothing was fantastic, and the other women started resenting that she was hiding behind them while giving nothing real; Slave was calculating every move.
Gretchen’s ‘surprise’ proposal was the icing on the cardboard cake. Tamra claims she counseled Gretchen about having ‘nothing’ going on in her life and needing to do something – like get engaged! – for a storyline. Gretchen insists their love is real and she would never do anything just to make money.
Off-camera Gretchen and Slade even said they couldn’t get married for financial reasons.
Gretchen chose not to invite the other women. Production said she didn’t want them questioning her motives and sincerity. (Gretchen claimed producers told her not to invite the ladies) So how real was the proposal? As Andy mentioned, “It’s been three years and they’re still not married yet – maybe if someone offered to put their wedding on TV… ”
I majorly got the feeling that most of the women, and production, would have liked Gretchen a lot more if it weren’t for Slave’s interference and constant presence. As Heather said they never made a move without each other, and Slade was always there… scheming. One producer believed Gretchen was traumatized because she was so raw and honest in her first season while Jeff was battling cancer, but Tamra accused her of cheating and using Jeff for money, and Gretchen was put through such judgement she was afraid of opening up her ‘real’ life again. Even Heather agreed Gretchen could be great on TV, if she would have let her guard down and stopped being so fake and staged.
By the Winter Wonderland Finale party no one had any need to salvage a relationship with Gretchen and everyone was icing her out. The reunion was worse.
The bottom line: Production and the women were tired of Gretchen not being honest about her reality, or owning up to what was happening in her real life in order to keep it off camera. Unsurprising, Gretchen is still upset. We finally saw her cry real tears for once – sadly it was about the demise of her reality TV career!
9. Heather threatened to sue Bravo! Heather, with latex gloves and an industrial sized Lysol can, cried “Sexual Harassment!” and vowed to take legal action if one of those horny hornito Mexican strippers at Tamra’s bachelorette party touched her!
10. Alexis is glad it’s over. Alexis is glad she returned for season 8, and glad she left after. It was a mutual decision between the show, Alexis, and the ladies that her storyline had come full-circle. Unlike Gretchen, Alexis has moved on with no hard feelings.
11. I like Lydia, but I’m glad she bailed. Lydia, that sweet sparkly little snowflake, is too nice and normal for this show. I’m happy she realized it and didn’t allow the allure of Bravo to corrupt her. Although I do think the show needs someone who is a legitimate voice of reason.
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[Photo Credits: Bravo]