The meteoric rise and fall of Eileen Davidson as a Housewife is a sad one. She was at once annoying and amazing. Eileen entered Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills with such promise, such poise, and such unabashed glam, but then it all fell apart when she got caught in the trap of Yolanda Foster‘s Lymeness, and a strange parenthetical argument about intent and manipulations and the bounds of friendship. Eileen was always too cerebral for this show.
Soap opera veteran Eileen joined the show in season 5 alongside her close friend Lisa Rinna. After decades on Days Of Our Lives and The Young and Restless, it seemed like no drama could defeat the Daytime Emmy winner. Then Eileen ran into Brandi Glanville‘s wine glass and Kim Richards‘ denial!
Eileen’s finest RHOBH moment was escorting the ladies to a suburban shopping mall movie theater for a screening of her B-List alien movie Stranger At The Pentagon. Eileen you were our leader for making Lisa Vanderpump eat a hot dog!
Eileen and her actor-husband Vinnie lived in Malibu with their son Jesse, and Vinnie’s sons from a previous marriage. Their love, like so many in Hollywood, began with an affair – over 15 years ago. Since Brandi is the patron saint of scorned and adulterated women everywhere she was not happy with this information, but she was happy to meet one of her soap idols!
Over a drunken dinner Brandi tossed Eileen $20 bucks – literally – to act out a soap scene, when Eileen declined, Brandi drunkenly sloshed wine in Madame Davidson’s face to provoke her into going all diva. Like a true veteran, and a class act, Eileen rose ethereally above the fray. She should’ve snatched Brandi’s cash and used it to pay for dry cleaning!
In the spirit of forgiveness Eileen decided to share one of her favorite hobbies with the women with a poker night in her home. Mistakenly she invited Brandi and the inimitable KimKillah Rambles Richards. Kim’s dramatic and loopy ride in a limo with Lipsa escalated into a messy driveway brawl with Kyle and Brandi for Kim’s control. Poor Vinnie found himself trapped in the garage watching the worst movie ever made. And there weren’t even concession stand hot dogs! If you bet on crazy, you always lose!
With the Richards sisters approaching insanity, Eileen put her own dysfunctional family drama to use by trying to mediate. While Kyle appreciated the sentiment, Kim was furious (forever) at Eileen for meddling and intervening. Aren’t Eileen’s facial expressions always everything … so scornful, dismissive, just the perfect soap opera sneer!
Despite the drama, and Brandi’s increasingly poor behavior, Eileen found herself suckered into trip to Amsterdam where Kim’s incessant threats and provocations led to the uttering of my favorite Housewives of line of all time. It was Eileen, at the dinner table, sneering, “You BEAST” in response to Kim’s accusations. It was classic, it was epic, it was rendered irrelevant coupled next to Lipsa’s wine glass smashing and screeching. The beast left the building, but the mess Kim made of her insobriety followed the cast like a haunting ghost.
In that first season Eileen seemed a guiding force of sanity and good advice, but something must have gotten to her. I believe that something was called the Many Manipulations Of Yolanda Lyme-Aid Foster Hadid. Season 6 was not Eileen’s finest hour.
The drama began in the Hamptons where LVP was hosting a white party. Eileen and the ladies weren’t content with the hotel accommodations and surprise rented a house – without telling their hostess, save for a rather crude note left by Eileen! That evening over dinner, a spurned LVP casually – ever so – verbally cornered Eileen about how her marriage began with “an affair.” Eileen took offense, because she thought Lisa’s tone and her inference were not in making casual conversation but to make her look like an adulterous.
Eileen confronted LVP about the matter about 35 times, however it seemed no matter how many fits and starts and attempts and terse conversations they had, LVP could not apologize to Eileen’s satisfaction. Was Lisa truly sorry? Was “I apologize” just the same as meaning “I’m sorry…” Did LVP plan to hurt Eileen’s feelings with her question? Or was she just trying to get to know a new friend better? Eileen decided she couldn’t trust that LVP… So she went on, and on, and on about it insatiably. Too bad Yolanda couldn’t have loaned Eileen some tranquilizing herbs!
Eileen was already on the warpath with LVP and then during a conversation with Lipsa about Yolanda’s illness, Eileen managed to plant a seed in Rinna’s head that she was the victim of LVP’s attempted side-angling.
Enter: Lisa Rinna and Manipulationgate. It occurred when Lipsa questioned if Yolanda was perhaps embellishing her Lymetastic Journey, like maybe she actually suffered from Munchhausen, which would explain the mysterious symptoms and things that didn’t add up.
Lipsa apparently came to this conclusion during a conversation with LVP and Kyle, off-camera. Lipsa claimed LVP encouraged her to bring it up, and she also told Eileen that LVP wanted her to say KYLE was responsible, not her. Eileen began leading the charge to paint LVP as a master manipulator with both Lipsa and Kyle under her control. She was ‘determined’ to figure out what exactly happened: Did LVP accuse Kyle saying something, or was LVP just wanting it known that Kyle was also present when the something-hausen was discussed. Eileen Davidson, Lady Detective, should’ve auditioned for a role on Law & Order instead!
Eileen would. not. let. it. go. Much to all of our chagrin. We were subjected to weeks and weeks of Munchhausen-Vestigation that went on and on. See, we had liked her; we had really liked her! And we had not so much liked Yolanda. Yet Eileen made the dubious mistake of trying to topple RHOBH’s queen, and Kyle wouldn’t back Eileen and Lipsa’s claims – even if she did have questions. Even if Eileen had a fair point, viewers would not stand for it, and neither would LVP.
During the trip to Dubai, Eileen led an interrogation, or inquisition, into what LVP said, and what she knew, and if she did perhaps manipulate Lipsa’s into mentioning the Munchhausen, or was it all a kaftan-covered misunderstanding?
By the time we got the reunion no one wanted to hear another world about the Three Ms of RHOBH: Munchhausen, Manipulation, and Misunderstanding. Because what the hell were they even fighting about? And why was Eileen so involved? And lastly, why on earth was Eileen so upset that a person she didn’t consider a friend didn’t apologize satisfactorily after hurting her feelings? By the end of the season Eileen and LVP weren’t “really f–king good,” or even really good at all, things between LVP and Eileen were actually really f–king bad to the point where LVP threatened not to return to the show.
I was all for giving Eileen a chance to redeem herself in what turned out to be her last and final season, but Eileen has buttons that once pushed never ever recoil.
C’mon Eileen I willed her. C’mon Eileen lighten up, have fun, and learn to LET IT GO with some Frozen flow. Before the reunion Eileen’s mother passed away, but she kept it a secret. So season 8 opened with Eileen still reeling from that death and others in her family.
With her relationship to LVP in shambles, Eileen instead turned to fan-girlng Erika Girardi in a friendship that was kind of creepy, kind idolizing, and kind of well, cute, until it got a little icky in Hong Kong when Eileen’s attempts to diffuse a situation went too far and nobody knows what Erika, this rare and special breed of plastic-coated diamond, goes through at night! F–k you Eileen for being empathetic! I guess that’s what you get for aligning yourself with people who have multiple personalities, right?!
Eileen also managed to rise above a definitely insulting comment LVP made implying Vinnie had gotten lost in another lady’s skirt at a party. Perhaps that comment, not “innocuous” is what put panties so in Eileen’s mind all season?
Yes, since demons never die on this show, Kim returned with the formidable force of her sobriety to create a fight with Eileen and Lipsa that accused Lisa of being Eileen’s puppet, that altercation spiraled into Lipsa’s loose lips presuming all sorts of things about Kim’s life.
Eileen, if she is nothing else, is a good and loyal friend to the crazies. To a fault and to her detriment. She stood by Lipsa’s side while she struggled to recall if she said horrible things about Kim’s sobriety. Eileen, herself, attempted to breach peace with Kim. Kim is a lost cause, and anything that makes her look like the sympathetic victim is not OK with me, so the fact that Lipsa put herself in that situation and Eileen defended her, well, I mean Eileen is a better woman than me!
In her attempt at redemption, Eileen also found peace with LVP during the cast trip to Hong Kong for Lisa’s Stop Yulin Forever cause. Eileen, a dog-lover, previewed Lisa’s Yulin documentary and the two foes had a bonding moment during in which they finally saw some good in each other and no manipulation was to be had! Finally two good women, doing a good deed together.
Unfortunately, Eileen locked horns with Lisa’s friend Dorit Kemsley instead. The thing about Eileen, is that Eileen cannot stop sticking her foot in other people’s mouths. Her drama with Dorit was over an unfortunate little thing called “Pantygate”. Oh, if only we could turn back time…
Erika did not wear underpants to the event when she met Dorit’s husband, and PK saw Erika’s jewels. PK handled it badly, obviously. Dorit attempted to play the situation off by gifting Erika a pair of fancy-panties as a joke. Dorit told Lipsa, Kyle, and Eileen of her plan and they all thought it was a funny gaffe, until Erika’s uptight reaction left them realizing Erika had also forsaken her sense of humor with her panties!
Instead of Erika’s so-called friends being honest that they knew Dorit was trying to be funny, Eileen staunchly changed her tune and argued with Dorit about her intent, and her illusions, and if she was shaming Erika and trying to embarrass her instead of just trying to bring levity to a situation that never should have been on a reality show – and certainly not for 4000 episodes. But Eileen, likes to keep things long and drawn out. Maybe it’s all those years on soaps?
Eileen and Dorit had many miscommunications and just never found their peace. Eileen cannot let things go, and Dorit can never remember what she’s said and to whom (an affliction she shares with Lipsa, who also likes to gossip), and sometimes twists her words and her actions, so these two found themselves floating endlessly in the Hong Kong bay on a junk boat. And even a trip to Buddha couldn’t make it right.
So, after 3 seasons of many downs, Eileen decided to leave the show and focus on her soap opera career, leaving Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills drama to the reality stars.
Personally I think Eileen was always too normal for this show, and never much good at fighting (because she only played a bitch on TV — maybe), but her crazy jumpsuits will live another day in the Bravo archives.
WILL YOU MISS EILEEN ON RHOBH? DO YOU THINK SHE GOT A BAD RAP?
[Main Photo Credit: Richie Knapp/Bravo]