Stephanie Hollman‘s second season of Real Housewives Of Dallas is off to a poopy start – she’s feuding with her BFF Brandi Redmond, still dealing with LeeAnne Locken, and being forced into renovating the house from hell.
However, after surviving her first season and temporarily losing a close friendship with Brandi, Stephanie is trying to stay sane in the Bravo Universe.
“It’s really hard to be vulnerable on something that’s meaningful,” Stephanie says of her sit-down with Brandi. “Like the first few weeks of filming, I felt like I was gonna have a nervous breakdown because […] it was important and it was an emotional thing. I was so worried that I was gonna screw everything up by putting it out there with her because you know with cameras on you everything is so heightened, so it was scary.”
This is the Bethenny and Jill reconciliation we all wanted but never got. Good to see these two besties salvaging their friendship and not letting Real Housewives ruin a legit relationship. We want more honest relationships, Bravo!
Brandi and Stephanie’s argument was essentially a series of miscommunications: a misinterpreted Bravo blog, a snippy comment at the Father’s Day party, and a hashtag. The unspoken dramas from last season lingered: “like compiling things on top of each other, it was just like everything was broken. It was just like the saddest four months. Because she is, and was, like my sister – it was hard.”
Stephanie blames the Father’s Day incident on her annoyance with Travis. Her telling him “go hang out with your friends” was meant for Travis to “go hang out with the dudes,” not referring to Brandi. “But I could see how she [Brandi] would’ve heard that and taken it as I was saying that she wasn’t her friend.” Brandi: Grow-up.
On the infamous Bravo blog in which Stephanie supposedly insulted Brandi’s marriage, that was, again, Travis’s fault.
“If you read the Bravo blog, I’m not talking about her and Bryan; I’m talking about Travis and her husband showing up drunk and late to meet [Brandi’s] grandfather. And that was a slow-moving car crash – that my husband was with her husband, and it was humiliating and I felt like he had a really big role in why that went so bad for her. I think you have to put yourself in her shoes, and everyone’s shoes that do the show, because it’s so exposed. I mean, marriage is such a big thing and maybe she was getting so much negativity from … people on twitter are so hard and it’s harsh, and they wanna tell you everything about your life and everything about your marriage! So I do think there was a possibility that she kinda skimmed over and took that, and felt like it wasn’t a supportive thing.”
“It was not malicious,” Stephanie reiterates. “I feel bad.”
Real Housewives Of Dallas has actually wreaked havoc on more than just Stephanie’s friendships. After season 1, she went to a retreat to work on herself. “Whenever Brandi and I weren’t talking, I realized that I was in such a negative unhealthy place. Like I couldn’t get out of bed – my world kinda stopped. That’s not normal behavior, I feel like, and it’s not something I want my children to see.”
“Even this year I have to really compartmentalize my job vs. my life, because last year it became one,” Stephanie continues. “Like this is a job, these are my co-workers, and yes, I’m friends with some of them, but I cannot make this my life. Their drama cannot become my reality because then you miss out on everything. I feel like there was a point, where probably both of us were so focused on just staying, like, not being depressed. It was so hard, and it hits you all at once, and then you go from people not knowing who you are to people having something negative to say about you every day. I feel like it just got the best of both of us – and I know I didn’t handle it right.”
Now Stephanie and Brandi have a
friendship contract Bravo clause in their relationship and prioritize their real friendship outside the show to make sure they don’t let LeAnne Locken RHOD come between them again. After watching the new episodes, they check-in to remind each other that they love each other and their friendship is legit and strong, to talk through any lingering feelings, “because watching it just puts you back into a hard space.”
In other news, Stephanie and Travis are still renovating the indoor pool house, but the pool is now covered up.
“This is a labor of love and hate,” Stephanie laughs. “It’s gonna be exciting, but it’s so much work!” She considered doing a sexy mermaid party for Travis before they covered the pool but sanity set it in. “It’s never gonna happen because then he’d get all excited.”
Stephanie and Travis also have a side gig where they “build and sell” two homes a year “just for fun,” and because her sister is a realtor in the area.
The show didn’t adequately show how amazing Stephanie’s chandelier graveyard looked, but the dead house party killed two birds with one stone! “You usually have to commit yourself to one ‘thing’ [event] during the season, I was like I’m gonna do Halloween cause it’s my favorite holiday and it was kinda at the beginning [of filming] too, so I thought I could just get it over with,” she tells AfterBuzz TV. “And not have the pressure.”
“Cary’s actually kinda the one who got Kameron involved. I met her right before, like, we started filming so I didn’t really know her going in.” Stephanie reveals. “She’s kinda got her own little world and … whenever I filmed with her, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ Like you’re transported and you can’t get out!” she jokes. “It was really entertaining though.”
Kameron will have drama with Brandi. “Which is ridiculous and funny,” shares Stephanie, “because the stuff they fight about is so funny and ridiculous.” Which means we’ll be hearing about these little snafu-slights all season, and onto the next.
She also doesn’t see what the big deal is about the pink dog food, “If that’s your passion and that’s what you wanna do – go for it; you only live once.”
Stephanie finds the dynamic between D’Andra and Mama Dee “fascinating.” D’Andra’s spending is also fascinating, especially when getting lectured by her barely-out-of-high-school son about economics and budgeting.
Stephanie defends D’Andra’s over-the-top, lavish lifestyle (re: she’s crazy in the good Housewives way) because D’Andra’s money is legit. “She’s very unapologetic for who she is,” describes Stephanie. “And I think people forget that everything is relative. People are like, ‘$18,000 – like why would you do that for a dress?!’ but maybe for her, it’s relative.”
Stephanie’s most expensive dress purchase was the red Dior gown she wore for the Bravo commercial, which she paid $10,000 for. Tax write-off!
Personally, I love Stephanie. She seems like a normal, sane person with just enough kookiness to make her fun. I really appreciate her friendship with Brandi, even though Brandi annoys the Bejesus Juice out of me! As my mama (not Dee) always told me: there’s somebody out there to appreciate everybody.
TELL US – DO YOU THINK BRANDI AND STEPHANIE’S FRIENDSHIP CAN SURVIVE THE SHOW?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]