Technically speaking, Monique Samuels is not an OG cast member on Real Housewives of Potomac. Practically speaking, she might as well be. The then-fledgling show was just trying to figure itself during the first season.
Even though Season 1 wasn’t a major hit right out of the gate, the show truly found its footing during the second year, which is when Monique joined the cast. Is that a coincidence? It might be, but there is no doubt that Monique puts the “real” in Real Housewives. She has kept it one hundred from the second she became a Housewife and she continues to do so two seasons later. Recently, the mom of three opened up to Reality Tea during an exclusive interview.
When asked about the difference between Real Housewives of Potomac Season 4 and the show’s previous years, Monique laughed and joked, “I guess we’re more seasoned.”
Then, she reflected, “For me, I’m always one hundred percent open. I put it all out there. I’ve been doing that since I joined in Season 2. Now, as the seasons go by, it’s very important for all of the women to be one hundred percent open for the show to grow. Now, that’s what you’re getting.”
After, Monique explained, “They’re just showing who they really are. Anytime you open yourself up that much, you make yourself vulnerable. And if you do that around the right person, they’re going to tell it like it is.”
The “right” person or the “wrong” person? Most people, especially reality TV, do not want to “hear it like it is” when it comes to their own behavior, but that’s the beauty of the Real Housewives franchise. This happens pretty often.
What can we expect from the rest of the season? Monique teased, “Friendships are being tested because of the realness.” Cough, cough some names definitely come to mind when thinking about some Potomac Housewives who are less than “real” when it comes to sharing their lives on the show. Nevertheless, this interview is about Monique and I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about who I popped into my thoughts.
Yes, this interview is about Monique, but at this point Season 4 seems to heavily focus on Ashley Darby’s husband Michael Darby. He made some very surprising comments toward men at Ashley’s uncle’s birthday party before saying something very shocking at the end of that episode.
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Monique emphasized, “As far as the comments Michael was allegedly saying, they still didn’t show him saying what others claimed he said. I need to see the rest of it play out and see if all the stories from the witnesses add up.” Is there more footage? If there is, why wouldn’t it be shown right away? But props to Monique for not being too quick to judge the situation. The same cannot be said about her costars.
Monique was not at that party, but she admitted, “Actually seeing it play out, I was like ‘Wow, this was insane.'” She even explained why it was actually a good thing that she missed out on such a talked-about moment.
Monique reflected, “I’m happy I wasn’t there. Everything that happened that night, it probably would have played out differently had I been there because I would have had sober eyes. Everyone would have been like ‘We could probably rely on more what Monique says since she was pregnant and sober.’ And I would hate to be put in that position.”
But as a fan, I can’t help (selfishly) thinking “I wish Monique was there because she was pregnant and sober.” Good for her though. Now, I’ll just wait on the additional footage that I hope exists.
Michael isn’t the only Darby catching some criticism this season though. Candiace Dillard has been questioning Ashley’s seriousness about getting pregnant because of her alleged drinking habits. This is painfully ironic since last season Ashley perpetuated some untrue gossip about Monique drinking too much.
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Surprisingly, Monique doesn’t leap to spew out some trite quotes about Ashley reaping what she sewed. Instead, she has compassion for Ashley and even for Candiace.
Monique said, “To see Candiace calling Ashley out, I was thought ‘Wow. This is coming full circle.’ I cautioned Candiace to be careful so she doesn’t become the new Ashley. She needs to be mindful. Everyone has to own up to their actions eventually.” That is true in real life, but especially true on a reality TV show with reunion episodes and an ever-growing court of public opinion on social media.
Monique even defended Ashley for letting loose this season. Monique explained, “Ashley is questioning her body’s ability to carry a child. She’s stressed out and wants to have fun with her friends.” Still, she can’t help but acknowledge that “it’s like Season 3 all over again,” except that this time Ashley is in Monique’s place.
Monique remarked, “I was in that position, so I know how that feels.” There are very few Real Housewives who would refuse to take an easy dig at someone who wronged her just the season before, but that’s not Monique’s style. She doesn’t come for anyone, but she can finish any conflict that comes her way. With ease.
One person who does not live with that same mindset is Gizelle Bryant. She loves pushing her costars buttons and has no problem throwing the first
punch shady remark. Monique remarked on Gizelle’s claim that Karen Huger only lives in a portion of her own home, an insult that she made while she was supposedly trying to rekindle a friendship with Karen.
Monique remarked, “If you look at Gizelle in all of her relationships with people that she calls ‘friendships,’ that’s what she does to them. When people ask me if I want to be friends with Gizelle, I’m like ‘Heck no. I’m fine being cordial with her.'”
Monique even cited a dig that Gizelle made toward her best friend Robyn Dixon as an example. Monique explained, “She throws all of her friends under the bus. Robyn moved and she said Robyn moved down the street and her townhouse is ten feet bigger. She clowns all of her friends on a disrespectful level. So, why would anybody want that friendship, again?
Karen is finally to the point where she’s not gonna be her punching bag anymore. She’s over it.”
She summed it up well when she said, “There’s a difference between joking and throwing fun shade and just being straight up vindictive and hateful. There’s no compassion and it’s pretty sad actually.” In a recent episode, Gizelle actually admitted that she lacks compassion during a therapy session.
Looking ahead at the rest of Season 4, Monique divulged, “Ashley and I are good.” You’ll see as the season goes along that we get to a better place. It’s a place that I never thought we’d reach. When I tell you I wanted nothing to do with her, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with her. Without giving anything away, it’s objectively interesting to see how things unfold between us.”
Even she and Robyn have moved past their umbrella-aided animosity. Monique said, “I look forward to a long relationship with her. I think we just had several misunderstandings and we are in a better place moving forward.”
Monique and Candiace are still solid, but that doesn’t mean Monique won’t check her if she has to. Monique shared, “If I see her doing things when I’ve already been down that road, as her friend, I say ‘just watch out’ when I see things that aren’t indicative of the Candiace that I know. I know a lot of it is because she is stressed, so you’ll see me try to gently tell her to be careful about what she’s doing.”
And to no one’s surprise, Monique says that she and Karen are “super cool,” which they have been for a while. Monique reminisced, “I like the path that we took because we were both cautiously taking steps to get to know each other.”
With all of these changing dynamics, it is great that Monique has her husband Chris Samuels to lean on. He really hits that sweet spot as a Real Housewives husband. He doesn’t meddle to a point where he becomes a bona fide full-time cast member, but he’s not completely absent like other guys on the Housewives shows.
Monique shared that she and Chris “definitely talk about the show and what goes on.”
By the time Monique became a Housewife, Chris was actually more than prepared for the Real Housewives chatter. Monique revealed, “We even watch Real Housewives of Atlanta together. As long as I have a show on the TV, he keeps up with whatever I’m watching.”
That sounds like the ideal partner for any reality TV fanatic: someone who lovingly keeps up with your shows.
In regard to the storylines, Monique said, “Chris voices his opinion. He will let me know exactly what he’s thinking,” which sounds just like Monique herself. Discussing her role in the RHOP cast, Monique declared, “I’m going to tell you the truth. You may not like how it sounds, but it is what it is.”
And then she left us with this tease: “I was calm and laid back the entire season because of my pregnancy… except for two moments where I really just could not hold back how I felt.”
Is it Sunday night yet? I need to see the next episode. More importantly, I just want to see how everything unfolds and speed through the season. The Potomac Housewives have all stepped up their game for Season 4 and the season only just started.
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT REAL HOUSEWIVES OF POTOMAC SEASON 4 SO FAR? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MONIQUE SAMUELS’ COMMENTS ON THE SEASON? WHICH REAL HOUSEWIVES OF POTOMAC COUPLE IS YOUR FAVORITE? WILL MONIQUE SAMUELS & GIZELLE BRYANT EVER BE FRIENDS?
[Photo Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo; Shannon Finney/Bravo; Bravo]