WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 16042 -- Pictured: Luann de Lesseps -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

Exclusive Interview: Luann de Lesseps Opens Up About Miami Drama, Sobriety, & The “Feelin Jovani” Music Video


Life may not be a cabaret, but this season of Real Housewives of New York basically was.  Luann de Lesseps’ Countess and Friends show was the talk of the season. She was very proud of her ever-expanding act, but the other ladies were just tired of hearing about it.

During one episode, they joked about drinking every time the word “cabaret” was uttered.  That is a dangerous idea, especially since every single one of them mentioned it many times over. The cabaret madness all came to a head during Bethenny Frankel’s diatribe in Miami. Just like the rest of us, Lu has been watching the season. And, believe it or not, she knows exactly how she comes across. Luann broke down the fourth wall during an exclusive interview with Reality Tea.

The “Feelin’ Jovani” singer can see how her demeanor in Miami came across to the other women and the viewers. However, there’s a lot more to the story than Luann ditching the group on a cast vacation.

Luann explained, “What’s hard for some people to understand is that it was very difficult for me to stay sober and be in Miami with them drinking like that. I had to go in and be self-centered. What came off as me being self-centered was really me in protection mode. It may have looked insensitive and narcissistic, but I felt like it was best for me to remove myself from settings full of triggers and temptations.”

Luann gets a lot of flack for a perceived lack of self-awareness, but she is the first one to admit that she sees what the viewers are watching. She told us, “Absolutely! Absolutely! I can watch it just like anyone else and see how it can come off that I’m being self-centered. Absolutely! There is just a greater context to the situation that I couldn’t convey, especially in a party setting.”

She continued, “You always say, ‘Oh my god. I wish I would have said this and I wish I would have said that, but you know in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t because saying ‘You don’t know how difficult it is for me to stay sober around all you girls,’ wouldn’t have been helpful. It might have seemed insulting. Or it would have incited more drama and that’s the last thing I wanted.”

Luann de Lesseps

Ultimately, Lu reflected, “I feel like anything I could say in defense of myself would not have been helpful in that moment.” And yes, she was talking about that moment. It started out with Barbara Kavovit telling Luann that she was upset with her. Then, it spiraled into Bethenny unleashing loads of dirty laundry, while the women sat there in shock. Meanwhile, I just wanted to know if Sonja Morgan was offended that there was a toaster getting screentime that didn’t belong to her.

Instead of screaming back at Bethenny, Luann was actually pretty calm. She started to defend herself, but ultimately, she realized that there wasn’t much that she could do in that moment. Instead, they talked about it after and Luann got jackets for Bethenny and Barbara as peace offerings.

No one really saw that coming. Then again, the New York Housewives don’t linger when it comes to the drama. Luann remarked, “We get a lot done in a day. We don’t dwell.” They sure don’t, unlike their Beverly Hills counterparts, who beat a story into the ground for episodes on end. The New York Housewives have no problem moving forward…. to new drama, that is.

RELATED: Luann de Lesseps And Barbara Kavovit Dish On Real Housewives Of New York Casting Rumors

Sure, Luann and Dorinda Medley went back and forth about the “Jovani” heckling for a few episodes, but they didn’t base an entire season around it. Once again, the Beverly Hills ladies need to take notes.

Instead, Luann managed to transform the disruptive moment during her cabaret show into something positive and potentially profitable. Luann shared, “I wanted to change the narrative and turn it into something positive.” And why not? Yelling “Jovani” really wasn’t the most serious offense in Real Housewives history. She might as well sing about it and milk the moment for all that it’s worth.

Luann de Lesseps

Luann said, “The director of my cabaret was one of the writers and we had a lot of fun writing the lyrics for ‘Feelin Jovani.’ A lot of it is about how I live my life one day at a time. I make mistakes and I learn as I go along.”

Aside from the song’s lyrics, the music video blessed the fandom with a Bravo crossover. Lisa Rinna, Cynthia Bailey, and Andy Cohen were all a part of it. Luann shared, “I thought it would be great to have women from different shows in the video. I envisioned a Real Housewives/Charlie’s Angels kind of moment. Then, it occurred to me that Andy is like our Charlie and it all came together perfectly.”

RELATED: Luann de Lesseps Says She Is Writing A Tell-All Book

Luann’s new music video managed to incorporate an iconic RHONY moment and her line of statement necklaces. She included Housewives from other shows and Andy Cohen. And, of course, she incorporated the cabaret. For a woman who does not seem observant, she managed to nail all of the key elements for “Feelin Jovani.” And that’s the beauty of reality TV. The stars get the privilege to watch themselves make mistakes. And, hopefully, they’re able to own those moments and move forward… “one day at a time” just like Luann sings on her new song.

Check out the music video for “Feelin Jovani” below.


[Photo Credits: Charles Sykes/Bravo; Bravo]