It’s reunion time for the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! And considering this will be the first three-part reunion for a debut season in Housewives history, it’s sure to be historic. The elaborate, winter wonderland-themed set certainly fits that bill. It’s gorgeous. With Andy Cohen as their trusty guide, it feels like the ladies were dropped into a fairytale Utah ski village in the middle of New York City. Which brings up a small point in production. At one point in an Instagram Live, Andy revealed he had his ticket to SLC booked for the reunion…but they filmed it in New York. I assume that changed because of COVID. But I can’t help but wonder how it was easier to fly all six ‘Wives and some of their husbands to NYC…
Speaking of the ‘Wives, let’s talk reunion fashion! Apparently the ladies’ silver, red and gold color scheme was chosen as a nod to Utah’s long mining history. But as a Utah native, I certainly didn’t catch the reference. It’s mostly just looked like an oddly-chosen color palette. Of all the dresses, Lisa Barlow‘s liquid copper look is my far-and-away favorite. It’s minimalist, which is her style, and not overdone like some of her co-stars. Whitney Rose is stunning in her ruby red gown, though it leans a bit holiday decor for my personal taste. In fact, it’s the perfect complement to Teresa Giudice‘s iconic green “Christmas pageant dress” at the RHONJ Season 4 reunion so many years ago.
Jen Shah is looking typically over-the-top while also…predictable? I do love the asymmetrical sleeves, but cannot get over the fact that her gown isn’t hemmed properly at the bottom. Heather Gay looks lovely, even if her gown is reading a bit “Kim Kardashian at the 2013 Met Gala” to me. And considering all the drama they’ve been through — and that they’re on opposite sides of Andy — it’s surprising she’s wearing a dress by Jen‘s fashion company. And while Mary Cosby pairing fur and gold sequins is slightly bizarre, Meredith Marks‘ tuxedo-inspired dress is definitely my least favorite of the bunch. But as they say, fashion is subjective, and I’m glad all the ladies brought it!
Good Time Girls!
Was it just me or did the pacing of the reunion feel a little strange at first? Andy‘s first round of questions seemed totally scattershot and lacking any kind of narrative direction. Meredith and Jen squabbled over Brooks Marks‘ tracksuits. (Jen wasn’t wrong. They really were all the same!) And bullying on social media. And Jen throwing a birthday party for Meredith but really making it about herself. Which leads us to Meredith’s biggest problem with the whole soiree: it happened on Lisa‘s actual birthday. Of course, you only knew this if you saw the hilarious unreleased footage of Lisa singing “Happy Birthday” to herself on Bravotv.com. But it begs the question: why didn’t Jen just throw the party for both of them?
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Revisiting the premiere party is also the perfect opportunity for Lisa to spar with Heather. (Spoiler: these two will go head to head repeatedly over the hour.) While Heather felt Lisa blew her off in the first episode, it turns out the latter felt the same way about her frenemy. Roll footage, Andy! From Lisa’s perspective, Heather gave her the once over and then literally turned her back to her. On her actual birthday! The two also go back and forth over whether they actually knew each other at BYU. And accusations that Heather was a “good time girl” in her college days. But Andy cuts off the arguing they can reach any sort of resolution. More on this later.
A Secret Smoking Gun
Next in the hot seat is Jen. First she discusses her marriage with Sharrieff Shah and whether or not Mary triggers her. (She does, for the record. No matter what Jen says otherwise.) There’s also an off-the-cuff apology to Heather that gets a genuine laugh from Andy in its forced insincerity. But the real meat of the issue here is her feud with Meredith. More specifically, the accusation she flashed her vagina in front of Meredith’s (adult) children. Jen insists she was just being silly, and that Brooks and his sister didn’t even see anything. Meredith says otherwise. Mostly, I’m curious why Bravo didn’t bring Brooks out for fifteen more minutes in the spotlight. Because you know he had to be hiding backstage somewhere.
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The biggest revelation during the argument, though, is the accusation that Jen secretly recorded a video of Meredith smoking. Which she passionately denies. When pressed by Andy, Meredith cops to lighting up a cigarette now and again. Just when she’s stressed, surely. For those watching at home, this may seem innocuous in the grand scheme of things. But trust me when I tell you there’s a whole contingent of Housewives sleuths who just love finding out which of their favorite ladies smoke. Lists have been compiled. Paparazzi pictures have been snapped. It’s a whole thing. Also, an accidental sleepover did happen that night when Jen passed out in Meredith’s bed.
An Unexpected Tiff
Eventually, the conversation turns to why Jen acts out to begin with. Which leads to the most surprising feud blow up so far. Seriously, a spat between Lisa and Mary is probably the last thing that I expected to see come out of this reunion. But it happened. Somehow, Lisa defending Jen turns into her going tit for tat with Mary over who talks down to whom. Lisa rightly brings up all the footage of Mary shaming her parishioners. After all, the Pentecostal preacher spent the finale calling various people in her congregation both fat and stupid.
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And don’t even get me started on the leaked audio floating around Twitter of Mary berating her flock as “poor” for not putting enough money in her birthday cards. But Mary fires back that Lisa shouldn’t bring up her church when no one’s talking about Vida Tequila. And just as quickly as it started, the argument seems to die down as Andy moves on to other topics. But boy, is a full-blown Mary vs. Lisa feud on my bingo card for Season 2 now…
Lisa Loves Lisa
Finally, Part 1 of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion culminates with the spotlight on Lisa. Which, frankly, is exactly where Lisa likes it. But probably not in this context? It’s her turn to face a tag team of Heather and Whitney over how she’s treated them this season. Both accuse Lisa of being cold, dismissive and a downright mean girl throughout filming. But Lisa counters that the bad blood goes both ways. And Lisa just can’t help it if she’s confident, OK? Maybe she should write a book about it, though Heather certainly won’t be reading it.
RELATED: Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Star Whitney Rose Says Lisa Barlow Thinks She’s Better Than Her And Talks Down To Her
Whitney also gets into with the Vida Tequila owner over the bartender debacle at her vow renewal. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Lisa, it’s that you do not come for her businesses. She fires back that the way Heather and Whitney talked about her on camera has led to a deluge of nasty DMs calling her the “c-word” and plenty of other vile names. This is possibly the most fired up we’ve ever seen the New Yorker. It’s clear that Lisa came to the reunion ready to play, and I am all the way here for it. Even if she did tell Andy at one point that, no, they were not going to move on until she’d had her say. Next week, Part 2!
TELL US – WHOSE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY REUNION FASHION WAS YOUR FAVORITE? DO YOU BELIEVE JEN SECRETLY TAPED MEREDITH SMOKING? WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE MARY AND LISA GET INTO IT? IS LISA THE MEAN GIRL HEATHER AND WHITNEY PORTRAY HER TO BE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo; Heidi Gutman/Bravo]