How Katie Maloney and James Kennedy Were the Friends Ariana Madix Needed

Ariana madix Katie Maloney
Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

As Vanderpump Rules Season 11 came to a close, Bravo’s montage really got me thinking as a fan. The overall consensus is that this season of VPR tanked. Personally, I blame the producers, who made the tremendous mistake of choosing to center the storyline around a Tom Sandoval redemption arc. We could have had the greatest season if they had only encouraged all the women to hold these questionable men accountable finally. 

The entire season showed Ariana Madix being gaslit by more than just Tom. Scheana Shay, Brock Davies, and Lala Kent all showed their true colors. While I can empathize with juggling a troubled friendship and worrying about your next paycheck, they all did Ariana dirty. Luckily, the Chicago performer had two allies on her team: James Kennedy and Katie Maloney

Ariana, our queen

Ariana is a legend in her own right. During the finale, she looked straight into the camera and told producers to basically F off. The VPR star said, “I’m not here as like a cog in the machine of Tom Sandoval’s redemption arc. So you guys can do that without me.” For the most part, Season 11 showed Ariana on a very lonely island as production painted her as an angry, scorned woman. But the finale explained why she had such strong emotions. Ariana said that Tom had not only weaponized her mental health struggles against her but also put her sexual health in jeopardy by sleeping around for months. All of these are extremely valid reasons why Ariana had every right to want nothing to do with Tom. However, the only ones who showed any kind of support were Katie and James. 

Katie is ride or die

Together, Katie and Ariana outshine them all. Katie, in particular, made sure to stand up to Tom Schwartz’s constant gaslighting, manipulation, and fakeness in their inner circle. The Something About Her owner established strong boundaries for her and Ariana for their own well-being. Instead of being shown support by their friends, they were greeted with mockery. In my opinion, Katie owned this season and showed that she was a friend to hold close. 

James spoke the truth 

James wasn’t convinced to turn to the dark side, aka the guy’s side. He maintained his view throughout the whole season. He wasn’t explicitly team Ariana, but he was team-holding Tom accountable. In the most subtle ways, James supported Ariana the entire season. In most episodes, fans watched the DJ battle it out with the TomTom owner, trying his best to convince Sandy that he was wrong. And even though it often looked like Tom was trying to buy James’ friendship, the English native never backed down from the truth. It is now undeniable that James is the number one guy in the group. 

Choosing the wrong side

Sheesh and Lala rode the wave the wrong way. I was really hoping for a season that showed the women uniting, but once again, I was disappointed. Even though Vanderpump Rules fans often joke that Scheana makes it all about her, the amount of times she tried to coyly convince Ariana about forgiving Sandy was absurd. Lala, who always has an opinion, failed to use her loud mouth to support the one friend who truly needed it. Instead, she waited until the last minute to air her grievances. The latter was extremely ironic because Ariana wasn’t even there to hear it but instead at Applebees with Daniel Wai

Personally, I would be okay if that was our series finale because the season was an absolute dumpster fire of misogyny. Give Katie and Ariana a spinoff, stat. 

The Vanderpump Rules Season 11 reunion begins on May 14 at 8/7c on Bravo.