The first Bethenny-less season of The Real Housewives of New York City finally came sputtering to an end- coasting on flimsy hopes and raw inertia ‘til the bitter, dusty end with Andy Cohen selling what’s left of it for scraps. It was a season of false promises, false reconciliations, and of course – false friendships, but never (wink,wink) false dramas. There were feuds, middle eastern nightmares, thugs in cocktail dresses, dueling sweet sixteens and dueling (un)fabulous forty-year-olds (and one pinot-sodden fifty-year-old), musical ineptitude galore, and Jill Zarin remaining the same old Jill Zarin – filled with a plethora of advice, snarkitude, and red-headed fury; proving that she alone will drive this jalopy ‘til it drives no more. Go, Jill, Go!
The Season Finale begins withThe Countess speaking (“Chic, C’est La Vie! Si bon! Si bon!”) to her music producer – naturally they are discussing what a runaway success her song Chic, C’est La Vie will become. Chris surprises LuAnn with a friend of his, who just happened to stop by – a friend who just happens to be Natalie King Cole.
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In the first preview clip via PEOPLE.com, it is Sonja vs. Cindy part 3 that is until the perpetually cra cra Kelly Bensimonkeeps inserting herself into the argument because she believes she is the “peacemaker.”
Host Andy Cohen has to break the news to her that she is NOT a peacemaker as well as her fellow Team Brunette pal Countess LuAnn. Oh yeah, the typically boring Cindy is also over dramatic in the clip in an effort to not get the axe from Bravo or something.
In the second preview clip, the delusional Kelly believes she is a nice person because Cosmo magazine rated her as one of the five nicest celebrities. Not surprising since she is a famewhore the type to kiss the butts of those in the media who can give her coverage.
Alex McCord gets into it with Kelly letting her know she is definitely not a nice person. So. much. drama! Both preview clips are below.
Part 1 of the NYC Housewives reunion is set to air Monday, July 25th at 10/9c on Bravo. Part 2 will air the following Monday on August 1.
LuAnn debuted her lighter hair color yesterday during the premiere party of her latest music video Chic C’est La Vie. Yes the Countess has yet to give up on her singing career. Joining Countess Lulu at her party were her former fellow Brunettes Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop.
And in case you’re wondering, that is NOT a wig as she actually dyed her hair blonde with the help of celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson, the same man responsible for Kate Gosselin’s famous hair transition. LuAnn however had a bit of help with some extensions.
“I don’t know how long I will stay a blonde, but everyone should have the chance to live out a fun fantasy! If you want to try something, go for it!,” LuAnn posted on her facebook page. More pictures below of LuAnn and her fellow NYC Housewives at her party!
Meanwhile Jill and Kelly make a cameo in LuAnn’s new music video as Popeater reports Alex McCord and Ramona Singer declined to be a part of it.
The always classy Countess did not miss an opportunity to talk smack about her costars. “It was very disappointing that the other ladies wouldn’t be part of it. The other girls didn’t come, they didn’t think it was appropriate. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they were being excluded so I invited everyone. And let’s face it, I sing about them in the song,” said LuAnn. “They said it was not the right image they wanted to portray and I was like ‘excuse me, not the right image?’ Who goes out without their panties, another rubs her husbands naked chest on the show, please.”
Below is the new music video for Chic C’est La Vie!
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON LUANN’S NEW HAIR COLOR AND MUSIC VIDEO?
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Cindy’s non return is a no brainier as she is normal boring and way out of her league, but Alex’s is however a shocker. The Hollywoodlife blog, which doesn’t cite whether or not Bravo is axing the ladies or whether it is their choice to leave, simply claims their source is an insider very close to the show.
We’re very skeptical of this report because for one, Alex is a key part of the cast and has been involved in a lot of drama this season. And quite frankly, both Alex and Bravo are denying this report.
“No decisions have been made regarding next season and everything at this point is rumor,” says a rep for Bravo. Alex also issued her own denial via twitter. “And @BravoTV told you that no decisions have been made so your ‘story’ is false, but when has that every stopped you from writing BS?” she tweeted to the blog.
Alex then gave a statement to Popeater revealing she suspects the “insider” is one of her castmates. “If I had a dollar every time an ‘inside source,’ i.e. a cast member, leaked a ‘story’ that I was out of RHONY, I’d be a multi-millionairess!” said Alex.
Alex does have a point as a similar report came out last year stating Bravo had fired her from the cast. This was of course false as she is still on the show. We’ll let you figure who Alex suspects is the cast member leaking out unflattering stories about her to the press. Plus axing Alex from the show makes no sense as she is currently the most liked aka the least awful cast member according to our poll. The only reigning fan favorite to ever leave a show was Bethenny, who left to do her own spin-off.
It also makes no sense that Bravo would keep Kelly Bensimon and Sonja Morgan over Alex. And the final reason? It’s just way too early on at this point in the season. There are still four regular unaired episodes, plus at least 2 episodes of the reunion show.
The HollywoodLife blog also contacted former NYC Housewife Bethenny Frankelwho chimed in on the report. Bethenny reveals she isn’t surprised to hear Cindy will not be returning. “I’m not surprised about Cindy — she was new and maybe too normal,” continues Bethenny. “She looked a little overwhelmed with everything, but it’s great for her business and it definitely brought awareness to it.”
And when it comes to Alex, Bethenny states, “And Alex — I don’t know, I honestly haven’t watched enough to know.” Bethenny adds, “I know it almost happened last year, but then she really got into a lot drama.”
Bethenny once again makes it very clear how awful the show is and how happy she is to be off it. “OMG not at all! I’m happy to be off,” says Bethenny when asked if she misses the show. “I wouldn’t want to be on the show. I wouldn’t be proud to show that to my daughter. I’m proud of my show. I wouldn’t want her to see women being rewarded for bad behavior.”
TELL US – THOUGHTS? DO YOU BELIEVE THIS STORY? IF BRAVO DECIDED TO GET RID OF ALEX: SMART OR NOT SMART?
This taping is a bit early as it is five weeks away from the airing of their season finale (a total of 16 regular episodes will air this season). However as always, the housewives got to see all the episodes that have yet to air before the reunion taping.
As for why Bravo decided to film the reunion so early (it’s usually filmed about 2 – 3 weeks before the finale), Simon van Kempen(whatever happened to his song?) tweeted yesterday that it “was impossible to find a July date when all #RHoNY were in NYC”. They have jobs or something?
Jill Zarintweeted the above photo yesterday of herself with costar Cindy Barshop. Below — more behind the scenes photos of Ramona Singer, Alex McCord, Sonja Morgan & Jill.
An of course all parties involved tweeted during and after the reunion. And based on those tweets, it appears Countess Lulu believes the knock down drag out reunions fights are a “great time,” Kelly needed some help from her “fans” on what to say, Andy Cohen might or might not have lost his temper with the ladies, and if there’s one thing clear, it is that it’s still the Brunettes vs the Blondes.
Below are some of the tweets in chronological order –
CountessLuAnn – “Having a great time with the girls! #RHONYReunionShow”
Kellybensimon – “Every #reunion, @BravoAndy asks a quick reflection on the season.TELL ME how I’ve changed this season!I will quote you on #RHONYReunionShow”
BravoAndy – “We just wrapped the RHNYC reunion. It was EPIC. I can barely hear. (Maybe I lost my temper at the ladies!) I need a drink.”
Ramonasinger – “I survived the reunion! (and don’t worry…so did Andy haha)”
Jillzarin “Omg! What a day!!!”
Jillzarin – “With my Girls @CountessLuAnn @kellybensimon our own after party!”
Mccordalex – “Amazing #Rhony reunion & then @ramonasinger @SimonvanKempen @SonjatMorgan and I all went to #gawkerpride party for Marriage Equality!!”
Ramonasinger – “We ALL survived! Lol rt “@RHO_TWEETS: @ramonasinger how brutal was it?!””
Kellybensimon – “Love my @jillzarin @countessluann @cindybarshop @bravotv”
Mccordalex – “Intense day of filming yesterday for #RHONY…
Meanwhile, an all new episode of the RHONY is set to air tonight on Bravo at 10/9c. On the 12th episode this season titled “Sixteen and Skip the Sweet,” it’s a birthday blitz when Ramona plans a sweet-16 party for Avery, LuAnn meets with a party planner for her own daughter’s 16th birthday, and LuAnn throws a surprise birthday bash for Jill. Also, Jill gets her widely reported “liquid face lift” on tonight’s episode. A preview clip is below.
Watch What Happens Live – The guests are Jill Zarin and Adam Carolla.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE REUNION TAPING & TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE?
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With the fourth season currently on the air, the NY Post reports the producers of the show are desperately trying to recruit a new cast of “beautiful, well-connected and wealthy women for the next season.”
This comes weeks after sources revealed the network was seriously considering replacing the entire cast which includes Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and others. The execs are reportedly trying to find women with more wealth and glamour a la the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
In fact the show producers reportedly asked two NY women, p.r. mavens Alison Brod and Di Petroff, to join the cast though they have both declined.
Bravo casting for the upcoming season of the NY housewives is not out of the norm as next season will begin filming towards the end of the summer. It is however unlikely that the network will replace the entire cast as we reported 2 weeks ago that the ratings for this season have been pretty good, even showing a slight increase from last year with Bethenny frankel on the cast.
My bet is on Bravo replacing one or two of the cast members, more than likely Cindy Barshop and Kelly Bensimon. The reasons? Well Cindy is self-explanatory and Kelly has been sorta sane thus boring this season.
In other NY news, a judge ruled against Sonja Morgan once again in her bankruptcy legal drama. After filing bankruptcy last year following a $7 million judgement against her, the NY Post is reporting Sonja lost a court battle in her bid to get her former lawyers to pay her millions for alleged malpractice.
Hannibal Pictures won the $7 mil judgement against Sonja last year after she failed to fund a John Travolta film, as she originally agreed. Sonja in return sued the lawyers who represented her in the case citing malpractice. However last Thursday, an arbitrator denied Sonja any payout.
“I don’t agree with the judgment. I’m shocked,” said Sonja to the Post. When asked how she will pay off the $7 mil debt, Sonja responded, “I don’t know. I’m a hard worker. I’ll survive. I’ve got to meet with my advisers.” In court docs, Sonja listed herself as a “television personality” with an income of $26,000 a month.
And following Jill Zarin’sbig revelation yesterday that Mario Singer shoved her during a confrontation, Ramona has come out denying Jill’s version of events. Ramona admits Mario confronted Jill about “making up stories,” about her but denies it ever got physical. And a look at the comments posted on the E! and PEOPLE.com stories show majority of fans do not believe Jill.
And finally RadarOnline uncovered some before photos of the Countess herself aka LuAnn including an old modeling pic, and those photos are below!
TELL US – WHO SHOULD BRAVO AXE ON THE RHONY CAST?
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So can we expect skipping through the grass on tonight’s episode? It’s doubtful. “Debt Becomes Her” follows the ladies as they leave Morocco and head back to the Big Apple. Ramona and Jill try to maintain their newly (and barely) fixed friendship, while someone else clamors to cause drama in Ramona’s life. Additionally, back in the States, Sonja’s money issues are revealed plus Alex and the Countess get into it. A sneek peak is below.
In other NYC news, how do housewives become relevant? Well if you’re a new housewife, it’s a lawsuit, of course! Cindy Barshop has flown under the radar this season on the show (except for a hanger debacle and a seating situation on a Moroccan mini-van), but she’s now at the center of a employment lawsuit surrounding her pink parts salon, Completely Bare.
According to TMZ, Cindy had to let go an employee after client complaints and disciplinary measures. In turn, the employee, Altovise Collier, sued Cindy, citing that her termination was not because she was a bad waxer, but rather because Cindy is racist and didn’t want Collier, who is black, to continue to work for her. Last week, Collier filed suit against Cindy on claims of discrimination. However, Cindy says that Collier, who worked for Completely Bare for less than three months before being fired, is using race to distract from the truth: her poor performance on the job.
Regarding the Completely Bare countersuit, Cindy states, “In an effort to mask her own deficient work performance and serial on the job screw-ups, Collier, in a racist fashion, asserts that her race, national origin and skin color were the basis for her termination.” Cindy believes that Collier is attempting to tarnish Cindy’s “professional reputation,” and she is suing to the tune of $5,000,000 to make sure that these defamatory claims are put to rest.
Transitioning from a new housewife with new problems, we turn to an old housewife and old beef. In an interview with TV Guide, Jill Zarinreveals what went down after her taxing fight with Ramona Singer in Morocco. Apparently, it all stems from last year’s Scary Island. Jill reveals, “We’d been putting off talking about what had happened last year in St. John for a long time.” She elaborates, “I showed up, and [she] didn’t welcome me in. Technically, did she throw me out? No, but when I said I would leave, she was like ‘don’t let the door hit you on the behind.'”
Having held off on that discussion until Morocco proved even more dramatic for Jill and Ramona. Jill admits, “I [saw] on the commercials that she [fell] on the bed crying, and to me it looks fake…She’s crying a lot this season and they are such inauthentic tears.” Ouch, but kudos for using Kelly’s buzzword!
Even though the pair appeared to make amends on last week’s episode, Jill concedes, “We’ll be frenemies for the rest of our lives… [this] was really sort of the end of it.” Of course, Jill wouldn’t be a good reality star if she didn’t recognize that viewers love drama. No matter what, it’s all about making us tune every Thursday, and Jill knows Ramona plays a big part in that. She recognizes, “Thank God for Ramona… I don’t know what [we would] do without her. If we were all holding hands, running through the grass, how boring would that be?!”
A preview clip for tonight’s all new episode is below –
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON CINDY’S LAWSUIT, JILL’S COMMENTS & TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE?
Now that she’s sort of famous on the tee-vee, Real Housewives of New York Citydud star, Cindy Barshop has found herself the subject of guess what? A Lawsuit! Congratulations Cindy – you’re nobody in America till somebody sues you.
According to the New York Post, it seems Cindy, owner of Completely Bare Spas – which will dot your lady parts with glitz and glam for a hefty fee- has been slammed with a racial discrimination suit from a former employee.
Altovise Collie – who was let go in March – claims she was fired on the grounds of her race after being subjected to harassment and unequal pay at the hands of Completely Bare employees and Cindy herself. Collie, who is African-American and relocated from Atlanta for the job, states she was hired after a phone interview, but when she arrived at Completely Bare’s Fifth Avenue Flagship location things changed: “They were very impressed with me — until they saw me. I was treated like trash and thrown in the gutter, damn near sleeping in the streets. Everyone treated me badly, like I was in some sort of sorority hazing.”
Collie, who maintains she was the only black beautician at Completely Bare, further complains that her co-workers accused her of being hired only to “inject some color” into the spa, because the “spa” which specializes in Vajazzling was expanding nationally. Did you hear that guys – rhinestone vajayjays coming to a town near you! YAY!
In addition to facing harassment for her race, Collie asserts she was paid only half of the weekly $700 salary of other employees and paid only in cash, which prevented her from being able to rent an apartment. Collie also accuses her co-workers responsible for training her of withholding pertinent information about the waxing process resulting in employee complaints. Apparently when Collie had a sit down with Ms. Cindy Barshop – who we know from RHoNYC is obsessed with things being fair – about the treatment she was receiving and the inadequate training provided, she was fired a week later! Collie’s lawyer, Lenard Leeds, alleges: “From Day One, she wasn’t given the same training, she wasn’t given the same money.”
Well of course, Cindy is fighting back is now figthing back against the allegations: “The allegations are 100 percent not true and we can prove it.” In a statement released to RumorFix, Cindy explains: “She wasn’t fired because of her race, she was fired because of the quality of her work. Customers were complaining about her, so I retrained her myself, but when there was no improvement, I had to let her go. It had nothing to do with race. We have salons across the country with employees from several different races and backgrounds, so her claim that she was the only black employee is ridiculous.”
Cindy also goes onto reveal that Ms Altovise Collie has some C-list celebrity aspirations of her own: “She is trying to be a model now so I guess this is her way of trying to get her fifteen minutes of fame. She was never hazed. It’s all just lies and she wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t on a reality TV show.”
Who do you believe? Does Altovise Collie have a case or is she just trying to get some publicity? Has anyone visited a Completely Bare Spa? If so, what was your experience?