By Contributing Writer Ben C.
DISCLAIMER: before you begin, know that I am, will always be, forever have been, signed, sealed, delivered #TeamTwirl. In the words of my wise mentor, “Don’t come for me, unless I send for you.”
She’s back!!! By she, I mean me. Did you miss me? Okay, don’t answer that. But really though, everyone needs to send major props and huge e-hugs to T.T. This shit ain’t easy.
I’d have to say, round one of this reunion, without a doubt, goes to Kim Fields. I’m giving her a pass on that frock she’s wearing – made from cheap go-to bridesmaids dress materials, complete with built in capri pants. The woman literally has bermuda shorts on, peeking through the slit of her dress. Shoutout, however, to her hair and makeup team. This recently adopted Marilyn style is giving me life (so stay out of my way!) Save Kim’s shorts, I think everyone looks stunning. I always think Atlanta has the best looks of any franchise during reunions.
We go through the usual introductions and hellos from Andy to all the ladies. He starts with Kenya, and immediately asks about the pregnancy rumors. She plays coy and says she can’t really tell anyone anything right now. Porsha is a new aunt, and just met her niece the day before the reunion. Cynthia compares her look tonight look to a flower…ready to get picked apart. Andy asks Kandi to stand up and do a twirl. He comments she looks like ‘Xscape Kandi.’ Her newborn baby Ace is doing great. Phaedra called Jesus on the main line and Cynthia recommends she send a backup text. Something tells me Phaedra would get the “New Phone. Who Dis?” response.
We get right into the shade, with a montage of the ladies – aptly called “The Shady Bunch”
We see lots of highlights of the best reads and shade of the season. Casual reads like, “Kim looks like a confused prostitute at disneyworld.” We relive the classiness that is ‘“oatmeal pie face” and Shamea (#fixherjesus) shamelessly drinking the product display at Kenya’s hair care launch. Andy asks who gave the best shade of the season, and singles out Shadrea Parks (his words!) and most of the ladies agree. He asks whose shade needed the most work, Phaedra singles out Kim, and all of the ladies agree. Andy asks Kenya what she thought of Phaedra imitating her at lunch with NeNe and Kim. Keyna comments she thought the reenactment was a bit all over the place, but sometimes so is she. Andy brings up the oatmeal pie face comment, and Phaedra calls it “par for the course.” OH Jesus, please fix it. Kenya reprimands Phaedra for ‘coming for her looks.’ Phaedra, the attorney, responds she wasn’t coming for Kenya’s looks, she was coming for her skin. Literally, my dude Jesus, can you fix it? Kenya has to remind Phaedra that her skin, technically is, a part of her looks – oh, and that on Phaedra’s best day/Kenya’s worst, Phaedra still wouldn’t place 3rd runner up on whatever stage Kenya is standing on. Andy asks if the ladies if the digs Phaedra makes are any different than the ones Kenya makes. Phaedra thinks they are exactly the same, but she eventually gets bored with the topic, and asks Kenya to forgive her. Kenya responds to Phaedra with “Yeah, you need forgiveness.” Better get Jesus on the main line!
Talk shifts to Kenya’s hair care launch. Andy wants to know if there was actually water in the bottles, and Porsha confirms there was. She “didn’t know” Shamea was going to show off for the cameras drink from the bottles. Kenya adds the display bottles were filled with water, but everyone at the party received gift bags with the actual products inside. Andy wants to know if any of the women have actually used the products – Phaedra says she used the shampoo, Porsha adds she let someone use it on her pet (I’m really hoping she means a dog or something, and not that kind of ‘pet’) – and apparently they really enjoyed it. Kenya is all like, whatever bitches, I’m going to be in CVS stores in a few months. Congratulate me. Keep twirling on them haters, boo! Y’all better buy up those Kenya Moore Hair Care stocks now!!
Andy jumps to a montage of Kandi and Todd’s journey this season. Todd joins the ladies on the couch. We learn that newborn Baby Ace already has an instagram account (where Kandi has yet to post a photo of his face) with over 100,000 followers. Cut to me me running over my iPhone with my car. Conversation moves to Todd stepping out in the middle of Kandi’s doctor appointment to take a work call. Kenya (for no reason) jumps right in and adds her own two cents, disapproving of what Todd did. Kenya says Todd should’ve probably sent the call to voicemail, which prompts Kandi to stand up for Todd, saying you know she never likes to turn down a check. Todd moves on, and gives credit to Cynthia – she was correct when she said opening a restaurant is pretty much the same as having a second baby. They are currently working on all the logistics of the O.L.G. restaurant, and are aiming to have it open by Kandi’s birthday. Show of hands – Vanderpump Rules style spin-off, anyone? Oh, and then we cut to a clip of Todd sampling Kandi’s breast milk from a bottle. Todd comments it’s sweet, and Andy adds that it’s better from the tap. Silly Andy, you’re confusing that ‘tap’ with your usual ‘tap’ – the one I’m sure you’re all too familiar with. #DrinkUp
Next up, Sheree joins the ladies on the couch. Yaaas! Snatch that peach back!! She’s seated on the very end of the stage left couch, right next to Kandi, Cynthia & Kenya. Sheree comments the experience of coming back on the show was a great one. She feels she was well-received by mostly everyone. Bitch is crazy, but I generally agree. I kinda hope she’s back full-time next season. Andy, of course, brings up Chateau Sheree – and says they’ll get to discussing the Chateau (and Moore Manor!) later in the reunion. Next up, we see a montage of highlights from Kim’s first season. Andy wastes no time bringing up the season-long debate of Kim being a good fit for the show vs. not. Andy asks the ladies to ONE BY ONE go around, and give their opinions on Kim fitting in. Props to whichever producer came up with this idea! They all obviously say Kim is not a good fit. Porsha hilariously calls Kim the ‘auntie’ of the group. All the women think Kim is just too judgemental at times, and refuses to get involved in situations. AKA they’re all frustrated because “getting involved” (I’m putting it lightly) in situations is what the show is all about/brings the ratings/secures another season. Cynthia attempts to stand up for Kim, reasoning that she really seemed more uncomfortable around the group, rather than judgemental.
Meanwhile, Kim is too busy mentally cashing her Dancing With the Stars paycheck to be bothered. They discuss Kim toting her kids everywhere, including how she handled them (er, didn’t handle them) on the Washington D.C. trip. While they’re on the subject of the D.C. trip, Andy uses the moment to ask Phaedra why she decided to not invite Kandi or Cynthia. Phaedra comes up with some bogus lie on the spot, claiming that Kandi was too pregnant to travel – to which Kandi swipes directly back at, reminding Phaedra she was just fine to travel, as long as it was within the country. Phaedra is left silent. Lolz. Andy moves on, and brings up Sheree’s grown-up (and good looking) son, Cairo. Sheree definitely, basically prostitutes her son out to Porsha. Sheree says OUT LOUD that he’s a struggling college student, so why doesn’t Porsha put some money into his account. What a storyline that would make.
Next up, it’s time to catch up on (and pick apart) Kandi and Phaedra’s friendship/non-friendship? We learn that Phaedra did reach out to Kandi after Baby Ace was born. She apparently picked up some chicken salad for Kandi, and sent some flowers. So basically they should be good, right? Andy asks Kandi if she’s okay with all the digs Phaedra made during the season. Kandi can barely contain the quivers in her voice when she brings up anyone discussing her man and his finances. Kandi really didn’t appreciate the comment Phaedra made in a talking head about Todd receiving a “weekly allowance” from Kandi. Kandi thinks the comments Phaedra makes go ‘all the way in’ and way past the point of friendship.
Phaedra blames her behavior on going through a ‘tumultuous time’ – all while throwing her “dear friend” Kandi under the bus and announcing only Porsha and NeNe were there to support her through it. Andy asks about the belongings Apollo stored at both Kandi and Cynthia’s house. Kandi jumps right in and states she never thought it was a secret. Cynthia adds she figured Phaedra knew they were holding onto the items, as Peter was storing an entire CAR for Apollo. Cynthia comments they don’t have much storage as it is, so she wasn’t all too pleased with the room it took up. Girl, you know you have plenty of room in that two-car garage, right next to that single Land Rover you and Peter share. We also get some closure on Phaedra’s workout video venture. Phaedra apparently finished paying Todd the remainder of the money she owed him, THE WEEK BEFORE THE REUNION. Kenya doesn’t let the convenience of this go unnoticed. Phaedra attempts (and fails) to act shady, by acting like she paid all this money for a product that she can’t even release. She claims even though Todd is payed up, she’s now having to “pay” a different production company to edit, touch up and “fix” the video in order for it to be released. Since we all know this tape is never being released, you might as well check out Kenya’s Booty Bootcamp. I know for a FACT it’s a great workout, because I bought the DVD for my ex as a silly gift for Christmas, but because he was so stupid, inattentive, and an all-around bad boyfriend – he didn’t realize he re-gifted the DVD to me for my birthday. So I channeled that negative energy into a booty bootcamp workout, and grew a stallion booty. Okay, I’m still working on the stallion booty – but the DVD did make me break a crazy sweat.
There is talk of Kandi’s Koated Klique, mostly of Don Juan (sweaty and all!) and his ridiculous behavior throughout the season. I don’t really feel like recapping any part of this, seeing as Don Juan is not a housewife, nor a friend of, or even a house-husband. Kandi stands up for herself, and her clique, (and gives us a truly perfect .gif-able moment) with “DON’T GO IN AND LET HAVE IF IT’S NOT TRUE! IF I GO IN AND LET HAVE, IT’S GON’ BE TRUE!” Side Note: Do people really not know what ‘go in and let have’ means???
Kenya starts texting during the middle of the reunion. I’m sure she was “texting” the same way Ramona was “sleeping” during the most recent RHONY reunion. #BadActingByBravo. Kenya claims Matt needed to know where the dog food was. I’m pretty sure Matt is probably sitting somewhere a few feet away backstage, but okay Kenya.
It’s time for the meat and potatoes of this episode, Kenya vs. Kim. Andy introduces the segment while sucking on a mint, and Kenya calls him out on it. Andy sets up a perfect ‘that’s what she said’ moment by saying he’ll swallow it, to which Kenya wastes no time responding with “I know you’ve said that before, many times.” It’s funny cause it’s true. Andy attempts to shade Kenya back by asking Kim to rank Kenya as an actress on a scale from 1-10. His plan backfires, however, when Kim gives a classy response praising Kenya’s acting. Kim says you never really see the “pretty girl” play funny and really go for it, and she commends Kenya on doing so. Kenya wonders why she says all of this now, but when watching Life Twirls On with her husband, they only had negative comments to make. Kenya specifically brings up the comment Chris made about recasting Kenya. Kim claims the comment was actually made about another actress on the show. Kenya tells Kim you don’t bite the hand that feeds you (ugh, Kenya, stop while you’re ahead, girl!) and that she brought Kim into the group. Even Andy (the hand that actually feeds everyone on the stage) cocks his head at this statement. Even the most casual viewer can tell Kim was selected by Bravo, randomly mic-ed up one day and shoved in front of a camera with zero connection or storyline to anyone else. Kim takes the high road and actually continues to praise Kenya’s acting and Life Twirls On, but adds once the drama with Kenya became too much, she didn’t want to be involved anymore. Andy continues the shade train express by asking Kim to compare her career to Kenya’s. Kim throws the question to Kenya. Kenya responds she doesn’t feel Kim’s career is any better than her own, and vice versa. Kenya says she’s worked with Kim three different times, and now they are sharing the stage of a show Kenya is a star of. It’s a valid statement, but naturally all the ladies check Kenya, and make some sort of sour face, eye roll, or giggle. PS: Kenya TOTALLY said A star, not THE star. Scurry off to your DVRs and check if you don’t believe me. Kenya calls Kim the lowest man on the totem pole, and makes some awkward comment about Kim coming for her purse. Kim says she’ll let social media enjoy that soundbite. Oh Kim, we certainly did.
Andy moves on, and brings up Kenya skipping out on Cynthia’s ‘merical pitch meeting. He asks Cynthia if she thinks Kenya would cancel a pitch meeting with Spike Lee. Kenya speaks over Cynthia, and makes it known she wouldn’t be late, she’d be 30 minutes early – with bells on. Because Cynthia Bailey is no Spike Lee. Woof. Kenya says she didn’t show up for the meeting because of serious construction issues that day with Moore Manor. She adds she called Cynthia, and had two really great pitch ideas. Andy compares Kenya pulling Kim’s chair out/invading her personal space at the dinner in Jamaica, to invading Porsha’s space at the reunion two seasons ago. Kenya says you can’t compare the two situations, and of course Porsha jumps right in. She says Kenya pushed Kim to her breaking point, but didn’t get the reaction she deserved. Porsha says if Kenya had done what she did to Kim to any other woman on the couch, the results would have been physical. They promptly replay the footage of Porsha lunging at Cynthia on the boat at Lake Lanier. While Kenya was 100% in the wrong, Porsha is equally just as wrong for trying to be any sort of spokesperson on the topic. Porsha keeps coming for Kenya, asking why she constantly has to push people to their breaking points. Kenya is having none of it, continues to speak, and asks Porsha why she is the way she is. Porsha admits she has a problem, but unfortunately I’m not feeling the sincerity behind that. It felt empty, as if she was just trying to make Andy believe it, starting the beginning of her campaign to secure her peach for next season.
Andy reads a comment from a viewer, stating that Kenya seems like she’s jealous of Kim. Kenya responds she’s not taking anything away from Kim – she acknowledges she was a child star, prompting Andy to stick up for Kim, reminding Kenya she’s continued to work throughout her life. Kenya responds “Yeah, in the ‘90s” – which she sets her own self up for, because Andy has to remind Kenya that she was Miss USA in the ‘90s. Sheree has had a running commentary going under her breath this entire time. She is LIVING for being back on the couch, and I am LIVING for the commentary. There is some discussion of the “I am Kim Fields” comment, and Kim speaking in third person. Kenya thinks comments like that (and several others) are all ‘putting down the group.’ Technically, it’s never cute to talk in third person, but most of the ladies (sans Kenya) agree Kim has the resume to back it up. All hail the mighty Tootie! Kim starts defending herself (or bossing up – as Kandi calls it) and being the housewife she should’ve been all season. Kenya interrupts her (again) and Kim hits the breaking point all the women were discussing earlier. She starts a screaming match with Kenya, scolding her for interrupting her. She starts clapping in Kenya’s face, and Kenya just yells and claps back louder. Kenya wants Kim to get to the point, she’s bored. KIM. IS. MAKING. IT. (LIVING for Kim. She wants, and is coming for that paycheck peach next season.) Kim ‘bosses up’ again, points her finger in Kenya’s face, and snaps at her to SAY SOMETHING. All the ladies audibly gasp and jump back. I may have peed a little bit. Sheree quips, “what you ‘gon do, girl” and it feels so very “who ‘gon check me, boo” – and I’m taken back to my happy place. Kim compares constantly interrupting people to a form of bullying. Kenya, obviously, doesn’t take too kindly to that, and adds she’s been bullied more than anyone else on the stage. Here’s a list of words I’d love to see banned from every Housewives franchise ever: Bullying, Etiquette, and Munchausen.
Next Week: T.T. is back with PART 2 of the #RHOA Reunion. We’re getting into some major discussions (hopefully) about Cynthia and Peter. We find out who the one-eyed African is. Kenya makes her epic dick in the mouth comment. Looks like they’re saving NeNe for part three.
Follow me on twitter y’all! @bennayy