It’s official: Andy Cohen found the exact amount of time we can stand to spend with the Atlanta housewives... and exceeded it by an hour. That’s if you count the Porsha Stewart’s one-on-one interview. Something feels broken in the franchise. NeNe Leakes has a stank look on her face for over three hours. Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss keep looking out into the distance as if there’s something amazing off camera. Was Porsha riding a unicycle and juggling fire? Did Andy have Jeff Lewis fighting all the Real Housewives of New York City in a kiddie pool filled with butter? This seems like behind-the-scenes machinations by Mrs. Leakes to control the show. Cynthia Bailey had a stone cold expression on her face probably because she wasn’t asked to look in the corner. The only one who seems like a normal person is Kenya Moore and she keeps breaking the fourth wall and talking about filming.
Kenya vs. NeNe
They fight the entire episode, but it does seem like a valid debate. Kenya is the upstart on the show and she’s savvy enough to get the audience’s attention and crazy enough to take on NeNe. Meanwhile, everyone is right. NeNe does try and control the show. She sets different rules for herself than she does for others, and she even bullies Andy. Speaking of hypocrisy, she told Kenya in the first episode of the season, “No b***h will ever tell me who I can or cannot talk to.” And yet, she told Marlo Hampton that because she filmed with Kenya they are no longer friends. They exchanged a few barbs. They also brought up the pajama party and it was clear that NeNe targeted Kenya with blame for all the drama. But, paging Captain Obvious, she put everyone, half-naked, in a room with pre-existing beef. It’s no wonder a fight broke out.
Winner: Kenya. She is very polarizing and you either love her or hate her. But she’s consistent. She may not be 100 percent real but at this point neither is NeNe. Meanwhile, NeNe seems to constantly try and control the show with behind-the-scenes drama and should just focus on being a real person.
NeNe vs. Herself
To quote Ghost, “NeNe, you in danger, girl!” It’s unclear if she wants to stay on the show. She’s checked out for the whole reunion. She looks half asleep. Can someone get her an Ensure? If her dinner meeting with her manager is to be believed, she’s turning down legitimate acting work like she has three Oscars. Is she taking classes at Omarosa Manigault’s learning annex class for being hateful on reality TV? Andy confronts her about homophobic remarks and she gets more petty than apologetic. She doesn’t seem to care about the people watching the show and really only seems concerned with getting a pound of flesh if someone gets her angry. She keeps arguing but there seems to be no point.
Winner: The Repo Men. If NeNe doesn’t respect the franchise and her following she may not have a career much longer.
Kandi vs. NeNe
NeNe made a comment on her blog about how she would never act like Momma Joyce did this season but threw in the phrase “to the gutter.” Kandi was offended, obviously, because it’s a rude thing to say. Sure Joyce is a character on the show and fair game. But, you should respect people’s children and their parents. After all, no one brought up NeNe’s son, who’s been to prison.
Winner: Kandi... and Cynthia. Kandi pointed out correctly that NeNe doesn’t play by the rules she expects others to. She hardly ever apologizes and if she does it rarely seems genuine.
Kenya vs. Phaedra and Apollo
Apollo Nida stopped by to discuss his sordid relationship with Kenya... and to dodge questions about the charges against him in court. He told Kenya that she needed him for a storyline, which is a little true. Andy pointed out that Phaedra and Apollo’s relationship seems so pristine and then rolled footage of them fighting. It seems their personal life may be much different behind closed doors.
Winner: No one. It seems clear that Apollo and Kenya have undeniable chemistry and may have a past. If not, why would they keep engage in this back and forth. They fight and flirt. It also seems like he and Phaedra are presenting a united front.
Peter vs. Being Called B**ch
Peter Thomas gets a great soundbite disputing all the women who called him names. He’s justified as a star on the show to engage in the storyline. Gregg Leakes is barely lucid and yet he engages in conversation.
Porsha vs. Obscurity
Porsha stops by Andy’s clubhouse to talk about all the drama. What she does end up doing is throwing veiled abuse accusations at Kordell Stewart, plugging her new single, and forgetting she spent the entire season crying.
Real Houselines of Atlanta
"At least my gums are original and not from Petco." – Kenya about NeNe’s teeth
"I’m done with rolling around in the mud with pigs." – Kenya
"Don’t expect no respect." – Kandi on her new relationship with NeNe
"Here’s my peach." – Peter
"Miss Ratchet USA." – NeNe to Kenya
"Certified funds, please." – Phaedra on Kenya providing money for charity
"Your life should end." – Did NeNe actually say this on TV?
"I have never worn my scars on my face. I’ve never worn what I’ve been through on my outward appearance." – Porsha on her mugshot forgetting she cried all season
Everyone is up in arms over whether Porsha Stewart or Kenya Moore should leave Real Housewives of Atlanta after the fight last episode. However, maybe it’s NeNe Leakes who should leave. She has burned her final bridge by declaring war on her last remaining ally, Cynthia Bailey. She has had a sourpuss look on her face the entire reunion. Andy Cohen, please just make NeNe a producer. She tries to control the show most of the time anyway and knows good TV. Clearly, she’s tired of going through the motions, too. The toxicity of this reunion is starting to mirror the infamous Real Housewives of New York City reunion where Jill Zarin was fired. It’s also clear NeNe is trying to control the story because whenever Kenya speaks she, Kandi Burruss, and Phaedra Parks turn their heads away like a busted version of The Supremes.
Kenya vs. NeNe and The Supremes
Kenya seems to do the impossible. She breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging she is just “having a little fun.” It’s true it’s fun when the housewives are in on the drama. She also has dropped the drama-mongering pretense and provides thoughtful, cogent, comments during the rest of the show. Sure, she’s an instigator and she talks a lot of smack…but, no shade, so does Andy Cohen. NeNe and Phaedra accuse Kenya of instigating Porsha, which she did. However, this is a national television show and it should never escalate to actual physical blows...only verbal ones. Both Kenya and Cynthia agree and seem heartfelt and genuine.
Meanwhile, NeNe is throwing side-eyes and looks like someone just told her The New Normal was canceled. It’s sad because the reality of this show is starting to take a farcical turn. NeNe is beginning to join the ranks of Teresa Giudice and Jill Zarin by getting so full of herself she’s alienating viewers and giving the show too much negativity. NeNe also has the nerve to say she agrees there shouldn’t be violence but no one should put their finger in her face. Wasn’t she the one who attacked Kim Zolciak, one season, and Dwight Eubanks, another? Isn’t she the first one to get into people’s faces? She denies that she makes phone calls about the show but in her one-on-one with Andy references conversations she’s had with the ladies off-camera.
Winner: Kenya. She can be a pain and was annoying Porsha but nothing warrants violence. NeNe is very hypocritical and clearly trying to control the tone of the show.
Momma Joyce vs. The Bottle?
Kandi’s mother, known affectionately as Momma Joyce, spends most of her time making digs at Todd Tucker. She flaunts her weight loss but blames it on stress. She dodges a lot of Andy’s questions with nonsensical but humorous responses. She brags about all the diamonds she has but says she doesn’t have to work. She says she doesn’t rely financially on Kandi which brings Kandi to tears because clearly Joyce uses guilt to get her way with her daughter.
Loser: Kandi. There is no winner. Momma Joyce is a funny part of the show but at the expense of her daughter’s credibility, personal life, and good name.
NeNe vs. Cynthia
NeNe was downright indignant all season. She was as verbally abusive to Cynthia, as Cynthia’s husband, Peter Thomas. Cynthia bursts into tears over the fact that NeNe never seemed to respect her or their friendship. Sadly, given Cynthia’s financial troubles, she needs her role on the show. It seems like she plays nice because she doesn’t want to get fired. Meanwhile, NeNe seems to think she’s the Queen of the show but she is so disengaged in the reunion. She even goes so far as to mention Kenya is the lowest paid housewife but talks the most. Meanwhile, NeNe has now officially fought with everyone on the show. She also has had a falling out with everyone she’s claimed to be her friend. This seems to have become NeNe clocking random women…she should just get her own version of American Gladiators.
Winner: Cynthia. She may be boring and her husband may be verbally abusive. But, NeNe did disrespect her and has become a toxic element to the show. Cynthia seems very sympathetic and genuinely emotional. Kenya made a valid point that NeNe tosses her friends away when they misbehave.
The Real Houselines of the Reunion
"We fight with our words and I am the best at it." – Kenya
"Is this the color purple? All my life I had to fight." – Kandi throwing shade at Kenya
"We’re on television. We represent a certain culture, a certain race, and we’re women. We should all stick together about violence against women. Whether it’s women on women or men on women. That’s something that should never divide us." – Kenya being insightful
"I am not Porsha, I am not going back and forth with you. I am very smart and I am very sane." – NeNe’s veiled insult to Porsha
"I was one of the smartest girls in my class and I didn’t even really hang around people she would have really known." – Phaedra’s veiled insult to NeNe
"It’s been a long time but I can still wrap up a good wig." – Momma Joyce
"Would she really raise her daughter to be a millionaire, like I raised my daughter and then let her daughter find a hundredaire and he marry her? Then, give me a ring, okay." – Momma Joyce
"I’ve seen so many, you know, of her friends come and go. And I feel like at the end of the day there is a sisterhood there there’s a love there but I’ve never felt like the respect was there." – Cynthia winning the argument
"So why am I on this couch discussing my friendship with Cynthia with you guys like you give a s**t?" – NeNe forgetting she’s on reality TV
"I think when people stand up to you that are considered to be a friend that’s when you turn on them because you want to shut them down." – Kenya
This week the ladies of Atlanta prove that Self Respect is just a river in Egypt ... or however the saying goes, right, Porsha Stewart? Do these women (and men) not realize that they’re on television? It seems like everyone on the series has lost all self-respect and forgotten that their choices will live on forever in YouTube clips.
Kenya Moore begins the episode by showing up to lunch with her friend Lawrence Washington in a pair of high heels with graduation tassels. Then she proceeds to say with no sense of irony, “I’d like something light,” then orders a po’ boy. What comes next is the saddest of revelations. She gives the recap of the last episode ... like some sad extra. She's this season's Least Valuable Player. She can’t rely on an impromptu divorce to save her either. If Fashion Queens didn’t directly proceed the show Kenya might not have appeared at all. Keep Lawrence close, Kenya ... real close.
Speaking of brand synergy, fellow fashion queen Derek J is doing Momma Joyce’s hair. Kandi Burruss shows up and they discuss her misguided musical idea and ignore the fact her mother has wigtastic bangs. Joyce brings up their fight yet again ... then honestly, the rest is a blur because it's so boring you just fall asleep.
Chuck Smith invites NeNe Leakes and Phaedra Parks to lunch. They start to reminisce about high school in Athens, Georgia. You’re expecting Chuck to go off on Phaedra about the revelation that Chuck dated Phaedra and Kandi multiple times. However, he politely asks them both to speak at the Boys and Girls Club. Then NeNe makes a huge revelation: she was in 4H club. She knows how to milk a cow, y’all. They have a fun road trip. The ladies share their early jobs. NeNe worked at Sizzler and, like now, Phaedra had 15 jobs. The group arrives at the club and has a wonderful afternoon. NeNe twerks and plays foosball with children. Phaedra channels Animal from The Muppets and bangs on the drums. Plus, both Phaedra and NeNe score baskets on the court. If this whole reality TV thing doesn’t work, they have a future with the WNBA.
Chuck introduces the ladies and does not mind exaggerating. He introduces Phaedra as one of the “top lawyers in America.” Isn’t she the woman who accepted a cash payment for getting a ticket for tinted windows dismissed? Did she not allow said client to drive out of the parking lot with said tinted windows? However, Phaedra did have a very sweet and inspirational message to the give to the children. Chuck continued exaggerating by introducing NeNe as “one of the top actresses in America” ignoring the entire A and B-list. Nene did not deliver an inspirational message. Instead, she gave what sounded like an infomercial for dreams.
Cynthia Bailey takes her sister Malorie Bailey-Massie to a bead store as revenge for Mal almost ruining her wedding and starting a fight at her anniversary party. Mal reveals that she’s staying with Cynthia and Peter Thomas for two months. Despite rudely inviting herself over, Mal seems to be on her best behavior. Cynthia confesses things are tense and she and Peter are having carnal issues (that means sexy time problems). Mal recommends that Cynthia deal with her emotional issues with Peter first.
Porsha Stewart is living in a fool’s paradise. For those of you wondering, Fool’s Paradise is 10 miles away from Gangsta’s Paradise and down the road from Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. She is living with her mother and lets her mother buy her overpriced and superfluous dog clothes. Meanwhile, she has just moved into a huge house she can't afford! Her divorce settlement is still in discussion, her income is questionable, and her judgment is impaired. Rather than based in logic, her choice is based in her believing in herself. She doesn’t want a man to control her. If she’s going to get thrown out on her ass she wants it to be by a creditor.
After a great afternoon together, Chuck brings up Phaedra's discussion with Mynique. He alleges (that’s legal talk) that the he and Phaedra never dated that instead they were friends with benefits. When Phaedra argues she wasn't a hoochie-mama, Chuck tells her she was “part of the team.” He tells Phaedra, NeNe, and all of America that he’s a douche and is full of himself. He confesses to lying to Kandi about their relationship and “taking advantage of a young girl.” She was also part of this "team." He declares himself the “big homie.” If memory serves, is “homie” Hopi Indian for rectum?
Back in the Lifetime movie of the week, Mal and Cynthia check out the ratchet new Bailey modeling agency. Cynthia shows Mal Peter’s new car. Mal throws shade compliments the car and confesses she's staying over. Peter gets into a huff and storms out. Back at home, Cynthia approaches Peter to discuss their recent fighting. He voices his dissatisfaction with their lack of lovemaking and her sister staying over. He doesn’t like houseguests because if they have an argument it can't be a “full on blow out.” That sounds violent! Cynthia makes a valid point if she didn’t have to work to support the family and if Peter didn’t spend money without asking she’s be in a more lovey dovey place. He counters that he’d like to have a mancave and then proceeds to get precariously close to physically abusive without ever crossing the line. Looks like Divorcewatch has officially begun. Meanwhile, Cynthia may we recommend Sleeping with the Enemy, Enough, and What's Love Got To Do With It.