The Real Housewives of New York City was originally presented as a collection socialites living the high life in the Big Apple. After Bethenny Frankel’s insane success with “keep it real” commentary and consistent branding, the show’s tone changed. It evolved (or devolved, depending who you ask) into one of the yell-iest and most product-pushing of the Bravo reality series. The latest season has gone full tilt wacky with the ladies acting as wild and crazy as possible.
It seems like this season is focused on wringing the wildest and craziest drama out of the women. Considering some housewives drink like it’s an Olympic sport, pick fights pathologically, and others are just duds, we’ve ranked the housewives by their level of crazy.
Bethenny is the most successful of the New York housewives, and the sanest. Let’s be honest, if she can star on a reality show, share personal upheavals in her life unabashedly, and still stay on-brand, she’s a genius. Whenever she lost her temper or got emotional, there was a somewhat reasonable motivation or antagonist. She’s always forthcoming; despite issues with her marriage and her past, she’s never been dishonest or inauthentic. She’s by far one of the realest housewives. She may have issues, but who doesn’t?
Diagnosis: Crazy smart.
It may be controversial to consider kooky Alex to be one of the most level-headed of the bunch. Yes, her husband Simon van Kempen is eccentric. Yes, she is one of those pretentious parents who insist on speaking French to her children but not establishing rules for behavior. Yes, she and her spouse give off a distinctly swingeresque vibe. All that being said, after putting on airs in the first season, she has become really authentic in her time on Real Housewives. She treated the show like her job because it was. She showed up, engaged, and voiced her opinion. Who wouldn’t want to get out of an office and make money on TV to spend more time with their family? She currently hosts various web series where she shares her take on the show but openly references what producers are doing based on her experience. She may seem a little nervous on camera and make strange fashion choices, but what she says and how she says it all feel very legit.
Diagnosis: A little kooky, but mostly grounded.
Heather seems real, authentic, and something of a smart businesswoman. She is also pushy, opinionated, and far from perfect. This doesn't make her abnormal. The only thing that does is her fixation on using hip-hop vernacular. She continuously wants to remind people of her connections to P. Diddy and Beyonce. She has roots in clothing design and worked on their lines... but being a involved with the company does not make you personal friends. This also cannibalizes anyone recognizing her actual clothing brand. Keep that in mind, holla!
Diagnosis: Compulsive namedropper; use of “Holla” may be a nervous tic.
Carole is a tough nut to crack. In her first season on the show, she seemed the sanest of the bunch. She also seems like legitimate New York aristocracy given her Kennedy connections, Princess title, and career as a successful writer. However, her willingness to get into the muck this season shows some cracks in the façade. It calls into question how real she is. Is she a pathological social climber? Obsessive narcissist? Also, how do we know if her book was or was not ghostwritten?
Diagnosis: Slightly suspect.
Kristen may not be doing anything for feminism by excusing her lack of intelligence with her looks. However, she’s does seem like a genuinely involved mother and a career model. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Her penchant for saying bizarre things seems to be more a symptom of being unchallenged for being tall and beautiful than a virtue of being genuinely insane. Only time will tell is she does have some screws loose. After all, she does get a glass flung in her face.
Diagnosis: Under observation.
Cindy did not make much of an impression on audiences of the show. However, she did have some questionable behavior. She made a name for herself by gluing Swarovski crystals to lady bits. Talk about a career that will suffer in the recession. As you can tell from her clip she cannot correctly pronounce Swarovski. She doesn’t seem crazy as much as tacky. She didn’t really seem real, authentic, or even engaged in her time on the show. She admitted to "having it all" by having a surrogate give birth to twins. But then her children were only brought out like props and given to a nanny. It’s pretty unclear why she even went on the show since she didn't give a great impression of her parenting or business.
Diagnosis: Benign tackiness.
Jill went from one of the most likable to one of the most loathed housewives on the show. Her quick shift from annoying mother to pathological product pusher combined with her nasal voice made her grating. She got into a fight with Bethenny then proceeded to instigate fights with everyone on the show. After being fired, she offered conflicted stories of the rationale to different news outlets: On Watch What Happens Live, she asked Andy Cohen, on the air, why was she fired. On ABC, she said the show was becoming a toxic environment. On OWN, she said she wanted to leave the show and even wrote an email to the producers that she didn’t send. Instead, it was answered by the universe. Regardless, she has not found a way to be likable or relevant without revisiting her issues with Bravo and Bethenny.
Diagnosis: Victim of her own ego, fame hunger, and annoying voice.
COUNTESS LUANN DE LESSEPS
There are two, maybe even three or four, LuAnns. There is the highfalutin Countess who reminds people of appropriate manners and passive aggressively shames them for using the wrong fork. There’s fun and frisky LuAnn that likes to go out with the girls and flirt with guys. There’s the questionable mother LuAnn who leaves her children to be raised by their sassy live-in nanny then unceremoniously fires her. There's LuAnn the autotune musician. LuAnn feels like the type of rich Manhattanite we want to learn more about. What are her secrets? What does she really think? On the show, she’s been caught lying, cheating, and squealing. If she owned it all and said, “Bygones, America! I’m a real person!" that would be relatable. Her music career is a little problematic. Her first song was processed to death but somewhat catchy and campy. Her second seemed like shameless pandering and it’s no wonder the two Housewives that starred in it were fired.
Diagnosis: Exhibits symptoms of multiple personality disorder. It's unclear if she's a compulsive liar or bad at keeping a secret.
Aviva began her time on the show riddled with anxieties and seemed to be in a slightly co-dependent relationship with her husband. This season, she seems willing to say anything and everything that comes to mind. It’s unclear as to whether Aviva is channeling Rocky and fighting housewives left and right because she’s real, wants to stay on the show, or is trying to sell her book. She also seems oddly okay with her father and ex-husband’s inappropriate ways. It's also strange she would devote a book to losing her leg but started the show not talking about it at all.
Diagnosis: She doesn’t know how she feels and neither do we.
Kelly is legit crazy... allegedly. She’s fashionable, attractive, and has a decent career as a fashion personality. However, when she was on vacation in St. Barts, unable to escape the cameras, all kinds of wildness came out. She was obsessed with candy, accusing people of things, trashing Bethenny, and calling everyone “hoebags.” She would hop on her high horse slut-shaming women, and then pose for Playboy and walking around with half-naked men. She also accused some women of being possessed.
Diagnosis: Crazy behind closed doors.
Sonja is lovably crazy. She likes her booze and her men. She has a whole host of “businesses” yet we never see products. Where is the toaster oven? Show us the receipts! She has a host of interns that somehow get college credit to do her bidding. They also all live in her house? Sonja has no filter but she also seems to have no understanding of what’s going on in her life. Given her issues with the custody of her daughter and her divorce, broadcasting she’s commando is not great for credibility. Also, judging from this video, she isn’t aware that she shouldn't give interviews while inebriated. In case you’re wondering, the young girl holding her is one of her interns.
Diagnosis: Housewife has a series of bounced reality checks.
Ramona is the Eyelander! She’s the last surviving housewife from Season 1. She and her crazy eyes have found their way into our hearts. Her lack of a filter and socially inappropriate behavior made her a mainstay on the series. However, it is bizarre that her business is built on making religious jewelry and her brand is family oriented. Yet, she’s not afraid of heavy drinking aka Turtle Time, being scantily clad, and her husbands seemingly cheating ways. She also seems a little erratic and no longer able to drop the Romotions. Is she unclear as to where the television Ramona begins and the real Ramona ends?
Diagnosis: Filing for divorce from reality.
Last night on Andy Cohen's Big Bravo Dog and Pony Show (otherwise known as Watch What Happens Live) we finally got to lay eyes on the three women who will be joining "Countess" LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, and Ramona Singer for cattiness in the Big Apple as full-fledged Real Housewives of New York? Last summer Bravo slashed the cast of the stagnating Real Housewives of New York firing Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Cindy Barshop (who I still think is some sort of bedazzling zombie unleashed on New York City as a sign of the apocalypse) and now we get a look at their replacements.
From the clip we saw last night (check it out below) it looks like they're not going to mix well with the veterans. Just who are these women and what do we know about them? Here's all the info we could dig up for now.
Occupation: She's a real actual housewife.
Family: Divorced from real estate mogul Harry Dubin, who fathered her son Harrison. Currently married to fancy pants banker Reid Drescher, who fathered her children Hudson, and Sienna. She is helping to raise Veronica, her husband's daughter from a previous marriage. The Nanny star Fran Drescher is her cousin and thinks Aviva shouldn't be doing the show.
Fun Facts: Aviva, a native New Yorker, has a masters degree in French Literature and a law degree. She had a childhood accident on a conveyor belt at a diary farm which resulted in her losing part of one leg. Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow former banking wife Sonja Morgan.
Occupation: Journalist and author.
Family: Carole's husband Anthony Radziwill died of cancer in 1999. His mother is Lee Radziwill, who is Jackie Kennedy Onassis' sister. She was close friends with Carolyn Bessette, who married her husband's cousin John F. Kennedy Jr. She has no children.
Fun Facts: Carole has won three Emmys and a Peabody award for her work with ABC news covering topics like the Gulf War and landmines in Cambodia. She wrote a New York Times bestseller What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love about the death of her husband, his cousin, and her best friend. She's been on Oprah and her net worth is estimated on the internet (the most trusty resource in the world) as $50 million.
Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow married-into-royalty Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.
Age: A lady never reveals
Occupation: Fashion designer and founder of Spanx rip-off Yummie Tummie
Family: Hmmm. We can't find any. Can she be single?
Fun Facts: Heather helped Sean Puffy Doody Combs start his Sean Jean fashion line and has also designed for Beyoncé and other celebrities who lend their names to clothes. Her shapewear was one of Oprah's Favorite Things but she was not actually on the show like Carole Radziwill. But she was on Nate Berkus. She is not the comedian.
Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow wannabe fashion tycoon Ramona Singer.
More:Bravo Considers Replacing Entire 'Real Housewives of New York' Cast'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Pinot Grigio and PianosJill Zarin Might Be Out of 'Real Housewifes of New York'
When Cindy Barshop joined the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City, the other housewives were understandably kind of mean and made sure she understood that there was a strict "pecking order" in place, and clarified that she shouldn't expect to enter the group and immediately have everyone's respect. Eventually, the women started being nice to her, but there was still the occasional fight about who was sitting there first and what is an appropriate time to have breakfast with your girlfriends when it's a weekday.
But since Bravo is bringing in three new women for the show's fifth season instead of just one (and because there is safety in groups), this means Ramona Singer, LuAnn de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan won't be in the majority anymore and so perhaps they won't have the ability to torture the newbies as well as they tortured Cindy. Maybe the veterans will have no choice but to just swiftly inaugurate the new women into the group and call it champagne supernova and just be done with it. But that all depends on who the new women will be, and if the New York Daily News is correct, the new housewives are more than capable of rounding out the group.
NYDN maintains that Bravo's three newcomers are Carole Radziwill (at left), Heather Thompson and Aviva Drescher. Radziwill used to be an ABC News producer, and she married Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' nephew. Thompson is the fashion designer who created the Yummie Tummie (a shapewear line), and she has two children. And Drescher is what's referred to as a "Wall Street" wife, which is a title that's exactly like Pogs in that it's something that used to totally dominate a party.
As expected, Bravo has not commented on the rumors. But perhaps we won't even know anything until the first episode and we see the sexy head tilt movements they've paired with their introductory phrases (which will definitely be like "Wall Street? More like My Street" and "The Kennedys may be dead, but I'm certainly not." Yeah, this replacement isn't going to be so terrible after all.
The Real Housewives of New York City's Cindy Barshop was the first woman to speak out about Bravo's decision to cut her and three other women (including Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Jill Zarin) from the show before the fifth season was to start shooting. But last night, Zarin took to her website and followed Cindy's lead and confirmed her departure as well. In her statement, she wrote "I've had four amazing years on The Real Housewives of New York City. I'm grateful for the experiences and friendships I've made on the show. I've certainly learned a lot about myself and others. The show has decided to take a different direction and unfortunately I will not be a part of Season Five." Back in early August, there were many rumors that Jill was considering leaving the show and to focus more on her Skweez Couture line of lingerie and to spend more time with her fabric store-owning husband, Bobby Zarin. But they stopped when Jill herself told Us Weekly, "Everything that has been reported is simply rumors, gossip and speculation. I personally have been very busy with my shapewear line, Skweez Couture and am still very much part of the Bravo family."
But Jill's statement suggests that while she's gone from the housewives franchise, she's not gone for good. She ended her note with, "For all the people who have supported me and wished me well, you can see me on a new show that will be announced soon." Odds are Jill's new show will be about her quest to develop and launch Skweez Couture into the American market, which sounds like a fine concept. But unless she starts taking her cues from Sonja Morgan and leaves her BlackBerry in a Skweez investor's toilet instead of asking her daughter what a class about sex is like in college, she hasn't got a leg (or and audience) to stand on.
Sources: Perez Hilton, Huffpo, Us, Jill Zarin
How would you like to spend a night shopping with the stars? It's all possible thanks to the ever-intimidating Anna Wintour! The Vogue editor-in-chief came up with an idea in 2009 where retailers in NYC would stay open past their normal hours and offer in-store events to promote shopping and help stimulate the struggling economy. She called the night Fashion's Night Out, and it always takes place the Thursday before New York's fashion week begins.
FNO has become such a phenomenon that celebrities even take part in the festivities. From performances to guest appearances, A-listers are stepping out to support this stylish shopping extravaganza. And so in case you plan to participate, here is a list of where you can go tonight (in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago) to rub elbows with some of your favorite Hollywood stars.
NEW YORK CITY
Bloomingdales (1000 Third Avenue New York NY 10022): Actor Eddie Cibrian (6-8 p.m.), star stylist Rachel Zoe (6:30-7:30 p.m.)
Bottega Veneta (699 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10022): Actress Rose Byrne (6-11 p.m.)
Coach (595 Madison Avenue New York NY 10022): Saturday Night Live's Seth Myers (7-9 p.m.)
Completely Bare (25 Bond Street NYC NY 10012): RHONY's Cindy Barshop (6:30-10:30 p.m.)
DASH (119 Spring Street New York NY 10012): Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D (6-8 p.m.)
David Yurman (712 Madison Avenue New York NY 10065): Camilla Belle (6-11 p.m.)
Dolce & Gabbana (825 Madison Avenue New York NY 10065): Justin Bieber (6-11 p.m.)
Giorgio Armani (760 Madison Avenue New York NY 10065): Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett (8-10 p.m.)
Jeffrey New York (449 West 14th Street New York NY 10014): Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe (6-11 p.m.)
Kiehl's (109 Third Avenue New York NY 10003): AJ Maclean of the Backstreet Boys (6-11 p.m.)
Lord & Taylor (424 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10018): Solange Knowles (6-9 p.m.) and Ivanka Trump (6:30-7:30 p.m.)
Lucky Brand (535 Broadway New York NY 10012): Project Runway star Tim Gunn (6-11 p.m.)
Macy's Herald Square (151 West 34th Street New York NY 10001): Tommy Hilfiger (5:30 p.m.), celeb DJ Samantha Ronson (6-7 p.m.), Kelly Rowland (7-8 p.m.), Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell (8-9 p.m.)
MAC Cosmetics (109 Spring Street New York NY 10012): Beth Ditto (8-9 p.m.)
Manolo Blahnik (31 West 54th Street New York NY 10019): Sarah Jessica Parker (6-11 p.m.)
Marc by Marc Jacobs Men's (382 Bleecker Street New York NY 10014): Bar Refaeli (6-10 p.m.)
Marc Jacobs (163 Mercer Street New York NY 10012): Dakota Fanning (6-10 p.m.)
Michael Kors (610 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10020): Michael Kors (6-11 p.m.)
New York & Company (715 Lexington Avenue New York NY 10022): Real Housewives of NY cast mates Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Ramona Singer (6-10 p.m.)
Payless Shoe Source (716 Lexington Avenue at 58th Street New York NY 10022): Designer Christian Siriano (7:30-9 p.m.)
QVC (428 Broadway at Howard Street New York NY 10013): Kris Jenner, Heidi Klum, Donald Trump (6-11 p.m.)
Rag & Bone (119 Mercer Street New York NY 10012): Stars of Lala's Full Court Life Carmelo Anthony and La La Vazquez (6-11 p.m.)
Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10022): Kris Humphries (6:30-10 p.m.), Ne-Yo (8-9 p.m.)
Sephora Times Square (200 West 42nd Street New York NY 10036): True Blood's Kristin Bauer, Kat Von D, Kate Walsh (6-11 p.m.)
Stuart Weitzman (625 Madison Avenue New York NY 10022): Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere (6:30-10 p.m.)
Ted Gibson Salon (184 5th Avenue 2nd Floor New York NY 10010): Twilight star Ashley Greene (8-10 p.m.)
Tiffany & Co (727 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10022): Leighton Meester (8 p.m.)
Versace (647 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10022): DRAKE (7-10 p.m.)
Victoria's Secrets (591-593 Broadway New York NY 10012): Angels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Erin Heatherton and Lily Aldridge (7-10 p.m.)
The Beverly Center (Beverly Blvd lvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048): Nicole Richie (5-11 p.m.)
The Grove (189 The Grove Dr Los Angeles, CA 90036): Lauren Conrad (7-8 p.m.)
Westfield Topandga Canyon (6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91303, USA): Tori Spelling (6:30 p.m.)
900 Shops (900 North Michigan Avenue Chicago IL 60611): Bravo fashion guru Brad Goreski (6-9 p.m.)
Macy's State Street (111 North State Street Chicago IL 60602): Kelly Osbourne (6-8:30 p.m.)
Macy's Aventura (19535 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura Miami FL 33180): Real Housewives of Miami's Alexia Echevarria (6-7 p.m.), Real Housewives of NY's Jill Zarin (6:30-7:30 p.m.)
Money can buy you a lot of things...even your own music video. Countess LuAnn de Lesseps is back and flashier than ever with her latest single, Chic C'est La Vie, which features cameos from costars Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon. It follows her debut single, Money Can't Buy You Class. Well it certainly can't buy you talent either. The beat is like something out of a bad 80's flick and don't even get me started on the lyrics. After watching this video only one word comes to mind: trash. I guess this is why they say that art can sometimes imitate life.
The Real Housewives of New York City star was highly disappointed that her other costars, Alex McCord, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer and Cindy Barshop didn't want to be in the video (can't imagine why). "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 husband's naked chest on the show, please." It's like Sophie's Choice trying to pick out who is classier.
Rate the video for yourself, but don't say I didn't warn you...