Step forward if you’re going to be on the second season of The Real Housewives of Miami. Not so fast, Larsa Pippen! In a surprisingly mercenary move yesterday, Bravo cut two of the Miami Housewives from its roster. Though Marysol Patton, Lea Black, and Adriana De Moura survived the cuts, Pippen will be joined in the reality half-off bin with Cristy Rice. (Housewife Alexia Echevarria will be returning, but in a limited capacity, says a Bravo rep.) Though Bravo has yet to comment on why these two ladies hit the cutting room floor, Housewives history has proven one thing: You either go big (personality) or go home.
To be fair, the Miami shake-up is not entirely shocking. A similar fate befell four Real Housewives of New York last September, and The Real Housewives of D.C. made Bravo history last April by becoming the first franchise of seven not to be renewed for a second season. Miami, which premiered last February in the wake of D.C. was under the gun from day 1.
Miami received only so-so ratings in its freshman run (lower than D.C. in many instances), but it had one thing going for it that D.C. distinctly lacked — stand-out characters. (Unless you count D.C.‘s questionably racist, Prince Harry-smooching Brit Cat Ommanney, who burned her bridge to the clubhouse when she said Housewives destroyed her marriage.) Those characters, in the end, were the ones who survived the firing squad.
The only Housewife I would have been legitimately surprised to see go was Alexia. Per Bravo’s spokesperson, Alexia will step back from the series slightly in season 2 due to personal reasons. As for the other ladies, without an outsize personality, an appetite for conflict, and/or a connection to Latin megahunk William Levy, it’s clear to see why one or both would have to go. Who could hold a candle to bombastic busybody Lea and constantly tardy Sofia Vergara-esque Adriana?
Of course that leaves Marysol, who wasn’t exactly the city’s most riveting character. Though the public relationship mistress definitely has the connections Bravo requires, and her sketchy younger husband did provide some water cooler chatter, I’d argue, Marysol’s tight-face, loose-lipped (and wine-slugging, always wine-slugging!) mother Elsa was the key to her re-up. Elsa quickly became a personal favorite of Andy Cohen, so much so that he chartered a limo from Miami to New York City so airplane-averse Elsa could appear on Watch What Happens Live. Maryol got a pass, quite simply, because Elsa brings it every time.
On the other hand, Larsa mostly showed herself to be mostly level-headed (read: boring). For her part, Cristy did bring the drama, but she came across as unsympathetic. When Lea engaged in histrionics, she backed it up with an “I own this town” attitude. Cristy’s more camera-ready moments simply came across as bratty. So what does it take to remain a Miami Housewife? The absence of dignity (which pretty much goes without saying at this point) and diva behavior with the street cred (or at least the dogged belief you have said street cred) to back it up. Those women who won’t be in front of the cameras when production begins this month just didn’t have that.
Are you going to watch season 2, PopWatchers? Do you think the casting changes will bring the franchise to life, effecting an anti-sophomore slump? Are you sad to see Larsa or Cristy go? Do you think any of the Housewives Bravo kept should have been axed?