At Yolanda's dinner party, Lisa ignores Adrienne and Paul while a tipsy Taylor takes another opportunity to trash Brandi.

By Karen Valby
Updated November 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM EST
Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo

The episode opened with a scene that could have been directly lifted from an 80s sitcom. Kim was in a charming tizzy about her daughter Kimberley heading off to prom. There were cupcakes and fresh lemonade and what appeared to be a giant bowl of chicken salad. Her daughter Kimberley emerged from her room looking lovely. Her very tall date Nick—””Grmmm, burly!” described Kim—arrived with a shiny brow. Kim urged them to hang around with her a little. No thanks! For one glass of lemonade? No can do! Five minutes? Later Ma. “Call me, I’ll be calling you!” said Kim as the kids left and she moved to peep at them through the one open slot of her blinds. I really hope her sponsor encouraged her to make plans with a girlfriend for the evening. A little nosh at a Cheesecake Factory, an innocuous comedy. Get out of your empty nest and fly you damaged bird.

For a brief moment I thought there was a chance that Barbra Streisand was going to be one of the guests at Yolanda’s dinner party. (Imagine Kyle begging her to sing a few bars from her mother’s favorite songs!) But no. The unctuous butler Richard was just prattling off the names of past esteemed guests. Do we think David Foster shushed Oprah Winfrey when she dared sing the chorus from “Let it Be”? Yolanda was in full prep mode as she went over the menu with Richard, who seemed dangerously short of breath and in need of a trip to a cardiologist, stat. Coconut shrimp, tempura avocado rolls, oh fine, the chicken with mushroom sauce for Ken. Who exactly was coming to the dinner, Richard wondered, while keeping his fingers crossed behind his back for Kenny G. “Lisa’s girlfriends and some of them are single and some of them have husbands,” said Yolanda. Best one line description for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ever! Ah yes, said Richard, he believes he met some of them at the Grammer’s house once. Yolanda used their planning session as an excuse to give the Bravo cameras a tour of the house and I literally gasped in awe at the view of the infinity pool spilling out onto the ocean. This is the ridiculous, enviable opulence folks want from a Real Housewives episode. It’s also why Andy always demurs when WWHL callers wonder when Bravo is going to start shooting a Real Housewives of Rochester.

Later Yolanda, wearing the most luxurious, comfortable-looking, charcoal grey hanging-around-my-Malibu-estate sweater and leggings, unsheathed her gardening scissors and wandered around her lemon grove and rose garden. One day she’s going to find me wearing one of my free Fun Run t-shirts and a pair of faded black yoga pants asleep under one of her lemon trees. I’ll be covered in rose petals and wondering if she has any of that salmon left and I’m going to explain to the police that it’s all Andy’s fault.

The episode had me at this one story from Kyle: “You know what happened to me once?” she told her seemingly reasonable daughter Alexia during a driveway driving lesson. “I stole Aunt Kim’s Ferrari, I was 16, I was driving down Rodeo Drive thinking I was Coolio with the top down and a bee flew in the car. You know how allergic I am? I started screaming and jumped out of the car and left it rolling and a tourist jumped in the car and took over. You know how embarrassing that was? All because of a bee.” Then Alexia tried to parallel park without releasing the emergency brake. “Okay, you’re still four feet from the curb,” Kyle said after opening her passenger door for a peek. The scene had everything! A little back story in which a younger Kyle exploited a top-of-her-game Kim’s trust. A Ferrari. A bee. A tourist. And then some charming mother-daughter bonding to wash it all down. Beverly Hills, you are the Housewives every other city wants to be.

NEXT: Paul said he could care less about Lisa. In his 20th conversation about Lisa.

The haze was settling in over Malibu, the housekeepers had in unison set hundreds of candles aflame. A casual, adorable Kim clomped down her front entry, pausing midway to ask the driver for assistance. “Steps are not my thing,” she explained. She still considers Paul and Adrienne her most reliable wingmen and the couple opened the conversation in the limo with inquiries into the vulnerable woman’s well-being. Kim still has triggers she started sharing, to which Adrienne cut her off and made it all about Lisa. Adrienne may say she just wants to move on but not Paul! If Lisa tried to give him a kiss on both cheeks, he’d so not be into that. Not after she made comments about Adrienne’s beautiful shoes or Jackpot. So making a snarky rhyme about a high heel and failing to fall in love with Jackpot are on par with calling someone a liar and accusing them of selling out her friends to a parasitic press? “Paul!” said Kim, speaking for the lot of us. Hey man, like he even cares about Lisa whatever-her-name-is. “I have a thousand things going on so this is not something that encroaches on my life,” he said. Was he always this big of a tool?

Inside Yolanda had already started greeting guests like past American Idol contestant Michael Johns (?) and trumpeter extraordinaire/Katie Couric’s ex Chris Botti. “You know I drew every inch of this house,” Yolanda told Botti, who appeared to be stifling a smirk. “And it like killed my brain.” Kyle was spooked by Richard the butler, joking with anyone who would listen that the man was stalking Housewives and one of them would end up with their head chopped off by him and stored in the massive fruit refrigerator. When Lisa and Ken arrived, Kyle exclaimed of a pink-shirted, lion-haired Ken that he was “like the combination of Rod Stewart and Giggy!” I picture her immediately excusing herself to go high-five her face in the bathroom mirror for coming up with such a line.

Meanwhile Lisa made a prompt U-turn back towards the appetizer tray when Adrienne and Paul arrived. I picture Paul immediately excusing himself to go kiss both his cheeks in the bathroom mirror and then smash the glass with his fist.”When I walk up to the group to say hi Lisa just turns and walks away,” he muttered to Kyle. “Not cool. I’m not going to say hi to that one, that’s all. F— that. After what she did to us, I’m not going to do that. F— no.” Then came my favorite moment of the whole night. Taylor had just finished reminding us all that David Foster had been married to one of her best friends, Linda Thompson. Then he came up at the party to greet her and said “Hi Kyle, how are you?” She didn’t blink and just got a real syrupy smile on her face. “Hello, hi honey, how are you?” In the background Paul piped up “Hey, that’s Taylor!” This is basically what I picture every party in Beverly Hills being like—people pretending to know and like each other while taking solace in the passed appetizers.

NEXT: The David Foster Show.

David and Yolanda sat together at the head of the magnificently appointed table. “I’m shocked now at how many women don’t know how to be a great homemaker, hostess,” he said in praise of his fourth wife. (It’s like he sees right into my cold, inhospitable heart!) “She just gets everything right, without being frou frou. Because I hate hate hate frou frou.” I in fact do not believe that you hate frou frou. Chris Botti, 50, revealed to the table that his bloodstream was 70% Botox but then Taylor interrupted and not to say “Me too!” She instead reminded everyone at the table about Brandi had supposedly bragged about sleeping with everyone in Beverly Hills and isn’t she such a slut and cackle cackle, slurp slurp. Yolanda turned inward, gazing down the table with extreme disapproval. “Taylor seems tipsy,” she purred with marble aloofness. “There is nothing more ugly than a drunk woman.”

Kyle might have been a little tipsy herself. How’d you two meet, she demanded of her hosts? “We met through her ex husband,” said David, as Yolanda ceded the floor to him entirely. “I was actually single and was going to move in with Mohamed. Can you imagine Mohamed and I living together?” Bravo would have killed for that show. “As I was in his house going ‘This is going to be nice, we’re going to have fun’ I kept seeing these pictures of this beautiful woman. I said ‘I’d like to meet her, is that possible?'” Well little did he know that in the Arab culture people are fine introducing their exes to their friends but they don’t always love when that turns into a bona fide relationship. (That’s every culture, yes?)

By then Kyle had moved on to David’s career and he was loving the opportunity to expound some more. What’s the favorite song he’s ever written? He made a brief show of not wanting to sit at the Grammy-laden piano. By the way, he’d just assume keep all his Grammys in the garage but Yolanda thinks they’re cool and so he acquiesced. Not buying it, David! He slid onto the bench and started feeding lyrics from the Urban Cowboy ballad to Michael Johns. “That was my Mom’s favorite song!” cried Kyle, who couldn’t believe that David Foster had basically penned the soundtrack to her childhood. “I’m big with the over 60s,” he said, which I think was his way of telling her to can it with the references to her being a kid during his heyday.

Anyways, drum circle time! “Singing is a mandatory part of coming to the dinner parties,” said David. Unless you’re Kyle or Taylor who had enthusiastically started crooning some bars to “Amazing Grace.” “You’ll have to listen. Sshhh! You don’t speak, you don’t sing.” Kim was totally on board with self-muzzling. “I can ruin Twinkle, Twinkle,” she said. But Taylor looked completely put out and started talking smack into her wine glass, which I was sure she was going to spill on the white carpet. When Chris started playing “Danny Boy” she got squirmy and pissy. “Haven’t I had enough sadness in the world?” Paul, ever a Housewife’s Prince Charming, intervened, telling David that Taylor was having bad memories, could they play something a little more upbeat. Yolanda stared in disbelief at Paul and Taylor. Richard appeared in the corner, holding a kitchen knife but Yolanda backed him off with one raised hand. This party was over. Except for one quick Housewives train to “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

It turned out we really didn’t get to see the promised show-down between Adrienne and Lisa over blush wine. Instead, we saw Lisa putting hot rollers in her hair, an act that was strangely mesmerizing, while explaining to Ken the necessity of her at least meeting Adrienne for a drink. Otherwise, she explained, giving a brief, brilliant impression of Adrienne’s nasal accent, she’d be blamed for not even trying. But the words “I’m sorry” better be Adrienne’s opener, “otherwise this meeting will be as short as she is.” At the restaurant, Lisa appeared from behind a seated Adrienne, her cape flowing in the restaurant’s air conditioning. It was like Batman coming to meet the Joker.

Next week: Kim cries, Brandi tells Adrienne to stuff it.

Well, friends: How do you feel about Yolanda? Whither Brandi? (I blame her anxiety.) Is David Foster a harmless ham or kind of a prick? Should Taylor consider switching to water?

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