It's Andy who's bringing the sweetest tea and sassiest shade in this first Reunion installment
Credit: Moses Robinson/Bravo

Let’s be very clear about who the sweetest dispenser of tea, the fiercest disseminator of shade, and the realest Collector of Bones around these RHOA Reunion parts is: a certain Andrew Joseph Cohen.

Watching a Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion is a bit like when you accidentally hit 1.5x speed while listening to a podcast: At first it can seem fine, but after about 30 seconds you wonder if you’ve become an insane person. But even when flying at the speed of sound (which is to say, the amount of time it takes for Kandi’s voice to start shaking when talking about last season), only a reality check from Andy can bring this runaway shade train allll the way to a screeching halt. Or rather, a silent halt as it turned out in the cases of, say, asking Sheree the status on She by Sheree’s next product launch, or responding to Kenya’s attempted evasiveness about her husband’s opinions on the show with a simple, “That’s what he said to my colleagues.”

Season 10 of RHOA might not have been its most electric, but any season can be saved by a reunion with so many clapbacks you begin to wonder if the “Cha Cha Slide” is somehow being played discreetly in the background. Because we don’t come to reunions for a recounting of the past season, we come for a Housewife being so caught off guard by Andy reading a question from “Tamra in Winter Park, Florida” that the only response she can possibly muster is: “…joggers.” We come to watch Porsha cosplaying T’Challa’s wife, and to hear “John the Pizza guy?!” exclaimed, and to see just how much highlighter six women could possibly use on six different collar bones.

Now, I didn’t know that we were coming to part one of this RHOA reunion for a shady clip-trip down memory lane featuring the former “hair, bodies, and faces” of these women, but I am all the way here for it — and let’s just hope they pull out a solo reel for when Kim takes the stage next week. As for this week, I’d love to give my own personal ranking of how the Housewives faired in their first reunion outing…but why should I, a lowly watcher of the Real Housewives, do the ranking, when Andy has so obviously already ranked them himself? The six main peach-holders were helpfully separated into a “boobs out” couch and “boobs (mostly) in” couch, but they were also clearly lined up by how through Bravo is with them. Let’s assess:

Sheree: Now, starting with Sheree at the end of the couch is kind of skipping over the fact that Marlo was teetering on an armrest next to her half the time — but skipping over Marlo has been a 10-seasons-long tradition on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, so why stop now? Especially when there is so much to cover with Sheree, starting with her dialing her imprisoned boyfriend into her dressing room in hopes of stirring up the weakest of dirt, moving right into the inexplicable decision to belt a satin fuschia tent to her body once she was on the couches of doom, and finally onto her stuttering defenses of her fake fashion line and her fake friend Kim.

Clearly, part one of this reunion was not a good look for Sheree, and that’s because Sheree has had nothing going on this season except a full collection of sweat suits, and building an insane basement/cocktail lounge for her imprisoned boyfriend. What could she possibly have had to say in Sunday night’s reunion?! I would not have assumed it would involve stuttering out that she’s working on a “lifestyle” line of She by Sheree that should be due in “like, September…or, uh, that is, Spring/Summer…like September Spring Summer,” but boy am I glad it did. Sheree then stood her ground about being angry with Porsha for calling her untrustworthy even when Andy points out that she is a self-professed bone collector. She ends it all by gleefully volunteering herself as the most likely Housewife to be married next, when we all know that her boyfriend is expected to be in prison for the next four years. Oh, Sheree…better luck next time, girl.

Kenya: After being MIA for most of the season, Bravo slid Kenya alllll the way down that couch like a jilted teenager. Now, Kenya gets a few solid reads in because Kenya is a solid reader — she’s quick, she’s angry, and she’s always on defense. But these few quips do nothing to make her secrecy about her husband seem less shady. First she suggests that she’s pregnant, then tries to pull the privacy card even though, as Andy helpfully points out, she’s the one who just suggested that she’s pregnant. Next she tries to say that she’s never met her husband’s parents because they live “out of state.” Finally, she defended Marc’s, um, interesting fashion choice once he was finally on the show, saying, “And he doesn’t have a nose ring, he has a piercing.” Oof.

Kandi: Kandi’s voice was wobbling in this reunion before Andy could even get his cue cards straight, and Kandi is in second-couch-position exactly because she’s still wobbling about things that happened last season. Even if they’re things she’s perhaps justified in continuing to wobble about, it doesn’t make said wobbling any less boring. Although I did appreciate her breaking the fourth wall to say that there are plenty of the things they say on camera “because we want the world to hear it,” but that doesn’t mean it’s genuine.

Cynthia: Was Cynthia at this this reunion? I definitely saw a gorgeous red dress, but I can’t recall seeing anything from 51Cynt. She wasn’t even in the “All the People Who Have Been, Or Are Currently Mad at Porsha” clip package. And speaking of…

Porsha: For as much as Porsha was out on her own island this season, there really would not have been a season without her. And so, she is given the seat of honor/horror at the right hand of Sir Andy. Whether it be doormats, or callings for firings, or recalling that time she suggested that Kandi plotted to sexually assault her, Porsha was a magnet for drama this season. So she spent much of this reunion defending herself, to varying degrees of success. I think everyone can agree that though Porsha has apologized to Kandi, it’s just not in her nature to take full accountability for anything. That does not mean I want her to apologize to Kandi again — I never want to hear about any of this again.

That Porsha has come out of this season, and into this reunion, with a mostly restored relationship with NeNe is a good look, and by the end of this hour, having Sheree mad at her is basically a compliment. Porsha also says that she’s in a relationship and is “claiming in the name of Jesus” that she’ll be married this year.

NeNe: I don’t know how she did it, but the self-proclaimed “tastiest peach in Atlanta” somehow managed to remain as petty as ever while not getting particularly worked up over anything. While Sheree started the reunion off desperately calling Tyrone to give Andy dirt backstage, NeNe started it off by merely responding, “I’m sure it wasn’t in person,” when she heard wind of the Tyrone conversation. When Andy asks NeNe about shading Kim for wearing wigs in the past, but now wearing wigs herself, she simply answers, “I shaded Kim because her wigs came from Party City.” It gets a huge laugh from even the lowliest of couch-sitters. And when she could have joined in on Kenya alleging that Marlo got with some man for $20,000 that NeNe dated while separated from Gregg, then tried to blackmail NeNe about it, NeNe simply says, “I’m surprised he had $20,000 let, I worked his mother fucking pocket.”

Let’s enjoy this calm and collected NeNe while she lasts, folks — next week, Kim takes the stage, and it appears that Andy is happily strapping her into the front seat.

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of Atlanta
NeNe, Kandi, Cynthia, Phaedra, Kenya, and Claudia keep the ATL just peachy.
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