New NY Housewives announced, plus more highlights from biggest-ever Watch What Happens Live
It was a night filled with enough sequins to be seen from space. Watch What Happens Live filmed its biggest show ever on Friday night to cap off Day 1 of BravoCon 2019. Seventy-seven Bravolebrities — both current and former — shared the stage at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom in front of a packed house of more than 2,000 adoring, shrieking fans. For anyone who might not understand the significance of such a momentous event, it’s like The Avengers: Endgame, in which all the major players from different franchises within the same universe (in this case, Bravo) are interacting, all together, at the same time. Host Andy Cohen brought out groups of stars in shifts — the casts of The Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, Married to Medicine, and Million Dollar Listing — and dedicated short segments to each. The taping lasted for about two and a half hours, which will be edited down to an hour’s worth of television to be aired Sunday night.
From the introductions of new cast members and grudges between the Bravolebrities, so candid moments that didn’t happen when cameras were rolling, here are highlights to look out for on the show as well as those off-camera moments where *Scheana Shay voice* it’s all happening.
A New Housewife
The biggest announcement of the night came courtesy of Luann de Lesseps. “I brought along the newest Real Housewife of New York City,” the cabaret star rasped. The Bravo Clubhouse doorbell rang and clothing designer Leah McSweeney burst through, joining Luann and the rest of the cast — Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, and Tinsley Mortimer — of RHONY season 12 on stage. McSweeney, tall and blonde, founded her clothing line Married to the Mob in 2004 and is also a columnist for Penthouse. She’s replacing Skinnygirl mogul Bethenny Frankel, who confirmed her departure from the show following season 11.
Some Old (Former) Housewives
You’ll get to catch up with “OG Housewives,” women who were original members of the casts of their respective seasons but are no longer on the show. Jeana Keough (The Real Housewives of Orange County, seasons 1–5), Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City, seasons 1–4), Caroline Manzo (The Real Housewives of New Jersey, seasons 1-5), Kim Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, seasons 1–5), and Adrienne Maloof (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, seasons 1–3).
Squash the Beef
Watch What Happens Live viewers know to expect gameplay of some kind on each episode and this special won’t disappoint. The name of the game is “Squash the Beef,” and in it, two Bravolebrities — each from a different show — face off about a real-life, off-camera beef. Some beefs you’ll see: Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules) vs. Captain Lee (Below Deck), Kelly Dodd (RHOC) vs. Kenya Moore (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), and Ramona Singer (RHONY) vs. well, almost everyone. The best of all of Singer’s disputes (there were several) was the one with Gizelle Bryant (The Real Housewives of Potomac). The animus was very real between the two women, and (spoiler alert!) the beef was not squashed and remains intact.
For some cast members, their respective beefs were not a game at all. Lisa Vanderpump made a surprise appearance during the Vanderpump Rules segment, as it seemed the show’s cast had no idea she was in attendance. She only stayed on stage for the three or four minutes of that segment and left immediately after — hightailing it before her former castmates/current enemies of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills took the stage — whereas all the other Bravolebrities took seats in the bleacher seats on the stage and remained there throughout the show. Similarly, Caroline Manzo made a quick exit so as not to breathe the same air as her former RHONJ castmate Teresa Giudice.
The Most Cringe-Worthy Moment
You’ll be treated to host Andy Cohen’s karaoke performance of Kim Zolciak-Biermann’s 2009 hit “Don’t Be Tardy for the Party,” after which, Zolciak-Biermann joined him on stage, where Cohen asked her if she was pregnant. Zolciak-Biermann, who was wearing a form-fitting pleather dress, said she was not, although people from the audience voiced — or rather, shouted — their disbelief. Either Cohen knows something we don’t and that Zolciak-Biermann is not ready to admit, or he really stepped in it.
Waiting in the Wings
Lisa Vanderpump’s husband Ken Todd was there, unsmiling on the sidelines, supporting his wife and holding her handbag during her brief cameo. Kim Zolciak-Biermann’s husband Kroy was sitting in general admission and when the audience realized this — about halfway through the show — they lost their minds.
And the Crowd Goes Wild
At every commercial break, the audience on the floor would rush the stage, despite the best efforts of security. It was all good, though, as the Bravolebrities seemed to enjoy the attention and were just as excited to take selfies as the fans were.
Tamra Judge’s Stage Dive
After the show wrapped, and fans rushed the stage once more, RHOC star Tamra Judge leaped off the stage and crowd-surfed in a sparkly minidress.
Watch What Happens Live airs Sunday-Thursday at 11 p.m. ET on Bravo.
Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.