The Week in 'Wives: Heather on RHOC, mean girls on RHUGT, and Nicki Minaj on RHOP
We may not have gotten a new episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City this week, but our blessings were plentiful regardless. First, The Real Housewives of Potomac delivered a new twist on reunions with this season's fourth part, in which celebrity superfan Nicki Minaj took a turn in Andy's chair. Next, OG franchise The Real Housewives of Orange County had its 16th season premiere, introducing two new cast members and bringing back Heather "Fancy Pants" Dubrow after five years. Finally, Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip featured a cast photo shoot, a little New Yorker heart-to-heart, and finally, out of nowhere, an absolutely savage takedown at a beach dinner. Here are the best, worst, and wildest moments from this week in 'wives!
HIGH POINT: Right back where we started from, RHOC
Sometimes it takes returning to a Housewives city for me to realize how much I'd missed it. How great was it to be back in the OC? When am I not ready for a boozy lunch at a Mexican restaurant in a posh strip mall? And here's Heather Dubrow, striding back in to lead the pack, throwing sushi parties and giving house tours and pressing the champagne button like she really knew how badly we missed those things last season. We've got two new 'wives! We've got iconic underrated BFFs Gina and Emily! We've got Shannon drunkenly sharing secrets off-camera then neglecting to pay her tequila bill! We've got it all. I am filled with gratitude. I want for nothing — except maybe my own Belle ladder in a carefully Windexed walk-in closet.
LOW POINT: Mean Girls x Carlito's Way, RHUGT
On the one hand, this week's dinner on the beach was an incredible Housewives moment. RHUGT has been so rewarding, a rich character study of seven characters we thought we knew so well, and the final act of this episode was one of the series' most enthralling scenes thus far. Ramona, of course, has spent the whole trip bulldozing her way through every confrontation. There's no getting through to her. She fake tearfully apologizes and then resumes her reign of terror, as she's done for the last decade-plus on RHONY. But at the dinner on the beach at John's house, Kenya and Luann perceive a weakness — Ramona's obvious if inexplicable interest in John — and take devastating aim.
Kenya works fast, breezily taking Ramona down a notch all while creating an opening for her co-conspirator to swoop in. Before you know it, a furious Ramona is stomping around looking for the bathroom and Luann is leaning in close to John, feigning interest in his bland conversation about how much he loves Toronto. They went for her like assassins; Teresa, a noted crime drama enthusiast, likens it to the ending of Carlito's Way. Impressive as it was, it was also such a familiar, petty brand of warfare, I was temporarily transported back to the hallways of my high school. I don't think I'm capable of feeling bad for Ramona at this point, and she was certainly due a reckoning, but they just didn't need to go after her like mean girls. After all, she was doing a great job of embarrassing herself all on her own.
WILDEST MOMENT: The Pinkquisition, RHOP
I had my doubts about a celebrity guest taking the moderator's seat at a Housewives reunion, but Nicki Minaj's turn questioning the Potomac ladies really did make for a dynamic show thanks to the shocking questions on the superstar/superfan's little pink notecards. Andy would absolutely never dare ask whether Ashley would have married Michael if she were already rich herself, or if Robyn and Gizelle have ever hooked up, or if Gizelle believes her looks are fading. But Nicki dared! And I'm not entirely sure that she should have! Still, she was very invested and curious, the ladies rose to the occasion, and some of the probing questions did yield new insight from the cast. Nicki was not generous towards Candiace in discussions of her music — enraging Chris — but Candiace emerged triumphant, her impromptu performance of "Drive Back" winning over even Mia. All in all, it was an interesting experiment! But Andy, please stick around!
👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Heather, RHOC
VANDEREXCESS OF THE WEEK: I'm sure Tom's cocktails are delicious, once they're finally made. But in the time it would take for a bartender to even summon the fortitude to mix one, I could have already ordered and finished a vodka soda. Twice, probably. (VPR)
REFRESH YOUR MEMORY: Forgotten the details of the twisted legal history of (ex-) RHOBH househusband Tom Girardi? Los Angeles Magazine is here to help!
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: RHOSLC's Jen Shah has asked a judge to dismiss her fraud case due to the Hulu documentary The Housewife & the Shah Shocker.
WELCOME (BACK) TO MIAMI: Two weeks to go until RHOM returns!
RESPECT THE HUSTLE: Luann is making how much on Cameo? (RHUGT)
THE LADY DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH: Wendy laughed way too hard — there is absolutely no universe in which it is reasonable to laugh that hard — when Nicki asked her about Eddie following booty models on Instagram. I would not have even cared about such an allegation had she not so ostentatiously cracked up over it. What was that?! (RHOP)
CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY: "Shane Simpson passed the bar because they lowered it so that he could reach it. It's just… It's truly a gift." — Gina, RHOC