The Week in 'Wives: RHOSLC and RHOC go wild, and Project Runway gets Real
It's usually tough to come back to real life after the holidays, but Bravo made it worth our while this week, Housewives faithful. Not only did the network deliver its usual packed episodes of the current running franchises — a Real Housewives of Salt Lake City in which Whitney makes everyone else wear blush so she can be the lone scarlet "wild rose," then a Real Housewives of Orange County wherein Jen alleges that Noella has a fake marriage, I suppose because fake cancer is passé by now in the OC — but it also gave us a true gift in the form of a Project Runway crossover. That's right, seven exhausted designers fighting for the prize of their careers had to muster up the strength to try to actually please the Grande Dame, the Countess, the Professor, and more of the most terrifying clients of their lives. C'est bon, c'est bon.
Happy 2022! Here are the best, worst, and wildest moments from this week in 'wives.
HIGH POINT: Project Housewives (RHOC, RHOP, RHONY via Project Runway)
All those teen superhero shows can try their best, but the only TV crossover event that has ever mattered went down on Thursday night, when 'wives from Potomac, New York, and Orange County in need of reunion looks were the subjects of Project Runway's annual real-client challenge.
"I'm going down," Shannon tells her designer, Bones, in reference to her waistline. "I bought cut carrots, celery, cucumbers." On runway day, she can be found wandering the workroom in her double Spanx, trying to track down some spray tan. Leah says she wanted "sexy Disney princess" in emerald green, but admirably rolls with the punches when Coral delivers sheer nude boho goddess instead. Gina gives the stressed-out designers a goodhearted lecture about the dangers of smoking. Everyone is in top form, except maybe for Wendy, who promptly throws Kristina under the bus when the pants she made fail to accentuate Wendy's newly enhanced derrière. "It's a battle between personalities here," observes Karen. "The designer wants to put her in a feed-and-seed bag, and Wendy wants to be sculpted. Who's gonna win?" Never has the real-client challenge been summarized so well.
LOW POINT: Mar & Mer, RHOSLC
Mary has been known to comment on other people's etiquette, but Jennie elegantly one-upped her into infinity when she returned the pair of disingenuously gifted shoes that still had a receipt in the bag. The shoes get passed back around to Jen (the original intended recipient, bizarrely enough), but that doesn't clear up Mary's worst behavior. The group addresses some of her racist comments — specifically about "Mexican thugs" and Jennie's "slanted eyes" — and Mary denies the former but apologizes, though she doesn't seem to understand why she needs to, for the latter. Perhaps even more disappointing than the evident failure to get through to Mary, however, is Meredith's blind support of her in a situation where Mary is unambiguously in the wrong. They both storm off, and we're all stuck here at a skincare party with a gleaming pair of double-gifted Louboutins.
WILDEST MOMENT: Orange County lemonade, RHOC
This drama between Noella and Dr. Jen is absolutely ridiculous and absolutely Orange County. Here are two brand-new Housewives a mere five episodes in and already they are embroiled in some kind of war over an Instagram post that was allegedly mistagged and — even worse! — poorly lit. Noella calls Jen "thirsty" for the offending post, recommending she drink some lemonade before haughtily dismissing her: "Try to be relevant somewhere else!" You almost can't blame Jen for following up by spreading her suspicions that Noella, who was recently served divorce papers twice (the second time with flowers), is not actually married at all! Emily does what any self-respecting Housewife would do and immediately reports this piece of gossip directly to its subject, Noella, before helping her trash the you've-been-served bouquet. It's an ugly situation all around, but it's making for some enthralling reality TV. I mean, when life gives you lemons...
👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Jennie, RHOSLC
VANDERCRINGE OF THE WEEK: Matrimony, it seems, is not for Brock, whose various attempts to marry Scheana are only getting worse. Some lessons we can all take from this unfortunate saga: It is a bad idea to ask your friends to help you plan a surprise wedding and quietly hope that they also just pay for it when the bill comes. It is not advisable to put what appears to be a Ring Pop on four credit cards when you've already borrowed $10 grand from your fiancée to launch an app that may or may not exist. And I absolutely cannot recommend coordinating a secret marriage ceremony in a dark corner of someone else's destination engagement party, filming it for television, and hoping that the real guests of honor never find out. (VPR)
SHE SHOULD HAVE CARPOOLED: Mary did not attend the taping for the RHOSLC reunion. So everyone wasted time tweeting Andy their cult questions!
CONGRATS: No RHOM this week, but we still got an update on our favorite Floridians — Larsa's divorce was finalized.
BEST SUPPORTING REAL HOUSEKIDS: Shannon's daughters not knowing who Dean Martin was on RHOC disqualified them this week, unfortunately. But luckily Lisa's sons Henry and Jack — specifically Jack getting ready for prom, and Henry roasting the hell out of his brother throughout the process — were winners on RHOSLC.
HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS: Just ask Meredith! (RHOSLC)