Highland Bakery sugar artist Karen Portaleo had mixed feelings after viewing Thursday night’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Portaleo tuned in to see the footage of her gorgeous “Independence” cake she created for “Housewives” cast member Sheree Whitfield who threw herself a party at Midtown’s Door 44 nightclub, following her divorce from NFL star hubby Bob Whitfield.
But naturally, the beauty of Portaleo’s creation and the evening in general were marred by a series of catfights that erupted between “Housewives” Kim Zolciak and NeNe Leakes. The normally reserved newest cast member Kandi Burruss was even drawn into the altercation.
“Oh, my God, I made my mom and dad watch this trashy show tonight!” said Portaleo in a late night call to Buzz Central following the broadcast. “Andy Warhol may have exaggerated. I don’t think I was actually on for more than a few seconds. But I’m going to count it!”
Portaleo was invited by Whitfield to stay and serve the cake at the party, which was probably a wise move considering some of the requested ingredients from the divorcee.
The tiered cake was a ball and chain with a opened cuff and purple butterflies flying off. The cuff contained real rhinestones.
“Sheree was very cool,” recalled Portaleo who created the confection early this spring. “She just told me, ‘I want this cake to be fabulous! And lots of bling. I’m a fashion designer. I want it covered in bling!’ ”
The sugar artist tells us similar cakes at the Highland Bakery usually serve between 150 to 180 folks and run between $1,200 to $1,500 a piece.
And yes, Portaleo was still present when the fight erupted between Zolciak and Leakes after the alleged singer backtracked on a plan to turn her dance single “Tardy for the Party” into a duet with Leakes.
“My opinion?” Leakes told Zolciak. “You can’t sell the song without me. Because of who I am, my personality, everything that has to do with me. More people would buy the song if I was on it.”
Later, Leakes got in Burress’ face for overseeing the recording of the song, prompting the usually quiet singer to caution Leakes: “Bring it down, BRING IT DOWN!”
Whitfield’s response: “Not tonight, ladies. Not on my night!”
“I remember all that yelling and screaming,” Portaleo recalled. “It was fascinating to observe. People were very quick to step up to the cameras to give their opinion of the fight. It was a little like watching ‘The Wave’ at a sporting event. As the camera panned the room, people got very excited and animated. But when the cameras weren’t pointed at them, the energy subsided quickly. I’m just grateful no one choked on a rhinestone!”
To read AJC Radio TV Talk blogger Rodney Ho’s complete “RHOA” episode recap, click here.