Attention is like oxygen for “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” If a red carpet isn’t there, do you even exist?
Fortunately for the five women from the Bravo show, last night’s premiere party at the W Hotel in Buckhead was nirvana thanks to the camera-toting media horde. More than 500 people showed up, including Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Antonia “Toya” Carter from the BET show “Tiny & Toya,” Q from the local R&B group 112 and music producer Jazze Pha. Zolciak invited her cosmetic surgeon Louis Cole, who said he may or may not show up in this season’s episodes. And show creator Princess Banton-Lofters, whose production company Loft 22 Entertainment helped put together the party, came by as well.
The publicist’s media advisory promised attendees such as Mike Vick, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and R&B singer Angie Stone. I did not see them.
Lisa Wu Hartwell was the first of the five there, looking fabulous in a green dress created by Sergio Hudson. Soon after, new buds Kim Zolciak and Kandi Burruss strolled into the green room for interviews. At about 9:30 p.m., NeNe Leakes joined the other three, highlighted by a stunning pearl necklace.
NeNe told my videographer Ryon Horne that the show portrayed her 100 percent accurately season one and she expected no different season two. She also said she didn’t get along with Burruss partly because she felt Burruss, as the newcomer in the group, didn’t show her the proper respect.
I also spoke briefly with Kim about her relationship with Kandi. “She is the best thing to happen to the show,” Kim said. “She’s phenomenal and so beautiful.” Kandi, she said, helps her big time in the music studio as Kim pursues a country music career.
Last housewife there? Sheree Whitfield, who decided to channel ’80s era Tina Turner and Grace Slick with a Mad Max-style hairdo. She came in too late to do many interviews. I also noticed that she never smiles with her mouth open when she poses. Instead, she does her own version of Zoolander’s “Blue Steel.” (See the photo on top.)
While I was in the green room, there was a fight and someone ended up on the ground. I was not able to get any real details except a man was booted from the premises.
The screening was scheduled to start at 10 p.m. By 10:30 p.m., most everyone was seated, but several folks milled about gabbing away in front of the screen. The plaintive cries of the emcee to sit down went ignored. I had already seen the first episode (Bravo had sent a screener a couple of weeks ago) so my fiance and I left at 10:45 p.m.. The screening did start a few minutes later, according to one of the publicists today. Apparently, people sat in spaces reserved for the housewives and it took some time to get extra seats to accommodate the women.
As I was leaving, I saw frequent NeNe sidekick and hairdresser Dwight Eubanks at the valet. He was departing early as well. I said to him, “You’re in the first five minutes of the first episode. Why are you missing that?” He rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever.” He had been there a long time already.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” season two, debuts at 10 p.m. Thursday on Bravo.
My friend Brian Hah (see below, with NeNe), the owner of Yogurberry in Buckhead, helped out with the gift bags and was also able to bail me out in terms of pictures. I had forgotten my camera so he sent me a few shots he took. Thanks, Brian!