It’s been nearly a year since we watched Sheree Whitfield pull Kim Zolciak’s weave, Nene Leakes and Kim battle over an alleged choking incident and Kim sing her way onto the dance charts with “Tardy for the Party.” Ahh… the memories!
But the women many people love to hate are back for a third season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” starting October 4 on Bravo. Lisa Wu Hartwell is no longer a regular cast member and will be reduced to cameo appearances.
Two newbies are coming aboard: model Cynthia Bailey and lawyer Phaedra Parks. For folks who complain the show lacks housewives, the married Hartwell is replaced by Parks, who is also married. Cynthia recently got married. Sheree and Kim are not married and there are no signs either are going to be stepping down the aisle anytime soon.
Bravo sent a preview of the first episode. Without giving away too much, here are some notable observations:
- Sheree’s hair is far thicker than it was last season. She’s no longer working on her fashion line, which I hear died on the runway. Instead, she’s now learning how to act, her “new-found passion.” “I can picture myself on stage receiving an Oscar one day,” she said, with total sincerity.
- The producers like to frequently blur out paintings, which is oddly distracting.
- Kim’s lesbian affair is a classy topic of discussion. “Chaos and drama,” Kim complains, while courting the chaos and drama. Big Poppa? Hard to say what’s going on there. She looks like she has lost some weight and has a better-looking wig on her head.
- Kim and NeNe may or may not reconcile for the 75th time.
- Kim’s mothering skills are in full display. “I hope I instilled the same morals and values my parents did in me,” she said with a straight face. One bit of advice to her 13-year-old daughter: “Don’t chase boys.” Later, she tells the camera, “I remember how wild I was, but hey, I turned out well.”
- Dwight Eubanks, who might be angling for more camera time, is allegedly spreading rumors that don’t please everyone in the gang. And as Bravo trailers have shown, the two aren’t exactly buddy buddy at this point.
- Those trailers also show NeNe having issues with her husband Greg, who isn’t working much lately while NeNe pays the bills with her fame.
- A very pregnant Phaedra shows up partway through the episode as Dwight’s attorney. (She has repped Bobby Brown in the past.) “I’m a Southern belle from Athens, Georgia,” she said on the show. “Southern women have a certain type of charm, a gracefulness women in other parts of the world don’t have.” Her husband Apollo is younger than her. “If people aren’t talking about you, you aren’t relevant,” she noted, embodying the RHOA philosophy.
- Kandi, still recovering from A.J.’s death last fall, has dumped the music she was working on last year and has started over. She is gingerly dating again.
- Model Cynthia Bailey is not formally introduced in the first episode.
Bravo did provide episode descriptions for the next two episodes. Cynthia apparently is connected to NeNe and both attend the Dogwood Festival in the October 11 episode. Presumably, that’s her first official appearance on the show. Later, Kandi goes to Cynthia’s nightclub Uptown Restaurant and Lounge to test out new material for her album.
In the October 18 episode, Kandi helps Kim out as Kim gets ready to perform her one new song at a gay circuit party. NeNe’s son Brice’s previously reported problems with the law are addressed, too.