“I still wanted to look like NeNe, the black woman that I am – but a better version.” – NeNe Leakes to People magazine.
To be on a reality show, you need to have a base level of vanity. So it’s not surprising a high percentage of the “Real Housewives” on the various franchises appear to have had work done.
But NeNe Leakes wouldn’t necessarily be the first one you’d think of who would have work on her face. (Her breasts? A different story.)
Yet there she is in Monday night’s episode getting a nose job on top of a breast implant reduction and some liposuction.
Her excuse? Stress over her son Bryce’s problems and marital issues with Gregg. She has some cash now. Her rationale: why not take advantage and do something for herself for a change? During the entire storyline, Gregg is absent from the cameras. While she gets drugged up before surgery, she asks for him (”I need to see Gregg!”) and it’s kind of sad. She has a friend Diana be a surrogate support system.
It’s great to see NeNe in non-drama mode for a change. She comes across as vulnerable and almost sweet – at least until the drugs wear off.
The other big plot line revolves around Phaedra Parks’ over-the-top baby shower. Parks hosts more than 150 people, with ballerinas and a dance with Dwight Eubanks because her husband Apollo found it too “girly.” Women even get male escorts as they enter the party. “Where are we? Chippendales?” Cynthia Bailey snarks.
And we even get to see former “Housewife” cast member Lisa Wu Hartwell, who refused to play RHOA games and left earlier this year. Regulars will be amused that the producers felt compelled to place her name on the screen twice and not explain why she disappeared.
“Someone stab me in the neck and put me out of my misery!” Cynthia added. (That’s probably what a lot of RHOA viewers were thinking!)
In other plotlines:
- Kandi and Kim Zolciak talk about Kim’s next move in her music career. Kim is a bit clueless but thinks she might do a song based on something said by Jimmy Kimmel: “That ring don’t mean a thing.” (As of this taping, she was dating Lee Najjar AKA Big Papa again!) Kandi, who did her production of “Tardy for the Party” for free, wants some money from Kim to do another song. She says that to the camera but does she say that to Kim? Not that we can tell. We also get to meet Kim’s parents for the first time and they complain how they hardly ever see her. And they encourage her to go to church. Nope. She isn’t changing a thing.
- Sheree Whitfield is now dating fake “Love Doctor”/life coach Tiy-E Muhammad. She pops in to his relationships seminar in Decatur, where we also get to see Carol Blackmon of Majic 107.5, too. Sheree seems quite smitten, assuming of course that this dude has money. I’m surprised she hasn’t asked for his financial statements yet.
- Cynthia Bailey joins Phaedra for the annual Steeplechase event and finds Phaedra annoyingly full of herself. She also has to hold back her husband Peter when Phaedra badmouths him to his face about having five children. “We’ve got to get out of this limo,” Cynthia said to the cameras. “My man is five minutes from choking Phaedra and going to prison himself.” She also likens Phaedra as “the black Tammy Faye Bakker.”
“If I had plastic surgery every time I had marital problems, I’d be Dwight.” – Sheree.
“Phaedra is no doubt her biggest cheerleader. Go ahead and put down the pom poms. We get it!” - Cynthia.
“I’m ready to drink. The bitch is back!” - NeNe after her plastic surgery and still drugged up, to Kim.
Phaedra responded on her blog about what she said last week re: black vs. white households. She was vague though and didn’t respond in specifics:
I have received numerous comments about the remarks that I made on the episode that aired on Monday, October 18, 2010. I feel the need to respond to those comments, because I believe my remarks were generally misunderstood and are being used to portray me as someone I am not. I am not a racist. My heart has always been open to people of all races, ethnicities, and walks of life. If that were not the case, I would not have fallen in love with and married a man who is biracial and was raised by a white woman. The reality is that we live in a society where matters of race are not discussed honestly or openly for fear of being labeled a racist. And that really needs to change if we’re going to move forward in any meaningful way as a melting pot of ideas, viewpoints, and experiences. While I do regret any discomfort or offense that my comments may have caused, I believe it is important that we use opportunities like this to create forums for dialogue and growth, not for personal attacks.
And starting November 7, the show (currently on Monday nights at 9 p.m.) is moving to Sunday night at 10 p.m. to anchor Bravo’s first entry into original programming that night.