If “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member NeNe Leakes’ wanted to salvage her shredded reputation last night during part one of the reunion, she failed. (There’s always part two next week!)
NeNe spent much of the hour at the Georgia Aquarium taped a month ago looking like she had been sucking on a lemon all day. Even host Andy Cohen acknowledged her sour attitude at one point.
Here’s what we learned: she is still in the midst of divorcing her husband Gregg. “We’re both in a peaceful place,” she said. “We’re beyond that footage” we saw on TV. Did he cheat on her? “Gregg is not an angel,” she said “I’m not going to say whether he has or hasn’t. I don’t think that’s everyone’s business is what I will say.”
And she has not spoken to Dwight Eubanks despite his efforts at a reconciliation on camera during the final episode. “I felt he was a social climber,” she said. “I don’t do those well. It was best we part.”
And the chill in the room between NeNe and Kim Zolciak almost froze the poor beluga whales behind them. The two revived the same argument that began on that tour bus en route to Miami: that NeNe was offended by the way Kim treated her assistant Sweetie.
Even before then, every time one of them spoke, the cameras would show the other looking disgusted. Unlike past seasons, the two appear to be well beyond kissing and making up.
In other notables:
- Phaedra Parks tried to explain her reference during the show of a “donkey booty.” “It comes off the back like a little shelf. That’s the booty to aspire to. You want to rest a plate on that thing!”
- Someone asked Kim yet again about how old she is. She is 32, people. Kim repeated that she did look old season one due to her wigs and makeup. Andy offended Kim a bit by saying she “caked” on the makeup, then backed off.
- Kim, in fact, looked and sounded a bit sedated during the show, at least until the end. She’s not smoking and drinking while pregnant. (She said she’s “pumped” about life and having a baby with Kroy Biermann.)
- NeNe had liposuction during the season. Both Cynthia Bailey and Kandi Burruss admitted doing so, too, in the past. Kandi said she gained 15 pounds afterwards, not realizing lipo is not an allowance to eat all you want.
- Cynthia Bailey, who proudly said she’s 43, did not know her mom and sister considered sabotaging her wedding by hiding her license until she saw it on TV. “It was shocking,” she said, but she didn’t seem all that upset during the reunion. “It was coming from a good place,” she said. She also signed a pre-nup with Peter Thomas, as did Phaedra with Apollo. And the chemistry one viewer observed between her and her ex Leon, she said was illusory.
- NeNe denied having a crush on Cynthia’s husband Peter, despite flirtations. (”I don’t have a crush on anyone,” she said.).
- Phaedra said her comment that white folks only like canned foods was said “in jest.” She said Apollo says he only likes canned foods all the time. “I wasn’t talking about all white people,” she said. To accuse her of racism wasn’t fair because that would mean some sort of intolerance on her part and that is not the case.
- A reader wondered if Phaedra was being truthful about being an equestrian as a child and could she show proof. The show then revealed a photo of her as a child on a horse.
- NeNe and Phaedra argued over whether Phaedra “knew” NeNe growing up. Phaedra never claimed to be buddies with NeNe growing up but said she “knew” her through her older brother. (They are a few years apart.) NeNe said she didn’t remember Phaedra or her brother and acted a bit like a jerk about it. “I don’t remember people in high school,” NeNe said. “I still don’t know you.”
NeNe also apparently called Phaedra before “Housewives” to do a reality show, proving NeNe knew of her at some point before “Housewives.”
- Phaedra proved that she can be really serious and smart, as people tell me. “Housewives” only highlighted her sillier moments. She explained to Kim that the reason why people found her treatment of Sweetie uncomfortable is the history of black folks. “Historically,” she said, “this country has had a troubled past with race relations. We’re just 57 years out from Brown vs. Board of Education when blacks were integrated into white schools. We never forget no matter what you say. We are somewhat more sensitive because of our troubled past. I’m black. I live in the South. it’s 2011 and there’s still racism and people being hurt. We may have a black president. People think we are on equal footing but we are not equal. There’s still a lot of tension. We have to realize that.”
- I just noticed I didn’t even mention Sheree Whitfield. Maybe next week, they’ll talk about Ti-y Mohammad.
Kim and Kandi argue over the money issues between the two of them concerning Kim’s music. Cynthia and Sheree explain why they found Phaedra’s due date issue not overly invasive. NeNe and Kim keep on blabbering.
- The final regular episode Jan. 30 broke all “Housewives” records with 4.4 million viewers, one million more than the show ever got before.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog