Kim Zolciak this season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” so far has barely interacted with the other housewives. She’s had good reasons: she’s been busy having her baby with her future hubby and moving into her new home.
At the same time, she doesn’t seem to have any genuine friends on the cast. Her falling out with NeNe Leakes appears permanent. She and Sheree Whitfield seemed closer early in the show but not recently. Her friendship with Kandi Burruss soured after Kim didn’t pay Kandi what she thought was her fair share for the song “Tardy for the Party.” I don’t think Kim has put much effort into becoming buddies with last season’s newbies Phaedra Parks and Cynthia Bailey (though Phaedra did give Kim a peace offering after the Apollo-Peter blowup at Kim’s baby shower.)
Then again, Kim is prepping herself for her spin-off show without them so why bother?
Three weeks after K.J. was born, Kim for the first time this season shows up for another housewife’s event: Cynthia Bailey’s Bailey Agency opening party.
Kim is chipper at first, just glad to be out. Then NeNe shows up. After their final falling out last season, they both vowed to avoid each other. And they do so again at the party. “Although NeNe is there, I don’t see her,” Kim says. “I’m in a totally different place. I don’t want to see her. At all.”
Then “Housewives” wannabe Marlo Hampton pops up to stoke trouble. Kandi earlier had wondered about Marlo’s comment during episode 7’s Kandi Koated Nights where Marlo said she got her money from “God.” In fact, Marlo at an earlier art event did admit to Kandi that she only dates really rich guys.
Here’s Kim’s ironic take: “I’ve heard Marlo sleeps with wealthy men and they give her money or buy her nice things. Who does that?” It’s certainly not anything Kim has ever done!
Hampton starts using the term “Big Poppa” to reference rich men in Kim’s earshot. Marlo even says she heard rumors Kandi pays for guys and could be construed as “Big Mama.” Kim looks peeved. NeNe is bemused. (”The more she says Big Poppa, the more she’s driving Kim crazy,” NeNe chortles.) Kim decides this is a good time to leave the party.
This particular Kandi-Marlo conflict is pretty low-grade wattage for a “Housewives” episode, but at least all six housewives are in the same room at the same time for just the second time this season.
Earlier in the episode, Kim meets with her interior designer who goes by one name: Kendra. Kendra manages to get everything in the Kim’s new big rental Roswell house in a week. And Kim is very happy with the lavish furniture and the numerous Kim portraits. She also says goodbye to her town home of five years. She and her family admire a wall where every visitor had signed, including NeNe when she was still friends with Kim. We see gauzy flashbacks from past shows as a sentimental piano ballad plays in the background. Manufactured nostalgia!
We also see a short segment where Kim has her oldest daughter Brielle guide the SUV while she pumps breast milk. And you thought driving and texting was dangerous!
What the other housewives did:
- Sheree is not happy with Phaedra’s legal work. She feels Phaedra dragged her butt in filing a contempt order against her ex Bob Whitfield. (Then again, Sheree didn’t pay Phaedra her retainer until the day before the hearing.) Instead, Bob filed one episode 7 to delay the whole child support issue.
“We should not work together,” Phaedra concludes. “I love you as a friend and I don’t want this case to hinder our friendship.”
“I cannot put myself at a point where I’m doing a good job while they are badmouthing me because they are in a bad situation,” Phaedra says, referencing Sheree.
Sheree was relieved Phaedra voluntarily dropped herself as Sheree’s attorney: “I don’t know how I was going to fire her a**.” After Sheree’s checkered past with divorce attorneys, why would anybody want to work with her?
- Cynthia has opened her modeling agency (err… school of fashion) with plenty of help from her sister Malorie, but virtually nothing from her husband Peter Thomas. Peter’s theory: she needs to learn to fail on her own. (Peter sure knows about failure!) Cynthia is shown freaking out, crying, over the stress and possibly the lack of what she feels is proper support from her husband. He does castigate her for sending invites out late for her opening party. Naturally, plenty of folks show up anyway. Near the end of the party, when she gets up to thank Peter for his support, he’s gone. Where is Peter?
- NeNe’s son 21-year-old Bryce has a job at a restaurant. She wants him to be more responsible. Hey, he has a job! That’s a step up! She also lectures him about using condoms, as if he’s 15 years old. Then again, he acts like he’s 15 so that’s appropriate.
- Kandi’s manager Don Juan recommends she stop recording music with friends (e.g. Kim, Miss Lawrence). To him, it’s distracting her from her own work with real artists. Kandi also expressed disappointment her own album didn’t do as well as she had hoped. But now she wants to get into writing music for country artists! She name-drops some major acts to show she’s cool with the format: Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood. She lines up a Skype call with Jo Dee Messina, who has had a raft of mostly high-octane country hits. Her hit-making ability, though has waned in recent years. Her last big song was in 2005: “My Give a Damn’s Busted.”
She brings in Ronnie Jackson, who has written songs for Britney Spears, R. Kelly and Lupe Fiasco, plus (surprisingly) country act Scotty McCreery (he has co-writing credit for McCreery’s first single “I Love You This Big.”) Kandi plays a song sample for Jo Dee. Jo Dee wants something a little more ball busting. They agree to meet in Nashville later on to work together.
TRAILER FOR NEXT WEEK
Phaedra continues in her pursuit of the funeral home business. Sheree tries to help exercise-averse Kim get her post-baby weight off. Jo Dee Messina meets with Kandi. Marlo and NeNe dish about Charles Grant. Peter and Cynthia argue.
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS
In a live interview with Andy Cohen, Sheree again said Phaedra dragged her feet on filing a contempt against Bob. And she didn’t directly comment on Bob sticking his tongue out at her, just wishes one day they can interact like adults. As for the child-support issue, “we’re still waiting to go back to court.”
She said builders are now pouring concrete into the foundation for “Chateau Sheree” and hopes to have the home done next year.
She also acknowledged the home is in her mom’s name after a listener query. And she again said her spending habits are not relevant to whether Bob should pay child support.
When asked about a job, Sheree hedges, said she can’t say anything that isn’t a done deal. In other words, she’s not doing anything notable. (Fashion? Acting? Really?) And she admits: she hasn’t had a 9-to-5 job in years! What actual job skills does Sheree have?
“Whatever it costs, it costs.” - Kim, about her new home decorations, words that have never ever been uttered by Clark Howard.
“I made it my mission to bring more New York class to Atlanta” - Cynthia, implying she helped set up a particular art show at Chic Art Gallery. (Being on this show, by the way, is not about “class.” She does show us classy “air kisses” when she greets people.)
“She doesn’t blow money. But does she blow for money?” – Kandi, whose efforts at quips (in this case, about Marlo), never seem to “zing” compared to com padres Phaedra, NeNe, Kim or even Sheree.
“Nothing was ever given to me. I have failed 99 times so I could tell you 99 ways not to do it. I need her to fall on her a** so she never makes that mistake again.” - Peter, justifying his jerk-ish behavior toward his wife Cynthia.
“The wigs are going in my car with their own seatbelts… They’re very expensive. Nobody is going to f*** with them.” - Kim, about her wigs during the move. (Some names of her wigs: Farrah, Sierra, Dolly, Deborah, Candy.)
“He’s a tank. He eats like crazy!” - Kim, on pumping her breasts for milk every two hours to satisfy her son.
“I can be the Venus and Serena of country music.” - Kandi, on her country aspirations.
“God gave you a hole to get your money from.” - Kim, summarizing her philosophy on life, though she was technically referencing Marlo.
“People don’t really look at models like they’re smart people or even good business peeper.” - Cynthia, who actually said “peeper” instead of “people.”
This past Tuesday for episode 7, the show drew about 2.9 million viewers. Considering it was an odd day for the show to air, that’s impressive. The show has averaged 3 million viewers to date, well ahead of season three and the best of all “Housewives’ franchises. [UPDATE: This particular episode 8 drew 3.41 million, a season high.]
The show is off for three weeks. Enjoy the break!
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk