As “Real Housewives of Atlanta” staggers toward the end of a seemingly endless season four, Cynthia Bailey and Kim Zolciak finally bring closure to an argument that has festered since the South Africa trip: Cynthia’s uncouth comments about Kim not holding an “African” (read: black) baby and not imagining her being at an orphanage.
Was it a racist comment? Maybe. Probably. Could have been.
As Kim noted, Cynthia is passive aggressive when she needs to be. She knew she said something derogatory about Kim. Both Sheree Whitfield and Kandi Burruss in previous arguments confirmed she had said it.
Now at Phaedra Parks’ blessing for her one-year-old Ayden, Kim, Kroy Biermann and their son AJ are placed at a table with Cynthia and her husband Peter Thomas. It’s all very awkward with small talk barely there. Kim is understandably standoffish. Kroy, hardly Mr. Conversationalist, says virtually nothing. Peter gets up and leaves for awhile, annoying Cynthia.
Finally, after the ceremony, Kim confronts Cynthia in the parking lot. Cynthia tries to beg off, saying they should do it another time. But Kim wants this done and over with. She asks Cynthia directly what she had actually said. Cynthia hems and haws, denying she ever said the “black baby” line. (She technically didn’t. She said “African baby.” Others interpreted that as “same difference,” in context.). Off camera, Cynthia said she really couldn’t recall exactly what she said. After Kim keeps pecking at her, Cynthia finally relents and said she did say she didn’t see Kim at an orphanage in Africa.
“I was out of line,” she said. “It wasn’t even a funny joke. I never should have said it. I apologize.”
“I knew it was you,” Kim said, self satisfied, later to the cameras.
Cynthia stumbles through a congratulations.
“Apology accepted,” Kim said later. “But stop flapping your jaws.”
As they walk away, Kim asks for cigarettes while Cynthia mutters, “That was hopeless.”
In other storylines:
- Sheree takes her daughter’s 25-year-old boyfriend Damon shopping for an engagement ring. He settles on a lovely $6,500 ring. But later he expresses doubts about getting married to Sheree. He is still working part time and probably doesn’t feel ready yet, though they’ve been together since college. He later visits Sheree again and tells her he isn’t ready. Sheree is disappointed but relieved that he didn’t do something so important half heartedly.
- Kim welcomed Kroy home from football training camp and informed everyone that she had fired her assistant Sweetie (off camera, unfortunately). She said Sweetie had burned breast milk and was found hanging by the pool as usual. Brielle, Kim’s daughter, noted how hostile Sweetie had gotten of late. Clearly, Sweetie wanted out but didn’t have the guts to just leave on her own.
- NeNe Leakes’ only time on screen this week is talking to her 12-year-old son Brentt to make sure he’s okay about she and Gregg not being together. He says he’s okay.
- Phaedra gets pictures taken of her son like he’s a prince before the blessing ceremony mentioned earlier. It’s all absurdly over the top but Phaedra can’t help herself. At the blessing ceremony, former recurring character Dwight Eubanks makes a second appearance in two weeks.
- Kandi didn’t really have a story this week. We see one brief moment where her daughter Riley is helping out at Kandi’s clothing shop Tags Boutique in Smyrna.
“He comes down like it’s ‘Coming to America,‘ ” – Peter Thomas, bemused about Phaedra’s Ayden getting his own princely procession at a blessing ceremony.
“I need to be loose.” – Damon, justifying the need for alcohol before proposing to Tierra, Sheree’s daughter. He ultimately decides to postpone the engagement.
“All she can say is, ‘KJ is so cute.’ The b***. I know!” - Kim, who seemingly never fails to throw in a bleep-worthy curse word sometime during an episode, referencing Cynthia.
“NeNe would choke your a**. And Cynthia would just smile.” – Kim, noting how Cynthia is NeNe’s lackey.
Phaedra announces her plans for a funeral home. NeNe ventures to Los Angeles to pursue acting again. Kroy asks Kim’s dad permission to marry Kim.
The 17th episode last week on March 18 drew 2.5 million, below the season average of about 2.8 million. It was up against AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which drew a whopping 9 million viewers for its season finale.
EVER EXPANDING NUMBER OF EPISODES
Season one, the show only had seven episodes and two reunion shows. Season two included 13 episodes and two reunion shows, plus a “lost footage” leftovers episode. Season three was expanded to 16 episodes with two reunion shows. This season appears to be 20 episodes with two reunion shows April 15 and 22, which were taped March 16. Kim’s spinoff show starts Thursday, April 26.
WHO STAYS, WHO GOES?
We are expecting a shake up in the line up for season five. NeNe and Kim are virtually guaranteed out. Sheree? She has nothing else to do so I’m sure she’d like to stay. That’s up to the producers. Kandi, Cynthia and Phaedra are likely to stick around, too. So there are at least two openings RHOA is trying to fill. They interviewed a ton of candidates and many names have been bandied around. We’ll know soon enough because even if Bravo does not announce new cast members for a few months, people will be able to make educated guesses. Of course, many thought Marlo Hampton was a lock to become a cast member season four given that she spent so much time taping with RHOA but that didn’t work out.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk