By Brigette Flood and Sandy M. Tyler
What a LONG, strange trip it’s been this season. Supposedly the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion taping took 18 hours and everyone still walked away in one piece. Despite weeks of teasing us, there were no unexpected explosions this week and even NeNe and Kim kept things relatively civil by making disgusted faces and speaking to each other as little as possible. This week we continue our Housewife Awards. Let us know if we left out any important categories.
The Pot-Stirring Award
As with every crazy Housewives reunion stew, Andy Cohen is the spoon, stirring up enough trouble to keep things interesting. With a glint in his eye and a permanent smirk, Andy asks the questions we all want answers to. And if he doesn’t get the answer he’s looking for, he makes another housewife get involved. We often wonder how he gets away with it and would love to see what things are like between Andy and the Housewives before and after the reunion tapings. If next season’s reunion is held at the Georgia Aquarium, we’re taking scuba lessons and sneaking in.
The Cool as a Cucumber Award
Both Phaedra and Kandi have shown a lot of grace under pressure this year, and have usually been incredibly patient when dealing with so much of the drama the rest of the cast has thrown at them. But even if we hadn’t watched her pose with a jar of pickles this season, we’d still have to hand this one to Phaedra. She’s refused to be the subject of gossip, willing to address any rumors about herself while never suffering fools or even raising her voice. We’re not ready to take back anything we said about her in earlier recaps, but Phaedra’s ability to remain so collected throughout the reunion no matter who bated her was impressive. Perhaps the Southern Belle thing isn’t an act after all.
This Song Remains the Same Award
Of course, two of the most overworked storylines this season were worked over again last night: Phaedra’s Due Date and the controversy surrounding the disparity of compensation between Kim and Kandi for Tardy for the Party. Although they have provided lots of fodder and some hilarious (and ongoing) denials, here’s hoping both storylines fade away once and for all after this season. We’re going to have to give the Tardy for the Party controversy the win here. Despite never being properly compensated for her work, Kandi still managed to benefit in other ways. And so far, it turns out Kim is a one-hit wonder after all. Enough said.
The Super Freak Award
With all the sex talk and other freaky surprises this season, this award was bound to come up. Kandi, Shereé and Phaedra are, surprisingly, our main contenders for this one. Kandi has always been happy to get sexy discussions started with the other housewives, taught us an interesting and alternative use for Pop Rocks and even mentioned starting a line of sex toys during last night’s reunion. However, a season of celibacy cost her the win. Shereé didn’t hesitate to give herself a high-score in the freak department this season (a 9.5), and her willingness to try new things and even date freaks if necessary makes us believe that she’ll do anything once. (And more than once if it proves successful.) However, Shereé can’t hold a candle to this season’s real winner – Phaedra. All the batting of her eyelashes in the first half of the season may have fooled us, but it’s clear that Phaedra – with her hot, younger husband, love of strippers and her booty judging abilities (the Sponge Bob Square Pants booty is our FAVORITE) – doesn’t hesitate to get her freak on whenever the opportunity presents itself. And that whole thing about doing funeral programs as a side hobby? F-R-E-A-K-Y!
The Awesome Baby Mama Award
For such a self-obsessed bunch, all of the Atlanta Housewives have shown themselves to be involved and loving mothers. And it’s especially significant given that everyone but Phaedra has had to parent at least one child without the father’s help. We applaud the ladies for raising their children without bitterness about their part-time or missing fathers, and their discussion about it last night gave us a lot of insight. Shereé’s revelation that she and her children found out her ex-husband had moved away by text was particularly sad. Even though we may sometimes think we’d parent differently, every Atlanta Housewife in this category is in her own way a winner.
The Crazed Diva Award
Granted, depending on when you might have tuned in this season, just about every cast member could be nominated in this category. But it’s really all come down to the diva battle between NeNe and Kim, and we don’t just mean their schoolyard catfights. Both ladies have completely bought into their own hype and can’t seem to look beyond the Housewives’ bubble to see their fame for what it is . . . infamy that probably won’t translate to lasting “entertainment” careers. However, we have to pass the torch to NeNe on this one. Her unhinged behavior lately makes us think she’s going to go up in flames sooner rather than later. There’s a fine line between being a character and turning into a caricature, and the eye-popping and neck rolling quickly looses its charm when you stop providing witty insights and spend all of your time picking fights instead.
We are insanely curious to see what next season brings. Will Bravo revamp things with new cast members? Will NeNe make good on her threats to break her season four contract and not return? (Perhaps this all hinges on her Celebrity Apprentice performance and ability to stay in the spotlight by fighting with Star Jones?) Will Kim succeed in her quest for a Housewives’ spin-off á la Bethany Frankel? Will Shereé have enough going on next season to be invited back? (And if not, can she at least appear from time to time to deliver her hilarious one-liners?!) And what of our newest cast members Phaedra and Cynthia? We think with Phaedra, in particular, Bravo is just scratching the surface of her story.
Regardless, we hope you join us in the blogosphere whenever Atlanta’s ladies are back on the air. Many, many thanks for joining us each week, reading and writing in with your comments and insights. BAM!