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This week, there was big news about our Real Housewives of Atlanta, or specifically, our NeNe. NeNe got the big plug from Anderson Cooper on the Ellen show! I never watch the Ellen show, but for some reason, I happened to be watching on election day, and when Anderson started in on that, “Honey, I don’t know where to begin with NeNe!” I was jumping up and down with excitement! Of course he pronounced NeNe as “NayNay”, but Anderson Cooper, that’s some major cred. Go NayNay!
Tonight, they scare the crap out of us right off with Sheree and her man arms and an adult sleepover at her friend’s house. Sheree is drinking and telling us she’s getting more adventurous. This translates to some new friends with pink pleather boots and sparkly writing on their butts who are there to teach Sheree and her uptight posse how to strip. Where the hell was Flasher Heather from Rock of Love? If ever there was an opportunity for a crossover!
There are some people who shouldn’t strip. EVER.
These stripper teachers are pretty skanky. Although, at one point one of them ends up stuck to the ceiling, which is freakishly impressive. Sheree rides the pole and tells us she feels pretty good about herself. Then Lisa, wife of Ed Hartwell, shows up. Lisa arrives with a firm fear of the pole, but shot after shot after shot later…she’s on. Sheree tells us the sex kitten has come out, and she’s right. Lisa’s really working that thing. Despite, or perhaps because of, all her protesting, I’m betting not her first time. She tells us that women plus alcohol plus a stripper pole equal a good time.
No wonder he makes her soup.
For Kimmie, a good time is hanging out in her kitchen with some wine and her personal chef. She tells us that she wishes she could cook, but then again, she really doesn’t. Interestingly enough, this will prove to be the same philosophy she applies to her singing. But for now, it’s time to be excited about the new song that Dallas Austin has written for her, called Tightrope. And how does a top vocalist show how excited they are? Why, by firing up a smoke of course, dancing around their kitchen and talking about how when you run in certain circles, you meet certain people like Dallas Austin. Having warmed us up with this glorified intro, Kim hesitantly croaks a few lines of Tightrope. It’s slightly worse than horrible. But Kim’s not worried at all, cause she always gets what she wants. Now I’m all for deluded self-confidence, but has she heard herself?
Okay, Kim’s a real concern – albeit, a really hilarious one – so let’s check in with NeNe! NeNe’s helping her younger son Brent with his math homework. Well, she’s trying, but she looks even more confused than the kid. She calls in Gregg, who tries to illustrate with a drawing of a pizza. Brent is completely forgotten as NeNe struggles valiantly to understand fractions of pizza. “Can we get a tutor?” she wonders exasperatedly.
Then we see jewels, which according to my scientific calculations, mean we’re about to check in with DeShawn. And we are. Her kind caretaker/husband has brought her a birthday present, a Rolex with a blue face. Verrrrry nice. And with all the hard work she’s been doing, getting her hair and makeup done every day, blowing all her foundation’s money on the ill-fated diamond gala, man does she deserve it! Tonight’s DeShawn’s birthday party. Never enough parties to celebrate the wonder that is DeShawn. She can’t wear the new Rolex though, it doesn’t match the rest of the gold jewelry she’s wearing. Sad face.
Where are the numbers on this thing?
They head out to for the birthday dinner, and it’s DeShawn and Eric Snow, Lisa and Ed Harwell and NeNe and Gregg in a limo. “Is there some wine up in here?” yells NeNe. See, how can she and Kimmie possibly break up? They get to some gardens, drink some wine and eat some cheese, and then sit down at the dinner table. NeNe toasts to the good life, and how blessed they are. “Can I get an Amen?” she hoots. Well, if you’re about to get drunk and make an ass of yourself by insulting your friends, then by all means, Amen!
NeNe starts drinking and spouting about how rough it was being a single Mom, and how Gregg came along and saved her. He keeps her humble. And fed and housed and clothed in top nouveau riche fashion, but yeah, humble. DeShawn says it’s one of the best birthdays ever, it’s good friends, love and positive energy. It’s also absent Sheree and Kimmie. Just mentioning. And speaking of the ice queen and Carrie Underwood, the conversation turns to Sheree. Actually, NeNe just starts talking shit on her. So shameless and wrong, and I enthusiastically applaud NeNe for going there.
“She’s fake! She’s blasted all of us,” NeNe warns the crowd. Ed Hartwell interjects to say that Sheree’s a sweetheart. Okay, she might not be the devil’s spawn, as NeNe’s kind of insinuating, but make no mistake, Sheree’s no sweetheart. And then NeNe really goes there, branding Sheree a gold digger! Ooooh, girl! “You date athlete after athlete, you a gold digger!” she declares. I’m riveted. There’s no going back on this one. And it’s on tape! And it gets sooooo much better!
This look never leaves Gregg’s face.
But not before Lisa tries to talk cool and logical with NeNe, who is now sloppy drunk and blathering about how she just tells it like it is. There’s so much that gets shoved under that just-telling-it-like-it-is umbrella. Lisa tries to bring the conversation to herself for some reason, saying if she’s said it to someone else, she’s said it to your face. Then she tries to defend NeNe in her interview by following everything she says with a, “But that’s NeNe, she’s fun!” Ed Hartwell is kicking Lisa under the table. Gregg has his head in his hands. “Scuuuuuuuse meeeeee!” yells NeNe at the waiter. First the diamond gala, now this. DeShawn is the architect of disastrous dinner parties, and as such, just sits by giggling stupidly.
But back to NeNe’s breakdown. They all pile into the limo, and now it’s time to hear just exactly what NeNe thinks about Kimmie. It’s not particularly nice. She sings a made up song about how Kim pretends to be with Dallas Austin. How she says she’s twenty-nine, but she’s eighty-nine. How she’s got a record deal even though no one’s ever heard of her. And then she brings Big Poppa into it. It’s so raw. Uncensored. Completely unnecessary. NeNe totally pulls it off.
So what is Kim up to on the music career front? She’s getting botox. For the album cover. She invites Sheree, and tries to convince Sheree to get botox as well, but it ultimately comes down to “Blacks don’t crack”, to which Kim wittily replies, “Whites crack!” Kimmie’s a prize. Then she tells us she’s been getting botox every six months since she was twenty-four, which explains a lot because did I mention, I did a little research and unless there’s like a CIA level cover-up going on, Kimmie really is twenty-nine. I know, scary, but that much botox explains an awful lot.
Sheree sits there with her signature smug smile while everyone in the botox store talks about how perfect her skin is, with Kimmie as their leader. If things don’t work out with Big Poppa, I think Kim’s angling for a spot in the paid Sheree, You’re Fabulous!â„¢ entourage. Then again, there’s always the chance that Kim will successfully blackmail Big Poppa into a more permanent situation, so Sheree generously reciprocates with a, “You’re gorgeous!” post-botox shot. Kimmie is deeply flattered.
And now that she’s all smoothed out and ready to shoot her album cover, Kimmie heads over to the studio in her Porsche. She talks about the important things in the music business, like how the vocal coach she’s on her way to visit has worked with so many celebrities, that she’s bound to make Kim great. Suck Up Cori’s there too. Someone’s got to come along and help pretend that Kim can sing. They meet with the vocal coach, Jan, and hard hitter Kim immediately attacks with the question, “What exactly does a vocal coach do?” There’s no denying the girl’s got instincts, and she’s sniffing out that Miss Jan is not part of Big Poppa’s scheme. And an honest critique could pull the plug on this whole thing.
I would pay top dollar to see those notes. If the face is any clue, they’re not pretty.
Miss Jan confirms her status as enemy as she tells Kim one aspect of her job is to look for weaknesses. And by the way, does Kim smoke cigarettes? Just about twenty per day, Kim replies. For the past fifteen years. Jan suggests Kimmie cut down. Kim slumps down in her chair and makes a sulky face at this preposterous suggestion.
They head over to the piano, and Kimmie is charged with the severely challenging task of matching piano notes with her voice. She makes Mariah Carey hand motions, and half-heartedly mumbles lalalalalala. Jan tries to find out if Kimmie’s ever had a voice class in her life, or if anyone’s ever told her she can sing. Does she really need confirmation? Jan most definitely did not get Big Poppa’s memo on this one.
You’re pregnant. With terrible terrible vocals.
Kimmie tells us the vocal lesson is torture. Miss Jan is putting her through the ringer! Miss Jan sits Kim down, and goes way off plan by telling her she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. That she has a hard time matching notes with her voice. Kind of cold. But Kim’s not fazed. “Where does that come into play in the studio?” she asks suspiciously. In fact, if the weave’s flying and the backing vocals are good, where does that note matching thing come into play at all?
Jan’s no dummy, and she figures out that this hussy did come by way of Dallas Austin, so it’s probably not a bad idea to give her a little vaguely worded encouragement that’s sure to be taken completely the wrong way. She tells Kim she’s like a beautiful house with great chandeliers. Kim pictures some pink diamond chandelier earrings and is visibly comforted. Jan’s just nitpicking, she explains to us, telling her she doesn’t know the abc’s of music. “I don’t have to. I’m a singer,” she says very, very confidently.
Please. Please. Please leave.
Having been shot down by vocal coach Miss Jan, Kimmie turns to someone a little more with the program, or someone who at least knows about Big Poppa and to just tell Kimmie what she wants to hear, and that’s Sheree. Sheree hasn’t heard Tightrope, by Dallas Austin, and she’ll for sure tell Kim if it’s good or bad. Kim’s under the mistaken impression that as long as the song’s good, it really doesn’t matter how she sings it. That doesn’t really come into play in the studio, you know.
Kim tells Sheree that the song was originally written for Cher, which means that it’s Cher’s leftover, but Kimmie takes it as a great thing because a lot of people tell her she sounds like Cher. Cher sounds smoked and drowned in whiskey too? Well, I suppose you could look at it that way. They inexplicably sit in a parking lot, where Kim still manages to be slurping on some wine and puffing away on her cigarette. Sheree tells her what a beautiful voice she has. “All that beauty and talent,” Sheree coos, visions of Big Poppa and his equally rich friends shuffling through her head.
Vocal warm ups.
Kim is now super confidant that Tightrope will be her number one single. And then Sheree strikes. She was told, in confidence, about the song NeNe made up about Kimmie. Oooooh. That was some kind of grenade Sheree just chucked with her big man arms. Kim wants to know where Sheree got her information from, but Sheree staunchly refuses to reveal her source. It was so Lisa. Kimmie is very disturbed, and it seems like also a bit hurt. “What kind of friend?” Kim puffs angrily.
And what do you know, the wine and smoking in the car was just a pit stop on the way to a lingerie shopping event…with all the housewives! How convenient! Kimmie and Sheree meet up with Lisa. Kim’s still reliably sipping on wine. She flatly informs us that the lingerie expedition is a big waste of time for her because she doesn’t wear panties. Period. Wow, being mad is bringing out Kim’s really classy side.
But then Kimmie heads off to the dressing room to try on some granny panties – apparently, when Big Poppa has to deal with panties, this is his preference. Go figure. And just then, NeNe and DeShawn arrive. Showdown! Kimmie exits the dressing room, is very nice to DeShawn, and ignores NeNe completely. NeNe is dopey enough to say she has no idea where Kim’s coming from.
What’d I do?
Kimmie and Sheree exert their newly conjoined queen bee status, and leave. Don’t worry, Kim doesn’t forget to bring her wine. Sheree says that if NeNe was a friend, like Sheree is a friend – hear that Big Poppa? Sheree is a friend – that she would support Kimmie’s singing career. NeNe says that Kim’s wig is squeezing her brain and it’s obvious that Sheree’s manipulated her and she fell for it.
Well, this is one action packed day for Kim and Sheree – wine in the car, wine in the lingerie store, now wine in the restaurant, waiting for Dallas Austin. It’s a Mexican restaurant, and worldly Kim has never eaten guacamole. Never even seen it before. She glares at it, calls it garbage, and informs Sheree she’s “out of your fucking mind” if she thinks she’s going to eat it. She tries it, and determines that it “tastes like shit”. Hey, is Kimmie going to try her hand at lyrics too? She does have such a gift with words.
Dallas Austin does indeed turn up, and even the ice princess is impressed. He has that rock star walk, and he’s major, Sheree informs us excitedly. Down girl. Dallas starts asking Kim questions about her visit with Miss Jan, which now seems like a clever scheme to get her to abandon this disastrous country music idea. Kim now doesn’t know how to tell him that she thought Miss Jan was full of shit, cause she knows Dallas Austin respects Miss Jan. So she repeats the part about the beautiful chandelier earrings. Then she dances around the issue of her not knowing how to sing by telling Dallas that maybe that’s what pissed her off, that she has to respect Miss Jan. Oh right, that’s it. What’s tone deaf got to do with it?
On the verge of suicide. And you?
Dallas extricates himself from the lunch meeting charade by telling the girls he has to get back to work. Sheree is clearly impressed that Kimmie actually produced Dallas Austin at lunch. Apparently, NeNe had been spreading the word that Kim’s friendship with Dallas wasn’t real, and Sheree is thrilled, and I mean thrilled, to report that it is.
And speaking of the jealous girl, NeNe’s at lunch with third-stringer DeShawn. It was good seeing the girls, NeNe says uncomfortably, and then she mentions the obvious, which was that her girl Kimmie didn’t even speak to her! DeShawn wonders naively if perhaps NeNe’s song in the limo got back to Kim. It’s not a typical characteristic of elite society, here in Atlanta, DeShawn explains to us. We know sweetie, that’s why you nearly peed yourself laughing in the limo the whole time.
But because DeShawn really is that stupid, she tells NeNe that she’ll go ahead and give Kimmie and Sheree a call anyway, because she doesn’t want them thinking NeNe said something she didn’t say. What could they be thinking that’s worse than what she did say? I love NeNe, and I love her for saying all of it, but it was still pretty low.
NeNe only said you were a talentless whore. Calm down.
Dopey DeShawn isn’t deterred, and she goes right ahead and calls. “It’s Shawnie!” she says cheerfully, because who wouldn’t want to hear from Atlanta’s top philanthropist, DeShawn Snow? Well, Kim who promptly hangs up on her. DeShawn thinks the phone just died, or they got disconnected. NeNe, who’s clearly in denial, says that she’s always been a good friend to Kim, and it’s sad that the fun has turned to drama.
Tell me! What’d I do?
Over by Kimmie and Sheree, Kim complains that NeNe’s been disrespectful. Sheree tells her not to take it personally, because NeNe talks about everybody. She frosts it with a “NeNe is miserable, NeNe doesn’t want you to succeed”, hops on her broomstick and uses her man arms to fly away, but not before Kim reminds her once again how beautiful she is.
And NeNe, having DeShawn’s stellar example to guide her, has now decided she wants to start her own foundation. This time we’re targeting abused women to sit around in a room and chat once every three-month. But Gregg, like every other totally amazing husband in Atlanta, is behind her. NeNe names her foundation Twisted Heart. Sounds like a Poison song. Didn’t I say this was the crossover episode?
And speaking of music, oh, if only Bret Michaels had come to produce Kimmie’s album, if only, Kim is at Dallas Austin’s studio for the first time, to record Tightrope. Proving what a professional she is, she’s late, and wearing a white tophat. She’s surprised to find out that Dallas is actually trying to get down to business – oh come on lady, he’s got actual artists to produce, he doesn’t have all day to waste on this sham.
She immediately says her voice doesn’t sound so good. Too many cigarettes they humor her, which goes right over Kim’s head. Kimmie gets into the studio, and first wants to make sure her hair looks good. Can’t record if the weave’s all askew. Finally, satisfied with her synthetic, yellow tresses arranged artfully around her white tophat, Kim is ready to record. Of course, she has no idea about the words.
“She has to play out what she asked for,” says Dallas who’s clearly got a seven-figure price on his head to be participating in this charade. Kim sings to her BlackBerry. Never know, Sheree might come through with an important call about NeNe mid-session. Kim is so desperately, embarrassingly awful, this recording session is sure to become a reality television classic. She’s worse than the rejects from the American Idol auditions.
It’s so hard. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s different than what she expected. I know, where was the guy with the camera snapping pictures of Kim and her serious musician tophat, with her hand over the earpiece? Dallas plays back her song, and he thinks she was shocked to hear herself. Dallas Austin is so crafty in the way he talks about Kim, you never can tell what he means, but if you want my opinion, Kim looked pleased with herself. She says something about it being a wake-up call, and Dallas, finally losing patience, reminds her that she needs basic training so that she doesn’t waste everyone’s time.
Training = voice box removal.
Lisa and Sheree are hanging out at Lisa’s. Lisa also has a personal chef. Talk about recession proof. Their food looks really good. Not to be outdone, Sheree starts talking about her personal chef. Okay, so on the personal chef front, everyone’s covered, right? Wait, not NeNe…this could explain a lot.
And Lisa, who’s proving herself as an expert stirrer upper of things, starts telling Sheree how she’d love to get together with all the girls again…but she doesn’t like drama or catty people. Sheree doesn’t bite at first, so Lisa keeps going, talking about how NeNe’s not a hater, but she is a behind the back talker. Well Lisa, are you going to say that to NeNe’s face?
And speaking of troubled NeNe, she’s got a new bunch of housewives coming over to help her plan the Battered But Not Broken brunch, to bring awareness to domestic violence. And to the fact that NeNe’s better than Sheree. At least she’s learned one thing from DeShawn’s debacle, and that’s to sell tickets. Now just set up those three wardrobe changes, and you’ve got DeShawn’s plan down! For her part, DeShawn sits piously and informs us that she will be a sponsor. “Perhaps,” she adds self-importantly, as if her money laundering ops lend authenticity in Atlanta society.
It’s going to be a big hat luncheon, because hats are a big tradition in the African American community. Aw, that’s what I like about NeNe. Someone yells for a big hat that will hold a lot of weave. Anthony the hat maker is on hand with the hats, but what I want to know is where the hell is Celebrity Hairstylist, Dwight Eubanks? Has NeNe fallen out with Dwight too? These hat ladies are mostly a bore.
But not NeNe, who prances around in her hats telling us alternatively that she wants women of all ethnicities in her foundation, and not to mess with the diva! Then she has to throw in what a huge, huge event it’s going to be. Can’t anyone just have an event that raises some money? Why does everything have to be the talk of the damn town?
Best. Husband. EVER.
And while NeNe’s repenting for all her shit talking with the fight against domestic abuse, Sheree’s getting some news on the phone. I’m not sure who it is on the other end, some random, unidentified housewife, but she’s got the scoop that NeNe’s been spreading around some bad stuff about Sheree. How she doesn’t like her, how she doesn’t have class. Sheree thinks NeNe needs to get a life. I hate, hate, hate to agree with this bitch, but now we’ve seen NeNe at work and Sheree’s kind of right.
And then, of course Sheree has to pass along the info to Kim, who has heard the same thing. Wow, they really, really talk in Atlanta. The place is awesome. Kim says to let her haters be her motivators, and then that she has to go send NeNe a break-up text. “Love ya, honey,” Kimmie shouts cheerily at Sheree. “You too!” Sheree tosses back, and then sits there with a smug smile. Evil plan accomplished.
It’s the only way she knows.
NeNe’s driving when she gets the break up text from Kimmie. It goes something like, “I can’t believe you talked about me. You are so evil. Don’t ever call me again. You are a bitch.” So seventh grade locker note. Fabulous. NeNe immediately jumps up on her high horse and talks about how she can’t believe Kim’s talking that way – for goodness sakes, they’re mothers!
NeNe pretends that she can’t believe this all started over her song, and then tries to blame it on being taken out of context. If she pulls out the editing excuse, NeNe and I are officially breaking up. She calls Gregg, who is not at all surprised at the war that NeNe’s song has started. NeNe tries a bunch of other bunk arguments, like Kim can talk about you, but you can’t talk about Kim, and she’s just been manipulated. But either way, NeNe ultimately leaves us with “There’s no resolution to it. I’m done.” You better not be, sister. The hat party looked totally boring.
Next week, Sheree puts the final phase of her evil plan into place as she tries to have NeNe kicked out of the circle. And probably off the Housewives show altogether, but come on, Bravo’s not that stupid. And NeNe isn’t either, you don’t see Sheree with any DNA drama. See you next week for more, more, more…