Scientology! Insurrection! Fired! The Real Housewives Are in Chaos

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

This week:

  • Bluey destroyed us all.

  • The most chaotic week of Housewives news ever.

  • Justice for Nicole Scherzinger.

  • New York to install its most important statue yet.

  • Important Netflix streaming news.

The Real Housewives Are More Chaotic Than Usual

Scientology? The Jan. 6 insurrection? Michael Jordan’s son? It’s a veritable Mad Libs of search terms and scandal, so perhaps it’s appropriate that they all have to do with Real Housewives. This has been the most head-spinning week of headlines Bravo fans have weathered since the franchise launched.

This week has also been dubbed “Bravo’s Red Wedding.” For fans of the network’s ladies who lunch, throw prosthetic legs at that lunch, and then flip the lunch table, this week’s Real Housewives news has felt every bit as violent, chaotic, and brutal as the infamous Game of Thrones episode.

Gif featuring Robyn Dixon

The Thrones-esque bloodbath referred to the slew of cast firings that were announced this week. Original Real Housewives of Potomac star Robyn Dixon, the polarizing “green-eyed bandit” whom fans either intensely loved or vehemently hated, revealed that she wasn’t asked back by the network for the next season. That came just a week after co-star Candiace Dillard Bassett also announced that she wouldn’t be returning. It’s also been reported that newbie Nneka Ihim got the pink slip, hinting at the biggest cast shake-up in years.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Crystal Kung Minkoff also revealed that her diamond is being snatched, and it’s been reported that it was not her decision to leave the show. This one fires me up. I don’t understand it. The network invested three seasons in her, she finally has become a fan favorite, and she’s built genuine friendships with members of the cast. Her alliance with Sutton Stracke and Garcelle Beauvais finally made a united front to counterbalance the utter nonsense of the veteran cast, who have become increasingly boring. She gave a stellar reunion performance and, beyond all of that, every single RHOBH newbie introduced since her has flopped. Why get rid of her now? (Rant over.)

Crystal Kung Minkoff

Typically, firings alone would be a big week in Housewives news. But Dillard Bassett, after spending several seasons of RHOP discussing her journey to motherhood, announced she is pregnant with her first child. There’s major relationship news in Miami, where Alexia Nepola’s husband, Todd, shocked her by filing for divorce. (If you watch the show, this is huge.)

And, after months of reports of breaking up and getting back together and maybe being engaged and then breaking up again (I’m dizzy), Larsa Pippen and Marcus Jordan were spotted having cozy cocktails together. So for those of us for whom a real Housewife who is Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife now dating Michael Jordan’s is a fever dream from which we never wanted to wake, this development is glorious. Real Housewives of Miami is on hiatus, but if there was ever a time to bring cameras back up it’s now.

But then there were the two things I naively never expected to be associated with Real Housewives: Scientology and the insurrection.

If the reports are true, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff is set to join the cast of Real Housewives of New York City, which would make her the first known Scientologist Housewife. The Minkoff family’s ties to the Church of Scientology are well documented, as are all the comments Minkoff herself has made defending the organization. My take: I hate this! I don’t find it fun or juicy. I don’t trust the rest of the cast to confront her about the church or hold her to account. And I don’t understand why Bravo would roll out the red carpet for fan outrage and backlash in this way.

And while she’s no longer a Housewife, it was still wild to read that Real Housewife of New Jersey alum Siggy Flicker’s stepson, Tyler Campanella, was arrested Wednesday in connection to the Jan. 6 riots. (Footage of Campanella was captured inside various areas of the Capitol, including Nancy Pelosi’s office.)

What’s bonkers is that all of this is drama that is happening off-camera—and it’s all juicier than what’s unfolding in many of these shows. When it comes to Real Housewives, the circus clowns are always performing, even if there is no audience.

All Is Right With the World

It is with not a hint of sarcasm or attempt at trolling that I say former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger is one of the most talented performers in my lifetime. She’s an incredible vocalist, obviously an ace dancer, and, in recent years through her stage work, has proven to be a captivating actress.

I understand if most people dismiss Scherzinger because her biggest recent U.S. gig was judging The Masked Singer and she’s best known for her role in a group of scantily clad women writhing to songs like “Don’t Cha.” But shame on you because a) those songs are bops, b) the Pussycat Dolls performances are extremely impressive, and c) there’s a treasure trove of videos online showcasing Scherzinger’s talent far beyond her pop star days.

Gif of bedazzled woman blowing a kiss.

In any case, justice for all of us Scherzinger fans (Scherzingians? Scherzingles? Scherzingals?) happened this week when the Icon of Kevin Fallon’s Greatest Obsessions finally won a major award. She received the Olivier Award, the British version of the Tony, for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the revival of Sunset Boulevard. Finally! Scherzinger is taking the production to Broadway later this year, which leaves me just enough time to launch a GoFundMe so I can afford a ticket.

Finally a Statue I Can Get Behind

I’m approaching the 20-year mark of living in New York City, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t often think that the city might not be for me anymore. But then I received a press release announcing the installation of a 65-foot long hot dog—the world’s largest!—in Times Square, and I felt seen, accepted, and loved by the city once again. I can’t think of a more perfect piece of art representing my New York.

Image of a 65-foot long hot dog—the world’s largest!—in Times Square, NYC.

Here’s Your Next Comedy Binge

There’s important news for all you single moms who work two jobs, who love their kids, never stop, and remember when comedy series were actually funny:

What to watch this week:

Under the Bridge: Lily Gladstone follows up Killers of the Flower Moon with another award-worthy performance. (Now on Hulu)

The Stranger: A kooky Quibi (RIP) original gets a second life. (Now on Hulu)

The Jinx—Part Two: Somehow, just as jaw-dropping as the first. (Sun. on HBO)

What to skip this week:

Rebel Moon—Part Two: Somehow even more insufferable than the first! (Now on Netflix)

Abigail: I’m sorry, how do you squander the potential of a horror movie featuring a murderous vampire ballerina? (Now in theaters)

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