Last week was the season finale. Now it's time for everyone to reunite in a storm of catfights and craziness. And boy, do they deliver. The first hour of this reunion packs more drama than the entire season leading up to it.
Andy Cohen has summoned the ladies to the Biltmore Hotel, the site of the very first Atlanta Housewives reunion (a time that only Kim, Sheree and Nene would actually remember). Kim sports her Farrah wig, Sheree isn't in She By Sheree but vows the line will make a comeback, Phaedra is dressed in her funeral best, Nene's feeling very "'Glee'-ful" and even if the reunion alters her mood she "will remain rich," and Kandi didn't bring a sex toy. But if the couch starts vibrating, Nene promises to "get off."
So somebody run and grab Nene a few batteries before we break down the biggest smackdowns in the first of an epic three-part reunion.
Round one: Nene vs. Kandi
During a discussion about Kandi's sex toy line, Kandi says she's made great money already, and it's only been a couple of months. Phaedra reveals she's sampled some of the line and "it actually works." (If there's a genuine friendship on this show, it's Kandi and Phaedra.) Kim thinks "they're great." Nene keeps rolling her eyes and giving nasty looks.
Andy asks Nene why she left Kandi's launch party (the moment that ended the season). He says Nene's vibe was "I've got other stuff going on, and I'm over these women."
Nene agrees. "I am very much over it," she says. "I believe growth is a great thing. I don't feel like sitting around a bunch of women all the time, yadda yadda yadda. This s--- is stupid! When I left Kandi's party, I left because I just ain't got time with it. I'd rather be at home doing some s--- that's productive rather than sitting with a bunch of 40 year old women gossiping about some bulls---." She also clarifies that sex toys are not her thing and she's not comfortable with it.
Kandi explains that Nene comes off judgmental and points out the hypocrisy of a former stripper criticizing sex toys. And also the hypocrisy of Nene complaining about how everyone else is "drama, drama, drama" when just last year Nene was ready to put cement blocks on Kim's feet. Nene isn't playing that. "I stripped. And I'm not putting a dildo up my vajayjay. End of discussion." A solid argument!
Winner: Nene can't let an argument go without killing it. She doesn't like sex toys but she's not owning up to how disrespectful she acts toward Kandi. Nene's blatant hypocrisy makes it almost too easy, even if Kandi wasn't the most sensible one in the group. But she is. Kandi wins.
Round two: Sheree vs. Phaedra
A flashback montage of Phaedra handling Sheree's child support claim reignites old tensions that were quickly smoothed over on the show. Or so we thought.
Sheree tears up discussing her decision to include the child support battle on the show, but it's not long before she's blaming Phaedra for their disastrous day in court. Sheree claims Phaedra didn't take her case seriously because she was waiting to put on a show for the cameras.
Phaedra counters that she was waiting on a retainer and wanted to make sure Sheree was very aware of all of her options. Sheree accuses Phaedra of going to another attorney for advice, and claims Phaedra had no idea what she was doing. Phaedra reiterates she's had 13 years of experience and she worked for Bobby Brown on a case involving family law.
Phaedra tells Sheree, "you are a lay person and I understand that you don't understand the nuances of the court." As Sheree keeps going at it, Phaedra delivers a strong verbal blow: "I'm gonna let you wear the crown because you're the queen of throwing everybody under the bus."
Winner: Sheree targets Phaedra's professional credibility, but Sheree has spent most of the season coming across bitter and delusional. Since Sheree can't offer any evidence that her new attorney has done anything more for her than Phaedra did, the case is closed. This one goes to Phaedra.
Round three: Nene vs. Sheree
Sheree ran into trouble with Chateau Sheree when a guy was "misappropriating funds." According to her, it's moving forward (and Andy will be the first person invited for tea). But Nene tweeted that Chateau Sheree is more like "Neverland" (apparently not in the Peter Pan or Michael Jackson sense of the term, but in the "Never, ever, ever will this ever be a land where someone lives" sense of the term).
Nene tells Sheree, "You can do whatever you want to do, say whatever you want to say, move on to the next question, I said Neverland and I ain't changing. ... If it becomes Chateau Sheree, then I will say it's Chateau Sheree, but today it's Neverland."
The spat is interrupted by a commercial break but then blows back up after a clip from Nene and Sheree's infamous "I'm rich, bitch"/"cashing Trump checks" fight. The "Trump checks" comment is specifically called into question when Andy mentions he thought "Celebrity Apprentice" contestants were competing for charity. Nene explains that you get a small fee for participating and then "all the money you work for goes to charity."
Sheree pulls the Piers Morgan card and says that Piers told people that he got $25,000 for the season that he won "Celebrity Apprentice," so she doesn't understand why non-winner Nene would be talking about "cashing Trump checks." Nene explains she was just letting Sheree know "what time it was" and "what time it was, was I'm a very rich bitch." And P.S. Nene says Sheree "could use a bleaching" (on her teeth), while Sheree says Nene "could use a trim down on those doggy teeth."
Then Sheree takes it somewhere far beyond questions of bank accounts and physical appearances. She pulls Nene's son Bryson -- who was arrested and charged with shoplifting at a Wal-Mart -- into the argument. Nene, understandably, explodes. "We don't go there with the children," Nene exclaims and then declares Sheree better check her own past because she's not squeaky clean. Nene says Sheree is "riding with the wrong team," while Shree claims to be "not ashamed of anything."
Nene drives her point home: "There's plenty of celebrity's kids who are out here on drugs, who are stealing, who got DUIs, is that a reflection of who [the parents] are? What parent would have a child and not want their child to do the very best? I'm no different then you, bitch. Don't you ever talk about my kids, OK?"
Winner: I like Sheree. I think Sheree is a very amusing and important part of the show. But if anyone was able to out-crazy Nene this season, it was Sheree. She had Nene looking like a self-absorbed sadiddy so-and-so, and then Sheree went and brought up Bryson. Sheree crossed the line, and the victory goes to Nene.
Round four: Kim vs. Nene (part one)
Nene's rant about kids inspires Cynthia to try to make peace by saying no matter what arguments the ladies have with each other, it has nothing to do with kids. But Kim suddenly pipes up and makes it known she's not too happy with what Nene has said about Kim's kids on Twitter. Or, more directly, that Kim's three kids have three different dads.
Nene says that is not the same as actually talking about the kids. Andy asks if tweeting about their paternity isn't really the same as tweeting about the kids. Nene tells Kim, "If you stay off my timeline, you wouldn't know what's going on on it." Kim says people retweet! And also Brielle brought it to her attention.
Winner: This one isn't finished yet, so we'll put it on pause for a second...
Round five: Kandi vs. Nene (again)
Andy forces Kandi to explain her behavior after going on the house tour in Miami with Nene and Cynthia. Was she snitching on Nene to Kim, Sheree and Phaedra? Was she mocking her? Jealous of Nene's fabulous wealth? Kandi says no. The only reason she said "The one thing I can tell you, [Nene's] rich!" was because she was trying to ease into the conversation with a joke (which is pretty obvious if you have eyes, ears, a brain, and saw the clip).
Kandi says she wasn't talking behind Nene's back, but Nene "felt like she was trying to take a shot. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter because I'm gonna take my shots too."
Kim steps in to declare that Kandi has more money then all of them but doesn't go around bragging about it. Nene says Kim doesn't know that for sure. Kim can "guarantee" it, but Kandi (of course) doesn't comment one way or the other.
Nene's best effort at burying the hatchet: "I just want to say, if it makes you feel any better, I'm broke! Does that make you feel any better?" Kandi says Nene is just "trying to play the victim." Kandi also reminds Nene that she's told everybody "on and off camera" that she thinks Nene is doing great and taking advantage of her opportunities.
Bottom line, from Kim: "Everybody's defition of rich is different. But [Kandi] is the real rich, bitch."
Winner: You could almost give this one to Kim, but clearly Nene was just causing drama where there was none to be had. Kandi made a joke. So what? Kandi wins.
Round six: Kim vs. Nene (part two)
While Nene claims she "doesn't give a s---" about what any of the other ladies do, she makes an off hand comment about "building a castle" and Kim interprets it to be an attack on Kroy and her renting their mansion. Nene: "You have said so many things Kim, I don't really care."
Kim responds, "This s--- makes me laugh ... you rent your house!" Nene claims if Kim's gonna call it a dream house, she shouldn't rent it, she should buy it. Kim explains that part of the reason they were renting was because Kroy was a free agent.
Andy, who is clearly thrilled he's got Kim and Nene going at it again like the good old days, asks if Nene tweeted about Kim's house. Kim: "Yes! She tweets 'Kim rents her house.' Bitch, I do! But guess what? We're closing next month."
Andy asks Nene why she cares if Kim rents. Nene: "I don't give a s---. I tweet what the hell I want to tweet, and because this bitch is always trying to talk s---. [To Kim:] You talk s--- on your timeline all day long about people, but as soon as somebody says something about you, you get so defensive."
Winner: Nene is so above all the drama that she can't help but argue with everyone she meets. Of course it's because they're all trying to bring her down. Sad for her. This one goes to Kim.
What else we learned:
— "Nene validates Nene. Clothes doesn't validate me. I'm very clear about that."
— Kandi is dating a production manager from the show. He's not very involved in day-to-day filming, but they clicked during the final night in Africa. She's very much in love and they plan to move in together soon.
— Kim is four months pregnant. (Nene managed a tossed off "congratulations" at the announcement.) Kim already knows the sex of the baby, but she's not telling. She also swears she's not smoking on drinking. (Cue more eye rolls from Nene.)
— Kim is not spending like crazy (according to her). "We're not stupid honey, this is not gonna last forever. Kroy is not gonna be a NFL player forever." But... "$150,000 car in the scheme of things, is not a big deal. And a $2.5 million house, I can go buy much more than that." Is she rich? "In my bank account you can never have enough zeroes. I'll never be rich enough for me monetarily. However, in life, I'm so rich." Plus, she bought a boat.
— Sweetie is still a part of Kim's life but only as a friend, not an employee. She was a surprise guest at Brielle's birthday party.
— Kim won't discuss Big Poppa ("That's a part of my life that's over, and has been for years") but she swears none of the furniture, decorations or Versace china in her new house was purchased by Big Poppa. She wouldn't bring any of that into a home she shares with Kroy. Andy remains skeptical.
— Cynthia, who had very little to say or do during this hour, believes that the recurring role on "Glee" has changed Nene... for the better! (Surprise, surprise.) Cynthia's words of praise for Nene: "I think she looks better. I think she's doing a great job going into her whole acting career. She's evolving."
— Phaedra called Nene to congratulate her on landing "Glee" because Ms. Parks is "not a hater."
Next week: Part two airs on Thursday and part three on Sunday. We're promised drop-ins from Peter (to discuss the drama with Cynthia's sister) and [shudder] Marlo, who apparently calls Kim "a whore." And apparently Kim has some thoughts on that...
Who do you think won the reunion's biggest battles? Has "Glee" really changed Nene for the better? And where would any of these Housewives be without Twitter?