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Real Housewives of New York City Recap: ‘Show a Little Skin to Win’

If last week was the episode where Bravo started airing re-taped footage to try to salvage this season, this week the producers were running on fumes. The myriad plots were unconnected and random, although it was nice to see an episode devoted to some of the ladies spending time with their children. The central conflict, and it was a tenuous one based on “mean Tweets” we still haven’t seen, was the tension between Simon and Jill. The producers tried to make this all come together, Gossip Girl–style, with a tragicomic costume party at the end of the episode.

Unfortunately, the party was thrown by Sonja, who we all know is in no position to throw a party — she has negative 7 million dollars. But the other housewives sort of covered for her, distracting the audience with things like Alex's non-cleavage and Jill's forehead. All in all, it was a tame episode. But somebody had to win it!


Okay, let's get Alex and Cindy out of the way. They were both nonentities this week, which was surprising in Alex's case because Simon was doing his best to throw himself in front of every camera. Cindy only showed up at the party at the end, leading us to believe that she has indeed given up on returning to the show next season. (Or maybe she was spending time with her babies? Seems unlikely.) "I feel like a little but of a stuffed sausage right now," she says at the burlesque party, one of her two lines in the entire episode. The other was something like, "Sucking a golden dick … doesn't buy you class." It was directed at Sonja's performance, but it was also a jab at LuAnn for her stupid single, so she gets points for that at least.


Something was very strange about Ramona and Avery's dinner. (Which appeared to consist of, as usual, water.) It was as though they didn't live together — an effect which was heightened when Ramona started ignoring her daughter to deal with her BlackBerry. Avery correctly calls her out on this, and adds: "I'm home alone, all the time." She actually even made us sad when she said: "Sometimes you or daddy don't text me where you are … It's like nine thirty. Should I wait for you? Should I have dinner?" Who is feeding this girl?? Ramona didn't even know her daughter got her PSAT results. After this scene, we couldn't even really swallow the rest of the episode's Ramona-isms, although it was pretty funny at the burlesque party when she didn't get Sonja's rhyme between "class" and the mimed "ass."


Sonja's life motto probably should just be: "Show a little skin to win." (Except instead of "win," maybe she should say, "avoid losing your house.") "Burlesque, the definition is self-mockery," she says while outfit shopping. That’s pretty much right, and it's a fitting theme for Sonja’s life at the moment. She’s partying in fake gems and feathers while her world is crumbling around her. It was fun to watch her in her element, among costumes and drag queens, making sure Avery had a fun time and teaching her about pasties. She was even a good sport about being compared to a transgendered person. But when it came time for the actual party she sort of lost us. What was going on? Were we high? Don't answer that. She said she had "royals" and "artists" in attendance, who take burlesque seriously, but mostly it seemed like she had a bunch of homos in a room. Good effort, but not enough for the win.


The minute Allison starts talking about her human sexuality class, Jill starts stuffing her face with carbohydrates. It may be the first time on the show we’ve ever seen her eat bread! Her whole trip up to Bronxville was sweet, even if it was peppered with underminey comments like: "You tend to look better in a boxy cut" and "Well, the top is disgusting." Her underminey comments continued (no surprise here) when she was listening to LuAnn’s song, although I think she was right about it having too many choruses. Fast-forward to the burlesque party, where she won about a million points for wearing a tiny hat. Jill is so Trish!

One of the things Jill does best is to say, "You know me," and then follow that statement with a lie about herself. This week it was, "You know me, I don’t like poison at all." She was talking about Simon, and if she'd said, "You know me, I don’t like Simon," that would have been true. But Jill, the red witch's apple that she is, is actually full of poison. "I think the difference is Alex and Simon don’t mind negative attention," she said moments later, proving the point (even if it's true). "They're just happy if anybody is talking about them because that makes them relevant." She finished off her moments of bile by patting herself on the back. "The fact that I'm willing to open up and accept them for the sake of the group says a lot about me as a person," she says, smugly. Apparently no one told her that making statements like that say even more about her as a person.


Somehow LuAnn gained ground this episode, even though it included the introduction of her wretched new single. The driver's ed scene in the Hamptons parking lot was cute — obnoxious French aside — and so was her scene with Kelly. "Move outside of your beer box!" she commands, unwittingly revealing Kelly’s nickname for a private part of her own anatomy. But then she couldn’t help but turn it around to herself again. "I try to help whenever I can to be her love doctor, and I hope one day she’s going to find the Jacques that she’s looking for," she says. Oh, LuLu. You’ll never learn. We’ll deal with your single next time.


Which leaves Kelly, of all people, for the win. "Everyone says when you're not looking that you're going to find someone," she complains to LuAnn. "Which I think is ridiculous because you're always looking," It was sort of a wise thing to say, even though she’s insisted in the past that she wasn't looking for a man. So long as she doesn’t go around punching anybody, it would be nice to see Kelly find a boyfriend. Because you know he’d be dumb like a rock and hot like a meteor. But what won her the episode was the truly priceless moment when Jill ran away from her at the party, mid-conversation, and she just looked to her side and Simon was standing there. This is when Kelly is at her best, being goofy and simply overwhelmed by the drama of it all.

Ancillary Winners:
Cesar: Two weeks ago at the Gawker Summer of Love Party, I ran into Sonja and Cesar. They were pretty great and we chatted for a while. Sonja was understandably a little tipsy, as they’d just finished filming the apparently super-intense reunion episode. Later, as Sonja was exiting with entourage in tow, she ran into my boyfriend coming up the stairs and tried to get him to turn around and leave with them. I presume she wanted to hook him up with Cesar. Long story short, good taste, young man.
Avery: She’s really grown into a clever little one — she knew writing an essay about her mother as a role model would get her more screen time and an opportunity to roll her eyes at Ramona one more time in public. But she didn’t even need that stunt, because she stole the episode while wearing her prim cable-knit sweater at Patricia Field. “I don’t know if I really want to be with adults wearing … ” she trailed off, looking at Ramona wearing a sparkly bustier. “No, it’s underwear,” Ramona blithely replied.
Allison: She looks good! And she’s a vegetarian in the best way. She eats chicken! And she wants to be a magazine writer! Allison, send us an e-mail, you can intern at New York any time.
Rebecca, Sonja’s new assistant: Where did you come from?
Hotel Griffou: Even though they were only there for two minutes, it looked good.
Michael, Sonja’s House Boy: Still adorable!
Brian: Him too! Abs included.

Ancillary Losers:
Based On a True Story: Is that really the name of a class?
Ginger: Even she doesn’t want to go shopping in Bronxville.
Carpe Diem: The restaurant where Avery and Ramona ate — another empty restaurant that serves only water.
Chris March: Okay, we love, love, love, love, love you. But why do you continue to go to Sonja’s house and futz with costumes she ALREADY BOUGHT?
Whoever Sonja’s Friend Was Who Said She Goes Shopping and Then Drops a Tinkle: Because WHAT?? (I think her name was Tina?)
Chris Young: LuAnn’s Producer: This is just sad for everybody.
Simon: "All I'm asking is, don't kick me in the balls again," he says to Jill, after acting like an ass the entire episode. And then, wait, does he CRY? Ugh.