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Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Battle of the Booty

Every generation gets the 45-week discussion of workout videos it deserves. Kendra fired a shot across Phaedra’s bow by using the distribution deal she secured for Phaedra to film her own butt-related workout video, and now we’re going to have to talk about these two fools for the rest of the season.

Thank God we started at the Bronner Brothers hair show for a little comic relief. Cynthia was there to greet her minions and tell people that “hair … hair is everything”; Derek was there to test the load-bearing limits of his stilettos; and Miss Lawerence was there to remind me to try a red lip this season. Kenya came into the building doing a pageant wave, reminding us that she has no plans to gain perspective at any point, and then everyone stood around talking about how much they prefer Kenya’s “stallion booty” video to Phaedra’s “donkey booty” video. I officially do not understand how I have come to write about asses every single week now, and I refuse to type those two words out ever again, so I’ll refer to the videos as SB and DB from now on.

Kenya’s attack of Phaedra’s post-baby body left me furious; pointing out that “I don’t need 1,000 Spanx to be put on by an army of people” while praising her own workout-enriched body elucidates a crucial point about Kenya: She is incredibly insecure. I wish these women didn’t devolve into personal attacks so often, particularly where their looks are concerned, but I think Kenya is vulnerable around a group of women who have everything she wants in life (children and a partner) and lashes out in the most vile ways when she feels threatened. It’s also possible that she’s just a stone cold bitch, but I’m trying to err on the side that still reveals a little humanity.

Speaking of threats, NeNe and Gregg threaten to set the record for Most Time Spent Trying to Put Together Baby Products on National Television. They were back in Atlanta to spend time with their granddaughter, Bri’Asia, but spent most of the visit trying to put together a crib and saying things like “Oooooh, it comes with screws … ” Watching them wrestle with this project was like watching Sheree try to explain why she sleeps on an air mattress but leases an Aston Martin — an exercise in futility. NeNe is happy to have a girl in the family, and Gregg just wants to know if she’s pooped yet.

Kandi goes to get her hair done by Derek J, who reveals the gossip about Kenya’s SB video. He waved his flatiron around and blabbed all about it, prompting Kandi to call Phaedra and fill her in. She correctly anticipated that Phaedra was about to “go ham … BURGER … on your ass” while Phaedra rattled off a Tourette’s-inspired list of the ways she dislikes Kenya, including but not limited to her “Six Flags Scream Machine booty” and that she may “get on bath salts and eat” Phaedra. Two things: Why do people think they can trust Derek J or Lawrence, both of whom have inserted themselves in drama in the past, and why does Kandi pretend to take the high road when she is the biggest shit-stirrer of them all? NeNe does the same thing; she constantly says she doesn’t have time for drama but is the first one to fire the starting pistol. Derek J changed his tune, now saying that Kenya’s video is a copy even though he was fully in her corner at the Bronner Brothers show, and Kandi, after calling Phaedra and getting her all riled up, decides that she wants to stay out of it. I swear the two of them are punking the network.

Cynthia is doing a casting for the Runway Red charity event and is trotting little kids around a local gym, telling them to “lock their poses” and wave good-bye to their after-school snacks. Phaedra and Apollo bring Ayden to the tryout (even though he doesn’t want to walk and cries the whole time), and Porsha shows up to steal some babies. Everyone goes outside, where talk turns to the SB/DB video debacle and Cynthia starts acting like the cipher she is; to the crew, she says nothing, but in her confessional, she comments about how unprofessional it is for Phaedra to call Kenya “chemically imbalanced.” Porsha is thrilled to see Phaedra finally “getting hip to the shade Kenya is throwing,” as it means she can finally bond with someone in the group.

Kenya takes Kandi to see her production designer, since Kandi is looking for ways to trick out Riley’s new room. The production designer leads them to a room housing a giant floor-to-ceiling butt and stands there slack-jawed while Kandi and Kenya talk around him about the SB debacle. He eventually says, “I’m going to let you talk,” gives up, and walks out, leaving Kandi to point out that the SB video is bootleg and Kenya to defend her actions as conscionable since Phaedra cut her out after all of her hard work. Kandi thinks Phaedra and Kenya should sit down and talk.

It’s obvious Kenya intentionally ripped off Phaedra’s idea. She did it on purpose, and probably out of spite, because she’s a little unhinged and a bit too invested in revenge. Why is Kandi trying to force this conversation between the two of them?

Not all is lost for Phaedra; she and Apollo set up a meeting with another production company. Phaedra casually drops her celebrity connection to Jane Fonda into the conversation and then cuts them off as they try to tell her what they’re willing to do for her by asking, “Can you do it?” For a lawyer and southern belle, Phaedra routinely acts like honey badgers raised her. Apollo tried to demonstrate some workout moves, and oh, wasn’t that embarrassing? Watching him thrust his hips around and giggle, showing none of the confidence he had when he was demonstrating the Funky Donkey last week? Let’s hope this video gets made; maybe a paycheck will help Apollo get his groove back.

Porsha and Phaedra meet for “mountain high chai” to bond over their hatred of Kenya. They talk about babies, and Porsha reveals that she has had a miscarriage in the past, which is genuinely sad considering how much she wants a kid. Then she ruins the good will she has just generated by saying it took her the better part of a year to adjust to the very difficult life of being a full-time housewife. Both ladies agree that they are advocates for counseling, which Porsha spins into an opportunity to talk about Kenya’s need for counseling. They agree that Kenya is manipulative and break their arms patting themselves on the back for being so much better than she is.

At the Runway Red show, a bunch of cute kids march around, and the crowd eats it up; when Apollo ends up carrying Ayden down the runway, Phaedra says he is “spoiled.” Kenya, wearing a toga made out of cotton candy, is visibly pissed that Phaedra and Porsha are friends, and makes a big show out of calling Porsha “fay fay” in her confessional. After the show, NeNe agrees with Kenya that SB is better than DB, since a DB isn’t cute. Where were all of these people when Phaedra was developing the DB video and they told her it was great? Phaedra saunters up to ask what everyone is talking about, and Kenya looks her square in the face and says, “I’m doing a workout video.” NeNe LOVES this drama as Phaedra squawks around saying an SB is too manly; Apollo comes over and accuses Kenya of biting Phaedra’s style, and Kenya asks him to “speak English” in an unbelievably bitchy move. Kenya says that Phaedra suffers from a disease called “full-of-shit-itis”; it must be an airborne illness, since Kenya is newly diagnosed with the same affliction. She twirls out of the room as Phaedra declares her Miss Ratchet USA, and I secretly hope she spins herself into oncoming traffic.

What do you think — is there enough room for everyone to make a janky workout video, or should Kenya back off? Do you trust this Porsha/Phaedra alliance? Should Kandi have kept her mouth shut, or was she being a good friend by tipping off Phaedra? Is anyone worried about the children of Atlanta as Cynthia moves on to pageants next week?

Photo: Bravo