The Real Housewives of Atlanta
It’s a rainy day in Destin, Florida (a city that apparently exists), and so the ladies of Atlanta are forced to find indoor activities to keep themselves occupied. And that they do. There’s a fierce yet ultimately lighthearted competition, some fun little excursions, and a relatively tame dinner that altogether keeps the drama of this episode at a drizzle, even if there are now definitely signs of storms ahead. I’m no meteorologist, but this episode ends with grown women calling each other’s mothers bitches, so you have to think it’s about to come down hard.
Porsha’s focus this episode is keeping her pregnancy a secret from the other girls, so she has concocted a scheme to replace a bottle of Hennessy with orange juice and Coke so the girls don’t question why Porsha isn’t drinking on the trip. It’s not an elaborate scheme, but it’s a scheme nonetheless. Questioning why Porsha feels the need to go to these lengths despite telling Cynthia and Tanya she was on an alcohol cleanse? Wondering why this can’t be more simple? It’s Porsha, y’all. Put your questions away and just go for the ride.
True to her nature, Marlo inserts herself into Shamari’s morning routine to diagnose, without being asked to, that Shamari needs fashion help. Shamari seems to take this in stride, eventually just giving in to Marlo’s demands that she rock an accessory to breakfast with the rest of the ladies. She eventually appears for the meal with a 3,000-pound wide-brimmed hat and a full Marlo-esque getup. She is probably only shown up in terms of aesthetic spectacle by Marlo herself, who’s looking like if the genie from Aladdin took a Floridian walk of shame. That, but make it fashion.
After some recapping of what went down the night before and a quick flash to Cynthia’s iconic attempt at twerking, Nene and Porsha reveal that they will be co-hosting a talent show entitled Bitch Stole My Talent. The audience will soon learn this is a revolutionary moment in spontaneous competition programming in that there will be very little talent and absolutely no stealing. But it’s still a lot of fun!
Competing in the category of Fashion, a talent you can have, will be Marlo and Tanya. There will be a modeling competition between Eva and Cynthia, which seems more fair, and Shamari and Kandi will have a sing-off, which seems too real and altogether nerve-wracking. My instinct is to be afraid that feelings will be hurt, which is me forgetting what show I’m watching. So let’s carry on! Let’s destroy each other based on our talents and passions!
Despite it seeming like a couple people really don’t want to be doing this (or maybe apprehension is just Kandi’s default emotion) everyone gets to work preparing for their competitive moment. It’s squeezed in there that Nene and Porsha, who are hosting the talent show, will also be competing with each other in the category of Hosting. I have a feeling I know which way this will go, because I think Trump would resign and apologize tearfully to all of America for his wrongs before Nene would be a good sport about losing a lighthearted party game, but I’m willing to give a critical eye, even if the ladies don’t.
First up is the fashion competition, and Marlo stomps it out. She’s looking right, and the efforts to which she’s gone to to squeeze into her outfit have paid off. This will be hard for Tanya to beat, especially because she starts out in what is basically just a white jumpsuit. Then, however, she breaks out everything but a Power Point presentation to walk us through the “story” of her look. She mentions, in a sort of Madonna-British accent, that she is doing a “high-low” look in terms of price point, with her sunglasses, which happen to be from Nene’s Swagg Boutique, representing for the “low.” This irks Nene, and we know we’re going to be hearing about it later. Just in terms of the volume of the presentation (because it is a lot), it seems Tanya may be taking this one, and she does. Marlo is good natured about her loss, for now.
Eva and Cynthia are both extremely skilled at looking beautiful with purpose, but Cynthia does exude a power that seems to win the ladies over. She wins, and Eva is playful about it. Wow! We’re having fun! We’re not taking this too seriously!
The singing competition makes me nervous because singing in front of people is an extremely vulnerable task. Shamari chooses to sing “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and it’s startlingly good at first, if a little chaotic and pitchy when she goes for the big, emotional money notes at the song’s end. Still, this isn’t The Voice, so we’re gonna go ahead and say we’re blown away. The ladies are very into it, and Kandi seems, yes, apprehensive about performing. This is, of course, just how Kandi in general seems. Kandi decides to sing an original song that’s hard to place, which is a choice when you’re singing a capella, and it’s pretty much a wash. Nene proclaims in a talking head that Kandi is merely a songwriter, whereas Shamari is an amazing singer. Bloop! Shamari wins. And, in a twist, Nene takes the gold for hosting!
The girls break up later in the day, some to get massages and some to go do some aerial pilates, which looks scary, difficult, and fun … just like life. The massage ladies deduce that Porsha may be pregnant due to her sudden desire to not drink alcohol, her weight gain, and lust for corner-store pickles. Nene is on the case, confronting Porsha, who’s been resting with a headache, about whether or not she is with child. Porsha is unable to lie to Nene, and spills the beans that she may be pregnant, but has concocted the Hennessy plan to throw the rest of the ladies off. She’s not ready to divulge anything as it’s simply too early, and she’s struggled with a miscarriage before. Nene is thrilled for Porsha, who has always wanted a family of her own
Finally, the ladies leave the house for dinner at the swanky Bijoux, where Porsha dramatically pulls out her faux-Hennessy at the table, driving the server who lives inside me absolutely insane, in order to make a toast to the vacation and all the ladies. For a second, it seems like Cynthia, Marlo, & Co. aren’t buying this whole charade, but their confessionals reveal they actually are. Score one for Porsha and the decidedly non-elaborate scheme.
Just when we think this episode’s proverbial plane is about to land safely and drama-free, Shamari decides that, you know what? She’s actually mad about Marlo coming into her room this morning to try and get her fashion together. She’s decided this was shady. Attempting to get under Marlo’s skin by saying Tanya helped her dress for the dinner, Marlo counters by saying that simply anyone at that table could have helped Shamari dress better than she already does.
Shamari offers a mild apology for even bringing this topic up, but it’s too late. Marlo, as an American, has been given an opportunity to express how she feels and go the hell in, and the two women end up calling each other bitches back and forth four or five times before the conversation moves into whose mother is a bigger bitch. I’m gonna say this is ultimately a victory for Shamari, who clearly wanted to start some drama and picked the exact right person. Marlo is never going to back down, always goes for the jugular (she says Shamari has an “awful” voice!), and is forever down to be an adversarial clown. Welcome, Shamari, to a conflict. Welcome … to the narrative.
After that, there’s some light tension between Tanya and Nene, who doesn’t like when the former gets up on her soapbox about fashion and is clearly pressed that someone else is trying to hold the “most stylish” mantle, but the episode ends pretty happily. The storm was pretty mild on this episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Overall, partly shady with a some organized fun peeking through.