From the moment Monique Samuels walked into The Real Housewives of Potomac, she kept fellow Housewives on their toes, and somehow managed to look consistently flawless, even while delivering a well-timed read. As she anticipates a surely action packed Season 5, this Potomac stunner (by way of New Jersey) is managing to juggle her husband Chris, three children, and her podcast, Not For Lazy Moms. I caught up with Samuels on the upcoming season (and the scene with co-star Candiace Dillard that everyone is talking about), her brand new single “Drag Queen” and why her devotion to the LGBTQ community is a family affair.
Michael Cook: How have you been making it through quarantine while both the cast and the fans eagerly anticipate the premiere of The Real Housewives of Potomac?
Monique Samuels: I am doing really good, I am really excited. Last year was very stressful, so I am turning the negative into a positive with the release of my song “Drag Queen”. I am excited about the feedback that I have been getting and I am on a high right now. I am really excited.
MC: Quarantine has left people with a real need for brand new entertainment and escapism television and premiering a brand new Housewives season fits that bill. Are you ready for the new season?
MS: I don’t know if anybody is ready for this (laughs)! It’s been a long time coming, the fact that we were released, then held, now re-released, it is almost like is it really gonna happen? It is very exciting anytime we have a new season and you never really know what you’re gonna see. What are you going to observe as you watch the people filming together when you aren’t around? There are always those questions and I am always excited to see how production puts everything together, it’s really fascinating.
MC: What is it like having a new Housewife in the mix? Wendy Osefo comes in with a pedigree and from the trailer, looks like someone not to mess with.
MS: Wendy is actually really cool. She is a cool chick and I have no problems with Wendy. She is a force, you really feel her presence when she is in the room, which is a great thing for any Housewife. I am really excited to see how she is shown on the show and see what she is up to and learn more about her family that I wasn’t able to learn when we were filming. We never know anything until we watch, I am really excited.
MC: Clearly you cannot say too much about it, but the trailer does show an altercation between you and fellow Housewife Candiace Dillard, which the press has spoken about in detail. What is it like being the topic of conversation before even one scene has aired?
MS: The thing that really sucks about it is that everyone is talking about it and I’m not able to address it. So much time has gone by, we were still filming, and everyone is talking about it. One thing that is hard for me is to be quiet, and I have been quiet for months. It is pretty difficult when you are seeing different versions of the story and you want to jump out and correct it and say what really happened. I have to be professional though, and do my job and honor my part in being on this reality show, and that means not speaking about it until the time is right. That has been probably the most difficult part, staying silent and not being able to give my piece and share my side of the story.
MC: Your new single “Drag Queen” is a summer anthem. Many Housewives release singles to mixed results, but this single is killer. What made you want to release a single?
MS: For me, just music in general. That is something that I was pursuing years ago in my younger years. I love music, I am a huge fan of the industry. During my very first season on The Real Housewives of Potomac, I rapped at high tea and then at the reunion, I rapped a nice little shady rap back then. With “Drag Queen”, the season had wrapped and I was under a lot of stress. Everyone was talking about the season and I was not able to talk about it; I needed an outlet, some way to turn this negative into a positive and not keep thinking about it and let it stress me out. For me, when I put a pen to paper and write a song, that is the biggest stress reliever for me these days. I was able to put all of my thoughts on paper, and a lot of what the song is doing is it is reminding me of who I am.
Regardless of what anyone says about me, I know who I am. I am a strong person, I was raised right and I don’t play. When I come to work, I show up and I am ready. I try to do my best to have a great appearance, so I slay (laughs). At the end of the day, I am not the kind of person that is going to start anything, but I won’t be bullied. I am not gong to allow anybody to antagonize me pr push me to a place that will make me feel uncomfortable. It’s like, give me some space, back up (laughs) That song was my way of getting it all of it my chest. The whole “Drag Queen” title came from when I said last season to Candiace “I’ll drag you pregnant and all!” The fans love to say that line, “yes, drag me Monique” (laughs)! I am a queen in my own right and when you add in the whole “drag” line, there you have it; Drag Queen. And you just have fun with it.
MC: We spoke during your first season and I remember thinking that and telling you that the LGBT community would absolutely fall in love with you. That has definitely come to pass; how does it feel to have that kind of support from a community that is such a huge part of the Real Housewives fanbase?
I am so grateful. It is always love, and I always appreciate the support of the community. My sister and my brother are a part of the community, and they are always making sure I am not out here sounding crazy (laughs). They are always letting me know how it happens and keep me abreast of what has been going on in the community. I appreciate that because the support from the community has been so strong and so genuine, I would never do anything to disrespect that.
MC: We may have missed pride parades all over the nation this year, but “Drag Queen” is definitely going to be one of the tracks played all summer long!
MS: I knew that the community had missed all of the pride parades this year, and someone reached out to me on Twitter and actually said “thank you Monique, with ‘Drag Queen’ you have extended pride for the rest of the summer!” (laughs). I had no idea that would be a reaction from it, but it was amazing. It has been great hearing the feedback, people are looking at the positive side of the song and I love that. Someone said that this would be an anthem and I said “great”!
MC: What has quarantine been like for you and the Samuels clan during this crazy time?
MS: My kids have been keeping myself and my husband Chris extra busy. It’s nice, because they all go to bed at the same time, so at eight o’clock we have our wine and chill time, watching movies and connecting. During the day though, it has been a struggle just making sure we have something for them to do so they are not pulling their hair out. They aren’t seeing their school friends, so it’s just us. It has been a bit much for everybody and I have been trying to make sure we are doing stress relievers for the whole family. We started doing family nighttime mediation before we go to bed, and that has been so helpful. I didn’t realize how much of the stress my kids were taking on due to the Cornonavirus and due to quarantine. They started having nightmares and really bad dreams and I said to myself that we had to do something. They woke up the next day and told me that they had such good dreams and they slept so well. I have been playing mediation music while they sleep, just to drown out the noise. It’s been so helpful and I am just happy they’re mentally okay.
MC: What has your experience as a Real Housewife of Potomac has really taught you the most?
MS: I think I learned that I am a big reactor, I don’t think I ever knew what a big reactor I was. I try to make peace with people and be a peaceful person, but I never realized how much I react to situations. One thing I realized from when I started the show until now, is that I have spent a lot of time trying to prove to my peers on the show that I am a good person and I am fun. I am at the point now where I am like, who cares? If you can’t see the good things in me then I don’t need to be around you. One thing that I have learned about myself is that I am a person who is very resilient, but don’t push me. I try to be nice, but don’t push me. That is probably the biggest takeaway. One thing that I am grateful for is that the show has caused me to recognize what my triggers are, and a lot of that stems from childhood. I never realized some of my triggers. I was able to recognize some of them and now I am able to be more in control now that I am able to recognize what they are. So that has been huge for me.
“Drag Queen” is available here
Follow Monique Samuels on Instagram