The Season Revolved Around The Fallout From The Girardi Legal Scandal

Hey, there fellow Bravo fans, Robert here with your season-ending recap and winners and losers list. After a thoroughly entertaining season, thanks entirely to the current legal scandal involving Tom Girardi, orphans of air crash victims, burn victims, and maybe Erika Girardi. Yes, there were other things happening, friend Kathy Hilton swooping in and quickly taking her reign as favorite fan favorite ever! Another freshman Crystal Minkoff also provided some must-see moments, specifically earlier in the season with her ongoing tension with Sutton Stracke. Rinna, Kyle, Dorit were all present but the season belonged to Erika Jayne Girardi.

The enigma of Erika Girardi grew more and more each week. The central question hanging over her head throughout the season – how much did she know? Episodes sometimes felt like Groundhog Day. The ladies would meet, sans Erika, with many of them expressing frustration at her ever-changing stories, vowing to confront her the next time they see her. Cut to a dinner scene as Sutton, basically, the only one with balls enough to ask her the tough questions is left hung out to dry. The It’s Expensive to Be Me singer spots her target, unhinges her jaw, and turns into Satan, or a mafia boss. Whichever is less violent.

While we can discuss the season at length, this recap can only be so long and we have got 8 ladies to discuss, so let’s get right to it. (Please comment, discuss, debate any opinions of mine you agree with or don’t agree with – but hate speech on the comment boards directed towards me or other commentators will not be tolerated. Let’s make it nice! #dorindamedley)

WINNERS

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GARCELLE BEAUVAIS – Garcelle might be my favorite of the RHOBH ladies. She had a stellar second season, with much of her life being covered by the cameras. We got a glimpse of her dating, scenes with her family and friends were heartwarming and she comes across as very likable. She also is not afraid to call someone out right then and there, not having any of the shit thrown at her – more specifically by Dorit and Lisa Rinna. The Real co-host was right behind Sutton in her belief that Erika might not be fully telling the entire truth. She did not back down with Kyle asking her right away, “Would you have asked one of the white women that question” during last season’s reunion. And much to her and Kyle’s credit they discussed it and moved on. 

She shut Dorit down immediately when the word ‘bully’ came up. Most importantly, Garcelle refused to be gaslit when the women constantly told her she wasn’t opening up enough, yet every time she did they didn’t like the words she was saying. Her breakthrough moment when she did let her guard down let viewers see a more vulnerable side to her. Is she the MVP of the season? Possibly… it’s between her and…

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SUTTON STRACKE – Who saw this coming at the beginning of the season as Sutton seemed poised for a nervous breakdown any minute. Yet after a rocky start, especially fighting with newbie Crystal, Sutton became David standing up to the Goliath that is Erika Girardi. To her credit, Sutton did not back down when talking to Erika, even laughing as Erika tossed vague, kinda scary threats her way. The people Sutton really has a beef with are a few of her castmates. 

The castmates who would get their pitchforks ready to confront Erika, agreeing with Sutton that yes, these changing stories and timelines weaken Erika’s credibility. Yet when Erika is there, crickets. More on this in a few…hint, hint Kyle Richards. Was Sutton MVP of the season? Maybe. If she isn’t she definitely the first runner up.

photo credit//bravotv.com

KATHY HILTON – Oh where oh where has Kathy Hilton been all these seasons. I will fully admit I was not on board with this casting when the news dropped. One, I don’t think that family members on a reality show are really a great idea. Second, after the nightmare that was Kim Richards, I was not buying my ticket for the third sister to join the cast. Now, I am happy to say how wrong I was, as I and pretty much every other Bravo fan are smitten with Kathy and all her quirks and oddities. Scenes with her and Kyle are some of my favorite. Long live the new queen Kathy Hilton!

 

BREAKING EVEN

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CRYSTAL KUNG MINKOFF – As far as freshmen seasons go, Crystal had a very good one. She established herself from the beginning as someone not afraid to talk about touchy subjects like race. There was a brief moment where she was giving off ‘mean girl’ vibes, but those quickly dissipated. She was never afraid to talk about her personal struggles with food and loved sharing her culture and heritage with the ladies. Girl knows how to throw a party and decorate an event. (She should, she said she hosted 3-4 parties A WEEK at her house pre-pandemic.) Her fight with Sutton in the first episodes gave us viral-worthy moments. Expect her to come into her own even more next season.

photo credit//bravotv.com

KYLE RICHARDS – the OG of the RHOBH cast was very close to making the Winners list, and she probably should have given the sheer fact that she was able to stay out of Erika’s line of fire, even as she continually pressured Sutton to speak up. Let’s rewind a bit, I like Kyle, I always have. She seems like a good mom, she had hell on Earth to deal with when her sister Kim was a castmate and Mauricio is HOT AF. Is she a little boring? Probably, just ask Garcelle. I do feel that her time on the show should be coming to an end. Andy Cohen needs to have a term limit on Housewives…10 years? If she does go I will undoubtedly miss Mauricio four edibles deep at a dinner party, truly one of my favorite recurring Bravo moments! 

Where Kyle did not make the Winners list is her continual prompting of Sutton to bring up questions to Erika when the conversation and the moment passed. But maybe she should have the Winners list for just that reason, staying out of the fray. If push came to shove, as much as I love Kyle I just think it’s time for her to move on. 

LOSERS

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DORIT KEMSLEY – How much must Dorit talk? The one uniting statement of all the RHOBH Housewives is that Dorit just goes on and on and on. And on. It started off somewhat light-hearted and funny then as the season went on Dorit was dragged for her neverending streams of thought. The Beverly Beach by Dorit designer must have realized somewhere around mid-season that she had zero storylines. Deciding to come for Garcelle completely backfired on her. Dorit should be thanking PK for keeping her relevant on the show. {Who would have ever seen that statement coming!} When Andy Cohen basically yawns in your face during the reunion, you might start to wonder if you are getting signed on for another season. 

photo credit//bravotv.com

LISA RINNA – The Beyond Salem actress had a rough season, still reeling from the fallout from her disintegrating relationship with former Housewife Denise Richards. The vocal supporter of ‘Owning It’ did pretty much the exact opposite of that. The QVC personality blindly supported Erika refusing to even ask the simplest of questions. One can put two and two together, as Bravo editors did last night during the final part of the reunion. Rinna, in the past, has been the one to bring things to the light and call people out – Munchausen, Kim Richards, Denise – all of which Lisa has since regretted. This time she was not touching Erika with a 10-foot pole. Add to that her fractured relationship with Garcelle and Rinna just sank like an anchor this season. Case in point, her vain attempt at a peace offering via Instagram to Garcelle completely blew up in her face.(*that photo of her and Garcelle she posted has since been taken down, prob due to the comments and reactions it was getting.) Here’s hoping Rinna can get her groove back next season. 

 

 

 

photo credit//bravotv.com

ERIKA GIRARDI – The enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in cash; stronger than diamonds, the Ice queen reigned atop her iceberg with a rod of steel. Erika became the narrative force of the season whether she was in a scene or not. And yet, she did herself no favors, coming across extremely unlikable and really not all that remorseful. The court of public opinion is the only court that matters right now and it’s shocking how badly Erika has fumbled the ball. Showing next to zero empathy for the alleged victims of her ex-husband’s alleged crimes Erika snarled her way through the season lashing out at anyone who asked any questions of her. 

 

Do I think she knew everything Tom was doing? No, I don’t. I tend to align with Garcelle on this that maybe she knew everything wasn’t on the up and up but didn’t really pry too much. Hey, gurls gotta eat and Erika Jayne is a performer! That glam squad doesn’t come cheap! 

Four hours of a reunion and the Pretty Mess singer did not really answer any questions. She said she would, she said ask anything and would immediately pivot the question. Case in point. “Are you angry at Tom?” “What? Do you think I am not angry enough for you? How angry should I be?” She brilliantly avoided answering the questions yet continued to give herself props for showing up and answering said tough questions.

Going into the season I was on her side, hoping she could rise out of the ashes like a phoenix. After the season and the reunion, there was no rising. If this was a ship instead of getting to the lifeboats Erika forged full steam ahead directly into the iceberg, without flinching. I am confused as to why she did not hire a crisis management team to help her navigate the road ahead because she emerged from the season worse off than when she began. 

Chin up, we hear they are already filming for next season! Until then, Instincters, have a good one! 

(**this post is solely the opinion of this contributing writer and may not reflect the opinion of other writers, staff, or owners of Instinct magazine.)

 

 

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