Last night, Nene made my life.

Somehow, some way, I had completely missed the fact that Nene was born and raised in Athens, Georgia, the town in which I’ve lived for the past five years. And when she said it, it was like the heavens opened up, and I had a greater understanding of Nene as a person. Athens is a weird, bohemian college town that has inspired many a college graduate to abandon their degrees and become bartenders in order to continue living here. If you stick around here for too long, it will make you completely bizarre and unable to function in polite society. Not that the Real Housewives of Atlanta are polite – but suddenly Nene’s lack of filter, random dancing, and singing like it’s part of normal conversation has a context. And it makes more sense than ever why I love her so much – she’s one of ours.

It’s also worth mentioning that being from the ‘hood and being from Athens are not mutually exclusive – Nene said it like both things couldn’t simultaneously be true. I’m here to tell you that they can be, and most likely are in this case. But that’s ok, Nene, we ain’t mad at ya. We all come from somewhere.

But it was a perfect time to understand her better, because last night was almost entirely devoted to Nene’s desire to get the girls together in an alter-ego photo shoot in which she would be running the show. And since no one likes to be told what to do by anyone else, all they did is complain. For details, you’ve gotta make the jump with us.

We started the episode with Nene, Sheree and Kandi gettings “minks” on their nails (which actually looked pretty cool – I want the silver and black checkerboard ones, please), talking about their “coochie” hair situations (Sheree? Bald) and speculating about who will be what at the shoot. Nene wanted Sheree to be a woman with cash and also a woman robbing a bank as a reference to her divorce settlement. Sheree was reticent, but when it was agreed upon that she could be a sexy bank robber, she agreed to go along with it.

Lisa was supposed to be a good girl and a bad girl, which seemed fairly obvious, and Nene wanted Kandi to be both a bride and a groom, but that got changed later. Nene was to be a stripper and a club patron, which fits in with her past life as a pole-spinner. The weird one was Kim’s – she was supposed to be a black girl and a white girl and refused to do it, which was far wiser than I expected of her. I’m no fan of Kim’s, but as a life-long white girl, I can say that that would also make me uncomfortable. Blackface is totally racist, and I’m not sure it’s any different just because a black friend asks you to do it. Taken out of context, that picture could make her look like a jerk for years to come. Not that Kim’s not actually a jerk – she almost certainly is – but you have to be on a different level of oblivious to let someone paint you in blackface and take pictures of you. Even if the person doing it is black.

And ultimately, Kim (who also explained her kids’ fast-food diet and apparently thinks you can get Publix to deliver things, which to my knowledge, is not true) got to play a Stepford wife and a mistress, which seems a thousand times more appropriate. I’m kind of surprised that Kim agreed to do even that, but I guess she widely admits dating married men, so what’s the harm?

The most poignant change was Kandi’s, whose nephew had recently been in a head-on crash with a drunk driver and was still in the ICU. Instead of playing both a bride and groom, she played a party girl who was driving drunk and a pedestrian that was being hit by the car. It was quite the visual indeed, and Kandi said that she was glad that she did it.

It’s worth mentioning that the alter-ego concept is not as original as Nene continues to insist that it is – in fact, isn’t it something they’ve been doing for years on episodes of America’s Next Top Model? But I guess if that show has taught me anything, it’s that I can sit and watch people in weird costumes get their picture taken for hours on end, so I loved this episode despite the noticeable lack of serious drama. It made me want to get all dressed up and put on a wig – how long is it until Halloween?

Kandi did a great job accessing emotion for her very dramatic characters, I can’t wait to see her final shot after her two shots have been put together in Photoshop. Another Housewife that was noticeably comfortable in at least one of her costumes was Nene herself – I can’t help but think that if they had left her at Magic City to work a shift or two, she would have brought home some good money. The woman is…shapely. And for everyone that likes to complain that she needs to put on a bra, she had her girls hiked up to her chin in this episode. They were continually trying to escape, but they had an assistant on-set to shove ’em back in, and they blurred her nipples out (please, like Bravo is too classy for nipples…). I’m pretty sure that they also had to blur out Kim’s vadge in her mistress shot. Classy, ladies. Of course, if you’re dressing up as a mistress or a stripper, I guess class isn’t the point.

It’s weird to think of an episode of this show as positive, but this one seemed like it was. Fences got mended between Lisa and Kim and Kandi and Nene, Athens got a shout-out from my favorite Housewife, and Sheree got comfortable making a joke about her divorce and even seemed downright good-natured in a few instances. Surely the season has more drama to come, but this episode was a welcome bit of calm before the surely impending storm.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • pamela

    I totally loved last night’s episode thanks for posting your views.

  • Nena17

    Can’t wait to see their alter ego shots.
    Or in the words of Kim “what is an alter ego anyway?” LOL

  • Nena17

    By the way, what bag was Shree carrying when she walked in to get her makeup done for the shoot.
    And what bag did Kim have on the cafe table when she went to have a chat with Lisa, the bag looked loud, can’t imagine it being “premier designer” or even “designer” ;P

  • otter

    Love ya Nene!!!!!!!! BAM.

  • Michael St. James

    Awesome episode…finally!


  • @Nena17 – Kim’s bag on the table was Versace (I guess we know who BUYS those ugly things now…), and I can’t remember what Sheree’s bag looked like but I remember being irritated that I couldn’t remember who made it – like I had seen it a thousand times before but I couldn’t quite call up the information. I’m going to rewatch the episode later today, I’ll try to figure it out.

  • mj

    I was skeptical about what this photo shoot would look like but Nene actually did a good job of directing. The shots looked interesting and I can’t wait to see them blended together. All the girls (except Kim) did a great job of getting “into” their parts. I was surprised by Sheree’s enthusiastic involvement. Kim just proved, once again, that she has no talent whatsoever. I’ve never seen such a “dead” face in front of a camera, ever!

    Did you notice how FREAKED Kim was in the black wig and with her boobs covered up?! She looked like an average girl….kind of more manly in fact. She needs the big boobs hanging out and the fake blond wig to even “appear” feminine and cute. She is so pathetic.

  • Handbag Lover

    I loved the show last night. I think all the ladies did a great job. It is amazing to me how Sheree felt the need to sit Kandi down and tell her about Kim. Let her find out for herself, Enough already, she just loves to keep mess going.

    I loved how Lisa stepped to Kim and apologized for what she said and owned up to it.

    Nene was cool and did a good job directing but again i think she was a bit much at times.

    I can’t wait till next week for the fashion show.

  • Suzanne Marie

    good job!!!
    btw nene made my night!!!
    talking about good jobs, id like to share with you guys this:::

  • Sher

    Loved your comments as usual, Amanda. Has anyone ever said why Kim wears a wig and doesn’t just get extentions? I know she was sick like 2 years ago, but isn’t her hair grown out by now? Please enquiring minds want to know!!

  • Handbag Lover

    Sher, this is what i found on a website Written By Reality Tea on Jul 17 2009. They claim to have this information from Kim’s ex-publicist not sure on the truth but here goes:
    The Real Housewives of Atlanta does not premier on Bravo for 2 more weeks but the games have already began. Kim Zolciak’s former publicist, Jonathan Jaxson has taken to his site to dish some major dirt on her. It seems the two had a falling out earlier this year. The things Jonathan has to say about Kim include:
    She has an addiction to dating married men for the past ten years and even cheating on them. She never had cancer. Her hair was simply extremely overly processed and she wore extensions which took chunks out of her hair and it hasn’t been the same since. (Hence why she wears wigs.) “Barbie” was her stripper name while she danced nude and gave private lap dances for men and women at Atlanta’s strip club “Cheetah” back in 2003. She recently got re-engaged, with even a bigger rock, to Lee Najjar, aka “Big Poppa.” (His name is on her ring finger, which she has been trying to get lasered off for some time now.)*She spends over $50,000 a month and makes her bills paid in time by battering with men. She has no intention in marrying her current married man, as long as her bills are paid on time.
    She and the other ladies of Atlanta’s Season 2 banked $100k for the filming of the show. A battle that took a while to win.
    She got her ass nearly beat down by Sheree and NeNe on this year’s upcoming season. Mostly for telling ridiculous lies on the ladies.

    • Sher

      Thanks so much for all the info. Just read it today.

  • Sweet Pea

    Last night’s episode was by far my favorite!!! Love, Love, Nene!!!

  • PhotoGirl


    Excellent recap/review and, as a black woman, let me tell you that you are dead on in your take on Kim’s refusing to appear in blackface. What on earth???

    I know some will think it boring, but I’m really appreciating the relatively drama-free Housewives. (Although I’m sure this little spate of detente won’t last.)

    And yes, I was happy to see NeNe “put a brawr on” even if she was slithering up and down a stripper pole in it! :)

  • tina pank

    ne-ne is so Fake,expose ne-ne she is really the one that is keeping all the gossip going,also she is a HATER,she wishes she could be kandi for real,she needs to get some poli grip and glue some teeth in her mouth the ol’ snagga tooth loud mouth trouble making “not from the hood” winch

    • Cece

      i know, it is funny how intimidated nene is by kandi…what about how fake lisa is, she was all friendly with kim and sheree last season but when she saw that nene was the “break out star”, she has aligned herself with nene, i think she is the fakest…kandi is the only one with talent and her own real money…she has real power, unlike the rest.

  • JenG

    I was also looking at the bags they were carrying and trying to figure out who made them. I like last nights show too!

  • Rashida

    I wish folks would stop hating so much on Kim I mean really! It’s too much make Kim out to be the bad one right? Nene is the one behind all that shit and they all know it!

  • Urooj

    Your reviews and Bethenny Frankel’s reviews on RHoAtl are so much fun to read

  • LDJ

    Ok Amanda…. I thought I was the only 1 who thought this quote, “I gotta go by the bank so I can make it rain,” stood out like a sore thumb!!!!! The whole time I was thinking, “what money?”

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