I would have never thought that an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta would come to pass where I would use the term “drag” without immediately following it with “queens,” but last night, it happened. The ladies had a race! A race in their fancy cars! And they wore their best platforms to do it, so you know it was serious.
In other corners of the Housewives world, Phaedra’s baby didn’t like their family photo shoot any more than I did and let it be known with his bodily functions, Peter didn’t like Cynthia’s use of the phone, specifically when it involves Nene, and no one liked Kim’s singing except her sometime lesbian hookup. Everyone was so crabby last night, except Kim, who only has one setting: ridiculous.
We started out with Kim, cooing sweet nothings via speakerphone to her parttime ladylover Tracey about her singing insecurities, how mean that awful old vocal coach was to her several years ago and whether or not Tracey should fly to Atlanta to give her moral support for her upcoming singing lessons. Tracey seemed interested in the offer as long as Kim’s “big ass” would be present, and a picture of the two of them sat conspicuously in the background of the shot. Poor ladylover Tracey. Not only was she apparently gettin’ used, but she agreed to fly across the country for the privilege of doing so.
Next up in our tour of serious delusions, Sheree got an acting job that didn’t pay, and she was pissed it didn’t pay, because she is a serious actress. Nevermind that we later found out that Sheree doesn’t have headshots and she can’t run lines – she wants the cash up front, just like in any future relationships she may have. Sheree’s seriousness about her level of acting talent, just like her seriousness about her career as a designer, has me genuinely confused. Even more so than Kim’s ladylover and singing career. Hell, more than those two things COMBINED. At least Kim appears to be in on her own joke. Sheree clearly isn’t, which just makes it all the more tragic. But not so tragic that I won’t make fun of her for it, obviously.
Over at Cynthia’s house, things were similarly confusing. Peter had problems with how much time Cynthia was spending on the phone with Nene and thought that her focus should be him whenever he isn’t at work, and not only do I not buy into the agenda that he’s trying to push with that whole line of thought, but last I checked, Cynthia was a grown woman. The only man in my life who ever had any say in how much time I spent on the phone was my dad, and that was only when he was paying the bill back in high school. Since Cynthia appears to be an adult, she needs to, uh, alter his expectations of how she’ll use her free time and how such discussions need to be broached in the future. I wouldn’t let a man come at me like that, but then again, I’m single.
In slightly less groan-inducing news, we next visited Kandi, who was on a radio show challenging Sheree to a drag race between her Mercedes C63 AMG and Sheree’s Aston Martin. Little known fact: I sort of love cars, so I was kind of jazzed for this whole race to take place. I’ve been lusting after Kandi’s Benz for two season now, plus I relish any opportunity to watch Sheree lose or make a fool of herself in any way possible, so the possibility of those two things coming together pleased me to no end.
Our brief respite of fun and normalcy was quickly nipped in the bud when we headed into the studio with Kim and Tracey to work with Jan, the vocal coach from way back in the first season who Kim hates for her honesty. Kim made Tracey sit in the booth with her while she tried to make “oOoooOOoOO” sound like something other than a cat dying, and for maybe half a second, she did! But only when she got to the word “diamonds.” Of course. If there’s anything Kim would get right, it would be diamonds, but at least her voice changed pitch occasionally, sometimes even in the correct direction, which would make the probably-endless process of editing Kim’s vocal into the track perhaps a tad easier for Kandi’s beleaguered producer friends.
In stark contrast to that wig-wearing, ladylover-having recording studio mess, we have Nene. Her marriage troubles from the last episode have tumbled into this one, and her BFF showed up to find out why she’s been avoiding phone calls and the harsh light of reality TV infamy for two whole days. When her friend arrived, she found Nene in her pajamas and a headband, without a stitch of makeup, wallowing in bed and playing with an iPad. Funny, that’s how I look basically every day, and I’m not depressed at all! Although I certainly wouldn’t allow myself to be filmed for television in my writing muumuu. Well, I mean, I have my price. But it’s up there.
Over at Phaedra’s house…projectile baby poop. That’s all I have to say. I really thought that Phaedra would never be able to have a photo shoot that I found so viscerally repellent as The Great Pickle Fellatio Incident of 2010, but then her newborn, perhaps instinctually wise to the fact that he was about to be in some really embarrassing and poorly conceived photos, took a giant, sloppy dump all over the floor and Phaedra’s hand, and Bravo got a few nice closeups of the aftermath that actually grossed me out so hard that it gave me heartburn. I’m never having children.
I’m kind of suspicious of people who feel the need to document every moment of their lives with a stylized photo shoot anyway (and if that’s you, I’m sorry, but I’ve got my eye on you), and Phaedra is a perfect example of why. In the grand production that is her life, her family is merely an accessory, meant to make her look good and feel good while simultaneously throwing everyone else off the scent of the fact that she’s actually sort of homely, perhaps a bit dim and otherwise utterly normal under all that eye-spackle she wears. So instead of just living her life, all of her “success” has to be documented, collected and bound into some sort of Ode to Phaedra that she can hold and manipulate and use to reassure herself that she done good, despite the obstacles of limited intellect and batshit insanity that she had to overcome.
Meanwhile, Kandi was planning a promotional tour where Kim would be the opening act, and appropriately, Kandi was terrified that Kim would screw it up, which is a justified fear if I’ve ever heard one. Meanie Vocal Coach Jan showed up to help Kim show Kandi some of what they had been working on, and suddenly, I was glad that I had never realized my high school dream of going into the music industry. Sure, there are a lot of pretenders in any industry, but at least in fashion, you don’t have to listen to the pretenders sing off-key for hours. You just have to nod and smile and tell them that their work is “directional” and they’ll pretty much leave you alone.
Anyway, remember back at the beginning of the episode when Sheree reminded us that she thinks she’s an actress? Well she reminded us again toward the end by going to get her head shots taken and sitting down with her coach to run lines in the most forced and awkward way possible. As if things needed to get more cringeworthy, Sheree then went in to sit in front of a bunch of agents and one very judgmental beagle and run those same lines, this time with more pauses and less naturalness. I didn’t even think that would be possible, so I guess that counts as an acting accomplishment of course, right? The fact that Sheree expects to be paid for that kind of work makes it a lot easier to understand why her house got taken away and her car got repossessed.
Our final event of the episode was the race between Kandi and Sheree at the drag track, and everyone came out to watch. And by everyone, I mean everyone. Kim’s parttime ladylover, both her kids, Kim’s assistant who is still named Sweetie despite all logic and common sense, Nene, Cynthia, Peter who now hates Nene. Phaedra wasn’t there, but I’m starting to think that Phaedra doesn’t actually live on the same planet with the rest of these people, and really I’m ok with that. It’s for the best if the universe keeps her away from the rest of us, lest we catch whatever virus it is that makes her act how she acts.
After everyone pestered Tracey about her relationship with Kim and Kim got upset, the actual race was run, Sheree won (I’d still opt for the Benz, myself) and everyone went home. We didn’t even get to see a good wide shot of the race, which disappointed me on an entirely different level than this show normally disappoints me. On the way home, Nene called Cynthia to invite her and Peter out to have dinner, but they declined, Peter snapped at Cynthia again for talking on the phone too much, and then Nene asked to speak to Peter. He’s in the wrong, sure – Cynthia can decide for herself when and where she uses the phone and who should be on the other end – but it’s not Nene’s job to tell him that. It’s Cynthia’s.
Apparently Nene’s fresh out of arguments to pick with her own husband, though, so now she’s picking them with any old husband or boyfriend that she finds laying around. Last night it was Peter, who deserves some flack over his phone issues, but if Cynthia isn’t going to stand up for herself, Nene can’t do it for her. And I’m pretty sure that Nene’s actually not trying to do it for her, she’s just trying to take out her frustrations on whatever walks by. Peter, as a grown man, should know well enough to stop walking by, but he seems like he’s ready for a good fight too, so they bitched each other out via speakerphone like the mature adults that they are.