Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is underway, and though the network is keeping just about everything under wraps — including the show's premiere date — word of new bumps, new beaus, new wives and old foes tells us that the ladies of Hotlanta are still aiming to bring the heat, even without NeNe Leakes at the helm.
Because NeNe was netting huge Bravo bucks along with those Trump checks she was taking to the bank, her not-so-grand exit gave the network a larger budget to work with this season. That's money that Moore and returning cast member Sheree Whitfield both felt they were entitled to, spurring a rivalry that reportedly led Sheree to throw a drink in Kenya's face at an event for Cynthia Bailey's sunglasses line.
Drink tossing in public places? Classic Housewife happenings. But so are fickle friendships, so it's no surprise that the feud between the ladies won't be long-lived.
What we are surprised about: Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey's reported boat brawl that ended with Williams seeking hospital treatment after being kicked in the stomach by Bailey.
Those in need of a double dose of debauchery can thank Bravo for bringing back Ms. Marlo Hampton. Because as we've learned from seasons past, Marlo can cause more trouble in a few short scenes that most can in, well — ever.
While Hampton still won't be getting her peach, one is being bestowed upon former The Facts of Life and Living Single star, Kim Fields. Surely Tootie can create harmony among the Housewives, right? So far, there's no news of any cast members having qualms with the more conservative, Christian mom of two, but do we see a friendship forming between Fields and the show's resident Southern belle, Phaedra Parks? That may all come down to Kenya Moore, who happens to be a friend of Fields'. And as we know, Kenya + Phaedra = bad news. Like, jump out of your seat and try to hit someone with your designer purse bad news.
Image: Kenya Moore Instagram
Fields isn't the only newcomer with ties to the former Miss USA. Moore is also linked to model Amiyah Scott. She has a long list of high-profile pals, but producers are still iffy about making her an official Bravolebrity. If they do, it'll be a major move. A history making one, with Scott being the first transgender Housewife. Whether she turns out to be a Housewife or not, we already know that Amiyah's been sitting pretty on the "Kandi Koated Nights" kouch.
Another new addition to the show — Kandi Burruss' baby bump. After struggling with infertility issues last season, Burruss' pregnancy will be one of Season 8's main story lines. What likely won't change is Mama Joyce's meddling.
Since her wedding day woes, many have complained that Cynthia Bailey's role on the show has been rather dull. But during this season, however, there's trouble in Jamaican paradise at the Bailey-Thomas household.
Though they were steadfast in shooting down rumors of infidelity during the Season 7 reunion, a video of Peter caught kissing a woman who clearly wasn't Cynthia, Beyoncé or JLo has given everyone something to talk about.
According to Bailey, the act was disrespectful, but not grounds for divorce. According to the blogosphere, the whole thing looks more like an attempt to create a scandalous story line and secure their spots on the show. But after her scuffle with Porsha, Cynthia's now at risk of being demoted.
Speaking of phony plots, Kenya Moore has finally found herself a real man. No more Walters. No more invisible African princes. Lately, she's been keeping company with the very visible Eugene Casciaro. Relationship status: Unclear.
Moore has claimed him as her boyfriend, which apparently is news to Casciaro, who took to his Facebook page on Aug. 20 to say the two are just friends. News to Kenya: Eugene's criminal past, which includes three misdemeanors, obstruction, battery and trespassing. (Somewhere in a federal prison, Apollo Nida is smiling.)
Lovers, friends... whatever they are, Casciaro was recently filmed attending the launch of Kenya's hair care line.
Also present — Sheree, Cynthia, Marlo, Porsha, Kandi, Phaedra (gasp!), Kim Fields, Amiyah Scott and a few randoms.
Image: Kenya Moore Instagram
Not to be included among those randoms are Season 7's Claudia Jordan and Demetria McKinney. Both have made it clear their The Real Housewives of Atlanta days obviously aren't behind them, but they're definitely not in the forefront either. Sources say the two will be starring in their own spin-off, but don't hold your breath.
Sheree's surprise return and the hopes of someone daring to "check her;" a baby for Kandi and Todd; Peter's cheating scandal (or non-scandal) unfolding; Amiyah Scott; Tootie, ahem — Kim Fields, and the mayhem in Manolos that is Marlo Hampton... that's quite a season in store. But will Kenya and company be enough to make up for Leakes' exit stage left?
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