Season 10 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has wound to a close, the first in the reality TV series’ history without unofficial ringleader Lisa Vanderpump — and, the first with a Black cast member, the fabulous Garcelle Beauvais. (Also the first on Zoom. Thank you Covid.) This year, Kyle Richards was the favorite to rise up and take Lisa’s place, but early clashing with Garcelle and a surprising late-in-the-game alliance with Brandi Glanville against Denise Richards wound up fracturing the group into tenuous teams (full disclosure, I’m #TeamDenise). But you know Bravo wasn’t about to resolve the full Denise and Brandi affair on part one of the reunion! This first installment focused on newcomers Garcelle and surprise favorite Sutton Stracke, whose sweet Southern accent and insanely high net worth cloak the fact the she might secretly be the scariest one in the group. I love her! But the woman has power, as demonstrated when she verbally eviscerates Dorit Kemsley tonight. But first, Garcelle takes a turn at what so many women have done over the years: tried to talk to Kyle about her inability to carry on a conversation without interrupting. Let’s see how it went.
As everyone settles in from their Zoom squares, we get to see (half of) their looks. Dorit looks like a beautiful silver alien, a postpartum Teddi has “quarantine pink” hair, and Kyle is rocking Dynasty vibes and failing to hide her hatred for Garcelle. It kicks off with Andy replaying all their most contentious moments, obvi, and then Kyle says that Garcelle never paid the $5,000 she pledged to her charity — fighting words, but especially in Beverly Hills, where Radar Online headlines have come from less.
— Spillin’ it with Slaydin (@spillinitwith) September 2, 2020
Garcelle has since set the record straight, and she apologized for saying Kyle was the least welcoming on WWHL, with the defense that Kyle’s was the only name she could remember — which is honestly a compliment, right? She also says that *someone* warned her about Kyle before coming on the show, but no one confesses.
— some immaculate fibers (@RHOSuplexCity) September 3, 2020
Kyle doesn’t take the conversation well, and says she teared up at home watching WWHL. Given that Kyle cried from laughter at the sight of Dorit in a bike helmet earlier this season, I am honestly not impressed.
Before they move on, we get a highlight reel of every time Kyle interrupted someone this season to make the point that she’s not a great listener — and, that the editors are interested in letting Garcelle gain some ground in her feud with Kyle, which is good to know. We’d definitely like to see more of her friends on next season.
Thankfully, Andy Cohen also takes the time to ask Garcelle about her experience being the first Black woman on the Beverly Hills show, and Garcelle admits that she felt pressure to not get overly emotional on the show, and was aware of stereotypes she would be met with.
“We’re labeled angry often because we’re strong…I hate the word strong because I feel like it can negate my pain,” Garcelle said, explaining that the labels of “angry” or even “strong” can strip Black women of the ability to be soft and vulnerable, sad or scared.
I'm so glad that the #RHOBH reunion made time for Garcelle to discuss her experience as the show's first Black cast member. It was important that her co-stars and the viewers heard about it in her words. pic.twitter.com/aFGEmIqhXb
— Gibson Johns (@gibsonoma) September 3, 2020
Garcelle makes the point that strength and vulnerability are one and the same, and when Andy asks her about how she’s talking to her kids about the Black Lives Matter protests and recent police killings, that same philosophy runs through.
“I’ve been having conversations with the boys as young as 3 years old,” she tells the women. “It was important to me to give them a positive outlook..Just a couple of months ago I was pulled over…and I was almost glad [my son] could see.”
“I had my hands on the wheel 10 and 2, I said, ‘I’m reaching for my wallet,'” Garcelle continues. “Even when I say this to my other friends who are white, they say, ‘would someone like you have to do that?’ And I say, absolutely someone like me, it doesn’t matter what my resume says or what I’ve done.”
She starts to (understandably) get emotional: “I feel hopeful,” she says. “But it’s been a long time coming.”
I really can’t express enough how team Garcelle I am.
Like this is a Garcelle stan account now. pic.twitter.com/E4cIVV2Ptt
— Moody’s Point PhD (@moodysdrunk) August 27, 2020
Erika Jayne addresses her police officer son, and Garcelle makes it clear that there’s no issue between them: “I get to see the best of law enforcement through my son,” Erika says. “But there are institutional and individual issues.” And that’s that.
Garcelle throws Kyle a bone by encouraging her to call her on the phone and ask her, for example, whether she prefers the term Black or African-American when Kyle volunteers that they’re discussing racism at home. Garcelle expresses genuine gratitude for white people getting involved in the conversation, but I somehow can’t imagine that that phone call from Kyle, of all people, would actually be welcome. Who knows what door Garcelle just opened?
Next up, Sutton gets the spotlight: it’s all designer clothes, fashion judgements, and speaking her truth, and it’s honestly a masterpiece. Some fans want to know about her dating life, (probably correctly) assuming that she’s dated her fair share of millionaires. But her response when asked?
“I don’t need to date a millionaire please, come on.”
— Stoned Bravo Guy (@StonedBravoGuy) September 3, 2020
Iconic. Where’s that book deal, Sutton? And the thing is, it’s true — Garcelle was just asking the question everyone else was thinking.
Next, Andy forces Sutton to address calling Teddi “boring” during that first impression game, and also for saying “ugh” about her being pregnant, because, you know, Teddi ran out of the room crying.
Teddi says Sutton wrote her off as soon as she saw her first romper, and Sutton honestly doesn’t disagree. Teddi accuses her of “mocking” her pregnancy, “something I’m so grateful for and is such a miracle,” which are all great points, if it seemed like Sutton had actually been mocking. (Does anyone feel that way? Literally anyone? Genuinely curious. A lot of what happens to Teddi seems to happen in her head.)
Sutton sends Teddi packing with this: “Are you going to let my small disdain for your clothes get in the way of our friendship? That’s silly.”
— Gibson Johns (@gibsonoma) September 3, 2020
Next up, Dorit gets lightly ripped apart by Sutton for making a huge deal out of her saying “I’m going to freak out” as they headed into Lisa Rinna’s daughters’ fashion show — something Dorit was clearly only pretending to interpret as genuinely alarming so she could make a scene and embarrass Sutton.
“Dorit, I’m sorry, if you were really concerned with how I was feeling you could have pulled me aside,” Sutton says. “You wanted to share it with the table.”
Dorit, to be fair, is apologizing a lot, but she’s also still pretending it was out of concern and Sutton is pissed.
“You’re really kind of avoiding the question though,” she tells Dorit, who hilariously tries to get tough with her with a “you’re new to the group, right?”
I’m not sure why the two newcomers seem so much more outspoken than the other housewives, who all still seem bound by some group etiquette rules that Garcelle and Sutton just never bothered to learn in the first place. It’s exciting, and in the place of watching everyone turn to Kyle Richards for inspiration, sorely needed.
Bravo spends the next ten minutes sort of addressing the Denise Richards issues but mostly replaying their nine million conversations about that long ago dinner party where someone (Lisa Rinna) brought up threesomes. Lisa confirms she’s still in an all-out war with Denise: “Denise you lie lie lie lie lie!” she shouts.
— Spillin’ it with Slaydin (@spillinitwith) August 27, 2020
Lisa and Erika also take Denise to task for liking a tweet that suggested Lisa should get fired, which Denise first tries to deny but then kind of gives up on, which sadly has been her argument strategy in a lot of recent episodes. Erika and Lisa are also largely mad that so many fans (hi) have taken Denise’s side, and say it was her plan to get the media to paint them badly all along.
— Jenna Paige (@jpaige311) September 3, 2020
Look, I’m all for Team Denise, but I’ll be honest: It would be great if she could come through with some real solid information and stop lying about talking sh*t about the women behind their backs. Of course she does.
That being said, these women have seemed determined to bring her down from the beginning, and the repeated refrain from all these women that, because Denise “bring[s] up [her] husband’s penis almost every show,” she couldn’t have been bothered by a different scenario involving her kids, remains ridiculous — though not more ridiculous than the fact that I have probably heard that threesome conversation no less than 27 times in my life now.
Next week, Bravo will tease us with more Denise and Brandi details — but you know they’re still going to save the really good stuff for part 3.
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