We get part two of the big fight that started on the last episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” aired two weeks ago. (The Super Bowl meant a break from this madness.)
At the point of the return, Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams have left the scene in disgust. But plenty of cast members remain.
Let’s recap melee part one before we get to melee part two:
Natalie and Christopher Williams, friends of Cynthia Bailey’s, are the reason why Kenya got up from her seat in the past episode. Christopher approaches Kenya to address her insinuation that she believed he and Natalie were a “common-law” marriage, not a real one. Kenya stands up, “Springer” style, and starts toward Natalie.
Christopher grabs her arm to stop her from going at his woman. Kenya takes this as a provocation. Her friend Brandon tries to defend her. Then Cynthia’s husband Peter Thomas gets in the act to stop Brandon and pushes him down on the beanbag chair. Then Apollo Nida, Phaedra Parks’ husband, flies out of nowhere and starts pummeling Brandon. Eventually, everyone gets pulled apart.
Once that mess settles down and NeNe Leakes (host of the party who brought up a lot of sensitive topics to “clear the air,” ahem) and Kenya get into it. NeNe thinks Kenya started the mess by standing up. Kenya thinks NeNe started it by bringing up so many sensitive topics.
Now onto part two:
Kandi brings up Natalie’s ratchet remarks about her beau Todd from a previous episode, implying very strongly that he was an “opportunist.” Natalie says she never said that word but repeated what she did say, in which he always tries to further himself with the people he dates. That sure sounds like a descriptive way of saying “opportunist.” And Kandi certainly interprets it that way.
While she is peeved by this, it’s what happens next that leads to the next blow up. Cynthia, usually not one to get into the fray, feels she has to explain herself since she was the one who passed on Natalie’s gossipy thoughts to Kandi in the first place. She tries to defend herself by blaming Kandi for latching on too strongly to the negative stuff and noting that Natalie also said nice things about Todd.
Cynthia likes to gesticulate and she invades Kandi’s personal space. Kandi, already bowed up, is not taking it. She gets more upset. Then Cynthia’s husband Peter shows up from out of the room and wonders what is going on, looking squarely at Todd and Kandi, as if they had done something wrong. “You’re acting real strange” he says accusingly. Kandi is not liking this at all. (“You don’t walk up on a woman like that, like you checking me,” Kandi said later.)
With the heat rising quickly, Peter and Todd get in each other’s face. Peter is too close to Todd (usually the picture of calm) so he pushes Peter back. (He later explains that Peter was getting too close to “his lady” so he needed to push him back.)
Cynthia’s sister Malorie gets peeved at Todd’s actions and pushes Kandi and Todd back. This sets off Kandi in a way she has never been on the show before. She goes full-on Springer. Here eyes are a blazing. “Don’t grab me!” Kandi yells. She has to be held back by several people, including Todd. She wants to go after Malorie for touching her. Cynthia thinks that Kandi is threatening her, having not seen Malorie’s actions.
“I am going to f*** you up!” she yells at Malorie, who defends herself by saying “I tried to break them [Peter and Todd] up.”
Bottom line: Kandi is sick and tired of people badmouthing Todd and she isn’t going to take it anymore.
“Once you start it,” she explains later, “I’m going to finish it!”
She has to leave the room, she’s so upset. Phaedra tries (and fails) to calm her down.
Todd and Peter try to talk it out as men and soon they are calm. Kandi returns, still upset. “When I get like this, I can’t think right,” she says, still shaky, to Todd.
Nene is “very disappointed” by the fight.
The show then provides the aftermath of the mess where several different versions of the cray cray happenings are recounted in colorful detail at different people’s homes. The funniest: Cynthia’s gesticulations imitating Kandi. Everyone’s viewpoint is slightly different. Kenya still blames NeNe for the mess and is taking zero responsibility for her actions as usual. NeNe blames Kenya while not acknowledging her role in setting up the mess. Apollo apologizes to his wife Phaedra for his out-of-control actions, but he never apologizes directly to Brandon.
Brandon says he has a broken rib, bruises and a shiner to boot from Apollo’s beat down. He has written out a police report he is thinking about filing but decides not to for the sake of Apollo’s kids. Kenya is supportive of her still shaken friend.
Kandi is truly repentant after the fact. “I was worse than my mama,” she says. “I feel embarrassed.” A few days later, she (err… the producers) gathers the six women at JeJu Sauna, a 24-hour Korean spa right by Wild Bill’s in Gwinnett County. (My wife, who is Korean American and has been to JeJu, is delighted by this.)
Cynthia is not thrilled to see Kandi again. She thinks Kandi was out of line and is uncomfortable in her presence. Kandi apologizes sincerely for her behavior but it’s clear it may take some time for Cynthia and Kandi to patch things up. Cynthia says she is sorry for getting too much into Kandi’s personal space and apologizes on behalf of her sister for pushing Kandi. (You could tell Cynthia is not 100% sure that happened. She’ll have to see the videotape later.)
Kenya is still upset with Apollo and finds Phaedra’s mealy-mouthed explanation about how this reflects poorly on black women useless. “Nobody deserves to get a beat down like they are in the middle of a prison melee,” she says to Phaedra, referring obliquely to Apollo’s past prison time.
Kenya is also defensive again about her actions to NeNe, feeling Christopher attacked her, when the video showed a more defensive action. Nene squarely blames Kenya. The two, drinking tea after massages, raise their voices but ultimately, there is no resolution (and no physical altercations.)
There is also a secondary storyline about Kandi trying out people to be in her musical at the Alliance Theatre. They have 400 people sing “Amazing Grace” and like a mini-“American Idol” of yore, most of them are bad in an off-key oversinging sort of way. They only find two people off the street they think are worth even considering. Good news: Eddie Levert of the O’Jays has signed on.
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Kenya Moore was on the show and again fingered NeNe for the mess that happened. “She set the tone in the room. She agitated everyone in the room from the time I walked in… She was out of control. She was acting very hyped up on something.” She also feels Apollo had a major role in making it even worse than it was. Wayne Brady was also on the show to refute a recent rumor that he was dating Atlanta’s Chilli of TLC.
In response to a question from a caller, Kenya refused to reveal any details about this supposed African prince she’s dating. “I’m really happy about keeping it a secret.”
She was also “disgusted” that NeNe called Brandon a “queen” and gay bashing. “I was quite disturbed,” she said.
As for the federal case against Apollo we reported two weeks ago, she said, “I think the truth will always come to light.”
TRAILER FOR NEXT WEEK
Porsha tries out for Kandi’s play and wonders if she has to say the lines exactly as written. NeNe is still peeved with Kenya. Kenya tries to “kill her with kindness” but NeNe is having none of it. Peter and NeNe, who have been friends for years, get into an argument because NeNe was not kind to Kenya at a charity event.
You’d think the last episode, given the messiness, would have record ratings. They were good (3.9 million) but not record breaking. That could happen with tonight’s episode given the trailers promising more action. The show is now averaging about 3.7 million viewers, up from 3.1 million season five.