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Rodney HoRodney Ho

TMZ, others claim Claudia Jordan is gone from ‘Real Housewives’

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14:  Claudia Jordan  attends the NBPA All-Star Players Social at Capitale on February 14, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for National Basketball Players Association)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 14: Claudia Jordan attends the NBPA All-Star Players Social at Capitale on February 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for National Basketball Players Association)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TMZ recently reported that “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Claudia Jordan was “fired” by producers.

A Bravo spokeswoman declined to comment.

Claudia has not outright denied this supposed news, but on Twitter wrote this non-specific non-denial:

I texted her today and she wrote back, “Nothing to report yet but it’s been interesting watching the fire storm from one ‘tip.’ ”

I checked with a good source who believes the TMZ story that Claudia is gone after one season. The source said RHOA producers are seeking at least one new cast member and is testing folks out (including perhaps a former “Facts of Life” actress?). The source also thinks Porsha Williams will be reinstated to full-time status after the producers bumped her down to “recurring” last year. She joined the show season five.

And actress Demetria McKinney, who was originally going to be a new full-time cast member but was demoted to near invisibility, appears to be off the show for sure.

Personally, I thought Claudia was fun and entertaining as Kenya Moore’s BFF, holding her own against a rather nasty “Queen Bee” NeNe Leakes. TMZ theorizes that NeNe wanted her out and got her wish. (She really doesn’t have that power but I’m sure Bravo takes her input into consideration.) I hear NeNe plans to stick it out for an eighth season despite her rather public distaste for much of the proceedings nowadays.

Claudia came on as a recurring character last season but partway through shooting, producers decided to promote her to full-time status. When someone complained that she had no storyline on Facebook, she responded [typos hers]:

keep in mind I wasn’t ALLOWED to have a story line for most of filming. i started as Kenyas friend-then more than half way thru they gave me a peach so there was no filming time left to get my full story… simple math

My interpretation of all this brouhaha is that the producers really haven’t made a final decision yet but are floating this “firing” out in the world as a trial balloon to see how people react and generate some buzz. It’s possible she may do some filming early on and they could decide partway through whether to keep her part time, full time or not at all.

Whether she stays or leaves RHOA, Claudia still has a regular gig and paycheck, courtesy of the Rickey Smiley morning show. So she’ll remain in Atlanta after moving here a year ago.

Season eight is set to begin production soon. Bravo typically does not confirm or deny who will be cast members until the fall, allowing speculation like this to run rampant in the interim. The reality is casting is a moving target at this stage of the game each season. It takes several weeks of shooting before they make a final decision on who gets a peach. (They seriously considered giving Marlo Hampton castmate status season four but changed their minds. Last year, they demoted Porsha partway through production while promoting Claudia.)

I figure Bravo likes the speculation because it keeps the show in the spotlight on gossip websites even while the show isn’t airing.

I am guilty of being very much part of what I call the Real Housewives Industrial Media Complex.

Straight From the A also speculates about who might stay or go here.

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