Reality Roundup November 22, 2014

Reality Roundup by Tara Cushing (The Bravo Blonde)

Will Lisa Rinna be the new queen of the Housewives?

Will Lisa Rinna be the new queen of the Housewives?

Ramona Singer and Real Housewives of New York City castmates celebrated in Atlantic City last weekend. The group, which included Bethenny Frankel, whose filmed birthday celebration we reported about last week, hopped aboard a party bus to celebrate the newly single Singer’s birthday.

Countess LuAnn DeLesseps shared a photo on her social media that showed the cast, and an unidentified blonde, lined up on their way to one of my favorite places, The Borgata Casino Hotel. This is the first time the cast was filmed at the Jersey Shore and not their usual weekend playground, the Hamptons. I’ve got three thoughts, who is the unknown woman, I wish I had gone there last weekend, and is Bravo’s cast vacay budget shrinking?

It’s a trend! It seems that Housewife returns aren’t going to stop. The latest name to be dropped as a born again HW is Caroline Manzo. Radar Online reports that with its star Teresa Giudice leaving the land of fur collars for the cell of orange jumpsuits, Bravo execs are trying to get a game plan together for the next season.

A source told Radar that both Caro and Jacqueline Laurita are very good prospects for full time status once again for season 7. One factor is that ratings increased when Jacqueline and Kathy Wakile both returned to the show for small parts during the ratings starved season 6. For those who are wondering if Caroline returning means that Manzo’d With Childen is not, the source told Radar that the spin-off actually “exceeded Bravo’s expectation ratings-wise and they are definitely interested in another season.”  Check out TBB next week when we post a Jacqueline exclusive in which she talks about plans for next season!

How would you feel about a double dose of the Manzo family? If Caroline were to return she would be joining the ranks of her estranged sister, Dina Manzo, and Bethenny Frankel as Housewives who learned the hard way to never say never. Also on that list are Camille Grammer, who called her actor ex Kelsey a “dick” and an “ass” on Watch What Happens Live  on Tuesday, Taylor Armstrong, and Adrienne Maloof. All three women made return appearances on this week’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiere. How much of them we will see this season? We hope enough to keep it interesting.

While on the topic of The Real Housewives of Beverly HillsE!Online says that everybody’s new favorite 90210-er is going to be Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place alum Lisa Rinna. Rinna, who has several reality series to her credit (Celebrity Apprentice,Dancing with the Stars and Harry Loves Lisa) told E! that filming RHOBH was “was very close to doing Melrose Place without a script in your hand.” Interesting words for “reality”. If any of you have seen the trailer of Lisa tossing a glass of what appears to be wine at Kim Richards, you have to be wondering if a veteran soap star isn’t going to be acting at least a bit. Fellow soap actress Eileen Davidson is also joined the series. Bring on the drama queens! What are your thoughts on actresses on reality television?



On Beyond Bravo by Lesley Rousso

Can Kathy carry Joan? Photo credit: Getty Images

Can Kathy carry Joan?
Photo credit: Getty Images

Although she hasn’t confirmed it personally, TMZ is reporting that Kathy Griffin will take the place of Joan Rivers on Fashion Police. Reportedly the show will no longer be  airing weekly and will be downsized to only awards shows and special events. Radar Online reports that Griffin was handpicked for the show by Rivers’ daughter Melissa. Do you think Kathy can fill Joan’s shoes?

Radar Online is reporting that Kyle Chrisley, the troubled son of Todd Chrisley, is making claims that his father is in fact gay. The family patriarch’s sexual orientation has been questioned since Chrisley Knows Best began airing due to him being overly flamboyant. Kyle, whom his father says is bipolar, is not the first one to make this claim. A former male employee sued the reality star after he asked him to perform a sex act on him. What are your thoughts on Todd Chrisley?

MTV reality star Diem Brown passed away last Friday after an extremely long battle with cancer. Family and friends payed tribute to her in a memorial service held in Manhattan on Tuesday. Her sister and friends eulogized her and Tricia Yearwood sang. Former The Challenge castmates, including Chris “CT” Tamburello, Diem’s on again off again boyfriend, were also on hand at the 34 year old’s funeral. We send her family love and prayers.


We are happy to introduce our new and improved Reality Roundup! We know you are busy and will still offer the same all in one place gossip “cheat sheet”, but we will also give you the option of reading it as the gossip grows during the week. Read now or read later, it’s up to you, but we will have the latest buzz waiting for you when you are ready!

Tell us below what you think of the new Reality Roundup format and any opinions you have on this week’s news!

Let the tongues wag! 


Reality Roundup: New York Concerns and New Jersey Returns!

Ramona Singer and Aviva Drescher (Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

After a season of poor ratings, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City is in desperate need of help! Although RHONY has not been given the green light for a seventh season, rumor has it that RHONY producers are in talks with the cast about another round.

LuAnn (DeLesseps) is back for sure,” a source revealed to Confidenti@l . “They are now negotiating her fee. Last season The Countess was paid a day rate every time she filmed as a ‘friend’ on the show. Plus, she got a bonus if her scene made it into the series.”

Carole (Radziwill) is also safe,” the source added. “She is a dear friend of Andy’s and has formed a genuine friendship with Heather Thomson. This is what the show is looking for,” adds another insider. “They want genuine relationships and drama, and want to stay away from anything the ladies ‘stage’ to make good TV — such as throwing an artificial leg. 

While the other ladies may be back for another ride, the Real Housewives train may not be departing for Aviva Drescher.

“It is the end of the road for Aviva,” Confidenti@l reports. “She has not been told anything officially, but has been told if she wants to start looking for other TV opportunities, it is fine with Bravo.”

As for Ramona Singer, the only way she will be back is if she opens up about her marital problems, a friend of the New York City housewife revealed. “At the reunion, Ramona shut down any questions of her doomed marriage. She will not be able to do that if she returns.”

Ramona, 57, initially filed for divorce in January 2014 after catching her husband of 22 years, Mario, and his supposed girlfriend, together in their Hamptons home.

“I tried to make my marriage work because I have strong values and I believe that people make mistakes,” Ramona told People Magazine earlier this month. “But you reach a point where you realize the other person isn’t putting in as much effort as you are. And I reached my breaking point.”

 She’s baaaack! After being noticeably absent from the new season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Caroline Manzo and her family are back on Bravo in their own spinoff series, Manzo’d with Children.

The show will feature Caroline’s children, Lauren, Albie, and Chris, and husband, Al, with special appearances by her sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita and Caroline’s other siblings.

“We had an absolute blast filming,” Caroline told Bravo’s The Dish. “It’s fun. It’s lighthearted. You really get the picture of who we are as a family, so we’ll see what happens.”

Catch a glimpse of what is to come here! Manzo’d With Children premieres on Bravo October 5th!

If you haven’t heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, you are probably living under a rock. As of Aug. 29, in addition to raising awareness, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $100 million in support Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

In an effort to raise money and awareness, Bravolebrities from across the nation have been participating in the challenge.

Kathy Griffin participated in the challenge by going commando for the shoot. “I thought I should take it up a notch,” she told the late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel after being nominated by Suze Orman, Aubrey Plaza, Margaret Cho and Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean. More like she took it “up a crotch”!

Check out Kathy’s video and some of your favorite Bravoleb’s below!


NeNe Leakes, The Real Housewives of Atlanta:


Andy Cohen, Watch What Happens: Live!



 Kristen Taekman & Carole Radziwill, The Real Housewives of New York City


Teresa Giudice, The Real Housewives of New Jersey


Bethenny Frankel


 Jax Taylor, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, Vanderpump Rules


Tell us— Does The Real Housewives of New York City need a casting makeover? Share your opinion below! Your email will never be sold or shared.

Do you have a submission or idea for next week’s Reality Roundup? Email your thoughts to!

Kathy Griffin’s Right Hand Man

John Raphael with Kathy and Anderson Cooper.

John Raphael with Kathy and Anderson Cooper.

I met John Raphael Oliveira through Twitter and we instantly clicked. He’s an East Coaster who moved out to LA to live his dream. As an associate producer on one of Bravo’s only talk shows, he meets extraordinary people and gets to do some equally extraordinary things. Not only can he shed light on what goes on behind the scenes of the Kathy Show, but his own story is equally interesting. JR, as I affectionately call him, is young, bright, and has a quirky sense of humor…all things prerequisite to be Kathy Griffin’s right hand man!

TBB: What is your title and role in the planning and execution of an episode of the Kathy Griffin Show?

JRO: I can’t say how much this is a dream job for me. My official title is talent associate producer. After a celebrity guest is booked, my co-producer and myself deal with both the logistics and creative planning regarding the guest. We’re in charge of doing research on the guests, pre-interviewing them and going over the show, being their on-site contacts on show days, etc. It’s been amazing meeting people I look up to! In addition, I find the celebrity pictures for “Explain This” and present them to Kathy. The most fun is when Kathy decides to use us in her on-camera field pieces. You never know what’s going to happen.

TBB: How did you land your exciting job?

JRO: After spending two years at Judge Judy, I was promoted to segment producer and knew I had gotten as far and as high up as I wanted on that show. It was a great experience and an honor working for such a legendary woman, but I was ready for something new that would excite me creatively. I prayed for something new to materialize and it did! I heard that Kathy Griffin would be shooting her new talk show on the same studio lot where we shot Judge Judy so I saw it as my chance to make things happen. I dropped off letters, called people, etc. and then got an interview! The rest is history! I had been a HUGE fan of Kathy since before college. I remember seeing her live in Boston years ago and sitting in the back row and just dreaming about working with her and being a part of her staff. At that point, the D-List was just starting and Tiffany (Rinehart) and Tom (Vise) looked like they were always having fun and I think everyone dreams of having a job where you’re laughing 90% of the time. I’m still pinching myself that my dreams came true and it’s better than I could have ever predicted.

TBB: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?

JRO: In general, I’m a control freak and when things start to unravel I get a little crazy. Working on a live show is fun because you never know what’s going to happen and you only get one shot! It’s kind of like theater! But at the same time, not knowing what’s going to happen out there can be a little daunting! You prepare all you can and hope for the best! Who knew Chris Noth was going to tell our audience to do LSD when he was on with Chelsea Handler? Certainly not us!

TBB: What is a typical work day like for you and the staff at Kathy?

JRO: In a word…fun. Every day is for the most part a little different. I suppose on a typical day, we all come in and start talking about what we watched on tv or anything we came across that was funny. This is our unofficial way of starting to plan the show. The writers all get together and start planning ideas and my co-producer and myself start getting the celebrity logistics in order. When Kathy comes in, we have a huge pow-wow with her and get the ball rolling! We’re high on laughs and low on drama.

TBB: Who has been the most interesting person you have met while working at the show?

JRO: Besides Kathy Griffin herself, the most interesting person I have met in the last year is the living legend…CHER! Back in November, Kathy was invited to participate in a PSA with Cher and she brought me along to the shoot. Just being in Cher’s presence is intoxicating. She’s such a lovely, down to earth person. She just has “it” and it’s no wonder she’s been a presence in this industry for as long as she has!Later on that day, completely by chance, I ran into another living legend who lights up my world…Britney Spears! I didn’t speak to Britney because I was way too busy freaking out. I was unprepared for that sighting!

The Kathy crew meets Cher.

The Kathy crew meets Cher!

To sum up, November 1st 2012 was a day that will live in infamy in my own personal history. The gay trifecta of Kathy Griffin, Cher, and Britney Spears was achieved!

Meeting celebrities is both awesome and nerve-wracking.

TBB: Have you any funny behind the scenes stories you can share?

JRO: There are so many funny stories, from traveling with Kathy to working on the show, that have occurred this past year. These moments include everything from Kathy sticking her tongue down my throat unexpectedly on camera, to Jimmy Kimmel asking me to bite his earlobe, to running around between commercial breaks trying to refill the guests’ drinks on a recent episode after Steven Weber spilled his wine all over poor Kate Walsh!

Nibbling a kibbel...err Kimmel.

Nibbling a kibbel…err Kimmel.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that 99% of time spent with Kathy is funny whether it’s during a wardrobe fitting with her or sitting at the airport lounge waiting to board a flight. There’s always some moment of hilarity.

TBB: What is Kathy like as a boss?

JRO: Kathy jokes that she wants her staffers to live in fear of her as they would if they worked for Madonna or Naomi Campbell. However, that’s far from the reality. She’s a great boss. She knows how to make things funny and she knows the direction she wants her show to take. You learn a lot from her because she’s been in the business for such a long time. I’ve learned to trust her instincts.

TBB: What do you do when the show is off season?

JRO: It’s strange for talk shows to have off-seasons but it is what it is. I was extremely lucky after season 1 ended. Kathy scooped me up and I got to work with her at her house every day. Call me anything from her intern or her second assistant. I was actually working with her longer than I was with season 1. It was so much fun and I was with her when she taped two stand-up specials in Long Beach and Minneapolis, traveled to Vegas to help out at IHeartRadio music festival, etc.

TBB: What is your advice for someone who wants a job in your industry?

JRO: For this, or any industry, my advice is to work hard and follow your dreams. You have to really want to be successful and you have to be willing to sacrifice and work hard. It WILL pay off. Also, be kind. You never know who’s going to help you out or be your boss and a nice attitude goes a long way. Also…schmooze security…they’ll get you backstage!

TBB: Anything else you would like to share?

JRO: I’d just like to say thank you to you for being you! You are a wonderful blogger, mother, tweeter, etc. Thanks for your support of KATHY and of myself! Don’t forget to watch KATHY Thursdays at 11:30PM on Bravo! We’ve got some fun stuff coming up including a spoof on one of television’s longest running dramas so stay tuned.

I encourage anyone to tweet me (@JohnRaphael). I respond to everyone! As you know, I can get very snarky when discussing my beloved Housewives! I’d love to collaborate with you more and discuss other shows (Housewives!!!).

Video:John on Kathy with Jimmy Kimmel!