Reality Roundup: Wedding Bells and Dumbbells– Real Housewives of Orange County Spinoffs!

Tamra Barney (left) and Gretchen Rossi (right). (Source: contactmusic.com)

She’s baaaaackk! Since getting the boot from The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gretchen Rossi has been out of sight and out of mind! However, she and her RHOC fiancé Slade Smiley are ready for their reality television return! The Orange County couple are set to star in a new reality show, Marriage Bootcamp on WeTV!

Marriage Bootcamp is a new reality show that aims to mend the relationships of current and former reality stars and their partners. Joining Gretchen and Slade are Jersey Shore’s Jenni “JWoww” and her fiancé Roger Mathews, Bad Girls Club star Tanish Thomas and her husband Clive, and The Bachelorette alums Trista and Ryan Sutter.

Marriage Bootcamp premieres May 30th, 2014 on WeTV!

Order in the court! The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice have officially begun their pre-sentencing proceedings and are gearing up for their July sentencing date!

“Joe and Teresa will be meeting with officials from the probation department and a report will be prepared for the judge to review at the July 8 sentencing hearing. The probation report will give the judge guidance as to what prison time if any Joe or Teresa will be sentenced to,” a source told Radar Online.“The couple will meet with officials separately. Joe is prepared to tell the probation department that he was the sole perpetrator in the crimes, and that Teresa had no knowledge.”

In doing this, Joe is hoping that the judge will not send Teresa to prison, and instead either give her probation, or house arrest,” the source added. “A meeting with a psychiatrist is also on the books to determine their mental health status, and how they would do if placed in prison. This is always done in these cases, and the Giudices aren’t receiving any special treatment.”

Teresa could face up to 27 months behind bars while Joe could be locked up for over 46 months. The couple pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud earlier this year.

Teresa and Joe’s legal drama will be a major story this season on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Reportedly, Teresa’s bosses at Bravo are extremely upset with her after she did not show to the Bravo Up-fronts last week.

“The network obviously wanted her there and wanted her to talk about her legal problems because they are in the show, but she just isn’t willing to do any press right now.” Radar‘s source revealed.

“Teresa is terrified of making a wrong move between now and her sentencing. She’s praying that she gets only house arrest or even probation. So she’s staying out of the limelight and avoiding any situation where she will have to talk about the case.”

Despite the harsh realities, Teresa is living in denial regarding the fact that Joe could possibly be deported back to Italy following the sentencing. “She is hopeful that their lawyers will be able to avoid this altogether, but it isn’t looking like it will happen,” Radar’s source added. “Joe is going to deal with whatever his punishment is, and if that includes being deported, he will face it. Of course, Joe would fight any attempt to be deported, but he knows his chances of being successful are slim.”

Teresa and Joe Giudice will appear in court on July 8th, 2014. Season six of The Real Housewives of New Jersey will premiere the following week on Sunday, July 13th, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST. Catch a sneak peek of the upcoming season here!

Put on those red socks… Top Chef season 12 is headed to Boston! Following the successful 11th season in New Orleans, Bravo’s Top Chef will stage in Boston for season 12!

“Boston has always been at the top of our wish list as a location for ‘Top Chef,’ not only because of its rich historical significance, but also because of its robust and ever-growing culinary scene,” Shari Levine, Senior Vice President of Current Production at Bravo, said in a network press release. “Top Chef will showcase the many facets of the city which in turn will bring its fresh, unique flavor to season 12.”

Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons will all be returning for the upcoming season. Top Chef: Boston will air this fall.

Riding off the success of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin-off Vanderpump Rules, Bravo’s network executives are hoping to strike gold in Orange County.

“Bravo is seeking to anchor Monday nights better for RHOC next year with a comparable program, if not a spin-off, that carries a So Cal vibe,” LALATE reported last week.

Although a spin-off focused on Tamra Barney’s CUT Fitness has been denied time and time again, it seems like a great fit!

Tell us— Would you watch a CUT Fitness spin-off? Will Teresa and Joe get off the hook? Leave a comment below and voice your opinion! 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  brent@tbbreality.com!

@TheBravoholic

imageBy Lesley Rousso

Wednesday September 4th, I was waiting at the deli in Publix, which is such a joy to begin with, when my phone dinged with a Twitter notification. I looked to see that I had a direct message from @BravotTV ! “Congrats Lesley! You have been selected as the next @TheBravoholic” it read. I actually gasped so audibly that everyone turned to look. I still had my entire shopping to do and I’m sure I looked like a crazy person as I was smiling ear to ear like a lunatic. After I called my husband and I texted my friends, I emailed Bravo and accepted. We exchanged some emails and they scheduled a call with me for Friday afternoon. We talked, they filled me in on what I needed to do, I signed a release that stated the contest rules, and I was set to start Monday at noon.

I got busy thinking about things I would tweet during the day and started downloading pictures and making notes. When Monday came I hit the ground running. I learned quickly who many of the former @TheBravoholics were and started exchanging tweets with them and everyone else. That first night was not exactly what I expected. Honestly I have no idea what I was expecting, but that first night was overwhelming to say the very least, and this coming from someone who is a professional multitasker. The first show I live tweeted was Tamra’s OC Wedding to which I mistakenly tweeted to the wrong hashtag. It WAS the previous week’s tag so I cannot be held accountable, rule number one of being @TheBravoholic, double check because things change! The new hashtag wasn’t my only surprise, I didn’t realize that my phone would be going off every 2 seconds for the next week. I tried to live tweet while feeding my husband and kids, and while doing homework. It was pure chaos. I got smart the next night. I grabbed my wine, headed upstairs, and locked my bedroom door which I would only open during commercials. I figured out a system and the rest of the week went really well, I think.

You’d think the time commitment would be my major dilemma, however one of the hardest parts of this job is being totally diplomatic. I usually just tweet whatever comes to mind about the Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listers ( I’m looking at you Josh Altman ) and the others. It’s not always complimentary. When you are representing the network they appear on though, you have be a little nicer. I would tweet questions and let others give the answers that I may normally give. I have to admit that it was nice to be free of the chains of diplomacy when my stint was up. I also got to have my question asked on WWHL by my one and only Andy. The guests for that night were Andrew Dice Clay and Kathy Wakile. I asked Kathy if she ever smokes anything else out of the Hookah. I asked this because I thought Andy would like it and Kathy is boring and I had nothing to ask her. Of course she said “No.” Buzzkill.

I had so much fun and would totally do it again. Too bad it’s not a paid job! I loved tweeting with all my fellow Bravoholics who understand my crazy obsession with all things Andy Cohen and Bravo TV. In real life people who get that as well as I do are few and far between! I thought that it was pretty cool to be chosen as one of like 34 who get to do this. At least I now have more followers than people I’m following. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my swag bag. I’m pretty sure it’s Mazel glasses (shot and sun) and some coasters? Sounds like Turtle Time. Hopefully I’ll get it soon. Stay tuned…

Lisa Fernandes – Beyond Top Chef

imageBy now I’m used to seeing people I have met, even know, on television. Back during Season 4 of Top Chef, however, that was not the case. I was quite surprised when I recognized a very familiar face. Lisa Fernandes and I can both say we knew one another “way back when.” Growing up in the same small corner of suburban New York, Lisa has a sister my age who was one of my close friends. I spent many days and nights huddled around Lisa’s parents’ kitchen table. What a phenomenal kitchen it was! It’s not shocking that Lisa grew up to be a successful chef. She had all the right tools there in her own childhood kitchen, which I can still picture her sitting on the counter “holding court.” She always had an attitude of business and no time to waste. These days she is holding court on her brand new food truck, Sweet Chili. The NYC mobile eatery features the Asian inspired cuisine that is her specialty. I was excited to reconnect with Lisa after all the these years and find out about Sweet Chili as well as what happens behind the scenes on Top Chef!

TBB: You and I go way way way back so it is really exciting to have our paths cross again like this. When did you first discover your culinary talents?

LF: I was in the kitchen from the age of 5 setting the table, helping clean up, and my sister and I used to play restaurant. I remember being 11 and opening my mom’s cookbook. I made cookies that were amazing, from that point on I knew. My first job was in a dirty Kosher deli where I worked 4 hours a week. Every job I’ve ever had has been at a restaurant. When I was 16 I was already a line cook and knew I wanted to go to culinary school. I am very lucky to have known from a young age exactly what I wanted to do. I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else!

TBB: How did the opportunity to be on Top Chef arise?

LF: A really good friend of mine was on the prior season and referred me, so (the producers) contacted me and told me they wanted me to be on the show. I was on vacation with my family at the time and I wasn’t interested, I didn’t want to do it. They kept calling.

TBB: The show, from a viewer’s perspective, looks like it’s quite the pressure cooker for the contestants. Describe the experience.

LF: It’s definitely intense. It’s a lot of waiting, a lot of anxiety building and trying to figure out ways to pass the time. In the kitchen is when the pressure went away, you are in your element but you have to try not to get in the way of the camera, and not to get hurt, it’s very intense!

TBB: Any favorite behind the scenes stories you’d like to share?

LF: We had some good times finding ways to cure our anxiety. We would come up with games to play like flipping bottle caps into a cup. Once we found some sidewalk chalk in the warehouse and used it to play Pictionary and got way into it!

TBB: I remember you being on the The View after Top Chef. That must have been exciting…

LF: Me, Spike, and Stephen had to do budget friendly foods for a family of 4. I got to meet Whoopi Goldberg which was mind blowing! Sherri Shepherd almost knocked me over saying “such an honor to meet you” I was like, ‘No, it’s an honor to meet YOU.’

TBB: You have a flare for combining unusual flavors, for instance your peanut butter mashed potatoes (see recipe below!) which were a big hit with the judges. How does an idea like that happen?

LF: I think it just kind of happens. I’ll be thinking abut ingredients and I’ll say to myself, ‘peanut butter’ and throw it in. Sometimes it comes out good, other times, not so good. I do like to combine things that people normally wouldn’t put together.

TBB: What advice would you give to future Top Chef contestants?

LF: Be yourself and cook what you know. Don’t try to do something you’ve never done before, stick with what is comfortable and true to your styel

TBB: You now have your own food truck business called Sweet Chili. How is that going?

LF: It’s a learning process and it can be stressful. I’m excited to have my own company. It’s my own food and my own rules, the way I envision things. I like that I get to interact with people! It’s me out on the truck everyday!

TBB: What types of items are on the menu?

LF: You choose a salad and a protein and everything is accented with my own individuality in every dish. Sweetness, saltiness and crunch….I call it Thaietmanese.

TBB: We certainly want to try it! Where can people find Sweet Chilli?

LF: You can find us at 70 Varick Street in the Lent food truck lot Tuesdays and Fridays 11am -3pm. All other days are to be announced so like us on Facebook and follow us @sweetchilinyc for all the latest updates!

imageChef Lisa’s Peanut Butter Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup half and half

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1 cup natural peanut butter chunky OR 1 cup  roasted peanuts and 2 tbs peanut oil (combined in food processor until chunky smooth)

Boil a pot of salted water. Add potato chunks and cook until they begin to fall apart. Drain completely and place in ricer. Run through food mill until they are smooth.  Combine half and half, milk, and butter in a pot and heat until warm. Combine potatoes, milk mixture, and peanut butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Add more milk and butter for creamier potatoes