My top 32 favourite Real Housewives of ALL TIME: it's finally OVER!

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ADDITIONAL SCREAM! :disco:
 
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You have to listen to Danielle's podcast ABSOLUTELY DANIELLE if you're not already. Bravo's instagram recently posted a clip of the scene of Danielle getting stood up on the blind date from Season 1 with the caption "Stand up Danielle Staubs and you'll have hell to pay" which Danielle has taken as a THREAT by Bravo thinking they're telling her to STAND UP for the hell she has to pay :D

Of course there's this classic monologue too


Wasn't it spelt ABSOLUETLY DANIELLE for a while until somebody realised? :D
 

VoR

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and let's face it, the version we're all here for: THE GAY CIRCUIT PARTY REMIX :disco:


Holy shit @ this! :D Literally the quality of something you'd see during the celebrated open audition stages for songs for Eurovision in BELARUS :D

I just looked it up on Spotify and the ballad version is actually officially called the 'Tortured Lullaby Mix'. It is the most popular version of the song with a whopping 4,187 streams over the past eleven years. :disco:
 
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:D

The circuit party mix performance is just a total OMG WTF moment :D HOW did it even get performed on TV? Never mind with THAT dance routine!
It sort of looks entirely made up on the spot, but at the SAME TIME also as if it has some terribly misguided and tasteless thought put into it.
A total, delicious car crash - it sort of reminds me of when Whitney's FAKE SISTER Alexis Houston sneaked onto This Morning :D

Danielle wearing a MAFIA tank top is such an ABSOLUETLY DANIELLE thing to do too :disco:
 
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VoR

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The ALEXIS HOUSTON performance for comparison purposes :D



I think Danielle easily wins out however due to her HIGH DRAMA CHOREO :disco:


Oh God, I had completely forgotten this. Wasn't she just some TOTAL RANDOM who wasn't actually related to Whitney in the slightest?

To be fair, the vocal mixing on that track could not be working any harder to make her sound like Whitney. :D
 
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05: Beverley "Danielle" Staub - The Real Housewives of New Jersey PART 3
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And so we FINALLY return! :disco:
Just like this countdown, after several years in the reality TV WASTELANDS our Danielle once again emerged like the non-prostitution whore QUEEN that she is to return to save a flagging New Jersey in season 8. But before we get fully into it, lets have a bit of CONTEXT first :eyes:

When Danielle left NJ at the end of season 2, the show was SHIT HOT. It was the biggest Housewives franchise, Teresa was all over every gossip rag going, and the season 3 premiere was the highest rated Housewives first episode of ALL TIME at the time.

Things were good too - seasons 3&4 dialled up the family even further adding in Teresa's sister in law Melissa & brother Joe into the mix, alongside cousin (?) Kathy the racoon face as a main cast member.


Nothing ever lasts forever HOWEVER. Cracks started to show a little around season 5 when the show was buckling under the weight of non-stop family/financial related dramas and cast infighting. Show staple Caroline Manzo left at the end of season 5 to start her own (boring) Manzo family SPIN OFF SHOW and it was clear a change was needed for season 6. The change was somewhat unexpected however - the return of NOTED FORUM FAVOURITE DINA MANZO :D
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I haven't watched season 6, so I can't really comment - but consensus online is that NJ season 6 is one of the worst Housewives series of ALL TIME. Dina swiftly left again after, and the show once turned its attention to ANOTHER OG cast member to try and revive the increasingly floundering franchise. Re-enter former fan semi-favourite JACQUELINE
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UNFORTUNATELY for New Jersey season 7 JACQUELINE is a different person to what she was on her earlier seasons. She's in MASSIVE financial trouble, and has a total personality transplant. She's quite nasty and appears to be going through a slow-breakdown through the season. Jacqueline is ALSO swiftly ushered off stage-right after season 7 finishes.

At this point production has literally NO CHOICE to finally pull the trigger than fans have been waiting to be pulled ALL THIS TIME: Danielle's GLORIOUS RETURN! :disco:
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Danielle's return was genuinely quite BIG NEWS, at least in reality TV land - it wasn't exactly front and centre on Newsnight :D It certainly got more attention than Bethenny's well-received return on NYC and I imagine perhaps Phaedra returning to Atlanta is the only comeback that hasn't yet happened that could possibly draw similar amounts of attention.

Danielle's actually on-show comeback is HILARIOUS :D It's so obviously engineered by production they don't even BOTHER to try and hide it. The women are having dinner at some resort, and Danielle is literally ANNOUNCED as a guest and is wheeled out like somebody walking on for their slot on a chat show :D

You can see a very quick cutdown from 0.37 here -


What's even WEIRDER about Danielle's return is that her and Teresa are now MYSTERIOUSLY best friends, and it's never really EVER explained WHY or HOW it came it be so :D
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It's still a hotly discussed topic TO THIS DAY on reddit (just search "Danielle Teresa friends") with people speculating Danielle was blackmailing Teresa and ALL SORTS OF NONSENSE being suggested.
I think the reality is a lot more simple: the show is Teresa's income. If the show needs Danielle back, and for Teresa to be friends with her for her income to continue she's GONNA DO IT :D

They VERY BRIEFLY discuss it in this scene where the lighting is NOT SO KIND


The other women all clearly HATE Danielle, and are privately objecting to having to have her around.
My favourite watch of the first few episodes of season 8 is DOLORES, who is cordial to Danielle through the most GRITTED of TEETH as she's obviously been told not to explode TOO SOON as the show needs Danielle's return to WORK OUT :D

I don't think it helps either that literally on her SECOND EPISODE of her return, Danielle is doing THIS in front of the other women on the beach :D
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A few episodes in and Danielle is spreading some basic rumour about some mild thing Dolores apparently said about Teresa (or something) and Dolores absolutely cannot contain herself :D


From about 1.50ish - Dolores' anger feels SO GENUINE :D Her hate for Danielle just POURS out of her, and the scathing "you're a STARVING HUNGRY BITCH" cuts deeper than the usual Housewives drama as you can tell she means EVERY SINGLE SYLLABLE :D

It's not actually Dolores who is Danielle: THE RETURN's main foe however. Danielle's main rival is s8 newbie and instant fan-favourite Margaret aka BIG MARGE!
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I can't actually remember the EXACT BASICS behind Danielle VS Margaret - they just sort of start as frenemies with Marge's focus mainly being on SOGGY in season 8, with it all really HEATING UP from season 9. Danielle's OTHER storyline during her return is her bizarre "marriage" to Marty that Marge was a bridesmaid at
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Danielle accuses Marge of ruining her short lived marriage, and the pair fall out BIG TIME :D
This one is quite mild, but Danielle's CRIMPED HAIR is QUITE SOMETHING to witness


The two big moments of Danielle's return are of course:
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and OF COURSE
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(can anybody find the shop assistants FLEEING IN TERROR gif? :D)

Whilst the POOL THROW was a cute moment, the HAIR PULL was what Danielle's return had been building to all along, and you can practically hear production CHEERING as they finally got their moment. And it worked. Danielle's ponytail pull got New Jersey more press and attention that it had experienced in YEARS, ratings stabilised as did internet chatter and it really felt like MUST SEE TV - which is something that hadn't really been associated with NJ for a while. It's quite depressing however that the show needed to pit two women against each other physically to achieve it.
There is also the hilarious irony that Danielle spent most of season 2 screaming she was going to PRESS CHARGES over somebody pulling her hair...only to go and do the same thing HERSELF a bit further down the line :D

OBVIOUSLY the hairpull was absolutely morally NOT OK. Marge pressed charges, Danielle signed her own death warrant and clearly couldn't stay on the show after it happened - and the show had no real reason for her anymore ANYWAY.
Her return had been a success. New Jersey has built up a new fanbase since season 8, it now has a totally solid cast, it has tequila-swigging Jennifer ready to step up as the loveable villain that Danielle could never be. The starving hungry bitch had served her purpose, and it was time for the glue factory for Danielle Staub :(
The optics of Danielle's final reunion are quite telling - she's sat REALLY QUITE FAR AWAY from the other women like a defendant in a dock at court and seems totally crushed and deflated. She's clearly twigged that the show had manipulated her somewhat, and this paycheck was to be firmly WITHDRAWN with no chance of a reprieve.

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One thing I will say about Danielle seasons 8-10 are that she is not main cast, she's a friend of - this means she gets group scenes and confessionals, but no solo scenes. Whilst she still seemed UNHINGED in 1&2, the scenes with her DOORTERS did soften her persona a tad and make her seem more human. The Danielle of 8-10 is presented pretty much as antagonist and/or crazy person only. Great for the show, probably not great for her mental health.

Few more Danielle thoughts:
- the hair pull fight lead to THIS meltdown from Teresa which was AMAZING to watch :D

- Danielle and Jennifer briefly team up at points during 9&10, and I'd have LOVED this to have developed a bit further as they were really QUITE FUN together.
- Danielle's return is almost entirely based upon FIGHTS, so please feel free to highlight any that I've missed :D
- As mentioned a few posts above, Danielle now has her own YouTube channel and PODCAST which mainly seem to involve her cooking, slagging off the show and HATING Andy Cohen :D
- You can see inside her/Marty's (?) house here should you wish


and so we FINALLY close the BOOK
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on a Housewives legend.

Quite a sad tale all in all, but an absolute reality TV icon.
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NEXT!
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jivafox

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Wasn’t Danielle originally due to be a FULL TIME HOUSEWIFE for Season 9, only to be cut out at the last minute due to her RACIST RANT recording being leaked just before? :D

That’s why we get all those weird Danielle flashbacks in the first few episodes - it was all the footage they had to BIN.
 

Phoenix

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Marge and Danielle fall out because Danielle was acting like an even crazier person during her wedding which pushed Marge to the edge. They were actually friends at the start of the season.
 
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Wasn’t Danielle originally due to be a FULL TIME HOUSEWIFE for Season 9, only to be cut out at the last minute due to her RACIST RANT recording being leaked just before? :D

That’s why we get all those weird Danielle flashbacks in the first few episodes - it was all the footage they had to BIN.

OHHH that makes sense! I didn't mention Danielle's racist rant as it's off-screen and the stories about it online are quite inconsistent and some sound RATHER EMBELLISHED

https://tamaratattles.com/2017/09/10/danielle-staub-is-a-racist-thug/

But it definitely makes sense - particularly in reference to the likes of Dolores clearly DESPISING HER
 
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Danielle will stoop to the lowest of lows....damn.

That hair YANK thought :D So spiteful. And she leaves the store LAUGHING with people yelling "UNACCEPTABLE!" after her :D

The hair yank is amazing TV...but I actively feel QUITE GUILTY for watching/enjoying it. It's a slight STEP TOO FAR for Housewives, as wildly entertaining as the entire scene is.
 

jivafox

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The hair yank is amazing TV...but I actively feel QUITE GUILTY for watching/enjoying it. It's a slight STEP TOO FAR for Housewives, as wildly entertaining as the entire scene is.

THIS.

I can happily watch them draw blood for hours on Mob Wives but whenever it happens on the Housewives I get a bit ICKY.
 

KindaCool

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The hair yank is amazing TV...but I actively feel QUITE GUILTY for watching/enjoying it. It's a slight STEP TOO FAR for Housewives, as wildly entertaining as the entire scene is.

Yes, an strictly because there's such a power gap between the two of them. Marge is genuinely shaken by Danielle's mere presence. But for Danielle, it's all a game. She didn't even MOVE when Marge poured the drink on her :D She was COUNTING ON IT.
 
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I forgot to add in Danielle's BEST BITS!



This basically covers everything I've been blathering on about over the past few pages plus a few of the additional FIGHTS (usually over dinner with multiple drinks thrown :D) from the COMEBACK.

I think it's worth saying also, when Dolores called her a STARVING HUNGRY BITCH, I 110% believe she meant bitch as in female dog :D She was really framing her as a stray dog on the hunt for SCRAPS, which is so much more cutting to me than most other insults I've heard on this show.
 
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It's time to BOW DOWN to the GRANDE DAME queens! :disco:

04: "The Grande Dame" Karen Huger - Real Housewives of Potomac PART 1
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And so we reach the GRANDE DAME of Potomac, and arguably at the time of writing Bravo's BIGGEST ASSET across all Housewives franchises currently airing. Sort of a cross between Nene Leakes and Gina Liano (but with a HEART), Karen Huger has been gaining in popularity for YEARS as the cult of Potomac gathers steam - and after a STUNNING season 5 turn I really feel like season 6 is going to be THE ONE where Potomac really explodes, and possibly the moment Karen really BREAKS OUT.

I'm going to take an UNUSUAL APPROACH to these write ups and just QUOTE a load of Karen's best lines, as she is absolutely the reigning queen of shade in the Housewives franchise - and when I say shade I mean INTELLIGENT shade. Karen is witty, and not all that mean. Her shade is pointed but often has a degree of love and an element of "DO BETTER" behind it rather than simple sloppy on-camera point-scoring.

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It's well known that I'm not exactly a QUOTE QUEEN, so trust and believe tracking these down took an element of EFFORT of my part :D

"Karma is a BITCH honey! Clankety Clank, the bar of soap? You might wanna help your husband"

"You went so low I couldn't even get a BROOM to SWEEP YOU UP!"

"Did Michael get indicted for his DING A LING swinging across Instagram? NO!"

“Thank God Gizelle is a good looking woman because god damn, she can’t dress at all. I’m ashamed to be seen with her sometimes because...I don’t know what she’s gonna wear. I get a headache talking about Gizelle’s clothes...(to producer) you gotta an Excedrin or a Tylenol..?“

"SECURITY!"

"Ejaculate, procreate but don’t EVER put my daughters name in your mouth again"

"Chris, this is a fabulous salad!"

"Not an idle threat, I will sue you for your restaurant and give it your mother."

“Gizelle being messy is a train that always arrives on time.”

“My marriage is an institution, yours’ is a fake-the-world situation”

“Gizelle, you tacky as hell.”

“People come for me all the time. They just don’t find me.”

“You gotta make millions to owe millions!”

“Karen Huger is debt free and loaded!”

“Who is Andrew with a missing digit?”

"Robyn you are the dizziest bitch sitting at the table"

"It's like General Custer trying to make a last stand."

(Gizelle's) "stovepipe leg"

and on and on they go - those are just some of her BEST KNOWN lines (obviously they make much more SENSE in the context of the show for the uninitiated :D ) PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN FAVOURITE KAREN LINES BELOW!

Karen is genuinely, absolutely hilarious. She gives some of the best talking heads of ANYBODY ever to appear on Housewives, and even a DULL filler episode of Potomac (yes they exist!) can be saved by a perfectly pointed read from Karen.

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Karen HERSELF is actually a bit of an odd one. In many ways she reminds me of the David Lynch film Inland Empire. If you haven't seen it, it's basically a complete clusterfuck of a film with multiple narratives and layers of consciousness and you're not always ENTIRELY SURE which one is the true one. I learnt to enjoy it by no longer trying to UNDERSTAND IT - and I feel the same way about Karen.
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Despite Karen's inherent CHARISMA, perfectly pointed shade and flair with words, she's actually quite an unreliable narrator. Five seasons in and I STILL do not trust a word that comes out of her mouth, and that's complicated even further by Karen's duel persona that flips between Karen Huger and The Grand Dame of Potomac.
In many ways it's a lot easier to not question what she says and just ENJOY THE RIDE, than dig a bit deeper and realise a lot of what Karen says is shot full of holes and frequently doesn't make all that much sense :D I guess the other women of the cast are there to call out Karen's untruths and delusions, that is if Karen doesn't turn on THEM first.

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(Can we talk about this Elsa from Frozen confessional look? It lasted an ENTIRE SEASON! What was it ALL ABOUT!)

I mentioned Karen's DUEL PERSONA above, and it's really an important part of her personality.
She can flip between Grande Dame and Karen Huger several times within a scene, especially when on a cast trip and outside of Karen's Maryland SAFE ZONES - and the other women need to PAY ATTENTION so they can keep up with who they are talking to.

GRANDE DAME: Ultra shady and quick-witted, hates Gizelle and Ashley, WILDLY SUCCESSFUL with multiple businesses, has no worries - especially financial, exists in a perfect marriage and home.
KAREN HUGER: Pulls from past experiences to deliver peace at times of conflict, motherly and maternal especially to younger cast members, doesn't actually hate Gizelle and Ashely at all, weeps at lack of romance in her life/crumbling marriage.

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Karen's duel personality actually make her super endearing to the viewer. A glimpse behind the Grande Dame (which happens EVERY SEASON) humanises her and (RuPaul mode activated) helps express the vulnerability a character like the Grande Dame needs. The most effective moment of this I can recall is on the season 3 (?) cast trip where Karen breaks character to talk about sexual assault and consent. No matter what shenanigans had gone on that trip, in that moment she had total respect of all the cast - and the viewer learnt and saw depth in a woman, that in less capable hands could easily become a reality TV caricature.

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WHEW it's all getting a bit DEEP, so lets move on to STORYLINES.
I'm actually not going to dwell on the LEGENDARY frenemies that are Karen and Gizelle, as I covered that off EARLIER in the countdown (yes it include the MIME SCENE) but it goes without saying that Karen and Gizelle need to be squabbling until the END OF TIME together, and have somebody film it the ENTIRE TIME!

Lets be honest, the scene that blasted Karen into the BIG TIME was her peanut & pencil Press Conference with NO PRESS she held whilst wearing a camo-jumpsuit and FRIZZY WIG :disco:
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BIZARRELY I can't find it in full on YouTube (WHY!) but you can see the DING A LING/grindr/NO FURTHER COMMENT moments here


"Your man up there in LONDON meeting men through THE GRINDR!" :D

and some of it on these Bravo webpages, however it's a much better watch in the context of the full episode
https://www.bravotv.com/the-real-ho...os/karens-press-conference-with-no-press-gets

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Karen basically calls a PRESS CONFERENCE to talk to the women about the state of her finances AND marriage, which backfires in a camp and delicious fashion causing Karen to abruptly "end" the "press conference" and Gizelle to storm out "tacky as hell" wearing her iconic #TaxReform #FreeUncleBen (a reference to Karen's doppleganger husband Ray) t-shirt :disco:

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Other highlights OF COURSE include the hotel lobby fight, the SAGING OF HER HOUSE when Gizelle came over, the BBQ escaping WIG moment
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anytime Karen gets drunk and her lips get LOOSE, and Karen's reaction to T'Challa breakout star of season 5
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Continues in part 2...
 
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04: "The Grande Dame" Karen Huger - Real Housewives of Potomac PART 2

So WHY is Karen not number one on this countdown? Well frankly there is TOUGH COMPETITION, and also because without fail it always seems like there is a moment in each season where Karen CHECKS OUT a little. Not for long, maybe just for an episode or two, but it does happen, sometimes with hilarious results - on one of the cast trips she clearly COULDN'T BE ARSED and said she was sick - then sat upstairs in the hotel on Instagram Live chatting to fans whilst the other women watched from the lobby :D

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Final Karen thoughts:
- I DO NOT understand her finances, nor do I believe that L'Dame perfume brings in ANY INCOME whatsoever :D But as long as Bravo pay her enough to keep up appearances to stay on the show that's all I need.

- I wish the show had exploited the "DOES KAREN EVEN LIVE HERE" storyline in season 4 (?) a little bit more. The idea she was renting a huge mansion for the show, and the show was featuring it as a plotline was a scream but a little SKIMMED OVER despite the green-eyed bandit pizza delivery. Who the real Karen actually is still remains a mystery, and I'd have liked them to dig a bit deeper.

- The CLANKITY CLANK Karen vs Ashley section of the BBQ cowboy fight I can't find on YouTube, but obviously that remains a highlight - as is the Ashley vs Karen CAR FIGHT.

- Karen CERTAINLY had a GLOW UP (wigs especially) from seasons 1/3 and 4/5 VISUALLY, and I do imagine this contributed to her popularity growth. You can have all the reads in the world, but if you have a DEAD RAT on your head Instagram may not play ball.
Old Karen:
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New Karen:
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- Paper Magazine recently recognised what an ICON Karen is with a full spread:
https://www.papermag.com/karen-huger-real-housewives-potomac-fashion-2649082988.html it includes this iconic quote:
In your opinion, what can Gizelle do to improve her style?
"Pray." :disco:

Karen's such an icon she has a three part DRAGGING EVERYBODY series, again WELL WORTH A WATCH :disco:




This is of COURSE only scratching the surface with Karen, PLEASE express your favourite moments below!

And as Karen is my HIGHEST RANKING Potomac Housewife, I just want to take a moment to remember the INCREDIBLE Katie Rost who didn't make the countdown. Truly the Nina Bo'Nina Brown of the Housewives universe :( / :disco:


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NEXT!
 
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