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

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BONUS HOUSEWIFE TIME! One of my most hated Housewives: Cynthia Bailey - Real Housewives of Atlanta

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OK lets get this straight, I don't HATE Cynthia. Hate is such a strong word. I don't even dislike her that much - compared to MOST of the women on this countdown she's probably one of the morally better of all of them. I hate what she represents, which is the one of the biggest sins a Housewife can be: BORING!

There have been many, many, many boring Housewives across the years. Off the top of my head some of the most notable are the legendary Housewife flop CINDY BARSHOP from New York, Atlana's own Kim Fields (who seemed utterly confused as to which show she had been cast on) and MULTIPLE one-season-and-outs from OC - usually named PEGGY.

However Cynthia takes my boring Housewife trophy simply because she has been on Atlanta for SUCH A LONG TIME NOW!
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Cast in season 3 alongside iconic lunatic Phaedra Parks, Cynthia and Phaedra helped bring a bit of GLAMOUR to the sliiiiiightly crunchy Atlanta cast - Cynthia in particular with her background as a genuinely successful fashion model in the 90s.

Initially allied with Nene, Cynthia was kind of OK at first - she got Miss Jay from ANTM to do a brief cameo and generally gave decent talking head. THEN her at-time fiancé Peter arrived on the scene. :eyes:
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Oh my life, I find Peter INSUFFERABLE. I've alluded it into this thread already, but Peter is thirsty for screen time, not a particularly pleasant individual to watch and the trials and tribulations of Cynthia and Peter's relationship DOMINATE Cynthia's solo scenes for multiple seasons to the point where they take me right out of why I watch Atlanta, and I ended up just fast-forwarding through all of them. From memory Cynthia's own SISTER seemed to hate him (and he acted like a total dick to her). Maybe Cynthia should have listened to her family instead of her heart :eyes:

What was EVEN WORSE is that Peter stayed on the show for many, many seasons almost becoming a semi-cast member HIMSELF. He was still having scenes in season 10 having conveniently become BEST FRIENDS (and possibly even business partners?) with Kandi's husband Todd (he possibly was in the last season also - I just haven't watched that one to find out). He starts getting SOLO SCENES with none of the women are in, and I vaguely remember him having some sort of heart-to-heart with Kandi's daughter Riley at some point: THIS IS NOT WHAT I WATCH ATLANTA FOR!

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ANYWAY, BACK TO CYNTHIA. As mentioned - she isn't a bad person. I get it. Not everybody in the cast has to be there to keep gay men entertained - the show has a huge female audience also, and inspirational role models are needed for that demographic. I would argue however that wildly successful (and charismatic) Kandi covers this need in a FAR MORE INTERESTING WAY than Cynthia ever has.

Cynthia is has been on the show for nearly 10 seasons now, and I honestly struggle to remember any plotline she's ever engaged me with. YES her wigs are amazing! YES her wedding dress was a properly breath-taking moment at the end of season 3! YES it's good Kenya has an ally to keep her tied into the rest of the cast! YES her talking heads are ok sometimes! But as a cast member I care about and truly stan? NO THANKS. I guess the boatfight with Porsha is the most dramatic she's ever been? And even THEN it's more about Porsha being crazy and Kenya's silly interjections than it is Cynthia:


Fans have been suggesting Cynthia should take a friend-of role rather than full-time for several seasons now, and I think this would suit her perfectly. I'm GAGGED she's back for the new season as she seemed brutally checked out at the last reunion - but get that easy paycheque eh?

Final thoughts on Cynthia: great wigs, beautiful wigs.

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I think it's quite telling her Bravo compilation on their YouTube channel is of her BEST LOOKS rather than WILDEST MOMENTS:


Am I WRONG about Cynthia (and Peter)? DO let me know :D NEXT!
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Phoenix

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I like Cynthia, I don’t love her but she serves a purpose. She improved immensely after Peter left (I remember a very queasy scene where she gave him a massage).

She feels like an OG and I wouldn’t want her gone. Also Lake Bailey is a beautiful house.
 

Phoenix

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I also like that she’s so nice that she inadvertently exposes Kenya for being a horrible nasty friend.
 
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I also like that she’s so nice that she inadvertently exposes Kenya for being a horrible nasty friend.

I meant to touch on their friendship a bit :D Kenya would be FUCKED in terms of show narrative and attachment to the women without Cynthia :D (as IF Kandi truly gives a shit about Kenya :D)

I do agree re above, I don't necessarily want Cynthia GONE, and I don't hate her. But I do think it's time for her to move over and drop her peach. 10 seasons of NOTHING is a LOT!
 

ameraal

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*throws prosthetic leg over table for lunch*

when i become high emperor/ess of the world andy cohen better be ready to answer for what he's done.
 

Will

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It's hard to dislike Cynthia, but then it's hard to feel anything for her, really.

One thing I have loved about her time on the show, though, is the storyline in recent seasons - with Noelle coming out as gay and it not being even a slight issue for Cynthia. It's so great that those scenes aired and that this message got out there.

I also love the relationship she has with Noelle's (so very fine) Dad. That's some role model co-parenting right there.
 
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and so we move on to one of the most morally dubious of ALL Housewives of ALL franchises...

19 - Tamra Judge/Barney - Real Housewives of Orange County
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OH MY GOD where do you even START with Tamra :D This write up has been giving me some difficulties as a. there are SO MANY seasons of Orange County, and Tamra has been on almost all of them, and b. Tamra is almost ALWAYS involved in all of the drama across all of these many, many seasons :D

I feel like I must preface this with: TAMRA IS NOT A GOOD PERSON, AND I DO NOT REALLY LIKE HER.

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HOWEVER, the reason such a dreadful human being ranks so high is quite simple: Tamra knows a slot on Real Housewives is the best card life will EVER possibly deal her, she never aspires to be anything but a Housewife, and she has done absolutely EVERYTHING in her power to keep her orange and stay on the show as she is VERY AWARE the alternative of not being on the show is infinitely worse than her current reality.

Tamra joined OC back in season 3, where the show was a VERY different beast to what it is today. The first 3 seasons are actually really difficult to watch on a practical level as the footage wasn't captured on particularly great cameras, meaning they genuinely look like blurry DOGSHIT in 2020 :D The women don't interact much, if at all, and it's very much a simple look into the lives of reasonably wealthy women in the OC area.

She's often credited for really changing the Housewives game in season 4.
Young dumb blonde Gretchen is introduced to the show in a very transparent producer trick to put the cat amongst the pigeons by introducing a younger, "hotter" Housewife into a group of older women who are made jealous easily. Gretchen's incredibly rich fiancé (?) is about 70 years old and literally DYING.
Blah blah blah stuff happens and Tamra eventually confronts Gretchen at a dinner when it emerges Gretchen has been partying on a boat all weekend whilst her fiancé is in hospital (it's heavily inferred Gretchen may have been having SEX on this weekend too). Tamra brings this up on-camera by shouting the immortal line "DID YOU GO TO BASS LAKE" across the dinner table - thereby bringing confrontation, and personal business of the other women on-camera for the first time in the OC (and possibly Housewives franchise in general). By today's standards it's all actually very tame, but being THE FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED, it is important to note in a Tamra write up.

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(this is Gretchen pictured having to deal with Tamra being in her life)

Tamra basically ORBITS around the OG of the OC Vicki Gunvalson throughout their many seasons together on the franchise, generally as best friends but often also as out and out ENEMIES. I wouldn't really put them under the "frenemies" tag however, as their relationship does seem a lot rawer and real than on a lot of the other Housewives shows, and some of their fights are PROPERLY PROPERLY nasty. Thankfully there is a handy youtube video to demonstrate this, which I highly recommend a watch of :disco:



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I can't even start to go into the amount of drama Tamra has stirred up on the show - honestly it's IMPOSSIBLE. I highly encourage you to share your own worst Tamra moments :D but I will say she's generally quite CHARMLESS - and I'm a self-confessed Tamra apologist. I realise she is a necessary evil. She's prone to crying yet NO TEARS COME OUT, and it's been suggested several times online that she may be a sociopath :D

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Her best known moment is probably when the women go to Bali (god the OC has some of the BEST cast trip locations eh?), and is confronted at a dinner for basically playing everybody in the cast off against each other, which results in Tamra getting up from the table barefoot, running away and screeching "YOU WILL NEVER SEE MY FACE AGAIN!" :D Bravo play this clip at every single chance they get, through multiple seasons after it happened :D

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Tamra also became a born again Christian as one of her storylines, and is ABSOLUTELY one of those Christians that uses the bible as a weapon :D She seems to forget this quite often though, and is known to add a random BIBLE/Jesus reference in her confessionals to underline SHE LOVES GOD.

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Other thoughts on Tamra: multiple husbands, one who she demanded she wanted a divorce from ON THE SHOW, and a new one who literally looks like a generic US muscle gay porn star (gay rumours HAVE surfaced about him on the show :eyes: ). She has a DISGUSTING loser son called Ryan, who once tried to get Gretchen super drunk at essentially MOLEST her, she has NO MONEY and had to sell her house almost immediately after she was fired from the show - and despite all this she does have some LEGENDARY LINES, that she delivers with nothing but PURE HATE AND BILE :D

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As mentioned, Tamra got kicked off the show after the last season because the fanbase hated her (and Vicki) SO MUCH!
I do think it's a little sad that she didn't get a better send off, as despite being AWFUL, she is an undeniably legendary Housewife - and if Tinsley got one Tamra absolutely did deserve a bit more. That said, she was OFFERED a send off of 3 episodes but turned it down, and if the new season of OC bombs I am 10000% sure Bravo will be straight on the phone to the shit-stirring queen herself with a VASTLY REDUCED pay offer :disco:

FINAL Tamra thought: on her last season, she got absolutely smashed and went and hid in a bush, and despite her huge library of Housewives appearances, it's probably my most favourite thing she ever did :D :
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I feel quite dirty now. NEXT!
 
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My favourite moment was when she was annihilated by Kovid Dodd in Ireland after trying to lead a gang up on her :D

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You NEED to do a Kelly Dodd write up, I absolutely would not be able to do her justice :D

I love the Ireland trip so much. I rewatched it the other week, and was cackling through almost the entirety.
 

Phoenix

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Yaasss now we’re talking. Tamra is a champion housewife. Morally reprehensible (she tried to get Gretchen naked wasted so her son can molest her), will do anything for the show (including ruining her relationship with her daughter who simply asked that she not talk about her on the show) and will always stir up drama including repeatedly gaslighting fucking stupid Shanon.

She’s not likable but essential and the fandom again gets it wrong. Housewives don’t need to be likeable to be good.

Also agree she will 100% be back after Bravo realize what a Kelly-amity this season will be (there are already Instagram :eyes: rumors that she’s being edited out of the show).
 

jivafox

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Heather’s reaction to being kicked out of the store after Kelly and Tamra fight is the best thing she ever did.

“I’ve just been asked to LEAVE a STORE. I’m in the bathroom and I hear BANG BANG BANG

IS THERE AN AMERICAN LADY IN THERE?”

*DRAMATIC GASP*
 
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Oh and I forgot to mention that despite the HIGH DRAMA (and often replayed) moment of this gif -

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In the next episode of the show everything just goes completely back to normal and everybody just acts like none of the drama from the night before EVER HAPPENED :D

Tamra ALWAYS manages to slither off the hook! ALWAYS!
 

Phoenix

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My favorite Tamra moment is the death of her toxic marriage to Simone



They’re both equally awful but I think they both found happiness in their subsequent marriage (last I heard he was dying of cancer) and their kids (not Ryan) seem to be perfectly lovely and progressive
 
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Yaasss now we’re talking. Tamra is a champion housewife. Morally reprehensible (she tried to get Gretchen naked wasted so her son can molest her), will do anything for the show (including ruining her relationship with her daughter who simply asked that she not talk about her on the show) and will always stir up drama including repeatedly gaslighting fucking stupid Shanon.

She’s not likable but essential and the fandom again gets it wrong. Housewives don’t need to be likeable to be good.

Also agree she will 100% be back after Bravo realize what a Kelly-amity this season will be (there are already Instagram :eyes: rumors that she’s being edited out of the show).

OMG I feel like I just got an A* on an exam :D

Tamra is so essential. I love that she will literal FALL OUT with a woman on one season, and then start the next season having lunch becoming BFFs with her previous enemy because she has NO LOYALTY and will do anything to stay on the show :D

Andy has basically said he wants Tamra back at some point, and I'm SURE she will be back - despite her seemingly trying to burn every bridge going on Instagram :D
 

Phoenix

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Remember when she spent seasons shitting on Gretchen only to give her a friendship button or whatever to turn her against Jesus Jugs and then disavow her the second she was off the show.
 

Phoenix

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Yeah I wouldn’t go for the old OC seasons. Gretchen’s last season/Heathers first is a good place to start and stop with the departure of Heather/arrival of Kelly Dodd.
 
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Seasons 9/10/11 of OC are a PERFECT trilogy of terror.

SPOILER: Detective Meghan King Edwards was ALMOST part of this countdown due to her STIRLING INVESTIGATIVE WORK in season 10, but I soon realised that despite being Sherlock Holmes reborn as a giraffe and a penchant LOTS OF CHEAP ACCESSORIES there wasn't much else to write about :(
 

jivafox

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SPOILER: Detective Meghan King Edwards was ALMOST part of this countdown due to her STIRLING INVESTIGATIVE WORK in season 10, but I soon realised that despite being Sherlock Holmes reborn as a giraffe and a penchant LOTS OF CHEAP ACCESSORIES there wasn't much else to write about :(

Her Top 2 moments would be

1. The cancer investigation
2. Being called a giraffe by Peggy

:(
 

Phoenix

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Her Top 2 moments would be

1. The cancer investigation
2. Being called a giraffe by Peggy

:(

I know Peggy was extremely shit but I have a soft spot for her and her endless stupidity



Peanut Gallery? Peanut what? I’m sorry the galleries I go to are really art galleries and they don’t serve peanuts :D
 

Will

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Peggy deserved another season if only for introducing us to the sole likable OC husband.
 

Will

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From Tamra then Gretchen then Alexis then Heather then Shannon and then Kelly - OC has been terrific at introducing an iconic new housewife every couple of seasons, to keep the show evolving.

That being said, I've only just started season 13 - and I see no new icons. And I hear they've yet to show up.
 
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From Tamra then Gretchen then Alexis then Heather then Shannon and then Kelly - OC has been terrific at introducing an iconic new housewife every couple of seasons, to keep the show evolving.

That being said, I've only just started season 13 - and I see no new icons. And I hear they've yet to show up.

It’s SUCH A SHAME! Without doing too much on the rest of the countdown, Vicki is always a bewitching watch - take her (and good Christian Tamra) out and don’t replace her: WHAT DO YOU HAVE!
 
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