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 brent@tbbreality.com!

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The Waiting Is Indeed the Hardest Part

Somethings are worth the wait, as excruciating as it can be. Photo taken by Beth Capuano

Somethings are worth the wait, as excruciating as it can be. Photo taken by Beth Capuano

If you’ve been following Jersey Belle closely then you are probably also following its star Jaime Primak Sullivan on Facebook. Jaime has created a daily segment she calls Cawffee Tawk, most likely a nod to SNL‘s legendary skits created by Mike Myers. This morning Jaime posted one that really resonated with me. It was about who knows what is best for us…is it ourselves or fate?

This message comes at a particularly crucial time for me. I’m about to return to my job after a lengthy vacation. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that I thought I wasn’t supposed to return. I thought my family was supposed to relocate…a plan that got crushed at the last minute. Sadly it’s the second time this has happened to us.

While I’m sure Primak’s soliloquy is a nod to last night’s episode in which she is adamant that having a fourth child is right for her, it makes me think of my own situation and a dozen others in which what I thought I wanted didn’t work out and how later life revealed why. Perhaps the one most of us can relate to is a failed relationship and how if he/she wasn’t the one that got away we wouldn’t be with who we are with now, or have the children we have now.

Having traveled the rough road of infertility, I often say now, in hindsight, how fortunate I was to have gone through what I did. Had it been any other way, my amazing twins wouldn’t be mine. They’d be somebody else, or maybe they wouldn’t  be twins at all. Anybody who knew me during my pregnancy will testify why two for the price of one was such a blessing…for everyone involved.

In 2013 I interviewed for a job at Bethenny. I was so excited to get that interview. My media resume had been dead for over a decade before I started TBBReality so to be called into that interview based on what I had created myself was huge for me. Man was I excited…and man was I bummed when I didn’t get a call back. However  I was so relieved that I had not gotten a position and walked away from my current secure position for it when that show got canceled. I’m sure that somewhere Bethenny Frankel is now waiting for it to be revealed why her talk show didn’t work out…and it will be…and she will probably let us know when it is.

Meanwhile I’m now waiting to find out why again I didn’t relocate. I’ve heard the company we were moving for has been in some serious trouble lately. I’ve heard employees involved in the kind of work we were moving for have gotten sick. Maybe health and safety is why it didn’t work out.

Maybe it didn’t work out because New York, as over it as I am, is not yet over me. As much as I despise the winters here, the rat race, the commuting, clearly there is something this city needs me here for. When I was planning my move I can’t tell you how many people said to me “but what about your website? You have to stay here!” Even more touching were the friends who said I couldn’t go because they wanted me here.

Whatever it is, I hope it all reveals itself soon. If TBB is my stepping stone, well then I eventually need to know where it is I am stepping. Summer is ending and the season here is about to change. Though fall is the death of things in the natural world, it, from the memory of those back to school clothes and the feeling of renewal it brings from our childhoods in the American school system, is one of our greatest times of rebirth. Change is coming, and I’m ready for it. To quote Tom Petty, however, The Waiting Is The Hardest Part. Ironically that song keeps popping up on my Pandora lately.

Behind Botched with Dirt Dame Alicia Jenkins

After her experience on Botched Alicia has her confidence back! Who wouldn't be jealous of her great results!

After her experience on Botched Alicia has her confidence back! Who wouldn’t be jealous of her great results!

When your 15 minutes of fame is from the operating table, you are in a fairly vulnerable state. Alicia Jenkins, who many may remember as “uni-boob” from the premiere episode of the hit show Botched, was already dealing with one bad experience when she stepped in front of the cameras. What would make somebody once bitten by plastic surgery able to try again with the world as a witness? For this hard working California mom it was a calling to be an example, and the ability to put her trust in the right doctor…

TBB: Tell those who didn’t watch your episode about your initial plastic surgery experience…

AJ: Here is what I felt the show left out; I had a D cup and after breastfeeding my son my right breast shrunk to a B. I couldn’t even wear a bra because I would have had to stuff one side. All I wanted was to be what I was before I had my son. When I went to look for a plastic surgeon I went to the first one that popped into my mind. I’d seen him in magazines and on billboards. I thought, “If he could afford all this advertising he must be good.” I asked for 500 cc implants because that would fill up the laxity in my skin, I ended up with 600 cc implants. I was in pain immediately. At my 24 hour follow up I noticed I had a double bubble on my left breast, I could see my implant hanging out the bottom. (The surgeon) said with time the implants would settle and I trusted his word. Days later the bubble hadn’t changed so he put me in a compression band to push the implants down. I wore it religiously but going into the second week (post-op) my breasts were getting closer to each other. When the doctor saw them he said, “How long were you wearing that? We need to get you in a compression bra ASAP.” Now I knew that something was wrong. I was really freaked out and in a lot of pain. I started Googling what the results should look like at realself.com and started posting photos of my before and after at 4 months. I learned from other surgeons that I had symmastia. I told my doctor, but he wouldn’t acknowledge there was a problem and said that I had picked an implant size that was too big. I hadn’t picked that size. At that point I realized he had no compassion. I felt that he didn’t give a shit about what was happening to me and wanted me to live with those results.

TBB: So here you are with what you now know is plastic surgery gone wrong. How much time has passed when you hear about Botched?

AJ: A couple of months.

TBB: You are still healing and dealing with this awful personal experience, and now enter Reality TV. What is the allure of having something as personal as plastic surgery done on television?

AJ: Honestly, before I saw the casting of the show I had a consult with a symmastia specialist, but he wanted $20,000 and we didn’t have that kind of money, especially since I had just paid $8,100 for the first surgery. Then I saw Tamra (Judge) post the casting for Botched on her Facebook page. At the same time I had been starting to open up to people about what was going on with me. I found out that I was not the only person (my surgeon) had done this too. I knew I needed to share this story. Obviously being so vulnerable on TV is not something I ever imagined for my life. I never wanted to be in the spotlight, but I thought maybe sharing my story would make someone else think a little bit harder about surgery and choosing a doctor than I did. Things happen and we don’t come out perfect every time.

TBB: I just want to clarify something that I’m sure many viewers already suspect; when you are on one of these shows you do not pay for your surgery correct?

AJ: If it wasn’t for the show I may not have gotten this fixed. $20,000 just wasn’t something that could ever make sense for (my family) to spend on this. It’s the trade off for going public with your surgery.

TBB: Plastic surgery centered shows are very different than Reality series like Housewives. Explain the casting process for a show like Botched.

AJ: I sent (the producers) my email and my pictures and then I went to Evolution Media, who does Housewife casting, and had an on camera interview. A couple of months later I got a call from Dr. (Terry) Dubrow‘s office. He wanted to speak to me and find out my medical history to make sure I was healthy enough to go through another surgery. You actually saw the first I met him face to face on the show. I met Dr. Dubrow and Dr. (Paul) Nassif on camera and you saw my actual consultation.

TBB: Did having a camera crew present for exams create any extra anxiety for you as a patient?

AJ: That’s a good question. I’ll say it didn’t because the events you see on camera are often things I’d already discussed with (Dr. Dubrow). We started this process in November so I had my first surgery in December and my second in January. The final filming was in March. This was months of my life condensed into 15 minutes. I had many appointments between the ones you see on the show. The hardest part for me was that most of those appointments were after my first surgery. It was a really really hard surgery and because the two procedures were only 5 weeks apart I was filming in a lot of pain. Every time they filmed I had a migraine. If you go back and watch the episode again knowing that, you can see it in my face. My biggest concern with filming was I did not want to get my IV on camera and start saying all kinds of loopy stuff. I also wanted to be sure they wouldn’t get me after surgery looking like a crazy person (laughs). Every time I woke up (in recovery) there were three camera women standing in front of me.

TBB: What were your initial impressions of Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif?

AJ: I was trying not to get caught up in an initial impression because I’d already been there with my first surgeon. I almost felt like I couldn’t trust my own judgment. As soon as Dr. Dubrow said, “We don’t want to be part of your bad experience, ” I began to trust him. I thought, ‘ He wouldn’t do this on TV if he  didn’t think he could fix it.’

TBB: Your correction had to be performed in not one, but two separate procedures. Was there a point in which you considered not going through with the surgery?

AJ: As a mom and business owner I have to plan for food for my family, a sitter while my husband is at work, and arrangements for my business while I’m recovering. I had planned for 6 weeks, and to get there and have him say it was now two surgeries and 3 months really changed everything. However, at that point I’d already had several appointments with Dr. Dubrow and trusted that he knew best, especially since the rate for these repairs coming apart is common.

TBB: You said before your first surgeon “had no compassion”. What would you say about Dr. Dubrow?

AJ: He’s amazing! I had his cell number and he answered any question I had whenever I needed him. I live two hours from his office yet he would have seen me any time, day or night. He really is that amazing! I was texting him after the first surgery thanking him profusely for what he’d done for me. I could already breathe better after having those implants out. He changed my life.

TBB: After finally experiencing plastic surgery gone right, did you seek legal action against your initial doctor?

AJ: I’m in the process now.

TBB: What is your advice to women who have had children and are now unhappy with their bodies as a result?

AJ: If you don’t like something about yourself that much then change it. Go for it!  You are the one that has to live with yourself, but make a well educated informed decision about it and don’t expect it to be a miracle. Things can (go wrong) as you saw from my story.

TBB: I agree and I’m such an advocate for moms feeling sexy. Speaking of which, tell us about Dirt Dames…

AJ: My husband does off road racing and I go to all of his races so I had the idea, because Housewives is my favorite show, ‘What if we had this little club where the wives can all hang out and have something to do while our husbands raced?’ In the beginning it was a joke to make it like the Real Housewives of Off Road. I made some t shirts but it never really went anywhere. Then there was a bathing suit I wanted to buy but had to buy multiples of so I posted it on my website dirtdames.com  and it went like crazy. I’ve always loved swimsuits so I felt maybe this is what I should be doing. After I got my implants I had the problem of tops not fitting so it became my mission to work with designers that make tops that cover my customers and specialize in custom orders for larger breasts.

TBB: Has being on Botched helped your business?

AJ: The show has made a difference. Now I get internet traffic from all over.

TBB: And you are also involved in charitable causes…

AJ: We shot my reveal photo shoot for Botched at our friend’s shop called War Fighter Made. They are retired military and they modify recreational vehicles for our wounded vets. One of the founders, Brian, lost a leg and parts of his arms in Afghanistan. War Fighter Made modified his Harley so he can ride his motorcycle and live a normal life. They have a race team that for each race takes a vet and gives them a little back of their life. We try to help out as often as we can, in whatever way we can. The last event we did was with the guys from The Devil’s Ride on Discovery Network raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

TBB: All amazing causes! Thank you for chatting with me and giving us a little behind the scenes of Botched and sharing your story. Is there anything else you would like people to know?

AJ: I definitely owe more thanks than I can ever give to John at E who does PR for the show and of course to Dr. Terry who went above and beyond. He’s still taking care of me as I’m still healing due to my own autoimmune issues that he knew about before taking on my case. I will be under his care for quite a while, but I couldn’t ask for a better situation! I have to thank my hubby for hanging tough through all of this craziness, and everyone at Evolution Media for telling our stories!

*For more from Alicia follow her on twitter @dirtdames