After attempting to steal Part 1 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Season 5 reunion, Kenya Moore took a backseat this week while one of the show’s original divas — Kim Zolciak — returned, sans wig, to address questions and controversies surrounding her departure from the series. Meanwhile, NeNe Leakes and Phaedra Parks reignited an old feud, Kandi Burruss gritted her teeth through Kim’s turn in the spotlight and Porsha Williams barely said a word.
Let’s break down the highlights of Part 2 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Season 5 reunion spectacular:
NeNe sees some of herself in Kenya: “When I would watch the show and I would be arguing and fighting I hated seeing myself like that. A lot of times when Kenya would get crazy I would want to pull her and shake her because I would hate for her to look at herself and see herself look crazy like that,” NeNe explained early on. “I absolutely wish someone had shook me, but instead of them shaking me, they were more like pushing me like ‘Go on!'”
Kandi on NeNe’s friendship philosophy: “To me, NeNe is the type that’s either, ‘You’re my friend or you’re her friend, you can’t be with both of us.'”
NeNe claims the other housewives hurt her marriage: “[Gregg and I] had issues when I began this show and then as I got bigger and bigger our issues became even bigger. As Gregg and I start to tear apart, these girls were telling a bunch of lies.” For example, the rumors that NeNe supposedly had a crush on Cynthia’s husband Peter or used to date NFL player Charles Grant. “Those things could never tear me and Gregg apart, but those were some of the negative things that they did say.”
Yes, they’re still talking about Marlo: “I believe that Phaedra pursued Marlo and wanted Marlo to be on the show,” NeNe said in a warm-up to her rant against Phaedra. “When her and Marlo’s relationship changed then Marlo was a criminal and a thief…” Phaedra countered, “We don’t have to go there because Marlo’s no longer on the show so that’s not even an issue.” (And let’s take a minute to thank Bravo for not bringing Marlo back this season.)
NeNe’s moral of the week: “You never can win when you’re dirty.” NeNe clearly still has beef with Phaedra. It involves something about Phaedra trying to dig up gossip about NeNe’s past by talking to NeNe’s half-sisters. While NeNe claimed Kim and Sheree also played a role in those shenanigans, she repeatedly called Phaedra “low down and dirty” for going behind her back with family. “You need to figure out why you did something so dirty to someone who had never done anything dirty to you,” NeNe said in one of her attacks. “I apologize, NeNe, if you felt some sort of way about the sister ordeal. If it hurt your feelings I apologize,” Phaedra eventually conceded.
Take a look in a mirror, Kenya: “Your ego is so huge it’s out of control,” Kenya tells Phaedra. Yes, Kenya Moore said that.
Voicemail-gate between Cynthia and Phaedra continues to be a total nontroversy: Cynthia obviously didn’t really care and Phaedra barely did either, but rehashing that drama led to this bit of gold from Ms. Parks: “Everyone up here knows curse words. It’s not like I run around like a sailor like Kim, cursing every other word. I do have a very broad vocabulary, I consider myself a wordsmith to be exact.”
Kim never intended to leave the country this season, at least according to Kim: “I never confirmed Anguilla ever,” Kim insisted about the decision to skip out on an international trip that also led to her walking off the show. But host Andy Cohen fought right back telling her, “Everyone on production thinks you did confirm.” The heated exchange ended with Kim declaring, “My priority is at home with my family and children, that’s it.”
Kim’s exit didn’t exactly upset her co-stars: It was obvious that everyone else saw Kim’s refusal to go on the Anguilla trip as another in a long string of excuses about why she couldn’t participate in something for the show. “We weren’t being respected,” Cynthia explained. “Everybody felt like you were full of it through this whole year and all of the end of last year,” Kandi put it bluntly. “Everybody was sick of you being able to bail out and we still had to go and do it … I know everybody felt we were held to a different standard because everybody has talked about it.”
And Kim’s exit didn’t surprise anyone either: “I just felt like there was something different about it,” NeNe said about the moment Kim left the restaurant (and the show for good). “I could tell it looked like she was really for real.”
Kim versus Kandi: After scoffing at Andy’s reference to Kandi’s lawsuit (Kim called it “hilarious”), the former friends got into it over Kandi’s accusation that Kim stole the baby name Kash. Kroy hand-delivered Kim a stack of papers that supposedly proved she had long-term plans to name their son Kash, but Kandi insisted that she told Kim about the name when Kim came to see her house. “If you said to me on camera, ‘This is Kash’s room,’ you don’t think they would’ve aired that?” Kim asked Kandi. “Understand I was telling them to look it up,” Kandi insisted.
Kim’s parting words: “I wish I communicated more with everybody throughout the entire five years,” Kim said of the lessons she learned. She feels like she’s leaving without any friends among the remaining cast and it’s evident that she checked out. “We were kind of having fun with it and then it turned into a show and then it turned into a really big show right away,” she said remembering the show’s origins and NeNe asking her to be involved. “You get catapulted into this [reality TV] lifestyle you were not used to living.” But she’s not complaining. (The only thing that could have made this moment more shameless was if Bravo put up a “Tune in to ‘Don’t Be Tardy’ this Tuesday!” scroll at the bottom of the screen.)
NeNe on the possibility of reconciling with Kim: “Never say never but I just think that we’re both in two different places in our lives.” Kim agreed but also added, “We’ve been through a lot. She probably knows me better than anyone sitting here today. If I saw her in a restaurant I’d probably sit down and have a glass of wine.” And then NeNe agreed to give Kim a hug goodbye. Aw, how sweet.
Next week: Part 3 brings the Season 5 reunion to a close, and while Kim has left the building, the husbands are about to arrive…