Another season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is officially gone with the wind after the final installment of the three-part reunion wrap-up.
In the final hour, the husbands (at least everyone except Kordell Stewart — who would soon drop his divorce bombshell on wife Porsha) joined the ladies while Kenya twirled, Porsha spilled her guts and NeNe declared both her love for the season and her desire to welcome another housewife to the crew.
Let’s look at the reunion finale highlights, housewife by housewife:
Kenya: Crazy antics steal the show again, as Kenya’s nonstop drama took up the bulk of the reunion’s airtime. Whether she was dropping allegations that ex-“boyfriend” Walter is gay, defending herself against Walter’s allegations that Kenya suggested he “play the role” of her boyfriend on the show, making catty remarks to Phaedra or accusing Apollo of sending her flirty text messages, Kenya kept calculating ways to bring the conversation back to her.
Just for the record: Kenya claimed Phaedra calling her a “whore” was “one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard come out of somebody’s mouth.” Kenya never had sex with Walter because “You can’t break into this cookie jar, unless you earn it.” Kenya doesn’t believe she said anything malicious about Walter because, “Being gay is not a character assassination and I never accused him of being gay. I have questions about his sexuality, that’s two totally different things.” And when Peter started pressing her on what she said about Walter on the show without giving Walter a chance to defend himself, Kenya twirled and started quoting lyrics from her “Gone With the Wind Fabulous” song.
Gregg Leakes seemed a little shy about defending his comment that Kenya needs medication, but the reunion provided ample evidence for him.
Porsha: Who knew Porsha had it in her? She tried to put a positive spin on what we now know was a failing marriage (the reunion was taped before Kordell filed for divorce), and initially settled for canned quotes like, “We’re doing great. We’re so passionate about making our family work and forming our foundation so we can work. What you see through the season was us finding our way.” But once she was pressed about her relationship and how it was portrayed on the show, Porsha unleashed a raw defense of her goals for signing on to “Real Housewives” in the first place.
Reading between the lines, Porsha wanted to be on TV and become famous — but her impassioned speech about how much she idolized her co-stars and how let down she felt by their judgment of her marriage actually seemed to come from a genuine place (or maybe she’s a better actress than we would’ve believed).
Still, NeNe had a couple of truth bombs to drop: “This is not the show to come on and expect these ladies to lift you up. The only support you might get is if somebody dies, then everybody might come and send a flower. Other than that you could be going through anything and you’re not gonna get support.” And, “Everybody who comes on this show goes through what you are going through. When you sign up for something like this you have to be a team player.”
NeNe: Whether she’s laughing her way through Kenya’s craziness, indulging in minor feuds with Kandi and Phaedra, or happily dispensing words of wisdom to Porsha, there’s always a sense that NeNe feels completely in control. (As opposed to a few past reunions when her bickering with Kim would occasionally make her seem petty, bitter and hypocritical.) Now she’s the self-made star of the show, the last original housewife standing. And when NeNe closed the reunion by declaring she thinks they need to add another housewife — and maybe replace someone in the current line-up — it felt like the decision had been made.
Kandi: Kandi reasserted her status as the most drama-free housewife, even apologizing to Porsha for some of the comments that were made on the show about her marriage to Kordell. Meanwhile, Kandi’s fiance Todd discussed the transition from working behind-the-scenes on the show to moving in front of the camera and reluctantly allowing some of his personal life to air on TV: “It’s a big adjustment. I get a little nervous at times but it’s been cool so far,” he told Andy. “I’m here to support my lady. If she wants me to be here, that’s where I’ll be.”
Phaedra: Phaedra was the only housewife to admit she didn’t particularly enjoy the experience of Season 5, probably because it was the first time we really saw the classy, sassy housewife get down and dirty thanks to her rivalry with Kenya.
She gave better than she got throughout all three reunion specials, but in the finale Phaedra was especially able to sit back and let Kenya dig her own grave. (Which reminds us: the fate of Phaedra’s whole funeral business never even came up.)
After accusing Phaedra of being “disgusting” with the “whore turned housewife” comment, Kenya sunk to new lows trying to slam Phaedra: “I’m not the one who had sex with a convicted felon fresh out of prison and had sex without protection,” Kenya desperately ranted. Whoever actually wins the battle of the booty workout DVDs, Phaedra definitely won the reunion.
Cynthia: Cynthia’s husband, Peter, is still a character: He’ll go toe-to-toe with Kenya to defend his buddy Walter and vow to have words with Kordell for not showing up at the reunion to be by his wife. But even though Cynthia felt more confident and relaxed on the show this season, it’s still hard to escape the feeling that she’s very beautiful and very boring. And she didn’t contribute much at all — beyond spectacular cleavage — to these reunion episodes. We know she’s besties (or wannabe besties) with NeNe, but didn’t that look like fear in her eyes when NeNe said someone needs to be replaced?
RELATED: Check out highlights from the Season 5 reunion Part 1 (when Phaedra really let Kenya have it) and Part 2 (Kim’s return), plus the Season 5 finale recap and favorite Atlanta housewife poll