BravoCon — the third edition of the fan convention for all things Bravo — took place in Las Vegas from Nov. 3 through Nov. 5, and Variety was there, bringing you all the news. Among other notable moments, it was the first time fans heard from the “Vanderpump Rules” cast as a group since those revelatory reunion episodes in June that were taped after the show’s #Scandoval — and the result was a tonnage of booing for the show’s villain, Tom Sandoval.
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On Friday, Shannon Storms Beador of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” spoke about her recent DUI arrest for the first time, calling it a “terrible, terrible mistake.” Bravo’s Andy Cohen was the first panel of the day, and though he played nice when asked by a fan about Bethenny Frankel’s so-called “reality reckoning,” he told Variety later in the press room that a recent investigative Vanity Fair story about Bravo was an “inaccurate rehash.”
On Saturday in the press room, we spoke with Dorit Kemsley, who immediately started talking about the state of her marriage to P.K., which appears to be a big plotline on the brand-new season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” (“We’re working through it,” she told us.)
Another bit of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” news is that Bravo announced that the embattled Erika Girardi — who’s been brought low by the downfall of her estranged husband, Tom Girardi — will be getting a two-part docuseries premiering next year that focuses on her Vegas residency, called “Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde.” Bravo also released a trailer for it. Speaking of which, the trailer for “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: RHONY Legacy” was shown during the raucous, Ramona Singer-less panel for that show, and was then unleashed into the public.
Within our BravoCon roundup here, we delve into the first news to break from the convention — that “Vanderpump Rules” will be returning to Bravo in January, though the exact date hasn’t been announced yet.
Also below, “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Heather Gay answered the key question on every fan’s mind, Heather Dubrow talked to us about being at the bottom of a pile-on on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” all season, Bravo announced that Captain Kerry Titheradge will take over for Captain Lee Rosbach on “Below Deck” when the show premieres on Feb. 5 — and more.
BravoCon has ended for us, but at least we lasted longer than Ramona Singer, who managed to get herself kicked out before it even started.
Post-#Scandoval ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Season to Premiere in January
Season 11 of “Vanderpump Rules” will premiere in January, Bravo announced on Nov. 3. According to the press release, the show returns in “January and follows the former SURvers as they pick up the pieces following a scandal that sent shockwaves through the zeitgeist. With resentments, acceptance and shifting alliances, this group attempts to navigate the lines drawn in the sand while rebuilding friendships, developing their businesses and healing from past relationships. The cast includes Lisa Vanderpump, Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz, along with friends Ally Lewber and Brock Davies.”
Notably, that cast list doesn’t include Rachel Leviss, with whom Sandoval had a secret relationship during Season 10 — causing the breakup between him and longtime partner, Ariana Madix — an affair that was called the #Scandoval. More than a month after the news of the affair broke, and the cast filmed an additional episode to capture the fallout, Leviss entered into a mental health facility in Arizona, where her family lives, and stayed there for months.
Though Leviss had lengthy negotiations with Bravo and the producers of “Vanderpump Rules” over potentially returning to the show, she ultimately announced she was quitting by going on Bethenny Frankel’s podcast in August.
Heather Gay on That Explosive ‘RHOSLC’ Cold Open — and Whether She Peed Herself While Vomiting on Camera
Let’s start with what’s important here. What we know for certain is that “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Heather Gay vomited prodigiously on camera while in a Sprinter van, after having downed God- knows-how-many espresso martinis during an ill-fated dinner on a cast trip to Palm Springs. The question is: Did she also pee through the seat, as it appears on camera?
In an interview at BravoCon, Gay takes a deep breath before addressing the issue. “I think the most important thing you should say is that it was an inappropriate use of alcohol,” she says. “And there are side effects to that.”
Gay then gets down to business. “I’ve seen the footage, and to me it appears as if I am peeing through my pants and the car seat,” she says. “But my memory of it, and Whitney’s memory of it, is that we were using our clothing bags that were pretty flimsey — hopefully recyclable. And it was seeping through. And it’s coming through the seat, which would be an impressive horse-like stream.”
In other words, we may never know the real answer; Gay seems at peace with that.
“I think it’s like the blue and gold dress — I can see both,” Gay says. “There’s some fun in people guessing, but of course it’s humiliating that they are leaning toward pee! But I have been in humiliating situations on television before, and I’ve kind of developed an immunity to it. So as long as people laugh with me about it, and don’t, like, send me to rehab, I am happy to bring them on that sick journey.”
Yes, she’s had an espresso martini since — she was served one during an appearance on Andy Cohen’s talk show “Watch What Happens Live!”
“I got over it, and it was delicious — and so I’m back in the saddle,” Gay says. “But I’m not drinking them that much. Something that humiliating really does reset you a little bit.”
Switching gears to the intense cold open of Season 4 of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” in which producers catch her in the season finale receiving a mysterious phone call, Gay still can’t say what that call was.
“It was just a call where I got some information that was, like — huge and devastating, and a hot-mic-ish moment,” Gay says. “And it’s gonna be a big reveal, I think.”
About a fellow cast member?
Gay looks grave. “Yeah. Absolutely.”
Heather Dubrow Thinks ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ Will Start Production Early Next Year — and More With the Dubrows
Heather Dubrow spent the entire recently concluded season of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” fending off slings and arrows flung at her by her castmates, and so-called friends — only to be completely vindicated during the show’s reunion.
At BravoCon, Variety spoke to Dubrow, who was accompanied in the press room by her husband, “Botched” star Terry Dubrow.
The women came at you all season, and you did nothing but comport yourself with dignity. You’ve been on the show for years. Is there a level of coordinated attack that’s a strategy? Is it like a “Survivor” situation?
Heather Dubrow: It’s an interesting question. I mean, the truth is, being on this side of it, I don’t know! Right? But what I would say is sometimes the tide moves in a certain direction, and starts picking up steam. And I think that tends to happen — that people feed off of each other.
Terry Dubrow: But you surfed it, and then kicked out.
It must take a toll.
Heather: It does take a toll! Like you just said, I was on the apology tour. Because I am a very self-actualized person. You know, I was joking, like in a Taylor Swift way: “Am I the problem? It’s me?” So I would say I’m sorry: “I’m sorry I made you feel that way. I’m sorry I did that.”
And at one point, I went: “I’m sorry — I’m not sorry! What did I do? I don’t understand what is going on!” And it was very difficult for me. Also on top of it, I have four kids, two of them are leaving for college, I’m dealing with the other two. I’ve got a husband, I’ve got jobs, and all this. And obviously, we sold the house, and moved out in three weeks. There was a lot going on.
Were you ever like, “I don’t want to be on this anymore? I don’t need this?”
Heather: I mean, look — we were on the show for five years. We left. When they asked me to come back, we laughed. And, Kate, I know you know this, but one of the main reasons for coming back is to try to use the platform to show our normal family, and try to start conversations in other people’s families about families that have LGBTQIA+ kids, and make it easier for them. And have someone on the TV that represents what they’re living. And honestly, I’m kind of proud of what we’ve been able to do in the last couple of years, and hope to continue that work.
We don’t need to sell any more books — like, we’re good! But that really was my impetus for coming back. And so I guess the answer is even with the bullshit, and pettiness — and maybe one might say jealousy, I don’t like that word —
Well, I’ll say it if you won’t.
Heather: When I know that I’m affecting change in other areas, I’m OK.
Terry: But the reality is, there is a behind the scenes that you’re talking about — the toll. It’s a real thing. And we live it. And I think had it occurred, this kind of thing, in the early seasons, she wouldn’t have been — [looks at Heather]
Heather: I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it.
Terry: She wouldn’t have handled it well.
Heather: I didn’t handle it that well. I cried a lot!
Terry: There was a lot of crying behind the scenes. It was very, very difficult.
I know this came up in your panel yesterday, but given your new house, and your résumé, Beverly Hills is a really sensible location change for you if you wanted to move forward in that direction.
Heather: Listen — I’ll say this. Eventually. Eventually! I mean, I’m a New Yorker, transplanted to L.A., dragged down to Orange County. I’m trying to migrate home!
Terry: She’ll be a “RHONY!” In, like, three years.
Heather: I’ll be a “RHONY.” But isn’t it kind of cool to see what happens?
Filming must be beginning soon, right?
Heather: We’re hearing top of the year. First quarter. Am I allowed to say that?
This interview has been edited and condensed.
First Captain Lee-Less ‘Below Deck’ Will Premiere on Feb. 5 — Captain Kerry Titheradge Taking Over Flagship Show
Captain Kerry Titheradge will take over from Captain Lee Rosbach at the helm of “Below Deck,” Bravo’s flagship yachting series — Rosbach left the show’s 10th season during filming because of health issues. In the teaser for Season 11, Captain Kerry — who viewers already know from “Below Deck Adventure,” says, “I know I have big shoes to fill.”
Season 11 of “Below Deck” is set in Grenada, and will premiere on Feb. 5 of next year with a 75-minute episode. Returning cast members from Season 10 will be Chief Stew Fraser Olender and lead deckhand Ben Willoughby. According to the show’s logline, “In his second season as Chief Stew, Fraser vows to be a firmer leader by delegating more and not worrying himself with befriending his stews. However, his new leadership style may not be enough to wrangle the strong personalities in his department. On deck, Ben’s firsthand experience with the ship causes a rift with his Bosun, Jared.”
‘The Real Housewives of Dubai’ Adds a New Cast Member
During BravoCon weekend — when Season 2 of “The Real Housewives of Dubai” will screen its season premiere, and also have a panel — Bravo has announced a new addition to the cast. Taleen Marie will join “Dubai,” which is the first officially sanctioned international edition of the “Real Housewives” franchise. As of Friday at BravoCon, there’s been no announced premiere date for the show’s second season, but Marie will join returning cast members Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Lesa Milan, Sara Al Madani and Caroline Stanbury.
Season 1 of “The Real Housewives of Dubai” ran from June to September 2022, and has not yet caught fire with the Bravo faithful.
Shows Coming in 2024 Include ‘Below Deck Down Under,’ ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ ‘Summer House’ and More
Bravo doesn’t necessarily renew shows in the traditional way other networks do — you can pretty much expect to see new seasons of your shows, unless something unusual happens. Nevertheless, on Friday at BravoCon, the network announced that new seasons of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Below Deck Mediterranean, “Below Deck Down Under,” “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” and “Summer House” will all premiere next year. Those renewals accompany Bravo’s already announced renewals of “Below Deck,” “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Summer House Martha’s Vineyard” and “Top Chef.”
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