Bad buzz: Real Housewives of Atlanta recap, season 2, episode 4

NeNe Leakes is the Queen Bee of the "Atlanta Housewives." So when a newbie enters the hive, she's going to get the once over by the Queen.

That newbie is Kandi Burruss, who finally gets together with the other four castmates, courtesy of Bravo producers. Okay, the show makes it appear as if it were NeNe's idea to get everyone together to meet at a V.I.P. party at the King Tut exhibit at the Atlanta Civic Center. NeNe is such the Egyptian historian, right?

Anyway, Kim is the most reluctant to show up, of course, since she's on the outs with both Sheree and Lisa. But NeNe convinces her to show up since it's "for the kids." Well, it's for the show, too, because if Kim doesn't show up, she may not get a paycheck from the network — or the camera time she so desperately needs. She does provide a salvo to NeNe: "Three strikes and you're out!"

Empty threats aside, it’s always fun to watch Kim show off her vast knowledge of history with a line like “What the hell is King Tut?”

The party starts with cocktails. Kim drinks forlornly by herself as Sheree and Lisa arrive. She ignores them both and vice versa.

“I’m going to take the high road,” Sheree said, “because I’m a grown-ass woman.” Ah… that’s fine word usage when taking the good ol’ high road, eh?

Kim rolls her eyes at Lisa. In fact, that is one of Kim’s most impressive skills: rolling her eyes. “I’ll never mend that friendship,” she sneers about Lisa. “I don’t trust her,” Lisa added to the camera folk. “She’s not my friend.”

But alas, as NeNe later noted, Kim had to find someone new to latch onto — and that would be Kandi. Poor Kandi. Kandi said she wanted to keep an open mind about Kim despite what she's seen and heard.

And shockingly, Kandi and Kim actually get along. “She was cool,” Kandi said, improbably.

As the two talk shop about Kim’s burgeoning “singing” career and the music biz in general, Sheree and Lisa mock them behind their backs. It’s very fourth grade. NeNe, Miss Queen Bee, is duly unimpressed by Kandi and her blase facial expression says it all, as if Kandi’s emanating some awful stench.

Dwight, sensing the tension, comes over and gets all five women to be his backup singers while he croons "Summertime" badly. So badly, in fact, that Kim called him "horrible." Yes, Kim is the new Simon Cowell.

Kandi then takes over the vocals and sounds pretty good, even if she overdoes the vibrato, "American Idol" style. In fact, NeNe was not impressed. "She was okay," NeNe said, as if she was expecting the second coming of Whitney Houston.

In the end, with the kids in tow, the women at the King Tut party did not end up with pulling any wigs or cursing up a storm. Shame. We are all getting so spoiled, aren’t we?

Later, at Fabric World with Dwight (who is getting far more airtime than he did season one), NeNe turns the cattiness up a notch about Kandi, setting us up for future conflict. “She appears to be a little ghetto,” NeNe said, “a little hood.” And Dwight was not impressed with A.J., Kandi’s fiance, because he spent way too much time on his cell phone and not much time interacting with the others.

Bonus for Clark Howard: NeNe actually said at the fabric store, when Dwight said not to look at the prices: "We're in a recession! I look at pricetags!"

The other conflicts:

— Kim fires her nanny Tania for leaving her daughters alone while Tania left to buy tampons. Brienna, Kim’s 12 year old daughter, snitches on the nanny, who earlier had told her she was going to hell for (gasp!) rapping out a Spanish prayer and making stripper moves. So this was revenge, I fathom.

— Kandi’s mom is still hatin’ on the fiance with six kids from four baby’s mamas. At a photo shoot, Kandi tries to get a picture taken with both A.J. and her mom. Mother walks out. Kandi plasters a smile on her face but you know her heart is breaking inside.

— Lisa goes to Los Angeles to celebrate her grandma’s birthday and her brother Andre insists she go to her dead brother’s grave. She resists. The show ends with her in tears and promos of her continuing to resist next week.