By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed July 21, 2016
With "Real Housewives of Atlanta" season 9 in production for several weeks, the inevitable annual speculation has begun in terms of cast members.
It's clear several current cast members are back: Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Phaedra Parks, Kenya Moore and even Porsha Williams. Kim Fields is out after just one season. Sheree Whitfield came back last year after a multi-year absence in a hefty part-time role. It's unclear if Sheree will get boosted to full-time status this season. There is still speculation about NeNe Leakes' role this season though it seems likely she will make just a few appearances as she did season eight.
And as usual, the show has brought in a few women to "test" them with the other ladies and see if they have juicy enough story lines to merit a paycheck. Two reliable gossip sites that follow "Real Housewives" closely - Tamara Tattles and Straight From the A - have pinpointed the same person as a possible new cast member: Lena Danielle Chenier.
Who? She has a clothing line at LenaDanielle.com. She is reportedly the fiance of R&B singer Robert Lavelle "R. L." Huggar , who is part of the R&B music group Next ("Too Close," "Wifey"). They could very well get married on the show, similar to the way Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas did season two.
Her Instagram page has a respectable 38,500 followers.
The gossip sites say she is friends with Kandi and has ties with Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas.
She was tested a year ago but didn't get picked, according to LoveBScott.
Bravo, by the way, often doesn't finalize such matters until September and whether a cast member gets full-time status can shift in a given season.