'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap, episode 14: Crazy NeNe is back!

By RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com, filed January 17, 2011

Poor Kandi Burruss.

The "Real Housewives of Atlanta' reality show producers clearly told her to bring Kim Zolciak along on her pre-release promo tour and better yet, stick them both on a tour bus. "That," the producers figured, "will generate drama."

Even better: have NeNe Leakes show up!

The result was exactly what the producers were hoping for: yet another Kim and NeNe dust up!

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As usual, it's NeNe who is the source of the drama. She comes on the bus with a bug up her you know what. She imitates Kim on stage in a disrespectful way to Kim's face, then says she's upset with the way Kim talks to her assistant Sweetie. (Kandi agrees, but doesn't make a direct issue of it.)

"You think you can talk to her like a slave?" NeNe asks. (This was the second slave reference to Kim in this episode. Earlier, Kandi's tour manager Don Juan saw Kim sitting on a patio chair outside the bus and said she looked like a slave owner selling the plantation.)

"You call my assistant a slave?" Kim responds, dumbfounded.

"You call your assistant a slave!" NeNe says.

"The way Kim is treating Sweetie is unacceptable to me," NeNe says later to the cameras. "I don't like it. Not only are you disrespecting Sweetie, you're disrespecting me. She's a fool for sitting there and letting [Kim] talk to her that way."

Kandi at this point is burying her head in her hands. (Can you blame her?)

"Clearly," Kim concludes to the cameras later,  " she is jealous of my success."

That is a theory. And for Kim, a pretty reasonable one.

"You are so ridiculous," NeNe scoffs. "I'm not competitive at all." (There's a lie!)

"You think you're Lady Gaga," NeNe then tells Kim. "You're second best and you know it."

Kim shoots back: "You're an intern at 11 Alive." (Which is true.)

NeNe then implies she has her own show. Kim points out that she is doing entertainment segments on a local news program, hardly her own show.

Kim then asks why NeNe brought up Kim during her interview with Jermaine Dupri on 11 Alive. NeNe earlier said that actually helped break the ice with Jermaine. Now NeNe says she was simply asking questions.

"You're a dumb, immature blonde!" NeNe eventually says.

"You're a dumb bitch!" Kim responds.

This sets off NeNe and she stands up and approaches Kim. Don Juan intervenes and keeps NeNe away from Kim before she goes all Jerry Springer on Kim's wig.

"What are you going to do?" Kim says. "Strangle me again?" (Yes, Kim accused NeNe last season of strangling her at Atlantic Station and filed a police report against her. The Bravo cameras were not around for that.)

"Don't talk to me like that or I will!" NeNe says.

"As soon as she got out of that seat, I knew our friendship was over," Kim said later. "Never again!" (Is she serious this time?)

Then they have to stay on that bus for a bit longer. Awkward! Kim tries to get the bus driver to pull over but he says there are alligators. No way! (Yet, having alligators attack Kim and NeNe? That's a Syfy movie!)

Earlier, Kim and Sweetie drive Kandi nuts on the bus by being loud and annoying and stopping the bus frequently to smoke.

"Sweetie and Kim are getting on my nerves," Kandi said. "They never calm down. It's always at a 10 level. I can't take it."

At one point, Kandi and her manager tease Sweetie for becoming too "white" by hanging out with Kim so much. And Kim, going barefoot to take a smoke is a white thing, Kim' s hairstylist Derek J said. (My wife, who is from the South, said she's heard that stereotype, too.)

Sweetie complains about being teased to Kim while outside. Kim yells into the bus: "What's wrong with hanging with white people?"

Derek explains why Sweetie is upset so Kandi goes outside, muttering , "I'm sick of this s**t!"  She tells Sweetie to take a chill pill, that she's been uptight herself. Sweetie denies it. It's tense but Sweetie doesn't escalate  the argument and Kandi backs off.

"I'm here as a professional," Kandi said later. "I'm trying to handle my business on this tour. I'm not letting Kim's little assistant get under my skin and throw me off my game."

Here's what happened with the other housewives:

- Cynthia Baileys fiance Peter Thomas shuts down his downtown Uptown Lounge and Restaurant (or what Cynthia likes to call Uptown Supper Club.)  It's losing too much money. But they counted on income from that club to pay for the wedding. Now he said they need $20,000 they don't have. Cynthia admits to having no income coming in (at least until the Bravo check clears.). She keeps planning her wedding, ignoring advice from NeNe and her sister Malorie to postpone it.

- Phaedra Parks begins working from home while taking care of Ayden Adonis, her beautiful baby. She argues lightly with Apollo about parenting issues, but it's nothing serious. Cynthia visits Phaedra's baby and Ayden spits up on Cynthia's ample bosom. Adorable!

- Second week in a row where Sheree Whitfield had no real plotline. She did get a few seconds in which she's seen sending off her kids to her ex husband Bob in California. She snarkily says he'll probably ship them off to his mom's.


- Kim tries to light her cigarette on a griddle on the bus kitchen.  Shockingly, it doesn't work.


- Derek J, the gay hairstylist, wears stilettos outside the tour bus in front of a barbecue joint.


"Damn! That's a sexy bitch!"Kim, to herself.

"Lord have mercy. Kim thinks she's a real pop star. Okay, really, Kim?" - NeNe.


NeNe shows up on "Watch What Happens Live" with Iman, who has never seen "Real Housewives of Atlanta." (Iman doesn't even watch her own Bravo program "Fashion Show." Nobody else is either, based on the ratings.)

Of Kim, "she loves to play the victim role," NeNe said during the show, which aired four days after the reunion we'll be seeing in two weeks. "Kim's the rudest chick. Her vocabulary is very limited."

"I never wanted to get on that bus in the place," she added. "When I watched that footage, I feel bad for my children having to watch it. I apologize for my children seeing that... having to stoop to such a trash level. When you mess with trash, it will get all  over you."

Clearly, their friendship is over - again. And NeNe much of the night just looked morose.

"I haven't spoken to Kim in six months," she said. (If you saw the New Year's show in which both were in the studio, you could clearly sense the chill.)

Andy Cohen, who is both host and a Bravo executive, does not bring up the Zap2It report in which NeNe says she's not interested in doing "Real Housewives" again. Could it be a negotiating tactic on Kim's part?


More arguments between Kim and NeNe in Miami. Cynthia breaks down, worried about her wedding and impending marriage.


The 13th episode on January 9 drew 3.35 million viewers, the most ever for the series. Tonight's could do even better than that, even competing against "The Golden Globes." One more original episode next week followed by the two reunion episodes  and a filler "lost footage" episode or what I would call the "leftovers" episode. (They taped the reunion episode this past Wednesday at the Georgia Aquarium.)

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog