‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: season 11, episode 16 (‘Bye wig, hello drama’)

Originally posted Sunday, February 3, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Given how strong a front NeNe Leakes creates to the public, this episode is clearly not one that NeNe is probably going to want to watch.

Her internal suffering over her husband Gregg’s illness has been apparent all season but it comes to a full head of steam tonight in what is by far the most riveting and painful episode this languid season has had to date NeNe basically breaks down in front of the ladies after getting torqued up over the tardiness of Porsha Williams and Marlo Hampton

“This is NeNe at her most vulnerable,” says Porsha, stating the obvious. 

The episode revolved around NeNe’s latest theme party in which the ladies had to come without their wigs or extensions or weaves. 

At the party, NeNe appears to be in good spirits early on, dancing away. But she is covering up her stress. Her husband had just returned to the hospital the day before because of a blood clot in his leg following cancer-related surgery. She decided to keep the party on as scheduled because it helps keep her busy. 

The day before, Gregg had texted Cynthia Bailey and Marlo, worried about his wife’s state of mind. He basically asked them to check in on her.

Marlo, worried that NeNe might be suicidal, skipped a hair appointment to deal get her natural hair done to drive through traffic up I-85 to Duluth. NeNe wasn’t answering her phone. Marlo was freaking out.

Then when she arrived and NeNe said she wanted to be left alone, Marlo got annoyed. 

At the party, Marlo says she was on stand-by that day to get her hair done, which is why she was late. (Same reason as Porsha actually.)

“You don’t come five hours late b****,” NeNe said. “You ain’t purple rain.” (She more or less gave Porsha a pass.)

NeNe says Marlo was not being supportive of her by being argumentative the day before. 

Marlo tries to reason with her, that Gregg and her were both hurting and worried for her. 

“I’m going through a lot of things, b****!” NeNe says. 
Then NeNe falls apart, sobbing. Cynthia comforts her. 

Marlo wants to bolt. NeNe does not want her to. 

Cynthia, who is playing an amazing mediator at this party, convinces Marlo to stay.

NeNe retreats upstairs to her bedroom. Eventually, Marlo and Cynthia join her. Marlo and NeNe make up. 

Shamari DeVoe gets super drunk, starts getting a bit, um, flirty with Eva Marcille, then goes into the bathroom feeling sick. Eva goes over and Shamari throws chunks onto her dress and shoes.
Eva is grossed out and goes upstairs to tell NeNe. The other ladies, feeling left out, go to NeNe’s bedroom as well. 

Kandi Burruss decides to check out NeNe’s closet in part because NeNe had bragged about it in the past. Porsha joins her. 

A “Real Housewives” camera man starts to go in to join them but NeNe, in a sudden rage, grabs the man away from her closet and goes back into breakdown mode. 

We’ll see the rest of this mess next week. 

Earlier: Eva is hemorrhaging money as she plans her wedding. She had planned 150 guests and two weeks out, she has 235. She wants three different dresses. She isn’t quite the bridezilla but she is clearly blowing her budget by a whopping $50,000. She said she expected a certain percentage of invites to say no but almost everybody said yes. “We just spent a down payment on a house for everyone to eat one meal,” she said. 


Also: Cynthia “auditions” for Kandi’s “Welcome to the Dungeon” party by giving her a lap dance in lingerie. Kandi said she is not the greatest dancer but she’s a smart marketer: she knows having Cynthia there will make the show better. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.