‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: season 12, episode 13... Kenya “reads” Tanya hard

Originally posted Sunday, February 9, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

“I like to look extra pretty when I’m gonna read a b****,” - Kenya Moore, about to “read” Tanya Sams

Competing with the Oscars is not easy. I am surprised “Real Housewives” even bothered with a new episode this week after skipping the past two Sundays for Grammy’s and the Super Bowl.

But they decided to open with fireworks early and follow with some surprisingly meaty moments. 

In tonight’s episode, Kenya Moore says she’s like a sleeping bear. She’s cuddly and cute but if you wake her from her slumber, she’s going to eat you alive.

Cynthia Bailey brings Kenya and Tanya Sams together (with Eva Marcille in tow as a witness) to discuss Tanya revealing to the ladies that Kenya brought a wig to that big Caribbean party in Toronto.

Kenya, who is big on natural hair and sells products related to it, says  she brought the wig simply for the celebration and it wasn’t a big deal. But it gave fodder for chortling folks like Marlo Hampton to call her a hypocrite.

She had asked Tanya to mail back a wig to Atlanta she had forgotten and didn’t appreciate Tanya gabbing about it to the cast members. 

Here’s Kenya’s comments to Tanya in the opening minutes Sunday night: “That was some bull**** that you did. It wasn’t cute. It wasn’t funny. [Well, it was to the other women, ahem.] I am a walking billboard for a million-dollar company I built with my two hands. [Is there anyone fact checking that? A million dollars?]”

More Kenya: “I trusted you to take something and bring it to me.”

Tanya; “Did you get it back?”

Kenya: “Don’t tell me whether I got it back or not... What you did Tanya was use this as an opportunity to not only embarrass me but to try to discredit me.”

Tanya: “How does that discredit you? We all wear hair Kenya.”

Kenya: “No. I don’t!” [Yes, she had a wig. Huh?]

[Tanya to the cameras: “Go read yourself b****!”]

Kenya: “Let me talk. If you talk over me, I’m just going to leave and won’t have this conversation. So you just need to be quiet.”

Eva to the cameras: “Tanya was ill-prepared for the wrath that is Kenya. S***, I wasn’t prepared.”

Kenya’s defense is that if she celebrates women wearing natural hair but decides one day (one day!) to wear a “protective style,” (Kenya’s delightfully boring euphemism for “wig”), there’s a presumption she “always” wears a wig. And that is ruinous to her brand! “You’re f**king with my business,” she tells Tanya. “You’re f**king with how I feed my daughter.”

Tanya brings up how Kenya tried to sabotage Marlo’s hair line party with a marching band and handing out samples of her products. So Kenya calls Tanya a curse word that is bleeped out. [Odds are she used the c-word.]

“You are vulgar and disgusting!” Tanya says.

Kenya: “And so were you! You came for me, young lady!” 

Kenya says spreading gossip about Tanya’s husband was why Tanya spread gossip about her. “Non factor,” Tanya protests. 

Kenya says she earlier was trying to help Tanya with advice about IVF and having children. Tanya in retrospect felt attacked. 

The producers clearly orchestrated (with Kenya’s gleeful permission) to time it so this woman Shiana (show nickname: “Cookie Lady”) arrives. She was Tanya’s husband’s “target.”

“Since Tanya clearly came for me and I didn’t send for her,” Kenya says with evident delight to the cameras, “I sent for the Cookie Lady and now she’s here for Tanya.”

Shiana says Tanya’s fiance flirted with her at Chops one time and told her he was single and in real estate. But then they lost interest. Tanya overlooks the fact her fiance was pretending to be single and deems this story a nothing burger. But her face and tone of voice is tense. 

“Why so much negative energy honey,” Shiana says. “Don’t be mad at me cos I’m f**cking gorgeous and your fiance happened to glance this way.” [Reality check: is Shiana all that gorgeous or just full of herself?]

***

More therapy for Porsha Williams and Dennis McKinley: 

Porsha was happy to see Dennis apologize to her family members, that he is back in the house and on some levels, they are back to normal. But not everything has been okay. 

“I feel like we’ve been doing good with the cards we’ve been dealt,” Porsha says.

Dennis says it’s a bit of a “grind.”

“You have to be totally transparent and have to answer the same question 10 times,” the therapist says to Dennis, “ but that’s for her healing.” 

She feels like she has “a mental block” in the bedroom, that sex with him now isn’t feeling right. “There’s a block because of the hurt,” she adds.

“I’m not the only one who has to work at the marriage and bettering themselves, Dennis says. “I can’t read her mind.”

Porsha is fearful about her insecurity and doesn’t want to tell him about that because it might drive him away even more. It’s complicated. This is real-world stuff a lot of couples grapple with. It takes guts for Porsha to let this all out in front of the cameras. 

***

Cynthia visits fiance Mike Hill in Los Angeles. She meets Mike’s daughter Kayla, who is about to go to college. 

Hill holds a party and Cynthia meets a lot of Mike’s female friends. He was upfront to her about it earlyon, but Cynthia notices they are all super attractive. One doesn’t even appear to be wearing a bra.

Why does he lack male friends? He doesn’t know why. “I can’t force friendships,” he says.

He is writing a tell-all book. At first, Cynthia thought she knew enough not to have to read it. Now she’s may. 

During the party, one of the ladies makes a rather ribald joke after Cynthia mentions falling to her knees each night with him in prayer. And the cameras go to Mike’s grim-faced 17-year-old daughter.  Mike is embarrassed.“My daughter is here!” he yelps. 

Marc then explains that he was ready at this point in his life to meet someone like Cynthia. In his past, he says he made transgressions with his two previous marriages and “wants to do it the right way this time.” 

“I think I’m  getting Mike at the best time in his life but he has cheated on his wives before me,” Cynthia says. “What makes me different?”

He feels bad that those jokes happened while Kayla was around. So he talks to her privately out of camera’s way but the audio continues. She starts crying so Cynthia and Mike leave. “She’s a little overwhelmed,” Cynthia says. 

I’m certain that poor teen Kayla is not going to want to watch that scene.

***

Marc Daly pops up on camera again visiting Cynthia’s Wine Cellar as a possible place to hold a charity event for the Black Man Lab

He is just an aggravating, self-centered human being, even when he’s talking about putting this event together and assessing the space. He doesn’t even let his wife Kenya get a word in edge wise. 

The separation and divorce is just around the corner, isnt it? It can’t happen soon enough. 

***

Kandi Burruss wants to get back into acting. And there seems to be some concerns about Kandi’s mom wanting Riley to be a beneficiary if she dies instead of Kandi and Todd. 

NOTE: This is the fourth episode with NeNe Leakes completely absent from the proceedings. Marlo and Tanya are getting almost as much airtime.

TRAILER: NeNe has a party coming up. Who is invited and who is not? Cynthia and NeNe argue. Eva is feeling like she’s ready to drop. 

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About the Author

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