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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Season 11 “Real Housewives of Atlanta” debut recap

Originally posted Sunday, November 4, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

With ratings slipping alarmingly last season, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is bringing in two new full-time cast members for the first time since season five. 

They are in for some good fortune because the four remaining cast members all have solid story lines. The first episode tonight was short on drama but long on new information (or at least new if you don’t really follow the gossip sites or their social media feeds. This episode was shot more than four months ago.)

Let’s do a quick recap:

- NeNe Leakes’ husband Gregg Leakes has gone through major health issues. Last year, he had heart problems. This year, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. 

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“It’s a very hard role to take care of someone,” NeNe said. “I have to be the strong force. I put on a brave face. I have my moments in my bedroom and my car. If my car could talk, it’d say, ‘This b**** cries too much!’” 

Gregg is defiant. “I’m going to beat cancer’s a**!” he said. 

With Gregg on the mend, she decides to resume her comedy show by going down to Miami. 

***

Porsha Williams has a new boo, serial entrepreneur Dennis McKinley, and it happened quickly. “I’ve dated every type of guy and never had this type of connection on this level,” she said. “He told me he loved me the first day we met. I said I love you too. It felt natural and we just went with it.” They are shown looking at rings (some as large as 10 carats and as expensive as $550,000) and an engagement is forthcoming. 

“It has to be big enough so nobody will talk to you,” Dennis said.

She has become closer to NeNe and wants to cheer her up so she asks the other ladies (even Kandi) to fly down to Miami to surprise NeNe at her show.

And while in Miami, she readies for Dennis to give her a proposal. Surprise? Clearly, not really. 

***

Kandi Burruss is in Los Angeles with her group Xscape accepting an ASCAP lifetime achievement award. At a dinner, she talks about possibly having another baby after toddler Ace. Her teen-age daughter Riley doesn’t think that’s a good idea and complains that Kandi is never around and is always working.

***
Cynthia Bailey’s man from last season Will Jones is but a memory. She is now dating Mike Hill, a Fox Sports broadcaster who lives in Los Angeles. The two were introduced on Steve Harvey’s talk show.  “Mike makes me happy,” she said. “I know what I want.” The downside: they are having to make do long distance, which is never ideal.

***
Eva Marcille is planning her wedding and just had a son with Michael Sterling. She has a 92-point checklist and a wedding planner at the start of the episode and not much else. “Michael brings love and stability and protection,” said, Eva, to her daughter from a previous man. 

***

The full-time newcomer Shamari DeVoe is set to show up episode three. 

***

By the way, Kenya Moore - who lost her peach this year after the she and the show couldn’t agree to terms - will make an appearance this season. And who knows? She might return full time down the road. It happened to NeNe and Sheree Whitfield, who left and came back. She just had her daughter literally on the same day season 11 debuted. 

About the Author

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

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