Cue the screechy “Tardy for the Party” soundtrack! Season 3 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” begins Monday night on Bravo, which can only mean one thing: The cancellation clock is already ticking on at least one of the, um, ladies.
Who knows, a spot in the cast may be up for grabs again soon — requiring someone with, well, unique credentials. (More on that later).
First, consider the show’s history: Despite delivering the highest-rated first season of the Bravo network’s multi-tentacled “Real Housewives” monster in 2008, the Atlanta cast underwent some fine tuning for Season 2. Out was permanently smiling peacemaker DeShawn Snow. In was music industry insider Kandi Burruss (former member of girl group Xscape), whose celebrity connections and personal life portended a bit more drama.
Season 2 became Bravo’s highest-rated reality series ever. So naturally now come in two new cast members — model Cynthia Bailey and entertainment attorney Phaedra Parks. (Original “Housewife” Lisa Wu Hartwell is being eased out, reportedly because she didn’t want to “amp up” the drama in her storyline.
Clearly it takes a little something extra to make it among the “Real Housewives” in Atlanta. If you’d like to be considered for one of next season’s inevitable cast openings, be sure to follow our tip sheet for properly filling out your application.
Your name: First names only. If you’re memorable enough, that’s all you’ll need.
Not like the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (which starts up next week), whose wealth and status is all tied up in their last names — Camille Grammer (wife of Kelsey), Denise Maloof, whose family owns an NBA team and a Vegas casino. In Atlanta, all NeNe Leakes has to do is yelp “It’s NeNe!” at the start of one of her “reporting” segments on WXIA-TV (part of this season’s storyline) and you automatically wonder when Wolf Blitzer et al. will follow suit. Meanwhile, newcomer Parks’ husband’s first name is “Apollo.” ’Nuff said.
Your place of residence: Careful, it’s a trick question. You must be from metro Atlanta, of course — just not any particularly recognizable part of metro Atlanta.
While “The Real Housewives of D.C.” are always cruising through Georgetown or crashing White House state dinners, the Atlanta housewives could be living anywhere. Their McMansions seem interchangeable and the “wives” mostly come out at night for events like the “exclusive” shoe sale featured in Monday’s premiere, held in some generic-looking hotel suite. Previous seasons have featured occasional outings to Lake Lanier or FAB brasserie; mostly, though, producers seem content to repeatedly show a shot of traffic zipping along our highways. Traffic moving ... talk about unrecognizable!
Your marital status: Early on, many Atlanta “Housewives” had big-time jock spouses — Snow’s played in the NBA, Hartwell’s and Sheree Whitfield’s in the NFL. Now not only don’t you have to be a wife (only Leakes and Parks are married when Season 3 starts), you don’t even have to be a woman!
Whereas Kelsey Grammer looks downright miserable during his cameo in the “Beverly Hills” series opener, nobody puts the “Atlanta” men in the corner! Especially not hilarious hairdresser Dwight Eubanks, who Monday night crosses swords with both Whitfield and Leakes, suggesting his role will be bigger than ever this season.
Your thoughts on sex: Mention them. Often — and crudely.
On paper, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” should be the least classy of the lot, because, well ... they’re in New Jersey.
But here’s Kim discussing a lesbian relationship she recently had: “I’ve been chasing [a part of the male anatomy] since I came out of the womb, so NeNe’s not believing the fact that I went to the other side for a minute.”
And here’s Burruss telling her date, Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, that she’s abstaining from sex for a while — or rather, here’s McGahee’s reaction: “Is oral sex eliminated?”
Any references?: Absolutely don’t include any.
Because if anyone has anything good to say about you, or vice versa, you’re clearly not “Real Housewives of Atlanta” material.
‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’: Season 3
9 p.m. Monday, Bravo
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.