‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season 13 reunion recap part 1

Drew Sidora took offense at Kenya calling a scene on the show featuring her son "cringy" on Twitter during the RHOA season reunion taped last month. Part 1 aired April 25, 2021. BRAVO
Drew Sidora took offense at Kenya calling a scene on the show featuring her son "cringy" on Twitter during the RHOA season reunion taped last month. Part 1 aired April 25, 2021. BRAVO

Credit: BRAVO

Credit: BRAVO

Kenya and Drew argue incessantly

A year ago, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” had to do their reunion on Zoom, the one where NeNe Leakes abandoned ship and never returned... literally.

Now, the producers redesigned the Biltmore space in Midtown with an S&M dungeon theme, with Kandi Burruss as the dungeon master, a nod to Stripper Gate during the actual season.

The first part of three parts of the annual reunion focused heavily on Kenya Moore, who battled two other castmates Porsha Williams and newcomer Drew Sidora.

Kandi Burruss and Cynthia Bailey contributed relatively little to part one.

PORSHA’S SOCIAL AWAKENING

The episode highlighted some of Porsha’s social activism work, including twice getting arrested protesting the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. She also taped a PSA to promote voting, using most of the “Real Housewives” ladies.

A viewer, via host Andy Cohen, asked Kenya about why she would insult Porsha’s work. At one point, Kenya said that Porsha was merely seeking attention for herself, especially after her second arrest.

“I never said I didn’t believe in what she’s doing,” Kenya said, with the precision of a lawyer, “because the greater good is bigger than anything that is going on here. But she excluded me from the PSA, so if you’re talking about being a bigger person and thinking about a cause, then to me, those things tell me otherwise. Those things are contradictory.”

Porsha: “You know, to do anything I’m doing, it comes from a very humble place, it comes to me wanting to sacrifice myself for any of the Black women or any of the Black men out here. The cause is bigger than me. So, whatever she has to say about me personally is not going to stop anything I’m doing at all.”

Andy: “So why not include [Kenya] in the PSA?”

Porsha tries to explain but then cross-talk happens. Kenya says Porsha’s actions show she doesn’t care about “all of our lives.”

Porsha: “While you’re talking on the curb, what have you done on the streets?”

Kenya doesn’t have a real answer for that.

Porsha: “Would you like me to be silent?”

Kenya: “I’d like you to be real.”

Then they go back and forth a bit. Porsha feels disrespected even as Kenya blandly says she’s “proud” of what Porsha has done. Porsha says Kenya’s other comments negate that one positive line and that she is being “petty.”

In a very Andy Cohen topic switch, they briefly talk a bit about Porscha’s future with Dennis McKinley, her former fiancé. They are now just co-parenting. She tried one date and said it was terrible.

KENYA AND HER MARRIAGE

Kenya’s faltering marriage with New York restaurateur Marc Daly was a major theme of season 13.

The final episode last week indicated Kenya had finally filed for divorce, and she repeated that again during the reunion.

“We’re still in court, but I want sole custody,” she tells Andy. “We’re married. I take my vows seriously. That’s why I still wear my ring until I’m divorced.”

She says she filed for divorce because “he’s fighting for all the wrong things in court.”

For instance, he fought for Brooklyn not to be on the show, which is why Brooklyn was “blurred out” during scenes this season. “It’s not about custody or time being spent and not about child support,” she says.

“It has everything to do with his ego,” she notes and nothing to do with protecting Brooklyn. “It’s not about the family. It’s not about compromise.”

Kenya says she picks the wrong men in part because she is chasing something she didn’t get from her mom. “My mom wasn’t available to me emotionally,” she says

KENYA VS. DREW

Drew instinctively knows how to play the “Real Housewives” game. That means arguing with other women, though her targets have primarily been Kenya and newcomer LaToya Ali. The dumber the issue, the bigger the attitude. And she has cloaked herself under the rubric of “authenticity.”

For instance, Drew took umbrage when she heard Kenya call Drew a “stray” to Cynthia Bailey.

“You called me a stray,” Drew says. “You owe me an apology.”

She says it would have been better if she had said it to Drew’s face: “I had to watch the show to see you talking about me! That’s not cool. That’s fake.”

And Kenya isn’t shy about throwing out shade when need be. While Drew notes she has her entire family under her roof unlike Kenya, Kenya brings up Drew’s formerly incarcerated “baby daddy” in a petty way, saying he isn’t under her roof but under “the roof of a prison.” (Yes, it was lame, even by Kenya standards.)

Later, Drew accuses Kenya of “flirting” with Ralph. Kenya says she made a single comment to the camera. Drew feels she had been laying “eyes” on him more than once, and it was disrespectful.

KENYA & THE INDIAN HEADDRESS

Kenya oddly wore a Native American feathered headdress to a Halloween party with no explanation and got a lot of social media flak for it.

She later apologized, as did Bravo.

Andy brought this up again.

Kenya says she had aunts who had lived on Indian reservations in West Virginia and thought she was honoring Native Americans by wearing it. But she says she was told headdresses aren’t meant to be costumes. “Customs are not costumes,” she says. “Eagle feathers to them are sacred, spiritual. They don’t want to be made fun of and not taken seriously. When people wear costumes, they feel like they are being mocked. It was a bad mistake.”

Porsha observes, “You always want the understanding and forgiveness but never send that to anyone else.”

She says Kenya still makes fun of her for her ignorance about the Underground Railroad seven years ago that she later apologized for. (Porsha at the time thought it was an actual railroad. She has since educated herself on the matter.)

Kenya, working more pettiness into the conversation brings up Porsha’s sister wearing something similar and Drew doing so as well. Drew had a defense: it was a family reunion honoring Louisiana ancestors and wasn’t a costume but something her mother’s great grandmother had made.

DREW

Ralph Pittman, Drew’s husband, shows up and they discuss his support of Drew’s oldest son interacting with his biological father.

Ralph says it was important for his son, even if it did lead to some uncomfortable moments on TV.

This leads Drew to bring up Kenya’s tweet regarding that March 21 episode in which she passed judgment on the scene:

“This conversation with Drew’s son is so cringy... let the baby go play Minecraft or something.”

Drew during the reunion got angry: “It was below the belt. I cried. I was so devastated as a mother... It was so hurtful to me and my family. I would never retweet about your daughter in a negative way. I felt like I was attacked. I am trying the best I can for my child.”

Kenya says that particular scene wasn’t appropriate to air and refuses to apologize.

When Kandi says they shouldn’t slag each other’s kids on social media, Kenya denies her comment signified anything negative about Drew’s kid per se.

“I apologize if that offended you,” Kenya says to Drew, in a classic non-apology apology, without acknowledging she did anything wrong.

Drew: “You owe me and my son an apology... I am so disappointed in you.”

And Drew, dabbing tears from her face, adds: “I will never forgive you.”

Later, Ralph owns up to being too squirrelly about his trip to Tampa that opened the season where he disappeared for three days without Drew knowing where he was. He eventually gave her receipts and says he was by himself, calling the Tampa beach “my place of refuge.” Kandi is skeptical but says it only matters that Drew believes him. She says if her husband Todd had done the same thing, all hell would have broken loose.

Ralph says he was upset when Drew told him what happened during Cynthia Bailey’s bachelor party with the stripper and Drew grinding behind him. But he was more upset when he saw it.

Drew says their marriage has teetered on the brink several times but counseling has helped. They have a session every Monday.

WEIGHTY ISSUES

Most of the ladies complained during season 13 of gaining quarantine weight.

Kenya gained 30 pounds but lost it all, aided in part by her breast reduction.

Kandi had a TV show (season 3 of “The Chi”) to shoot to encourage her to lose weight. Watching herself early during the season didn’t help: “I looked like a frumpy auntie!”

Porsha broke her “vegan” diet bigly during the pandemic: “I got the same cravings during quarantine as I did during my pregnancy.”

TEASER FOR NEXT WEEK

LaToya Ali arrives at the very end of the episode, with a kidney infection (and a cold and a UTI) and annoyed that one of Drew’s assistants came in to her “glam room” to bug her about her illness. “You crossed me and hurt me,” LaToya says, pointlessly, calling her “Drew Snora” and “SpongeBob.” Drew says she had no idea that was happening and kicked that assistant out. “I was mortified,” Drew says. LaToya doesn’t believe her. LaToya, channeling her best middle-school mean girl, says she helped Drew up her terrible fashion game. Drew calls her “Petty Peachless.” (LaToya was vying for full-time “Peach” status but didn’t get it like Drew did.)

There are more arguments next week between Kenya and Drew. Viewers critique Cynthia’s pandemic wedding. And Marlo Hampton pops in.

About the Author

ajc.com

In Other News