Greetings From BravoCon!
Hello from Las Vegas! Thousands of reality-TV fans have descended on the greatest/weirdest place in the country—depending on your mood and drink count—for panel was not what you would expect from one of the most popular franchises on Bravo. I felt bad that cast members had to look at so many gaps in the audience. However, the fans that did show up were very vocal and happy to be there. This was certainly a less awkward dynamic than drawing a big yet visibly bored crowd (*coughs* Summer House). —Kyndall Cunningham
Shannon Beador, the New People’s Princess: There was a bloodcurdling scream every five minutes like clockwork at BravoCon. But there was no shrieking like when Shannon Beador strutted into the Bravo Bazaar to hock her Real for Real supplements and take photos with every last attendee. Looking slim and trim (it’s the supplements, not Ozempic, you guys!), Beador proved she had come out of her arrest drama a new woman. —Coleman Spilde
Tom Sandoval Has Ruined Kilts Now: Tom Sandoval‘s attempts to mimic Harry Styles’ aesthetic have not been subtle. His chipped White-Out manicure was an eyesore all throughout Season 10 of Vanderpump Rules. His hair is getting longer and greaser. And now, as of BravoCon 2023, he’s wearing kilts. Don’t get me wrong. If Steve Lacy wore the exact same outfit Sandoval wore to this panel, I would’ve probably called it a slay. But Sandoval’s entire personality is antithetical to slaying. So it just looks extremely try-hard. Try again! —KC
Tamra Judge Gets An Unofficial New Last Name: While the BravoCon crowds were a bit more tame on the first day than expected, the RHOC panel lit a few people up. (Vicki Gunvalson has that effect on people, sort of like Bird Box—no, I don’t remember the plot of Bird Box.) A few times that Tamra Judge spoke, a bleach blonde woman in the audience screamed, “Fire her, fire her!” If her point wasn’t clear enough, she followed up with, “Tamra Sludge!” before security made eyes at her and she fell silent for the remainder of the panel. —CS
A Below Deck: Vegas Spin-Off? No one seems to be more excited to be in Las Vegas than the Below Deck yachties. These people may have sailed through various paradises, but apparently the Mediterranean doesn’t hold a candle to Sin City. “Tonight, are we gonna get lit?” Natalya Scudder joked—or maybe not—to her co-star Luka Keoni, after we obsessed over his biggest hardship being how much people talk about how handsome he is. “I think we will get lit tonight,” he said, laughing. When I caught up with their co-star Kyle Viljoen, he confided in me that he was already “a tiny bit tipsy.” (I will not reveal what time it was.) And asked what their wild Vegas plans were, Below Deck: Caribbean stars Fraser Oleander and Capt. Kerry Titheradge gave a naughty smirk. —KF
Jason and Gizelle Are Not a Couple: To no one’s surprise, RHOP star Gizelle Bryant’s romance with Winter House’s Jason Cameron doesn’t not involve labels. At the Winter House panel, the 37-year-old model said that he and Bryant don’t call each other boyfriend and girlfriend ,but enjoy each other’s company. (According to him, she can throw back tequila shots with the best of them.) A no-strings-attached situation is perfectly fine! Unfortunately, this revelation will inevitably be used against Bryant by her castmates, who already think all of her relationships are fake. —KC
Charming in the Face of a Scandal: Summer House star Carl Radke made his way down the red carpet being asked question after question about what happened between him and Lindsay Hubbard, smiling through it all and looking very earnest. (And tall, with extremely white teeth.) What happened was hideous. But give the guy credit: He aced Bravo media training. —KF
Heartwarming Moments of Mother-Son Bonding: The Season 2 premiere of Real Housewives of Dubai screened for audiences to cap off BravoCon day one, and no other moment stuck with us quite like Sarah Almadani rock climbing with her son. The two of them are having a nice, wholesome time, until Almadani asks if it looks like she has a wedgie. Her son takes one look at her ass in a harness and says, “Mom, you’re thick!” Heartwarming. —CS
Chicken Tenders and Tender Moments: At BravoCon, everyone is making friends with every single person they see. But it was a woman who was flaunting a shirt patterned with a collage of Real Housewife mugshots from Etsy that had people really excited. They even asked for her photo! At BravoCon, we’re all Bravolebs. It was a much nicer moment of camaraderie than we had with the chicken tenders that were so stale they almost broke my teeth. Oh well, we’re not here for the food. —CS
Summer House’s Amanda Batula Defends No-Shoes: One of the grossest things to come out of last year’s BravoCon (via Real Housewives of Potomac stars Gizelle Byrant and Robyn Dixon) was that Amanda Batula walk into the Javits Center bathroom barefoot. When this was brought up during the Summer House panel this year, Batula stood ten toes down in her grossness and said she had a tummy ache that day (which is not an excuse?). She also called herself a flower child, claiming she loves being in “nature,” which is the opposite of a urine-covered tile floor if you ask me. [Addendum from Kevin: This was also the first “Squash That Beef!” segment at Friday night’s The Bravos taping.] —KC
Housewives of the People: A BravoCon press line is long, and it is, I would imagine, fairly monotonous. (Though, for every same question a Bravoleb got about the thing they already answered in their cast’s panel, they all also were asked to do a ridiculous TikTok for a random website—variety is the spice of life!) On Day 1, Real Housewives of Potomac’s Ashley Darby, Karen Huger, Candiace Dillard, and Wendy Osefo were troopers, as were New Jersey’s Dolores Catania and Jennifer Aydin and Salt Lake City’s Monica Garcia and Meredith Marks. (Atlanta’s Kenya Moore and Kandi Burress, and NJ’s Teresa Giudice were whisked away halfway through the press line. As were the Vanderpump trio of Lisa Vanderpump and the Toms Schwartz and Sandoval, though the latter duo posed for selfies with just about every journalist they’ve ever met.) —KF
Why They Do It: “This woman started crying today talking to me about a time when she had postpartum depression,” Ashley Darby told me. “She saw that I had postpartum depression, and she watched how I got through it. Those moments are what make the show so rewarding for me.” Last year, I moderated one of the RHONJ panels and Dolores Catania was on stage with her ex, Frank. This year she was walking the red carpet with her new partner, Paulie. “Things change,” she said, laughing. Perhaps no Bravo show gets as much fan interaction as RHONJ, given how much is leaked in the press about the drama happening between the cast, especially Teresea Giudice and sister-in-law Melissa Gorga. But for all those poison darts fired from audiences, Catania feels grounded at BravoCon: “I want a picture with every single person here. I want that physical hug. Like, thank you for watching the show. Thank you for being a part of our life.”—KF
More From BravoCon
– Here’s what it’s like to watch the premiere of a new Real Housewives season alongside 1,000 fans. Read more.
– We got to spend three glorious minutes with Karen Huger. Here is our tale. Read more
– Lindsay and Carl from Summer House saw each other for the first time since their engagement ended at BravoCon. It was awkward. We were there. Read more.
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