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Written by on July 17, 2023

Perhaps it’s because I find comfort in familiarity, but getting the cast out of Atlanta and into a new environment refreshingly changed the pace as we slug through the season. Any Housewife fan knows that while we hate when things become too formulaic, there are rituals that must occur each season. The annual cast trips are part of the Housewives formula that is dutifully abided by across all cities. Usually, a season features two trips, one local and another abroad. This year, the ladies went to Birmingham for their local trip, and tonight they touch down in Portugal for their international vacation.

It’s Shereé’s turn to helm the vacation, and she chose Portugal, intending to focus on wellness and healing as a continuation of her holistic journey to cure her fibroids. She wants this theme to carry over to the ladies and repair some of the rifts within the group. Now, did the first night in Portugal remedy everything I’ve been complaining about this season? No, but it livened things up, bringing some color, literally and figuratively. Admittedly, it’s mostly literal during day one of their stay (the scenery and hotel were filled with gorgeous shades), but it does begin to escalate by dinner time when we’re left with a “To be continued” chyron across the screen as the episode closes out.

Before the cast leaves for Portugal, Ralph plans a brunch for the men of the group to cook for the women. Like many things Ralph does, it comes off as very performative, but his whole modus operandi is cosplaying as a good husband, so I’m not surprised. Sanya, Monyetta, and Kandi bring their husbands, while Courtney brings her ex/baby daddy. The very Jamaican Scotley, a.k.a. the newer, younger Peter, accompanies Marlo, marking the second time in her history on the show that she’s brought a man to an event. Wearing aprons that say “Call Me Daddy in the Kitchen,” the men “cook” (it was a glorified version of a HelloFresh meal. All that food was pretty much prepared and seasoned for them) as the women converse while waiting to be served.

Of course, the events of the brunch stir up drama that accompanies them overseas. The juiciest tea is that Marlo went on a date with Kenya’s new boo Roi in 2018. Before the brunch, Roi has been a mystery to the ladies who aren’t that close to Kenya, but when he FaceTimes her during the meal, the whole group gets to see his face. Immediately, Marlo exclaims that she went on a date with him years ago after he slid into her DMs.

The ladies are collectively gagged by this information, especially since Kenya made a big to-do about Martell in her DMs. I acknowledge the connection, but it’s two different situations; Martell has a reputation for serial cheating (who even knows if he was single when he messaged Kenya), while Roi merely went on a date with Marlo before realizing they weren’t compatible. And Roi already told Kenya, so it wasn’t news to her. What’s strange is his infatuation with women on the show. Historically, that has never worked well … I’m looking at you, Tom D’Agostino.

As the women react to this new development regarding Roi, Kenya proclaims, “Thank you very much for showing him what not to do.” It’s hard to tell if this situation irritates Kenya, but if it does, I suspect it’s more out of annoyance that Marlo has something to say than any insecurity about Roi. What’s equally as surprising as Kenya having Marlo’s sloppy seconds is She by She’ll Ignore Your Invoice having the audacity to come for Drew over not paying someone for their services. This is like Ramona Singer telling someone off because of their rude behavior to hotel staff or Jen Shah offering legal advice from her jail cell. Or Kandi being mad that someone isn’t showing up to events (I need to start counting how many words she speaks each episode).

Shereé brings up a lawsuit that made its way to the blogs, so Drew has to explain herself. Apparently, a woman is suing Drew for $1,000 (yes, you read that right. This is less than my rent) because Drew did not compensate her for the meals she cooked for her family. According to Drew, the woman wasn’t technically a chef, and it was only a trial run, which she failed as there was hair in the food. I’m guessing it was a random person she found on social media who she wanted to give a chance. Regardless, bringing up the lawsuit was yet another way for Shereé to throw a jab at Drew.

Even though Shereé and Drew seemingly put their issues to rest, it resurfaces at dinner in Portugal like everything inside Kandi’s GI tract did on the eight-hour plane ride over the Atlantic. Before they reignite their beef, Drew drops another shocker during their post-flight lunch. She casually mentions that Ralph is in Vegas on a “work trip,” during which he will be auditioning for “Chocolate City,” a show she describes as the Black Magic Mike. I don’t even know where to begin with this foolishness, but let’s all imagine Drew asking Ralph if she can audition to be a part of a striptease show where she’ll be gyrating half-naked in front of an audience of men. More than anything, it sounds like a half-baked excuse for Ralph to continue to travel over state lines to put his dick in women’s faces without having to make up a bullshit lie.

Following their lunch, Drew vents to Sanya about Shereé’s comments about the lawsuit, saying she took offense to Shereé joking about if the chef from brunch would get paid. Once they get to dinner, where a rogue apple decorates the table (maybe it’s a Portuguese thing), Drew says it hurts her feelings that Shereé brought up the lawsuit without Drew being present. Soon, it becomes a battle of the shoulder pads as Drew and Shereé go back and forth in their oversize blazers.

Shereé takes on the spirit of Cynthia Bailey and basically tells Drew they’re still “getting to know each other,” and she doesn’t owe Drew the loyalty of not talking about her business. She brings up still being stung by Drew, who said during an interview with Dish Nation that the She by Shereé clothing was promptly “confiscated” from them. Kandi, Kenya, and Sanya all have varying stories confirming that their clothes were indeed taken, but Shereé swears up and down that it wasn’t her. Marlo is the only castmate who claims to have gone home with anything other than a hat, which is convenient as Marlo and Shereé have signed some sort of death pact to be allies this season.

Drew continues to go in on Shereé, questioning how she can plan a trip about healing without taking responsibility for her role in the drama. She keeps asking for an apology that will never come, and Shereé deflects back onto Drew, asking for a second apology for her comments in the Dish Nation interview. Talking in circles wears down Drew, who is probably triggered from doing the same thing in her own home with her husband, and she storms off crying. But would it even be a Housewives international vacation without dinner-table tears?

Peach Tea To-Go

• Usually, I don’t talk about the work people have gotten done — do you, boo — but the elephant in the room is Shereé’s new face. I wouldn’t have said anything if it wasn’t so drastic; it’s giving Vicki that season of RHOC when she filmed right after her face-lift … I can’t look away!

• Did Kandi basically call Scotley a horny broke man in her confessional? She said he didn’t seem like Marlo’s type because she “doesn’t have sex,” and they have to be “spending” before she does anything sexual. That shot at Marlo exhibiting “whore behavior” was loud and clear, though.

• The after-show is back! Not much worth noting except that Marlo and Carrie Bradshaw have the same Loewe balloon sandals. Carrie wore them in the third episode of And Just Like That …, and I’m sure Marlo would love this fun fact.

• I’d love to hear more about Monyetta’s orphanage. Drew saying she’s never been to Africa in the same breath that she says she’s been to South Africa is hilarious. She probably was thrown off by the abundance of white people, poor thing.

• Kenya’s divorce has dragged on for too long; hopefully, she won’t beat Bethenny Frankel’s record of longest Housewife divorce. This is the third year of the tumultuous back-and-forth, and now Marc has filed a motion to have Kenya be “found in contempt of the court” because he had an issue with Brooklyn being present in the hotel room when Marlo kicked the door. The judge ruled that Brooklyn can still film on the show as long as Marc is notified of her appearances and debriefed about the content of the scenes she’s in. She’s also only allowed to be featured in age-appropriate scenes. It’s getting uglier as they approach an upcoming trial, but they need to wrap this shit up for Brooklyn. And Marlo is going to be eviscerated at the reunion for her part.


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