Each episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this season starts out with new cast member Erika Girardi saying that she is an "enigma wrapped in a riddle — and cash." A truer Real Housewives tagline has never been spoken. We're slowly starting to peel back the layers on who the wife, mother, and friend Erika is versus who the sexy, provocative, bad girl performer Erika Jayne is on RHOBH, but there's definitely more to decipher in this "enigma."
1. She Could Have Been a 'Wife Elsewhere
In another life, it's possible that Erika would have become a part of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or The Real Housewives of New York City. That's because she grew up in the southern city and then moved to the Big Apple to pursue her dream of becoming a performer when she was 18 years old. After getting married and having a son in New York, Erika got divorced and moved her life to Los Angeles, where she met her current husband of 15 years, Thomas Girardi. She has remained in the City of Angels ever since, but with that private plane of hers, Erika is definitely not a homebody.
2. She Grew Up Around Music
Erika may be a dance diva these days, but she grew up listening to music with a little less bass and a lot more Bach. Erika's mother is a classically trained pianist and worked as a piano instructor when she was growing up. "You know, one of my special childhood memories is waking up on the weekend and listening to my mother playing downstairs," Erika told AceShowbiz.com in 2009. "So, we would have all these beautiful classical music in the house and that was such a wonderful feeling. So, sure. She's been an influence on my musical career." We'd definitely be interested in seeing Erika tickle the ivories on her next single.
3. Her Career as a Performer Has Been a Long Time Coming
Erika has been performing since she was 3 years old. Her passion got serious when she enrolled in a magnet program for the performing arts in high school. "That’s where you really learned to love the stage and really hone your early performing skills. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world!" Erika told 303Magazine.com in 2013. "I think that every kid who wants to perform should have the luxury of going to a performing arts high school because it’s really where you discover your early artistry, who you are, and what you want to do next." Erika then took that drive and talent that she developed in high school to try and make it in New York next.
4. She Used to Be in Girl Groups
While Erika was a self-proclaimed "starving artist" in New York, she performed as a member of a few girl groups, she told 303Magazine.com. But we all know Erika's star shined too brightly for her to not eventually go solo.
5. Prince Is One of Her Idols
Prince's music has had a profound effect on Erika and her career. "I've always loved the erotic quality of Prince," she said during an interview with AceShowbiz.com. "I just think he's a musical genius and I've always admired everything that he's done." Erika even got the chance to work with Prince's protégée Sheila E. on her single "Time to Realize." If there ever was to be a duet between Erika and the Purple One, it might just be the most fabulous thing to ever take place on Earth.
6. She Started Her Own Record Label
Erika knows a thing or two about art and commerce. The performer started her own record label, Pretty Mess Records, in 2010. Erika's RHOBH castmate Yolanda Foster said she was "one smart cookie," and she was right.
7. This Is What She Means by 'Pretty Mess'
If you follow Erika, the phrase "the pretty mess" is bound to come up often. It's also her Instagram handle. So what does she mean by that exactly? "'Pretty Mess' is just a description. Sometimes you are a princess, sometimes you are a temptress and sometime[s] you are a pretty mess," Erika told AceShowbiz.com. We'll have to keep watching RHOBH to see which Erika shows up.
8. Her Frequent Collaborators Are Kind of a Big Deal
Erika is never far from her choreographer Mikey Minden on RHOBH, and she's definitely keeping good company. In addition to Erika, Mikey has worked with the likes of the Pussycat Dolls, P!nk, and Usher. Celebrity and fashion photographer Mike Ruiz also directed Erika's music videos for "Pretty Mess" and "One Hot Pleasure." It's no wonder she always looks so amazing on stage and screen.
9. She Has Something in Common with Katy Perry
Before Josh Kloss steamed up the screen in the music video for Katy Perry's hit single "Teenage Dream," the model-actor provided some nice eye candy in Erika's music video for "One Hot Pleasure." "I had him first!" Erika told EdgeMediaNetwork in 2011. "He brought a lot of heat to the video." But, ladies, there's no need to fight. When Josh is onscreen, we all win.
10. She's Outdoorsy
Erika loves a good manicure, but she definitely doesn't mind getting her hands dirty either. "I'm kind of a tomboy. I love to fish," she said during an interview with SheKnows in 2009. "I love to stay outdoors. I'm a big sports fan and go to games. I don't care what they are." Don't believe her? As you can see above, she even has pics to prove it.
11. She's Afraid of the Dark
Erika seems pretty fearless, but there is one thing that terrifies her. “I’m afraid of the dark. I think monsters are going to get me," Erika told Hollywood Life in 2010. Perhaps that's why she always looks so sparkly.
12. She and Yolanda Go Way Back
Yolanda introduced us to Erika on RHOBH, saying that she and her now-estranged husband David Foster had been friends with Erika and her husband Thomas for years. But just how long have the two power couples known each other? It's probably a lot longer than you thought. Erika has been buds with Yolanda for nine years, according to one of her blog posts on Bravotv.com published in December 2015. It's no wonder these two are thick as thieves this season.
13. She Predicted That She Would Be on Reality TV
When asked if Erika would ever consider starring in her own reality TV show during an interview with EdgeMediaNetwork in 2011, she played it coy but also kind of predicted the future. "I just might be...but I don’t know how much you could show of my life," she said. "My life is quite entertaining." We'd definitely have to agree with that.
Check out more throwback pics of Erika, below.