Cast Blog: #RHONY

The Midas Touch's Associate Editor plays both the White and Black Swan to this week's episode.

Hello my sweet girls (and boys),

I hope you're all decked in your black or white swan outfits and ready to perform the burlesque routine you wrote for yourself. Because I’ve brought along a Silence of the Lambs birdcage and Snidely Whiplash as the MC to ensure you have everything you need for your show.

Queens in a burlesque store

Thank baby Jesus, Sonja’s amazing fur hat is back! She wears it to Patricia Fields. I would have preferred she wear the hat for the actual performance, but she goes with something incredibly more exciting. Sonja teaches us a lot about burlesque on this shopping trip. We learn that burlesque is all about self-mockery, that that mannequin is only gardening, and that being 40 is at least better than being 70 or dead. Also Avery is there, to pepper each corset pick up with strong laments of disgust. Also in the store that day: Sonja’s drag twin. They say everyone has a doppelganger in the world, and wouldn’t you know it Lady Morgan’s evil (or good) twin is a drag queen that works in the basement of Patricia Fields. These are things that happen on RHONY that shouldn’t surprise us at all.

Bronxville and a bagel

Did you really think that Jill Zarin was just going to send Ally a care package at college? Or that she’d go visit Ally without bringing Ginger? Of course not. So when Jill arrives at college she grills Ally on all the important matters -- the contents of her quesadillas, the basis of her vegetarianism, Spanish filmmaking, and her desire to be a sex columnist. Yup, little Ally Zarin wants to be the next Kinsey. Jill’s obviously supportive, but perhaps there’s a job as a hand-holding columnist Ally would be more suited for? Could she take a position researching a cure for cooties instead? After lunch Jill attempts to put the kibosh on the sex columnist idea by buying Ally a turtleneck. Mothers are the best.

Also having some quality time are LuAnn and Victoria, as they cruise around a snowy Hamptons parking lot, and Ramona and Avery, who are having a light lunch and school project review session. I love that Ramona has an Avery folder. It’s a little disappointing it’s not a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, but I’m sure if Avery asked for it Ramona would give her one. While Avery reads from her inspiration paper (Ramona’s 54), Victoria takes a couple of rough turns and nearly buzzes a wooden staircase. It was super precious seeing both sides of the 16 year old coin, the part that loves their mother and the part that desperately cannot drive. Call your mother, folks.

The No Woman is a Staten Island So Have Chris March Tell You How to Wear a Corset Award Goes to. . .

Sonja continues the prep work for her big performance, this time calling in Chris March to help with the costuming – particularly figuring out how to wear a corset. The sweetheart part goes upwards, to cover your wonky nipples (thanks for sharing with us Sonja). And then Ramona arrives to watch the rehearsal, complete with crudité. Is she talking about the other ladies? A Lady Morgan never tells?

Meanwhile Kelly and LuAnn go out on the town to discuss men and try to teach Kelly to drink cocktails beside beer. New BFF alert! Consensus: when in doubt shake royalty’s hand and add water to your too strong cocktail.

Brooklyn beats up the beat

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I had my jelly beans and pinot ready to see LuAnn back in the studio. And the track to me does not disappoint (watch the finished music video, if you haven’t treated yourself to that joy yet). Jill thinks it could be a bit more dancey (and since she’s the strength behind “Money Can’t Buy You Class” everyone should listen). I do agree with Jill that there should be more dance, not because I don’t think there’s enough, but really there should always be more. More dance, more dance. And of course a music video, which seems to be a point of contention for the ladies. Manhattan Major Performance

After learning about Sonja's dog's (and friend's) bladder control issues, it's time for burlesque! I highly recommend that everyone peruse the photos of the party to fully appreciate the moustaches, particularly Mario’s Snidely Whiplash ‘stache, and Jill Zarin’s tiny hat. It seems that very tiny hat was filled with goodwill, because for the sake of the group Jill and Simon managed to bury the hatchet (and thankfully not the tiny hat) and agree to never mean tweet again.

After a performance by a professional (a topless professional), Sonja takes the stage. It behooves you to watch the entire performance, jealous b---ches and all. My personal favorite part: the color commentary from Jill and Cindy. I’m not sure the phrase "Sucking a golden d—k doesn't either" will grace a Bravo t-shirt anytime soon, but a girl can dream right?

Until next week when we finally make it to Atlantic City to create the "Chic" video. Here’s hoping your next week is c’est bon and snitch free.

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Bethenny: There Is Definitely Smoke and Mirrors

Bethenny explains why she was worried after seeing Sonja's fashion presentation.

Well, my bar is set very low. If I'm not crying or ripping someone a new one, I breathe a sigh of relief. Let's enjoy that while it lasts. This episode was a good one for me.

Aaaah Sonja. The truth is I love her. There are times during this season that that will be difficult to believe, but I simply do. Some people are cunning and have a malicious or shifty or disingenuous side. Sonja has none of that. She is a good person. She is just often misguided and misdirected. Many of us are. Reminder: I have a book called I Suck At Relationships, so we all suck at some things.

I loved lunch at Il Mulino, because I love to laugh and Sonja makes me giggle. I also very much appreciate her honesty. You guys are all very smart and you will be able to tell who is real and who is trying to create a persona. Sonja allows herself to be messy; that is to be respected in its own way.

I didn't want to give unsolicited advice, and, this season, I walk a slippery slope. I’m damned if I do anything in the way of business advice. Whether it’s positive or negative advice, it will appear that I'm better than and an expert, and that's simply not how I view myself. I have a lot of experience: I'm in the trenches, and I keep learning and making mistakes every day. Sonja doesn't have that experience, and, for her to succeed, she needs to get focused and start absorbing more information (that's how I learned-- mouth shut and ears open). Business is hard, and she needs to learn what it really takes to focus on one thing and see it to the finish line. "Accessible luxury" is a start. And--no--she doesn't owe me a car.

As for her fashion meeting, I think she front-loaded that staff for effect. I will bet everything that I hope to be that not one of those people is on salary. I happen to have an international brand and barely have that many people with those fancy titles, so there is definitely smoke and mirrors there.

That said, the boards looked great, and Sonja does have people working with her. I am betting on Sonja! It is a marathon, and I want her to succeed all the way through. There are many steps along the way. She has great taste, I loved what I saw, and I am genuinely here to support her. All she needs to do is focus, focus, focus. If she isn't putting up her own money, which she isn't, then no harm, no foul (time and reputation aside).

The timeline worried me. This meeting was in November--launch would be now (like six months away), and it made me nervous knowing they could not yet disclose retailers. Fashion is its own beast. I do have a Skinnygirl Shapewear and lounge wear line, yet I deferred to Heather as more of an expert in this area. Heather has way more fashion experience. I'm not sure why she decided to fire a random shot at me for going to the meeting. Maybe it was payback for my nap last week during our dinner conversation. In any case, it doesn't matter whether you're selling toothpaste or tractors, business is business, and business I know and understand. Sonja was smart to ask for my advice. There will be more to come on this.

As for the other ladies, Kristen has a fashion blog. Congrats on that!

The night out at World Bar was a little grating, and I was glad to not be there, getting myself in trouble. The yammering on from Ramona about Sonja not saying hi was reminiscent of past seasons--hashing and rehashing something completely inconsequential to fill up the airwaves. Check please.

As far as John goes, walk away. Big deal--he is touchy feely. If he were 6 feet 2 and chiseled, no one would care. It really isn't that big of a deal. There are a lot of guys who have a cocktail and don't understand personal space. There are women in our group who have this issue, too. His girlfriend was two feet away.

While I wouldn't want my boyfriend behaving like that, and while he may not be ultimately right for Dorinda, she knows who he is, and I don't think it is a massive big deal. A little icky? Yes. World Bar World War 3? No.
I Suck at Relationships:

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