From impromptu double dates and stealing snacks, it all went down behind-the-scenes at BravoCon 2019.
Bravo Insider is celebrating BravoCon 2019 one year later by taking a look back at the wildest and most exciting moments — including the ones you didn’t get to see then. Bravolebs, producers, and executives recalled their favorite memories, revealed behind-the-scene details from the VIP areas, and spilled some never-before-heard secrets from those iconic three days in NYC.
From Andy Cohen to the Real Housewives to casts from Top Chef, Shahs of Sunset, and the Below Deck franchise, BravoCon brought together Bravolebrities and viewers like never before. And while there were a number of one-of-a-kind experiences, from panels to parties to brunches, fans didn't get to go everywhere. Until now.
In an interview first shared exclusively with Bravo Insider members, The Daily Dish spoke to Bravolebrities and producers about the moments that took place behind the scenes.
Here are those firsthand accounts.
There were green rooms backstage at the three venues, The Manhattan Center, Skylight Modern, and Union West, where Bravo stars from across the brand mingled, met, and reconnected.
Cynthia Bailey, The Real Housewives of Atlanta: It was Bravolebrities everywhere. It [was] crazy to all be in the same building at one time. It was overwhelming. I was really actually excited to see Captain Lee again because I did Below Deck with my family and basically that trip made me the coolest mom ever with my daughter [Noelle]. Captain Lee and I had a really good connection. We just totally hugged each other like crazy when we saw each other [at BravoCon] because I hadn’t seen him since then.
Emily Simpson, The Real Housewives of Orange County: It was crowded and it’s full of energy and Bravolebrities. It was like everywhere you look you’re like, "Oh my gosh, there’s Shahs of Sunset [cast], and oh my gosh, there’s the Housewives of Beverly Hills." It was a Bravo viewer's dream back there. If someone who loves Bravo, they died and went to heaven because it was like every possible Bravo franchise all in one room.
Sezin Cavusoglu, Vice President, Bravo Current Production: In the Grand Ballroom, the space was shared by all the talent that was there for both Hammerstein and the Grand Ballroom. So it was a pretty large space comprised of a few different rooms that connected to each other. So all of a sudden, you would see Dorinda [Medley] go, "Oh my gosh, Captain Lee, I want to take a picture with you." So that part was great.
Dolores Catania, The Real Housewives of New Jersey: I always love to see Cynthia Bailey and Kenya Moore... Reza, who I haven’t seen in a long time and I love him the most, [I saw him] … I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than the Housewives of New Jersey. Even though people came from all different parts of the world, it felt like one big family reunion. There wasn’t much time to hang out, but I did see the cast of New Jersey the most. [In between events], I danced the night away at a club with Jennifer Aydin.
Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi, Shahs of Sunset, who was pregnant with her first child during BravoCon weekend: It was really overwhelming backstage. It almost felt like I was in high school and it was like the cool girls had their clique and the football players had their clique. I felt like I was at the nerd’s table just sitting by myself and pregnant. I was really in the zone because I was pregnant, I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t have a drink, I couldn’t really eat some of the food. So, I think I was like a Debbie Downer. But it was great. The energy was great.
This is funny. So, at BravoCon, the cookies — if I’ve ever had a pregnancy craving — it was that cookie. I loved it. And [one day] I put mine down to eat it again and then someone ate the rest of my cookie — and Reza [Farahan] saw what happened. So, his next day he arrived at BravoCon earlier than me. He saw them sitting on someone’s table, that specific one, he literally stole a whole box of them. And got in trouble for it [laughs]. That was my fun highlight moment. You have no idea how delicious those cookies were and how devastated I was when that person ate my cookie.
Melissa Gorga and I were attached at the hip one day because we had all these things together. So we were in the green room together, then we would go out and do our panels and then we would go to another panel. I had fun with Melissa. She has commentary that I didn’t expect to hear.
Hannah Berner, Summer House: I walked in and saw Ken [Todd] and Lisa [Vanderpump] and she was holding Giggy. And I had just like a fangirl moment where I got too nervous to say anything and I just kind of stared at them awkwardly from afar. There were just so many moments that I’ll never forget. I just assumed that none of them knew who I was and I just didn’t want to bother them [laughs].
Andy Cohen, host of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: it was great because Jerry O’Connell was there and he did a panel, but he was attending for the weekend as a fan and it was so fun to keep running into him. He had a blast.
Kate Chastain, Below Deck: You never knew who was gonna walk through the door next. I’m just standing there talking to Captain Lee and here comes Jerry O’Connell dressed up as Ken, holding a stuffed animal dog of Giggy, followed by then next Andy Cohen followed by another Housewife
Lorraine Haughton Lawson, Executive Producer on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Potomac: It was cool [backstage]. I saw so many different people and cast interact [like] watching Marge [Josephs] from Jersey and Ashley [Darby] and Gizelle were chatting it up. I know there was a time where I was in the green room and the Shahs [of Sunset] cast was there kicking it with the Vanderpump-ers. I realized, "OK, wow, they’re all in this together." People [were] exchanging phone numbers. It was definitely cool to see. And then there were some people that were like, "I don’t like her, I don’t like her." And I can’t say who that was. But, there was some of that that went on too. So it was funny.
In addition to mingling backstage in green rooms and VIP areas, many of the Bravo stars who came to NYC for the event ended up staying in the same hotel as well.
Chastain: Well, I was living in New York City at that time, so I was not staying in the hotel. But because it was Captain Lee’s birthday, I rode back in the bus to the hotel to have a drink with Captain Lee and his wife, Mary Anne, to celebrate his birthday. And for some reason, I’m not sure why, Shep [Rose] from Southern Charm joined us. So it was Captain Lee, Mary Anne, me, and Shep having cocktails in the hotel roof bar. We had a lovely evening. It was just kind of like [a] "how did we get here?" moment.
Gina Kirschenheiter, The Real Housewives of Orange County: It was cool to shake it up and mix it up with different people. And you know there was one room I remember because [WWHL makeup artist] Caroline [Blanchard] does my makeup in New York; Stacy does my hair there, and there was a room that the glam had rented out. And so it was so funny to go into this crazy glam room where there was just people, all different people from different franchises and shows. And that was really cool to see everybody together. And then we definitely broke up into little groups. But definitely hung out with a lot of people from other casts and shows.
Simpson: It was interesting because then the fans obviously knew what hotel most of the Bravolebrities were in. So, it was like every time you came in and out of the hotel there would always be a crowd of people. And it’s really interesting because it was the only time I would probably ever understand what it feels like to be a rock star is in this moment [laughs].
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