Last night, The Real Housewives Live Tour rolled into the Chicago area (Hammond, IN actually) and I was there for it all! You may already know that I am a HUGE fan of the Housewives franchises on Bravo, especially Orange County and New Jersey. This was the second stop on the short tour and included four of the Bravo ladies, Sonja Morgan- The Real Housewives of New York City, Gretchen Rossi – The Real Housewives of Orange County, Kathy Wakile – The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Phaedra Parks- The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
The ladies arrived on the Bravo red (actually blue) carpet set up at The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino, posed for pictures and stopped by for short interviews. They all looked absolutely stunning and even more beautiful in person. I could not believe how tiny Gretchen is in real life! She looks petite on the show, but boy she really IS petite. All of their dresses and especially their blinged-out shoes were amazing. You don’t know how tempted I was to just snap some shots of their shoes!
Click below to see a slideshow of all photos from the red carpet and live show:
In my brief interviews, I was able to learn that Gretchen has been doing some stand-up with Slade. Yes, they started out hosting some improv shows and it has recently turned into Gretchen doing some actual improv routines! She said it has been one of the most challenging things she has ever done. I always thought stand-up comedy must be one of the hardest things to do! Slade did appear on the carpet with Gretchen and I have to say they do seem like they are in love. Side note: Slade got a haircut…Boy, his hair bugged me before!
I asked Kathy if she had any moments on camera that she had regrets about and she said no. She said she just lives and is not sorry that any moments that were on camera, it is true reality and not acting. I was so glad to see Kathy and her husband, Richie, together on the carpet. The crowd really went wild when Richie appeared, I am not alone in thinking these two are adorable! I just love seeing the Wakile family on the show and wondered if there would be a chance of the Wakiles doing their own show. Kathy said certainly not now but you never know about the future! I would definitely watch that!
Both Sonja and Phaedra looked beautiful and were very gracious in taking photos also. Sonja even said my hair was gorgeous :). Phaedra said that her favorite moment from last season was giving birth to her son and Sonja said her worst moment on camera was flashing her bare behind under that petticoat!
After the red carpet, all the Red Carpet Experience ticket holders went up to the cocktail reception after they all got to walk the red carpet and take photos. During the reception, ticket holders got a drink at the bar (which had quite a line) then waited to get a personal photo with the Housewives.
Before we knew it, it was showtime and everyone took their seats. There were several rows of VIP-type seating that were full and even tables on the stage where some ticket holders sat! Two people from the audience were upgraded to a table on the stage and then the show began. Jenni Pulos from Bravo’s Flipping Out was the host with John Jude, a producer from Watch What Happens Live (I love that show…Andy is the BEST!) Did I mention Jenni and John did a rap, written especially for the evening? Yes! The show was a lot longer than I expected, from about 8:00 pm until about 10:30 pm (we even had a short intermission).
Questions were asked by the hosts and from some members of the audience. Some interesting bits of information that were revealed:
Sounds like Kathy is working on a selling her desserts online and trying to find the best way to do that. Real Housewives of New Jersey is shooting Season 4 now and we will get to see how everything plays out with Teresa and family. Kathy and Richie met on a plane going to Florida. Richie has always been the protector type and they are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Kathy & Richie!! Kathy and Teresa were extremely close (like sisters) until Teresa started doing the show and then it sounds like she basically chose the show over Kathy. Kathy then became close with Melissa and we know where it went after that!
They are shooting Season 8 of Real Housewives of Orange County and we will get to see Gretchen growing her businesses. We will also see the dynamics between her and the other ladies change and they will all do some traveling, as well. The new season has a tentative premiere date of March 2012. Gretchen’s dad and Slade are actually very close friends and go biking together every weekend. Remember the “tubba wubba” episode? Well, the story behind that is that Slade nicknamed her dad “chunky monkey” and he gave Slade the nickname “tubba wubba”. Gretchen didn’t even give him that name! The “tubba wubba” episode still cracks me up, I could watch it again and again :). Peggy is not returning for the new season and Alexis’ husband Jim is actually a good guy, despite how he appears on the show.
Alex, Cindy, Jill, and Kelly are not returning for the new season of Real Housewives of New York. She and the Countess sound like they are great friends. Sonja is currently single and dating.
On the upcoming season of Real Housewives of Atlanta, we will see Phaedra getting hand-on into the funeral directing business! The ladies will also take a trip to Africa. She said that we will see her son’s first birthday party (can you say over-the-top?) this season, also.
There were some games played (Watch What Happens Live style) and all the ladies seemed like the genuinely had a good time. I have to say, in my experience, they all seemed to act the same as they do on the show, go figure!
The Red Carpet Experience on this tour was a true fan extravaganza from the up close and personal photo opportunities to the premier seating to the Bravo swag bags! I hope Bravo will continue to do these type of live tours in the future for all the fans out there, it was so much fun!