Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Aviva Drescher, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord and Cindy Barshop Talk About Being a 'Real Housewife'


NYPost.com:
During Aviva Drescher’s two seasons on “Real Housewives of New York City,” she was manipulated by producers, vilified by castmates, publicly shamed by her octogenarian father and berated as an “idiot” and “witch” by the Twittersphere.

And she’d do it all again.

“It helped me raise awareness for amputees, and opened up a lot of business opportunities for me that continue to come,” says Drescher, 45, who lost one leg as a child in a farm accident. Though dismissed from the franchise back in October 2014, she is vying to get back on the show.

“I have four children,” she says. “There’s never enough money in New York City.”

Since Bravo launched the “Real Housewives” franchise in 2006 with the Orange County, Calif., edition, it has produced eight spinoffs — including the NYC version, which has cycled through 14 stars since 2008. Over the past decade, the collective brand has tallied nearly 20 post-filming divorces, four arrests, one suicide and enough chatter about rehab stints, cheating and bankruptcy to occupy a year’s worth of Lifetime movies. The eighth season of “RHONY” premieres April 6 with a new sacrificial lamb: pin-thin Flatiron mom Julianne Wainstein.
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Once you make the cut, you better deliver.

“It’s not a show that celebrates women,” says Kelly Bensimon (“RHONY” seasons 2-4).
“But that’s just the nature of the beast: He who barks the loudest gets the bone."

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Alex McCord, a star of the first four seasons of “RHONY,” says the show quickly turns “ ‘Hunger Games’-ish,” with women going more and more overboard to increase their airtime and secure spots for the following season.
“It’s about who can throw the biggest, best party,” she says.
During the debut season, her husband, Simon van Kempen, shelled out $5,000 to charter a yacht for her birthday.

“I’m sure he thought, . . . ‘Wouldn’t it look great on camera?’ ” admits McCord, who says that, during “RHONY’s” early years, Bravo didn’t put “a dime” toward events the “Housewives” threw.

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Meanwhile, Cindy Barshop (“RHONY” Season 4) directly reached out to producers about joining the show to get some press for her laser hair-removal business (she now owns VSpot, a vaginal rejuvenation spa on the Upper East Side).

After an interview at her West Village apartment, Barshop was sent to hobnob with series Queen Bee Ramona Singer.

“They wanted to see how we interacted. I could talk to a wall, but there just wasn’t chemistry,” says Barshop, who adds that Singer “had her own agenda” for acting mute.

On her way out, Barshop and a producer got stuck in the elevator, and the beauty maven turned on the charm.

“They taped me in the elevator and sent the reel to Los Angeles, and a week later they called and said, ‘You got it.’ ”
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