The low-rent Met Gala for Real Housewives, otherwise known as BravoCon, may have happened last weekend, but viewers are still relishing in the gossip and occasional chaos that occurred in Las Vegas, thanks to BravoCon Live with Andy Cohen airing throughout the week.
One particular moment from these live shows—not Cohen’s opening song at The Bravos, unfortunately—featuring a polarizing nepo baby has lit Bravo Twitter on fire. Personally, this clip just gave me a weeklong case of the heebie-jeebies.
During the Dynamic Duos episode, iconic and not-so-iconic pairings like doctors Simone and Jackie from Married to Medicine and Ubah and Brynn from RHONY (???) answered questions about their supposed friendships, fellow Bravolebrities, and other random foolishness. Of course, they played a game of Squash That Beef, which needs to be retired or at least given a different name at this point. In fact, I’d argue there’s a case for this segment to be completely abolished after Cohen brought out former Beverly Hills housewife Teddi Mellencamp to fluster Vicki Gunvalson with a melanoma joke.
As most Bravo fans know, Mellencamp has become a member of the Real Housewives commentariat with her and Tamra Judge’s recap podcast Two T’s In a Pod, following her firing from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Since being exiled from Bravoland, she’s sort of become the anti-Bethenny Frankel. Both ex-Housewives are like the boogeymen of the Bravo universe. Mellencamp, however, is a vocal proponent of the network, driving up online engagement and maybe helping to get Tamra Judge back on Real Housewives of Orange County. On the other hand, Frankel’s spent the past few months trying to tear Bravo down with her flop “reality reckoning” crusade.
Regardless, Mellencamp seems to be just as equally despised on the internet as Frankel, harkening back to her sleep-inducing tenure on RHOBH and her starvation—er, I mean health and fitness—program, All In with Teddi. That said, Mellencamp’s managed to stay in the Bravo conversation with her controversial opinions and online beefs with several reality stars, including Gulvanson, who she once implied partook in the Capitol Riots.
Gulvanson brought up this remark when they sat face-to-face for Squash That Beef, and Mellencamp had this cringe-inducing clapback:
“I originally thought you maybe you just had issues between me and Tamra being such close friends… Then I realized, you were probably just triggered by somebody that actually has cancer.”
Woof. First of all, it’s bold for Mellencamp to assume that everyone watching knows she has melanoma when she hasn’t been on TV for the past three years. So initially, this just came off like a very dark announcement to me. (But get well soon.) I also didn’t even remember she made the Jan. 6 comment to Vicki until she brought it up because so much has happened within the actual Bravosphere since then.
It’s even bolder, though, to diss an iconic Housewife for giving us probably the best scandal that’s ever occurred on Bravo—and I’m including Scandoval—while the most she could contribute to RHOBH was the extremely regrettable PuppyGate. I also don’t know John Mellencamp’s daughter well enough to assume that she wouldn’t associate with an actual insurrectionist. I feel Mellencamp just regurgitated a tweet she saw because Gulvanson is famously a Republican, anti-vaxx nut—albeit, way too lazy to storm any place, let alone the Capitol building.
Regardless of my annoyance, the internet went wild for the clip, with many (reluctantly) applauding Mellencamp for her surprising “read,” which…. I’m sorry, but there’s just certain terms Bravo fans shouldn’t have access to! Others, like myself, still struggled to get on the Mellencamp train even if she did literally gag Gulvanson.
For instance, I agreed with writer Louis Staples, who tweeted, “It takes a lot for me to side with a Trump supporter who repeatedly lied about cancer… and YET.”
I’ll add the caveat that it actually doesn’t take a lot for me to side with a Trump supporter who repeatedly lied about cancer if her name is Vicki Gunvalson, and her opponent is a talking piece of wallpaper.
All in all, Mellencamp’s commitment to being a Bravoleb hanger-on has fans wonder whether she can convince the network overlords to put her back on television. But based on Cohen’s visible dislike of her, which he denied at BravoCon, I just don’t see it happening. Plus, her appearance on Watch What Happens Live a week earlier was some of the cringiest TV I ever watched, even if I got a chuckle out of Cohen giving Mellencamp a delayed “…okay” every time she spoke.
If that performance was any indication of what a comeback would look like, I don’t know if the already fragile franchise can risk that. But I can support—or tolerate, more accurately—Mellencamp’s efforts to be messy off my TV screen.
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