This week on The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), the girls head to the Philippines for some peace, Zen and bonding. Hard to believe it worked out well, but then NeNe Leakes wasn’t around to stir things up and get things boiling over as usual.
The whole trip is Claudia’s idea as she feels like the girls need some time get together without all the shade, drama and fighting. At the airport, Claudia and Porsha surprisingly seem to be getting along. This trip is also the first time that Cynthia and Phaedra have seen each since they tried to have lunch and talk about what happened at the dinner where Cynthia called her out about an alleged affair.
Their trip to the Philippines is a thirty-hour trip that they take together. Claudia takes video of the girls on the trip and they are actually getting along. Like this is the first time this season that I can remember that there isn’t any drama within the first five minutes of the show.
Meanwhile, NeNe is back in New York meeting with Mark, the creative director for her Broadway show Cinderella. They go over parts of the script and it is clear that NeNe is having some issues. She wants to use two different accents, she wants to bring out some NeNe with her character and Mark stops her. He says, in a very nice way, “that’s not what we are looking for.” She goes through the reading as best she can and all I can think is, why the hell was she chosen for this part? I’m sure he was thinking, it’s only for two weeks and she’s gone! Then Greg tells NeNe Leakes, he’s got a surprise, and we know how this one hates a surprise. He gets her out of the car on Broadway and shows her her name on the marquee outside the theater. Her reaction reminded me of the Nene Leakes I used to love when she appreciated things and just didn’t seem to take everything for granted.
Back in the Philippines, the girls settle in and Claudia gives the biggest room to Phaedra mainly because of all that she is going through. You can tell that she is really trying to help the girls. Claudia wants the energy they are feeling away from Atlanta to go back with them. Everyone, of course, believes that NeNe is the center of the problems and bad vibes in the group. Now I get it, but there are still some very clear attitudes and issues between the other girls that still need to be addressed.
Claudia and Phaedra spend some time together having lunch and they sit and talk. Claudia opens up to Phaedra about her own divorce but of course Phaedra isn’t really opening up about her experiences. They share some tears and Claudia brings up the fact that it seems Phaedra and Kandi are not tight anymore. Phaedra ignores the comment and instead, asks her why she feels like she can be the catalyst for change in the group. Claudia says that she is just putting out good vibes and reaching out to the other girls.
Later, Phaedra and Kandi have a spa date and they talk about their relationship. Kandi asks her “what do you say to them when I’m not around that makes them think we are having all these problems?” Phaedra says in her confessional that she does feel neglected and abandoned by her friend. She tells Kandi that what she said probably got lost in translation in the group and that they are still cool. “Our friendship is strong enough to move past it.” With that, Kandi brings up the fact that if she can get past stuff with NeNe (who now seems to be one of her best friends) she can get past stuff with Cynthia.
After everyone has more sleep, the girls come together for a soothing, yoga-centered session. The other girls are able to do the yoga moves except for Kandi who not only has trouble but also falls asleep during the session.
Before the dinner, Claudia speaks to Cynthia Bailey and Demetria about her conversation with Phaedra Parks. Claudia Jordan asks what can be done to help them bridge the gap of their issues and she Cynthia doesn’t really know.
At the dinner, Claudia mixes the seats up so that people who don’t usually sit by each other are not only doing so, but are interacting and talking. She takes this time to bring up Cynthia and Phaedra’s beef. Cynthia apologizes to Phaedra but the lawyer still doesn’t hear it nor does she say anything back to her.
In the midst of their “conversation” Porsha, Kenya and Claudia have a small spat, which is created by Porsha’s need to be the center of attention (this is according to Kenya Moore). Claudia Jordan eventually quiets them down. Kenya then chimes in and she and Phaedra Parkshave a calm yet tense conversation. Kenya says that she would like to have a private conversation with Phaedra and she says that she would like to have the conversation too.
At the end of dinner, the girls are laughing, talking and enjoying each other. They make fun of each other’s asses, comparing them to each other and act like school girls at a slumber party. It is so refreshing to see them together in this way without all the drama.
In the beginning of the episode, I was very hesitant about them getting along. I didn’t think they would be able to put things aside and handle their conversations and situations like adults but they surprised the hell out of me and they did it. Claudia did a good job with getting the girls together and I hope it is a true change for the better. The one common denominator for all the stress induced trips that was missing from this equation was the formidable NeNe Leakes which is definitely showing who is causing the storms on this show.