It was precisely 33 minutes into the primary panel on the primary day of BravoCon 2023 when Andy Cohen was requested concerning the present “actuality reckoning” and the marketing campaign towards Bravo (and different networks’) remedy of expertise led by former Actual Housewives star Bethenny Frankel.
A schoolchildren’s refrain of “oooohs” got here from the thousands-strong crowd who’d scored early seats for the Q&A session, virtually all of whom responded as if Cohen have been Harry Kinds when he’d taken the stage on the prime of his panel.
“Can’t we discuss one thing enjoyable?” he requested, immediately breaking the fake stress. “My ideas are, as you possibly can see right here, Bravo and the exhibits on Bravo carry folks a lot pleasure and a lot happiness — which is why we’re all right here, to have enjoyable. That’s the place that I’m at.”
Rapturous applause put an finish to that query, little doubt impressed by months of requires a “actuality union” by Frankel and a current piece in Self-importance Truthful that featured among the previous Housewives expertise taking problem with their time on the present. One significantly damning resurfaced allegation of racist remarks from former RHONY Ramona Singer was adopted by her unceremonious drop from the BravoCon lineup.
As for the The Watch What Occurs Stay host, additionally an govt producer throughout the Actual Housewives universe, he fairly clearly went into this weekend anticipating no less than a couple of questions on criticisms of his franchise. One in every of his first feedback onstage was reward for the phenomenon. “With out the Housewives, I wouldn’t be right here,” stated Cohen. “I’ve a lot gratitude for them.”
Cohen’s hour-long Q&A, moderated by former Bravo star Jeff Lewis, was decidedly optimistic — save Lewis’ frequent barbs about sure Housewives’ financial standing. “What’s Monica [Garcia] doing on [The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City]?” he requested a visibly defensive Cohen. “She’s on meals stamps for fuck’s sake.” (I do not know who this lady is, however she is actually someplace on this constructing at this very second, Mr. Lewis!)
Talking of the Housewives, one other fan requested Cohen which ones he’d let look over his youngsters. “I’d let any housewife babysit my children,” he stated. “They’re all implausible moms.”
If there are attendee considerations about any such “actuality reckoning,” they weren’t instantly obvious throughout BravoCon’s first morning. Followers, lots of them sporting shirts bedazzled with Housewives’ quotes and catchphrases or Cohen’s signature “Mazel,” let on nothing however delirious happiness. (They pump numerous oxygen into these Las Vegas buildings, people.)
“We’re beginning you guys off with a really messy, shady panel,” stated Cohen simply earlier than wrapping his first of possibly a dozen deliberate appearances. “That is going to be fairly a weekend, as you possibly can see. And I simply need to remind you that there are some people who find themselves right here alone. You might be amongst like-minded folks. You’re going to make buddies.”
That sort sentiment in all probability doesn’t apply to me, however do preserve returning to THR over the subsequent few days for information, panel protection and fairly probably a cry for assist.