It is so painful to watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta now, knowing that the relationship between resident crazypants Kenya Moore and her so-called boyfriend Walter Jackson is fake for TV. Walter gave an interview in real life exposing the relationship as a sham, but in Reality TV World, episodes are still airing, and Kenya is still in Anguilla trying to convince everyone that she and Walter are a real couple. And not only that they’re dating…that they’re getting married soon. In conversations with the other Housewives, in her one-on-one RHOA confessionals — any time Walter isn’t around, basically — she’s bringing up the subject, saying they’re making plans to elope, or wondering why she isn’t engaged yet.
It was already weird last week before we knew Kenya asked Walter to play a part, just watching her pressure him to pop the question, but now that I know what I know, it’s physically painful. IT IS SO AWKWARD. Everyone’s sitting around at a dinner that Gregg cooked talking about all the sex they had — Cynthia Bailey talks about going into ‘the third shift’, Kandi Burruss gets called out on contaminating the hot tub with Todd, and NeNe Leakes is laughing about being too tired to get anything done — and Kenya and Walter are just sitting there. They’re not touching, they’re not making eye contact, nothing. Cynthia’s husband Peter even goes so far as to say that if anyone’s not having sex with their partner in such a romantic setting, then there’s something wrong with the relationship. Right around then, Walter takes Kenya aside to try to tell her the plan for the vow renewal ceremony the next day, and she tells the camera she’s pretty sure he’s about to propose. WHAT. ARE YOU CRAZY? You don’t know this man! You are not dating! Why are you pretending to us and to yourself that he’s about to ask you to marry him? This poor guy is in the weirdest situation. Ugh. Gross.
But the only person who seems to be really aware of what’s going on is the incomparable NeNe Leakes. It took me a while to warm up to her, but she is a motherfuckin’ genius. Not only does she doubt the authenticity of Kenya and Walter’s relationship, but she has the balls to say it to her face, calmly, and give Kenya the opportunity to defend herself. She brings it up multiple times the next day, while the ladies are preparing for the vow renewal, and makes it clear to Kenya that she doesn’t buy them as a couple. When Kenya tries to convince the other women that Walter is close to proposing, NeNe says in her interview:
“Biiiiitch who you in a relationship with? Cause you know it ain’t anybody on this island!”
Oh my god I’m in love with you. I love that you’re some all-seeing gypsy with an excellent judge of character. I love your catchphrases. I love your faces. I love the fact that she tries to calm Kenya down, even though she doesn’t like or trust her. When Kenya gets into a verbal scuffle with Porsha Williams-Stewart that turns into a physical scuffle, NeNe comes to the rescue, physically manhandling Kenya to try to calm her down. She works on Porsha, too, trying to stop the confrontation even though she thinks it’s ridiculous. She makes no attempt to hide her true feelings about it, though — it’s pretty clear she’s aware that Kenya is one crazy bitch. When she twirls her way away from the camera and off to bed saying, inexplicably, “Fabulous, Gone With The Wind fabulous”, NeNe responds with, “Bitch is it movie night?”
Tell Gregg he can get back in line, NeNe, because I’m in love with you. Any woman who can stop a fight using the power of her mighty NeNe hug, own the fact that she used to be a stripper, see through a fake relationship, and tell me to my face that she thinks I’m crazy when I’m acting crazy is a woman after my own heart. Viva la NeNe. I’ll be right here next week waiting for you.