This week’s episode boasted the usual shenanigans from uber-manager and extra thirsty Don Juan. But more importantly, it also offered a realistic glimpse at the physical and emotional struggles of motherhood. New mom-to-be Kandi Burruss struggled to balance her near pathological ambition with the demands of a high-risk pregnancy. The increasingly irritating and overeager Don Juan obsessed over her every move, citing Kandi's "mature" age (but not that she's his fame and meal ticket and the most tolerant boss ever). Meanwhile, Phaedra celebrated (or endured) a milestone as her beautiful and loquacious son Ayden started kindergarten in a freakin' bowtie!
Much of Kandi’s arc this season has been her celebrated pregnancy—a happier departure from Mama Joyce drama—and her unstoppable need to work. In addition to expanding her empire that includes songwriting, Atlanta-based boutiques, and a national line of sex toys, Kandi is also opening a restaurant with Todd and returning to music by executive producing singer Demetria McKinney’s new album and filming a video for the first single, a duet called “Unnecessary Trouble" (think "The Boy Is Mine" for the soccer mom sect).
The pressure is on, and there are three very big problems to contend with—Kandi’s ample bust and growing belly. Wardrobe disguises both in a glorified purple cotton sheet and bedazzled boots. It’s an uninspired and laughable choice, but Kandi, the consummate professional absolutely werked those sleeves and that weave, and looked amazing. Homegirl even managed to bust out a few bodyrolls whilst pregnant. If that doesn’t deserve an applause, nothing does.
I can’t do anything but admire Kandi’s hustle as she twerks her way through a long day of performing while pregnant in heels, though I do think she will eventually have to hang up some of her professional hats until Baby Tucker makes his entrance into the world. If you check Kandi’s Instagram, it seems as though that day hasn’t come yet.
The cameras follow them on the inaugural drive, and capture Ayden’s fear about leaving his mother during the day. “I want you to go wherever I go,” Ayden says shakily as Phaedra expertly blots tears in the driver’s seat. “I’m still gonna be your baby,” Ayden whimpers as Phaedra (and I) all but bursts into tears. And if that doesn’t melt your heart and cause a reflexive prickle in your eyes, the montage of Atlanta’s little prince growing up definitely will.
Phaedra is the daughter and grandson of two pastors, so they pray the rest of the way to school. It captures the overlying sadness of the moment, not necessarily the joy and pride that will hopefully come later. Because Apollo made choices that took him away from his family, and while she has more opportunities than most, Phaedra is still a single mother raising her two young sons, and it can’t be easy. And every milestone for the next seven years will be colored by his absence. Still, this is one of those rare, special moments that makes 'Houseweives' so special, and I'm grateful to Phaedra and all of the women for sharing these moments with us. We've seen Ayden grow up from a baby into a brilliant and beautiful little boy, and I can't wait to hear him loving school.
The Housewives are all known for its splashy spectacles and eclipse-worth shade, however it does capture glimpses of actual reality and intensely emotional moments that most will be able to relate to or sympathize with. This season definitely needed a few tender moments to balance out the all of the messiness.
Watch Kandi and Demetria’s video for “Unnecessary Trouble” below!