Thanks to Andy Cohen, Bravo has created some of the most decadent reality TV moments in the genre’s history. Who can forget the ‘Who Gon' Check me Boo?’ greatness from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the brutally of the Richards’ sisters limo fight or the ‘Scary Island’ episodes from The Real Housewives of New York that proved that truth is always more terrifying than fiction?
There’s another priceless gem to add to Bravo's treasure trove of entertainment: the dueling marriage conferences on Married To Medicine.
Here's all the tea about how this priceless event came to be...
Married To Medicine, the reality show delves into the inner circle of Atlanta doctors and their spouses, had been following the creation of a marriage conference by castmembers Dr. Heavenly Kimes and entrepreneur Lisa Nicole Cloud, wife of an ER doctor, during the entire fourth season. As any fan of reality TV would expect, the planning of this event was wrought with confusion, disorganization, conflicting stories with wildly flung shade, which may or may not be dramatized by creative editing.
It also didn’t help that Heavenly and Lisa have repeatedly clashed in this jaw-droppingly dramatic season so explosively, you wondered why they ever agreed to work together. The highlights: Lisa proclaimed that Heavenly of being an alcoholic—a potentially dangerous accusation for a high-profile medical professional (“Heavenly likes to drink. Heavenly can put a whole bottle of Crown down by herself in two hours”). Heavenly continually and expertly shaded Lisa's marriage and her desire to bring a new child into their troubled relationship, a dream her husband never once seemed to share (“A blind man can see you have issues with your marriage”).
Like most reality stars, they were enticed by the opportunity to launch another lucrative venture and a few more minutes of fame, hence their volatile partnership. Per Heavenly, the marriage conference was going to be called “Teach Me To Grow With You” and they would be partners in every sense of the word. There was talk of splitting the prices of the venue and both would host panels with the other Med couples pitching in.
It began to unravel from the first stitch. The ladies squabbled over the name until Lisa very conveniently guided Heavenly towards the clunky "Teach Me To Grow With You." While Lisa seemed to take over the design of the conference, Heavenly was left with the bulk of the promotional duties. Lisa Nicole, who owns multiple businesses, chose miss an all-important radio interview because she flies on a “buddy-pass” to save money. The bickering women came to a long overdue truce on the couples’ trip to Hawaii. And that lasted about 17 hours.
The tweet-worth deliciousness came when Heavenly discovered that Lisa had previously copyrighted the name of the conference possibly years before they agreed to work together. Meaning that if the event became popular enough to expand to bigger platforms and locations, Heavenly, who is an actual certified relationship counselor, created her very own dating app and just released a new book called “The Business Of Love", has no rights to it, despite paying for half of it, and could be removed from the conference entirely without making a dime.
Lisa’s defense is, well, underhanded AF, “Just because you do an event with someone doesn’t mean you’re in business with them. I’m coming to do your event because this is your platform and you come to do my event because that’s my platform. It’s called a collaboration.” Unless you’re Kim Zoliciak and Kandi Burruss working on “Don’t Be Tardy For The Party,” collaborators generally split the costs and profits on joint ventures.
It’s 1000% clear that Heavenly believed they were business partners, and that she wasn’t just there to boost Lisa’s “intellectual property” with actual expertise. And if they weren’t business partners, why did Lisa need Heavenly to pay for half of HER event? In the words of the illustrious and impressively shady Nene Leakes, “that lowdown dirty monkey with a wig on.”
So Heavenly did the only thing she could. She pulled out of Lisa’s conference, sticking with the $12,000 or $14,000 deposit on the venue, and created her own eveht, aptly called “Heaven Help Us" scheduled it on the very same day. And she laid the gauntlet down with the five other Med co-stars—participate in Lisa’s conference or her own, but no woman could support both. Heavenly’s next conference should be a symposium on pettiness.
As a fan, I wished the women had the chance to be more divided. Except Lisa Nicole has had previous issues with nearly all the women, which includes physical altercation with the fabulous Ms. Quad, who ended up needing stitches in her face after glasses were thrown. Dr. Jackie Walters put together a sexy lookbook to create awareness for breast cancer, and Lisa was the only one who didn’t participate. Dr. Simone Whitmore only agreed to do the conference because she is friends with Heavenly. Even Mariah Huq, who has desperately clung to her Lisa like Rose did to that door in Titanic all season, was worried about the success of Lisa’s conference because she didn’t have any friends.
If that’s how she treats her friends, are we surprised?
Now, editing is always a factor on reality shows, but I bet even Shonda Rhimes’ would have trouble crafting a positive narrative of Lisa Nicole’s conference. The lobby and guest tables were mostly empty, the panels looked about as exciting as an income tax tutorial, and anyone who with a smartphone would wonder why Lisa and her sketchy husband—who has cheated on Lisa before and was accused of fathering a lovechild and sleeping with men—were hosting a marriage conference in the first place.
In contrast, Heavenly’s conference was as colorful, engaging and irreverent as she is. How she managed to pull together an event that looked chicer than Lisa Nicole’s in less time, I’ll never know.
In addition to Heavenly’s qualifications, Dr. Jackie and Dr. Simone—both OBGYNs—offered an air of legitimacy to the conference that Lisa’s lacked, especially when Lisa had the couples split up into groups, and the women talks about friendship, not marriage, which gave Mariah a chance to bash Heavenly. The fact that Lisa entertained that at all speaks to her lack of professionalism.
The dueling conferences were just one of the many highlights of this emotional season of Married To Medicine, which included the search for and tragic recovery of Dr. Simone’s missing father, Dr. Darren’s dubious disappearances and excuses, Toya’s penchant for spending despite owning the government $170,000 in back taxes.
It’s a downright shame that Bravo has dumped it on Friday nights aka the television show graveyard, which has decimated the ratings. Married To Medicine brings the drama while curing my supreme case of Real Housewives Fatigue, so I'm hoping it'll be renewed for a fifth season and secure a better night to display all of the shady shenanigans.
Catch the season finale of Married To Medicine on Bravo! On Friday at 8/7c, and live-tweet with me!
Photo Credits: waitwith.us, instagram
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.