Season 8 of “The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” has been like most franchises these days—a rush for alliances, more shade than a blinds store and a hell of a lot of fun, thanks to the ladies’ dynamic personalities and quick wit. Atlanta in particular, has been bogged down with the fallout of not one, but two physical altercations: Cynthia punted Porsha like a glammed-up football after a drunken misunderstanding and the tragically-haired friend Tammy was knocked unconscious by her own “nephew.”
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.
The release party and the video looks far more professional than Demetria’s last attempt (Think She By Sheree fashion show just with staticky flat screens instead of unclothed models) Kandi struggled with the physical demands of the long shoot. “I definitely forgot how hard it can be to sing and dance…with a baby along with it, Lord have mercy,” Kandi admits in her now infamous video dress confessional interviews. Kandi is slumped back in the seat, pregnant belly taking center frame in a posture that screams “I’m Pregnant And I Don’t Give A Damn.” The final product looks fabulous, though it seems as though it's more Kandi's song than Demetria's. Watch below! (And yes you can tell she's pregnant in some shots, especially since Demetria's tiny frame is showcased in skimpy, outfits and Kandi's in ponchos).
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.
Fast forward a few more years into the motherhood journey, and we find Phaedra taking Prince Ayden to his first day of school. I generally don’t think of myself as someone who gets too attached to people I've never met but somehow this entire exchange makes my heart hurt. It seems like it was literally last week when Phaedra was being vague about her due date and hosted the world’s most “boughetto” baby shower. And now her Prince—a spitting image of his handsome and incarcerated father who's blessed with her vocabulary—is ready for school!
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!
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.