Thursday, March 4, 2010

Talking NYC with 'Real Housewife' Bethenny

Tonight on Bravo finds the return of the Real Housewives of NYC, and I talked to lead lady Bethenny Frankel about what's on tap for the third season. Booyeah. All I gotta say is: The Countess wants to be a pop star.

‘Housewives’ star gives Skinny on third NYC season
By Michael Marotta

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Updated 21h ago

In Atlanta, they pull hair.

In New Jersey, they flip tables.

In Orange County, they Botox.

But there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned verbal smackdown, and “The Real Housewives of New York City,” which returns to Bravo tonight at 11for a third season, has them in spades. Maybe it’s the Big Apple.

“There’s less to do in those other cities, so they rely on ripping weaves out and stuff like that,” said housewife Bethenny Frankel by telephone last week. “We have a different style. We’re more verbal, less physical.”

This season’s “Housewives” promises its usual drama among Frankel and cast members Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin.

On tap are finalized divorces, pregnancies, nude modeling and, of course, frequent trips to the Hamptons. The internal drama is at an all-time high.

“Season three is certainly the most turmoil I’ve ever experienced,” Frankel said. “I wanted to jump off the ride. It seemed like there was a full moon every day. There are a lot of battles, a lot of shifts in alliances, a lot of crazy stuff going on. All of our dirty laundry is out for all to see.”

Though Frankel’s laundry might be the cleanest, there’s much going on for the sharp-tongued 39-year-old businesswoman (she calls de Lesseps a “dumb drag queen” in tonight’s premiere).

Viewers are introduced to Frankel’s new fiance, Jason Hoppy, who gets her pregnant. (She’s now six months along.) A spinoff show detailing her wedding, “Bethenny’s Getting Married,” is already in production.

Frankel’s Skinnygirl organic food and drink line has exploded - “The products are flying off the shelves,” she said - and “Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Dieting,” one of her two books, lasted 18 weeks on the New York Times [NYT] bestseller list. A workout DVD, “Body by Bethenny,” will be available May 4 exclusively at

“I used to feel it was a business decision to go on the show, but now I’m not pushing anything,” she said.

One person who will be pushing something is the newly single de Lesseps. Like Kim Zolciak of the Atlanta cast, she has her eyes on a singing career. It remains to be seen if de Lesseps’ dance song “Money Can’t Buy Class” will become the new “Tardy for the Party.” The notion of de Lesseps singing must have writers of “The Soup” licking their chops.

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