Kim Zolciak-Biermann is returning to Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta on Sunday, for her first appearance since leaving the hit Bravo show halfway through season 5. But could her guest role actually be the first step in a full-time RHOA comeback?
“I’m very motivated by money,” the 38-year-old reality star tells PEOPLE via phone on Monday, when asked if she’d rejoin the show for it’s upcoming 10th season. “Everything has a price. I’m just giving it to you straight. Given the right amount of money for anything? Yeah, count me in. I like to work. I have six children to support, so for sure!”
Her unfiltered answer is exactly why fans fell in love with the wig-wearing, “Tardy for the Party”-singing former nurse who burst on the scene as one of the original five Atlanta Housewives when the hit franchise’s installment premiered in 2008.
Since abruptly leaving the drama behind, Zolciak-Biermann has kept up with the show here and there (“I get so so anxious watching it! A lot of drama!”), but she’s mostly spent the past five years having babies and building a family with husband Kroy Biermann — much of which was documented on her Bravo spin-off show Don’t Be Tardy.
Zolciak-Biermann doesn’t regret walking away, and says that her exit from the series that made her a star wasn’t planned. “[RHOA] can be very combative,” she explains. “A lot of negativity. I just was extremely frustrated — it just was really a trying season for me. I had had enough.”
Her storm-off, as fans recall, came during a season 5 group lunch when the cast tried to plan their vacation to Anguilla. Thirty-five weeks pregnant at the time with her now 4½-year-old son Kash Kade, Zolciak-Biermann wasn’t ready to take the long, grueling journey.
“The health of my son was more important than that trip,” she says. (It was for the best, since she ended up giving birth to Kash two weeks later.)
Sadly, her RHOA castmates weren’t very understanding at the time. “I just got to the point where I was like, ‘I can’t relate to any of you anymore. I’m just in a different place in my life,’ ” Zolciak-Biermann recalls. “I just felt like no one was really growing. I’m married, I’m having another child — I felt like I was growing. Every time I would show up at an event, it was the same thing over and over.”
With six kids running around at home and Don’t Be Tardy‘s sixth season currently filming, Zolciak-Biermann has a lot on her plate now. But on Sunday’s RHOA return, she has a night out at Sherée Whitfield‘s Chateau Sherée housewarming party — and quickly butts heads with Kenya Moore.
Their battle on the season finale comes after Moore trespasses in Whitfield’s basement and then tries to call her on her unfinished home. Though the two filmed together for a few episodes back in season 5, Zolciak-Biermann assures, “I don’t know her at all.”
“I wasn’t going in there blazing or anything. I was just going to have a good time and support Sherée,” Zolciak-Biermann says. “And I was like, ‘Is this lady okay? Who cares?’ And then she just started popping off at the mouth – ‘You need to worry about your man.’ And you know I’m the wrong one to be popping off at the mouth to.”
Next thing Zolciak-Biermann knew, she was fighting like old times. ” ‘Why are you talking about my husband? You wish you had one,’ ” she recounts telling Moore. “Definitely don’t talk about my husband, my children — just don’t go there. That kind of set me off and I was like, ‘Well, I’m right back in it! Didn’t take long!’ ”
One person Zolciak-Biermann surprisingly won’t be clashing with on Sunday is Kandi Burruss. Despite their past feud — including a lawsuit Burruss had filed claiming Zolciak-Biermann had underpaid her for “Tardy for the Party” royalties — the two left their past in the past.
“She was super sweet,” Zolciak-Biermann says. “I did address something I needed to address with her, like the case for ‘Tardy for the Party,’ which was thrown out of court. She failed to mention it, so people just automatically thought she was never paid. And she admitted I didn’t take her baby name, Kash. That was ridiculous. She was like, ‘You’re right — great minds think alike.’ So we cleared that up. I was happy to see her.”
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Ultimately, Zolciak-Biermann looks back on her night out positively.
“It was definitely nice to connect and get out of my house somewhere else with other people,” she shares. “I did enjoy seeing other people … minus Kenya. Don’t get me wrong, I love filming with my family — it’s the best job in the entire world. But it was nice to reconnect.”
If she does come back to RHOA, Zolciak-Biermann assures fans they won’t hear about her mysterious old flame, Big Poppa.
“It’s been years and years and years and years and years,” she says, when asked the last time they spoke. “I’ve been with Kroy seven years — I’m obsessed with him. So I definitely haven’t heard from [Big Poppa]. I’m very committed to my husband.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta finale airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.