"That's okay — s--- happens," Manzo said at BravoCon
BravoCon — Bravo’s three-day fan convention, running this weekend in New York City — kicked off its inaugural showing on Friday morning with a major reunion, bringing back five of its biggest Real Housewives alumni for its first-ever panel.
Jeana Keough (Real Housewives of Orange County), Jill Zarin (Real Housewives of New York City), Kim Zolciak-Biermann (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Caroline Manzo (Real Housewives of New Jersey), and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Kim Richards and Adrienne Maloof were all in attendance, taking the stage at the Grand Ballroom in the Manhattan Center to thunderous applause from the sold-out crowd.
“We thought we would start BravoCon from the beginning of the Housewives, at least,” Cohen said. “This is going to be really special.”
Much like at a Housewives reunion, Cohen grilled the women about everything from what they’ve been up to since leaving the show, to their most controversial moments on-camera, to whether or not they would ever come back for another reality TV round.
Keep reading for the the five biggest takeaways.
1. Manzo had thoughts on that Teresa and Joe Giudice WWHL special.
It’s no secret that Manzo and Teresa are not fans of one another after falling out on RHONJ. But having previously been friends for years, Manzo still had opinions to share about Teresa and her husband Joe — especially in regards to the couple’s recent bombshell sit-down with Cohen.
Asked for her thoughts while watching it, Manzo said she felt Teresa looked “completely detached” from Joe.
“Their marriage to me completely looks broken and that’s okay,” she said. “S— happens.”
Teresa and Joe were detached, physically at least. The couple were in separate studios, Teresa in New York City and Joe Skyping in from Italy, where he’s been living while waiting for the final ruling in his deportation appeal.
Their chat with Cohen was the first time they had given an interview as a couple since Joe began his 41-month sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud in March 2016.
“It had to be a very difficult moment for her, and I commend her on that,” Manzo said. “It made me very, very sad because I like them together. There’s so much you guys don’t see in a relationship that I saw and I, to this very second, hope he’s able to get back home to his four girls.”
Manzo, 58, said she hasn’t seen Teresa, 47, in six years. And despite their tension, she said she wouldn’t flinch if they crossed paths.
“I would say hello to her if I saw her. If I saw her tomorrow, and it’s face to face, you just say hello to each other,” Manzo said. “It’s just human decency.”
2. Kim Richards understands how “hard” last season of RHOBH was on Lisa Vanderpump.
“When we’re filming and one person is mad at somebody, it’s very hard to go to work,” said Kim, 55. “If you’re mad at me, I’m sick to my stomach. So if all you are mad at me, it’s very hard to go to work. It’s very hard. So it must have been very hard on her to go and to not have your BFF.”
“I know Kyle had her issues, I don’t really know about all that. But I know, especially having your best friend — not having that support — not being able to go in and have anybody, it must have been very hard on Lisa,” Kim continued. “Whether she did something, right or wrong, I don’t know. I feel bad. I feel bad that my sister and Lisa don’t have their friendship anymore. My heart breaks for them.”
“I had a great time on Housewives,” she told PEOPLE in the current issue, opening up for the first time about leaving the series she helped launch into one of the most popular in the Bravo franchise. “But to have negativity during a time in my life when I needed to try to be positive … I decided it was over.”
3. Zarin was “shocked” that Bethenny Frankel showed up at her husband’s funeral.
Zarin’s most dramatic arc during her four seasons on RHONY was her fallout with the Skinnygirl founder.
The two, who used to be inseparable, had a friendship-ending fight during season 3. Though they didn’t speak to one another for years, they eventually patched things up in 2018, when Zarin’s husband Bobby died and Frankel came to his funeral.
“I was shocked that she showed up to the funeral,” said Zarin, 55. “But you can only be so mad for so long.”
“The biggest regret for me on the show was not resolving it,” Zarin added. “I feel like if she would have come back on the show, it would have resolved. That’s the biggest regret, not having closure. I didn’t mean it when I said, ‘We’re done,’ I say that all the time!”
4. Zolciak-Biermann embraces the one-hit wonder power of her song, “Tardy for the Party.”
“I used to always say, ‘I just want to be a one-hit wonder. And it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Zolciak-Biermann, 41, said of the tune. “We still listen to that song in my house. I just love it.”
“I’m so grateful for the experience,” she added. “When you’re filming, I don’t really think about filming. I don’t think about the cameras and how this is going to appear. We had a lot of fun.”
5. Everyone is still watching their shows — except for Manzo.
“If I’m going to get aggravated, I might as well get paid to be aggravated,” Manzo joked.
They all said they’d return to the show, save for Manzo and Zolciak-Biermann. “Hard pass,” said the RHOA alum.
BravoCon is running through Sunday across three venues in the Big Apple: The Manhattan Center (311 W 34th St), Skylight Modern (537 W 27th St) and Union West (535 W 28th St).
A total of 88 Bravolebrities are said to be in attendance from the network’s top franchises such as the Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing and Below Deck, plus shows Southern Charm, Married to Medicine, Vanderpump Rules, Shahs of Sunset, and the Emmy-winning competition series Top Chef.
More than 50 live events are on the docket, including performances, insider panels, podcasts, dining experiences, photo opportunities and a Bravo bazaar marketplace. (A full breakdown of events is available at BravoCon2019.com.)
There will also be a live performance of Luann de Lesseps‘ hit Countess and Friends cabaret show, and Cohen will film an episode of his acclaimed late night talk show in front of a live studio audience at the Hammerstein Ballroom. It will be filmed in front of the largest audience in the show’s history, along with having the most Bravolebrities ever sharing the same stage.
Oh, and for those wanting a trip down memory lane, there will be a Real Housewives museum with more than a decade’s worth of behind-the-scenes photos, reunion dresses and show memorabilia.