In September 2012, Barack Obama was weeks distant from beating his GOP rival Mitt Romney to triumph his historical 2nd word successful bureau arsenic America’s archetypal Black president. The United States seemed similar a spot of endless anticipation and anticipation ― arsenic good arsenic a bid of trials, complications and deadly contradictions.
Perhaps obscurity was that much evident than connected world TV, wherever Bravo’s “Don’t Be Tardy” and E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” were shows radical inexplicably watched.
Meanwhile, connected VH1, Sheree Zampino was astir to get her archetypal sensation of world TV fame connected “Hollywood Exes,” fundamentally a much grounded mentation of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” which would debut 2 years later. “Exes” starred Zampino ― the ex of histrion Will Smith and NFL subordinate turned pastor Terrell Fletcher ― and the ex-wives of different notable celebrities successful Los Angeles, including Nicole Murphy, Andrea Kelly, Mayte Garcia and Jessica Canseco (the respective exes of legendary comedian Eddie Murphy; present disgraced and incarcerated R&B prima R. Kelly; dearly departed philharmonic genius Prince; and Major League Baseball prima Jose Canseco).
And I was into it. Majorly. (And not conscionable due to the fact that Zampino, astatine the time, was joined to a chap St. Louisan who went to schoolhouse with my eldest sister.)
It was glamorous portion being relatable. Who hasn’t been wounded oregon abandoned by an ex, similar Andrea Kelly, oregon somewhat hung up connected an old, iconic love, similar Mayte Garcia? But past determination was Nicole Murphy, who’d made it to the different broadside and travel retired connected top. She spent astir of her surface clip hanging with her gorgeous, model-ready daughters and buying things with then-boyfriend Michael Strahan’s achromatic card.
And Zampino, who studied manner plan astatine Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology, was fashionably there, supporting her friends with amusive side-eye and commentary portion tackling her ain play wrong her soon-to-falter marriage.
“Even though we don’t speech each day, it’s similar 1 of those things where, erstwhile we connect, it’s similar we prime up wherever we near off,” Zampino present says of her “Hollywood Exes” formed mates. “There’s a existent sisterhood, a existent enslaved determination that I judge is like, you cognize ― it’s a lifetime.”
The VH1 bid lasted 3 seasons and prepared Zampino for the over-the-top, astatine times cutthroat satellite of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise. She joined “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” this play arsenic a person to the show’s archetypal Black formed member, the instrumentality favourite Garcelle Beauvais.
“What gave maine a small spot of information and assurance is due to the fact that I did ‘Hollywood [Exes],’” Zampino said. “I did cognize that this was connected a full different level. I conscionable didn’t recognize how. But I went successful with conscionable being present.”
“I’m a fan, truthful I’ve watched it for years and you person your opinions and each that,” she continued. “And I recognize that with world [TV], you don’t spot everything. They person a communicative that they’re trying to archer connected the backmost end, the production. So I said, I wanna spell successful and beryllium just and conscionable person an ‘in the moment’ acquisition with these ladies, similar a real-time experience. And I deliberation that worked for me. It gave maine a batch of bid and I was pleasantly surprised.”
We’re a agelong mode present from 2012, and the “hope and change” days of the Obama administration. In our dystopian, disease-riddled present, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has besides taken a acheronian turn, this clip with formed subordinate Erika (Girardi) Jayne going afloat reality-TV villain implicit the plight of the “widows and orphans” whom her estranged hubby and his instrumentality steadfast allegedly defrauded.
It’s a lot.
But Zampino has been enjoying her clip connected the show. And she has adjacent ― gasp! ― enjoyed immoderate of her clip with heavy maligned Girardi.
“Some of the ladies that I didn’t deliberation I would like, successful presumption of what characters, what they were giving, and what my opinions were based connected what I saw arsenic a fan, I was pleasantly surprised. Like with Erika, I really thought she was fun. I had a bully clip with her. I saw her realness and I’m from New York,” Zampino said. “So I emotion radical that are existent and you cognize precisely wherever you stand.”
Also a astonishment to her? Lisa Rinna, soap opera prima and woman of histrion Harry Hamlin.
“I saw a precise nurturing broadside to her, which I didn’t truly cognize that side,” Zampino said. “So, yeah. Pleasantly surprised.”
As a “Housewives” instrumentality (I predominantly usage “Real Housewives of Potomac” GIFs connected Twitter due to the fact that Karen Huger, Ashley Darby and Candiace Dillard Bassett are the GIFs that support connected giving), I had a batch of questions for Zampino, mostly concerning her thoughts connected fashion. Who is bringing it regular among the wives? And who could usage her FIT-trained assistance the most?
(Psst. It’s Potomac’s fashionably challenged and “reasonably” shady Gizelle Bryant, right? She wanted to accidental Gizelle.)
“You are truthful messy with this question, and idiosyncratic comes to caput immediately,” Zampino said. “I don’t wanna accidental it.”
“Is it Gizelle?” I said, evidently being messy.
“I don’t, I don’t privation to accidental it,” she said.
“I forgive you. But successful my heart, it’s Gizelle,” I said. “I tin accidental that arsenic idiosyncratic who loves her.”
“Keep pretty,” Zampino said, frustratingly inactive not naming names. “I can’t accidental it. I can’t accidental you’re wrong. I can’t accidental it, but I can’t accidental you’re wrong.”
And who are the astir fashionable Housewives successful Beverly Hills? Zampino had a batch of emotion for Rinna and statement addict Dorit Kemsley.
“Who I’m truly digging her benignant is Rinna. Ah, Rinna I dig. I excavation her benignant due to the fact that I cognize my boobs are excessively large to benignant of deterioration immoderate of the things that she wears, but I emotion a pistillate wearing suits,” Zampino said. “I emotion that benignant of androgynous chic. I similar the mode she rocks her suits, and she’s bold with her colour choices. Yeah, I similar her vibe. I do. I similar her style. And then, of course, Dorit. Dorit has astonishing style. Dorit conscionable goes to Louis Vuitton and says, ‘I’ll instrumentality it all.’ Then she’s gonna deterioration it each astatine the aforesaid time.”
So who does Zampino find to beryllium the astir relatable, and who did she mesh with the champion extracurricular of Beauvais? She named comparative newbies Crystal Kung Minkoff and Diana Jenkins, who’s already go arguable among fans successful her archetypal play connected the show.
“Crystal is conscionable sweet,” Zampino said. “I deliberation she’s a saccharine girl. She’s a batch much amusive than however she’s portrayed, than what you see. I deliberation she’s a amusive girl. She’s sweet. And Diana is ― archetypal of all, I emotion the mode Diana rolls, okay? She’s doing everything, everything top, top, top, apical of the line! And she’s real. She’s conscionable unapologetically her.”
“I similar to cognize wherever I basal with people,” she went on. “You don’t person to similar me, but don’t archer maine you do, and past down my backmost ― you cognize what I mean? I similar to cognize wherever I stand. So it’s refreshing successful this town, successful L.A., erstwhile you conscionable idiosyncratic who is like, ‘This is me, instrumentality it oregon permission it.’ I similar that.”
When it comes to who’s “shadiest” connected the show, Zampino name-checked the adorably awkward Sutton Stracke, whom I’ve recovered to beryllium a charming Southerner with chronic foot-in-mouth disease.
The realest? Her girl, Garcelle Beauvais. The funniest? Zampino nominated herself. So affluent they’re retired of interaction with reality? For Zampino, it’s Jenkins.
“Maybe it is Diana, due to the fact that remember, she didn’t cognize thing that was basic,” she said. “I can’t remember, but we’re like, ‘How bash you not cognize that?’ It was an outlet. I deliberation idiosyncratic mentioned an outlet oregon something.”
“Oh, the outlet malls,” I said. “That was Crystal. She was talking about, ‘Have you ever been to the outlet mall?’”
But arsenic for who’s the “least” affluent connected a amusement astir precise affluent women, Zampino, again, chose herself. She said Beauvais is the 1 she’d spot astir with a secret, and the 1 she’d spot the slightest is... Kyle Richards, who’s often jokingly described online arsenic an uncredited shaper connected the show.
“Kyle’s gonna like, she’s gonna archer it!” Zampino said.
“She’s similar a producer, practically, astatine this point,” I said.
“Exactly. She’s sold out. She’s wholly in... each in, each in!” Zampino joked.
The meanest connected “RHOBH”? Even though Zampino intelligibly likes Girardi, she had to accidental it.
“The astir fiery 1 that I’ve ever seen connected the amusement has been Erika,” she said. “Erika beryllium bringing that heat, truthful let’s accidental Erika.”
“Erika is the lone 1 too you and Garcelle connected ‘Beverly Hills’ who I deliberation could past connected ‘[Real Housewives of] Atlanta,’ due to the fact that those women are vicious,” I said.
“Lemme archer you something, you couldn’t wage maine capable [to beryllium connected ‘Atlanta’],” Zampino quipped. “You could not wage maine enough. You couldn’t springiness me, you could springiness 5 diamonds. ‘We’ll springiness you 10 diamonds!’ No ma’am! No, sir. No, sir!”
Speaking of diamonds, does Zampino privation to beryllium a full-time formed subordinate connected “RHOBH”? From HuffPost’s pages to the ears of the “Real Housewives” deity ― that would beryllium enforcement shaper and “Watch What Happens Live” big Andy Cohen ― Zampino is down.
“I would emotion to beryllium offered a diamond,” she said.
C’mon, Bravo. Make Zampino different jewel among a clump of diamonds. She’s delivered connected world TV before. She could decidedly bash it again.