Apart from the post-Scandoval Vanderpump Rules panel, the Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: RHONY Legacy panel was certainly the second most anticipated at BravoCon 2023 when it came to dishing on recent drama. Ramona Singer—Real Housewives of New York alum, Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip antagonist, and cryptic Instagram poster—was axed from the RHONY Legacy panel shortly after a Vanity Fair exposé revealed alleged racist behavior toward co-stars and Bravo staff. This unceremonious departure left everyone in the panel’s audience buzzing about what the stars of the upcoming Peacock spinoff might have to say about Singer’s absence, given that she’ll still be a part of the spinoff when it airs Dec. 14.
Well, as it turns out: not a lot! The panel started with moderator Michael Rapaport skimming over the controversy surrounding Singer entirely. Instead, Rapaport welcomed the remaining cast members—Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Kristen Taekman, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, and Dorinda Medley—onstage and asked them what their most iconic moments in Bravo history were. Though the audience was more than receptive to a trip down memory lane, the elephant in the room was standing in plain sight.
But that’s one of the best things about BravoCon: the audience. Even when moderators try to skirt controversies, the fans of Bravo try to hold their feet to the fire as much as possible. Unfortunately, Rapaport proved a worthy adversary in their pursuit of comments on Singer’s missing seat on the couch. Luckily for everyone in the audience foaming at the mouth for a little gossip, one determined member of the crowd was able to secure a little tidbit of juicy Bravo goodness.
Despite Rapaport’s promise to “toss anyone who asks ‘below-the-belt’ questions” out— if addressing legitimate concerns is “below-the-belt,” I’d hate to find out what he’d consider mean-spirited—the first audience member to take the mic at the Q&A had no fear. A San Francisco woman named Marta forged forward with her noble deed, asking, “I want to know what you think about Bethenny’s attempted takedown of Bravo.” The fan was referring to Frankel’s “reality reckoning,” during which the former RHONY star has moved to embolden Housewives and Bravo staffers to speak out about toxic workplace behavior.
A sea of ooooohs fell over the audience, before Rapaport chimed in. “I’ll answer the question: Bethenny ain’t here to answer that, so there ain’t no takedown,” Rapaport began. “Look, does this look like a fuckin’ takedown?” Rapaport gestured to the women on the stage and the rest of the audience, who began to cheer. But Bensimon wouldn’t let the question go without adding her perspective too.
“By the way, she just emailed me and asked if I would be on her podcast,” Bensimon said. “And you know what I said? ‘I’ll revisit it in 2025.’” A characteristically strange, non-answer from Bensimon paired with Rapaport’s defensiveness was enough to scare off any other audience members from asking questions about Frankel or Singer. But they eventually got their revenge, booing Rapaport when he tried to dodge a question about which current Housewife the panelists would want to put on pause.
“They’re turning on me, Dorinda!” Rapaport said. It just goes to show: The moderators might be the ones with the mics, but Bravo fans have long proven that they will never be silenced.