The ‘Real’ ‘Housewives’ of Washington, D.C.: A primer

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This past year, Bravo has brought us some memorable and often terrifying Real Housewives moments: Kelly Kiloren Bensimons’s descent into madness, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps’ hit song (the word “song” used loosely), “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” Danielle Staub’s repeated verbal, physical, and mental confrontations with the Manzo clan of Jersey mobsters, and SO much more.

After all this, the only way the executives at Bravo could have possibly outdone themselves would have been do to something totally insane. Like…start a Washington, D.C. edition of the show starring the White House gate crashing Salahis.


Bravo’s newest housewife show follows, in addition to the White House crasher Michaele Salahi and her husband Tareq, four women living in (but mostly on the outskirts of) the nation’s capital. They are:

Stacie Scott Turner
Turner at a glance: MBA from Harvard, mother of two children, has a successful real estate business, and founder of Extra-Ordinary Life, a charity which “provides ‘extra-ordinary’ life changing experiences” to teen girls living in foster care in the D.C. area. She actually does not seem like a skeezball. She also works with another organization, Jack & Jill of America, which prepares African-American kids to be the leaders of the future. Nothing to make fun of here. They better not all be like this, or it’ll make for a VERY boring season of Housewives. So um, moving right along then.

Mary Schmidt Amons
Okay, Bravo. What’s with all the normalcy going on here? Don’t you know this is supposed to be a Real Housewives show? Have you seen the other Housewives? Don’t you even care that these women are sane and intelligent?  Mary Schmidt Amons is also married (for twenty years!) with children (five of them, so maybe she is a little crazy). She, like Turner, is also into charity: she founded Labels for Love, which puts on fashion shows to raise money for various causes. Sounds like something a group of girl scouts would come up with during a fundraiser brainstorming session, but Amons is doing a good thing with her fashion shows. Her beauty secrets include “most importantly, nurturing [her] inner spirit,” but also botox (which has apparently cured her of migraines). Okay, so maybe the normal is wearing off. THANK GOD.

Lynda Erkiletian
Man, I am really coming up short with things to say about these women. Erkiletian looks like a cross between New Jersey’s Danielle Staub and Joan Rivers’ horrifically ugly daughter, Melissa Rivers. But her looks obviously haven’t inhibited her, because Lynda-with-a-Y is the founder and CEO of T.H.E Artist Agency, a modeling agency in D.C. Finally, someone with an ex-husband and, according to Bravo, a “much younger boyfriend, Ebong [Eka].”

Now THIS is the kind of housewife we’re used to. Works in fashion, check. Much younger ethnic boyfriend, check. Rich ex-husband, check. And she apparently rides ATVs at her country home when she needs to just get away from it all –  the lavish parties, elegant mansions, and gate-crashing antics of her BFFs. A fiery ATV crash would be just what the doctor ordered to spice up this (so far) boring season. Something to look forward to!

Catherine Ommanney
This one is British, so I’ve already decided to like her. She also has a book coming out called ‘Inbox Full,’ which apparently details her racy London-style single-lady antics, so I like her even more. In 2006, the future housewife sold a story to British tabloids about a makeout session with then 22-year-old Prince Harry. Scandal! Intrigue! We’ve seen how the housewives can get with selling stories to tabloids (see Kelly’s descent into madness), but they usually wait till they’re actually on the show. This could get interesting. In 2008, she married Charles Ommanney, a photojournalist for Newsweek magazine. Breaking: they are no longer together, having separated after completion of filming for the first season. That was quick. Fleeting love!

And finally, the granddaddy of them all, Michaele Salahi
Surely, Michaele Salahi will be the star of the show. But not the aw-I-love-her-she’s-so-much-fun kind of star. More like the oh-my-God-why-is-she-still-on-this-show-she-clearly-belongs-in-an-institution-SHE-JUST-CRASHED-THE-WHITE-HOUSE-STATE-DINNER kind of star. I’ve mentioned it about a thousand times now, but Salahi is of course most famous for going to President Obama’s first state dinner at the White House without an invitation. Michaele and her husband Tareq posted pictures of themselves with Vice President Joe Biden and an array of politicians and media figures on Facebook, sparking a national firestorm. People were either furious that the two could have gotten past Secret Service and so close to the President, or insanely jealous that they didn’t know how easy it was to go to a state dinner and that thanks to the Salahis, they’d never get the chance to try to crash one.

Salahi isn’t particularly smart but between attending diners at the White House uninvited (have I mentioned that yet?) and writing XOXOXOXO at the end of her tweets, she somehow manages to find the time to maintain a website dedicated to – what else? – Michaele Salahi. According to the site, “Michaele knows how to entertain & live and is a fun television personality.” That is an actual quote. And then, after whining about how the media got her story wrong, she links to a “humerous” (her spelling) SNL video parodying the infamous gate crashing incident.

Unfortunately, Michaele’s Facebook pictures with Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel seem to be as close to the political world as any of these housewives get. For a D.C.-based show, the lack of anyone even close to the realm of politics is a bit odd. But at least you can rest assured that most if not all of these women are certifiably insane!

The Real Housewives of D.C. premieres August 5th on Bravo.