The other real housewives insist: It's 'not all about the Salahis'

THEIR OWN PARTY: Mary Schmidt Amons, left, Stacie Scott Turner and Erika Martin Hughes star on "The Real Housewives of D.C."
THEIR OWN PARTY: Mary Schmidt Amons, left, Stacie Scott Turner and Erika Martin Hughes star on "The Real Housewives of D.C." (Kevin Wolf/bravo Via Associated Press)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, July 23, 2010

White House party crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi are not the stars of Bravo's upcoming "The Real Housewives of D.C.," and their White House-partying ways are, in fact, "one small snippet" of the first season, two of the non-Michaele cast members said Thursday with all the certainty of people who have not yet seen any of the episodes.

The "one small snippet" line was Mary Schmidt Amons's. She's the wealthy granddaughter of '50s broadcaster Arthur Godfrey-cum-McLean mother of five. She's the one you're going to see in the first episode telling Stacie Scott Turner -- a real estate agent and the show's only African American cast member -- that Washington hair salons "need to integrate" because "we have different hair, different needs, but why do we need to be in different salons?"

On a conference call with The Reporters Who Cover Television, Amons wanted to make sure everyone understood that the show "is not all about the Salahis."

"We spent five months together, and we spent a lot of time sharing our stories, and I think that the American public is going to be really interested and inspired by our stories," Amons said, sounding very much like someone who's none too happy about having been upstaged by Michaele Salahi.

"I think viewers are going to be so surprised to find out the White House party crash is not the crescendo of the show," noted Turner, who was the other housewife on the call.

One reporter wondered whether the Salahis, whose party-crashing ways got them all the way to NBC's "Today" show -- twice -- had "tarnished" the "Real Housewives" show. This, of course, was asked by a guy -- who clearly is out of his depth trying to cover the "Real Housewives" story, because otherwise he'd know "tarnished" would be an improvement to this gloriously tacky franchise.

He put the question to Turner only. Because Amons, shortly after being asked how much she had been paid to do the show and responding, after a long, annoyed pause, that she was not comfortable with the question, suddenly vanished from the line and only returned for the call's last few minutes, explaining that "Matt put a baseball through our living room window." (Matt is one of her children.)

Anyway, Turner answered the guy's question, saying that the whole gate-crashing thing threw all the other housewives "totally off guard."

"It was so unbelievable because they'd been nothing but nice and normal around us," said Turner, adding: "Things did change a little bit after that point."

"I was just shocked that anybody would have the gall to crash a party like that," Turner said later in the call, after taking the umpteenth question about the Salahis -- as a note started to creep into her voice suggesting she was starting to think the Salahis had pulled a fast one and hijacked this show.

"I couldn't personally imagine -- it just makes you wonder: Did they really believe they were invited? I can't imagine who would have the gumption to do that," Turner asked rhetorically.

In reality -- the real reality, not the made-for-TV reality -- the five housewives of D.C. did all not know each other before being cast in this series. Or so said Turner, now flying solo on the phone call.

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