“I’m, like, pumped,” said Gizelle Bryant, the glamazon of the bunch in a body-gripping gold, sequin dress. Robyn Dixon, who stuck with Bryant most of the night, wasn’t nervous either. Ashley Darby, the new girl, trusted “the process.” Grand dame Karen Huger, the only housewife in a floor-length gown, had “butterflies.” Katie Rost, the former model and mom of three, likened the anticipation to a wedding night. And Charisse Jackson-Jordan was going through a lot.
“I’m feeling numb,” said Jackson-Jordan. “It’s surreal. I’m feeling like, ‘What the hell did I just do?’ I’m feeling a lot of things right now.”
But despite the mix of pre-show emotions as their family and friends filed into Sax, the opulent burlesque lounge featured in the first episode, the would-be stars handled their newborn fame like old pros. There was little drama on display in real life, although the cliques seemed cemented as the ladies hopscotched from one interview to the next. Bryant and Dixon are tight as are Jackson-Jordan, Huger and Rost. Darby seemed comfortable on either side of the aisle.
“For myself, relationships have gotten stronger,” said Jackson-Jordan, “with some.” Not all? “No.”
Still the housewives stayed close as they watched the show’s first episode and their closest friends (including some Potomac residents but none of the stars of the earlier “Real Housewives of D.C.”) watched them watching the show’s first episode.
Dixon admitted that she’d rather be “at home, under the covers.” “We all would,” chimed in Bryant. But hiding was hardly an option.
Darby’s philosophy on staying sane throughout the process and in the onslaught to follow was simple: “I grab life by the horns, and I ride that bull, honey.” Sadly there will be no bull riding — mechanical or metaphorical — in the show’s first season. There’s always next year. And each of the six women involved would eagerly sign on for more of the same.
“Absolutely,” Rost answered when asked, moments before the show aired, whether she would do it all again. “Like, who does this happen to? I feel lucky.”