Bravo announced their lineup of new shows yesterday, including a New York based Million Dollar Listing spinoff, another show for Tabatha (in addition to her salon takeover series), a second show for Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos, a show about Rachel Zoe's former assistant Brad Goreski , a fashion-based series for Project Runway alum Chris March and a dinner party-focused show for Rocco DiSpirito.
At the network's upfront presentation last night (which was actually spread over New York, Chicago and Los Angeles), celebs braved the press line to chat about what we can expect on the existing and new shows. In New York, an eager Mike Isabella and Richard Blais, were naturally excited about the finale of Top Chef which was airing later in the evening. Blais was his nervous self, but Mike told us about discovering that he an Antonia were distant cousins: "We did not get along until we found out we were cousins. I wanted to strangle her every single day. When we found out, it was totally the opposite, kind of like cousins who pick on each other." When asked if they'd had any big family dinners, the answer was not yet, but it sounds promising: "She invited me when I come to L.A., which will hopefully be in the next couple of weeks. We're obviously across the country but when we do see each other, we will be hanging out."
Chris March, one of our Runway favorites, who is known for his over-the-top fashions and his occasional drag stints, gave us the lowdown on his new show: "It is called Mad Fashion and each episode follows me and my crew as we make something for one client from beginning to end, and usually they have a big event to wear the outfit to. It's not just normal fashion -- we make some pretty outrageous things and hope that they don't get crippled and that they make it out the door." Will we see him sporting any crazy looks? "Oh you might see me dressed up a couple of times." And I really wanted to know why he has yet to be a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, since it seems like a no-brainer. He didn't have much of an answer, though: "You know, they've never asked me to do that. I've always wondered why. I dunno, maybe RuPaul's threatened by me."
But most of the attention on the red carpet was on the Real Housewives of New York, who weren't at all shy about about dishing on newest cast member Cindy Barshop and their big Sex and the City 2-style trip to Morocco.
On Cindy fitting in and being a replacement for Bethenny:
Jill Zarin: "Cindy is not a replacement for anyone. She's her own person. She's got her own personality and different dynamic. She's a single mom of twins. She's a businesswoman and had a very successful business before television."
Alex McCord: "Well, she definitely adds something to the show. You'll have to watch it play out."
Kelly Bensimon: "I didn't give advice to Cindy. To be honest, I met her and thought she was amazing. She's just a cool girl. Her story is even cooler: Her mother had cancer, she started her own business, she is so close with her family, she has two beautiful babies and she's a really strong woman."
Cindy Barshop: "I don't know that I'm filling somebody's spot. I just thought I was joining a group of eclectic girls and I never felt that pressure. The biggest challenge was that there was no handbook on how to meet these girls and really try and fit in. Usually in relationships, it takes a while, but we all had to make friends really quickly and that was the hardest part."
Simon Van Kempen: "You'll see me rocking some quite outrageous outfits and I think the most outrageous was at Ramona's birthday party. I will say no more than that."
Jill: "Check out the Jill Zarin hairstyles this season. They are funny."
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: "It is either the big earrings or the big necklace. Not both."
On being inspirational:
Kelly: "I'm not with the drama parade. My whole way of thinking this season is just stretching my boundaries and talking to all of the women about how they can navigate well and supporting everyone. I actually told them all that 'none of you will ever be in a situation like I was. I will make sure of it, or make sure that no one here feels left out of feels like they are being ambushed or bullied. I may not like you, but I will stand behind you all the way. ' For me this season, what is really important is that this is an aspirational season. This is what New York looks like. New York is smoking hot, they're cool, they are educated, they are sexy, they are funny and they are friends. When I was growing up in Illinois, this is what I wanted to come to."
The Countess: "I have a new song coming out, 'Chic, C'est La Vie.' It is another song about beauty, class and elegance. It is all about the message, ladies."
And while we were worried about Kelly after her blowout with Bethenny last season, she appears to be over it. Or at least in public. "Bethenny is a very nice person," Bensimon told us. "I really have no animosity towards her. I only filmed with her the couple of times that you guys saw on television and we created awesome TV. It wasn't what you guys see it as -- she's a great character, we had so much fun filming and I wish her well with all her endeavors.
And while we'd heard rumors about this season's start getting postponed because of lack of drama, the Countess herself assured us that was untrue. And a Countess wouldn't lie, right? "Honey, there was so much drama that they needed more time to edit it," she insisted. "I don't know who put that out there, but we have 16 episodes and we finished filming at the end of January and the show was airing in February, and there was no way to put all those storylines into something comprehensive." She also added: "There is always drama. Seven women in a house in Morocco? Thank god I was the hostess, that's all I have to say."
With that, our time on the press line was up, and everyone went off to mingle and enjoy some cocktails while the Top Chef finale aired. And I just tried not to get trampled by throngs of gossip reporters who were stampeding to talk to Teresa Guidice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
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