It seems like yesterday, when Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans were cheering cast additions, Eileen Davidson, and Lisa Rinna. Fans were stomping to have the polluted Brandi Glanville tossed out on her inflated cheeks, and were hoping that Davidson and Rinna would become Bravo lifers. I was one such fan, and found the duo the most refreshing Bravo additions in years. Much has changed—and while the absence of Brandi is indeed a huge plus, fan opinion has shifted dramatically, when it comes to the two soap sisters. What happened?
Eileen Davidson slipped onto the Bravo scene and added a classy, TV veteran edge, to the franchise. Her long career as a soap opera personality, was a fun contrast to her new gig as a “reality” star. She had a great snooty edge about her, an eccentric home landscape, and despite a tarnished beginning, a seemingly successful marriage. She made Guttermouth Glanville, appear even trashier.
Eileen added an uppity touch to a show that desperately needed a classing up, since Brandi’s arrival. Eileen brushed off petty drama with ease, even taking a glass of wine in the face with grace. She looked at unfolding conflicts with a mature and reasonable mindset, and offered honest commentary. Her style was lovely and classic, and her manner approachable, but star-like. I loved it when she gasped—“How DARE you?”—the superior indignation was excellent.
Lisa Rinna busted onto the scene, all hair, lips, and attitude. Lisa is a worker, and proudly proclaims herself a “hustler.” Money MATTERS—and Lisa isn’t too cool to say it. She is married to a late 80’s TV cutie, and has two pretty teen daughters. She blurts too much, and laughingly confessed the habit as a shortcoming. Lisa snarked and cursed, but did it alongside sincere, personal insight. She preached owning your sh*t, and backed up her words with action. She was animated, without crossing over into the mega-obnoxious, and genuinely seemed to care about her co-stars, and her fans.
She busted the Kim Richards’ addiction coverup wide open—forcing the show to finally deal with an off the rails junkie. She was compassionate to an enabling sister, without glossing over the hard truth, vehemently against contributing to the ongoing charade. Lisa also delivered two of the most epic scenes of the season—the crazy car ride in junkie hell, and the infamous glass smash. She lit up Bravo’s Beverly Hills—even while boasting through giggles, about hustling adult diapers.
Fast forward one season. Eileen has morphed into a needy bore, who went from delightfully uppity to annoying, in lightening speed. She has gone from a confident eyebrow-raiser, to a frantic pot-stirrer, who seems desperate to prove points, that don’t interest viewers. Eileen appears to have forgotten that she is playing herself — not working to snag another Emmy. She claims horror at the mention of a taboo topic — yet shoves the subject into the spotlight, over and over. Co-stars land on Eileen’s hit-list, if they don’t behave the way she deems appropriate, or if they don’t direct and disclose opinions, that she decides are crucial. Her manipulation isn’t even interesting, just repetitive and transparent.
Rinna hasn’t changed much, but unfortunately hitched her wagon to the most grating cast member of the season — her sounding board and opinion mentor, Eileen. Rinna was navigating her second season like a pro, but her decision to align with Davidson against Lisa Vanderpump, has been a crushing mistake. Gone is the independent thinker, who is willing to stand alone, and trust her gut. Rinna now stands as a self-proclaimed people pleaser, who sways in the wind. She instinctively and independently nailed Yolanda Foster, for taking viewers for a Lyme-ride — only to wimp out, and allow herself to be dragged off-topic. She pants for approval and direction from her Emmy-idol, a role model who worships a rookie gold digger, and glares at a veteran favorite. Lisa was a couple of episodes away, from exiting as a truth-seeking MVP — but she blew it.
I was one of the biggest cheerleaders for this pair. I still have hope for Rinna — but I’m not so sure about Eileen. Fans have overwhelmed both stars with criticism, and Davidson boasts recent social media blocking sprees. These stars have plummeted like Lymes thrown off the Burj Khalifa, and it is a darned shame.