Photo Credit: Bravo; Monique Samuels/Instagram
The third installment of The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 5 Reunion concluded Sunday after a whopping 11 hours of taping just as action packed if not more than the actual season itself. Our takeaway was sitting and watching Candiace Dillard angrily reading the lyrics of Monique Samuels new single Drag Queens line for line, already queued up in her phone to argue that the song was in fact about her and not just standing up to bullies as Samuels claimed. God will have to forgive me for this but I literally laughed my head off watching that. There is no better promotion one could ask for than to have the person whose arse you whooped on national television reading your song lyrics. That is iconic.
— 🔥🔥🔥 JaVonni Brustow (@JaVonniBrustow) December 28, 2020
Another takeaway from this reunion was the presence of Monique’s husband Chris Samuels. I have to preface this by saying as a black man I am very self-aware and likely to a fault about not making white people uncomfortable with my vocal levels, getting in personal space, etc. The last few years of living in central Virginia have made me think more about these things. With that being said, Chris spent his time defending his wife and spoke about how upset he was hearing plots against his child. And unless you’ve been under a rock, the plot was to bring onto the show a rumor of his wife not only having an affair with her trainer but that their smallest child came from said trainer. Any man with any decency would defend his wife’s honor, as he did.
The problem with Chris’ appearance was him trying to speak and others, namely Gizelle Bryant who brought her own security acting as though he was a physical threat for standing up trying to talk. The reaction could have been unintentional but it was very Karen-like, (no pun intended). He wasn’t being threatening but black men of a larger builder with more bass in their voice tend to be painted that way and I saw this portrayal coming before it happened. And as black couples on stage, they should already be aware of this. And editing I’m sure didn’t exactly help with this. When he finished, Chris told Bryant that hurt people hurt people and to get help since she was the one mostly promoting this story behind the scenes about the paternity of his child. Also, to be fair, Chris did apologize for a clip that played of him at home saying the women keeping this rumor going were lucky he wasn’t a woman because if he were he’d slap the sh** out of them. He said he wished he could turn into Bruce Jenner so he could do it and stomp them out. For the record, the slapping part was funny and kind of deserving. The stomping was a little overboard.
It was repeatedly stated on the set that there was no plot against Samuels, mind you, days after Samuels put a video of Dilliard on her Instagram literally saying there was a plot to bring this story onto the show. Host Andy Cohen kept saying that this story never made it on the show, and while true, if the show is about their lives and this has been the elephant in the room and clouding over things, you can’t blame the affected parties for talking about it as though it isn’t affecting their daily lives.
There is an interesting dynamic in this story about Monique Samuels. Who was the first out of their mouth talking about it? Gizelle Bryant. She ended up in the news for her man, Pastor Jamal Bryant who she’s been trying to get back with a decade after breaking up with him the first time over a number of women he cheated with for doing the exact same thing again. And Samuels brought a receipt book to the reunion including texts from a woman he allegedly is currently seeing and supposedly had a baby by another at the same time. Bryant later said that her relationship was like Ashley Darby’s where people don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and that they’re fine. That’s funny considering how Bryant seemed to be getting a little enjoyment out of Darby’s situation, making plenty of jokes about it over the years. This time around she won’t even bring her man around the cast. At least we get to see Darby’s.
But I’d like to go over the original source of what started this season’s drama. It came from her former friend of 20 years, Gigi. She allegedly went to Bravo trying to put this story of Monique cheating on television, which didn’t happen, so she then went to Instagram. Right, wrong or indifferent, you don’t do that to a friend, even a former one. Why try to not only tear a former friend down but do that to her family? What happened to remaining loyal as a friend? After falling out we’re not supposed to air our friends’ dirty laundry. It’s rather amazing the amount of content out about this situation that I don’t really want to contribute to but it’s safe to say that Gigi painted her former friend as an opportunist questioning her relationship. Now it’s been years since we’ve been introduced to Monique Samuels and so far, we all can pretty much say that she has shown herself as a good wife and mother. In one of her videos, Gigi said Samuels “wasn’t always this red bottom chick.” Ok, well so were a lot of other people. When NeNe Leakes was reminded about having a car repossessed in the past by Claudia Jordan years ago, she told her to go into her garage, lift the door up and see what’s in there now. All of what Gigi has been recorded saying should have never even made it into the public domain and if that isn’t a plot with willing participants like Charrisse Jordan, then I don’t know what is.
And lastly, Samuels went on Instagram Live right after the reunion announcing she was done with the show saying, “It was a crazy ride. It’s not easy doing reality TV, and to be quite honest, y’all, I’m over it.” She went on to say, “I appreciate everything that people have done for me. Everybody that’s been Team Monique, I love y’all, I thank y’all. When you cross certain lines, there’s no going back. And for me, my family is that line,” she said. “The opinion of my family and my kids and what they think about anything that I do is more valuable to me than anybody’s opinion, so I’m over it.”
What is commendable from Samuels is that she chose to check out instead of being a part of the problem as it pertains to narratives about the black community in the media. “I wanted to represent real Black love and show people something outside what the stereotype has been on TV. Unfortunately, this season I played right into that stereotype,” Monique said during her Instagram Live. “I was working overtime to really check myself because that’s the exact opposite of what I want to display on a TV show and in real life, most importantly. I’m always going to be a great example and role model for my kids, and you have to know when enough is enough. And enough is enough.”
As for what we can expect from Monique Samuels, she just released the video to her single Drag Queens which is nothing short of amazing. When she first released the single, I was asked to listen to it multiple times by someone, was busy at the time and didn’t get a chance to do it. With that being said, by the time I did, I had to stop and question if it was her rapping because you don’t usually have cast members of the Real Housewives franchises releasing music who are legitimately good at it. So between that, her Not for Lazy Moms podcast, essential oils collection and I know I’m missing something else, I’m certain this won’t be the last we see of Monique Samuels. We’ll be on the look out for a follow up single.