Updated: Jan 2, 2018 4:36 pm
It’s a new year and 2018 is already off to a great start. Why? Well, because there are currently three Real Housewives franchises — Atlanta, New Jersey, and Beverly Hills — playing out on Bravo. #Blessed. To celebrate, Life & Style is taking a look back at (and ranking) the musical pursuits of our favorite ‘wives.
From sonic masterpieces like Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak’s “Tardy for the Party” to an audibly offensive effort from The Real Housewives of DC’s Michaele Salahi, I invite you to join me on a journey through some of the best and worst offshoots the series has ever generated. (Just FYI, I did not include The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Erika Jayne in this roundup because she is an actual pop goddess; and karma would come for me hard if I were to align her with the following women.)
1) Kim Zolciak, “Tardy for the Party” (Best)
Nearly a decade after Kim released “Tardy for the Party,” countless ‘wives have taken a stab at pop stardom. Look, I'm not saying girlfriend has the best set of pipes, and it’s not like she ever even came close to emulating Britney or Gaga — but I have to give credit where credit is due. Kim is the original Housewife-turned-recording artist.
Kim (with help from a s--tload of Auto-Tune) created a grade-A bop, which was co-written by Kandi Burruss, her frenemy and RHOA co-star — who also happens to be a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. While the song never charted, “Tardy for the Party” moved 101,000 copies since its premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It is indisputably the most successful single a Housewife has ever dropped.
2) Melissa Gorga, “On Display” (Best)
When Melissa entered Season 3 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey as a full-time cast member in 2011, the mom-of-three had dreams of becoming the next Jennifer Lopez. And sorry Kim Z., we love ya girl, but Miss Gorga can, like, actually sing. So, yes, “On Display” is kind of like the Housewives equivalent to J.Lo’s “Waiting for Tonight.” With its EDM-inspired beat and intoxicatingly catchy chorus, Melissa’s cheeky kiss-off to her haters has been criminally slept on. (Someone get this girl a Grammy!) If you don’t agree, fight me.
3) Porsha Williams, “Flatline” (Best)
It’s honestly a sin that Porsha hasn’t released a full-length album. In 2014, she dropped her debut single, “Flatline,” which was reportedly written about her volatile marriage to ex-husband Kordell Stewart. Believe it or not, the RHOA beauty’s vocal chops rival some of R&B’s brightest stars on the emotional ballad. In addition, “Flatline” was accompanied by a dramatic music video that was totally robbed of a VMA nomination. I kid you not. Check it out below:
4) Gretchen Rossi, “Unbreakable” (Best)
In June 2012, the Real Housewives of Orange County alum gifted the world with “Unbreakable,” a track inspired by fiancé Slade Smiley’s youngest son, Grayson, who’s been battling cancer since he was six years old. Gretchen’s sweet (and slightly vocoded) voice sounds dreamy as she belts out “Unbreakable”’s uplifting lyrics. When she sings about how she “won’t give up this fight” for Grayson, you can’t help but feel good.
5) Luann de Lesseps, “Chic, C’est la Vie” (Best)
Before I praise the auditory brilliance that is “Chic, C’est la Vie,” I’d like to give an honorable mention to the former countess’ “Money Can’t Buy You Class” — which is also superb. But 2011’s “Chic, C’est la Vie” is my favorite among Luann’s small (albeit iconic) music catalog. No, the Real Housewives of New York City star hardly sings a word on the track — she knows her limits — but LuLu's spoken three-minute veneration of “money, power, and romance” still awakens my inner diva every time I give it a spin. (Which is quite often.)
Alright, I hate to do this, but it’s time to talk about the Housewives who’ve made me think my ears were bleeding when they actually weren’t. Though she is No. 1 on my “best” list, Kim Z. has also earned the top spot on my “worst” list.
2) Michaele Salahi, “Bump It” (Worst)
Oh, boy. How do we unpack this one? Former RHODC star Michaele — who is best known for crashing a White House state dinner with ex-husband Tareq Salahi in 2009 — managed to convince someone to let her inside a recording studio to create the sensory attack that is 2011’s “Bump It.” Most of the lyrics are indiscernible due to layers and layers of vocal filters. However, Michaele’s plea to have someone “hurry up and dance with me” is heard loud and clear. But, TBH, it makes us want to burn our dancing shoes and run far, far away from Capitol Hill.
4) Danielle Staub, “Real Close” (Worst)
When it comes to drama, RHONJ star Danielle knows what’s up. But, uh, when it comes to making music, our fave Jersey girl falls flat. In 2010, she released “Real Close,” a duet with songwriter Lori Michaels — whom she once dated for a brief period. The duo performed the cheesy track on Watch What Happens Live and it was all kinds of meh. Not long after, Danielle performed a dance remix of the song (with a bevy of hunky male dancers who twirled each other, not Danielle, in the air) on a local news program. I’m all for artistic expression, but to this day, I am still perplexed by Danielle’s short-lived foray into music.