kandi_burruss

Bravo nearly let me down. Watching the first few minutes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta -- my consistent Thursday night "reality" fix, I didn't get that good ol' voyeur feeling; that juicy shame that comes from checking in with the over-dramatic, (allegedly) wealthy black women featured in the current season of Housewives.

Castmates NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, Lisa Wu, Kim Zolciak and Kandi Burruss are fixtures on my TV set. But lately, the predictable plotlines and orchestrated bitchiness have been getting tired. Season two, now on its tail end, has seen the same crossfire of cattyness between NeNe and Kim, Sheree and Kim, Lisa and Kim, and back, again. (Insert drama here.)

Thankfully, there has been a short breath of fresh air - new castmate Kandi Burruss: The lovable single mom with serious baby mama and mama drama who struggles to stand by her man.

Kandi's standout moment in last night's episode is what kept me watching -- and cracking up.

At Sheree's overdue independence party, Kandi -- the least confrontational of the castmates -- was charged by NeNe's usual loud-mouthed bullying. And she didn't handle it like a "country-bumpkin," as NeNe implied in her hater-like aside. Instead, Kandi checked her, just as any of us would without the cameras rolling, telling her aggressor flat out to "Bring it on down! Bring it on down!"

Hilarity! Especially since NeNe's verbal bout with Kandi followed a similar one with Kim, which was way less interesting. (Imagine NeNe having a one-way rant, Kim feigning a hurt expression and Sheree somewhere on the sidelines of her own party perfecting her squinty-eyed come-hither look for photographers. Booooring.)

Kandi's authenticity, even while up in arms, is a rarity in reality television. Admittedly, she's just "not trying to be in the middle of craziness." But watching her deal with craziness, gives me that good ol' feeling, again ... and I know I'll be back next week. 

What about you?

-- SAARET E. YOSEPH