“It’s a new thing for me”: One Real Housewives cast member drops a bombshell during this week’s episode. Read our full recap.
This week’s episode of Real Housewives of Melbourne opens mid-fight: We’re still at the nail salon where we left the ladies last episode, and where Janet had just alleged that new cast member Kyla had sent a text to fellow newbie Cherry ordering her to “lift her game” fashion-wise before the season started.
As Janet and Kyla argue from opposite ends of the counter, another of the new girls, Simone, sits between them doing her best impression of the teeth-grit emoji:
“I’m someone who deals with business; I don’t deal with drama,” she tells us. Yes we know Simone, we all saw your businesswomen’s montage in episode one, and I will now be fining you $10 for each subsequent use of the word “business”. This is Real Housewives, not LinkedIn!
Rising to leave after her fight with Kyla runs out of steam, Janet delivers a wonderful exit line – “I need a drink after that” – made all the more iconic because she’s actually holding a near-full glass of champagne.
Janet retreats to another room for a pedicure with Gamble and Cherry where, in scenes unprecedented across the Real Housewives multiverse, the ladies calmly agree that Janet might have overreacted and she probably shouldn’t leap to taking offence at everything Kyla does. Uhh … OK? But that’s literally the entire point of this show. Don’t mess with the formula, team!
Janet returns to the counter and offers Kyla a sincere public apology for any hurt she’s caused. But Janet is a Real Housewives pro, so I can only assume this apology is the first step in a complex multi-episode arc of psychological warfare designed to ruin Kyla’s entire life.
Kyla says she doesn’t quite buy the apology (smart), but to get to know everyone better, she invites all of the women to her upcoming ‘champagne masterclasses’.
Next we’re with Simone and Cherry as they head off to try every bored rich person’s favourite fitness fad, cryogenic therapy. Coincidentally, this is also how previous one-season-wonder Housewives like Andrea, Sally and Venus are safely stored should they be needed again at a later date.
After Simone asks the question we’ve all been wanting to know – Will this subzero chamber cause my implants to freeze up and my bosoms to explode? – they take turns in the deep freeze. I’m not going to lie, this scene could really use the slapstick antics of a Janet or a Gina Liano. These girls don’t even swear!
Now it’s time to meet the final of our new Housewives, Anjali. She has a posh, mysterious accent (think Guy Ritchie-era Madonna with a dash of Britney on Scream & Shout), she was an international anchorwoman for CNN, and she’s bisexual. OK, writing it down like that all I can now think of is this classic news blooper.
Our first openly queer Melbourne Housewife – how exciting! But one does have to ask how this news will be received by The Real Housewives of Melbourne’s overwhelmingly conservative, heterosexual fanbase.
“It’s a new thing for me, but I am openly bisexual,” Anjali reveals. Past relationships with women have been “very secret” due to her career, and she was outed against her will by an ex-partner when a break-up turned nasty. Now she’s ready to be more open – and that includes coming out to friend Kyla on camera.
Kyla’s response is all well-meaning straight lady vibes: “You know, your true friends don’t matter which way you swing, we love you no matter what!”
‘Which way you swing!’ Yeah baby, shagadelic!
Anjali hasn’t come out to too many people yet, but she insists the people she has told have all had the same response: “Ooh that is sooo sexy.” Praying she hasn’t told her parents, then.
She fills us in a bit on her backstory, claiming she “absolutely raked it in” as a news anchor at CNN, and at one point owned three yachts. Hmm, I guess that’s impressive, Anjali. I actually own four, so…
Unfortunately, when listing her career accomplishments, Anjali also has a near-pathological compulsion to name-drop Kevin Spacey. She’s “interviewed the most famous names on the planet: the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey…” Anjali, there’s gotta be another celeb you can bump up into that top three.
Kyla invites Anjali along to her champagne masterclass, explaining she’s feeling a little uneasy around Janet and would like a friend in her corner. “I will be on my best behaviour – but my best behaviour is still appalling,’ Anjali promises. Finally, a messy bisexual on this show. Representation matters!
Then we’re off to dinner with Jackie and husband Ben, so Jackie can deliver the news they’ve both been waiting for: Her latest round of IVF is successful and she’s pregnant with twins.
As they sit there sipping their mocktails, talking about parenthood and the struggles they’ve been through trying to get pregnant, it’s all love. Do I miss the Jackie Gillies who used to pound the tequila, dance on tables and inexplicably refer to every man, woman and child as giving her “a real J.Lo vibe”? Absolutely I do, but it’s lovely to see her approach this new stage of life.
Finally this episode, we’re at Kyla’s champagne masterclass. Anjali’s the last to arrive, instantly charming the girls with her outfit and mysterious accent – all except Gamble, who acts exactly the same way she did meeting the new girls last episode, grimacing and rolling her eyes. The woman is literally a Pomeranian – small, tetchy and threatened by intruders.
Now remember, Anjali’s been taking baby steps out of the closet, delicately sharing the news with those closest to her in her own time.
Leave it to Jackie, then, to instantly bellow into Anjali’s face in a room full of people she’s only just met: “HELLO ANJALI, YOU LIKE MEN AND WOMEN, YES? I AM A PSYCHIC MEDIUM, YOU SEE.”
Question: If Jackie’s ‘angels’ told her about Anjali’s sexuality, does that mean when you’re in the afterlife you just sit around gossiping about who you think might be gay? If so, have I been dead this whole time? Is this The Sixth Sense?
Simone cuts through the awkward moment by asking Anjali to name the most famous person she’s interviewed. Brace yourself, because Anjali again stampedes straight from the Dalai Lama to … Kevin Spacey.
Anjali, this simply won’t do. Here, take some of my incredibly impressive celebrity interview name-drops, they’re free for you to use: Rebel Wilson, but in a junket slot so brief that after you open with, “How are you Rebel?” the publicist tells you, “One final question please.” Kylie Minogue, but to promote her Specsavers range, so you have to spend most of the interview asking her about budget spectacles and not why Disco Down wasn’t released as a single.
Kyla starts her champagne masterclass, and it’s clear she takes this all very seriously. She seems perilously close to firing up a PowerPoint presentation – and the ladies look very nervous realising their drinks haven’t even been poured as the lecture drones on:
At one point, Kyla starts brandishing a sword, which can only be interpreted as a threat towards anyone who’s started eyeing the exits. She starts talking about Napoleon Bonaparte – and still, everyone’s glasses remain empty without a waiter in sight. It’s at this point in the evening I’d probably try to wrestle the sword off her and indulge in some light seppuku.
Gamble punctures all the pomposity when drinks are finally flowing, asking Kyla if she can open her beer for her. Yes, Gamble BYO-ed beers to the champagne masterclass.
“I’m really trying not to take offence to this,” says Kyla, and you can tell that she’s failing.
At least now everyone’s getting loose – several champers in, Simone suggests they all play Never Have I Ever, and starts with a big one: “Never have I ever had a threesome.”
“A lady never tells! I’m NOT going to discuss these private situations!” Jackie instantly announces to the group. Jackie you may as well have silently slipped into an oversized t-shirt reading, “YES I HAVE ABSOLUTELY HAD A THREESOME”.
Cherry picks an even better one: “I’ve never had bad thoughts about any of the women here.”
This pot-stirring does the job, as Gamble and Anjali quickly devolve into an argument about some secret scheming Gamble was alleged to have gotten up to before the season started. Much like the SMS drama last episode, it seems some of the biggest scandals this season happened before filming even began.
After Gamble storms off, Anjali fills the other women in: During a meeting before the season started, Gamble told Anjali that Kyla was “up her own arse” and asked if she wanted to “gang up on her” and refer to her on-camera as the “smelly-er” rather than her actual job description of sommelier. Ooh, what a burn – was the CHIMP-agne Dame taken? How about Ky-BLAH? Gamble, of course, denies everything.
“I’m piggy in the middle here, and sometimes books are judged by their cover,” announces Kyla, who it appears is now spouting random cliches for camera time. Ladies please, a stitch in time saves nine!
Bizarrely, Gamble and Anjali abruptly cut short their fight with a hug, agreeing to call a truce – the second time this episode a fiery argument has suddenly ended with a slightly forced apology.
Is this some sort of new Squid Game-style torture tactic by the RHOM producers? Force the women to cut short their arguments and play nice so the resentment can fester inside and bubble up later in the season? That’s sick. It’s twisted. I’m into it.
The Real Housewives of Melbourne airs 8.30pm Sundays on Foxtel’s Arena channel. In the meantime, chat RHOM with recapper Nick Bond – who, for the record, has NEVER MET KEVIN SPACEY – on Twitter at @bondnickbond.
Originally published as Real Housewives of Melbourne episode 2 recap: New girl Anjali comes out as bisexual