The Real Housewives of Atlanta season 12 reunion will be one for the history books.
For the first time ever, the annual episodes will be filmed remotely, with Bravo bringing the hit franchise’s cast back together via video feed from their homes as all self-isolate amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reunion moderator Andy Cohen, who is now on the other side of his own battle with coronavirus, announced the news on Monday’s episode of his SiriusXM show, Andy Cohen Live. The reunion had previously been scheduled to film in late March in person, but it was postponed as all non-essential work was cancelled.
“Listen, this is obviously not how we would prefer to do, it but life is not how we prefer it right now,” Cohen said. “We want to be in the same room, but we cannot risk the health and safety of our Housewives and our incredible crew in Georgia.”
“Atlanta is regarded by many as the Super Bowl of reunion shows. It is one of my favorite reunions to shoot, I look forward to it. And the fact of the matter is, it’s either we do it this way or there is no Super Bowl this year,” Cohen said.
He stressed how important it is to have the reunion, so that the show can move on to season 13.
“We need to reset the table with the ladies in Atlanta,” Cohen said. “If we wait for this pandemic to be over for when we all are in the same room, it’s going to delay everything. We need to move forward. We need to live in reality right now, and reality right now is if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this virtually.”
According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been at least 15,076 confirmed cases of the virus and 349 deaths in California, as of Monday. Across the country, those tallies are 336, 776 and 9,600, respectively.
Bravo Media/ Tommy Garcia Porsha Williams, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, NeNe Leakes, Eva Marcille and Cynthia Bailey
It’s unclear when the reunion will actually air, or how many installments there will be. The season 12 finale is scheduled for April 19. Typically, the reunion begins airing the following week, for at least three weeks.
What is clear is that there’s plenty of ground to cover — especially for Leakes, who told PEOPLE in early March that she’s looking forward to confronting her ongoing issues with Moore, Bailey, Burruss and Marcille.
“These girls … they’re gonna get it, let me tell you,” said Leakes, 52. “This isn’t a threat, it’s a promise.”
“And I’m going to be beat from head to toe while I do it, sitting there with a full face, wig, dress, high heels this tall, looking fabulous, and tearing the house down,” she added. “I’m going to get these girls and do it very good and walk right on out and sleep just fine. Is my money in my account? Thank you. The queen is here, you can never wear the crown. They’re all wearing tiaras.”
That’s a very different stance from the docile performance Leakes gave at the season 11 reunion.
“I was emotionally done then,” she recalled. “I had just, hours before, seen footage of my best friend [Bailey] betraying me. I couldn’t but put two sentences together, I was so upset. I just totally shut down. It was like I wasn’t even there.”
“That is not going to happen again,” Leakes stressed this time. “All season long, these girls have had one nasty thing after the other to say about me. They have sat in their interviews and just literally tried to roast me. All of them! And you really expect me not to say anything back? Do you really think I’m that girl? I laid low for a bit, but now, I’m coming for your wig. You’re never going to talk to me and think you’re not going to get it back.”
Since then, Leakes and Marcille have been trading barbs on social media, with Marcille promising on Friday’s Dish Nation that she would be coming for Leakes as well. “This reunion is going to be lit,” she said. “Glue your wig all the way down, sweetheart. Because it is going down.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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