BravoCon 2019 is officially in the books!
The first-ever Bravo convention took place over three days in New York City this weekend, with the network’s most beloved reality stars, Real Housewives and personalities taking center stage during an exhaustive and lively schedule of events that let their biggest fans get up close and personal for a truly unforgettable experience.
There was the biggest “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” taping ever on Friday night, in which 77 Bravolebrities came out onto the stage, resulting in surprise after surprise in front of a fervent audience that rivaled any sporting event you can imagine. There was the “Real Housewives: OGs Only” panel, during which Kyle Richards did the splits after a dare from a fan. There was Porsha Williams showing up in a wheelchair for the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” panel. There was “Werk Out With Dorinda Medley,” where the “RHONY” star taught aerobics to a ballroom full of super-fans, with surprise guest Andy Cohen.
In addition to plenty of surprises and unexpected breakout moments, there were a slew of major announcements made about Bravo shows: A new “Real Housewives” franchise (Hello, Salt Lake City!), confirmation of a new season of “Summer House,” a pre-screening of the upcoming “Vanderpump Rules” premiere and more.
Of course, it being the first-ever BravoCon, there were a few bumps along the way, like several photo opp meet and greets being cut short (much to convention goers’ chagrin), several fan questions during panels that crossed the line and there being a few Bravolebrities that didn’t engage as much as fans might’ve hoped.
But, overall, BravoCon 20119 was a weekend to remember for all the right reasons, and AOL’s Gibson Johns was on-hand all weekend long to take part in all of the action, so we’ve rounded up all of the most memorable moments, biggest reveals and the best viral clips you may have missed. Check out the list below:
“Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen”
The biggest-ever episode of “WWHL,” which was taped on the first night of BravoCon and aired on the last, was one for the books. The Bravo spectacular, which took place inside Hammerstein Ballroom, took about two hours to film and featured appearances from a whopping 77 Bravolebrities from every “Real Housewives” franchise, “Vanderpump Rules,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Married to Medicine,” “Shahs of Sunset,” and the “Below Deck” franchises.
Inside the taping, the atmosphere was positively electric, with Bravo super-fans treating the coming together of their favorite reality stars as their de facto Super Bowl. In the audience was “Queer Eye” star Antoni Porowski, who was all smiles the entire time as Andy Cohen led the night through a series of wild surprises.
There was his duet performance of “Don’t Be Tardy” with Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Tom Sandoval showing up in drag and “RHONY” star Tinsley Mortimer wearing the same dress as “Married to Medicine” star Toya Bush-Harris. “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Fredrik Eklund planted a steamy kiss on Andy at the very end of the show that left the host — and the rest of the stars onstage — gobsmacked.
But perhaps the best moment of the night was when they played “Squash That Beef,” in which stars from different shows were forced to work out their differences in front of the live audience. “RHONY” star Ramona Singer hilariously had to work through her beef with three fellow Bravo stars — “RHOP” star Gizelle Bryant, “RHONJ” star Dolores Catania and “RHOC” star Vicki Gunvalson — and let’s just say that they didn’t squash all of their beef.
Other tidbits from the night? Teresa Giudice’s table-flipping entrance, Tamra Judge stage diving at the end of the taping, Kim Richards awkwardly mending fences with Lisa Rinna by inviting her to her family’s holiday party and both Lisa Vanderpump and Caroline Manzo leaving the stage before their respective former “Real Housewives” casts were introduced, seemingly to avoid any run-ins with them.
Announcements galore all weekend long
Bravo wasn’t kidding when they said there were going to be a bunch of big reveals all weekend long. Between a new “Real Housewives” franchise, a new “RHONY” star, confirming new seasons of fan-favorite shows and more, there were a lot of announcements to keep track of throughout all three days of BravoCon, so we’ve rounded them all up here for you:
- “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” to become the network’s tenth city! More info here.
- Leah McSweeney was confirmed as the newest star of “The Real Housewives of New York City.“ The news was shared during the “WWHL” taping when Luann de Lesseps brought her out onstage.
- “Vanderpump Rules” star Stassi Schroeder gets her own digital spinoff series, “Basically Stassi,” the first four episodes of which are available on BravoTV.com. She made the announcement alongside fiancé Beau Clark during their panel event on Sunday.
- “Summer House” is coming back! During a meet-and-greet event with fans on Saturday, the cast not only confirmed that their Hamptons-centric show is returning for a fourth season (mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 5!), but they also unveiled the wild trailer for the season that includes new roommates Luke Gulbranson and Jules Daoud, as well as what looks like a hookup between Lindsay Hubbard and Carl Radke.
- Season 17 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” was also announced, and it’ll be another All Stars season! 15 frontrunners and fan-favorites from seasons past will compete ini Los Angeles, with the season set to air in spring 2020.
The “Real Housewives” museum
The highly-anticipated mecca of “Real Housewives” props, reunion dresses and more lived up to the hype. Among the items on display? The bunny that Kim Richards famously returned to Lisa Rinna on “RHOBH,” medium Allison DuBois’ e-cigarette, Cynthia Bailey and NeNe Leakes’ burnt friendship contract, fish from Dorinda Medley’s Fish Room and Kenya Moore’s “Gone With the Wind fabulous” dress.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Peach Tea Sip and See panel
BuzzFeed’s Sylvia Obell hosted a lively panel with “RHOA” stars Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams and Eva Marcille on Saturday afternoon, making for one of the best events of the weekend.
In addition to a slew of shade being thrown left and right, some of our favorite moments from the sit-down were lighthearted ones that resulted in viral clips: There was Porsha being wheeled onto the stage in a wheelchair, after having undergone “extensive foot surgery,” and the crowd went absolutely wild at her unexpected entrance. Wearing a gold Versace belt, black dress and a coat draped over her shoulders, Porsha could not have been more fabulous.
Another fun moment from the event was when a fan dared Cynthia to show off her self-proclaimed “improved” twerking skills for the audience, and she happily obliged:
The OG “Real Housewives” stars brought it all weekend long
Between the Bravo All Stars: OG Housewives Edition panel that kicked off the weekend featuring Caroline Manzo, Jill Zarin, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Jeana Keough, Kim Richards and Adrienne Maloof, and the Real Housewives: OGs Only panel on Saturday featuring Kyle Richards, Vicki Gunvalson, Teresa Giudice and Luann de Lesseps, the franchises’ original stars proved they were the stars of the weekend by gamely interacting with fans, answering the tough questions and pulling stunts that left an indelible mark on the weekend.
During the All Stars panel, one fan brought ham slices and dared Caroline to through them at him — and she did!
On the OG’s Only panel, Kyle was dared by a fan during the audience Q&A to do the splits, and she quickly took off her heels and did it right in the middle of the stage. The crowd-pleasing moment left moderator Andy Cohen stunned:
Teresa was in a fantastic mood all weekend, noticeably lighter following her family’s trip to Italy to see husband Joe Giudice after his release from ICE custody. To kick off the lively Stir The Pot with Teresa and Dolores event on Sunday morning (moderated by AOL’s Gibson Johns), Teresa and Dolores popped champagne and gave the front row a champagne shower they’ll never forget.
Vicki was also seemingly on a mission during BravoCon to campaign for a spot back on the “RHOC” cast as a full-time cast member. During the OGs Only panel, she declared that she’s “never coming back reduced again,” and got the crowd going more than once to support her campaign.
Andy Cohen had the most fun out of everyone all weekend long.
The “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” host, who serves as an executive producer on all “Real Housewives” shows, seemed to have the time of his life at BravoCon. Between hosting the OG panels, multiple Ask Andy events and the supersized “WWHL” episode (that left him hoarse the next morning!), Andy was the king of the weekend — and rightfully so.
But it was his appearance during the Werk Out With Dorinda Medley event, during which he did “Dorobics” onstage in front of a ballroom full of Bravo super-fans, that Andy fully let loose on the third day of the convention. Footage from the event, for which Andy wore uber-short black shorts and sweatbands, quickly made the rounds on social media.
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” panel produces viral moments, but still leaves fans wanting more.
It was clear that, by day three of BravoCon, the ladies of 90210 weren’t willing to engage in quite the way that fans wanted them to. Throughout the hour-long Sunday event, Lisa Rinna, Teddi Mellencamp, Erika Jayne, Denise Richards and Dorit Kemsley (Kyle Richards left BravoCon early), routinely answered questions about the upcoming season with, “You’ll just have to wait and see!” which prompted eye-rolls and annoyed murmuring from the packed house at Hammerstein Ballroom.
The cast was also visibly frustrated by fan questions about former cast member Lisa Vanderpump, barely answering them and looking to moderator Brice Sander, of ET Online, to shut them down.
That being said, there were two extremely fun moments that came out of the event: Erika Jayne taught the crowd how to do her iconic dance move, “pat the puss,” and Lisa Rinna got the crowd and her cast mates (well, not Denise!) to get up and dance like they were at Andy Cohen’s infamous baby shower.
BravoCon was an incredible fan experience, but some fans took it too far.
At its core, BravoCon was all about the fans: There were limitless photo opportunities for fans to meet their favorite Bravo stars at the Union West venue, but also following almost every single panel event throughout the weekend. While several got cut short due to timing and scheduling issues (pretty understandable, considering how much was going on all weekend long), fans were still elated at all of the chances they got to meet the people who grace their television screens every week.
Also at each panel, fans could line up to ask questions from the audience, which resulted in some great tea-spilling moments, but also some uncomfortable ones when several fans used their moments at the mic as an opportunity to cross the line.
During the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” panel, one fan called Jackie Goldschneider as a “total fan girl” of cast mate Teresa Giudice and asked why she was “so pretentious.”
A similar moment happened during the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” panel, when a fan accused Dorit Kemsley of faking her accent, saying, “Dorit, when do you decide that your real accent comes out? Like, is there an iPhone alarm?” The “RHOBH” star asked the fan what her name was and then encouraged her co-stars to answer the question for her, at which point they stepped in to defend her.
“Are you glad you asked it?” Lisa Rinna asked the embarrassed fan.
Countess Luann’s cabaret show closed out the weekend on an uneven note.
The “Real Housewives of New York City” star’s #CountessAndFriends show was the top-billed event on Sunday night, and a packed (but somewhat exhausted) house of fans eagerly awaited the show, which was set to start at 8:30. Luann didn’t hit the stage until 9:30 — an hour after her call time — and took the stage to a ballroom full of angered fans who were annoyed she left them waiting for so long.
At one point, during the fan Q&A, someone asked her why she was “so f–king late,” after which she said she “hates being late” but was told her call time was 9:00 PM, not 8:30 PM as advertised.
While there were indeed highlights to the show (there’s no denying how fan it is to dance to “Money Can’t Buy You Class” in a room full of Bravo fans!), Luann never fully recaptured the crowd’s attention, with many fans leaving before her performance ended.
BravoCon 2019 made the case for BravoCon 2020, BravoCon 2021, BravoCon 2022…
Despite a few inconsequential hiccups here and there, the first-ever BravoCon was a roaring success. The fan-driven, three-day extravaganza was the perfect event for super-fans of Bravo, which has cultivated a passionate fanbase around its reality programming for over a decade.
There were countless moments of strangers becoming friends throughout the weekend, bonding over their shared love of Bravo, getting to meet their favorite stars and ask them questions and truly get a front-row seat to an action-packed weekend catered to them. And, really, that’s what a fan convention is all about.
It certainly all happened at BravoCon 2019, and we can’t wait to watch what happens live next year.
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