Housewives explode: ‘I know a c*** when I see one’
AFTER an explosive season in which we saw racism allegations, weird weight obsessions and a scragfight at a children's birthday party, it's time for the Real Housewives of Melbourne's season four reunion.
There are so many questions to be answered - did Sally really call Gina a wog bitch? Did Lydia ever actually tip that guy who shielded her from the searing Mexican sun with an umbrella all day?
And is Janet officially the world's oldest, drunkest woman, as her castmates continually insist?
First, the best part of every reunion: the Housewives arriving at the Foxtel studios make-up free looking like - gasp! - NORMAL HUMAN PEOPLE.
MY NAME IS JANET ROACH AND I'M AN ALCOHOLIC
"Janet really needs to go see someone about her drinking problem," says Lydia, adopting a tone of sisterly concern. And then: "She is the most disgusting woman I have ever met on this planet." Beautiful words, Lyds.
Let's get down to it. Is Janet an alcoholic? Should this reunion double as an intervention?
"Oh, probably, what can I say. Jesus. I should probably be in rehab, to be honest," she shrugs. Janet you are truly the Meredith Palmer of Real Housewives and we salute your lifelong quest to pickle yourself. Just... lay off the tequila.
We're shown side-by-side shots of Gamble as we hear once more the women's seemingly endless commentary on her weight loss this season - which actually doesn't seem that drastic, given she was a tiny slip of a thing to begin with? Gamble concedes that maybe she did get "a bit too thin … weight comes and goes."
Then there's Lydia, whose slight weight gain between seasons has seen her charitably labelled "CHUBBA-LUBBA-WUBBA-WUBBA" by Janet in a previously unseen master interview.
Asked by Alex if she thinks Lydia is less beautiful when she's heavier, Janet says: "I don't notice that her weight changes."
JANET IT IS LITERALLY ALL YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS SEASON.
The Housewives all talk up their respective ventures - Lydia her cooking classes, Jackie her Shine it Up seminars, Sally her Balinese hotel - each bragging that business is booming thanks to the exposure they've gained from the show.
Then comes this wonderfully sarcastic truth bomb from Gamble, who this year launched her own online store: "I've sold four candles and one handbag. It's an amaaaaazing platform for me."
One venture a certain Housewife would prefer we all forgot about is Gina's regular "Judge Gina' first-person column in NW magazine - a column in which she's repeatedly slagged off Gamble.
"I don't write those columns, darling," she insists.
"I would think that if you had your own column with your own name to it, that you actually wrote that column," Sally counters.
"You would think … but I don't. It's not my column."
PAGING DR BREAUX
Gamble says Gina's a "bully" with "no real friends," again airing her disgust that Gina had labelled her a gold digger behind her back.
But Gina's not budging - she insists that Gamble, and for that matter all the other women here, would only want to be with a man of means. Gamble so wanted someone wealthy, Gina claims, she falsely wrote she had a PHD on her eHarmony dating profile to attract a highly educated, wealthy husband.
Gamble reluctantly admits that yes, that is true.
"I kept getting these idiots … so I kept upping and upping [my education] until Rick popped up."
Let's hope Rick's not watching the reunion, lest he discover his lovely wife isn't actually an astrophysicist.
JANET'S OUT - FOR GOOD?
Janet's had it with Gina this season: "If people really knew the truth about her, she wouldn't have one single fan on this planet, because she is not a nice person."
Mid-argument with her longtime frenemy, Janet decides she's had enough and walks off set for approximately three minutes, venting to the crew as they try to herd her through the bowels of Foxtel HQ like a ballgowned sheep.
"I don't care if she's over me … I'm over her a long time ago," Gina shrugs. "She's like Satan. She's the false accuser of the brethren. She's quite an evil woman."
Host Alex Perry says he's heard talk from behind the scenes that both Jackie and Janet have threatened not to return next year. Indeed, Janet announced in an interview in a recent issue of NW that she felt done with the show after four seasons.
"I don't want to be part of a group of women where I feel like it's fake," says Jackie, glancing pointedly at Venus.
LYDIA'S TOP-SECRET GOSSIP
All season long, Lydia's been trying to drive a wedge between besties Janet and Jackie, insisting vaguely that Janet's not the loyal friend Jackie thinks she is. Over the course of 11 episodes, she's provided no concrete evidence.
Now's the time, Alex tells her. Put up or shut up.
"I actually don't want to tell you," she says, a smirk on her face, explaining that the goss she has would "probably" destroy their friendship. "I will tell Jackie … eventually."
She suggests Janet may not remember her "betrayal" of Jackie because it's tied to her "disgusting" drinking habit, leading Gamble to chip in with this delicious warning: "We all know you have your habits Lydia. I'd suggest you shut up." WHAT ARE HER HABITS? (Apart from mangling the English language, of course).
GINA VS. SALLY: HERE COMES THE BIG ONE
The ugliest feud of the season started when Sally ("Who? Who? WHO?", is how Gina responds when Alex mentions her name) dared call Gina a "bully" during the group's Mexican trip.
Gina accuses Sally of "hunting me down," telling her that "your approach to me is unforgivable. I'M not a bully, YOU'RE the biggest bully I've ever met."
Jackie jumps in: "She is NOT a bully, and you should've been there for her when she lost her husband!"
"I DON'T CARE. IT DOESN'T MATTER," bellows Gina, apparently dismissing the fact that Sally lost her husband of two decades to cancer mere months ago. She never comes off particularly well at these reunions, does she?
Sally throws in a line she's quite clearly been practising in front of the bathroom mirror all season in preparation for this very moment: "I'm no gynacologist, but I know a c**t when I see one, Gina."
Alex Perry is in heaven:
Well, Gina certainly doesn't hold back now:
"YOU'RE the c**t, not me. You're some pleb who's walked in on our platform to launch her brands. You're insignificant. I have nothing more to say to you. I will not work with you, I will not travel with you. You have no education, you are a PLEB. That's why you lived in Bali. And you worked at Harper's Bazaar for THIRTY F**KING SECONDS!"
While the rest of us try and work out the correlation between Sally being a pleb and living in Bali, Jackie's up and crossing the Housewives sofa divide, scolding Gina and demanding she control herself, grabbing her arm like a mum in a supermarket telling off her toddler.
But Sally's grinning from ear to ear, no doubt aware that Gina's only making herself look bad - and all but guaranteeing her another season on the show:
"Stop it. STOP IT. Stop it. Stop it," Jackie says, then takes on a directorial role, telling Alex that he needs to wrap up the reunion now. "I know where this is going, and it needs to stop now."
But Gina's not finished. "Do you know how many people have warned me you're an arsehole?" she yells at Sally. "You're not very well admired. She's foul, she's puuuutrid."
In the end, Gina calms down for long enough to offer some parting words of wisdom.
The problem with this group, she tells Alex, is that everybody assumes the worst of each other. Usually a group of friends cut each other some slack, lean towards smoothing over any arguments and erring on the side of conciliation. With these women, everyone's on high alert for shade and hidden barbs.
Does that mean, Alex asks, she could actually patch things up with Sally?
" ... Nup."
That's that, then.
That's Real Housewives of Melbourne over for another year. Until season five, chat all things RHOM with recapper and putrid pleb Nick Bond on Twitter at @bondnickbond.