In one of Ryan Murphy's more bizarre casting choices (of which there have been many), reality star NeNe Leakes has been tapped to play McKinley High School's swim coach, Roz Washington. Yup, she's the one who will whip Sam (Chord Overstreet) into synchronized swimmer shape when Glee Season 3 returns in the new year. For those of you whose jaw didn’t completely drop to the floor at this bit of casting news, then you probably have managed to steer clear of all of the fabulous, outrageous, loquacious, and divalicious behavior that’s made people love (or love to hate) her since first stepping on the scene on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta. So how about you get acquainted...
But first! Introductions: Gleeks, NeNe. NeNe, Gleeks.
OK, so, NeNe is one of the original cast members of Real Housewives of Atlanta, having been on it all four seasons, although she looks very different now from when she started, so you should prepare yourselves if you haven't seen her in a few years. Post-nose job, boob job, 15 pound weight loss, and liposuction. (Will she bring all that glam to McKinley? And can lil’ ol’ Lima handle said glam? Those McKinley High coach uniforms are notoriously UN-flattering.)
NeNe's professional resume includes: stripping (back in the day), an unpaid internship at a local Atlanta news station at the age of 43, and competitor on Celebrity Apprentice. Hilariously, the latter is what "sky-rocketed her to fame." Now, all the other H'Wives refer to NeNe as a "big star." Wait till your Glee day comes, sweetheart.
On Celebrity Apprentice, NeNe infamously got into a massive feud with Star Jones, revolving around something like, how black women disrespect one another and how snooty Star is. Needless to say, if you've ever seen an episode of RHOA, it made for a pretty great on-camera brawl. Star wound up hiring security guards to protect her from NeNe, which, if you’ve seen RHOA... is a good idea.
But, NeNe's rep isn't all trashy bad. She's the celebrity crush of a very desirable A-Lister. The man in question? Anderson Cooper! Yes, NeNe Leakes has a fan in the silver fox. She even drunk-dialed him once from a limo with Bravo exec Andy Cohen. So, you know, those two have quite the rapport.
While we're skeptical of the decision to bring reality stars like Real Housewives into the Glee mix, we're at least grateful Ryan didn't bring one of the "singing" ones onto the show. We're pretty confident NeNe won't do any crooning — unless it’s to convince Murphy to give her more screen time. (Ooh, she’s a charmer, that one!)