Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Vicki Gunvalson in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

The Real Housewives of Orange County left on a cliffhanger the last episode: Did Slade really dress as Billy Ray Cyrus to an ‘80s party? No! “Achy Breaky Heart” was recorded in 1991 and climbed the charts in 1992. Not okay, Slade. Anyway, in Season 7, Episode 6, the ladies are still at the Bunco party. Tamra lets in some “’80s strippers,” a.k.a., (most of) the husbands and boyfriends. Ricky, who has two-toned hair and attitude about Slade, isn’t impressed by the entertainment. Alexis is miffed because her hubby, Jim, hasn’t been asked to don a bad wig and MC Hammer pants. It’s possible Heather wishes her plastic surgeon husband had also been left off the guest list. “Terry looked hideous,” she says to the camera.

Almost immediately, Slade hears that Ricky didn’t like his standup act from a few episodes back. According to Slade, the rest of the 300-member audience thought it was “very, very funny.” It’s possible the majority of the Bravo audience disagrees with him. Instead of confronting Slade, Vicki decides it’s more important to go see her daughter, Briana, who is having a serious surgery in a couple days. Good for you, Vick! Take your mesh top and teased hair and get out of the melee.

As Gretchen defends herself for not stopping Slade’s routine (it would’ve been rude to call him a “piece of s**t” while standing stage left), Vicki paces outside. Vicki, you’re in danger, girl. Just walk away. Slade repeats his “it’s in the news” defense (yes, we think it was The New York Times who first referred to Vicki as Miss Piggy); his target walks back into the room. No, Vicki! In the whole history of the Housewives, walking back in has never worked. (See Taylor Armstrong and the Tea Party From Hell.)

For her opening remarks, Vicki uses the Milhouse defense (“My mom says I’m cool”), and things deteriorate from there. Slade, Gretchen, and Vicki all trade remarks about who has and hasn’t paid child support — both Slade and Vicki’s boyfriend, Brooks, have been accused of being deadbeat dads. In a banshee wail, Vicki shrieks, “You’re not a mother!” at Gretchen, then pauses to air-kiss a shell-shocked Terry and Heather. Tamra escorts Vicki outside.

In a Zen-like mantra, Tamra tells Vicki, “I am removed from this. Why? Because I choose to be.” Slade also said nasty things about Tamra, but she couldn’t disinvite him from Bunco! Meanwhile, Gretchen, Slade, and Alexis are revisiting Vicki’s past hypocritical comments inside. This time, Vicki actually does leave to see her daughter.

Heather is amazing. Can we have reaction shots of Heather anytime anything goes down? She tells the camera she was “perturbed” about the incident between Vicki and Slade — especially because it took place on a school night! Tamra puts the kibosh on anymore drama, even thought Gretchen isn’t sure if Vicki and Slade will ever put their differences aside.

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Heather Dubrow in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

A lack of drama isn’t in the Bunco dice. Heather, Terry, Gretchen, and Tamra sit together. The lades discuss plastic surgery, as O.C. ladies are wont to do. Gretchen mentions, “Lex is going in for surgery next week” to repair her sinus problems, but Tamra thinks it’s all about the bump on Alexis’s nose. (In actuality, Alexis is getting both procedures done at the same time. A plastic surgery double header, if you will.) Dr. Terry weighs in with his professional opinion: sinuses have nothing to do with the nose.

From a table away, Alexis overhears the conversation. “I know the sinuses are over here, Doc,” she snaps at Terry, who seems genuinely surprised that the object of their ridicule is in the same room as them. It turns out, he had no idea that “Lex” and Alexis are the same person, but the rhinoplasty patient isn’t buying it. Dr. Terry has plausible deniability, in our opinion. He probably had no idea the ladies would talk about someone who was sitting only a few feet away.

Tamra is still skeptical that Alexis needs a nose job for medical reasons, and the latter offers to hock up a loogie as proof. Evidently, her morning routine involves brushing, flossing, and pulling strings of phlegm out of her mouth. Alexis then goes on to testify to God and everyone about the extent of her plastic surgery: “I had my boobies done. That’s the only surgery. I swear to the Lord-y.” In the spirit of honesty, Tamra tells Alexis to embrace her nose job: “I kinda think your nose is kinda big,” Tamra says. Well, at least we know Tamra will talk about Alexis not only behind her back but also right to her face.

Later, Alexis gets a little teary because Gretchen didn’t stick up for her. “I’m not Peggy,” Gretchen tells the camera. “I didn’t sleep with your husband 10 years ago and not tell you about it.” This is of course evidence that Gretchen has Alexis’s back.

Heather is too much of a lady to bash Alexis to her face. Behind her back on the other hand... “Can you get a brain lift,” she says, asking her husband for his medical advice. Apparently, the couple isn’t impressed with news anchor Alexis’s smarts. “She didn’t understand,” Heather tells Terry. “That seems to be a recurring theme.”

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Gretchen Rossi in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

Outside the party, Slade is trying to corral Alexis into the limo. She and Gretchen are laying down the rules of their friendship. Instead of kicking someone under the table for the mean things they’re saying, tell them out loud that they should shut up. Let your friends stay out of a fight if you’ve been neutral in an earlier disagreement. It seems very complicated, and Gretchen just wants Alexis to drop it. In other news, we’re jealous of how Gretchen looks in her hot pink leg warmers.

Vicki’s ex-husband Donn goes to visit his stepdaughter Briana. Even though he’s no longer living with Vicki, he’s still trying to stay involved in the kids’ lives. The two discuss Briana’s upcoming surgery over a beer. “I’m trying to drown my sorrows,” she jokes. The whole situation is a little awkward, but also very sweet.

The day after the Bunco, Gretchen’s throat is sore from screaming her defense of Slade at Vicki. According to Gretchen’s inbox, Vicki wasn’t done fighting. Gretchen reads Slade the text messages as they drive to an undisclosed location. “I won’t tolerate dishing it to me about someone I am dating,” reads one. The couple marvels at her hypocrisy. Brooks went to jail for not paying child support, Gretchen reminds Slade for the 30th time. “She really does have f***ing nothing but cotton stuffing up there for brains,” Slade says.

Alexis gets some dresses from her line FedExed to her home and tries them on for Jim. Next.

Tamra visits Vicki at work. While Vicki admits she may have provoked Slade, she thinks Gretchen needs a vocabulary book because she doesn’t understand what a hypocrite is. As Tamra points out later, maybe V is the one who’s confused. “Gretchen’s got a point: Vicki’s dating a guy that went to jail for the same thing that she’s accusing Slade of,” she tells the camera. Gotta side with Tam on this one. In the end, Gretchen says she’s embarrassed for screaming at Gretchen and that they both need to apologize.

In Dr. Niccole’s office, Alexis is afraid to have her face cut open. Jim prays over her, but his backwards hat and hoodie kind of ruin the effect for us.

Vicki’s daughter is also preparing for surgery, though hers is a thyroid removal. Frankly, it’s impressive how calm Briana is as Vicki stresses about everything and says, “I don’t think I can get through this.” Which one is the parent again? “Nothing is ever about me or anybody else when it comes to my mom,” Briana says later. This nurse needs to teach her mother some beside manner because, “I feel like I’m driving into heaven” is not a good thing to say to someone who’s about to undergo surgery, no matter how halo-y the streetlamps are. The episode ends with Vicki saying she’s worried Briana has thyroid cancer and lymphoma.

Next week, we get to watch (and hear) Dr. Niccole break Alexis’s nose. 


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