The 'RHOA' Reunion Is up in the Air Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many people have been finding solace with television in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, from binge-watching all eight episodes of Tiger King to downloading Quibi to catching up on Bravo marathons.
With production for top shows on hold until the pandemic is further under control, seasons of shows like Grey's Anatomy and Empire had fewer episodes, and viewers will see further changes to their favorite shows in the coming months too.
Season 12 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is coming to an end on April 19 with a final showdown for the ladies at Kandi Burruss's baby shower for daughter Blaze. While the entire season was filmed months before the shutdown, the reunion specials were not.
Because the reunion is crucial to giving fans closure about their favorite storylines from the season, any Housewives franchise would feel incomplete without one.
Will there be a RHOA reunion? Find out what Housewives Executive Producer and reunion host Andy Cohen said about the status of the reunion.
Will there be a 'RHOA' reunion? One wasn't filmed before the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-to-three part reunion specials for Housewives are generally recorded several weeks before the finale airs, so viewers can send in their questions about the season as it unfolds. While this is usually helpful for making sure that the statuses of feuds and mended friendships are as up-to-date as possible, in the case of RHOA, it means that nothing was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic resulted in self-quarantine.
It was originally reported in March that the reunion taping was delayed, but once it became clear that people would be on lockdown for the foreseeable future, there was a shift in thinking.
Plus, with host Andy Cohen's own battle with the coronavirus, it was evident that there would need to be a change if a reunion was to take place close to the end of the season.
Andy confirmed on April 6 during his Sirius XM radio show, Radio Andy, that the ladies would sit down remotely to film the reunion.
"This is obviously not how we would prefer to do, it but life is not how we prefer it right now. 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," he said on his show.
He explained that RHOA is one of the most popular Housewives franchises, and that he was disappointed that the Season 12 reunion would be taking place over a video call.
"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," he continued. "And the fact of the matter is, it’s either we do it this way or there is no Super Bowl this year."
The entire Season 12 cast, which includes Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes, Porsha Williams, Eva Marcille, Cynthia Bailey, and Kenya Moore, will be present during the remote reunion. The Season 12 "friends" will also call in, which includes Marlo Hampton and Tanya Sam.
Since Snakegate was a big storyline in the beginning of Season 12, there's a chance that Yovanna Momplaisir will also call in at some point during the reunion.
When will the 'RHOA' reunion air?
Now that there is some clarity on what the Season 12 reunion will look like, fans are dying to know when it will be airing on TV. Unfortunately, there is not a lot that is known about the reunion, aside from the fact that the entire cast will be present for it.
On his radio show, Andy did not confirm whether the reunion would take place in multiple parts like it normally does, or if a formal reunion would follow once the country gets back to a state of normalcy. He also did not confirm when the reunion would debut. Typically, the reunions begin one week after the finale, and if that happens for Season 12, then the reunion would debut on April 26.
One point of contention on the virtual reunion might actually be between the ladies and Andy himself. A source exclusively told Hollywood Life that the Season 12 cast was not happy that the reunion would be virtual.
"When the ladies found out that [Bravo] made the decision to do the reunion online, they were not happy about it and they tried to talk them out of it. But it was too late at that point. They already made up their minds, and the virtual reunion is moving forward," the source exclusively told the outlet.
Let's just hope that the RHOA women decide to still wear their ball gowns for the virtual reunion.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.