Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan are trading in their Manolos for muck boots on their new show, “Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake.”
The Bravo spin-off series, which debuts Sunday, July 9, finds the two “The Real Housewives of New York City” stars trading big city-chic for small-town charm when they travel to Benton, Ill., in an effort to revive the town’s tourism industry.
TheWrap recently caught up with de Lesseps and Morgan to talk all things “Crappie Lake,” including fishing in the waterways, flirting at the watering holes and dealing with the sweltering summer heat.
“We went in with open hearts and open minds,” de Lesseps told TheWrap. “Sonja and I are both globetrotters. And we love adventures. And when they asked us to do the show, you know, we didn’t know what to expect. And we say that often about starting a new season of ‘Housewives.’ It’s like you just never know, right?”
Episode 1 finds the duo “noodlin’” — or catching catfish by hand. The term comes from the practice of wiggling one’s fingers like noodles to bait the fish. Morgan chickened out after a local fisherman revealed he only had four fingers after an accident, but de Lesseps dove in, literally.
“You have to grab them by the jaw and grab them by the tail in order to get them out of these barrels that are on the ground,” the Countess explained. “And I wrestled this catfish to get him out. And I tell you I’m amazed that I even got this thing because they’re so slippery and slimy and gross.”
Morgan was no fish out of water when the duo visited the local bar — The Barn Bar — after fishing.
“You have to go to that [bar] and put your drawers up on the ceiling and grab somebody and make an exit real quick,” Morgan advised. Viewers will also see Morgan flirt with the local firemen and de Lesseps may even have a little rural romance of her own.
“They’re real men,” Morgan replied when asked about how the locals differed from their usual suitors. “I did take inventory in this city as you know. The men down there. Let me just tell you, they know what they’re doing. Some of these metrosexuals that are in New York, I don’t know what it is, some of these guys can’t even get it up! Down there they’re real men.”
Things also heated up with summer temperatures in Benton topping 90 degrees and 90% humidity.
“It was a four-panty day most days!” Morgan revealed.
“It was next-level hot,” de Lesseps added. “And the car they gave us to roll in didn’t have air conditioning. So it was like driving around a tin can!”
Check out TheWrap’s full interview with de Lesseps and Morgan above, and the two-part premiere of “Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake” on Sunday starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.