“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey is ready to say goodbye to the drama. For real this time, and she’s looking forward to the future.
In September, the model-turned-reality TV star announced she would not be returning to “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” after 11 years on the Bravo reality series.
However, her final appearance as a real housewife will be as part of Peacock’s “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip,” which the streamer released on Monday evening.
“Ultimate Girls Trip” filmed after Bailey’s final season on “Atlanta,” and being invited to join the all-star cast — which includes “New York” housewives Ramona Singer and LuAnn De Lesseps, “Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards, “New Jersey” sisters-in-law Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga, and Bailey’s “Atlanta” castmate Kenya Moore — was an unexpected surprise.
“It wasn’t planned this way,” Bailey told TheWrap’s Lawrence Yee ahead of the “Ultimate Girls Trip” premiere. “I ended up leaving ‘Atlanta’ and going right into ‘Girls Trip.'”
“I said my farewell. And then I started promoting ‘Girls Trip,’ which put me back with ‘Housewives’ again. So I’ve said goodbye. But I haven’t said the big goodbye at this point because I’m still, you know, a housewife. With that said, my experience on the show has been really, really amazing.”
When asked if she would return to “Atlanta,” which during her tenure consistently earned the highest ratings among all the “Housewives” shows, Bailey said, “Right now, the door is closed.”
“The great thing about housewives is they come and go,” she reflected. “They’re friends, they’re housewives again. You know what I’m saying? This thing could just keep going and going and going … I’ve been a consistent peach holder for a long time. I actually just welcome a break, I just need a little break from the drama. I just do.”
There will certainly be lots of drama on “Girls Trip,” with Bailey finding herself in a familiar role: peacemaker.
When Singer calls Moore a “b—” on the flight to Turks and Caicos, Bailey steps in.
“Ramona took off before we took off; the plane was still on the tarmac!” Bailey recalled. “I definitely felt Ramona was going down — as we say on the ‘Atlanta Housewives’ — ‘the wrong road.'”
“I’ve been around for a long time, in this kind of situation,” she continued. “So I was like, you know, what, Day 1, it was fixable. I’m gonna pull my girl back in, give her some advice. I pride myself on being the voice of reason.”
However, Bailey gets into some vacation drama of her own with Moore.
After appearing to side with her “Atlanta” costar when the women insinuate Moore leaked details of their trip to an entertainment reporter, things between them sour.
“The dynamic of the friendship changed after the trip,” Bailey admitted with hesitation. “But we have spoken. We still communicate. However, the dynamic of the friendship definitely changed. But I’ll always have love for Kenya regardless. And, you know, you don’t have to be best friends with people to still love them and support them.”
So what’s next for Bailey after she hangs up her “Housewives” hat?
“I am certainly still going to be on television,” she revealed. “I jumped into acting and I have all these other projects that I’m working on, on camera and off camera. I’m hosting more. I’m just really being able to show you guys some other sides of Cynthia, that you guys don’t always get to see on an ensemble cast show like I’ve been a part of all these years. So that’s exciting for me.”
“Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” is now streaming on Peacock.