The ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Finale Goes Nuclear Over Kyle Richards’ Separation

Nicole Weingart/Bravo
Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Kyle Richards’ life is slowly falling apart around her, so naturally, she does what any other socialite would: throw an extravagant party. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finale documents the return of Kyle’s classic white party, with a halftime show provided by none other than Erika Jayne.

They were all so happy that day. They had no idea just how terrible things would soon become. But, let’s start at the beginning.

Kyle prepares the party with special asset Kevin Lee, who you may remember as Lisa Vanderpump’s go-to party planner. Having the feuding queens of Beverly Hills on retainer has to pay well, in both monetary means and good gossip.

Meanwhile, Sutton Stracke has welcomed her daughter Porter home with a trip to look at some jewelry. She casually buys her daughter $68,000 earrings, reminding us once again Sutton is filthy rich. Please, Sutton, take me out to go buy something, too. I would love to hear more about your boyfriend Santos! I personally think we should all date horses. No judgment here. DM for Venmo.

The scene gets serious when Sutton tears up, proud of how far she’s come since her divorce. She wants Porter to keep her independence—something she will surely have financially, at least. Porter is so soft-spoken I genuinely couldn’t tell if she was wearing a mic at first, but there’s a lot of Sutton in her. With Sutton’s son James now living full-time at home, maybe we’ll get more Stracke family filming next year.

And we’re back to the party. Fun fact: the only women who got solo scenes in this finale are Sutton and Kyle. Now, make of that what you will, but my takeaway is the other women had no storyline and need to step it up next year.

Kyle is welcomed at the stadium with a gigantic KYLE on the stage, something she pretends she doesn’t want. Why doesn’t Kevin Lee get that? Oh, maybe because he works for self-centered Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle says, followed by the ghostly voice of Empress Vanderpump. Kyle’s white party has awakened this grand entity. I guess I spoke too soon when I said her spirit has faded.

Photo still of Dorit Kemsley and Kyle Richards.

Dorit Kemsley and Kyle Richards

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Dorit has to attend the party solo, as PK is still in London. She’s slow-trickling some marital strife, and rumors the couple have split aren’t exactly being swatted away by their scenes together. Would Dorit really shoot confessionals admitting her worry for the future if she wasn’t trying to get ahead of an inevitable separation? She’s not exactly the mother of transparency. And RHOBH is all about media training, knowing what to say and, more importantly, when to say it.

Perhaps Dorit is dangling this carrot in front of the producers to save her tenuous spot on the show. And, I’ll admit it’s kind of working. Your move, Crystal.

The ladies all arrive at the stadium in variations of white—with the exception of guest Denise Richards, who pops on a pink coat. The stadium looks spectacular, and hiring cheerleaders to welcome guests is a nice touch. Kyle knows how to throw a party. Her $400,000 is on full-display.

The Richards ladies make their grand entrance, and they’re slaying, according to Mauricio. Who taught him that word? Kyle approaches Jeff Lewis, former Bravolebrity and resident pot stirrer, to shut down rumors she’s on Ozempic. There you have it, folks, Kyle has addressed the Ozempic rumors. That makes this the second Bravo show to address the weight loss sensation, after Vanderpump Rules.

Sutton and Garcelle catch up, and Sutton shares that she won’t be going on a third date with Steve, the man she went out with last episode. And she’s throwing in the towel, too, bidding farewell to matchmaker Allesandra. So long, Allesandra. I hope you get to lead a Millionaire Matchmaker reboot.

Backstage, Erika and her prayer warriors embrace, eagerly awaiting the comeback of Erika Jayne after a four-year hiatus. Apparently, the only place Erika is ever happy is on stage. Who knew? Without further ado, Kyle welcomes the return of Ms. Jayne with none other than her hit “XXPEN$IVE.”

‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Cast Power Ranking

“If it does not go right tonight, my God, the buzz, the momentum comes to a screeching halt,” Erika says in a confessional. “The pressure’s on.”

There’s something beautiful about Erika treating this like a real-life halftime show, as if there are any stakes. Erika, you have a built-in gaggle of gays who will show up to your Vegas residency, both ironically and excitedly. You don’t have anything to worry about.

The truth is, “XXPEN$IVE” is a kind of great song. It’s exactly the frilly club bop it sets out to be, and a lipsyncing glambot like Erika is the perfect artist for the track. Dorit admits that Erika’s truly a showman, a callback to the premiere and their BravoCon 2022 feud. I love a good full-circle moment.

Photo still of Erika Jayne in the RHOBH finale.

Erika Jayne

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

And oh, what’s that? The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finale music? But, we still have half the episode left, don’t we? Yes, and it’s all dedicated to Kyle’s separation, as cameras picked back up last summer to document the fallout.

There’s another fallout worth mentioning, and that’s between Kyle and Dorit. Dorit’s end-card update says the two haven’t spoken since December, and the reunion trailer promises a vitriolic feud between the former besties. Just when Dorit’s diamond was due for a harsh reappraisal, she’s thrown a Hail Mary to save her spot. Conversely, this means her only ally left is Erika, who seems to be team Kyle, so Dorit might’ve written herself off the show. Stay tuned.

Annemarie also does get an end-card, which at least places her above Jennie Nguyen, who was so fired by the time the Season 2 Real Housewives of Salt Lake City finale aired that she didn’t even get a little update. Congrats, girl!

And here we are. A time-stamp comes on screen to welcome us to July 23, 2023 (which is a typo, considering the article that pops up right after is dated July 3). Copy editors matter.

The women are all shocked by the news of Kyle’s separation, and some feel bamboozled. Even Crystal’s husband Rob pops in with a theory: Morgan Wade leaked the news. I love this theory, and I hope it’s true. He really is a storyteller. Meanwhile, Sutton is completely pissed.

“I think the truth is Kyle has known about problems in her marriage leading up to this. We’ve got a missing wedding band, we’ve got exercising a lot, we’ve got no drinking, we’ve got tattoos. And I’m asking questions, and I’m getting in trouble,” Sutton says to Garcelle. “I think Kyle was lying to us this whole time.”

This is cinematic, and after months of calm between the ladies, their feud is set to explode. Sutton vs. Kyle is proving to be a worthy feud, and the two rightfully scored themselves the most prominent reunion seats.

‘RHOBH’ Recap: Erika Forces an Apology, While Kyle Hurtles Toward Divorce

Over at Kyle’s house, we finally hear the truth from her lips. At least, her version of it. Erika comes to visit and offer support, a role that would’ve been Dorit’s just a year ago. Erika’s apologetic that she didn’t sense their problems earlier, although Sutton did sniff those issues out and was swiftly shut down. So, it looks like you can’t really win. I guess she could’ve approached her kindly off-camera, but that’s boring. Why is no one throwing a glass of water at Kyle and asking her about her lesbian relationship? Married to Medicine did it superbly.

Kyle feels there was nothing to share, though. No one cheated (according to her) and nothing major happened; they just grew apart. And Mauricio would rather pretend all is hunky dory than admit that, she says. Erika gives a shockingly good pep talk. Maybe she was the right lady to ask for this, as even I feel inspired to move on with my daughters and life post-divorce and I’m 24.

Photo still of Sutton Stracke, Garcelle Beauvais, and Denise Richards

Sutton Stracke, Garcelle Beauvais, and Denise Richards

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Finally, we get the scene Netflix rudely scooped with their own rendition: the Richards family summit. It’s been a week since the People article was published, and Kyle and Mauricio want to clear things up. The family were all together in Aspen when the news was published, and apparently it wasn’t a planned article. Mauricio wants to know who leaked it, although Kyle’s not focused on that. Maybe Rob’s right about Morgan.

Kyle and Mauricio haven’t officially discussed divorce, but they have no current plans to get back together. Friction arises when Kyle mentions they want to continue living together, as Mauricio isn’t entirely sure, but the family maintain their semi-united front.

It’s hard to watch Portia bawl her eyes out, and it’s a bleak ending to an otherwise upbeat season. Post-season, Mauricio’s Dancing With the Stars stint led to some dating rumors between him and his partner. And a cringey night out in Aspen with singer Annita, along with Kyle’s continued dalliance with Morgan, suggests things could get very messy.

‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Kyle Admits Her Marriage Won’t Survive

But we don’t have to wait long for a mess, as the reunion looks surprisingly scintillating. With Kyle v.s Dorit in the wings, along with the blowup between Kyle and Sutton, it’s looking like Kyle’s in the hot seat. Though, it’s Sutton who might have the toughest night, facing a medical emergency in the presence of Kathy Hilton. The rumors really were true.

And with that, we conclude another season. It hasn’t been the most amazing, but the table is set for a fascinating reunion and what should be an even stronger Season 14 if production follows the right threads. Annemarie, it has been somewhat nice knowing you, and I hope you get at least one big moment in the reunion for your sake, but it’s time to go job hunting.

As for Crystal and Dorit, there’s only room for one going further. Let’s see who delivers more at the reunion.

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