Kandi:Â I liked the show before I got on it, but I didnât think Iâd be interesting on TV. But being on Bravo, we cross so many age and racial boundaries. Before in the community, people may recognize me, like, âThatâs the girl from Xscape,â and then I would go somewhere else and not be recognized. But now it can be a 70-year-old white grandmother who will be like, âKandi! I love you!â Or some 40-year-old Asian like, âKandi Burruss?â And Iâm like,
âWow, you know my first and last name.â
Tamar:Â There arenât a lot of female African-AmericanÂ shows, better yet about sisters [on television], which I think is very important, not just for the Braxtons butâ¦
Kandi: Thereâs a lot of things about your show that I like. I like the fact that you guys are an entertainment family. I think people love the whole music side of things, being able to see the behind-the-scenes of your careers. I thought thatâs what I brought to HousewivesâAtlanta is a beautiful town and you get to see that, but you get to see that people who are quote, unquote âcelebritiesâ have normal real life issues.
Tamar:Â Kandi, this is the honest to God truth: to this day, I donât see my family as an entertainment family. Weâve been doing this since I was a baby. So until our show aired, I thought we was like every other family!
Kandi:Â You are! Which is why people like the show. A lot of people donât get to see your momma tell you, âIâll slap you down.â [Laughs]
On the flipside, people canât see the producers setting you up. Do you guys ever feel regret?
Chrissy:Â Absolutely. Itâs like, why did I let them get me that angry? Itâs compromising to your soul because I didnât sign up for this, but Iâll be damned if Iâm gonna allow somebody to make a fool of me because the cameras are rolling.
Evelyn:Â I do and [the bottle incident] was one of those things where I was like, âThat was wrong.â The producers of the show could have edited that out but I take full responsibility. I mean, [Kenya] has kids at home.
Evelyn, does your daughter watch the show?
Evelyn:Â Yes, but if you know my daughter, youâll know she doesnât care about any of that. Sheâs very independent. She knows who mom is. And to her, mom is a character on a television show. [My daughter] knows that side of me because sheâs seen both sides. The world hasnât. But I take full responsibility for everything that Iâve done. Itâs all me.
Tamar:Â This is what Iâm sayingâitâs not negative, because she learned from it. The beautiful part about it is that somebody can watch it and not make the same mistake. âCause sometimes when I watch Kandi, I wish I could be more like her. Youâre never like, âPop, pop, pop!â
Kandi:Â It takes a lot not to. The reason why I can be [so drama-free] on my show is that I wasnât friends with [my castmates] before I got on the show. So anything they said didnât matter to me. Tamar, youâre around your family, so you care.
Tamar:Â I mean, this is me, but if you familyâcousin, brother, motherâyou come at me crazy and Iâm gonâ jump at you crazy.
Do any of you see yourselves as role models?
Chrissy:Â I guess if somebody is afraid to speak their mind and wanna stand up for themselves, then yes. I want people to realize that they can have whatever they want. You can be respected in your relationship exactly the way you want to be. Itâs up to you to go get it. Some of the stuff is a little heavy, but youâre not going to be exposed to crazy situations in life just by watching reality TV. You can go to the corner store and see crazy shit going on. You can go to school and see crazy shit. Donât put it all on me.
Kandi:Â You would never imagine how many people come up to me on the street: âHow could you be a part of that? Itâs a disgrace to Black people.â Iâm on a show called Real Housewives and Iâm not married so I guess I represent single mothers out there who are handling their business and trying to take things to the next level. So when people say, âYou shouldnât be on the show, itâs like, âWell, who do you want to go on there? More people you donât like?â
Evelyn:Â As a parent I didnât raise my daughter to look up to somebody on TV as a role model. I want her to look up to her mother, her family as role models. Also, I have nieces who watch the show and love it. So Iâm stuck between a rock and a hard place because Iâm being me but now Iâm coming to the realization that I canât doâ¦ I wouldnât want my nine-year-old watching this, but their parents do. So I said to myself recently, âYoung girls are watching the show. I really need to check myself.â Before reality TV was what it was, I had full control over my daughterâs television because you never know what theyâre showing. Every parent isnât like that. Itâs not for me to judge but weâre talking a lot about sex; sometimes there are sexy scenes. I think itâs a little inappropriate, but regardless, I donât think children should be looking up to reality TV stars as role models.