TV & Movies

The Real Housewives Of Potomac React To Ashley's Divorce & The Optimal Number Of Candle Wicks

Gizelle, Karen, Ashley, Robyn, Candiace, Wendy, and Mia prove they’re masters of shade.

'The Real Housewives Of Potomac' Cast Break Down The Season 7 Premiere
Paul Gilmore/Bravo

The cherry blossoms are falling, the wine is being poured, and the smell of La’Dame is in the air, which means only one thing: The Real Housewives of Potomac is back. Gizelle Bryant, Ashley Darby, Robyn Dixon, Candiace Dillard-Bassett, Dr. Wendy Osefo, Mia Thornton, and Karen Huger, the self-appointed Grand Dame of Potomac, all return for Season 7 of the Bravo show, which is the first Real Housewives city to have four OG Housewives star in its first seven seasons. And in the super-sized season premiere airing on Oct. 9, the ladies prove why they’ve had such longevity.

This season, the ‘wives find out that Ashley is divorcing her controversial husband Michael Darby, but after learning she still wants to buy a home with him, they’re skeptical of how serious she actually is. On the flip side, Robyn hits another road block in her never-ending love story with fiancé Juan Dixon after clashing on a prenup, making everyone question if they’ll ever get remarried. Candiace is preparing to release the deluxe version of her debut album Deep Space, while Wendy penned a new memoir and might be opening a lounge with Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Peter Thomas.

Gizelle and Karen, meanwhile, surprise viewers by actually getting along. Of course, that can’t be said for everyone, if Mia casually tossing wine at Wendy in the Season 7 trailer is any indication. Read on for the Potomac Housewives’ thoughts on their adversaries this season, RHOP’s legacy, and, most importantly, the ideal number of wicks on a candle.

On Their Most Surprising Allies This Season

Ashley: I think Dr. Wendy and I start forming a true friendship this season, which I didn’t expect.

Wendy: It was Ashley. I was very surprised to build a bond with her.

Karen: One that I really enjoyed is the new friend of the show, Jacqueline. She's smart, she's funny, and she's TV candy.

Candiace: There was a bonding, or a come to Jesus, that I had with Ashley. I was very shocked at the way that it began and the way that it carried on throughout the season.

Robyn: I really enjoyed getting to know Mia better. I think we get to see Mia as a true personality [this season]. With most people’s first season, you're not really getting the full picture of them because they're trying to just fit in.

Gizelle: Mia and I. By the end of the season, I love me some Mia. She's a lot of fun.

Mia: We're so fluid. It depends on the wind. One day we love each other, the next day we don't. That's how it works.

On Their Biggest Adversaries This Season

Gizelle: Probably Candiace. I think that we had an issue with her husband. I explained it. She didn't take it well, and I was actually shocked that she was so upset about the whole thing, because I didn't think it was a big deal.

Candiace: Oh, child, they are all my adversaries at one time or other. I think the obvious answer would be Gizelle, because of the way that she carried on, maligned my husband, and questioned his character. It's very sordid and foul the way that she went about what she did and what she said. I'll let that just play out... I'm just going to sit back, moisturize my body, and be quiet.

Robyn: Wendy and I pretty much did not mesh well the entire season, so that's unfortunate.

Mia: Wendy and I have a love-hate relationship, so probably her.

Wendy: Robyn. She came in with a vendetta, and she absolutely just wanted to have a problem with me for no reason.

Ashley: Chris Bassett does some stuff this season you’ll see that Candiace definitely doesn’t approve of.

Karen: I would say I'm good with all of the ladies, to be honest with you. Old friend? Not so much — but, hey, stay tuned. It's great TV.

On Their Reactions To Ashley’s Divorce

Gizelle: I never want to see a marriage break up, but we've all seen Michael's shenanigans. At the end of the day, I just want Ashley to be happy.

Robyn: We weren't quite sure where she was with that.

Karen: I'm sad for her because I've been through a divorce. It's painful, it's like an amputation of the body part without any type of Novocaine. You just don't do it willy nilly. I want her to be happy, so I put myself in a position just to be there for her. If she wants this divorce, I got you. If you want to fix things up with Michael, I got you.

Candiace: I heard about it on the day that she came over to my house. Actually, production had to get involved, because she wasn't expecting to have to talk about it at that point. She was freaking out. It was a shock to everyone at once.

Mia: I just don't necessarily feel comfortable in that space because I haven't had the opportunity to get to know Michael. I don't want to judge a book by its cover.

Wendy: I'm team marriage. I love love, and I love when people are together. I was definitely stunned, but I want her to be happy and do what's best for her.

Ashley: This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, and we’re still going through it. There’s some roadblocks we haven’t hit yet. But Michael is such a great father, and we’ll always able to come back together somehow. As co-parents, that is.

On If They Listened To Candiace’s Album

Candiace: I really feel like I'm being taken seriously and seen as a real artist. That's the most important thing to me. Deep Space Deluxe is going to give you more R&B realness — it's going to sell you sex, honey, attitude, and sass. I'm really proud of it.

Gizelle: Okay, I'm confused, because isn't this [deluxe album] the same album as before? I haven't heard the first one and I damn sure I didn't hear this one. I know that song, “Drive Back.”

Karen: Not only have I listened to it, I supported it. I bought the whole album. She truly is a very talented singer. This woman has been singing in my ear since France, right? I am so happy that she's pursuing her dreams.

Robyn: I downloaded it on iTunes and I listened to it and I think it's amazing. It's a very mature but hip R&B album. It’s one of those you can just let play in the background and do your work with the computer, and you're vibing and you're jamming. I really was surprised by how good her album is.

Ashley: I’ve listened to a few songs, like “Drive Back.” They’re good, she really is a talented singer. I don’t think her music and “Coffee & Love” are comparable at all. Someone is actually walking down the aisle to “Coffee & Love” this weekend. It’s fun and light-hearted, has a good groove, but Candiace has got soul.

Mia: Okay, so no. And no. Next question.

Will Robyn & Juan Actually Get Married?

Karen: I think that the Dixons are an institution, the institution of not knowing what they want to do. That's okay! Look, if you want to get married, get married. If you don't, don't get married. I am just tired of talking about it. Aren’t you? It's been seven years.

Candiace: I hope that they do, if that's what they want. I have always been an advocate of the Dixons. I always said to Robyn that I admired her for always doing things her way and Juan's way. What works for them works for them.

Mia: I think that Robyn might be too lazy to date, so she's definitely going to get married. Did I say that out loud?

Ashley: I really hope they do. But I’m not holding my breath or waiting for an invitation.

Wendy: I mean, she's been making up different excuse after excuse for why they're not married. At this point, it's like, “Girl, stop lying to us. Just say what it is.”

Gizelle: They're getting married tomorrow, I think [laughs]. I'm sure that they're going to get married, and that's all I can say. I've been sworn to secrecy.

Robyn: The prenup talk was much more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. Any time we have to talk about it's just like, ugh. You almost have to take a few drinks to get that conversation in. It kind of made the thoughts of a wedding, or wedding planning, a little difficult. So we'll just have to see where we end up.

On How The Four OGs Have Lasted So Long

Gizelle: It's called begging Bravo not to get fired. That's what it is. No, to be honest with you, I feel like we have a chemistry that's undeniable, the four of us, and you can't fake that and you need that in order for the show to be successful.

Robyn: I would say my secret is just truly being myself and not filtering myself for the cameras. I don't want to say we don't care about the response, but the negativity that you're going to get inevitably on social media from fans who don't like you for whatever reason — we don't let that change us and dictate what we say and who we're friends with and what we do. I think when you watch all of us, you still see the same person that you saw seven years ago. We're evolving, but we're the same OGs.

Ashley: Is there a secret? I’m not sure. I think it’s just because we live our lives on camera as authentically as possible. These girls are my real friends, we go out and I talk to them all the time. That’s what I would be doing if we weren’t on the show, too.

Karen: The fans have allowed me to just let them see the whole Karen. There's so many layers to me. I don't give it to you all in one feeding, if you will, because I'm a lot, what can I say? My secret to being successful as a Housewife is to continue to evolve and just to be real. The fans aren't dumb — they know when it's a setup and a dry dust bunny is coming in for no reason.

On Their Potomac Legacies

Mia: I hope at the end of the day, people will say, Mia is wild and crazy, but that girl, she will keep it 120% with you guys. If I don't like you, you're going to know it. I don't care if I'm the only person sitting at the table. I don't care about eating alone. I'll eat my salad and drink my martini alone and be just fine. And that's when you are a force to be reckoned with.

Wendy: I hope my legacy will be that, as women, we can be individuals who are serious about our careers and also balance motherhood with that. So often they tell you that you can either be successful or be a mom, and you can't be both. I think that I'm a testament that you can have both, and it's okay to have your four degrees and be a professor and all of those amazing things. But it's also absolutely okay to still have the best title in the world, which is “mommy.”

Candiace: I want my legacy to always be one that shows that authenticity always wins.

On The Optimal Number Of Candle Wicks

Wendy: Honestly, it depends on how big your home is, and that's why Onyi Home Essentials has one wick, but we also have five wicks and seven wicks. I believe that [Karen’s] candle only has three, which doesn't give you options. I give you options.

Karen: I don't think it really takes more than three, darling. I think I've proven that. But I'm not opposed to expansion.

Gizelle: I think three. Three makes it burn better than two. The whole candle thing is actually funny, because the women were given both candles, so I've burned them both and some smell good and some don't. I’m just going to say I'll burn the three-wick candle again.

Ashley: I’m a two-wicker. That’s all I need.

Candiace: Well, I'm a candle person. The more wicks you have, the more of the essence that billows across the room. I have a large home, so for me, seven wicks, nine wicks, 12 wicks, that's advantageous for me.

Mia: You know it’s unlimited, baby. I’ve been waiting for them to top my nine-wick so I can come out with the 20-wick. It’s sitting on the shelf collecting dust so these girls catch up. It’s 450 ounces. It’s a big baby.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.