Rating all 16 of the Real Housewives singles!

TelevisionBytes with NineDaves

Somewhere along the way, starring in a Real Housewives show meant you were automatically given license to be a singer. On every series except for Beverly Hills, at least one housewife has released a song (and you know Kim Richards is a few drinks away from trying one herself). So many songs have come out of the franchise by now, Bravo could release their own Now That’s What I Called Music volume. So, hot on the heels of the latest single from Real Housewives of New York City fave Countess LuAnn, let’s revisit the bunch and rate all the singles out there. After you clean the blood out of your headphones, hit the comments section up and let me know if you agree.

#16: “I Am Real”

Simon van Kempen – The Real Housewives of New York City

When you think about all the songs coming down the line, it has to be embarrassing to drop the absolute worst of all. But then again, Simon van Kempen, husband of Real Housewives of New York City’s Alex McCord, doesn’t mind being embarrassed. With his infamous red leather pants in tow, he sings “I Am Real” – an anthem of self-reliance, vanity, and all-around tackiness. “I am real / I ain’t going to change,” Simon explains in the song’s chorus, as if everyone out there demanded him to prove his authenticity. “Love me or hate me / I don’t give a damn.” Um… okay? Awful lyrics, generic techno backbeat, and off-pitch singing aside, the main problem with Simon’s song is its very subject. No one gives a shit about him in the first place, making his cry for attention self-worth all the more annoying.

#15: “Bump It”

Michaele Salahi – The Real Housewives of D.C.

Coming in at a close second-to-last (and I mean photo finish here) is The Real Housewives of D.C. star and infamous White House party crasher Michaele Salahi with her moronic entry into the music game, “Bump It.” If we learned one thing from RHODC, it’s that Michaele is desperate for her 15 minutes of fame. So it’s no wonder that long after her show was cancelled and the party-crasher drama died down, she’d release a single. And just like Michaele herself, everything about “Bump It” screams “trying to hard.” From the police sirens that open the song, to the lyrics (“Like, I’m so hot and you’re so not”), to the background dancers, to the awful R. J. Starr throwing rhymes in for no apparent reason – it’s all just one big hot mess. Halfway through the performance, you can see Salahi giving up – finally reaching that moment of clarity where even she realizes this is a bad idea. I can almost imagine her inner monologue at that very moment: “Wait, how much longer is this song anyway? Where’s Tareq?” I have a feeling even he couldn’t listen to this crap.

#14: “I Love Vicki”

Cory Larrabee about Vicki Gunvalson – The Real Housewives of Orange County

A quick dishonorable mention must go to Cory Larrabee for his ode to original Real Housewives of Orange County player Vicki Gunvalson. The techno tribute track might just be as annoying as Gunvalson herself, if that’s even possible. And am I the only one who thinks that Gunvalson herself probably forced Cory to record the song – and threatened to spank him if he didn’t? Larrabee tries his best to rap his praise for our workaholic housewife. But ultimately, the subject is so vile, he ends up coming off as a lunatic

#13 / #12: “The Ring Didn’t Mean A Thing” and “Google Me” (tie)

Kim Zolciak – The Real Housewives of Atlanta

I’m throwing two of Kim Zolciak’s singles together for a few reasons. For one, she still hasn’t released full versions of either song. We saw “The Ring Didn’t Mean A Thing” being recorded on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but financial disputes with Kandi kept it from coming out. Then on Watch What Happens Live, Kim performed “Google Me” – but no matter how many times I did, I still couldn’t find out why the song isn’t on iTunes right now. Either way, both songs are prime examples of what’s known in the industry as a “sophomore slump.” Overproduced and artificial, they’re nowhere as good as “Tardy for the Party.” Can anyone say, “one-hit wonder?”

#11: “Untitled Melissa Gorga Song”

Melissa Gorga – The Real Housewives of New Jersey

The Real Housewives of New Jersey newbie Melissa certainly jumped onto the songbird train early. Just three episodes into her first season on the franchise, she already began laying the groundwork for her first single. I have no idea what the song will eventually sound like. But from the taste we received in the clip above, I’m putting it somewhere towards the bottom of the list. Sure, she’ll sound okay, once auto-tuned. But this wench needs to work on her lyrics, don’t you think?

#10: “Revelation”

Gretchen Rossi – The Real Housewives of Orange County

After her first love-ballad single debuted, I would have thought that Real Housewives of Orange County star Gretchen Rossi would have continued down the slow ballad road. Not at all, sadly. Instead, for her follow-up single “Revelation,” Gretchen went down the high-energy dance beat path that so many of our housewives try to pull off. And just like those who came before her (and will probably come after her), Gretchen fails miserably. The song is so contrived, (see the “1, 2, 3, 4!” halfway through the song), so ordinary (the synthesized opening could be from any other housewives track), and so goddamn lame (what exactly is the revelation?), that I genuinely feel bad for her. It sounds like a dropped track from a Danity Kane album. Sorry Gretch. At least the above video is funny (note: the gay to her right pretending like he knows the words!).

#9: “Haven’t Loved Right”

Kandi Burruss – The Real Housewives of Atlanta

I feel like a terrible person for disliking The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss’ song “Haven’t Love Right” as much as I do. After all, the emotional ballad is a tribute to Kandi’s ex-fiancé A.J. Jewell, who was murdered in a club brawl back in October 2009. But despite being a well-produced, well-sung track, the song just leaves me kind of… empty inside. It’s not that I don’t believe Kandi. It’s just that between the wailing crescendos in the chorus and the trite lyrics, my heart-strings aren’t pulling in the ways they should be. I want to be invested – to connect to Kandi’s heartache. Instead, I find myself lowering the volume every time the chorus comes around.

#8: “You Can’t Control Me”

Jo De La Rosa – The Real Housewives of Orange County

During her time on the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Jo De La Rosa spent a good chuck of energy trying to be a singer. The fruits of that labor – which came out two years after she left the show – is an album called Unscripted, and her single, “You Can’t Control Me.” The song seems like a direct attack against ex-boyfriend Slade Smiley – though anyone who watched the show would probably agree Smiley wasn’t controlling her as much as he was providing for her childish ass. Then again, I couldn’t sit through every episode of their awful spinoff Date My Ex: Jo & Slade, so maybe it got worse. Either way, the track sounds like a Selena Gomez cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away.” I’ll give her one thing: Jo at least has pipes. Still, it’s not enough. She does her best to give the track that tough rocker-pop girl edge, but she ends up sounding more like Lindsay Lohan than Kelly Clarkson. No wonder she ended up “parting ways” with her label and is currently “exploring opportunities.” Reality bites, eh Jo?

#7: “Money Can’t Buy You Class”

Countess Luann De Lesseps – The Real Housewives of New York City

Money may not be able to buy you class, but if there’s one thing Countess Luann’s first single taught us, it’s that money can buy you autotune, a good music producer, and from the looks of the video, extreme air-brushing. The Real Housewives of New York City “Queen of Class” let us know some of her rules of good behavior in this monstrous song. From the spoken-word nonsensical verses (“Money talks but I walk when I can’t stand it”) to the cringe-inducing crescendo in the chorus (“Elengance is Leee eeerr eeerrr ERRRR RRRRNNNDDDD”), everything about this song makes me want to kill myself. Especially because it became such an earworm. Damn you Countess!!!

#6: “Nothing Without You”

Gretchen Rossi – The Real Housewives of Orange County

When Gretchen Rossi joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in its fourth season, her fiancé, Jeff Beitzel, was dying of Leukemia. It was a touching story, in that “creepy older dude / young hot blonde” sorta way. Regardless, after he passed, Gretchen released her debut single, a balled called “Nothing Without You,” in his honor. The most surprising thing about “Nothing Without You” is that Gretchen released the song to very little fanfare. We didn’t spend a whole season watching her record the song and perform it at nightclubs (I’m looking at you, Zolciak). There wasn’t any drama at some stupid music video shoot (Countess, you know what I’m talking about). Basically, she put the song out (on Amazon.com no less!!), put a portion of the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in memory of Beitzel, and went on her merry way. For that Gretchen, I give you mad props – even if the song is a forgettable ballad.

#5: “Close To You”

Danielle Staub ft. Lori Michaels – The Real Housewives of New Jersey

I’m know what you’re thinking. How on earth did Real Housewives of New Jersey cast-off Danielle Staub place this high on the list? But let me tell you what – “Close To You” is actually not that bad of a song. 97% of that is due to “lesbian superstar” Lori Michaels, who penned the love ballad and sings it with Danielle. Michaels is pretty fantastic, and crafts a song with a very pleasant melody and some relatable lyrics. But you gotta hand it to Danielle herself, who, despite being bat-shit crazy, actually has a good voice. The two harmonize well, complement one another on the verses, and use that sexual tension (fake or not) to their advantage.

#4: “Fly Above”

Kandi Burruss – The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Whenever I do my Kandi Burruss impression (and believe me, that happens more than even I’d like to admit), I sing “Fly Above.” What better way to impersonate the Real Housewives of Atlanta star than by demonstrating that “back of the throat yet up in the nose” singing she does so well? “Fly Above” is by far the most ludicrous song Kandi’s released yet (there’s a whole album of them, Kandi Koated, but for the sake of this list, let’s just focus on the songs that got serious airtime). The melody is vaguely irritating, and the lyrics downright laughable. But got help me if I’m not totally drawn to it. With the right singer (somewhere in my mind I hear Mary J. Blige singing it), I think it could be a total hit.

#3: “Closet Freak”

Miss Laurence – The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Guuurl. When Miss Laurence stepped up to the mic in season 3 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, nobody out there expect him to be able to actually saaang. Shoot – he absolutely killed. it. And with Kandi producing, you just knew his song was going to be sick. Lucky for us, it is. “Closet Freak” is everything you’d expect from a Miss Laurence / Kandi Burruss collaboration. Not only is the subject matter totally awesome (props for addressing the DL culture and being an ‘it gets better’ anthem to a whole group of people who rarely get attention), but the rest of the song delivers. The beat is addictive. The lyrics, ridiculous. And most importantly, the vocal, tight. I’m not saying that Miss Laurence is destined to be the next big thang. But out of most of the other ladies, he surely shows them how it’s done.

#2: “Chic, C’Est La Vie”

Countess Luann De Lesseps – The Real Housewives of New York City

“Ladies and gentleman. This is the countess speaking. We have arrived.” And so begins Countess Luann’s latest idiotic single, “Chic, C’Est La Vie.” If you thought it couldn’t get dumber than “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” well DARLING, you were wrong. “Chic, C’Est La Vie” is another spoken-word travesty, with Luann providing us with more nonsensical lines like, “Beauty, class, and elegance lie within the soul / Money, power, and romance are waiting for us all.” Um… what the fuck are you talking about lady!?! Believe me – I’m not going to hold my breath anytime soon for “Money, power, and romance.” And didn’t you just finish telling us that “Elegance is learned (my friends)?” So if it’s learned how is within the soul? You’re confusing me, Countess! Still – out of almost all of the songs out there so far, this is by far the most addictive. The backbeat and chorus are pretty outstanding. Plus, major props for being the only one of the group to not only use fellow housewives in the video, but also call them out by name in the song! (My favorite line of any song ever: “Kelly – THE JELLYBEANS!”). All and all, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s a well-deserved first-runner up.

#1: “Tardy for the Party”

Kim Zolciak – The Real Housewives of Atlanta

It wasn’t the first of the Housewives singles, but it’s certainly the biggest breakout hit. And really – was there any question that The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak’s first single would land at the top of the list? “Tardy for the Party” is, after all, the first single that actually broke through. It’s the gold-star. The prize-winning-pig. The national treasure. With its Kandi-produced track and its auto-tuned-to-all-hell vocals, the song wins major points in the “so bad, it’s good” category. It helped that you couldn’t look away from Zolciak’s “crooked wig” performances, often done with a menthol cigarette in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other. At the end of the day though, the song itself is just downright catchy – and did so well, it made it to #3 on the U. S. iTunes dance chart. Now who’s the Big Poppa?

Real Housewives

NineDaves About NineDaves

NineDaves is a part-time blogger, full-time tweeter, and all-around television-addict who spends way too much time thinking about what his Real Housewives’ opening quote will be. He’s so obsessed with TV, he’s basically like that kid from Willy Wonka. Only gayer.

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