'Real Housewives' impersonator Amy Phillips reveals how Housewives react to her impressions

Amy Phillips is one of the biggest Bravo experts out there. Gibson Johns interviews the co-author of "Cook It, Spill It, Throw It" about her new "Real Housewives"-inspired parody cookbook, feedback she's gotten from Housewives about her impressions of them from over the years (including a story about Bethenny Frankel she's never shared before) and the effects that social media has had on their beloved franchises. They also discuss the latest happenings on "The Real Housewives of Potomac," "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," "Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip" and much more.

Video Transcript


GIBSON JOHNS: Hi, guys. Welcome back to "We Should Talk," a pop culture interview series from "In The Know." I'm your host, Gibson Johns. And this week on the podcast, we have Amy Phillips, host of "Reality Checked" on SiriusXM's Radio Andy, as well as the co-author of the new "Real Housewives" inspired cookbook "Cook It, Spill It, Throw It, The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody Cookbook," which she wrote with Stuart O'Keefe.

And Amy is also the preeminent "Real Housewives" impersonator. Her impressions are everywhere. They're amazing. She's such a pro. And so it's really fun to get some time with Amy to talk about the book and her various other projects as well as her impressions and how Housewives are reacting to them over the years. She shared a kind of a juicy little tidbit of a recent interaction she had with Bethany, about her impression of her.

And I don't think she ever told that story before, so that was interesting to hear. So keep listening for that. And we also just did sort of a State of the Union of all things Bravo. We went through different franchises and different kind of hot topics around the Bravo universe, and she shared her thoughts on it.

And it was just really fun to chat with her because she's such a pro, she's such an amazing person, and it was really fun to connect with her. So please keep listening for my interview with Amy Phillips. Tune into "Reality Checked" from 4:00 to 5:00 PM Eastern every weekday on Radio Andy. And order "Cook it, Spill it, Throw it" anywhere you get your books. It's everywhere.

It's a great gift for the Bravo lover in your life or yourself. So yeah, it's really, really fun. And please rate, review, and subscribe to "We Should Talk" on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

All right, so we are here with Amy Phillips, the queen of "Real Housewives" impersonations, the host of "Reality Checked" on Radio Andy on SiriusXM, as well as the co-author of the newly released book "Cook It, Spill It, Throw It, The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody q which I have right here.


GIBSON JOHNS: Amy, how are you?

AMY PHILLIPS: Hello! Oh, how are-- I'm great. I'm so great. Thank you for having me.

GIBSON JOHNS: Of course. We were just talking, but I feel so blessed that our paths have crossed so many times over the past month. I was on "Reality Checked" talking about "Project Runway" a couple of weeks ago.

We met for the first time in person backstage at "Watch What Happens Live." You were a guest with Meredith Marks, the one and only. And now you're on "We Should Talk."


GIBSON JOHNS: I don't know how we got so lucky.

AMY PHILLIPS: I don't know. It's our real meet-cute. We've fallen in love. And I'm not-- can't stop, won't stop. Scared yet?

GIBSON JOHNS: I'm-- I'm all in. I'm all in, baby. But I think what's fun is that that's kind of part of this, like, Bravo adjacent world that we're in. Is, like, you have all these online friendships and relationships and people that you love interacting with online, but especially nowadays to be able to, like, really make that in-person connection I think is really special.

AMY PHILLIPS: I agree. I totally agree. And sometimes it clicks, sometimes it doesn't click. And I have found that, like, this whole Bravo world is very cool. It seems like it's-- like, people are just very-- for watching people tear each other down on television, like, the community is very uplifting, which is, like, the irony of that.

GIBSON JOHNS: That's a good juxtaposition to have.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, I agree. I totally agree.

GIBSON JOHNS: So "Cook It, Spill It, Throw It" is now out in the world now. You're doing an amazing press tour for it. How does it feel to have it out there now and for everyone to enjoy?

AMY PHILLIPS: It kind of feels like, and people have said this before, it's like, you know, I had a baby. I had a book and I had a baby. That's kind of how I feel. I have a couple of friends who are-- one really close friend who's about to have her baby this week. I had a friend that had a baby a couple of weeks ago.

And I'm like, and I just had a baby, too, and it's a little cute little book. And that it feels so great because I feel like our hard work really paid off. It was a long time coming. Especially when COVID hit, obviously, that arose a lot of challenges in terms of shooting the photography and things like that.

And Stuart and I could never really get together that often, so that was a little bit of a bummer. And-- but after all of the challenges that we went through, I just feel-- I feel very happy about it. There may be some errors in there. I don't know. I hope not, but--

GIBSON JOHNS: I haven't spotted any.

AMY PHILLIPS: We'll see what happens. And but, yeah, I'm really excited about it. Thank you.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. Well, I haven't earmarked anything in here, but I'm just going to flip through and, like, name some of these recipes because the names alone are just so good.

AMY PHILLIPS: I've been cooking a lot.

GIBSON JOHNS: What a one to start with. We have the Poop Hat peach cobbler, which obviously referencing the Dallas moment.

AMY PHILLIPS: That is really good.

GIBSON JOHNS: This is one of my favorite to mention it, All Fredo. Like, come on.

AMY PHILLIPS: Thank you.

GIBSON JOHNS: Obsessed. Obsessed. And I mean, we have Scary Island skirt steak in Jill Zarinade.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes. Oh, that's a really great recipe.

GIBSON JOHNS: Is that a good one?

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, the marinade is amazing. I'm sorry, the Zarinade is amazing.

GIBSON JOHNS: The Zarinade. And then Drag Brie Monique, Drag Brie. I mean--

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, of course.

GIBSON JOHNS: That's just a really small sampling of some of the-- I mean, just the names alone are so clever, but the food and the drinks and everything in there look amazing. What are some of your favorites in there?

AMY PHILLIPS: Well, the cool thing about this is that it's a "Real Housewives" parody cookbook. I mean, it's a parody, it's supposed to be jokey. My titles are goofy and punny. And the blurbs are supposed to take you back into history and remember that moment. But it is a real cookbook because it's actually a real chef. I mean, this is just not me.

I mean, I am not-- I'm probably more of a cook not a chef. But Stewart is actually a chef, not a cook. And so that takes us very far. And so-- and I love to cook though. I do. And over the weekend, I actually made the Dutch Baby with Yolanda Lemons.


AMY PHILLIPS: Which was amazing. I loved-- it is so good. That one was lights out amazing. I made the trash sprinkle cookies over the weekend as well. That is a great recipe.

It's kind of like a complex just basic cookie in that sense because, like, there's some almond extract in there, there's, like, some more salt than usual, and you don't have to wait for the dough to, like, get cold to make it, and it's great with kids because you roll the dough in the sprinkles.


AMY PHILLIPS: So it's like a yummy cookie. And then I made the Ding Dong Dungeon Cake, which is scrumptious of course. Named after Bolo. And gosh-- I've made-- so I made a lot of recipes.

GIBSON JOHNS: The list goes on. Yeah.

AMY PHILLIPS: Skirt steak is really good. The Poop Hat peach copper is to die for. There's just-- there's so many. I made the Cote de Casserole. That's really super yummy.

GIBSON JOHNS: Gorgeous name.

AMY PHILLIPS: And you can sub for, like-- yeah, gorgeous name. Yeah, I actually made it this weekend, and I posted it on my stories. And Vicki Gunvalson responded to it. She goes, yubby. I did send her the--

GIBSON JOHNS: That's all you can ask for.

AMY PHILLIPS: I guess. I sent her the book, and she did a story on it, which was really, really sweet. And she was just, like, Amy Phillips told me she was sending me something. She's still my idea. I wanted to do a cookbook.

Oh, this is great. Oh, Cote de Casserole. Like, so she was very supportive. And I'm not sure what she meant about-- I think she wanted to do a cookbook. I'm like, Vicki, do a cookbook. We all want it. Come on.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. Oh, that would-- bestseller right there.

AMY PHILLIPS: Wouldn't that be great? Yeah.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, come on.

AMY PHILLIPS: I heard-- I heard she's a good cook.

GIBSON JOHNS: I believe that. And you know, I think that kind of gets into something. It's, like, I think your whole line of work and kind of what I do, too, which is, like, you interview some of these people, you parody some of them, you comment on them. And it's a really fine line to walk, right? I mean, it's like--


It's a really tough thing to navigate, as you definitely know.

AMY PHILLIPS: I agree. Yes.

GIBSON JOHNS: But you've managed to do it in a way where you have Vicki supporting what you do. You have Andy Cohen writing the forward to the book. You have Kyle and Heather and Margaret and Cynthia and all these people writing quotes to support the book. So you've managed to really walk that line on the right side of that line.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah. We'll see how long it lasts.

GIBSON JOHNS: But talk to me about, sort of, how you do navigate that line, because it's something that I try to work on every day, but it's tough.

AMY PHILLIPS: I agree. I think you do a phenomenal job. And that is why I was really drawn to you on Twitter, because I'm like--

GIBSON JOHNS: Oh, thank you.

AMY PHILLIPS: I love your-- I love your commentary. I love your perspective, because you have a very solid opinion and a perspective, and yet you keep it somewhat light and comedic.


AMY PHILLIPS: And I respect that so much.

GIBSON JOHNS: Thank you so much.

AMY PHILLIPS: And, you know, and I think both of us can feel like we love the hard dragging accounts, too, where they just really go there and it's, like, no holds barred, you know? And that's not something that I think that you and I necessarily always do. So we can appreciate that. And I like that there's a world that we can live in where it's like, OK, if you want this, you go here for a hard drag. You know what I mean?

GIBSON JOHNS: Absolutely. And we all love that. Right.

AMY PHILLIPS: I think there's so much room for different perspectives. And that's why I love-- like, you just can't have too many of these Bravo accounts because you're always going to get a different perspective. You're always going to get a new way of thinking on something, and that's what I appreciate about that. For me, this is a work-- and I mean, I'm 10 years in.

You know, like, I've been doing parodies since Rachael Zoe project before I even started watching "The Real Housewives" and even doing parodies of "The Real Housewives." So like, for me, it was Rachel Zoe kind of opened the door in terms of connecting with a celebrity and them kind of giving you the OK that your impersonation is, like, something to be celebrated. And so--

GIBSON JOHNS: I love that.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah. It's been really cool. So she sort of-- I connected with her and then that led to eventually doing Housewives. And then Ramona Singer, she does, you know, women supporting women, she does. She was, like, really right there on the ground floor with me being, like, I love this impression. Like, let's go and watch "Watch What Happens Live," and you can be Ramona, and I can be Ramona, we'll be Ramonas together.

So she was very supportive. And so, from the beginning, I just kind of went the route of, like, I want to celebrate these ladies. I don't want to, when I do impressions of them, I don't always succeed in terms of my vision or intention sometimes, but my intention is to try and celebrate. I don't necessarily want to, like, you know, embellish or exaggerate something mean about them.


AMY PHILLIPS: It's more what I noticed-- what I notice and things like that. So I try to do that. I don't necessarily think that I always succeed in that. I think there are some impressions that I do that maybe may come off a little bit mean or a little bit like one-dimensional. And perhaps those people don't appreciate it or don't know about them. You know, I don't know.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. Totally.

AMY PHILLIPS: But I'm OK. I just want to-- and the other thing is too, Gibson, is, like, I don't always, like, love to interview the Housewives on my show. I don't really do it that often, like, on purpose because I need to be able to be somewhat objective about--

GIBSON JOHNS: The space.

AMY PHILLIPS: I need to talk about them on the show and have, like, an opinion if-- so I don't want to be beholden to them. But over the years I have made connections by default. I mean, that just happens. But now, with all of them, with a very small-- there's a very small handful of Housewives that I do feel, like, a connection to, and I suppose a loyalty to, but not all of them. So I feel like I'm still able to be completely objective and do my job.

GIBSON JOHNS: Totally. Are some of the-- are the ones that you've made the, kind of, biggest connections, are those the ones that have been around for longer that has sort of--

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, yes. Like the Ramona Singers, like the Heather Dubrow, like Rinna, you know, that's-- Vicki, you know, those are the ones, like, old school that have been there for a long time who have been seeing my impressions for years that are, like, have embraced it and I have that connection with them.

GIBSON JOHNS: It seems like Meredith reacted pretty well to yours on "Watch What Happens Live." She was a pretty good sport about it, I feel like. And that's a great impression, but she was really-- she was laughing right there with you.

AMY PHILLIPS: She was. And it was a little bit, like-- you know, and she's so understated. She's so understated. So she was like, ha, ha, you know? And I'm like, oh, my God. You know, I'm looking at Seth. And then after the show, it was so funny because we were in the hallway, I could hear Seth be like, Meredith, we got to go. And I ran outside, and I'm like, [IMITATES MEREDITH] stop, I'm not leaving.

Like, I was trying-- he was like, what? So I had-- it was fun to meet them both in person. And that was a fun one to connect with in person.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, she's so-- she has such a distinct delivery on everything. So that's fun. And I'm curious for you because, I mean, we talked about, like, some of those-- like, kind of more established Housewives are the ones that sort of embrace you. They've had more time to embrace those impressions.


GIBSON JOHNS: But do you just, as somebody, again, who is a part of this world, do you think there is, like, some sort of distinction between, like, some of the women who, like, some of the older school Housewives and some of the newer school people? Like, and where do you think that-- where do you think that line is? Like, when did you think-- because I've kind of noticed some of that.

AMY PHILLIPS: Social media.

GIBSON JOHNS: Social media.

AMY PHILLIPS: I think, because, you know, a lot of the Housewives that I do have a connection with, this was outside of social media. This was--


AMY PHILLIPS: You know-- I mean, I know that we had, like, YouTube, obviously, so that was happening. But I think that social media really changed the landscape of the Housewives. I think we can all agree, because now it has seeped into the drama on social media, seeps into the actual show, then you have people you're interacting with them, they're not afraid to call you out. They're not afraid to call out accounts, they're not afraid to say something to you directly.

So I think that that makes it a little scarier sometimes because, like, if I propose something, I'll hear from-- you know, then, if somebody doesn't like it, they're going to post-- they're going to DM me, or they're going to comment on it, and be like, this is awful, or you suck. You know what I mean? So it's like, whereas before I feel like it could be a little bit more--

GIBSON JOHNS: There's a safe space.

AMY PHILLIPS: There was a safe space. There's no longer a safe space. And I think that in terms of Housewives also in a broad strokes way to answer your question, I think that, like, Housewives have changed because of social media, and they know so much more about what they need to do to stir up drama whether it be on the show or off the show on social media.


AMY PHILLIPS: And they know that that's also a trope. And a tactic is, you know, get on Twitter, get on Instagram, do something messy there.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. For sure.

AMY PHILLIPS: And they've learned because the show has been out for so long. So I mean, how can they not be affected by it?

GIBSON JOHNS: Totally. Who do you think-- who do you think does a really great job of that? Like, who do you think navigates the Twitter or Instagram of it all, like, kind of the best or most savvily? I don't even know if that's a word. In the most savvy way.

AMY PHILLIPS: Right. Good question. Well, we all know that Candiace and Mia are disasters on Twitter.

GIBSON JOHNS: We do. We do. As is Jen's social media manager-- Jen Shah's social media manager.

AMY PHILLIPS: As is Jen, yes. And I think Erika has done a terrible job navigating that space in-- not doing herself any favors when we could have been rooting for her more. And that's a regret that I have for her, not for me.

GIBSON JOHNS: That's honestly my biggest perspective on that, that that kind of is with-- that has been-- I can't keep coming back to is, like, I don't think she knew. I don't think-- it's just, like, the way she handled that is, like-- ugh, it's really tough.

AMY PHILLIPS: That. And on the show was a little tough, too. But--


AMY PHILLIPS: It just-- you know, and I gave her-- like, we all gave her. We didn't all give her a bye. I liked to give her a bye for a long time, but then it was just, like, help me help you. And just-- and then the reunion was, oh, my gosh. But anyway, outside of that.

I liked-- I think Rinna can be pretty interesting on Twitter and on Instagram and stuff because she is 1% million herself, and she is not afraid to talk about-- like, she will go there. I know that she has pulled back on the show in terms of stirring it up. Everybody wants to stir up. Everybody wants her to stir it up and speak and call Munchausens on Erika. They want her to do what she did before, and I'm sorry, I just don't agree with that. Things change, people evolve. And I think that-- you know, Erica needed an ally, and Rinna chose to do it, and she was, like, come hell or high water, I don't care how ridiculous this sounds, but I'm just going to stay the course.

You know, and that's fine. I had no problem with that. I think that on social media, I think that Rinna is, like, just fully herself. She doesn't necessarily-- she'll stir it up with other people sometimes-- like, she will go after Vanderpump sometimes and do that kind of thing. And I love Vanderpump, too, so, you know, I'm not, like, taking sides there.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, for sure.

AMY PHILLIPS: I do think that Lisa will just put it out there, regardless. And I respect that. I think that she stands on her own when it comes to her opinions and how she feels, and I can appreciate that. Who do you think? I'm curious.

GIBSON JOHNS: I mean, I agree. I actually think that-- because I've had a kind of interesting just, like, mindset with Rinna in the past couple of years. I think it's sort of an up and down with her.


GIBSON JOHNS: But I do think that on Instagram, like, she is really-- I mean, when she posts those Instagram stories that are just, like, it's just, like, a blank background and it's just, like, text and it's just, like--


GIBSON JOHNS: Sometimes it's pretty cryptic and sometimes it's pretty just, like, out there. And I'm like, I kind of appreciate that.


GIBSON JOHNS: And sometimes it's calling out production or Bravo, or sometimes it's calling out people specifically on her cast. So I actually think that she does a really good job of that as well.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, I-- well, wow, she's transparent. I think we both agree. That's pretty cool.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. I know. I love that. I love that.

AMY PHILLIPS: I love that.

GIBSON JOHNS: I love that. Are there any Housewives who maybe, like, didn't embrace an impression that you had of them at first and then maybe came around to it? Or--

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah, I think Bethenny didn't really-- I don't know what she thinks of my impression. I think she seems, like, kind of hot and cold on it. Like, she's never really celebrated it and has been pretty mute-- muted about it. You know what I'm saying? Like, so when that happens, and I know they've seen it, I assume they do not like it.


AMY PHILLIPS: So I'm guessing she does not like it. And that always surprises me. Like, with somebody like her who is so funny.

GIBSON JOHNS: She has such a sense of humor, too. She is self-deprecating, to be honest.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, I know.

GIBSON JOHNS: So it's surprising.

AMY PHILLIPS: I know. But we-- so at first she's been-- like, she's hot and cold on it. So let me just say this. I don't know. OK, so now I don't where we stand now, I'll say that.


AMY PHILLIPS: But because-- and then when I have done stuff of her-- I remember she was on SiriusXM for a little while and, you know, and my show is on SiriusXM. And when she was doing, like, her first week of shows, I called in as her. And I was like, I'm just going to take this risk, you know, because I love her and, like, she's just top, top notch Housewife, right?

So I called in, and I was like, [IMITATES BETHENNY] l just want to, like, say congratulations on your show. Like, and she was like, oh, my god, how funny. And she was laughing, and she was, like, so excited about it. And I was like, oh, my god, this is great. And so we had so much fun.

And we had connected in that way. And then I met her in person one time, and she was like, keep doing it, like, keep doing it. But then the pandemic happened. And I did this video where I was, like, I have never told anybody this story, by the way.

GIBSON JOHNS: I'm excited.

AMY PHILLIPS: I did this video. It was, like, washing your hands, like, all the Housewives in quarantine.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. I remember that. Yeah, that was great.

AMY PHILLIPS: OK. And she messaged me, and was like, this is, like, focused on what-- like, focus on the cause or something. Like, this is-- you shouldn't-- basically, like you shouldn't be-- she admonished me for doing that video--


AMY PHILLIPS: --during that time of the pandemic when people were dying, and still are, by the way. And was like, you know, there's no room for this. Essentially, she kind of, like, said, don't do this, you know. And focus on the cause. And I responded, like, I am focusing on the cause. I'm a comedian. I bring entertainment to people. That's what I do.

Also, I am talking about your foundation on my show and how people can give, like, every day. I'm talking about how you can give and help people, and what they can do. And I never heard back from her, and I just felt slapped by her, because I was like, oh, my god, you are, like, so-- you know, I hold you in such high regard because you're such a great Housewife, and yet, now, here we are. So I think that probably she's not a fan of mine anymore because of that, I'm guessing. We have no--

GIBSON JOHNS: It's a little silly.

AMY PHILLIPS: We don't communicate. You know, and I think-- knowing as much as I do about Bethenny, you know, she's a very passionate person. So she was in the midst of, like, saving lives, literally, like getting ventilators in hospitals when they didn't have them. Like, she was doing God's work. She was doing heroic work.


AMY PHILLIPS: Who am I to say, like, you know, yeah, I'm doing my little video with wigs, that's really important, too? However, I just was like, I said what I said, I did what I did, and I mean, we just have to part ways and it is what it is. But it's unfortunate because you think that somebody who is an entertainment would appreciate knowing at that point, like, how everyone was just at home, miserable, and everyone's doing what they can and, you know, it's just what I did.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, everyone needed a laugh. And I think that, like-- I don't know. I think that everyone in those couple of months when it was really the early stages there, it was sort of, like-- everyone did what they could do. And I don't think that you did anything wrong there by any means. And I think that it's interesting to me that she took the time out to, as you said, admonish you for that video, but--

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah, I mean--

GIBSON JOHNS: And I think that-- and also, Bethenny, as we know, she's somebody who, like, when she sort of, like, flips on something, she just flips and, like, doesn't really look back. It's just how she is.

AMY PHILLIPS: Totally. Yes, yes, yes.

GIBSON JOHNS: Regardless of if you sort of, like, explain yourself. So--

AMY PHILLIPS: I agree. I agree. And then that's the thing. Like, I just, when I do my impressions, they're not for the Housewives. I mean, they're really not. They're for us, the fans, and to celebrate what we love to celebrate. And so I just have to, like, compartmentalize and be, like--

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. Absolutely.

AMY PHILLIPS: We're not friends. You don't-- you don't get what I'm doing, and that's fine. And we just need to move on. And then that's OK. And that's OK. I can still appreciate and love her as a Housewife.

GIBSON JOHNS: I agree. I agree. And I think that-- yeah, I think that's enough on the B of it all, but I think that-- I don't think you did anything wrong there. So I want to get into, like, a couple of the shows right now, the Bravo State of the Union, if you will. Potomac just wrapped with Nikki-- with Nikki co-hosting with that part of the reunion, but I think it was another banner season for Potomac.


GIBSON JOHNS: I mean, like--

AMY PHILLIPS: I'm obsessed.

GIBSON JOHNS: I think some people think it dragged a little bit at the end, but I just-- I could watch those women read the phone book. I could watch them, you know, just go out to lunch and do nothing.


GIBSON JOHNS: What did you think of this season overall? And, sort of, where do you-- where do you hope Potomac goes from here in terms of, do you think, the cast should stay the same, do you think we need new blood, what are your thoughts?

AMY PHILLIPS: Oh, I think the cast should stay the same. And I've been up and down about Candiace, but when she did that hard pivot to stand for Ashley, I got my-- my socks were knocked off. So that's what I love about Housewives, is-- yes. They can pivot so hard in a direction, and the next thing you know, you're like, I'm listening.

I mean, and I would like to see growth. I would like-- I want to see Candiace's journey. I do, because I think she is-- she's not a cunning person, but she really does go in to destroy. And I don't like that. I don't love that.

And I think that, at some point, I would love to see her in her own journey through therapy or whatever, figure out why it is that she does that so we can see her maybe have some, you know, evolution as we love to see Housewives have evolution. So I would love for that. I cannot believe the moment that we got with Gizelle and Karen, that emotional moment.

GIBSON JOHNS: I actually-- I literally teared up when that happened. I had a tear roll down my face when--


GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. I literally did. Because I feel like we've known those women for so long. You know, and we've-- I don't know. It seemed like a breakthrough for them. It really did.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah. I completely agree. And I think that we understand their relationship. And I think that them going back and forth and giving each other hell and then coming back for this redemptive moment is just such a beautiful thing. Something that I think, again, they're trying to explain to Candiace, and she's not getting it, you know, but maybe in the future she will.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. I mean, how interesting would a season of Potomac look like next year if it was Karen and Gizelle getting along for most of the season and, like, kind of maybe teaming up and then Candiace and Ashley potentially moving forward together? I mean, like, that would be really interesting to me.

AMY PHILLIPS: That would be interesting, because we don't need everyone to fight, especially we know that, like--

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, we don't.

AMY PHILLIPS: They can have fun. They're so funny and so smart. And I like Mia. I really love Mia. I think that she can be super messy.

I think that she can kind of pull in, and she sort of goes with the flow. So I'd like to see more of that. I don't think Robin should have another baby. I don't.

GIBSON JOHNS: You know, I would love to see a wedding. I genuinely-- that's not even shady--

AMY PHILLIPS: I'd like to see a wedding. I would love to see a wedding.

GIBSON JOHNS: I would genuinely love to see a wedding.

AMY PHILLIPS: I'd love to.

GIBSON JOHNS: Maybe that's next season's finale. You know what I mean? Like, I'm just throwing it out there.


GIBSON JOHNS: I think we need some movement there, I think, with Robin. Yeah.


GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. We sure do.

AMY PHILLIPS: I have an embellished hat. I have one.

GIBSON JOHNS: And how is it?

AMY PHILLIPS: Tara, this wonderful listener of my show, who I met in person for the last event that we had, brought me one, and it's amazing. That silk lining is to die for.

GIBSON JOHNS: Amazing. Wow.

AMY PHILLIPS: So get one.

GIBSON JOHNS: [INAUDIBLE] embellish, guys. All right, so Salt Lake City. I mean, I feel like we went from 50 to 100 in the past couple of weeks. Like, it's just been, like, bulldozing through this, like, just curveball. Because I feel like this season was sort of shaping up to be all about Mary and her church, and I think that was sort of, like, the plan almost. And then--


GIBSON JOHNS: We get this-- we get this, like, wrench in the plan, and now it's going to be about both, it seems, Jen and the Mary of it all, which is just, like-- that's enough for one season.

AMY PHILLIPS: That's a lot to take in. I have to agree with Meredith that-- oh, my god, I just sound like Sylvester. I have to agree with Meredith on "Watch What Happens Live" where, you know, she was saying, like, why don't we get all in on the show? Let's get all the facts. Like, before we start taking down another Housewife in our group, like, let's just slow our roll and, like, you know, just line it up, see what's going on here before we start to make these really broad, sweeping accusations and bring all this stuff into this world.

And I think that that is such-- you know, Housewives can be so reckless to stir stuff up. And so I agree with Meredith. I think that the whole stuff-- all this stuff with Mary seems very bizarre to me. However, I'm just not-- I don't-- I'm not ready to jump to conclusions with her. I'm not ready to go there. Like, as bizarro as some things are painted out to be, I'm like, I need to just take my time.

GIBSON JOHNS: Totally. And we've all heard-- like, we've all heard whisperings and seen things from, like, Reddit, deep in Reddit and, like, random tweets and things like that, but I agree with you where I sort of just want it presented of, like, OK, here's what's actually-- here's what she's actually being accused of here. Here's what people actually think she did.


GIBSON JOHNS: And then move forward from there and see maybe how she can explain it, or not.



AMY PHILLIPS: And also, how did Cameron die? That is just, like--


AMY PHILLIPS: Nobody knows. Why can't we find that out?

GIBSON JOHNS: And it doesn't-- it wasn't that recent-- I mean, like, it was like--

AMY PHILLIPS: It was in June.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, it's been months. So--

AMY PHILLIPS: I don't understand how that hasn't--

GIBSON JOHNS: It's all definitely like a-- it makes me feel uneasy, the whole thing, and it's a little icky-feeling, but it's sort of, like, again--

AMY PHILLIPS: It is. It's sad.

GIBSON JOHNS: And I've heard a bunch of the crazy theories and accusations that are, again, really kind of deep in the internet. And I think that's what they're vaguely--

AMY PHILLIPS: On the dark web.

GIBSON JOHNS: Referencing a lot of-- yeah, but they're vaguely referencing a lot of this stuff. And it's-- and that's sort of what Lisa was doing for a while, but then she kind of came out with that big, like, you know, he gave her $300,000 from his house.


GIBSON JOHNS: But I don't know. It's going to be really interesting to see how this interplays with the Jen Shah of it all. It's just, like, it's-- these are two huge situations.


GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, I don't know.

AMY PHILLIPS: It's so much for the fandom to take, you know. I mean, but it's so good. And I think it's such a fascinating city and franchise that they have there with the religious backdrop. And the alleged criminal backdrop. I mean, it's just-- I just didn't think that the Housewives franchise would be here in this space today.


AMY PHILLIPS: You know? I mean, we didn't-- god, the worst I thought was, like, bankruptcy and, you know, like, foreclosures and, you know, vow renewal going--

GIBSON JOHNS: Some tax evasion here and there maybe, right?

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah, right? But to be here is kind of scary and wild. And I mean, I know we love-- we love to watch. We love to watch.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. And I think to me, like, we talked earlier about sort of how social media has impacted the Housewives, and I think that Salt-- you know, Potomac and Dallas were added sort of, like, you know-- halfway through the run that we've had. But like, Salt Lake City to me is the first real post-Instagram, like, these women have learned from all the shows. Like, to me, that's what this show is. And it's not a bad thing, but I think it just-- it gives it this different-- this different quality where they're all really hyper-aware.

AMY PHILLIPS: Jen came out gangbusters. You know, Jen came out just shooting from all sides. And so, in a way, which was too much, but at the same time, I really liked Jen on the show. Like, I think that when she was on "Watch What Happens Live," and she had, like, the microphone, and she just-- it was, like-- stand down.

Like, this is too much. Like, we can't take this much Housewife-- so many Housewives tropes all in one. Like, you're doing too much, you know. The "Shah-mazing" and the pink microphone and all this stuff. It was a little-- she was coming in hot.

However, I do think that she has been incredible on the show. And again, one of those things where I was looking forward to seeing her evolution to, perhaps, you know, calm it down, find the balance.


AMY PHILLIPS: Rein it in, find the balance, and be a little bit more organic. And we can be forgiving about her trying to be, like, this exceptional, like, nutty Housewife, because at least she's trying, you know. But now, organically, here we are with a storyline that we certainly did not expect, which is [INAUDIBLE]--

GIBSON JOHNS: Certainly did not expect. And I think to me what's really going to be really interesting to see is it seems as though Heather, particularly, but also Lisa and, to a lesser extent, Whitney, they don't, like, shun her from the group. It seems like they sort of come back around and sort of either, you know, temporarily embrace her or there's some sort of, like, kind of, like, welcome-- welcoming that happens back with Jen-- with half the group, I would say.

I'm curious how you sort of think about that. Because, obviously, you know, she's been accused of a lot of really heinous things. She hasn't been convicted yet, but then it's sort of, like, if she is-- if she is convicted, you know, are they just going to, like, back away? You know, I'm just-- I'm curious how they're thinking about that.

AMY PHILLIPS: Genuinely, I think, Heather won't back away because she said so and she's laid her case out as to why she would not.


AMY PHILLIPS: She does feel like, you know, with friends that the thing that matters most is when you're there for them when it actually matters. I completely respect that. I think that's unbelievable. But I am more-- I'm more on Meredith's side of where it's like, if this is what she's been doing, goodbye. You know, I'm disengaging.

Like, I do feel like there comes a time where if, in fact, she is guilty of these crimes-- I suppose you'd have to wait and see. But if that's true, how can you be friends with somebody who is defrauding elderly people? That's just, like, you know-- but also, Meredith has more personal things that have happened to her. So she can be separated from that. Heather is not in that situation.

I think it's also good for the show. Whitney is not stupid. Whitney has proven to us this season she is incredibly intelligent.

GIBSON JOHNS: Very perceptive.

AMY PHILLIPS: And very perceptive. And she realizes probably, like, somebody has to be Jen's ally. And this is good for the show. So someone's got to do it. We're stuck in this situation.

It's like-- it's almost like family. You know, you're a family, so what are you going to do? We have to get together for holidays. We have to see each other. What are we going to-- we have to coexist.

So there's going to be some family members who are not going to put up with it and they're going to skip that Thanksgiving, or they'll come in and leave. But, like Meredith, don't invite me if you're going to invite her. You know, this is like a family, so they do have to choose.

And I think that it's smart to have some allyship behind Jen or else we won't be able to see Jen. We won't be able to film with Jen. So I mean, it's kind of, like, I get it. I get it.

GIBSON JOHNS: You get it. Yeah, but we don't want to what happened with Denise and Vanderpump where it sort of-- they feel so out of it that they don't even want to engage or film or whatever. You know what I mean?

AMY PHILLIPS: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And that's where, I think, you and I probably agree on the Rinna thing where we're like, why did you push Denise so hard? Like, that was not necessary.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, it was tough.

AMY PHILLIPS: That was really rough. I wanted Denise to come back.


AMY PHILLIPS: But yes, I agree. You kind of have to stay the course where you're right. They can't be too isolated or else they're not on the show. And then what are you going to do? You know?

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, totally.

AMY PHILLIPS: You got to catch the story.

GIBSON JOHNS: Absolutely. You know, another-- I mean, one of the shows that I think is, like, honestly maybe one of my instant, like, top shows, like, ever is "Ultimate Girls Trip." Like, I am having such a fun time with that show.


GIBSON JOHNS: What's your-- what's your relationship like with "Real Housewives, Ultimate Girls Trip," where I think we're, like, kind of maybe halfway through the run or so. It's just, like, so fun to me. And we're seeing so many different sides of these women.

AMY PHILLIPS: I love it so much.


AMY PHILLIPS: And it's wild because, at first, when they announced, I was like, oh, my god, no, no, we're not to the end yet because, obviously, everybody, you know, Andy had said he'd never do that unless the franchise was dying. But I think it is-- it's the right time and it's the right place because we have been in this for, like, over 10 years.

So I think it is, like, after a decade, you gotta start doing stuff like this. People want it. They want to see them on an island all meshed up together. And with the parodies that I've done, it's funny, like, on my radio show, I'm always doing mash ups, like, you know, put them in a house.

And it's like, I've been doing these voices where it's like, [IMITATES HOUSEWIFE] yeah, Ramona, I can't-- you're drinking too much pinot grigio. I just don't know what that is. And Ramona was like, oh, my gosh, Teresa, what are you doing? You know? Like, so I've been doing these voices back and forth for so long that now I'm, like, watching, and I'm like, this is real.


AMY PHILLIPS: It's so bizarre. It's hard to, like, switch gears.

GIBSON JOHNS: So bizarre.

AMY PHILLIPS: But I also love it. And I want them to break the fourth wall a little more. I'd like them to talk more about the show. And I think that that's where they're going to get their Golden Nuggets. I don't know how they would navigate that space going from there and then going back on their actual shows. I think that's weird, but so far I like the scratching of the surface of, like, let's talk about the show. Let's talk about the show because that's what it is.

GIBSON JOHNS: That episode with the pajama party where they were sort of talking about some of the NeNe stuff and some of the Jacqueline stuff, and they went around the table and, like, shared how it affected their relationships. That was so interesting to me. And, like, it's just-- I mean, we've never gotten any of that before, ever.


GIBSON JOHNS: You know-- yeah.

AMY PHILLIPS: It's a real gift. It's a real gift. And, like, on the heels of the "Not All Diamonds And Rosé" book, I mean, it's all kind of-- it's a really interesting time, don't you think?


AMY PHILLIPS: It's like they're pulling the curtain back. They're going. OK, we want to let you guys in a little bit more before we move forward, and I think that's smart because, we're here, this is where--


AMY PHILLIPS: This is us. #ThisIsUs.

GIBSON JOHNS: #ThisIsUs. And they saw that-- they saw that it worked on Beverly Hills with Bravo, Bravo, [BLEEP] Bravo, Denise thing, and, like, that season was probably the biggest instance of that. And then Potomac, we saw some of that. And I think they've been testing the waters.

I think that, like, it seems like on Beverly Hills they pulled back from that a little bit. I think they maybe think they went too far. But I think they saw that people love that and so, like--

AMY PHILLIPS: I didn't even put that together. That's a really good point. That's-- that, I think, that was the straw that broke the camel's back in Morocco when the camel took off with Luann on top of it. I mean--

GIBSON JOHNS: Way back when, you know. It all started back then.

AMY PHILLIPS: Got to get down from here. This is terrible. Ha ha ha ha.

GIBSON JOHNS: Oh, my god, you're so good. Who has surprised you the most in terms of, like, how you're reacting to them or the sides that they're showing within this group of Housewives veterans? Because to me-- for me, it's Cynthia. I'm sort of, like, surprised that she's coming off almost, like-- I mean, it's not unlikable, but she's almost coming off the least likable because she's getting sort of personally offended at some of these sort of little things.

And I get her perspective on it, but it's-- to me-- I'm surprised, because I love her in Atlanta. I have loved her in Atlanta, but I'm having a different reaction to her in this setting.

AMY PHILLIPS: Oh, my gosh, that's awesome. And I appreciate that. Cynthia is one of my favorite Housewives, actually.

GIBSON JOHNS: I do love her.

AMY PHILLIPS: And so I completely loved this perspective because it does-- it's amazing what it does to take somebody out of their environment and put them somewhere else and see a completely different side. And that's what I love. I like seeing the gradients here. And this makes me-- I was so bummed when I knew she wasn't coming back. I'm like, damn it.


AMY PHILLIPS: But then when we found out she was on "Real Housewives, Ultimate Girls Trip," I was like, OK, cool. And maybe she'll eventually come back to Atlanta at some point. But I love her journey. I love her story.

And I also am surprised by how much I love Melissa. It's not like I didn't love Melissa, but it's just, like, I appreciate her so much more in this situation. And I love Kenya. Like--

GIBSON JOHNS: Love. She's winning it for me. She is just, like--


GIBSON JOHNS: It's incredible. Because I think part of it is, like, within their respective shows, it's like, people have almost just passed judgment and, sort of, they accept sort of what they're going to get from a Kenya or a Melissa or a Cynthia even. And then to put them in this situation to see how they all like-- they all love Kenya, and they all love Melissa. And it's like, oh, like--


GIBSON JOHNS: So it's so interesting. I don't know.

AMY PHILLIPS: It is so interesting. It is. It's like a bizarro world, you know.


AMY PHILLIPS: And it's great. It's-- they've turned it upside down, and they-- who would have thought? You know. It's just so exciting.

GIBSON JOHNS: And it's like confirmation on certain-- I mean, it's like, the reaction to Ramona has just, like, I think-- like, love her, hate her, whatever, like, she's Ramona.


GIBSON JOHNS: But I think seeing how some of these other Housewives have reacted to spending time with her for so long--


GIBSON JOHNS: --probably confirms people out there, like, what their opinions on Ramona. So I think it's been so interesting.


GIBSON JOHNS: I think it's--

AMY PHILLIPS: And I think Ramona was needed.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yes. Oh, absolutely.

AMY PHILLIPS: Ramona was needed for this first edition of the Housewives franchise because she's not afraid to be in there and go in there and be the villain and be, like, stir up trouble. She's just not-- she doesn't care. So it's kind of nice to be able to, like, see them all react out of horror and be, like, what? It's so fun.

GIBSON JOHNS: It's real. Yeah, it's so-- yeah. And it makes me excited for what's going to go on at Dorinda's house whenever that-- with all the ex-wives. Like, it's going to be-- it's going to be good.

AMY PHILLIPS: I cannot wait.

GIBSON JOHNS: It's going to be good, Amy.

AMY PHILLIPS: That is going to be bonkers. I cannot wait.

GIBSON JOHNS: Mhm. Some other quick just things. Where are you on with Ronnie right now? What do you-- I mean, obviously we're on a big pause. We've been told maybe not for another year we're going to get anything new from there.

What do you hope happens there? What do you kind of--

AMY PHILLIPS: I think it's good that it's a pause.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, me too.

AMY PHILLIPS: I think that's smart. Because I was upset that we didn't get a reunion, and then I was like, boy, I'm a real hypocrite because I complained about the season all season, and then I'm like, where's my reunion? They're like, well, you didn't like the season, right? And I'm like, oh, right, I did--

GIBSON JOHNS: We were all in that same boat.

AMY PHILLIPS: I know. I'm like, we're such little [BLEEP] like, you know. It's just-- we were never satisfied. But I do think it's smart to just wait and see. And in terms of casting, gosh, it would be fun to just, like, really mix it up. And I know they always-- we always say that, like, in every city. Like, wouldn't it be great to just, like, wipe the slate clean and just start over and stuff like that? We always say that.

But I think for Ronnie maybe-- maybe it is time to do that. But I don't know. I'm not sure what the right-- I don't know what the right answer is for that. And I'm glad that I'm not in charge of that. You know what I'm saying?

GIBSON JOHNS: Those are tough waters to navigate.

AMY PHILLIPS: Good luck.


AMY PHILLIPS: Because not everyone's going to be happy. Like, you know, if you do start from scratch, people are going to be mad that you got rid of, like, oh, jeez, and if you keep some and get rid of others and add some new people in, they're going to be-- they're going to be mad at-- you just-- with New York, I feel like they have a real upward climb, and I think it's going to be difficult to please everybody, but I think if they try to-- if they take some risks, I think that'll pay off. I think that'll be fun to see.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, I think you're right. And I think you're right and I think the pause will kind of temper some of that really heated opinion, whatever they are going to announce. Like, if they're going to-- the waters will subside a little bit and--


GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. It's going to be interesting. I don't know. Because Ronnie has been historically my favorite, and last season was tough. So--

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, of course. I understand. I mean, you live there, too. So it's-- and I'm sure you probably talk to a lot of Housewives being there, and you probably interact with a lot of them.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. Yeah, a lot of the events.

AMY PHILLIPS: Who's your favorite New York Housewife?

GIBSON JOHNS: I think Sonja is my favorite. I love Sonja. I think she's just, like, endlessly entertaining. I think she's one of the funniest Housewives of all time. I love her. And she's such a sweet person, too. And I think that that-- I think that she is such a--

AMY PHILLIPS: She's the sweetest.

GIBSON JOHNS: I think she has such a heart of gold, and I think that sometimes that can be forgotten, I think, in some of the messiness around her. But I think, when Sonja is great, I think there are very few that are better than her. So--

AMY PHILLIPS: Oh, that's such a wonderful compliment to give to a Housewife. And I could not agree with you more. The sweetest housewife that has ever existed is the Sonja Morgan. Sonja Tremont Morgan.

GIBSON JOHNS: The Sonja Tremont Morgan. Wow.

AMY PHILLIPS: Family crest. Yeah. [IMITATES HOUSEWIFE] [INAUDIBLE]. I love her so much.

GIBSON JOHNS: Oh, my gosh. Amy, well, this has been so, so fun. I think we've covered most of our bases, I think, here.


GIBSON JOHNS: What do you want to plug before we sign off? Because I know you have a lot of-- you have a lot of projects going.

AMY PHILLIPS: Well, this book, "Cook It, Spill It, Throw It." It's a great holiday gift and just a gift for anybody who loves Housewives. It's a real cookbook about "The Real Housewives," and it is available anywhere books are sold.

And you can listen to my SiriusXM show. I recap all the Housewives Monday through Friday and beyond all the shows on Bravo. We did "Project Runway." That was so much fun, Gibson.

GIBSON JOHNS: I never get to talk about the non-Housewives shows or the non-Summer House shows. So it's fun to kind of remind people that "Project Runway," "Top Chef," "Million Dollar Listing," those all exist still, and they're all still great.

AMY PHILLIPS: They do. And they're so phenomenal.

GIBSON JOHNS: They're so good.

AMY PHILLIPS: And I love recapping that with you. We had so much fun. That was a really, really special show for me, I really love that. So I'm on SiriusXM, Radio Andy, channel 102. And it's at 4:00 Eastern, 1:00 Pacific.

GIBSON JOHNS: Tune in, you guys. Buy the book. It's really, really fun. And I think it's honestly-- it's kind of like a collector's item. It's going to be-- it's just one of those things that you need to have if you're a Housewives fan. So Amy Phillips, thank you so much.

AMY PHILLIPS: Thank you, Gibson.

GIBSON JOHNS: You know, at this rate, our paths will cross very soon again.

AMY PHILLIPS: Yes, come back and do my show any, any, any, any, any time.

GIBSON JOHNS: Any time. Thanks, Amy.

AMY PHILLIPS: Thank you.

GIBSON JOHNS: Thank you so much for listening. For more celebrity interviews, subscribe to "We Should Talk" on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you heard, please rate and review us, as any show of support you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

You can follow me, @Gibsonoma on Twitter and Instagram. And you can follow "In The Know" @InTheKnow on Twitter and @WatchInTheKnow on Instagram. We'll talk to you next time.