By// Starrene Rhett Rocque
In case you missed it, JET magazine teamed up with Cynthia Bailey to cast women who would be featured as JET Beauty of the Week. The casting was caught on Bravo cameras for the upcoming season of Real Housewives of Atlanta (premiering Sunday, November 4 at 9/8c). Kenya Moore joined the casting and a lot of drama followed but according to Cynthia, that’s only a smidgen of what’s to come on RHOA this season.
We caught up with Bailey to discuss the upcoming season, the good and the bad. She elaborates on Kenya-gate, talks about the new advancements with her business, The Bailey Agency, and reveals that despite the drama viewers will see more friendships develop than in previous seasons.
You teamed up with JET to help us find some Beauty of the Week contestants but there was some drama with Kenya. Please elaborate on that situation.
That casting was the first time I officially met Kenya. We spoke on the phone prior to that because we actually do have a lot of mutual friends. In that phone call she expressed that she actually had been to JET Beauty of the Week, and that she was moving to Atlanta. So I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting, because I’m doing a casting for JET Beauty of the Week, and said you’re welcome to come down and help. Sounded like a great idea right? Well…the person I talked to on the phone was this very nice, sweet lady who couldn’t be more gracious to come down and be apart of this in any way. And the lady that walked through the door at the agency was like, her evil twin.
It’s so funny you say that because in interviews she does seem really nice but in the preview for Real Housewives of Atlanta, it’s like, “Who is that?”
Yeah, Kenya has many layers. We bumped heads, obviously, because I felt that—I do calls like this all the time, its part of my business at The Bailey Agency—and one of the things you have to realize is that when you say open call, you’re gonna get all kinds of people walking through your door. And my focus is to just really focus on finding what I’m looking for as opposed to trying to knock anyone for coming. She was a little mean-spirited to say the least, and that really is not how I run my business. I’m not interested in putting people down or trying to embarrass anyone at an open call, I’m more into, “Thank you for supporting me however, you are not right for the position,” just being very professional. And I just thought she was really taking it somewhere else. I was very surprised that for someone who had done some modeling and who is an actress [and] who has dealt with the audition process and open call process that she wasn’t a little more sensitive to the girls that turned up. I’ve gotten jobs at calls and I have not gotten jobs, but none of the casting directors or the people that were in charge of the call ever tried to humiliate me. That’s just very immature and inappropriate.
In general, what can fans expect from the upcoming season?
A big part of my storyline was my school, The Bailey Agency. The last time you guys saw the show, things were really just getting started. So now you guys really see where I’m at with everything. I’m open for business. I just celebrated my 1-year-anniversary, opening up the school. And I am working on several things here in Atlanta. I don’t want to get into too many details because you have to watch it on the show. But I am definitely making a name for myself, here. It’s going really well, I have a great business. We’re actually expanding to a bigger space. Also, in terms of me dealing with the girls, you can see a much more opinionated Cynthia this season. I definitely get way in there. I’m involved in a lot. I think I’m involved in a lot more drama this season, and I don’t even know how this happened [laughs]. Usually I always try to be the one to take the high road and you know handle myself with class but that did not work out for me that well [laughs].
How about the husbands? Peter and Apollo have been pretty involved with the show in the past so, are we gonna see a lot of them on camera?
CB: You know Peter is a big part of my show, always. Bar One is going very well, that’s his business venture. I can’t speak for Apollo, but Apollo and I actually have some business deals in the works, some fashion business. I don’t know how much I can give away but we will be working together on the show.
What are some of the most interesting points about this season and how it will be different from the past seasons?
The first thing is, I think this season is going to be very different from any of the other ones. Last season was very divided, we were a little more unified this season.
You can’t have a bond if you ain’t around each other. But us actually being together a lot more, really opened up a lot of doors that we could walk through, which last season it was very, very divided. So, we’re together this season, we’re definitely around each other a lot. It’s not just me and Nene over her and them over there. I’m all up in the mix with all the girls. Nene’s in LA a lot because she’s working on another show, so with that being done I actually got to really know a lot of the other ladies, because my girl left me.
And it’s a good thing because I got to really know a lot of the other ladies. She’s doing her thing and it was great to really get to know the other girls, which is something I wanted to do going into the season. So that mission was accomplished. And, you know we have two new girls in the mix. New blood is always a good thing, and I think that definitely changes the dynamics of the group a lot as well. It’s a little unpredictable. There was so much going on all the time and I’m actually, for the first time, excited to really see the show, so I can see what happened. It was so much going on.
Is there anything else that you’re working on that you care to talk about?
I’m always working on stuff. One of the things I did with The Bailey Agency, was a model search and I found an amazing model. You’ll see all that on the show. So I’m gonna be working with developing all these amazing things with her. Also, one of the things that I did was the pageant, which was very successful, so I’m getting ready to get everything ready for the next year. I definitely will be collaborating with JET on some other projects. I’m getting a lot of different clients at my school. The school is very successful. I plan on really making the Bailey Agency even more of a success going into 2013.
Peter and I are actually working on a couple’s relationship book. We’re hoping that it’s gonna come out by Valentine’s Day. It’s basically about couples getting together later in life. I’m 35, he’s 52. I think in this era that we live in with the whole social network dating, match.com and stuff like that, people in their 40’s can get into relationships because it’s easier now. You don’t have to go out to meet people that much anymore. Not that that’s not our situation, but we know that there are definitely people that will be able to relate to our story. The thing about getting together later in life is you have a lot of baggage already. You already have stuff going on, you usually already have kids already. There’s already baby-momma’s involved and already baby-daddy’s involved. So it’s a lot going on. Its not a situation where you’re just getting into something where, “Ok, we’re gonna get our first house together, we’re gonna have our first kids together.” None of that is going on. And everyone’s pretty much set in their ways at that point. Peter and I, we’re very independent people. The way we kind of deal with each other, we think people will be interested in how our relationship works.