‘Real Housewives Of New York’ Stars Expose Casting Secrets, Claim They Were Asked To Produce Drama For Better Ratings

Former Real Housewives of New York stars are blowing the roof off of Bravo’s most successful franchise.

Drama has never been in short supply for Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. From all the divorces the series has captured to the arrests and financial problems, fans have witnessed a lot of issues go down on the reality show. However, how much of this drama is manufactured for the sake of ratings, and how is it tied in with casting? According to former Real Housewives of New York stars, the drama isn’t as natural as most fans think.

In an interview with the New York Post, a number of former stars explained how just how hard it is to get a spot on the show. After selected, many of the women are expected to perform and bring plenty of drama if they want another contract.

“It’s way more intense to become a Housewife than it used to be,” Melissa Stanforth stated. “It’s not a show that celebrates women,” Kelly Bensimon added. “But that’s just the nature of the beast: He who barks the loudest gets the bone.”

Kelly Bensimon RHONY
Kelly Bensimon [Image via Bravo]
The level of competition may be high, but the New York Post is reporting that hasn’t stopped Julianne Wainstein from grabbing a part in the new season. Not only is Wainstein thrilled about being selected for the show, but she’s also glad about being the center of attention. “I love attention,” Wainstein shared. “Imagine having your hair and makeup professionally done all the time, and then people, like, staring at you through a lens. It’s fun.”

With so many women wanting a spot on The Real Housewives of New York, producers rely heavily on recommendations from current cast members to make their casting decisions. Not only does this provide a connection to the other ladies on the show, but it is also another way to vet newcomers. For Wainstein, her relationship with Dorinda Medley opened the door for her part in the series.

“She called me up one day, and she was like, ‘Would you be interested in being a Housewife?’ For me, it was kind of perfect timing… I kind of get high off of taking risks. So I couldn’t say no.”

Apart from the revealing nature of the casting process, Aviva Drescher explained how producers encourage the ladies to act out. This drama is manufactured in order to produce higher ratings on the show. In fact, Drescher revealed that producers got down on her for acting too kind during the reunion for Season 5.

“The producers said, ‘We don’t want our characters to be self-censoring. We want them to be themselves’ — i.e., wild and dramatic… So what did I do in those eight weeks? I produced drama.”

Aviva Drescher from RHONY [Image via Bravo]
Aviva Drescher from RHONY [Image via Bravo]
As fans will recall, Drescher was villainized during her run on the show. This was something that Drescher apparently knew going in, but didn’t prevent her from being the best bad girl she could muster. This culminated in Season 6, when Drescher threw her prosthetic leg on a table and then across the room during the season finale.

Although Drescher admitted that she acted out in order to stay on the show, she was cut the following year. According to Drescher, this was largely due to the relationship between host Andy Cohen and Carole Radziwill, which is another factor the women have to deal with.

Bethenny Frankel [Image via Bravo]
Bethenny Frankel [Image via Bravo]
Meanwhile, the Real Housewives of New York is currently getting ready for the upcoming season. According to Radar Online, the drama this season will focus on Bethenny Frankel and her mysterious medical issue.

“Bethenny has some health issues,” Sonja Morgan told the outlet. “You have to see how it turns out and how serious it is.”

Considering how much of the drama is exaggerated for ratings, it isn’t clear if Frankel’s condition is as serious as it appears. Like always, fans will have to make up their own mind when the new season of The Real Housewives of New York returns to television.

[Image via Bravo]