Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8, Episode 17 Recap: Fashion Fight Night

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8, Episode 17 recap
Photo by: Jai Lennard/Bravo via Getty Images

In the Real Housewives universe, everyone knows that a “fashion show” is a place where chaos erupts. Whether it’s a Posche Fashion Show in New Jersey or the She by Shereé fashion show with no fashions, there’s something about these events that makes Housewives (and their friends) lose their cool. The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8, Episode 17 “Fashion Show-Down,” added a new entry into the zeitgeist.

In the previous episode, Charrisse gathered the entire cast for a crab boil, hoping that seafood could help bridge the divides within the group. While the ladies did bond over the lack of seasoning on the food, Robyn and Candiace ended up having another explosive argument, and Charrisse had to play referee.

This week, the Real Housewives of Potomac were busy going to therapy, working side hustles, and planning fashion shows. It all led up to an epic fashion showcase for Gizelle and Ashley’s athleisure line, followed by Deborah Williams wreaking havoc at the after-party. Here’s what went down in RHOP Season 8, Episode 17.

Real Hustlers of Potomac

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8, Episode 17
Photo by: Jai Lennard/Bravo

A good chunk of this episode followed all of the ladies as they worked on their various side hustles. Gizelle and Ashley prepped for their fashion show, Wendy shot the pilot for her talk show, and Robyn made progress toward opening her skincare studio. It’s a testament to just how much these women are working to try to make money outside of the Real Housewives. It’s almost as if some of them are concerned about their job security.

For Wendy, we’ve been loosely following her talk show journey throughout the season. In this episode, we learned that she maxed out her $20,000 budget and had to get a check from Eddie for $50,000 to get the project across the finish line. When it came time to film the pilot, it made sense why she maxed out her budget: she basically produced an episode of The View except instead of sitting at a table, they were seated on a small couch.

Elsewhere in Potomac, Robyn and Juan met with a realtor to visit a potential location for her skincare studio. She explained how there’s a lot of importance in diversifying their income after Juan lost his job. Robyn might be losing hers soon, too, so they need something to fall back on. Robyn said she felt confident that a skincare studio was the right move.

Despite the seriousness of their financial situation, Robyn was deeply unserious during this meeting with her realtor. She didn’t even know what her budget was for the space. Isn’t that step number one when trying to make a real estate move? Someone help her.

In real-time, we know that Wendy successfully launched her talk show as a YouTube channel. Plus, we know that Robyn selected a location for her skincare studio. If these ladies return for Season 9, the producers have to demand a status update on these ventures.

On-screen insemination

Say what you want about Nneka’s rookie season. She solidified her spot on the show this week by letting the cameras follow her and Ike into the doctor’s office for IUI, also known as intrauterine insemination. If you’re not letting the cameras follow you into an intimate doctor’s appointment, are you really a Real Housewife?

In previous episodes, Nneka opened up about their desire to start a family. They were having trouble getting the ball rolling, so she said that settled on IUI, despite the risk of facing ridicule from their family. If their family disapproved of the IUI process, you have to wonder how they must have felt about the fact that we saw the whole thing on camera.

Ike and Nneka went to the doctor’s office, and the cameras awkwardly stood by as the couple went into a bathroom to extract his semen. The doctor told them they could fetch it out by any means necessary, they just couldn’t use any spit or lube. After the deed was done, the cameras rolled as Nneka’s doctor inseminated her. Talk about a one-stop shop! Now, we just have to wait to see if it worked.

Gizelle’s family emergency

Episode 17 took a somber turn when we learned that Gizelle was facing a family emergency. In the days leading up to the GnA fashion showcase, her dad was hospitalized. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and Gizelle had to fly from Atlanta to Maryland to be by his side.

The sudden downturn in her dad’s health meant Gizelle couldn’t focus on planning the GnA fashion show. She said that Ashley had to step up in a major way to make the event come to life. The fact that Gizelle was even able to make it to the event seemed like a miracle.

At the fashion show, Mia shared with the women how Gizelle would have to make an early exit to go be with her father for his surgery. While most of the women showed support to Gizelle, Wendy, and Candiace both had a hard time feeling sympathetic. Regardless of where you stand on their feud, we can all agree that it didn’t feel good watching this part, especially since we know Gizelle’s father passed away recently.

Regardless, Wendy reminded everyone how her mother fell ill with a mysterious illness during their trip to Austin, Texas. Wendy said that her mom had to have surgery, but that didn’t stop the ladies from talking about the witchcraft rumors.

This felt like comparing apples to oranges, but it also underscored just how much Wendy despises Gizelle. If Wendy can’t bring herself to support Gizelle when her dad is dying from cancer, then she probably just shouldn’t be around Gizelle. Acting like a cordial co-worker is the bare minimum, and we’re not even getting that from the professor.

A fashion showcase extravaganza

GnA Gizelle n Ashley logo
Photo Credit: @gizelle.n.ashley via Instagram

Let’s talk about this GnA fashion showcase because it was truly an all-star event. Everyone from Potomac showed up for the circus. We got to see Ashley’s mom Sheila, Uncle Lump, Jacqueline, and Charrisse, but then, boom. Deborah walked in. You could feel everyone in the room thinking to themselves, “What is she doing here?”

The last time we saw Deborah, she was throwing around baseless claims about Eddie. Bless her for introducing the phrase “Happy Eddie” into the world, but good grief. Did she need to come to this fashion show? Ashley invited her, which wasn’t surprising for Wendy. She expertly kept her cool, despite Deborah’s presence.

Karen arrived at the fashion show with an ounce of skepticism. Understandably, she wasn’t confident that Gizelle and Ashley could pull off a fashion show. They’re not necessarily known for being the fashionistas of the group.

“This year, Gizelle is improving in dressing,” Karen said in a confessional before the fashion show. “I’m hoping that her clothing line with Ashley is reflective of that improvement also.”

Once the fashions started coming down the runway, Karen admitted that they missed the mark a little bit, She said it should have been called “Booty Call Nightclub Wear by GnA.” That does kind of roll off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Robyn, Mia, Nneka, and Keiarna were all pretty positive about the fashion line, both in person and in their confessionals. Meanwhile, Candiace and Wendy threw shade the whole time. Candice said she was sweating just looking at some of the clothes coming down the runway. In her confessional, she described the line as “elevated Alibaba.”

Everyone agreed that for an athleisure line, the clothes seemed pretty impractical. They looked decent though, so at least there’s that. Regardless of the mixed reviews, none of the clothes from the showcase have actually made it to the GnA website. Right now, they’re still just selling socks and t-shirts.

Cameras down, fists up

So, we all remember when that video dropped of a wild fistfight between Keiarna and Deborah, right? For most of us, it was our first introduction to Keiarna. Everyone was puzzled by the fact there were Gizelle and Karen lookalikes caught up in the action. We saw Candiace pick up a bottle in the background like she was going to wield it as a weapon. Keiarna and Deborah wound up on the floor, and the entire RHOP fanbase started having flashbacks to Season 5. Not again.

When the GnA showcase kicked off, it became clear that this was the same night as the fight in that viral video. Bravo could have easily cut this out of the season since it didn’t involve any full-time cast members and the cameras weren’t rolling. However, we learned this week that the ladies were still mic’d when the fight went down. After the credits rolled, we got a glimpse into what caused the brawl. Surprise! It was Deborah.

In the post-credits scene, the producers played audio that featured Deborah confronting Candiace. She asked, “Candiace, is there anything you and I need to talk about?”

Candiace replied, “Absolutely not,” and then started asking the people around her to get “The Help” away from her. Deborah pressed on.

“You called me Sesame Street?” Deborah asked. “You didn’t say any of that in front of me.”

All of a sudden, you can hear Keiarna getting involved. She was trying to diffuse the situation, but despite her best efforts, Deborah kept pressing Candiace. She was getting louder and louder, and it sounded like she was ready to settle a score.

In the audio clip, chaos ensued as Keiarna tried to stop Deborah from going after Candiace. We all know what happened next, but Bravo hit us with the dreaded “To be continued” screen. That means that next week, we’re in for a juicy episode as the ladies sort through yet another physical altercation in Potomac.

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