The first morning of BravoCon 2023 would’ve already been a major commotion, with fans of the Bravo network’s slate of popular reality television shows descending on Caesars Forum in Las Vegas to watch their favorite Bravolebrities take part in a variety of convention panels. But add in another layer of drama—Bethenny Frankel’s reality reckoning and ensuing Vanity Fair exposé, which has already resulted in Real Housewives of New York alum Ramona Singer being cut from a panel she was scheduled to attend—and the electricity inside the convention center was palpably abuzz.
The question about the reckoning eventually came, with Cohen telling the crowd that he is living in the “joy and happiness” that Bravo brings its fans, as evidenced by the existence of this convention in the first place.
Fans waiting in line for BravoCon’s kickoff panel “Ask Andy”—where Bravo mogul Andy Cohen answers questions from a moderator and fields queries from the audience—wondered if he would quell any doubts fans had about their favorite franchises. After Singer was axed from her Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip panel, rumors swirled that her upcoming spinoff season—RHUGT: RHONY Legacy— would be tabled entirely. To top all of that off, RHONY Legacy is the second RHUGHT season that has already been filmed to meet controversy, after former Real Housewife Caroline Manzo accused Brandi Glanville of sexual misconduct following the filming of their season based in Morocco.
Needless to say, the tension hung low in the air at the Ask Andy panel, only to be briefly cut when Cohen and the panel’s moderator, Jeff Lewis, emerged from backstage. Lewis promised that he would go rogue from the questions that the network provided him, to the elation and screams from the audience. But Lewis’ version of “going rogue” was more focused on his own typically provocative agenda. Cohen fielded comments from Lewis about Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Monica Garcia’s income bracket—a remark that elicited jeers from the crowd—and about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills OG Kyle Richards’ alleged rumored relationship with singer Morgan Wade.
While Cohen was skilled at dodging questions from his friend of 16 years moderating the panel, he couldn’t do the same when the mics turned over to the audience. Bravo fans quickly lined up around the stage for a chance to ask Cohen their most burning quandaries, but only one was bold enough to take on Frankel’s reality reckoning.
After a few softballs, a woman named Alexandra took the mic and prefaced her question by saying that she was going to go a little messier. “[Bethenny Frankel’s] reality reckoning,” she said, causing the room to fall silent for the first time since people piled into it. “What are your thoughts?” Lewis tried his best to breeze past the question, but the crowd was determined for Cohen’s response.
“My thoughts are that Bravo, and the shows that are on Bravo, bring millions of people so much joy and so much happiness,” Cohen began. [That’s] why we’re all here: to have fun. And what I think is that I live in the joy that these shows bring people, and I think we all do. And that’s the place that I’m at.”
While the rest of the questions were adoring musings on Cohen and his reality television empire, one more prickly query slipped through the cracks. An audience member asked Cohen whether or not the upcoming Morocco season of RHUGT would eventually air, citing the rumors that it had been canned.
“There was a weird thing that said it’s not airing,” Cohen responded. “But we had two [seasons] in the can, and because of the excitement surrounding RHONY: Legacy, we basically pushed [that season] up.” When the crowd member pressed for a more definitive answer, Cohen gave him another diplomatic response. “I sure hope so,” he said.
While Cohen’s answers to both questions were characteristically professional, the whispers in the room that followed felt less assured. And with tens of thousands of Bravo fans eager to know if their favorite television network might be standing on shaky ground, the question mark surrounding the reality reckoning will only grow larger during BravoCon weekend.