Cynthia Bailey is opening up about RHOA Season 13, sharing in a new interview that the show will look “very different” to fans amid the coronavirus pandemic and without longtime star Nene Leakes.
“It’s going to look very different. Number one, we’re shooting a lot more from our homes and stuff now, so a lot of times you guys see us out and about and at all of these different restaurants and little fancy places — not so much [now],” Cynthia told HollywoodLife in an exclusive interview.
“I am all for whatever Nene wants to do. Whatever she feels is right for her at this time. We’re in a good place. I think the show definitely is great with her being a part of it. She’s been a part of it for years. We’ll see,” she continued. “I can’t really speak on it, other than like I’ve already said before. I haven’t personally seen her. I don’t know if anyone else has, but I know that I haven’t.”
In addition to Nene Leakes’ absence, RHOA Season 13 is also set to see some production changes, mainly due to the pandemic. “Even our all cast trips, I don’t think we’re getting on a plane anytime soon as a cast, so I don’t think the international trip is going to happen,” she revealed, recalling the cast’s dramatic trip to Greece just last year.
“Don’t confirm anything that I say,” she added. “From what I’m being told, it looks like we won’t be flying anywhere anytime soon, so any trips that we go on, unless we can drive, we’re trying to respect COVID regulations and try to stay healthy. A lot of the ladies have kids and stuff. Even if they didn’t, nobody really wants to get COVID-19.”
Despite Nene’s absence and the additional precautions being taken due to the pandemic, Cynthia promises that fans will still get some of the drama that they know and love from the hit Bravo franchise.
“I think everybody is just leaning towards the side of A: Just being grateful and happy and alive,” she explained. “Unfortunately, a lot of people have passed from COVID, so just taking that seriously, and also we’re still in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement. The mood with everyone and the ladies is everybody’s using the platform and their individual initiatives to support the movement. I’m really all over the Black business thing.”
Nene Leakes exits
As previously reported, the RHOA cast is over a month into filming RHOA Season 13 and have done so without Nene Leakes in tow. According to various reports, Nene was in prolonged contract negotiations with Bravo but those have since fallen off, meaning she is officially out.
With Nene out, the show will definitely look different to viewers next year, so Cynthia is on the money with that.
Officially returning for Season 13 are Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams, Kandi Burruss, Marlo Hampton, and Tanya Sam, while Drew Sidora is joining as a full-time Housewife and LaToya Ali has snagged a Friend Of spot.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta is expected to return to Bravo sometime in 2021.