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Bravo's 'Scandoval' is Good for the Vanderpump Business

Lisa Vanderpump relished in the attention on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
  • Lisa Vanderpump on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. (Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo)
    Lisa Vanderpump on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. (Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

    Bravo knows everyone is watching. Before airing the March 8 episode of Vanderpump Rules Season 10, the network played a repeat of the March 1 episode with never-before-seen clips, zeroing in on Raquel Leviss’ interactions with Ariana Madix. The increased interest in the show is a sharp turn from Season 9, which many thought should be its last. The “Scandoval” has suddenly turned the series into must-see TV.

    After the March 8 episode aired, Bravo gave the people what they wanted and booked Lisa Vanderpump on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to share all her thoughts about the Leviss’ affair with Tom Sandoval with Andy Cohen. And despite saying time and time again how much she cares about all the people on the show like they’re her own children, she couldn’t hide her giddiness at all the attention the scandal was causing.

    Showing up with a full smile, Vanderpump took every opportunity during her appearance to promote her Las Vegas restaurant, Vanderpump à Paris; call for “vigilante justice” against her former (or potentially, soon-to-be current?) The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costar Kyle Richards and recently “paused” Lisa Rinna; and push her Vanderpump Rosé (which she seemed to be swigging liberally before her appearance). When asked by Cohen if she’s seen Madix, Vanderpump’s first response is, “Yes, we filmed together.” Would she have checked in on Madix with the same care if the cameras weren’t rolling?

    The appearance was a clear extension of a line that Vanderpump has been walking for years as the Vanderpump Rules matriarch. She talks a big game about how much she cares about her employees, about the interpersonal relationships between them, while at the same time giving advice with her producer hat on. When she encourages Leviss, for instance, to talk with her ex James Kennedy’s new girlfriend, it’s not because she actually wants peace among these young people as she claims, it’s to keep the drama going so that she can stay on television. She was often accused on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills of being a puppet master, and with Vanderpump Rules, she confidently and proudly steps into that role.

    Throughout the episode, Vanderpump quickly swept over sharing any actual insights into the relationship between Sandoval and Leviss. Instead she reveled in the fact that Chrissy Teigen has 20 different group chats talking about the drama, patting herself on the back when Cohen mentioned that the show was trending on CNN and being covered by The New York Times. Even in the final moments, she was more delighted to share that she and Lizzo are neighbors and friends than to share any words about those in her orbit who are picking up the pieces after a life-changing betrayal. Even though Madix, Sandoval, Leviss, and the rest of the Vanderpump Rules cast are facing a tumultuous chapter in their personal and professional lives, this Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen episode made it clear that it’s a good time to be Lisa Vanderpump.

    Vanderpump Rules airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM ET on Bravo and streams on Peacock the next day. Join the conversation about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Lisa Vanderpump, Bravo, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Andy Cohen, Ariana Madix, Raquel Leviss, Tom Sandoval