For fans of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, it's time to make a very important decision: Are you on Team NeNe or Team Kandi? If you haven't been "watching what happens," tonight's episode promises a massive fight between the two fan favorites over "Don't Be Tardy For the Party," a song that Kandi produced for Kim. NeNe was supposed join Kim on the track, but after Kim heard the version that Kandi had arranged for her, Kim decided that NeNe no longer needed to be involved. This left Kandi in the middle, forced to decide whether or not NeNe should perform as originally planned.
Which brings us to the Sophie's Choice of reality television: There's no doubt that each woman brings a unique and irreplaceable flavor to the show -- and each gal is likable in her own right. But as with any reality TV personality, it's difficult to declare loyalty one or the other. Lest you be forced to make this tough call on your own, we've put together a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
Pro: Kandi is the newest housewife on the show and one of the only self-made women in the history of the franchise. Her counterparts from other locales, the annoyingly cruel Bethenny Frankel and the utterly insane Ramona Singer from Real Housewives of New York City have more business smarts than raw talent. Kandi has risen on talent, but also has the business side on lock; she lives in a modest home, investing her money in real estate and recording mainly in the studio in her own backyard.
Con: Because Kandi is the newest housewife on the show, you have to you wonder: What do we really know about this Kandi Burruss? As a pop star in her teen years and a song writer/record producer in her adult years, Kandi has been trained to behave herself in front of cameras. As with any performer, there's a lingering doubt with that Kandi is being her true self. Is she more skilled than the rest of the cast at hiding her crazy?
Pro: Watching Kandi work with Real Housewives outcast Kim Zolciak made it clear that when it comes to her friends, Kandi's generosity knows no bounds. While most producers would have refused to associate their work with an amateur like Kim, Kandi acknowledges that Kim has room to improve -- but with Kandi's help, has a chance of making a hit. This shows grace and loyalty, two qualities you'd have to look hard to find in most of the housewives.
Con: Perhaps the only questionable aspect of Kandi's life is her relationship with her live-in finace, A.J. While chastising him for not being the breadwinner in the family is the double standard to end all double standards, there is something rather unfortunate about the fact that even Kandi's mom seems turned off by the union. Though both Kandi and A.J. have children from previous relationships, Kandi's younger man has six in his brood -- a sizable amount compared to Kandi's sole daughter Riley (who expressed her own slight displeasure with the marriage on the season premiere). Is Kandi is making the right decision for herself and her daughter, or is she is so blinded by her love for A.J. that she's not even hearing the concerns of her friends and family?
Pro: Nene has been a fan favorite since the first season, and her audience is wide reaching. Even the Silver Fox, Anderson Cooper, has taken time out to declare his unabashed love for this sassy lady from Athens. NeNe's campy personality, self-celebratory spirit, and loving relationship with her family has made her standout among her self-important co-stars. Though NeNe is quick to give herself props, she seems to have a level of self-awareness and sense of humor about that the others lack.
Con: Unfortunately, NeNe's popularity has gone to her head. Being hip to her own success -- and learning how to work both the camera and the audience has played against the former stripper this year. NeNe went from being your average, trash-talking sass machine to a full-blown Mean Girl this season, exempting no one from her harsh (and often unfair) critiques. While her impressions of Kim and catty jokes are still chuckle-worthy, at times they are hard to watch. Sometimes her actions seem straight-up conniving: NeNe may feign ignorance to the cultural faux-pas, but when she (unsuccessfully) tried to convince Kim to paint herself black and call herself "Kina" for the alter ego photo shoot, she was setting Kim up for negative press that would have been far more damaging than her failed singing career.
Pro: Despite the unfortunate turn that a lot of her jokes have taken this season, NeNe is still unquestionably hilarious. At the peak of her popularity, during last season's Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show, she famously coined the term "trashbox" after a knockdown fight with Kim. The fact is, while so many people tune in to Real Housewives for the drama, it's the humor that keeps them coming back. No one else on the program is able to deliver such unfailing one-liners, comebacks and disses.
Con: While she tends to wear most of her indiscretions as a badge of honor, Nene has one of the most checkered pasts on the show. Between her career as a stripper, finding out in her thirties that the man who raised her was not her father, and losing her house to foreclosure, you have to wonder how NeNe has attracted so much drama in her life. While some of these events were out of her control, the constant cycle of negativity that surrounds her makes you wonder is more of an instigator than a survivor.
Of course, we can't make the final call until we see tonight's fight. Whose side are you on?
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Thursdays at 10 pm on Bravo