Posted on 31 May 2010.
Alex McCord came right out and said it. Â She told Us magazine that the mental breakdown that Kelly Bensimon seemed to be having “was much more [crazy] in real life.” Â Crazier than calling someone (McCord) a vampire and that they were “channeling” the devil? Â Crazier than telling anyone who would listen that one of the Housewives (Bethenny Frankel) was trying to kill her? Â As crazy as it might sound, Alex McCord said that they left the craziest parts on the editing room floor.
According the McCord, they did it to make Kelly Bensimon look better.
According to the blogosphere, they didn’t do a good enough job.
“I remember the first time that Kelly mentioned that she thought I was channeling the devil,” Alex McCord told Us magazine. Â “It was in the middle of the soup course! Â That wasn’t the first time that had happened. Throughout the trip, it just came out of the blue.”
Alex McCord was speaking, of course, about the now famous episode on “The Real Housewives of New York City” where Kelly Bensimon seemed to alternate between a mental breakdown and a regular person. Â She told Us that it was Housewife Sonja Morgan that figured that Kelly Bensimon’s behavior was just erratic. Â The women had been taking most of Bensimon’s outbursts in stride, just laughing about the things she said, until Sonja Morgan pointed out that there was something more disturbing going on.
Morgan told the others that Kelly Bensimon wasn’t “being rational.” Â McCord continued: “There was definitely a moment when we all clicked into realizing we had to stop picking part all the insane things being said because there’s a reason beyond anyone’s control, beyond her control.”
But one woman’s breakdown is another woman’s breakthrough. Â Kelly Bensimon does not see her behavior as anything out of the ordinary. Â In fact, that’s how she described her behavior to New York‘s “Vulture” — a breakthrough.
Bensimon explained her strange actions as honesty. Â She told “Vulture” that she was asked to go on a weekend outing with women who do not like her. Â She says she was “hated on” and felt “trapped.” Â And then she had a “breakthough,” which is a psychological term for a moment of insight that leads to progress, usually during therapy, after there was initial resistance. Â She said, “I just let go, I was crying, just, like, stop harassing.”
Even with all the others hating on her, Kelly Bensimon says she loves her role on “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Â “I’m completely honest,” she told “Vulture.” “I have a ton of integrity, and I love doing this show. The minute that I walk into the room, I create a frenetic energy â€” it’s not kinetic, it’s not, like, a forward motion, it’s just like this stagnant frenetic energy. And let’s be honest, it makes forÂ awesome TV. I mean, haters are part of the ecosystem, and if they’re not hating on you, you’re not doing something right.”
Alex McCord described how the other women on “The Real Housewives of New York City” felt about that episode, which was filmed back in November. Â She told Us that the other Housewives have discussed it. Â She admits that afterward there was doubt and that they began to believe that it was they who may have been been irrational about what happened. Â “We thought maybe our memories had distorted. But when [my husband]Â Simon saw it he said, ‘Okay. Now I understand what you were talking about!”
And yet, Alex McCord also said that what was seen by the viewing public wasn’t nearly as bad as what was edited from the final episode. Â If that is so, exactly what did happen, and how far is Kelly Bensimon willing to take her breakdown-as-breakthrough? Â Honesty is a virtue, but honesty in a delusional framework isn’t honesty that others understand. If Kelly Bensimon is truly having a mental breakdown, will her honesty allow her to get a glimpse of it, at least long enough for her to seek treatment? Â And if her worst moments were on the editing floor, isn’t the show contributing to her problems by making them look less severe than they truly are, perhaps even reinforcing her delusions and erratic behavior?
Or is “The Real Housewives of New York City” just a television show where faux craziness has hooked us all into the melodrama?