Season 13 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta will be unlike any past season, according to Cynthia Bailey! “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 revealed during an EXCLUSIVE interview on HollywoodLife TVTalk on Sept. 7. And all these changes are happening as they approach the two-month filming mark without RHOA’s longtime star, NeNe Leakes!NeNe has yet to sign her contract for Season 13, and if she exits the show, it’ll be a huge change considering that she has starred or appeared on just about every season of RHOA (save for Season 9). Cynthia spoke on the matter, telling us, “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. 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.”
However, what Cynthia does know for sure is that changes are happening no matter what this upcoming season — with or without NeNe. “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,” Cynthia sadly revealed, after the cast filmed countless memorable scenes in Greece for Season 12. However, nothing is set in stone — Cynthia added, “Don’t confirm anything that I say. 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.”
NeNe Leakes has starred on Seasons 1-7 of RHOA, guest starred on Season 8, and returned as a full-time cast member once again for Seasons 10-12. However, her future on Season 13 of the show is currently uncertain. (MEGA)
Social distancing guidelines leaves us to wonder if there’ll also be less drama, and while the ladies won’t be as face-to-face, Cynthia assured that they “still have some drama for sure.” After all, the cast is still “a little early in filming,” Cynthia pointed out. But she did admit that fans will be seeing a new type of drama. “I think it’s just a different time,” she admitted. This is because the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the Black Lives Matter movement, has put things into a new perspective for the cast.
“I think everybody is just leaning towards the side of A: Just being grateful and happy and alive,” Cynthia 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.”
Cynthia admitted that her own business, The Bailey Wine Cellar in Atlanta — where she got engaged to Mike Hill, 50, in front of RHOA cameras during the cellar’s grand opening in July of 2019 — has “really suffered” amid the pandemic, although it’s back open for business now! Cynthia is also still running her CB Vior Kids line, which sells casual, at-home clothes for children. “The wine cellar was closed for four months and I felt very grateful to be able to get on the other side of it and re-ope,n so I definitely want to make sure that on the show you guys will see me doing something bringing awareness to other Black-owned businesses that have struggled and are still struggling. A lot of places had to close and all of that stuff. And just as Black women, it’s just a different time,” she told us.
Cynthia Bailey with her fiancé, Mike Hill. The couple’s wedding is set to take place in Atlanta on Oct. 10, 2020!
The current social climate hasn’t made the RHOA ladies put all their differences aside, though. “I’m not saying we’re going to agree on everything and this is going to be a lot of kumbaya,” Cynthia clarified, noting that “everyone’s going to have a difference of opinion because that is always going to be the case with this group.” However, Cynthia also thinks that “at this point, we just want to be more positive.”
“We’re trying to be more positive than negative,” Cynthia added. “If not now, then I don’t know if that would ever change! I don’t like to speak for the other ladies. I just like to speak for myself. Everyone’s trying to come in peace, but that can go to the left with this group.”