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Countess Luann is the music star of the summer (really)

This week:

  • The safe outbreak of the traitor Cast of season 3.
  • The surprisingly biggest star of the summer music festival.
  • A message from a Bravo party.
  • An extremely nostalgic look back.
  • God bless Dolly Parton. (Always.)

The global takeover of the Countess

It is a good week to be a former Real Housewives of New York City Star. While the cast of the reboot of the Bravo reality series is currently filming in the Big Apple, the alumni of the original series seem to be triumphing in their own way.

Dorinda Medley becomes a viral sensation in season 3 of “The Last Man.” The traitorswhose filming has just begun in Scotland. Sonja Morgan, “the straw that serves the drink,” finally sold her Upper East Side townhouse at auction. (If you have a RHONY Fan, you know what a years-long saga this has been. To put it in terms of a traditional storytelling series, Sonja selling her townhouse is comparable to Jim and Pam finally kissing The officeor Ross and Rachel get back together in Friends Finale. We've waited years for this moment and it's just as gratifying as those TV milestones.)

But no graduate of the Bravo blockbuster of fabulous madness is doing better right now than Luann de Lesseps.

“The Countess,” as she is known – a title she bore due to a previous marriage – performed at the Mighty Hoopla pop music festival in the UK. Suffice it to say, this is the first time a real housewife has performed at a Music Festival. Nelly Furtado, Jessie Ware, En Vogue, Eve and Rita Ora were some of the big acts on the bill. That Luann de Lesseps was among these big names was meant to sound like a joke. But it wasn't. It was hardly meant to be ironic. If you watch the videos of her performance, you'll see that it was a triumph.

Mighty Hoopla is a festival that raises awareness about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. If you google it, one of the automated questions the search engine will bring up is something like, “Can straight people go to Mighty Hoopla?” So suffice it to say that the audience there is the target audience for Countess Luann's novelty pop songs and cheesy cabaret numbers. Still, it was crazy to see this real housewife strut on stage at a real music festival in front of thousands of fans, all of whom were going crazy with excitement for her and singing along to every word of her songs.

When you're about to seriously write the phrase “I'm proud” in reference to a Real Housewives star, you know it's time for an intervention. And yet, watching all the videos of Luann's performance brought tears to my eyes. She turned a music career that was basically a silly – albeit entertaining – joke into a real deal. My only disappointment is that she's no longer on the Bravo show, so there were no cameras capturing the moment.

I witnessed live what happened

It wasn't my intention for this week's newsletter to be so focused on Bravo, but then again, it's never my intention for anything to be exclusively Bravo-focused—before I spend every brunch, every cocktail party (wedding reception, birthday party, bar mitzvah, funeral…) talking exclusively about Bravo to anyone who will listen.

This week I was at a party for the 15th anniversary of Andy Cohen's Bravo talk show See what's happening livewhich had a clever guest list: all Bravolebrities present were those who had appeared on the show at least 15 times. Among the people at the party were Real Housewives of Salt Lake City with Heather Gay and Whitney Rose, Summer house with Carl Radke and Kyle Cooke, and Vanderpump Rules Favorite Scheana Shay. Both argue Real Housewives of New Jersey Sisters-in-law Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga were there – they owe their Presidential Medals of Freedom to the PR people at Bravo, who worked all night to keep them on opposite sides of the party.

Kevin Fallon/ The Daily Beast

I have long been a proponent of the series as the most entertaining late-night show on television, with merits that go far beyond mere boozy chat with gaming celebrities; more than most series in the genre, WWHL manages to break real news because guests are so willing to answer the cheekier, gossipy questions that Cohen poses without qualms. So I was amused by what Cohen had to say in his speech at the party: “We kept this show as stupid as we could. We have a See what's happening live Glory Hole. We have a gay shark. We've mentioned poppers more than any other late night show. That's what we do.” God bless him for that.

Oh, happy day

There are certain films that are undeniably perfect, and Sister act is one of them. I'm not trying to mischievously upset cinephiles. It's objectively true: It has a flawlessly structured script, a superb lead performance by Whoopi Goldberg, and an impeccable sense of tone. Many Gen Xers and Millennials nostalgically adore Sister Act 2: Back in office because of the music, but the original is flawless.

After that introduction, it was a pleasure to learn this week that Goldberg was the members of this Sister Act 2 cast to sing one of those unforgettable numbers for the film's 30th anniversary. Should I admit that I got a little misty-eyed when the original cast sang “Oh Happy Day” and Goldberg beamed at them with pride? No, absolutely not. That definitely didn't happen.

Finally something nice

This week it was announced that Dolly Parton will be creating her own wine collection and will also be collaborating on a Broadway musical about her life. And to have such beautiful things happen, tailored specifically to the greatest interests, shows me that God really does exist.

GIF of Dolly Parton sipping wine.

What to see this week:

Perfect match: We are fans of a reality show that knows and perfects the trash TV formula. (Now on Netflix)

Queer Planet: Did you know that pretty much every animal is a flaming homo? (Now on Peacock)

HitMan: Glen Powell is officially our next big movie star. (Now on Netflix)

What to skip this week:

The Guardians: The directorial debut of M. Night Shyamalan's daughter is not a good plea for Nepo babies. (Now in cinemas)

I'm okay?: It's never a good day to make a film that the critics, if they don't like it, can turn into a pun in their headline. (Now at Max)

The Acolyte: This new Star Wars prequel is a $180 million waste of time. (Now on Disney+)

The Daily Beast is obsessed

Everything we're constantly loving, hating, and thinking about in pop culture this week.