Kandi Burruss-Tucker found herself on the receiving end of great criticism after part three of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show aired. After co-star NeNe Leakes broke down about not being claimed by her father nor raised by her mother, the ladies all ran to comfort her, except Kandi who had to be coerced. She seemed very puzzled by the turn of events and was not eager to join the kumbaya party; but was the criticism unfair?
In NeNe’s most vulnerable moment on the show, she found herself learning the power of sisterhood and the benefits of releasing past hurts. Initially she exited the set, but returned with a different attitude. NeNe still refused to talk about the pain openly, but her tears left an indelible imprint with the ladies. NeNe thanked each of the ladies for their support, except for Kandi, who she obviously still has an issue with.
Viewers did not witness any major conflict between NeNe and Kandi this season, but NeNe recently tweeted the Fly Above singer was her number one hater on the show. NeNe explained, after watching this past season, she was not too fond of many of the comments Kandi made about her but understands because, according to NeNe, her fellow housewife is:
Hateful and jealous because she failed to be a friend to Phaedra Parks.
Kandi has not been shy with her feelings of NeNe either. After learning of the friendship which blossomed between Phaedra and the Broadway actress Kandi voiced her disapproval. Although everyone deserves a second chance, for the former Xscape singer, NeNe has already shown everyone how she handles relationships. The Stay Prayed Up singer reminded viewers how her co-star blasted Cynthia, who she called a sister, after their relationship ended and did the same with Kim Zolciak-Biermann. In her own words, Kandi said to NeNe:
What I am saying is you have shown a side where you will blast a person with information that you know about them if you all are no longer friends. Also I do not like your superior stank a** attitude at times, but when you are fun, laughing and having a good time, I love that.
This particular exchange ended with NeNe saying to Kandi, “I see you” and the No Scrubs singer responding emphatically, “We see each other!” As the reunion continued there was obvious tension between the two co-stars but no one anticipated NeNe’s breakdown after Kandi spoke out about the prior therapy session. Although the songwriter did not immediately jump to NeNe’s aid, she did acknowledge the energy change after the obvious breakdown. When speaking of the experience Kandi said:
She was bringing up some things in her past that really struck a nerve with her; like talking about things in her childhood and it brought about a different emotion.
Many of the ladies were crying with NeNe, but Kandi seemed confused about the drastic turn of events. Although it appeared insensitive to many of the viewers, as well as some cast members, the record producer may have been justified with her expression. She has endured NeNe’s “stank attitude” for much longer than most of the other housewives and has witnessed short-lived apologizes from her fellow housewife. If past experience is a great indicator of future behavior Kandi was well within her rights to be a bit leery of the validity of the breakdown.
Truth is, people cannot expect others to immediately dismiss all the negative experiences they have shared until time has allowed the opportunity for consistency. NeNe has gone through kumbaya moments with other cast members only to show up at the next event without any change of behavior or attitude. Whether Kandi believed it or not should have no bearing on NeNe’s truth.
According to her husband, Gregg Leakes, the pain was real. NeNe has struggled with being raised by an aunt while her siblings remained in the care of her mother, who has never really tried to have a relationship with her daughter. The pain of a mother not wanting her and a father’s refusal to claim her has been the source of deep-rooted frustration and anger accompanied with the feelings of betrayal and rejection.
What NeNe finally realized is they all share a bond, regardless of the senseless drama. Her meltdown, whether momentary or long-term, was a bonding moment for the group. It opened up the opportunity for a more positive eighth season. Despite the criticism Kandi received due to the lack of empathy for NeNe, she was left wondering how all of the arguing could take place and end with a group hug, void of apparent resolution. While some people applauded Kandi for not being fooled by NeNe, stating that she will never change, others slammed her for not showing compassion.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Guardian Liberty Voice