Though it’s the youngest spinoff of the franchise, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is very much holding its own in the drama bombshell department of the rich and scandalous. Some fans might even argue that the dynamics going on over in Utah surpass even what the tried-and-true vets are doing, given the legal battle and other controversies playing out in the off-season. Nevertheless, I have a bone to pick with a pattern that fan-favorite Heather Gay is seemingly falling into during the show’s reunions.
Particularly, I noted last year how different Heather Gay was at the freshman reunion in comparison to the actual show. Instead of being the usual peacemaker amongst the group, she seemed to be taking on an instigator role in front of Andy Cohen that felt neither authentic to who we came to know her as or earned in the final season edit. And unfortunately, it’s been happening again in the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Season 2 reunions.
The reality star, in essence, puts on the front of a “good guy” during the season, only to dramatically lean into a different approach later on. For example, in Season 2, Heather Gay bonded tremendously with Lisa Barlow. She went out with her, shaded the other castmates with her, and even commiserated with her that she finally saw how abandoned Barlow was in her other friendships. Yet, at the reunion, Gay was more outspoken than anyone else about Barlow – to the point of cutting her off and jumping in several times just like last year.
It could be said that Heather Gay’s distant cousin/co-star Whitney Rose was right there with her, just slightly less intense, in terms of carrying the lion’s share of pot-stirring at the reunion. However, at least Rose had the grace (or audacity) to flat-out confront people about her perceptions when it mattered while originally filming.
Sure, it’s okay to change your mind about people and feel some kind of way about them, especially in the Real Housewives franchise and at their reunions. But in Salt Lake City, it’s really starting to hit home how much of an easier standard that Heather Gay is being held to. She’s allowed to be friendly with everyone in the moment and then go in the opposite direction at reunions – without anyone really getting the chance to question her own questionable side commentaries. Perhaps that’s the ultimate reason for this pattern: strike as a means of defense.
Now, full disclosure, I love Heather Gay just as much as Rihanna and the rest of the Bravo fanbase does. (Hard as it might be to believe.) The ongoing meatball bit about her sex life, how transparent she is as a mother and ex-Mormon – all of it. But at this point, keeping the energy consistent would be a good thing. Let’s just see how things go in the final Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion on Sunday, March 13 at 8 p.m. EST, on Bravo in the 2022 TV schedule.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.