So far, Kelly Killoren Bensimon has yet to demonstrate why Bravo even bothered adding her to their Real Housewives franchise.
She fits in on paper: She's rich, a former model, the ex-wife of fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, has two daughters, is a writer/journalist and zzzzzzzzzz. Oh, excuse me. You see, all that aside, Kelly is a crashing bore.
On the Real Housewives of New York City, we already have a well-adjusted, leggy former model in LuAnn, and even she has a quirky personality that comes out when it comes to her role as Countess de Lesseps. All the other housewives are genuine characters, whether we're talking about the ambitiously creepy Alex and her metro husband Simon, mouthy social maven Jill, caustically sarcastic Bethenny or even crazy-eyed Ramona, who never fails to embarrass her daughter.
The problem is that in early episodes, Kelly is barely a presence. She's glamorous for sure, but is far too well-adjusted and so far has shown no signs of snootiness or that petty behavior we all want to see. She even made friends with Ramona, for crying out loud.
Kelly, you need to step up your game. Maybe you can date someone wildly inappropriate or too young for you. Or maybe you can incite the envy of Silex (Simon and Alex) with your glitterati connections and then exclude them from a critical social event. Shoot, I'd even settle for a minor pet emergency. Something, anything. Just lose your cool and be human.
To be fair, future episodes will give Kelly ample opportunity to expose more of herself. We await these diva moments.
Check out a phone interview with Kelly Bensimon below and judge her personality yourself.
Why did you sign on to be on The Real Housewives of New York City?
Bensimon: I have some business opportunities I've been working on for the past couple of years and I just thought it would be a great vehicle to, you know, explore this life that I've created. New York is not Kansas, and I'm from Rockford, Illinois and I just thought it would be a great way of exploring, you know, this life that I’ve created and the way in which I live which is like completely different and such a foil to the way that I was raised.
You never saw the show before signing on?
Bensimon: No, I'm a writer and that's basically what I do, is I spend my life you know researching everything and everybody. I'm always the one that knows everything about everybody. And I just wanted for some — for a reality show, I just wanted it to be completely authentic and genuine. I didn't want to have you know any kind of preconceived notions. I just wanted to be like a clean slate and just go in there and just be myself and you know kind of deal with things as they come. Because like in an interview I can manipulate the interview because as a writer that's my job.
So you hit it off with Ramona?
Bensimon: Oh yes. When I first met Ramona I really was very charmed by her openness and the fact that she, like, came up to me and was like, "Who is this girl? I want to know her." I'm a very easy-going person so I really don't, and I'm not judgmental at all, you know, it's like however you want to swim in the sea is your problem just as long as it doesn't affect me or my kids. Like, you come near me or you come near my kids, you know, like you're not going to survive. But there wasn't really anyone that like I felt like was you know like off-putting or just, like, certain things annoy me and I took care of it and I move on. I don't cry over spilled milk.
What is your experience with being on TV with Behind the Hedges?
Bensimon: I'm the executive producer of my own television show on Plum TV and it's called Behind the Hedges. And it’s basically the inside scoop to my real life. You know you follow me everywhere with my kids, with you know writing, writing, I mean every single thing that I do, on my friends, where I go. I mean it’s really like insider.
Bensimon: The reason I wanted to do the show is to explore my life but also do things in what I call backdoor education which means like you're learning things you don't realize you're learning. Like I go to learn to drive a stick and I end up at Skip Barber Racing School and I'm driving racecars. And so you know as a woman to drive a racecar, it's kind of an oxymoron. Women don't really drive racecars. They don't according to, you know, most women don't like things that are like that. And so I go and do it, that's how I learned how to drive a racecar.
How is it switching from a show all about you to this ensemble show?
Bensimon: There’s a lot of focus, you know, personal focus. So it's like this, you know, personal episode and then you're exposed to the other women. They're very separate.
Bensimon: And I think that's what's really interesting about the show, is that you can see you know how these women are navigating through New York City, raising children, working, living you know with their husbands or boyfriends you know really like navigating through New York life. And then you see them with the you know type-A personality, Sex in the City, six super-independent, very assertive, interesting women. And so you know it's a very, you know, I mean it's the ultimate Trojan horse of a show.
What as a person did you bring to the show?
Bensimon: Well, first of all I live downtown. And I guess too, like, you know, I'm a single mom, so, you know, it's like I'm single, I'm working. Although I'm like, you know, I'm successful, I'm very relaxed — it's not like I, you know, I'm like super-aggressive about things or, I just, you know, have a lot of opportunities and I you know maximize on them. So, not really a New Yorker in that way. I mean, everyone is always like, "You're from California?" They never think I'm from New York.
Bensimon: I live downtown, so everything that I do is in a different — is a different way. Neither good nor bad but just different. So I think I bring, you know, I'm like, I'm a foil to the other girls, definitely.
The second season of The Real Housewives of New York City premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 17 on Bravo.
So, like, you know, do you like Kelly? Who are your favorites on this show?