Make That Money, Honey…Or Else: Why Kenya Moore Is A Much Better Version Of Sheree Whitfield

January 16, 2013  |  

A must watch, if you haven’t seen it already, is the video of Kenya Moore’s appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen where she unveiled her new single, “Gone with the Wind Fabulous.”

Let me just say that because it is Moore, my natural gut instinct is to throw shade to this like a ninja hiding in a dark alleyway. However, and it pains me to say this, her song isn’t THAT bad. It isn’t snatching wigs from none of the real divas – I don’t care how many times someone “confuses” (*snickers*) Moore with Beyoncé. But I can honestly say that I was thoroughly entertained by her performance, including her limber background dancers and her gold lamé pants. Likewise, I like that the song is uncomplicated, therefore knowing all the words – or even knowing how to sing – really isn’t a requirement. I mean, you can have a good time around the house, twirling and making up your own lyrics while dusting the furniture and vacuuming the living room floor (i.e. “you say I’m a messy housekeeper, I say I’m fabulous…Now twirl, twirl, twirl…”).

Moore is definitely crazy for that track. However, Moore is not the first delusional and not so honest person to be on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Remember Sheree Whitfield? Of course you do. How could you forget everyone’s favorite lovable narcissist with sociopathic tendencies? But before she could capture our hearts with her mastery of shade, Whitfield was known for fudging truths and exaggerating her importance to heights that Moore wishes she could twirl too. For one, Whitfield’s real life financial situation did not match her lavish spending, the bragging she did on the show and reports about her car repossessions, lawsuits, foreclosures and the fate of Chateau Sheree, which have been well-documented in the press. Then there was the “date” with the fake doctor, Tiy-E Muhammad, best known for playing the professor on the reality television show, The Real Gilligan’s Island. And then there was She for Sheree (seriously, did anybody else start humming “Gone with the Wind Fabulous” after reading She for Sheree?). Bless her heart, it was such a good idea, but never really materialized beyond a fashion show and launch party. She even tried to make, “Who Gon Check Me Boo” into a moneymaking single to no avail.

Despite being one of the founding cast members of RHOA, as well as one of the most entertaining of the Real Housewives (seriously, I could watch Sheree read someone all day) in general, Whitfield never really could capitalize off her 15 minutes of fame. Outside of playing up the shenanigans on camera, a Real Housewives series has the potential to be a goldmine for even the least industrious of cast members. And between the spin-off shows, cookbooks, Pinot Grigio wineries and the various jewelry, makeup and clothing lines, most of the women of the Real Housewives shows have proven to be some very business savvy women. Speaking particularly of the Atlanta series, Kim Zolciak was able to use the show to not only start a wig line and a career in music, which she eventually gave up on, but she was also able to get a husband, which we know is all she really wanted. Kandi Burruss not only was able to snag a boyfriend/recently announced fiancé from the show – literally snatching him off the production line – but she was also able to use the show to market her own line of sex toys (every single episode has featured either a Bedroom Kandi d**do or mention of the Bedroom Kandi Kegel balls). Cynthia Bailey used her celebrity from her role as NeNe Leakes’ hype (wo)man to open The Bailey Agency School of Fashion. And Phaedra Parks basically starts a new business every single episode. Even NeNe Leakes,Whitfield’s closest friends turned fiercest nemesis, has managed to parlay being a loud mouth black woman with an attitude into a fruitful career in Hollywood, with roles on Celebrity Apprentice, Glee and The New Normal, playing a loud mouth black woman with an attitude. Yet Sheree is the only consistent and notorious cast member who wasn’t able to flip her on-screen image into more profitable and sustainable ventures.

However, unlike her predecessor, Moore is poised to capitalize off of every moment on the series. Perhaps that wisdom comes from having to reinvent herself in order to not only stay relevant, but to remain financially secure too. After her stint as Miss USA, Moore was able to leverage her pageant career into work in both television and film, including roles on Martin, Living Single and in the film, Deliver Us From Eva among many other roles and appearnces. And it was probably her contacts in the film industry, which enabled her to start a production company, Moore Vision Media, which has produced a number of straight to DVD black cinema classics like Trois and…well…we all have seen/heard of Trois, right?

And as NeNe has suggested, it appears that Moore has done her homework. SO far, she has taken one of the strangest, and I suspect blatantly staged, moments of this season (for real, who steps outside in a peach cobbler-colored flowing dress unless you plan on doing a couple of old school, Diana Ross-in-Mahogany twirls?) and immediately flipped it into not only a dance song, but a ringtone and a line of T-shirts too. And something tells me that these ventures are only just the beginning – see the previews to next week’s episode in which we are teased with a Moore announcement about a Stallion Booty workout video (an obvious slight at Phaedra and Apollo’s Donkey Booty video).

It’s clear that even though Moore and Whitfield play/played a very similar role on the show, Moore has no plans on following in the tragic repossessed heels of Sheree Whitfield. Despite NeNe’s concerns about preserving the “authenticity” of the show, Moore clearly understands that the limelight, particularly the short attention span required for reality television, is very finicky. So you better get to singing songs, hawking products, doing dramatic readings and even off-tilt (yeah I caught that) twirling your way to riches before that last second on the 15-minute clock runs out.

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