The Real Housewives of Atlanta has seen its casting deck reshuffled frequently in the past few years. Kim Fields, star of Netflix’s recent production of The Upshaws, dropped out after a one-season stint in 2019, and she says she’s not coming back. Likewise, America's Next Top Model winner Eva Marcille left after two seasons as a main cast mate last year, and she was followed closely by longtime alum and fan favorite NeNe Leakes. Now another major cast member is leaving the show ahead of Season 14, but Cynthia Bailey has her reasons.
There's been much speculation about a potential shakeup for the future lineup, with Real Housewives of Atlanta going out with the old and in with the new, so to speak. Cynthia Bailey confirmed on her Instagram that, for the most part, the rumors are true, and that she's leaving the show after being a core cast member for 11 seasons. (She’s the second longest-running cast mate in the show’s history after Kandi Burruss.) Here's how Bailey addressed it:
Interestingly, too, Cynthia Bailey thanked NBC Universal, Bravo and Truly Original in her goodbye post, adding that she “can't wait to see what we do next.” With emphasis on the “we” there, fans can possibly presume Bailey has another project lined up that does not include the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Perhaps she’ll get her own individual spinoff as RHOA alum Kim Zolciak did with Don’t Be Tardy. I wouldn’t bet on that necessarily, but fans can still catch Bailey taking part in the Real Housewives vacation special – alongside franchise alums Kenya Moore, Ramona Singer, Teresa Giudice and more – when that premieres on Peacock in November.
It's not entirely surprising to me that Cynthia Bailey is exiting the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Though she is regarded as one of the nicer women to grace the franchise, she also weathered constant criticisms that her storylines of late were kind of boring. In the show’s most recent season, she finally married Fox sports commentator Mike Hill, but avoided drama at all costs whenever she could, which is her usual M.O., and one that doesn't make for the most fascinating TV.
With Cynthia Bailey heading out the door, it seems likely that others will follow. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore had previously confirmed that a shakeup of new faces was “definitely” happening. Moore wouldn't share if she was in fact leaving, though there are rumors that Bravo execs have raised a fuss over her Dancing with the Stars stint, but she did shockingly pitch for Phaedra Parks’ return. And while Bailey and Porsha Williams are apparently not coming back, a former Olympic athlete is reportedly being brought into the fold, according to The Sun.
While Season 13 of the Real Housewives Atlanta was airing earlier this year, fans were picking up on hints that Porsha Williams was eyeing her own exit. Amidst all the insinuations from her co-stars that she had hooked up with Bolo the shipper at Cynthia Bailey’s bachelorette party, Williams was either missing or late to filming for the show several times. Her engagement to a costar’s ex-husband recently only fueled rumors that she won't have to answer to the ladies anymore in the future.
Regardless, it's clear the next season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta will have a totally different dynamic. Cynthia Bailey is gone, so who will Kenya Moore have to support her, if she does indeed stay on while juggling her Dancing with the Stars gig? Let us know in the poll below and check out all the other shows popping up soon with our 2021 Fall TV schedule.
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