To tie into the proclamation in my last blog that I’d try to focus more on the self-titled theme of Southern Aristocracy, I wanted to profile a self-made aristocrat in her own right: Camille Grammer of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Or as I call the show, The Camille Grammer Show. Sadly, Queen Camille (I’m sure she wouldn’t mind being called that) is stepping down from her throne on the show, which just finished its second season. Married to Kelsey Grammer for over a decade, Camille walked away with tens of millions after Kelsey walked away from her last year. She announced today–at her co-star Adrienne Maloof’s yogurt shoppe opening in Las Vegas, of all places–that she was stepping away from the show because she, “[w]asn’t willing to expose her personal life anymore, and [she] is ready for new challenges.” I applaud Queen Camille for her decision, but I’ll miss her next season.
Camille likes to keep her past a bit of a mystery, as some might say she furthered herself in show business in somewhat morally corrupt ways. But her claim to fame–before marrying Kelsey, of course–was being a dancer on Club MTV back in the day. She’s still a stellar dancer, and I’ve predicted falsely before that she’ll land on Dancing With the Stars. Thus far, she’s not appeared on the show.
Camille was cast as the villain during the first season of RHoBH–against her will and due to dubious editing, as she claimed in the reunion special after the season concluded. Much was going on in her personal life at the time, and she claimed that’s the underlying reason she lashed out at the other cast members time and time again. In fact, she was so hated by the fans that she was dubbed “America’s Most Hated Housewife” by one of the tabloids.
When season two premiered, viewers saw a completely transformed Camille–a more polished, more reserved, more aristocratic (if you will!) Camille Grammer. More often than not, she kept her mouth shut and stayed out of the drama during season two. The exception came when confronting another cast member whose husband was beating her. (He ended up committing suicide once the second season had ended taping.) Queen Camille gave an Emmy-worthy spiel about how Taylor needed to leave her husband once and for all, instead of only crying to them about him beating her. Except, being a Queen, she said it much more graciously than that. I wish I could post the clip of her spiel, but it’s not on YouTube. Here’s a still from the scene, though:
I think it’s a testament to Camille that she’s been able to turn her image around, and that she’s exiting the fickle world of reality TV (for now, at least) with her dignity in tact. With that said, here’s some tongue-in-cheek things I’ve learned from watching Queen Camille on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for two seasons:
-Always have an office in your horse barn. It’s a great place to get away from the kids and brainstorm what BET sitcoms you want to produce with your ex-husband in the future.
-Keep plenty of candy on your granite-topped kitchen counters, even if you don’t eat the said candy. Preferably, keep it in a glass urn like the ones pictured below. That way, the kids can see the candy, but they have to ask for help getting to it. (Seems to me this would be a sure-fire way to get them to obey their parents, but what do I know.)
-Wear the big red dress; don’t let it wear you. (She owned this dress at the Tonys in 2010.)
-Think before you speak. Camille admitted somewhere along the way between seasons 1 and 2 that she didn’t always do this. By season two, she also had a visible publicist, so maybe that helped in rehabbing her image on the show as well. Here she is, just for the heck of it, looking eloquent and couth:
I suppose that’s really all I learned from Camille, besides how to always look your best, and to make the best out of an awful situation (i.e., Kelsey leaving her, her being pinned as the villain in season one and redeeming herself in season two). I wish her luck in her “new challenges,” and she’ll always be Queen Camille in my heart. Here’s a few more pics of the incomparable Camille Donatacci Grammer…enjoy the aristocratic elegance!