Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 3: Phaedra Parks joins cast, NeNe Leakes gets angry

When "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" returned for a third season Monday on Bravo, new cast members Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks took a back seat to drama from returning cast members.

In fact, Cynthia didn't get any airtime on the premiere.

Instead, we got lots of footage of Kim Zolciak and her (possibly real) bisexual relationship with DJ Tracy Young. We also met Kandi Burruss' new man, Willis McGahee from the Baltimore Ravens.

The women got along with each other -- kind of -- but recurring character Dwight was the center of the night's conflicts. NeNe Leakes and Sheree Whitfield held grudges against Dwight. Both were rooted in financial issues. The night ended with NeNe directing her usual incoherent screaming at Dwight.

There was a brief mention of former Housewife Lisa Wu Hartwell, but we didn't see her on Monday's premiere.

Read our recap of the episode, then share your thoughts in the comments section.


Woo hoo! The third season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" is here. Where did we leave off? Hmm. Fights, tears and "Tardy for the Party." Got it?

The show kicks off with Sheree, who's talking with some guy about getting a divorce. A new relationship? Not so much. She's taking acting classes.

Yes, you read that correctly. She says it's her new passion and she can see herself winning an Oscar.

Speaking of drama, NeNe arrives and interrupts Sheree's acting class. She shows up just in time to watch Sheree botch a scene.

NeNe shows Sheree a tabloid in which Kim kind of comes out as a lesbian. NeNe's reaction? "If she's really bisexual, I'll support her."

NeNe admits she invited Kim over to discuss the state of their friendship. Sigh. Been there, done that.

NeNe goes all out for Kim's visit. She wears a fancy gown and has her private chef cook something special. As Kim rolls up, she reminds us of the incident in which NeNe allegedly strangled her.

She vows she's past that, however. Kim seems impressed by NeNe's effort. First topic? Kim admits she's moved on from Big Poppa and she has a connection with another woman.

NeNe doesn't buy it and points out that Kim is still wearing the engagement ring from Big Poppa. That prompts NeNe to admit that she and husband Gregg are in two different places. Why? NeNe's now the one in the relationship who makes more money.

Dwight gossip! Kim says she ran into Dwight, who said NeNe's husband borrowed $10,000 from him. NeNe is shocked. How does she retaliate? "You know, Dwight has a fake nose."

The afternoon ends well, with Kim admitting that she has fun with NeNe about 99 percent of the time.

Seventeen minutes into the show, we still haven't met the new Housewives. We do, however, get some more Kim.

This time, Kim chats with Kandi, who tells us she's slowly getting back to dating after her fiance's death. Kandi criticizes Kim for resurrecting her friendship with NeNe.

She's also critical of Kim's decision to talk to the tabloids about her bisexuality. Kandi asks how Big Poppa felt about the article, but Kim won't talk.

Kandi goes on a date with her new guy, Willis McGahee from the Baltimore Ravens. They go rock climbing and it's all very exciting. Something a little less exciting: Kandi tells Willis she's taken a temporary vow of abstinence.

Back to Kim. Her 13-year-old daughter Brielle confesses a crush on a foreign exchange student. Brielle compares him to Fabio. Not exactly a compliment, but whatever. Kim tries to give relationship advice, but Brielle won't listen. Justifiably.

Finally, 30 minutes into the show, we meet new Housewife Phaedra. She's pregnant and married to a younger guy, Apollo, who once had a little run-in with some white-collar crime. Phaedra wants to be a mom, but she doesn't want to feel trapped. She has a busy life as an attorney to the stars. She calls herself fabulous, fierce and beautiful.

Phaedra hangs out with Dwight and drinks virgin champagne. She's his friend and lawyer. In exchange, he explains the past two seasons of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" to her. Mainly, he complains that Sheree didn't thank him for organizing her fashion show.

Phaedra says she's known NeNe for a long time and doesn't consider her "ladylike."

Back to NeNe. She got an exclusive invite to a fabulous shoe boutique and asks Kim to join her. Kim agrees. There's tension since Dwight is supposed to be there.

With that, NeNe asks her husband if the $10,000 rumor is true. He laughs at it, but NeNe still thinks he's hiding something.

Gregg admits he and Dwight went in on a $500 investment that failed. NeNe wishes he would have told her about it.

Turns out Sheree is also attending the "shoe preview event." She gives us a quick primer on Lisa Wu Hartwell, who won't be a main character this season: "I don't see her out much these days."

Sheree is especially excited to see Dwight -- but not in a good way. She's mad he's telling everybody he put $30,000 into her fashion show. That's a lie, Sheree says.

En route to the fashion show, NeNe says she's bothered by everything that's going on in her personal life. Gregg has lied to her too much. NeNe's still mad about the whole Dwight situation. She writes Dwight a check for $500 -- you know, to make up for the failed investment.

Once they arrive at the event, Sheree isn't impressed by the shoes. Dwight and Phaedra show up together. NeNe thinks it's strange that Phaedra showed up. Why? Apparently, she's not fabulous enough.

NeNe refuses to hug Dwight and pretty much starts yelling at him immediately. He, too, is not fabulous enough for NeNe. She gives him the $500 check and he doesn't accept it. The rest of the conversation is standard incoherent NeNe.

When NeNe leaves, Kim's just glad that she's not the one causing the scene. Dwight says he doesn't like being pushed in a corner because he's a tiger who will fight.

On the way home, NeNe's mad that she didn't stay calm enough to get some answers. She's glad that Kim and Sheree had her back. As the show concludes, Kim and NeNe exchange a drunken hug in the limo. Aww.