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Michaele Salahi: A "Real Housewives" star is born

"There are social climbers everywhere," one of the women of "The Real Housewives of D.C." says as the show opens with Federal City establishing shots, then quickly pans to new Washington monuments: Michaele and Tareq Salahi. "When you first look at me, you think, 'Gosh, she has no substance!' But after you talk to me for a while, you see I have a heart of gold. There is a whole lot of substance here," Michaele says, smiling at the camera.

Michaele brims with a phoniness that supersedes merely phony. She's so phony she's authentic. Michaele may be the most authentically phony person in the history of the "Real Housewives" franchise.

"The new D.C. is colorful fashion, beautiful clothes," she says as she oohs and aahs over clothes that are splashed across a bed. "You know who this is reminiscent of?" she asks her bevy of assistants as she picks up a white chiffon dress edged in black. "Coco Chanel. She always had -- as you saw in 'Pretty Woman' -- the girls were always with pearls and the big hats."

"I was the average, normal girl. I did modeling, met Tareq -- he exposed me to a whole different world. I went to Paris for the night for dinner. He just wowed me," Michaele gushes.

"Wow!" she demonstrates, as she unwraps a diamond cuff bracelet Tareq has procured for her.

"It's decorated with eight carats of diamonds throughout," Tareq details, like she's a customer and he's trying to sell her a car.

"I was like, 'Wow -- is this too good to be true?' " Michaele faux-wonders, which may be the most honest thing she'll say the entire episode.

Sure, she has her supporting cast. There's Catherine Ommanney, the British divorcee married to a Newsweek photographer; Mary Amons, the self-described super-mom who lives in a McMansion in McLean; real estate agent Stacie Scott Turner; and modeling agency owner Lynda Erkiletian.

But they're cut from the classic cloth of "Real Housewives" women -- portable, pull-apart and interchangeable. Michaele is the star --the scary-skinny maypole around which everyone else is going to dance.

Even Bravo.

"To the people who might excoriate us and say we're making Michaele famous or glorifying what she did . . . we don't make shows to make people famous and as a corollary we don't view being on a television show either as a reward or a punishment," Bravo's senior VP of original programming, Andy Cohen, wrote Tuesday in a please-do-not-stop-whipping-me-for-the-Salahis-because-it-feels-so-good blog post on Huffington Post.

"Our decision to include [the Salahis] in the series speaks to a very basic programming mandate, which is to present real people as they exist within their universe. . . . Whatever the feeling, we leave it to the viewer to decide. I think that's one of the reasons why people are so obsessed with not only the Housewives franchise, but virtually every other show on Bravo," he said.

Why does this sound familiar? Hmmmm, who comes to mind? Oh, yeah -- Michaele's husband, Tareq boasting about his America's Polo Cup tourney in the premiere!

"It's the kickoff to a season of galas, balls, cocktails and networking," enthuses Tareq. "They are the power players, the who's who in terms of every segment you can imagine!"

Housewife Lynda feels otherwise: "I just have no desire to go back, or ever be associated with that little goat rodeo," she says of the Salahis' polo match.

The larger goat rodeo that is Bravo -- the network everyone is so obsessed with, except only an average of 761,000 people are watching -- will debut the first episode of "The Real Housewives of D.C." on Aug. 5. But we got a copy of the first episode. Here's what you've got in store:

Mary has a biometric lock on her clothes closet in her McMansion. The only way to get into her closet is if Mary puts her left index finger on the keypad. "You have to take measures," she explains of her grown daughter who moved back home when she wound up broke and who is about Mary's size and has her taste in expensive clothes and jewelry.

Lynda runs "the top modeling agency in Washington." How many are there? "There are only so many fashion clients in Washington," she notes, explaining that she caters to "the ambassadors, to the dignitaries." Dignitaries need models? So many questions.

Mary, turns out, is one of those chicks who says "girlfriend" to black women and dons a faux British accent when speaking to Cat -- you know the type. She notes that Stacie, who is African American, and African American hairstylist to the celebrities Ted Gibson, who is sitting next to Stacie, are going to be good friends and that "salons need to integrate" because "we have different hair, different needs, but why do we have to be in different salons? There is a wave to ride with our new administration, with the beautiful couple we have leading our country."

Yes, our Mary's gotten a little fractured at her B-day party.

Who's this? Janet Jackson's personal chef, Chao! He's come to Stacie's house to cook dinner/give a cooking class for Stacie and a select few of her friends because I don't know why, except this is reality television.

At that dinner/cooking class, Cat will make many enemies when she declares Tyra -- yes, that Tyra -- to be "hideous" and calls George W. Bush a "perfect gentleman," while dissing President Obama for not having RSVP'd to her wedding invitation.

Mary's husband, meanwhile, has been chosen one of D.C.'s style setters by Washingtonian magazine because the publisher is "one of my best friends and she's really hooking me up," Mary explains as she winks at the camera.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  June 16, 2010; 12:42 AM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Can't Wait for this show and for the first time I will watch it!

Michaele is going to be the one I watch for!

Hope we see the red sari too.

She is skinny. Beautiful though.

Agree . She is the reason many of us new ones even care. Your first article here in The Post on her made me get into it.

Posted by: lisag1 | June 16, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you lisag1! I can't wait to see them handcuffed and dragged away on "Real Housewives" for pocketing money people thought they were donating to Leukemia and Lymphoma research! Money that went to pay for their frivolous vanity instead of helping to save dying children! Oh Goodie! Like you said, especially Michaelllla!!!

Posted by: bromo999 | June 16, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the final, where Tareq and Michaele are led away in handcuffs for their various frauds.

I do like the thought that Tareq thinks his polo cup is attended by "power players." 250 people, mainly comped tickets from the Pakistani community, eating Popeye's fried chicken? These are the power elite? Come on. Maybe next year, it will go really upscale and get catered by KFC!

Posted by: growler55 | June 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@growler55: I was with you until you alluded that KFC is better than Popeye's. Now I seriously question your judgment...nay, your very sanity.

Posted by: MaxH | June 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Michelle - you really have to stop posting under that lisa... name. You're embarassing yourself. Try to be a little more stealthy in the future. One piece of advice - stop the inappropriate use of capitalization.

Anyone want to bet that bracelet was about as "real" as his Patek watch?

I also have to question the sanity of one who would prefer KFC over Popeyes.

Posted by: jennifers1 | June 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse


Hi, Michaele, a/k/a Missy, a/k/a Michelle [your legal name shown on your court records].

Do you just sit at your computer chomping on leftover Popeye's fried chicken looking for your name to come up?

I see it took you all of 45 minutes in the wee hours of the morning to be the first to post your idiotic comment.

Oh, I suppose maybe you were purging.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | June 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Join our Facebook page: Tell the White House Party Crashers to Go Away.!/pages/Tell-the-White-House-Pary-Crashers-to-Go-Away/123198837720947?ref=ts

Posted by: seraphina2 | June 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Tareq Salahi & Michaele Salahi who “Party Crashed” the White House illegally penetrating layers of security with no invitation, for the BRAVO Network, may be adding another lawsuit. Tareq Salahi & wife - Michaele Salahi known for their possible roles in the forthcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington” aspiring reality-TV stars from Northern Virginia who “Party Crashed” the White House's state dinner Tuesday night, illegally penetrating layers of security with no invitation to mingle with the likes of Barack Obama, Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel For the BRAVO Network, may be adding another lawsuit to the several they are already involved in. Dan Burns one of the Creators of 2005 #1 Comedy film “Wedding Crashers” had shopped around a Television Series he created “Party Crashers” to several Television networks and Film studios and still owns the rights to the “Party Crashers” Television Series concept. The Salahi’s and BRAVO Network Infringing on the rights of the premise and concept owned by Dan Burns is crossing a legal line after passing on the Television Series “Party Crashers” Dan Burns created. The Salahi’s and BRAVO had no comment, and Mr. Burns was not reachable for comment on the Pending Lawsuits.

Posted by: entertainment1 | June 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

OK, maybe I went too far in saying that KFC is a step up from Popeye's in sponsoring prestigious sporting events. Popeye's produces more delicious chicken, I will admit. Its just that a polo match sponsored by a fast food chain just makes me laugh! This event supposedly, according to Tareq, was going to draw the Queen of England herself a couple of years ago. I just picture the queen chomping on an arby's roast beef sandwich and curly fries out of a styrofoam container at one of these exclusive events! Hilarious!

And Michaele, please please learn the rules of capitalization. Your crazy written English means we can all spot your comments a mile away.

Posted by: growler55 | June 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I have worked for the Perkins restaurant chain for years, but doubt that they would want pancakes for their next sham polo meet.

Posted by: ehsmith1 | June 16, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Cracks me up that you guy's get so worked up with hate. That kind of hate you have for her or other's only comes back to you ..........get ready.

I am happy to say who I am and don't need to hide behind made up names - Lawpool growler. Erin is smart to not waste her time with you.

We Love You Michaele and let the haters swim in their own empty lives of hate.

Posted by: lisag1 | June 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

It only a matter of time before Tareq files for divorce and then we'll start to hear the Real Housewives stories. He's probably getting pretty tied of Michaele taking him for a ride or rides as the case may be all these months. Hug Hugs, girl..

Posted by: RealWashington | June 22, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse


Hi Michaele:

"Hate" for you? Honestly, no.
Pity? Maybe.

Disguist at your and your hubbie's self-absorbed, delusional and narcissistic lifestyle at the expense of other? Well, yeah, I suppose so.

Just my opinion.

An opinion that is only reinforced every time you post your comments as "lisag1" or "susan" or "susang" or "susanmorgan", or any of your other alternative screen names, all of which really do make you like like a clueless blithering idiot. Please, at least get out your basic english grammar book from Oakton High School.

No "hate" or "jealousy" intended.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | June 22, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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