Now that Sheree Whitfield is out of the picture, Real Housewives of Atlanta needed another troublemaker to stir things up. Kenya Moore, the latest cast addition to the Bravo series, certainly filled the extreme drama queen void on Sunday's fifth-season premiere when she butted heads with Cynthia Bailey, the non-confrontational model-turned-owner of a modeling business.
"I clashed with Kenya first before any of the other girls did -- which should have been a sign," Bailey tells THR. "I really think I’m one of the easiest girls to get along with on the show but we clashed out of the gate. … That’s not really my personality to get into it with somebody the first time I meet them for 10 minutes."
Moore, an actress who won the Miss USA title in 1993, joins Real Housewives' Atlanta edition along with Porsha Stewart; Whitfield, who famously attempted to pull off Kim Zolciak's wig in season two, exited the show last April, declaring: "I'm tired of the fighting and the cattiness."
Cue the dramatic entrance of Moore, who rubbed Bailey the wrong way after being invited to help select the model for Jet Magazine's "Beauty of the Week." As the candidates paraded before a panel including Bailey and Moore, the newbie Housewife sniped to one aspiring Beauty: "I'm not trying to be a mean girl. But why are you here?" To another: "That's a man. ... I'm serious. I was looking for an Adam's apple."
When Moore mercilessly mocked a model's "a-- crack," Bailey's assistant then stepped in to lecture her. This resulted in Moore calling upon her personal guard ("I'm a public figure, I always have security on me") to escort said assistant out of the Bailey Agency. That's when Bailey stepped in to save her employee and voice her disapproval of Moore's antics.
"I felt like she disrespected me and my business and that is something that I take very personally because …. she was the person that needed to be invited somewhere in the group," Bailey says. "I invited her somewhere and thought I was actually being nice and almost really helping her out and doing her a favor by inviting her somewhere to be around us. And she … was just inappropriate. Mean-spirited. Just not cool."
Defending herself via camera confessional, Moore argued: "I couldn't understand why Cynthia was so comfortable in this situation. This is her agency. There are girls coming in there off the street looking like a hot mess!"
Bailey tells THR that by the end of season five, Moore will have battled nearly every cast member on the series. "She came in with a sense of entitlement. It's just not cool to come in to a new group of women and not at least try to be just a little more gracious."
On the horizon: Moore is shown flirting with attorney-turned-mortician Phaedra Parks' husband Apollo and brawling with fellow spitfire Nene Leakes, among others. And compared with previous seasons, the even-keeled, rarely-ruffled Bailey -- previously criticized as a mute doormat for BFF Leakes -- says she's come out of her shell to become more outspoken and confrontational.
"In the past I kinda of felt (that) common sense, taking the high road would kinda see me through," she observes. "But it didn’t work out for me. I think I take a different approach in terms of just jumping in there and shutting things down before they ended up being as big as they could get."