As Sonja would say, fresh season, fresh guests, fresh everything!
Following last year's massive house-cleaning, which saw the exits of Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop, the Season 5 premiere of The Real Housewives of New York City welcomed three new ladies into the lion's den. But how did the newbies fit in with veterans Sonja Morgan, LuAnn de Lesseps and Ramona Singer? And was the show hurting without its former first ladies of drama ready to stir things up? We offer our instant evaluations of the new ladies below:
"Never underestimate a woman born and raised in New York City."
Our First Impression: Aviva is, as LuAnn says, poised and graceful and charming, but she's not afraid to tell it like it is. Right off the bat, she says she basically left her ex-husband because he partied too much and doesn't shy away from showing her prosthetic leg and talking about having her foot amputated when she was just 6. Although she fears some friction with Sonja, Aviva seems to prefer to be the problem solver for other people's conflicts rather than getting into it herself.
Most Similar To: Jill, the brutally honest NY native and the social butterfly who serves as the tie the binds a lot of different groups and people together.
Most Likely to Spar With: Considering Sonja's close friendship — or was it more? — with Aviva's ex-husband, Harry, these women are destined to become frenemies.
"I may be a princess, but I'm definitely not a drama queen."
Our First Impression: Carole is, like Aviva, a survivor. Her husband died of cancer after they had been married five years, but not only is she back on the dating scene and walking around Manhattan in hotpants (no, really), but she wrote a New York Times best-selling book about losing her husband. Like Kelly before her, it seems the producers are going to have a lot of fun mining material from Carole's single status and adventures downtown. Also like Kelly, Carole seems to be the most prolific of all the Housewives, especially thanks to her glamorous job interviewing celebrities (Kardashian name drop) and her ties to the Kennedy family (her husband was cousins with John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Caroline Kennedy).
Most Similar To: A mix of Kelly and Cindy, the fabulous and very independent outsider who it's not quite clear why she is, or wants to be, a member of the Real Housewives posse. Would her old boss, Peter Jennings, approve?
Most Likely to Rumble With: LuAnn, if only because both of these women tend to think they're above the fray and too good for the petty drama. Also, we can see Carole milking her Kennedy ties just like how the Countess has been abusing her title for years. We smell a class-off!
Signature Line: "My success is built on making women look and feel their best. Holla!"
Our First Impression: She name drops a lot because of her ties to many a celebrity fashion line (P. Diddy, Beyonce, and J. Lo, to name a few) but Heather seems to truly be a self-made woman thanks to her successful line of shapewear, named after her. She will tell the story about her son's rare liver disease at the drop of a hat, but she's definitely not the loudest member of the group, or the natural center of attention.
Most Similar To: Bethenny Frankel, the slightly scrappy, career-minded underdog who isn't afraid to laugh at herself and her fellow Housewives.
Most Likely to Rumble With: If that dinner party is any indication, Heather and Ramona are going to be talking over — and about — each other all season long. Plus, lest we not forget that Ramona was at odds with Kelly because she felt threatened by Kelly's fashion background, which means that Heather's shapewear line makes her public enemy No. 1.
So what did you think of the new ladies? Do you have a favorite, or a least favorite so far? Will you watch this season of Real Housewives of NYC? Sound off with all your thoughts in the comments below!