Reality shows about young, hot, drunken idiots rarely are sustainable, but Vanderpump Rules gave a big middle finger to that notion this year. The Bravo show's sixth season is one of the best crafted seasons of a reality show, period. From start to finish, Vanderpump delivered this year and we just feel grateful to have gotten to go along for the ride.
Everyone in the SUR crew was on their A-game, aka their worst behavior, this season, giving us multiple cheating scandals, breakups, fights over important things, fights over nothing/pasta, and of course, a new loathing for the word "Rob."
So at the end of the day, which SURvers came out on top? We ranked all the winners and losers of Vanderpump Rules Season 6.
11. Scheana Marie
Insufferable. That's the only word I would use to describe Scheana this season. Well, maybe not the only word; delusional also comes to mind. Scheana's obsession with Rob, who was clearly just not that into her, was possibly more depressing than it was obnoxious, though. The way she was able to mold everything so that it fit into this perfect story she was telling herself (ex: Rob doesn't like kissing, Scheana hates flowers, Scheana's fiiine with Rob not saying "I love you" because his actions show it) would have broken my heart if she didn't insist on talking about Rob and how quickly he can set up a TV every goddamn minute. Scheana's decision to try and blow up Jax and Brittany's relationship out of spite for Jax rather than concern for Brittany was beyond petty too. Scheana is alienating herself from everyone in her life right now, including the audience, and so it was impossible to feel much if any sympathy for her -- particularly when she claimed Jax yelling at her during the reunion hurt more than her divorce. Get a grip, girl.
10. Jax Taylor
It seems silly to even try and boil down all the horrible things Jax did this season into an easily digestible caption, but here I go: He slept with Faith in some poor old lady's house (!!!) and she recorded audio from their encounter (!!!), he seemed more emotionally invested in his Reiki master than he did Brittany, he lost his marbles in front of all his friends and Ken and Lisa, he broke up with Brittany after having sex with her, and his meltdown over Scheana not calling him after his dad died was beyond. I know I'm missing out on some low moments, but those are really the big hitters. And while this isn't a bad thing Jax did, can we also just take a minute to remember how he almost drowned at Big Bear? Old Man Jax just needs to slow down and grow up. (But also don't, because Jax, I love you, never change. I can't imagine this show without you.)
9. Tom Schwartz
It's hard to deny that Katie really has shown a lot of growth over the past year, but right now I'm just not seeing the same from Schwartz. He seems to revel in partying like an alcoholic frat bro, even getting so drunk that he wandered to a completely different resort in Mexico (not to mention when he cheated on Katie but was so drunk he forgot). Sure, Schwartz behaved better than Sandoval at many of their TomTom meetings with Lisa and Ken, but that's just because Sandoval was aggressively chasing his dreams and Schwartz was just kind of... there.
What really was the nail in Schwartz's coffin for me this year, though, was his attitude during the reunion when it came to Jax cheating on Brittany. Every time he explained how he'd cover for Jax no matter what, poor Katie just looked so devastated. Probably because she realized she was married to a person who still has a "bros before hoes" mentality and lacks a basic respect for relationships and/or women. Schwartz's cutesie routine has grown stale and it's time for him to embrace maturity, if not for himself than for his soulmate, Sandoval.
Stassi and Jax were this show when it first began, but then Stassi met Patrick and nothing was ever really the same. Season by season we watched as Stassi slipped more into the shadows and now we finally understand why. We finally met Patrick this season and good lord, I really wish we hadn't. He treated Stassi so terribly, manipulating her and emotionally abusing her at every turn. To cap it all off, he sexually harassed Lisa Vanderpump in the season finale -- an action which prompted Stassi to apologize TO PATRICK. That's how much influence Patrick had over her at that point. Fortunately, Stassi and Patrick split between the finale and the reunion (she already has a new beau, Beau, who actually seems great for her) and it was welcome to see Stassi looking back on her relationship with Patrick with a newfound clarity. She deserves so much better than him and it's great to see her finally realizing that. Fingers crossed her split with Patrick means we'll see a bit of the old Stassi return next year. Although, no matter what version of Stassi we get next year, here's hoping she'll apply what she learned from Billie Lee and Ariana to all her behavior and podcasts moving forward.
To cut right to the point, Katie just made me sad this year. When it came out that Schwartz cheated on her but was too drunk to even remember, it was a truly dark moment -- particularly given how quickly he assumed that he would drunkenly cheat on his wife despite having no memory of the illicit encounter. But Katie stood by her husband the way he stood by Tequila Katie for so many years, only this year we saw Katie actually grow and mature while Schwartz continued to get blackout drunk despite her pleadings. Despite all this, it truly was a very lovely moment when Katie and Schwartz shared that tender exchange about her finding happiness and self-love again in their dining room. It was wonderful to see Katie learn to address the root of her anger issues, but it was disheartening to see that she doesn't seem to have a partner that's on the same trajectory as her.
Although it's great for Kristen how well she's taken to domesticity with Carter, I seriously miss Crazy Kristen. What happened to digging up dirt on her enemies and coming for them at inopportune times? This show needs this drama. Sure, we got to see a little bit of Crazy Kristen after the rumors about her and James got started in Mexico, but since we knew that James never actually said what he was accused of, the fight lacked the tension or depth we've come to expect of Kristen drama. She had a few little freakouts on Stassi too, but I could barely bring myself to care. She was just middle of the road this season, which is a real shame for someone who has such great reality TV potential. (Side note: WTF does Kristen do for a living anymore? Because if she's not working at SUR or living off that t-shirt line, how the hell is she making her money these days? Does Diff Eyeware pay that much? Bravo, please get to the bottom of this in Season 7.)
5. Tom Sandoval
Sandoval needs to learn his place. I get that he's eager to take on more responsibilities and prove himself to Lisa, but taking shots before a big business meeting is not the way to do it. And even in the reunion, Sandoval still didn't really seem to grasp that he has to pay his dues before being handed the keys to the TomTom kingdom. Sandoval's insistence on standing by Jax without any real concern for Brittany was also a bad look on him -- although I was honestly more turned off by how offended he was by Lala's joke about his trumpet playing. Have a sense of humor, bro! If you can forgive Jax for f***ing your girlfriend, you shouldn't care if Lala says your sh***y trumpet playing is sh***y. Also, this outfit.
4. Ariana Madix
To be honest, I've never been a big Ariana fan because she's always treated the other women in the group as though they were below her. And yes, Kristen, Katie and Stassi are not exactly aspirational figures, but let's not pretend Ariana isn't playing around in the muck right alongside them. As long as you're on Vanderpump Rules, there's no room for elitist attitudes.
That being said, Ariana had some good moments this season. Speaking out about intimacy issues would be a big deal for anyone, let alone someone on television, and I'm proud of Ariana for being so open and honest about her past abusive relationship and the ongoing trauma she's learning to cope with as a result. In the sea of garbage behavior that is Vanderpump, it was nice to see something that was actually inspiring. I also have to give Ariana major props for taking a stand when Sandoval continued to prioritize Jax and his destructive behavior over what Brittany may have needed or wanted.
When it comes to James' high placement in this ranking, I'll be honest: it kind of is about the pasta. That was truly one of those Vanderpump moments that I'll be quoting for the rest of my life, right alongside "PUMPTINI" and "Go take a Honda Civic selfie," two of James' other classic hits. It was also sweet to see James actually work his way back into Lisa and Ken's good graces. A bus boy gig isn't exactly a marker of great success in many places, but for the White Kanye, this was a major step up for him.
James' relationship drama this season also made for excellent television as his apparent disinterest in his girlfriend Raquel provided much fodder for his cast mates and viewers, particularly when his treatment of Raquel was compared to James' doting on Logan and the (often inappropriate) attention he paid to Lala. Did James sleep with Logan? Maybe. Is James still in love with Lala? Probably. But these facts just make me love him more, not less. What really sealed the deal for me and James this season, though, was when we got our first glimpse at his roommate. How could Bravo keep this man from us for all this time? I demand more Paul next season!
Brittany tried so hard to keep her relationship together this season and it was a bit hard to watch at times. But the thing is, Brittany came off fresh as a daisy amidst all the chaos. She always does, really. As all the other women were quick to point out, Brittany is the only genuinely good and sweet person amongst them. Her relationship with Jax was always boggling, but watching her forgive him for cheating on her with Faith and for saying horrible things about her to Faith only to then get dumped and TAKE HIM BACK AGAIN?!? It was honestly hard to handle, especially when she seemed so invigorated by her brief fling with singledom as she flirted with Adam. But even though Brittany and Jax got back together (again), one thing was clear throughout all of this: Brittany deserves so much better, but until she realizes that, she'll continue to settle for people like Old Man Jax. And it just doesn't feel fair to judge Brittany too harshly for this season because while she made mistakes, all of her actions were motivated by good intentions and her open heart.
1. Lala Kent
Lala was not high on our list when she quit Vanderpump Rules mid-season last year. However, like a phoenix from the ashes, Lala has arisen. Finally giving up the grating caginess surrounding her romantic situation (one which is now Instagram official), we actually got to know Lala this season and I turns out that I absolutely LOVE HER. She was funny, she was kind, she called people out when they needed it, but could be the voice of reason not long after. She drinks out of a baby bottle before bed, something that could have been horrifying but is actually just entertaining because of Lala's refreshing sense of humor about herself.
I could definitely do without so much "my man" talk, but maybe now that her and "Rand" are actually open about their relationship, we'll get to learn more about their dynamic other than what he buys her. I'd also settle for insights into WTF she talks to Robert DeNiro and John Travolta about if they still want to keep personal things personal. And you know what? Call me crazy, but Lala's music is actually pretty good! So sorry, Stassi, there's a new SUR queen and her name is Lala.
Nostalgic for the days that Stassi was the undeniable queen of Vanderpump Rules? Previous seasons are available to stream on Hulu now.